Still brimming with “indignation for the brutal repression” he ordered against us during protests but condemned in Catalonia, Nicolás engaged in embezzlement again last night, campaigning for PSUV gubernatorial candidates while the National Electoral Council still hasn’t replaced candidates on electoral ballots, even though that is a judicial obligation.

By refusing to do it, CNE violates the right of Venezuelans to know the candidates who won in opposition primaries and increases the odds of PSUV winning the elections with null votes, as explained by campaign manager Gerardo Blyde, who restated that the CNE has up to ten days before elections to make the replacements, and said that in case they fail to do so, MUD already has the mechanisms in place to inform voters on who is the right candidate.

Additionally, CNE scrapped 77 voting stations and over seven thousand voting tables – all located in areas with historical trend to vote for the opposition –, without offering any technical or administrative reason to explain their decision.

The displaced and the shamelessness

During the opening ceremony of the 68th annual meeting of the UN Refugee Agency’s Executive Committee, UN high commission for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that the number of people who have been forcefully displaced in the world increased by two million in the first nine months of 2017, compared to 2016.

Without offering details or evaluating its reach, Grandi mentioned Venezuela’s situation, saying that political crisis and severe economic hardships have caused many to choose exile.

However, temporary Ombudsman Alfredo Ruíz denied that Venezuela is a country of migrants, and claimed that precisely the opposite is happening:

“The amount of people entering the country is greater than the amount of people leaving.”

He attributed the diaspora to discontented “middle class youth,” although he’d later mention employment and security issues, as well as numerous complaints about shortages of water, food and medicines, claiming that these are not the main human rights abuses in the country, but rather “people’s perception.”

Information for the Ombudsman in charge

Venezuela’s place in the annual report of the Economic Freedom Index, issued by the Fraser Institute in Canada, with support from Cedice Libertad, dropped by 30 spots between 2000 and 2015, and ranks 159th among the studied countries for the third year in a row.

Five components are studied to establish this ranking: government size; legal system and property rights; a stable currency; international trade freedom and credit, employment and business regulations. Venezuela got a score lower than 5/10 in all components, with the currency indicator receiving the worst score: the bolívar scored 1.9/10.

Hong Kong was the highest ranking country in the report, while Chile was the best in Latin America, ranking 15th worldwide.

But relax, Sudeban just started the 3rd program to guarantee banknote circulation: inspecting more businesses!

Information as a problem

After the pictures of women giving birth in the waiting room of the Dr. Pastor Oropeza Riera hospital (Lara) went viral on social media, minister Ernesto Villegas confirmed that the image was genuine and said on a couple of videos on his Instagram account, that the hospital is overwhelmed and patients are required to buy their own surgical supplies, labelling governor Henri Falcón as irresponsible and claiming that the Social Security Institute is taking “all patients.”

Later, NGO Funpaz denounced the arbitrary detention of a couple of medical students from the Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado for allegedly taking the labouring women’s pictures, evidencing once more that SEBIN is there to punish, not to investigate, since they didn’t summon the accused governor, or the hospital’s head. After being questioned for seven and a half hours, the students were released.

Denouncing chavismo

Prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz attended the Convention of Public Prosecutors held in Lima, and said: “What has been established in Venezuela is not a rule of law, but rather a despotic State. It’s a tremendously powerful repressive and corrupt machine, responsible for my country’s terrible crisis.”

Ortega added that the documentary evidence she has will serve “to prosecute the Venezuelan ruling clique that has built an entire structure of corruption, money laundering and organized crime.”

She also denounced human rights violations, the destruction of the justice system and the absolute helplessness of citizens to combat it, remarking that anyone who tries to exercise any rights may become a prisoner for that “crime” and that “imprisonment, isolation and torture have become common practices in Venezuela.”


OAS chief Luis Almagro said that sanctions against Venezuela should be stronger and more general in order to help the country return to democracy, but that there must also be domestic pressure, so he urged the opposition to be strong.

Florida governor Rick Scott announced that he’ll sponsor a bill to strictly forbid the State and all its agencies to invest on any company doing business with Nicolás’ government.

Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela urged Nicolás to respect the results of gubernatorial elections, considering them as a first step for social peace.

Lastly, Nicolás will travel this week to Moscow to attend the forum “Russian Energy Week 2017.” According to Russian Energy vice-minister Anton Iniutsin, Nicolás will participate in the panel “Oil and geopolitics: causes and consequences,” scheduled for October 4th, where president Vladimir Putin and OPEC chief Mohammed Barkindo will also participate.

It’s hard to come to terms with the cruel shooting that abruptly ended the closing ceremony of the “Route 91 Harvest” country music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 59 people dead and over 525 injured, especially when the authorities have announced that the death toll may increase since several injured victims are in critical conditions. The alleged culprit was 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who committed suicide before he could be arrested. The propaganda machine of the jihadist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

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  1. Here’s a joke.

    The former Prosecutor General of Venezuela under Presidents Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro walks into a Convention of Public Prosecutors and holds a question and answer session.

    • I don’t get it either, but I guess it’s better than nothing.

      But I think we would all be better served by ignoring any news that has “Ortega” in it.

  2. Within 24 hours of the murders in Las Vegas, the FBI ruled out any links to terrorism. But after a year they’re still undecided if Trump colluded with the Russians. Go figure.

    • Estás confundiendo la gimnasia con la magnesia. Casting aspersions on the FBI’s ability to conduct investigations will not exonerate Trump (or incriminate him for that matter). Mueller’s investigation will do that in due time.

      • I’m not confused in the least Pierre and assert that my comment is accurate. If you’d care to prove me wrong, dale clavo.

          • John, the guy who’s doing the footwork on both technical and translation told me tonight he’d have the list for me tomorrow. He’s an ag engineer and doing it free of charge so there’s a limit on how hard I can push him. He’s also very busy selling bread door to door. Ain’t socialism great?

          • MRubio
            I just sent you an e-mail explaining timelines etc. Good news! A couple thousand seed packs will be coming your way.

        • MRubio, I agree with Pierre. It is not a good comparison. The case of the Las Vegas shooter, although horrific, is essentially simple and involves very few individuals. The case of the Russian meddling in the election is huge in scope and complexity.

  3. Who is paying LOD’s expenses? Why is she continuing to hold out the evidence, while traveling the world?

    Exactly. And of all the former officials, including Maduro’s two charming nephews sitting in federal lock up, now in the US, why isn’t the dirt they spilled common knowledge? Gotta be wondering if the former prosecuter is not overstating her case? What, exactly, does she have on the Chavistas in the form or indisputable proof.

  4. Why are you all surprised that the Electoral board (CNE) is blackballing the opposition candidates?

    Why is the MUD even participating? Smarmatics had proof that the Electoral board fabricated the numbers in the election of the ANC, and the first thing they do is to scream their willingness to participate in an election organized by the same Electoral board.

  5. CNE scraps 77 voting stations and 7 thousand voting tables (suppose, for the sake of argument, 300 votes/table=approx. 2mm votes), in pro-Oppo voting areas=tip of iceberg (machine fraud,coercion of Govt. employees/Mision/freebie receivers/etc.) of coming gubernatorial potential Oppo Titanic disaster….


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