Repeat Elections

Your Daily Briefing for for Saturday, October 21, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

This Friday from Lara state, Nicolás demanded that opposition governors pick a side: “Either you respect the rules or you respect them. The ANC is the country’s superpower and we’re all compelled by the Constitution to respect its authority,” restating that elected governors must be sworn in by it, or else “elections will be repeated and the candidates will be disqualified (…) we must teach the right to respect the law.”

He said it was mean for the opposition not to recognize all the results of October 15th elections, claiming that he immediately admitted his defeat in 2015 parliamentary elections, so much so that he imposed the ANC to sidestep the will of the people who elected the National Assembly and threatened to strip military members’ benefits over the results.

Too Much Cynicism

Nicolás condemned the alleged smear campaign against the electoral system, which he said was a “disrespect” to millions of people who voted on Sunday, and he spoke of the gringo right-wing campaign caused by his achievements in electoral matters, claiming that Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos lacks the political strength to win elections over and over, like he does with his subservient CNE.

He asked his supporters to prepare for municipal elections, because “that’s the third step in the constituent path.” It was noble of him to attend the swearing-in ceremony of questionable Bolívar governor Justo Noguera over the phone. He appointed Noguera as head of both State-owned steel “producer” SIDOR and the CVG, under the argument that he should be able to“govern along with the working class, with no distinctions between political development and the development of Guayana as a power.” You can check the figures of Noguera’s previous tenures in both companies to understand that they’re the opposite of development.

Making threats

Even though the Interior ministry didn’t explain in the Official Gazette why they ordered the takeover of police departments in states where opposition candidates won; decree 41.259 does warn that if governors refuse to the inducted by the ANC, they won’t be sworn into office by Legislative Councils because on the chavista planet, the ANC’s fake absolute power ranks it above all other public powers. Constituyente Gladys Requena said that the governors’ contempt has consequences which the ANC will assess. Meanwhile, governor Juan Pablo Guanipa said that the five opposition governors will start a consultation process in their respective states with several sectors to establish the actions they will take regarding their swearing-in.

Pay Smartmatic!

Through a statement, the company that provided the technological platform for voting and election services in Venezuela for CNE since 2004, clarified that they didn’t supply products or services for regional elections: “Smartmatic simply gave the software to the National Electoral Council, in the presence of political parties, during an audit of the source code,” so they didn’t participate in programming voting machines or offered tallying services. The company accused the government of not paying the debts incurred for the products, services and technical support during 2015 parliamentary elections and the ANC elections. The government is so brazen now, that they might simply say that after denouncing the fraud on July 30th, they misplaced the unpaid bills; no worries, whatevers.

But there are serious debts…

American company NuStar Energy banned PDVSA from using a storage terminal in the Caribbean because they haven’t paid their bills for over 26 million dollars, said Reuters. The suspension was activated when the Venezuelan oil company failed to fulfill a payment set for October for the use of NuStar facilities in St. Eustatius island: “We should not dispatch that shipment,” wrote NuStar vice-president James Calvert, in response to a load request, according to one of the reviewed documents. PDVSA hasn’t paid the monthly fee for nearly a year and the dispute arises months after they expanded their storage contract in St. Eustatius after solving a similar controversy involving unpaid bills with Buckeye Partners in the Bahamas.

Distributing the profits

Over 90% of Venezuelan household’s income goes to acquiring food, said Consecomercio head María Carolina Uzcátegui, adding that this situation is resulting in poor food consumption as well as nutritional deficiencies. Only 10% of the salary is for transportation, shoes and clothes. According to Uzcátegui, in order to achieve notable change, the recommended measures would be unifying the FX exchange rate and stablilizing the economy; however, she shared a couple of discouraging details: “Out of every 10 shops open in the country 5 years ago, only four remain open,” and basic food basket products have almost doubled in price in the last two months.


The Prosecutor’s Office charged First Sergeant of Military Aviation Arli Cleiwi Méndez Terán, in the murder of David José Vallenilla on June 22 of this year, during a protest in front of the La Carlota military airbase. The sergeant was charged with the crime of homicide with malice and futile motives, and unwarranted use of an institutional weapon. Additionally, a Venezuelan judge ordered the arrest of 10 policemen suspected for the murder of two warao natives during a protest for food last September 22nd in Tucupit, Delta Amacuro State. One of the victims was shot several times in the thorax and the other in the head.


Canada confirmed that the Lima Group will meet in Toronto on October 26th to discuss ways for countries in the region to search for a solution to the Venezuelan crisis and to keep pressuring the regime, adding that their goal is clear: a peaceful solution to the crisis and the restoration of democracy and human rights for all Venezuelans.

Ecuadorian Foreign minister María Fernanda Espinosa said that she’s yet to discuss with president Lenín Moreno an official stance on Venezuela’s regional elections. Wow! In the same unexpected vein, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza condemned the U.S.’s most recent statement – a call for the creation of an independent CNE- and he also accused the Chilean government of promoting chaos in the country for sheltering four of the TSJ justices appointed by the National Assembly.

The black market dollar reached Bs. 36,201 and the euro, Bs. 42.712. Todo bello.

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.