New Sanctions

Your daily briefing for Thursday, August 10, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The United States sanctioned eight new Venezuelan government officials on Wednesday. Six of them are National Constituent Assembly (ANC) members:

  • Francisco Ameliach
  • Adrán Chávez
  • Hermann Escarrá
  • Érika Farías
  • Carmen Meléndez
  • Ramón Darío Vivas

A National Electoral Council (CNE) rectora, Tania D’Amelio (under investigation for allegedly committing electoral fraud), and National Guard colonel in charge of the Federal Legislative Palace’s security, yes, the guy who shoved speaker Julio Borges out of the National Assembly, Bladimir Lugo (who has actually been an aggressor, indicted by the Prosecutor’s Office for human rights violations) are also included.

Their visas were revoked, they banned from entering the U.S., their assets and accounts were frozen and also, no American citizen or company is allowed to do business with them.

Just this year, the OFAC list has added 32 officials and people linked to the chavista administration.

Delcy Rodríguez condemned the economic sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department, saying that they’re illegal.


The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) said on Wednesday that with the consensus of all member parties, except for two, they decided to register their candidates for gubernatorial elections, which will allegedly take place on December 10th.

The spokesman was Causa R leader Andrés Velásquez:

“The decision of registering MUD candidates was made along with the decision to increase social pressure. Otherwise we would be turning our backs to those who have made a sacrifice in facing down this government.”

He added that the candidacies will be chosen by consensus, except those in which such consensus can’t be reached, which would demand primaries. In any case, the idea is for gubernatorial elections to become a protest, just like the Popular Consultation on July 16th.

You’ll need an ANC certificate

Diosdado Cabello said last night that all those interested in registering for gubernatorial elections must get a certificate of good conduct issued by the national constituent assembly:

“Because if they think they’ll be able to register after calling for setting Venezuela on fire or for a foreign invasion, they’re crazy. Perhaps they haven’t read the decree approved yesterday by the ANC and the constitutional law of the Truth Committee.”

This requirement is astonishingly coherent: a fraudulent body made up of human rights abusers and corrupt lackeys will issue certificates of good conduct.

One less mayor

While Chacao’s Municipal Chamber appointed councilman Gustavo Duque as new mayor to replace Ramón Muchacho, after the ruling against him, the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber sentenced El Hatillo mayor David Smolansky to 15 months in prison, for allegedly refusing to comply with a ban on protests in his municipality. Just like his peers before him, Smolansky was disqualified from running for office, an arrest warrant was issued against him, he was barred from leaving the country and ousted from office. He’s to serve his sentence in SEBIN headquarters. Bur he did not turn himself in.

On Tuesday, the UN spoke about patterns of systematic human rights violations, so here’s the TSJ’s favorite pattern. That’s how they’re reshaping the State, by demolishing the popular will that elected those authorities.

Cumulative inflation

The National Assembly(AN) estimates that the cumulative inflation rate for 2017 is 248.6%. Lawmaker Ángel Alvarado released the National Assembly’s National Index of Consumer Prices (INPACAN), estimating that the monthly inflation rate for July was 26%:

“This rapid increase in the monthly rate is due to the poor dollar offer in the official market; our currency’s profound depreciation in the black market and the climate of political uncertainty that dramatically worsens the economic situation.”

Then he ratified that the ANC won’t improve the country’s economic prospects; on the contrary, they’ll get worse, because there won’t be economic change in Venezuela without regime change.

Despite this outlook, minister Elías Jaua announced that they’ll invest Bs. 138 million to overhaul 8,000 schools, which would be Bs. 17,250 per school, enough as to buy the cleaning products to clean them for one or two days. Genius!


  • On Wednesday, the National Assembly refused to recognize the ANC. Speaker Julio Borges expressed his gratitude for the support of the Foreign Ministers of Latin American nations who do not recognize the ANC and its decisions due to “its illegitimate nature” and said that the declaration opens the way for eventual sanctions against regime authorities accused of corruption, drug trafficking and human rights violations.
  • Foreign minister Jorge Arreaza summoned the ambassadors of the countries that signed the Lima Declaration on the Venezuelan crisis on Tuesday to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry headquarters. According to him, they’re trying to “corner us once again,” so he expressed his absolute condemnation for the meeting.
  • With 75 votes in favor and 9 against, Peru’s Congress authorized the expulsion of Venezuelan ambassador Diego Molero from the country. This is a motion. The final decision falls on Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s government.
  • Aerolíneas Argentinas won’t be selling any tickets to Caracas until safety is once again guaranteed. 11 airlines have now ceased their operations in Venezuela.

Erika Farías wrote a memorable tweet after sanctions were announced:

“Damn yankees, go hell. I’m with Bolívar, Lenin, Zamora, Fidel, Chávez and Nicolás we’re overcoming and we’ll be victorious.”

Nicolás is yet to announce when he’s planning to hand over replicas of Bolívar’s sword to these newly sanctioned officials.

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.