Eighteen and Over

Your daily briefing for Friday, August 4, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

This Thursday, the black market dollar jumped from Bs. 15,000 to Bs. 18,000, reaching the Bs. 20,000 mark in Cúcuta. Chavismo managed to demolish our currency’s value and the Central Bank has expanded the amount of bolívares circulating in the streets like never before: they multiplied it by five in a year, and they had already doubled it last year. The demand for dollars has naturally increased along with its price, each day, everyday, collapsing the bolívar, pushing us ever closer to hyperinflation, which can still be avoided according to some economists, which is hard to believe without regime change.

Yesterday, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) issued its report on Latin America and the Caribbean. Venezuela is one of the region’s only three countries that won’t experience any growth in 2017, and is instead expected to suffer a 7.2% GDP contraction (considered to be quite discreet,) with yet another year of three-digit inflation.

Cancel the installation

The Prosecutor’s Office requested the Criminal Judicial Circuit of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas to invalidate the ANC’s vote tally, adjudication and proclamation, and consequently, to cancel the Constituyente installation due to alleged crimes committed during the electoral process, after Smartmatic said the results had been tampered with. A request was also filed for a measure to protect the voting material used on July 30th as evidence of alleged crimes committed by CNE authorities.

No way

Nicolás ratified that the ANC will be installed this Friday in the Federal Legislative Palace’s Elliptical Hall and that the constituyentes will have the support of a huge march setting out from CANTV headquarters in Av. Libertador to the Palace, claiming that the liaison committee between the ANC and Parliament has worked well, but saying nothing about all the restrictions that the Information Ministry imposed on media coverage for this shameful event. He insisted on inflating Sunday’s turnout, claiming that it set “an electoral world record;” he threatened the opposition once again, after accusing them of unverifiable crimes, taking advantage of the controversy around gubernatorial elections to deepen the divisions and pleading everyone to abandon “the path of extremism,” he vowed that he’ll win all 23 governorships. Sadly, he didn’t explain why the CNE hasn’t published the election’s results after four days.


OAS chief Luis Almagro met with Lechería mayor Gustavo Marcano, removed from office a week ago by the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber, for denouncing the persecution against opposition governors and mayors. The TSJ suspended the hearing for mayor Ramón Muchacho after his representative explained that he’s going through some health issues. Since the mayor didn’t submit a certification issued by a public health institution, the TSJ ordered the National Service of Medicine and Forensic Sciences to verify Ramón Muchacho’s situation and to present the results in the next 24 hours.

The Comptroller’s Office barred lawmaker Adriana D’Elia from running for office for 15 years, due to alleged irregularities during her tenure as second in command in Miranda’s Governor’s Office. D’Elia condemned the accusations. It’s been three weeks since lawmaker Wilmer Azuaje was granted house arrest, but he’s still detained; the right term at this point is kidnapped. Lawyer Luis Marcano requested protection at the Chilean Embassy, becoming the sixth of the 33 justices newly appointed by the National Assembly to seek asylum there. Two people attacked the Spanish Embassy with molotovs. Fortunately, they caused no damage and the Prosecutor’s Office already started investigating the attack.

More from OAS

This Thursday, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro requested an urgent meeting of the Permanent Council to discuss the ANC’s elections, proposing either this Friday 4th or Saturday 5th as possible dates. “This urgent request originates from the immediate need to discuss Venezuela’s deepening crisis, after the illegitimate elections for the installation of the ANC,” says the request, adding that the evident confirmation of an electoral fraud “that greatly surpassed a million votes and whose magnitude is unprecedented in the region,” is the reason for the urgency. Almagro also announced that the CNE will not be invited to the Inter American Meeting of Electoral Authorities to be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, in October, since it has proven to be “an electoral institution at the service of a dictatorial regime (…) the partisanship shown by Venezuela’s CNE has damaged the possibility for a democratic solution to the crisis,” explaining that, far from being a guarantor, it has tampered with results and violated the political rights of Venezuelans.

Better Rosneft than Citgo

PDVSA has reduced oil sales for its U.S.-based refining unit, Citgo Petroleum, and boosted supply for Russia’s State-owned Rosneft, in compliance with an agreement signed in May to catch up with late shipments. Oil production in Venezuela has been dropping since 2012, a decline that has accelerated in 2017 amidst poor investments and late payments for suppliers. Oil minister Nelson Martínez said in June that Rosneft will get some 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) as payment for a $1,5 billion loan they made to PDVSA last year. Since May, the agreement with Rosneft has included between 63,000 and 105,000 extra barrels per day of Venezuelan diluted crude, according to PDVSA document.


In an official statement, the U.S. said that the ANC is “the illegitimate product of a process designed by Maduro’s dictatorship,” explaining that the process was fraudulent from the start and that they won’t recognize the ANC, ratifying that they’re reviewing all options. The Argentinian government recommended its citizens to avoid traveling to Venezuela. Peru’s Foreign minister Ricardo Luna said yesterday that they’re considering all available measures, after he was asked if the country would sever diplomatic relations with Venezuela, adding that the decision will be announced after the meeting he’ll hold with his counterparts next Tuesday, which will be attended by the ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Paraguay.

We go on.

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.