National Electoral Council directora Tania D’Amelio said yesterday that the electoral committees of the country’s 335 municipalities are active for the mayoral nomination process, pointing out that they’ll use the electoral registry used for regional elections and claiming that the timetable for elections will be published this week.

Throughout the day, opposition parties Primero Justicia (PJ), Voluntad Popular (VP), Causa R, Alianza Bravo Pueblo (ABP) and Acción Democrática (AD) announced that they won’t run on mayoral elections because there are no fair conditions. VP forbade its members  from participating, threatening to expel anyone who doesn’t comply with the measure; while AD used the weird term “self-exclusion” and Causa R proposed focusing all efforts on choosing a candidate for presidential elections through primaries.

Prison for the critics

The plenary of the Federal Government Council (CFG) held in Miraflores included the obedient governors Laidy Gómez, Antonio Barreto, Ramón Guevara and Alfredo Díaz. After declaring himself at war and boasting about his determination, Nicolás claimed that he’ll insist on the “draconian” application of justice against dissidents who attack the Venezuelan electoral system, because criticism about its transparency is inadmissible and there’s room enough in prisons for anyone who attacks the CNE. That’s a pretty arrogant way of demonstrating the low cost of his long list of political prisoners.

He demanded that the opposition acknowledge chavismo’s strength and power and said that failing to recognize the fake chavista institutionality marks the end of the road for the opposition’s “self-disappearance”, linking any criticism with subordination to Washington, Madrid and Bogotá.

Finally, he cautioned the governors about the convenience of keeping him as president because he helps them, and promised “surprises” for Wednesday in his sinister merry christmas plan.

Pay up, Nicolás

PDVSA said last Friday that they’d paid $841.8 million to holders of one of its bonds, defending its full financial solvency, but this payment has yet to reach investors and it could actually take two more days. PDVSA bond prices, which rose after the announcement, fell on Monday, showing that the market seems to be at ease with the transaction’s delay. And on Friday, the oil company must make a $1.1 billion payment that won’t admit any delays, for the expiration of another bond. There were also reports yesterday that, due to lack of financial resources, PDVSA’s renting the Paraguaná refining facility (Falcón state) to Chinese and Russian companies, although this kind of service contract isn’t established in the Hydrocarbons Law, according to warnings from labor union sources.

Repression

Amnesty International (AI) denounced yesterday how the government’s repressive policy has expanded its control with illegal home searches and attacks on residential areas. Erika Guevara Rosas, head of AI for the Americas, presented the report Nights of terror: attacks and illegal home searches in Venezuela, explaining that human rights violations intensified with the searches in the context of protests in April and July, which also violated international standards with arbitrary detentions, non-compliance with the country’s current legislation and violence (beatings, use of firearms, tear-gas, destruction and robberies).

According to Amnesty International, there’s no doubt that Venezuela experiences an unconstitutional crisis closely tied to the high levels of impunity and it’s imperative that the State immediately and urgently cease home searches, as well as the excessive use of force on the part of State security bodies. AI also demands that the government “efficiently and impartially investigate and punish through civilian courts the actions of armed civilian groups” and of officers who carried out those searches.

Another perspective of the crisis

The most recent report of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that Venezuelan imports will drop by 21.8% in 2017 after receding 35.7% in 2016.

Carlos Albornoz, head of the National Federation of Livestock Breeders (Fedenaga), said that, in order to hold the economic crisis in check, it’s necessary to take macroeconomic measures and the first one should be opening a humanitarian channel, since there’s no way of avoiding collapse. He explained that setting meat’s price at Bs. 41,000 per kilo is an insufficient measure that won’t solve the long-term crisis, because the hyperinflationary economy will continue unabated.

Fedecámaras chair Carlos Larrazábal also explained that the policy of price controls is negative and is destroying national production, because “you can’t force anyone to produce at a loss,” and ratified Albornoz’s opinion regarding inflation. He said that the policy of controls is really far from a solution to our situation.

But don’t worry, Delcy Rodríguez said that the ANC will review economic laws proposed by Nicolás to solve the “induced” crisis.

Brief and serious

  • Teenage pregnancy: “A child is born to a teenage mother every three minutes” in Venezuela, explained UNFPA assistant representative Jorge González Caro, who said that our teenage pregnancy rate is way above the Latin American average, which produces a situation of exclusion from the educative and labor system, continues the cycles of poverty and violence, and reduces the possibilities for the country’s development.
  • Scabies outbreak: Doctors in Anzoátegui state issued warnings about a scabies outbreak that impacts 20% of the population, saying that the problem is made worse by shortages of medicines and drinking water. Specialists from the UCV’s Tropical Medicine Institute explained that four out of every ten individuals exhibit this disease, and that, in desperation, people use medicines meant for animals, as well as home-made medicines.
  • Political disqualification: Rosa Scarano, mayor of San Diego municipality in Carabobo state, was politically disqualified for 15 years by the Comptroller’s Office.
  • Admitting failure: President Juan Manuel Santos said: “We sought to find a peaceful and democratic solution to Venezuela’s crisis. Unfortunately we’ve failed.”

Nicolás spoke yesterday with the winner’s conviction, or rather with the certainty that the opposition already lost.

Meanwhile, the country keeps demanding an elaborate strategy, transcending the decision to sit these elections out and explaining how to rebuild an opposition platform that shares more than just an electoral agenda against a dictatorship that has demolished the value of votes.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Throughout the day, opposition parties Primero Justicia (PJ), Voluntad Popular (VP), Causa R, Alianza Bravo Pueblo (ABP) and Acción Democrática (AD) announced that they won’t run on mayoral elections because there are no fair conditions.

    What’s changed from 15 October I ask.

  2. I can’t frankly see a good alternative for the opposition after the Oct 15 debacle. Boycotting the Mayoral vote following a legitimate defeat in October , a fact I learned here, seems like sour grapes and is not a good way to enlist foreign support. The argument for support would be please help us because the Chavistas are anti democratic but win fair elections. I dont think so. Participaton seems likely to produce the same result, another defeat and another demonstration that there is substantial support for the government. Notice all of this negative thinking hinges on one fact, whether or not the Oct 15 result was legitimate. If not, then there might be a reason to participate in the elections.But if so, everyone is in for a long wait. A terrible mess this is

    • Another W. Crispin, “…Chavistas…win fair elections…there is substantial support for the government…” Sincerely, Mr. Crispin, after all that has been presented on this site to the contrary, you are no more than a Govt. TROLL!

  3. Mr. Crispin, I know you’ve been working on tihs idea for some time now, but have you yet reached any conclusions on how a people enduring the worst economy in the western hemisphere, perhpas one of the worst in the world, continue to give their overwhelming support (54% according to the latest election results) to the government that controls such an economy?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    • My instincts tell me the election was rigged because the outcome is contrary to my life’s experience. But it would be arrogant on my part to assume that I know more about this than Quico. And if the PSUV were so unpopular you would think that they would have left more evidence behind of their fraud. Also, I have not received a lot of “you must be crazy responses” when I adopt Quico’s position and it is true that the Venezuelan underclass may emotionally be committed to the Chavistas regardless of the economy. So I am truly conflicted as an outsider. Wish I knew more but I need to read more and listen closely to the debate.

      • So these thugs criminals that once tried and failed to get to power violently have destroyed and hold hostage an entire country and still people discussing nuances and giving the benefit of the “doubt” ?! I’m sorry William but u r a troll or somebody pay you to write such things.
        Go and download the PSUV Red Book, there is their master plan to crush democracy and install a Castro Communist regime by any means including violence.
        What else you need to know?
        I cant help and shove that book down your throat if you still can get it.

        • Come on–we can’t call people trolls just because they disagree with us.

          I also find it inconceivable that some people don’t believe these elections are rigged and stolen from A through Z, but just arguing otherwise doesn’t fall into trolling category.

          • I am sorry Ira, trust me I’m very tolerant and value other people’s view, but I just can’t tolerate the stupidity that have allowed this crisis to continue. The moral relativism, the benefit of the doubt, etc I just can’t !!
            Are we that stupid and still debating elections until the years end after all the violations the regime has done to all the constitution?
            Many people are dying as consequence.

        • Toro Volt, I cant agree with you more about the Chavistas and I guarantee you that I abhor Marxism and have no doubt about the anti democratic nature of the PSUV. Quico called me a Trump suppirter and I guess you think I am a left wing troll. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between.those two but in all of my 71 years no one ever called me a leftist. But as MRubio likes to say, that made me chuckle.

          • I’m no calling you a lefty, but just frustrated about this never ending talk about elections and this includes this CC blog arguing how fair or not the elections were or how and by how much they cheated. All of this is a distraction and a waste of time.

          • Toro Volt and Ira, aside from a momentary brain fart suffered by Mr. Crispin when he told people before the 15 October fraud, “please vote”, rest assured that he’s quite sane and is neither a leftist nor a supporter of this regime in any shape, form, or manner.

            As something of an outsider to all of this, Mr. Crispin was merely puzzled by the results of that fateful day having first assumed that something comparable to a fair and honest election would be held and therefore the regime would suffer a humiliating defeat. Of course, what happened is now history, almost ancient history, since it seems no one wants to discuss it further.

            When the brightest minds on the subject of making Venezuela make sense failed to fully explain here how a regime in control of a country in such terrible shape could “win” 54% of the popular vote, Mr. Crispin began asking the logical questions anyone on the outside looking in would ask.

            His questions still go unanswered by the experts.

          • “this includes this CC blog arguing how fair or not the elections were or how and by how much they cheated. All of this is a distraction and a waste of time.”

            I agree with you fully TV that the elections were a fraud. I screamed fraud before they were held. And I understand your frustrations with the continued talk here about those “elections”. But what you’re missing is that the discussion is not really taking place on “the blog”, it’s taking place in the comments section of the blog. The bloggers themselves pronounced the election a fraud in the state of Bolivar, but basically signed off on everything else. Remember, “we have the actas”?

            I argue, and I suspect Mr. Crispin is of a similar mind, that that’s a dangerous message to send to the outside world because it could leave some in the outside world thinking there are free and fair elections held in Venezuela and that an overwhelming majority of the voters supported the regime on 15 October.

            I don’t have the proof of how they cheated, others here have plenty of ideas of how they cheated, but I have logic and I have on-the-ground-experience living here and can tell you that there’s no way in hell that this regime honestly won 17 or 18 governorships out of 23. It’s BULLSHIT and those who help make Venezuela make sense won’t explain it to us or the rest of the world for some odd reason.

          • MR, please see my comment above on Mr. C. and his DIRECT QUOTES on the fairness/popularity of Venezuelan elections, and still tell me he’s a simple doe-eye innocent blinded by the glaringly fraudulent Venezuelan election results, aided/abetted by FT’s comments/support. As for EVIDENCE, of Venezuelan electoral fraud, Smartmatic owner Mugica’s statement post ANC vote, and Velasquez’s acta fraud evidence showing the stolen Bolivar Governor election, should be more than enough, and are just the tip of the iceberg….

          • NET, if your first language isn’t English (or even if it is), I suspect you’re just missing some of Mr. Crispin’s linguistic clues about his actual sentiments. Perhaps going back and reading his posts post-election would help?

            I’ve read all of his posts on the subject and believe he’s doing us all a favor actually by demonstrating just how a half-interested American might read Quico’s comments on the election and ask, “why are we wasting another moment worried about democracy in Venezuela. The people have spoken and they’re perfectly satisfied living as they’re living. Sanctions will only make their lives worse. Let’s leave Venezuela alone so they can solve their own problems”.

            In so many words, Mr. Crispin’s DIRECT QUOTES are actually paraphrased comments Quico has made or insinuated with his articles and he’s hoping to call the man out for comment…….sort of chumming the waters so to speak. As an avid fisherman, I’d say he’s done an excellent job though Quico appears to refuse to take the bait.

            Now, perhaps I’m all wet here, and Mr. Crispin really is trying struggling to understand what happened on 15 October. If I were a betting man though, I wouldn’t touch that one with a ten foot…..wait for it……fishing pole.

  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/29/business/energy-environment/russia-venezula-oil-rosneft.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld

    My apologies if already posted or mentioned. Good article on Russia funding the regime to keep it afloat for access to natural resources and a foothold in S. America. Nothing real to most of us but lots of information and updates.

    It’s interesting that China appears to have had enough and is no longer throwing money at the regime, and is trying to get all they can while they can for what they’ve paid.

    • “It’s interesting that China appears to have had enough and is no longer throwing money at the regime, and is trying to get all they can while they can for what they’ve paid.”

      And it does not trust the regime to manage any of their projects, either.

      Petroguía: Chinos y rusos exigirían personal propio para operar Amuay y Cardón

      Miguel Ángel Valladares / 31 oct 2017.- El director del portal Petroguía, Andrés Rojas Jiménez, confirmó este martes que según sus fuentes, además de la denuncia del sindicalista Iván Fréitez, las empresas Rosneft y la china Cnpc estarían trayendo su propia gerencia para administrar el CRP Paraguaná

      http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=85974#p1071962

  5. MRubio, enjoy your comments. Election results, I.e., 54% voting for the current dictator is easily explained. It’s a form of short-term memory loss induced in the electorate by Caribbean/Cuban magic potions sprayed from atomizers sequestered in the polling stations. Now, back to discussing how many teen mothers and babies are actually expiring while doing sweet F.A. about the sociopaths causing their destruction. FYI: I lived in Venezuela during the days of Carlos Andres Perez and my Venezuelan friends would often lament about the horrific conditions in Cuba. My how that particular worm has turned, Solution: One rifle w/scope, one bullet and one Stalin like mustache for a target. Or continue to spend energy on worthless statistics while Venezuelans continue to suffer the results socialism, as defined by Lenin, Castro and their ilk.

  6. ASA, I had not considered a Cuban pixie dust possibility, but that’s as logical an explanation as any provided to date. As for Cubans, they’re now telling Venezuela jokes.

    • How many cubans does it take to screw in a cuban light bulb? None, the have none, but they are masters in screwing their Venezuelan made dim-lit bulbs.

  7. Today, my nephew (in his 30s with wife and kids still back in VZ), experiences his first American Halloween. He just got here two weeks ago.

    Can you imagine the emotions he’s going to experience, being in a place where he can knock on a million doors and people happily GIVE you free candy!?

    It has to be fucking mind-blowing.

  8. With or without a Charlie Brown costume, he’ll be able to fill his bag with rocks!! Actually, that might be a good thing if there is a next round of protests

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