An Arc, a Debt

Your daily briefing for Friday, November 3, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Exiled prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz filed yesterday a nullity action and an injunction against the Mining Arc decree before a group of Supreme Tribunal justices appointed by the National Assembly also exiled . She argued that mineral exploitation is taking a toll on the population and that Nicolás seeks to institutionalize criminal civilian and military structures, dedicated to the exploitation as well as benefitting the companies that have contracts in the area.

Ortega Díaz said that she wants to protect the broad biodiversity of the affected states and guarantee the survival of the indigenous peoples who live there, as well as cautioning the world that Mining Arc agreements were signed illegally and the work being carried out there will cause irreversible damage to the nation.

The document will be sent to international institutions.

Restructuring the debt

Far from his hidden empanada, Nicolás announced the beginning of a debt refinancing process starting today, Friday, November 3rd. He also ordered Vice-president Tareck El Aissami (sanctioned and, consequently, unable to meet with any investors or companies) to meet with investment banks and bondholders, with dirt for credibility.

Nicolás says he wants to keep honoring payments, but blames the United States sanctions and the drop in oil revenue for this twist to seek a restructuring process, without changing his policies or his team. Isn’t he cute?

Sanctions prevent him from negotiating refinancing or issuing new bonds, so the real question here is: how will he make this restructuring operational? A detail: restructuring isn’t unilateral.

Meanwhile, he claimed he has the money to fulfill PDVSA bond payments for $1,1 billion and, once again, he spoke of how he had to “suffer” to honor the payments of a debt acquired by el finado during the oil boom, when they decided to waste resources (without saving anything) and now they want other conditions to pay. I insist, read Mayela Armas’ work for Crónica Uno.

Velásquez and Guanipa

Andrés Velásquez said that the National Electoral Council (CNE) accepted the legal action he filed concerning the tampering with regional elections results. Journalist Eugenio Martínez explained that once the complaint against the fraud in Bolívar had been accepted, the CNE has up to 30 days to verify it and up to 15 days to make a decision.

Zulia governor-elect Juan Pablo Guanipa filed before the CNE complaints made before and during the electoral process on October 15th, because in his view, it’s important that the institution has documentation on these irregularities. Guanipa said that he’ll formally accuse and report these irregularities before national and international institutions to demand respect for the will of zulianos.

And, CNE chair Tibisay Lucena confirmed last night that mayoral elections will be held on December 10th.

Hate and intolerance

Chavistas are masters in these areas, and yesterday, the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) discussed and approved 10 articles! of the law against hate and political violence. Delcy Rodríguez explained that the law will regulate and control the emission and promotion of hate-inciting messages and will use other experiences to regulate this matter to prevent “the media” from calling to a war. Sadly, she didn’t mention VTV as the leading station on this practice.

Delcy had much better disposition during the opening of the ANC’s administrative headquarters – in the old La Francia building –, to claim that three months after its imposition, the ANC already has 22 working committees and that each constituyente is a member of at least one committee. That’s efficiency!


Polling agency Econométrica, reported a 50.6% increase in inflation during October, a record which, according to them, pushes Venezuela into the club of nations with hyperinflation, defined not only for surpassing the 50% threshold for the first time in history, but also for unchecked money-printing and the decline in assets due to the drop in production.

Consecomercio head María Carolina Uzcátegui, said that the minimum wage raise is insufficient and that the business sector is taking precautions with price increases, as well as operational and staff reductions to be able to pay the new salaries imposed by the government: “Venezuela is the only country in the world where people fear the idea of a salary raise because they know that all prices will increase in response,” she said.

However, for Labor Minister Néstor Ovalles, inflation is manipulated, arguing that “there’s no way to explain how the ‘speculative market’ dollar is calculated,” that it lacks any sort of economic support, but it has an impact on prices nonetheless. Ovalles added that the 30% wage hike “bears no relation” with inflation.


  • 140 packs of cocaine coming from Maiquetía International Airport on a Laser airlines flight were confiscated in the Dominican Republic. Interior minister Néstor Reverol explained that four suitcases with the illicit material were confiscated and that five Dominican citizens were arrested. 10 people have been arrested in Venezuela for this case, but he didn’t give provide any more details.  
  • Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Gallagher will visit Argentina on Saturday and meet with president Mauricio Macri, announcing that they will talk about the Venezuelan situation in their extensive agenda of discussions. By the way, an Argentinian tribunal ratified the proceedings against former president Cristina Kirschner and seized $10 billion for embezzlement, and last night Macri met with OAS chief Luis Almagro, and they discussed Venezuela, of course.
  • It was almost moving to read the statement of the absolute idiot Pablo Iglesias after the decision issued by the Spanish National Court judge against Puigdemont’s advisers: “I am ashamed that dissidents are being jailed in my country. We don’t want Catalonia’s independence but today we say: freedom for political prisoners.” Turn around and have look over here, Pablito.

Yesterday, Yulimar Rojas, the Venezuelan world champion in triple jump, was awarded the prize as the best female athlete in the Americas and dedicated the award granted by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) to the country: “This is a prize I have dreamed of from the start of my career. This is for my family, for Venezuela. This is the beginning of good things for my country, Venezuela, and for olympic sports,” Yulimar said.

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.