Freddy Didn’t Attend

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.


As the Chilean government announced its willingness to grant lawmaker Freddy Guevara political asylum should he request it, and the Venezuelan Foreign ministry claimed that he had all the judicial guarantees for his defense – even though interim ombudsman Alfredo Ruiz cautioned that the government could request his extradition because there are crimes of “universal persecution such as genocide” – yesterday, in view of city-wide power outages, a collapsed subway and a high likelihood of imprisonment, lawmaker Freddy Guevara didn’t attend Delcy Rodríguez’s summons to the ANC’s special session, which  prompted the National Guard to prevent National Assembly lawmakers, employees and journalists from entering the Federal Legislative Palace.

The official version

The ANC’s session, ill-named “In defense of peace and the Rule of Law,” involved singularly cynical speeches, starting with imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab, who called it unprecedented and historic, before starting his tirade of lies, such as how allegedly peaceful the country was before the opposition called for protests; the scientific approach he’s applying to investigations on protests; labeling the opposition’s alleged crimes as public and constant and claiming that: “Nobody can say that the opposition was calling for peaceful protests (…) they did everything to prevent the ANC’s installation, they didn’t care about the deaths.”

More unbiased information

Among other things, Larry Devoe claimed that there were over 4,300 acts of violence in the country incited by the opposition between April and July, and that young protesters were paid between Bs. 50,000 and Bs. 60,000 to engage in violence, saying that the “evidence” proves the opposition’s responsibility in violent incidents.

Andrés Eloy Méndez asked: “When did hate take over a Venezuelan political sector?” – for some reason, the cameraman switched to Diosdado Cabello’s face right then. Méndez stressed that a parliamentary seat mustn’t be used to incite violence and that, just like Nicolás has become an effective man of dialogue, Freddy Guevara is “the number one public enemy of peace and cohabitation.”

Julio Chávez said that they authorized the TSJ to move ahead with the trial against Guevara because otherwise, the Venezuelan state would be accused of omission.

I took the opportunity to make myself a cup of chamomile tea while other constituyentes kept contributing unbiased information in favor of an exemplary trial against Freddy Guevara.

Monday of regions

The broadcast of the ANC’s session was interrupted by another of Nicolás’ pre-recorded messages, this time alongside Diego Armando Maradona, in which he demanded his soldiers to come to an agreement and consolidate the candidacies for the 335 mayoral spots up for grabs, and called for a meeting of the Council for the Defense of the Nation to stop “the attack on water and power services,” his sole justification for the lack of investment and maintenance.

According to Nicolás, 80% of Venezuelans “have at least one social media account” and he said that because he’s concerned about the existence of “a manipulative media oligarchy,” inexcusable when other countries have laws that punish companies and citizens for their social media performance. And that is why he created the Communication and Culture vice-presidency to “increase the government’s media capacity,” which will be headed by Jorge Rodríguez.

Let’s just not forget that he’d originally said that the first order of business was creating a new economy: clear priorities.


National Electoral Council board member Socorro Hernández said that the electoral campaign will take place between November 23rd and December 7th. She added that refusing to participate in elections will bring consequences for each party, but that each of them can freely choose whether they’ll attend or not, establishing a questionable contrast with parties that might “sabotage” polls in any way.

According to Hernández, Andrés Velásquez’s challenge against Bolívar state’s results in gubernatorial elections doesn’t mean that the electoral systems lacks guarantees against a fraud, and that they’ll offer a report on the case as soon as they have information. 17 parties went to the CNE to pick their position in the electoral ballot and the candidate replacement and modification process was started.

Yon Goicoechea and Delson Guárate are still to explain the reason behind their sudden and late candidacies.

The money, Nicolás, the money

Venezuelan bonds dropped due to fear among investors that the government might default on the country’s debt. According to a report by financial firm Nomura, Venezuela wants to restructure its foreign debt but more likely faces default. Why? The meeting requested by El Aissami with bondholders (even though he’s sanctioned by the U.S. and thus unsuitable for this task) is an “unrealistic“ proposal. The discussion is not about a potential restructuring but rather “the timing and context of default,” and making the proposal so close to the deadline opens the possibility for blaming the default on the unwillingness of bondholders to negotiate.

Lawmaker Rafael Guzmán denounced that the restructuring represents a great fraud, because economic policy remains unchanged, and there’s no way to build trust.

Additionally, the Energy Management Center denounced that our refining system is operating at 38% of its capacity, that fuel smuggling surpasses 100,000 daily barrels and that the government’s intention is to honor its debt with China and Russia by handing over the operation of Amuay and Cardón refineries to companies Rosneft and CNPC.

Amidst the crisis

While more diphtheria cases are confirmed, Health minister Luis López claimed yesterday that the National Vaccination Plan has more than nine million doses of the following vaccines: pentavalent, trivalent and tetanus toxoid diphtheria. He said that hospitals, out-clinics and Integral Diagnostic Centers (CDIs) will serve as vaccination stations and that they’ll also install special stations in malls and public squares, establishing up to nine thousand vaccination centers. During the phase that started yesterday and concludes on November 20th, the general population of states with confirmed diphtheria cases must be vaccinated, and in states with no reports, vaccines will be reserved for particular groups, including healthcare professionals, pregnant women and the elderly.

Last night, journalist Mildred Manrique reported that Jesús Medina, a Dolar Today journalist who disappeared on Saturday afternoon, was found naked at kilómetro 1 of the Caracas-La Guaira highway and that he’s being examined by the authorities. Later on, mor specific information came out, even from Medina hiself.

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.