Against Usurpation

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The National Assembly (AN) declared that the decision made by the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) – voiding Freddy Guevara’s parliamentary immunity – was null, explaining once again that the ANC cannot replace Parliament in a decision concerning the granting or denying of immunity: the ANC usurped those functions.

The AN’s Board received representatives from 23 countries for yesterday’s session, thanking them for their commitment with democracy and freedom, as well as for their support for institutions and the Venezuelan people.

Let’s talk finances

AN Speaker Julio Borges explained Parliament’s stance to diplomatic representatives, as well as the procedure that the government must follow in order to refinance the foreign debt, a voluntary process that must include a structural change in the economy. According to Borges, the government is “trapped” between refinancing and opening up to market rules, or continue faltering with no access to markets and a disastrous drop in oil output.

The majority of Parliament agreed not to recognize the debt restructuring, if it’s not submitted for the Legislative Branch’s approval, if the economic model doesn’t change and if transparency is not guaranteed in order to review the payment options used by investors – the Venezuelan State is over $120 billion in debt.

Delcy’s reaction

The head of the ANC took to Twitter to criticize the meeting between diplomats and Julio Borges and restate that he’s responsible for the financial blockades imposed by the U.S. and the current crisis.

Delcy should know that other rating agencies (including Chinese ones) keep lowering Venezuela’s rating and none of them mentions Borges as the reason, instead they focus on the unlikelihood of a restructuring for the government’s lack of credibility and trust, the country’s dwindling international reserves, the inability to create wealth and the fragility of payment sources. All of this put in a blender makes a huge batido of: high risk of default!

Forget about vulture funds, Delcy, nothing’s as ravenous as chavismo.

Let’s talk inflation

Lawmaker Ángel Alvarado reported that, according to estimates of the the National Assembly’s Price Index, the inflation rate for October is 45.5% and the cumulative inflation reached 825.7%.

Alvarado explained that the process is fueled by excessive money-printing, which the BCV uses to finance the fiscal deficit. This problem, he added, is what has Venezuela’s citizens starving to death, remarking that next year will be worse.

According to economist and university professor Natan Lederman, inflation will soar to 12,000% in 2018 due to hyperinflation.

But don’t worry, in the Economic vice-presidency’s meeting that will submit ideas to the ANC, Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López said that “a different economic reality will certainly take off in 2018.” Ah, the adjectives!

Celebrating failure

Public employees had to march from Libertador avenue to Miraflores Palace to celebrate the 100th anniversary of repression, censorship, bans on political parties and unions, and millions of deaths caused by Russia’s civil war and famine.

That is equivalent to celebrating a social and political failure that impacted several generations, but in Nicolás’ view: “There are never bad times in the revolution” – and that’s why he convened the national congress of the Productive Councils of Workers for next week, in which they’ll allegedly present an “economic productive development” plan, a challenge for a nation that suffers post-war level shortages and hyperinflation.

According to Nicolás, his plan is inspired on the October Revolution to build a new society and humanity. Sadly, he didn’t explain that he’ll build those over the ruins of the the current ones.

By the way, the despicable Maradona signed a contract with Nicolás to host a TV program for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Telesur. Who knows how much he’ll be paid, but nobody expects him to get paid in rupees or yuans.

A political prisoner

Yon Goicoechea ratified his mayoral candidacy for party Avanzada Progresista and expressed the need to maintain respect among Venezuelans and preserve the opposition’s political spaces, while claiming that elections are the path we must follow right now. He said that he left SEBIN dungeons without hatred and that Venezuela needs a process of forgiveness.

If we add to such statements that he thanked Henri Falcón for accepting his candidacy, it’s really hard not to believe that he was coerced to do this. I took note of his phrase: “I don’t want them to imprison me…” – Oh!, and also of the announcement that presidential elections will take place in February.


  • The U.S. condemned the decision to try Freddy Guevera, saying that this is another one of the regime’s extreme measures to shut down the democratic space and criminalize dissent. Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the State Department, condemned the regime’s growing disrespect toward democracy and essential rights in Venezuela.
  • Uruguay’s Foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa urged his Venezuelan counterpart, Jorge Arreaza, to make the government seek ways to settle the debt they have with Uruguayan companies for the purchase of products.
  • Former Latin American and Spanish heads of states gathered in IDEA, urged the opposition and critical chavismo to create “an effort of broad and sincere dedication in the fight against dictatorship,” and they also condemned the dictatorship’s progress and power consolidation, their violent actions against democracy and criminal prosecution against dissidents.

The effect of price controls

In an act surpassing the greatest feats of any wizard you might have seen in your childhood, the National Bureau for the Defense of Social-Economic Rights (Sundde) managed to empty out in less than a week hundreds of butcher shops: they made chicken, beef, pork and even entrails disappear!

If you read Sundde’s Twitter account, you’ll find the promotion of immediate actions for what they call “the political battle for fair prices,” a plan explained through “infographics” made in PowerPoint, with texts that fuel only two ideas: the crisis we’re facing can only be solved with more fanatic bureaucrats inspecting shop owners, and shop owners can only be straightened out with punishments.

For them, shortages, the lack of production and the decline of imports are “disturbing phenomenons.”

Meanwhile, hunger grows worse.

And we got to the Bs. 48,532 per dollar mark yesterday.

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.