Entrusted to the Saints

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, August 22, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos confirmed on Monday that prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz arrived to Bogotá last Friday along with her husband, lawmaker Germán Ferrer, and that she’s under his government’s protection, pointing out that: “If she requests asylum, we will grant it.”

Hours after this announcement, eight of the TSJ justices appointed by the National Assembly reportedly requested protection in Colombia.

The imposed prosecutor general, Tarek William Saab, reacted to the president’s message by claiming that “Colombia is the epicenter of the international conspiracy against Venezuela,” that “the repellent tradition of previous Colombian presidents who offered protection to Venezuelans linked to terrorism and drug trafficking” continues and this can be considered “an assault on the nation.”

Diplomacy with hashtags

Foreign minister Jorge Arreaza accused President Santos of protecting corruption and crime with what he called a “cynical decision” regarding prosecutor Ortega Díaz. He restated Saab’s argument, claiming that Colombia is the “center of a conspiracy against democracy and peace,” dubbing Santos “”the Caine of America.” Later, he also attacked the presidents of Brazil and Paraguay, accusing them of representing “unpopular governments, established through coups d’état, rejected by their people,” calling them “two dinosaurs of politics” with no right to speak of democracy. The reason? Read “Abroad” below.

Cynicism in steroids

It’s been 12 days since Raúl Isaías Baduel disappeared, after he was taken by Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) agents, but still Saab tweeted about the Prosecutor’s Office’s previous administration, claiming that, under Luisa’s watch, the didn’t look into cases of human rights violations, so he’ll reopen “archived” cases, and denouncing that the Victim’s Attention Office was closed in recent months and that all they did instead was post lousy, unfounded tweets.

Funny that he mentions it, after having systematically avoided fulfilling his responsibilities in his previous office, firmly earning the title of NONEbudsman.

Two years, four kilos

Lawmaker Jorger Millán denounced that a two-year old child died of malnutrition in Domingo Luciani hospital, after being hospitalized for five days. The child should’ve weighed 13 kilos, instead of the 4.5 he did.

In May, the Venezuelan Pediatric Association released a study saying that two out of every ten children under one year old arrived to emergency rooms with severe malnutrition, and that 80% of children under five years old treated in hospitals across six cities suffered some kind of nutritional deficit.

Ingrid Soto, head of Nutrition services at the J. M. de los Ríos Children’s Hospital, said that the children went from suffering marasmus to oedematous malnutrition due to low protein intake, worsened by the food crisis.

Additionally, in Delta Amacuro, the people from Wakajara de Manamo denounced that they haven’t received the CLAP box for a long time now, so the indigenous people in that region have been eating moriche worm and yuruma. Most of them are children.


July ended with a 25% increase in inflation, and prices rose by 648.9% in the last 12 months, once again breaking records and reaching the highest levels recorded, according to investment bank Torino Capital, also bringing “the highest inflation rates ever recorded in Venezuela’s economic history.”

This monthly result is considerably higher than the 17.8% of previous months, but July was also unusual because it was a month of electoral campaign, so the government increased spending as well as the monetary base by 31%.

In January, the price for 30 eggs was Bs. 6,500, which turned to Bs. 24,000 in August, meaning that the highest denomination banknote in circulation can’t pay for them.

Migration status

Over 124,000 Venezuelans have requested urgent approval of a Temporary Protection Status (TPS) from U.S. president Donald Trump, in view of “the emerging threat of a dictatorship in Venezuela.”

The head of the Venezuelan American National Bar Association (Venambar), Adriana Kostencki, explained that the organization requested a TPS for a year and a half, which is a temporary benefit that doesn’t lead to permanent residency or grants any other migration status and applies to temporary conflicts.

Chilean President Michelle bachelet presented a Migration Bill before her parliament to regulate the growing influx of migrants – particularly Haitian, Colombian and Venezuelan –with the creation of a national registry of foreigners, a set of causes restricting their entry and a strict control on work permits. Human trafficking is the main concern. Officially, Chile has half a million foreign inhabitants, nearly 3% of its population.


The German government said on Monday that the ANC’s decision to usurp the National Assembly’s legislative authority “is yet another step toward the systematic abolition of Venezuela’s democratic and constitutional order.”

The French Foreign ministry also condemned the ANC’s decision and deemed it urgent to resume dialogue to solve this crisis.

The presidents of Brazil and Paraguay restated that they don’t acknowledge the ANC or its decisions as it was illegitimate, ratifying their commitment to Mercosur’s decision as well as the Lima Declaration.

Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela called AN Speaker Julio Borges, expressing his support in view of the threats against him and his concern for the institutional crisis.

Peruvian Foreign minister Ricardo Luna said that they’re considering the evacuation of all their citizens residing in Venezuela in case of an emergency, remarking that they have a contingency plan in place.

Chile’s Foreign minister Heraldo Muñoz said that Chile is ready to mediate in a negotiated solution to our crisis, but that there hasn’t been any concrete progress toward the creation of a group of countries to promote this solution.

CELAC still hasn’t found consensus to hold an extraordinary summit to discuss Venezuela’s situation.

MUD is set to hold primaries on September 10th to choose the coalition’s candidates for gubernatorial elections, which do not have a date yet. The primaries will be held in 20 of the country’s 23 states, excluding the states where the opposition reached consensus. The process will take place without the CNE’s involvement.

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.