Your briefing for for Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

While the country was trying to process the arrest of the kids who murdered two Army sergeants in Sabana Grande, Caracas, Nicolás was ordering Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez to coordinate sending aid to the Peruvian government. Solidarity is an imperative, now that Nicolás has managed to obliterate the severe dissociation that kept us in the leading spots of the World Happiness Report, which ranks us at 82 out of 155 in its 2017 release: a tremendously unhappy population, without rights or liberties.

Trump’s concerns

This weekend, U.S. president Donald Trump talked on the phone with Brazil’s Michel Temer and Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, about Venezuela’s situation. According to a White House statement, “The leaders agreed on the importance of advancing democratic principles throughout the Western Hemisphere.” Trump talked about the Human Rights situation in Venezuela and the relevance of promoting respect for democratic rights in our counrty. The power of persuasion of those who are misinforming him is a serious problem now!

Risking the skin

OAS SecGen Luis Almagro said during a press conference about Venezuela: “Elections are the only way out of a dictatorship, that’s what happened in Uruguay, Chile, Argentina. Dictatorships end with elections, and that’s the solution.” Accompanied by Lilian Tintori, Patricia de Ceballos and Oriana Goicoechea, wives and sister of political prisoners, he was interrupted by Carmen Velásquez, Venezuela’s representative before the OAS, who called it an act of partisan proselytizing and a “provocation media campaign” against Nicolás. In effect, Velásquez just denounced PSUV’s very own M.O. Almagro promised to keep meeting with representatives of member States, saying, “I’m not bound by this office, but I’m bound by principles. And I’m always going to risk my skin for them, because my courage will never fail me.”

Yes or no?

The Venezuelan Parliament supports the call for early elections made by OAS chief Luis Almagro, according to Speaker Julio Borges, who said yesterday morning that the AN will help “guarantee that all of Latin America sides with the people so that there are elections in Venezuela soon,” clarifying that the application of the Democratic Charter isn’t meddling but rather a Venezuelan law, approved by Parliament and ratified by el finado himself. Borges believes that most of the region’s countries will support the Charter’s activation, although he thinks that the “debate shouldn’t focus on suspending Venezuela from the OAS, but on having elections.” That’s why his party announced that Henrique Capriles would be Primero Justicia’s presidential candidate. The sense of opportunity of these guys is amazing.

Dorado boricua

Venezuela’s government has used Italbank, a small bank based on Puerto Rico, as an intermediary for some operations in dollars, increasing some financial costs and revealing the regime’s mounting difficulties in finding institutions to channel their dollar transfers, due to the risk that banks see in the State’s finances. Italbank has processed hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarship allowances, payments for diplomatic staff and bills of credit for both public and private imports, with their president Carlos Dorado at the forefront of it all, claiming that he’s Venezuelan and: “If I can help improve our country’s quality of life, I’m the first one to stand and do it, even though it brings its own risks,” he said to Reuters. Isn’t he cute?

The sovereignty that never was

Delcy must be preparing a statement to explain to Guyana’s government about the sovereign claim that Venezuela holds over the contested Esequibo, this despite being member of a government that violates the bakers’ own property rights, thus justifying the regime’s inability to solve the food crisis they’ve caused. In an interview with BBC, Guyana vice-president Carl B. Greenidge says that the revival of the dispute is centered around the discovery of offshore oil deposits in the contested zone and, even though he celebrates the new UN mediator’s credentials, he believes that this issue will be settled at The Hague’s International Court of Justice. The argument ended several years ago for Guyana and it’s absurd because Venezuela has never exercised sovereignty over the Esequibo, aside from the stripes we used to color it on our maps.

SUNDEE’s vile plan

SUNDEE chief William Contreras announced that the plan to inspect the operation of bakeries will be deployed throughout Caracas’ 22 parishes. He reported that four people have been arrested, and two new bakeries have been occupied in El Silencio (downtown Caracas) because “it was discovered that they belonged to the same owner” -what a crime- and assuming that he was reselling raw materials. He also announced that Sundee froze monthly fees on 614 schools countrywide, remarking that they’re thinking about freezing tuition in private universities. They create nothing but trouble and restrictions, but they’re capable of destroying any vestige of production and progress.

Bread’s not the only threat

Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López discussed threats against the country with the commanders of the Strategic Regions of Integral Defense, evaluated the capacity to train and supply the Armed Forces in view of international attacks: “If we don’t unite in these times of hardship that have been imposed on us to make the people suffer, then Venezuela’s headed toward violence (…) Our victory is peace, our fight is constant. And we reject any form of foreign meddling, whatever instruments they use,” he claimed, as if it were part of his functions, as if he was a diplomat instead of a soldier. ¡Qué cosas!

Recovery and lawyers

Vice-president Tareck El Aissami swore, on the lives of his children, that 2017 would be the year of economic recovery. Aside from this exercise of cynicism, he challenged the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control to release the evidence they have against him and claimed that he already has a legal firm in the U.S. to exercise his right to a defense. Accusing him of being a prominent narco and denying him a legal defense is just as unfair as snatching away a baker’s business, but… ah no, wait. El Aissami reaffirmed that this action has nothing to do with Trump’s administration, but that it’s rather a vestige of the Obama era, and he said that Trump’s desire to destroy CNN was a happy coincidence.

And the week’s just starting.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.