Your daily briefing for Wednesday, February 1st, 2017. Courtesy of Eddy.

Today was declared a work-free day by President Maduro, in commemoration of Ezequiel Zamora’s birth date. This is a beautiful display of the Government’s Orwellian communications structure: taking a relatively obscure historical figure and raising him to the post of National Hero. And the clincher? He’s always been a national figure, just like we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

Power to Tareck

Vice President Tareck El Aissami is being delegated a number of extraordinary powers for his position. It’s important to note that, as per the Economic Emergency Decree, the President himself holds extraordinary (and unconstitutional) discretionary powers. Not happy with that, Nicolás Maduro has delegated some of his unlawful powers unto the Vice-President.

Analysts have speculated on the meaning of this, and theories range from El Aissami being the key link between different factions of Chavismo, Maduro trying to share responsibility (and blame) on economic policy, and Tareck being empowered to take a more prominent leadership role within the ranks. Whatever the cause, the result is still bleak for Venezuelans.

Building corruption

The Comptrollership Committee, through lawmaker Oscar Ronderos, denounced briberies amounting to 98 million dollars, making Venezuela the second most linked country to the Odebrecht scandal

The National Assembly had its hands full today discussing our government’s muddily close ties to infamously corrupt Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. The Comptrollership Committee, through lawmaker Oscar Ronderos, denounced briberies amounting to 98 million dollars, making Venezuela the second most linked country to the Odebrecht scandal.

Opposition lawmakers had the floor to themselves, as the Bloque de la Patria continued it’s walkout on sessions. The accusations ran from bribes to secure contracts to an endless list of unfinished works leaking millions of dollars. One more stripe for the zebra.

Whispers among MUD

Miranda state governor and eternal Presidential candidate Henrique Capriles spoke up against the way things are being run at MUD yesterday in an Unión Radio interview. El Flaco said “there has to be a change in the way the Roundtable’s being conducted”, also saying that Torrealba might be up for a change. Capriles has acquired a bit of a flair for commenting against his fellow opposition leaders.

Torrealba, on his part, has served as the lightning rod for most of MUD’s 2016 failures, begging the question: what brought about his appointment in the first place? Was it an honest political bet? A Hail Mary throw? Or was he always intended to be the political scapegoat?

What elections?

Crucial. People: we were meant to have regional elections in 2016. We were also meant to have a Recall Referendum. But in absence of that, and in light of the absurd timetable put forth by the National Electoral Council (CNE), we’re supposed to have regional elections on the first semester of this year. So far, however, the CNE has been silent. Elections could well be held inside this time schedule, if the CNE can be bothered to do its job. So far, all we hear are crickets.

Metro Fevers

Some users tell of passengers fainting and then waking up without their valuables, a double effect of the overcrowding and the lack of security

El Pitazo collected declarations from users of the Metro de Caracas’s Line 1 and, more importantly, Line 2. The consulted report awful conditions inside the trains, including filthy cars,lack of security, and no air conditioning. Adding the factor of overcrowding, this has amounted to users reportedly fainting from lack of air and heat stroke. Some users tell of passengers fainting and then waking up without their valuables, a double effect of the overcrowding and the lack of security. Such is the burden of the Metro user.

In sickness and in… sickness

Jonathan Rodríguez, of Stop HIV, reports five deaths a day from HIV-related complications. Deaths which, Rodríguez argues, could be entirely prevented by campaigning and, most importantly, accessing the necessary medication

Over 300.000 HIV patients in Venezuela are facing severe shortages of their much-needed antiretrovirals, reports Efecto Cocuyo. Ever since 2009, patients have been fighting against the ever-present expression “no hay”. Jonathan Rodríguez, of Stop HIV, reports five deaths a day from HIV-related complications. Deaths which, Rodríguez argues, could be entirely prevented by campaigning and, most importantly, accessing the necessary medication. Another victory for the government’s medicine policy.

“Ajuste de cuentas”

I choose this title -quoted- because I take issue with the expression. It seems as though every police investigation in this God-forsaken justice system gets dismissed with the same useless label. Sure, something was settled, but what and why?

In this case, the victim was Simeon José Julien Caballero, a musician (and son of a musician) and storekeeper in El Tigre, Anzoátegui state. The 35-year-old was talking to his brother-in-law and a friend, when two men appeared on a motorcycle, got down, and proceeded to open fire. Witnesses reported hearing over 20 detonations. Overkill if there ever was one.


On the (attempted) happy note of the day, football transfers have been announced for Venezuelan players. Fernando Aristigueta, El Colorado from San Ignacio de Loyola and Caracas F.C., has been transferred from French club Nantes to Portuguese Nacional de Madeira. Andrés Túñez was transferred from Thai football to Spanish club Elche, and Josef Martínez was leased from Torino F.C. to U.S. based Atlanta United.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The “Ajuste de cuentas” or “Reckoning” (As google translates the phrase)” has a much deeper and sinister implication than just being an excuse for the lousy job the police corps in the country do.

    You see, this goes deep within a lot of venezuelans’ belief that when something bad happens to somebody, this people think that the victim DESERVED it and thus there was some “measure of justice” served.

    Yes, there’s a crapton of people in Venezuela who think that EVERYBODY who’s murdered deserved it, that they “did something wrong”, because it’s a psychological mechanism to try to cope with such lunacy as four dozen murders everyday, these people convince themselves that “because I’m good, then it won’t happen to me”

    It also goes in the same line of one of the most repulsive behaviors of a big chunk of Venezuelans: The victim blaming, where all the blame and responsibility is put in the victim, leaving the murderer completely free of any, this also fits in the same pattern of anti-logic where lots of people in Venezuela (specially chavistas) worship criminals as symbols and role models, a warped devotion that started with Chávez himself with his disgusting “If I was hungry I would steal” phrase.

Leave a Reply