Divide and Conquer

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, November 15, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The National Assembly nullified the Law Against Hate enacted by the ANC.

But even more relevant than that was lawmaker Richard Blanco’s announcement about the group of 13 parliamentarians who created a new caucus called July 16th: “This new caucus will defend the political liberties and mandates of 7 million Venezuelans who voted in the popular consultation held on July 16th,” he said, adding that he’ll head the caucus along Dinorah Figuera, that they won’t accept agreements of any kind because they aspire to promote “Venezuela’s integrated transformation” and that they’ll vote against any motion if they have to.

No merengue

Lawmaker Luis Florido announced that the negotiation scheduled for today in the Dominican Republic won’t take place because government representatives didn’t extend an invitation to the foreign ministers that would be serving as witnesses to the meeting: “Thus far, the foreign ministers haven’t been invited, therefore, a process of international negotiation is impossible.”

He restated that the negotiation process requires the presence of the countries that will make up the group and that they’re looking for a date for everyone to attend.

Debt refinancing

Communications minister Jorge Rodríguez said that the government started on Monday the process of refinancing the foreign debt despite the “brutal” blockade of the U.S. Treasury Department and the “national right-wing” and that, in view of the intention to “financially choke the Venezuelan economy,” Nicolás designed a strategy.

Sadly, he didn’t explain such strategy, although, regarding the main conclusions of the minister council meeting, he did mention that the distribution of perniles (pork legs) for “all the Venezuelan people” will start today. Great!

In any case, Reuters says that Venezuela hired a lawyer specialized in debt restructuring to counsel the country with its liquidity issues to renegotiate some $60 billion in foreign debt. According to that report, David Syed is working with a team of lawyers from legal firm Dentons, which confirmed Syed’s role “to help establish and lead [the country’s] sovereignty,” although the extent of the work Syed and Dentons are going to do for Venezuela remains unknown.

Oh! The International Swaps and Derivatives Association postponed the decision to declare PDVSA in default, once again.

Not free

According to the annual report by Freedom House, Freedom of the Net 2017, Venezuela’s internet is now labeled “not free”, because on top of the government’s control and manipulation strategies, users had to deal with poorer access, more censorship, blockades and technical attacks. Add this to the issues journalists had to go through during protests and you’ll have an even clearer picture of our new category.

The report reads that

“The manipulation of online content contributed to a seventh consecutive year of general decline of internet freedom.”

And it lists governments of 30 countries that used some sort of manipulation to distort information on the internet. In Venezuela, they use this example: hired commenters, trolls, bots, fake news sites and propaganda media “to exaggerate popular support and essentially validate themselves.”

Does it ring any bell?

China, Nicolás’ great partner, was “the worst abuser” of internet freedom worldwide for a third time in a row, followed by Syria and Ethiopia. The most notable setbacks took place in Ukraine, Egypt and Turkey.


“There’s no socialism without a working class, and there’s no country without socialism,” said Nicolás during the installation of the Productive Labor Councils (CPT) which will allegedly contribute to the development of a new economic model, although their installation was delayed for a year after the announcement of the presidential decree presenting them as part of the great program Sovereign Supply.

Nicolás wants to recover “the time we lost with the economic war and the oil rentier model” and CPTs are immediately included in the ANC’s committee in charge of price regulations, and they’ll submit proposals for this instance to turn them into constitutional laws, some of the perks of being “the spine of the new socialist economy.”

The needs for raw materials, Nicolás claimed, will be solved soon with the investment in countries such as Russia, Iran and India, because the country needs “a great economic revolution and the only ones who can make that happen are workers.”

Strange that Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López was the one left in charge of the “micromission” for sugar production.

Even stranger seems that, amidst a humanitarian emergency, he’d lash at Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos for allegedly not allowing Venezuela to import medicines: “Santos, eat your medicines, we’re buying them in India and they’ll arrive soon, eat your medicines, your drugs and your cocaine.”


As a reaction to the sanctions approved during the meeting of European Union foreign ministers, the ANC approved a document demanding the EU to “act in accordance to international law” and “refrain from coercive actions,” as well as supporting Nicolás’ willingness to keep harmonious international relationships with all nations in the world.

Delcy Rodríguez claimed that with the arms embargo on Venezuela, the EU undermined the country’s sovereignty and chose to adhere to the United States’ demands: “It’s absurd. It’s ridiculous to try and impose an arms embargo on Venezuela (…) It’s ridiculous because Venezuela is a land of peace,” she said.


Without mentioning the announcement made by Brazil’s government about a debt of $262 million in export credits guaranteed by the State that’s trying to renegotiate, foreign minister Jorge Arreaza met with diplomatic representatives of European Union countries, to express his condemnations for imposed sanctions and said these are practically the same as the ones imposed by the United States, regretting that the EU “plays by the rules of interference established by the U:S.”

Russia and Venezuela are set to sign an agreement today, aimed at restructuring 3 billion dollars in debt, as announced by ambassador Carlos Faría, although the Russian Finance Minister hasn’t confirmed this information and isn’t planning to hold any kind of public event.

Social networks are on fire due to a possible coup d’État in Zimbabwe, allegedly meant to purge the administration, including veteran members of the political president Mugabe’s party ZANU-P, starting with vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a loyal party member and potential successor, who had to flee to South Africa because Mugabe wants to be succeeded by his wife Grace.

The black market dollar has just crossed the Bs. 60,000 line.

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.