For Wednesday, December 14, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
This isn’t a country, it’s a machine gun of scandals. The government continues to break its record of abuses and this time, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice’s Constitutional Chamber ratifies Tania D’Amelio and Socorro Hernández as National Electoral Council authorities for the period 2016-2023 with a decision published on their website, which they supported once more with the story of the National Assembly’s contempt.
Any action that Parliament or any other institution might take against this decision will be null and judicially invalid.
They argue that this is a necessary measure because the corresponding period expired and because of the lack of diligence in the respective appointment process, adding that any action that Parliament or any other institution might take against this decision will be null and judicially invalid. The TSJ appointed Abdón Hernández as Tania D’Amelio’s replacement. The guy had been previously appointed as Tibisay Lucena’s replacement in 2014.
A harmonic chaos
The few ATMs in operation yesterday only had Bs. 100 bills, the same ones the rest of the country was trying to exchange in colossal lines outside bank agencies. The bills available for exchange ran out early in the day and the banks were taking only deposits. In contrast with what citizens experienced, according to Nélson Merentes, head of the Central Bank, everything developed in harmony, guaranteeing -without saying how- that all Venezuelans with legitimate funds will be able to exchange their cash. But hey, don’t assume that you’ll be able to exchange 30 millions de sopetón. Cash transport operations through airports and ports will be charged a 306 UT fee (Bs. 54,162,) and 200 UT (Bs. 35,400) through the border.
Express bank accounts
Leoncio Guerra, head of the Bureau of Institutions of the Banking Sector (SUDEBAN,) said that people who have cash but no bank account, will be able to open one immediately, just with their IDs, claiming that the measure was agreed with the Venezuelan Banking Association. Even though the official line to support the abuse of invalidating Bs. 100 banknotes is the fierce fight against financial irregularities, the government decides to allow the opening of new bank accounts without any sort of control. According to Guerra, users opened two thousand bank accounts this Tuesday 13th. And I wonder: how?
With complete normality
That’s how Interior minister Néstor Reverol described the operation’s development, which involved 58 thousand security officers deployed throughout 3,504 bank agencies across the country to monitor deposits: “We want to confirm that the inspection of vaults in financial institutions is supported on rules established by SUDEBAN. We’ll continue monitoring all financial institutions to keep reporting to the country,” adding that authorities from SEBIN, CICPC, GNB and SUDEBAN successfully performed their duties during the process.
58 thousand security officers deployed throughout 3,504 bank agencies across the country to monitor deposits
Ombudsman Tarek William Saab reported that he’s received over 200 complaints from businessmen regarding the money generated by point-of-sale operations which hasn’t yet been deposited into their accounts: “the money will be in their accounts in the next 48 to 72 hours (…) according to reports from the Finance minister (…) there’s been an avalanche of transactions in the last two weeks, starting on December 1st, which have caused this.” Despite this precedent, the government wants to increase the amount of electronic operations. Tarek added that the Ombudsman’s Office will keep guaranteeing that the law is fulfilled regarding the exchange and deposit of Bs. 100 bills. Ha!
Let’s collapse the system!
Ernesto Villegas, the guy who read el finado’s fake medical reports, also read a statement yesterday in which SENIAT and SUDEBAN are ordered to make a 2% discount of the Value-Added Tax for electronic payment operations, the reward Nicolás promised on Tuesday! Villegas said that the reduction is effective immediately, further reporting the creation of three new bank products with 10% monthly interest rates for savings deposits of up to Bs. 200,000 in 30, 60 and 90 days periods, free of banking commission and any other expenses. The thing is, how long will accounting systems take to incorporate this discount? How will stores discriminate between 10% and 12% depending on how customers pay their purchases?
The National Assembly declared Nicolás’s political responsibility, approved the start of a preliminary trial and announced that they’ll appoint new CNE authorities, which was promptly blocked by the TSJ’s recent decision.
Yesterday the National Assembly discussed Nicolàs’s political responsibility in the national collapse, with the argument that he and the government have deserted the Venezuelan people. Opposition lawmakers decided to remember that they declared the breakdown of the constitutional order a month ago, an event only surpassed by lawmaker Pedro Carreño’s words calling the discussion a “cantinflada” and remarking that the Assembly relapses in contempt because the TSJ issued a decision ordering them to stop the process, which caused the PSUV caucus to leave the chamber. The new arguments for responsibility were existence of a narco-State, the massacres, the economy’s recession, the debt and the drop in oil production. The National Assembly declared Nicolás’s political responsibility, approved the start of a preliminary trial and announced that they’ll appoint new CNE authorities, which was promptly blocked by the TSJ’s recent decision. Supposedly the rectoras will be ratified today.
As Delcy Rodríguez learned that she wouldn’t participate in Mercosur’s Foreign Affairs meeting, her office issued a statement expressing profound concerns regarding the actions allegedly undertaken by criminals from Colombia against the Venezuelan economy, through the extraction of the country’s paper money, demanding the repeal of the articles of Resolution Nª 8 of the Colombian law “which cause foreign exchange disparity and disturb the Venezuelan economy.” Meanwhile, several of the country’s mayors demanded the government to issue the resources required to pay wages and Christmas bonuses to their staffs.
The Simadi exchange rate is up Bs. 1.45 and closed this Tuesday at Bs. 672.27. More depreciation with less cash. Todo bello.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.