“There’s a need to maintain a high level of compliance with the agreement to reduce global oil production,” said Nicolás yesterday in Moscow, now that we’ve witnessed his discipline to burst national output to more than double the amount agreed upon with OPEC.
Nicolás said that the Venezuelan debt with Moscow might be restructured – which was ratified by Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov –, remarking that he’d fulfill all of his debts and obligations.
The crown jewel among all his brilliant statements was his claim that negotiations with the opposition are at 95% from producing a preliminary agreement, which was denied by lawmaker Luis Florido, who tweeted:
1/4 Desmentimos a Maduro. Habla que hay un 95% de avance en proceso de negociación. Al contrario, el avance es de cero por ciento #4Oct
— Luis Florido (@LuisFlorido) October 4, 2017
“On the contrary, progress is at zero percent.”
Nicolás also claimed that he doesn’t have to ask Russia for help because it’s been guaranteed for the past fifteen years. He stated that he’s interested in strengthening technical-military cooperation, quite relevant in a country where people are begging for food and medicines.
He said that Vladimir Putin is “the true leader of the emerging world” and thanked him for his support in difficult times. Putin said that they’d maintain political and economic cooperation, but admitted that bilateral trade has been faltering.
Following the script, Nicolás once again insulted Donald Trump, boasting that unlike Trump, who doesn’t know where Venezuela is, he has his own world atlas.
My assets for your dollars
Oil and Mining minister Eulogio del Pino confirmed in Moscow’s energy forum that PDVSA is negotiating to exchange the guarantee of Russian State-owned oil company Rosneft in Citgo (PDVSA’s branch in the U.S.), saying that they expect to have results soon.
Rosneft holds a 49.9% collateral on Citgo for a $1.5 billion load made to PDVSA in 2016. Sources familiar with the oil industry say that Rosneft isn’t interested in taking over the refinery should any legal battle ensue (in case of default) for PDVSA’s highly indebted assets. But then, what other assets can Nicolás offer to compete with the value of Citgo’s guarantee?
About the CNE
MUD campaign manager Gerardo Blyde said that today is the deadline for the CNE to activate the system aimed at replacing the candidates on the ballots. He restated that the goal of withholding replacements “is shamefully trying to win some offices with the resulting confusion.” He cautioned that voters must “look for their candidate’s name and face” and vote.
Meanwhile, yesterday the CNE signed an agreement of international monitoring with the Council of Electoral Specialist of Latin America (Ceela). Nicanor Moscoso, who currently chairs the Council, clarified that those who will perform the inspection will come to an agreement to formalize this event, adding that once the period has expired, there will be no chance to replace candidates on the ballot.
Odd and mighty
During a mandatory broadcast, Delcy Rodríguez presented a balance of the ANC’s work, two months after it was imposed. She summed it up in the activation of “various processes of debate and public surveys on important matters.” Brilliant. According to her, the Truth Committee is quietly helping all the victims of “opposition violence,” and monitoring the cases of those who have been imprisoned for the same reason, to propose an Amnesty Law in the ANC’s plenary.
In addition, they’re reviewing and discussing 10 constitutional laws, and are expecting to receive the National Budget to speed up proceedings.
She said that CNE chief Tibisay Lucena was requested to present a report on the progress of October 15th elections and announced that the plenary will approve the Law Against Hate and Intolerance next week, after a process of “national survey about the legal instrument.” I wonder what the sample for that survey is. She also asked for a hall in the Federal Legislative Palace, the seat of Parliament, to be renamed after Robert Serra.
Yesterday, the Spanish Senate urged the government to use social welfare instruments to provide assistance to Spanish-Venezuelan families whose situations are precarious as a result of debts that the Venezuelan government hasn’t fulfilled. The Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved the motion with votes in favor from all parliamentary caucuses, except Unidos Podemos.
The Uruguayan Senate unanimously approved a motion against Venezuelan ambassador Julio Chirino, for broadcasting the radio show En Clave de Revolución from the embassy, which is expressly forbidden in the Vienna Convention.
According to Peter Cerdá, vice-president of the International Air Transport Association for the Americas, Venezuela is increasingly isolated from the world because most of the international airlines have left the country, explaining that they don’t see a short-term solution, because the Venezuelan government owes airlines $3.8 billion and has shown no interest in fulfilling the debt.
Brief and serious
- Isolated: Yesterday morning, El Dorado bridge over El Nula river, which connects Táchira with Apure, collapsed for lack of maintenance.
- Failing production: Aquiles Hopkins, head of Fedeagro, explains that Venezuela produces only 30% of the food we consume, and denounced that it’s been a year since farmers produced anything because “the State-run company AgroPatria has a monopoly on the supply of agricultural chemicals, seeds and fertilizers.”
- Political prisoners: Mayor Delson Guarate started a hunger strike and lawmaker Gilber Caro and Steyci Escalona’s hearing was postponed for a fifth time yesterday.
- Lenny Josefina Martínez González: She’s the Pastor Oropeza Hospital employee who took the pictures of women giving birth on the waiting room’s seats. She’s currently detained in SEBIN headquarters in Barquisimeto, as part of the group of sixteen people who were interrogated about the images. Reporting on the crisis of our healthcare system is a crime for this regime’s political police. Lenny’s detention is an aberrant injustice.
Imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab said that actor Manuel “Coko” Sosa was arrested last night for corruption “with more than $2 million in public property damages.” He also reported the arrest of María Margarita Cigala and Gabriel Peña – for alleged crimes in the sugar factory Río Turbio related with Cadivi/Cencoex – as they were trying to escape from Valencia to Aruba in a private plane.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.