Late Payment

Your daily briefing for Thursday, November 16, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

PDVSA reported that the money corresponding to interests and capital of three of their debt titles has already come through.

The grace period had already expired for two of them: $80.6 million in interests from the PDVSA 2027 should’ve been paid on October 12th; and the PDVSA 2017 and the $47.6 million they should’ve honored on November 2nd. The Economy and Finance ministries also said that the transfer of interests for Venezuela’s 2019 and 2024 sovereign bonds has already been made for a total of $199.6.

The government sent these funds three days after the grace period had expired and no official has explained the consequences of not paying on time, nor how much money the nation will lose.

Three out of a hundred and fifty

Venezuela signed an agreement yesterday to restructure its $3.15 billion debt with Russia. The agreement establishes a new schedule of payments over 10 years with minimal payments during the first six years, as explained by Russia’s Finance ministry, adding that relieving the debt load will allow the government “to use the released funds to develop the country’s economy, improve the debtor’s solvency and increase the possibilities for all creditors to recover previously agreed credits.”

This agreement covers a small piece of Venezuela’s debt, which stands at $150 billion.

The most important part of the equation is China, with an amount exceeding $23 billion, even though Chinese Foreign minister Geng Shuang said yesterday: “The government and the Venezuelan people have the capacity to appropriately manage their own affairs, including their debt problem.” We’ll see.

Great ideas

Yesterday, Nicolás went back to suggesting the idea of building community banks as financial centers for community projects, stating that this was one of el finado’s plans and claiming: “We have to create them now, but right now.”

He also recovered the absurd idea of a special plan to turn Caracas into a great commune and said that he thinks Venezuelans should vote with the carnet de la patria, promising surprises in elections where “people use their QR codes and they’ve already expressed their opinion.”

As it would have been expected, Nicolás condemned the “rupture of democratic order in Zimbabwe,” he expressed his profound concern and called to respect and safeguard the physical integrity of Mugabe and his family, urging all institutions and citizens to “overcome their differences through dialogue.”

Isn’t he cute?

No food

Amnesty International held the Emergencia Alimentaria forum, on which the shortage of food and its consequences were explained. The activity was the second part of a three-forum event aimed at analyzing solutions to our humanitarian emergency.

Maritza Landaeta, of Fundación Bengoa, explained that the lack of nutrients during fetal development produces injuries that could be inherited over generations, which means Venezuela needs the State to establish an integral apparatus for food.

She added that food production in the country went from 70% self-supply to merely 30%, and that the government hasn’t implemented, monitored or assessed planned food programs, while it has, instead, chosen to merely distribute food products with low nutritional quality; a scenery in which the most vulnerable citizens suffer more.

Landaeta also stated that the country has never experienced any level of malnutrition as severe as the current one, explaining that protein intake dropped in favor of tubers: on top of not eating enough food, people are consuming food with poor nutritional value; reiterating the alarming weight-loss averages.

Our top judicial authority

Journalist Girish Gupta made a special report on Supreme Tribunal chief justice Maikel Moreno, covering his past, his questionable career and his power.

Moreno is the key to understanding massive protests in 2017, when he arbitrarily decided to strip the National Assembly of its authority, just as he’d ruled out of order almost every important law approved by Parliament. In order to trace Moreno’s trajectory, Gupta explains that he examined documents and interviewed partners, colleagues and friends, understanding how Moreno came closer to Nicolás through connections and how he handled politically sensitive cases that other judges rejected , leaving behind accusations for extortion and influence peddling. Grupta also approaches Moreno’s arrest in 1989 for allegedly murdering a teenager, and the his dismissal in 2007. This is a valuable investigation, read it when you can.

By the way, journalist Javier Ignacio Mayorca explains in his blog “Crímenes sin castigo” (Unpunished crimes) that, after cross-referencing the payroll for the National Bolivarian Police (PNB) with databases on criminal records, they’ve found that 587 out of the total 25,700 officers have criminal records and 129 of them should be presented before court.

Political prisoners

The Sixth Military Control Court of Carabobo released Un Nuevo Tiempo activism coordinator Humberto Pacheco with precautionary measures, and granted house arrest for Voluntad Popular leader Carlos Graffe due to health reasons. Pacheco urged the relatives of other political prisoners to continue working for their freedom.

Carlos Graffe was transferred to the Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital for complications in his kidneys. He had been held in Ramo Verde prison for four months, accused of military crimes such as treason, stealing military equipment and inciting rebellion.


In a third round, OAS will study whether Venezuela’s case should be submitted to the International Criminal Court, and will hold two sessions today to discuss whether the file should go through an independent criminal assessment, for human rights violations and other crimes, with an independent panel of international experts. Diego Arria denounced Venezuela’s situation before the British Parliament’s House of Commons, saying that our crisis is a threat for the rest of the countries.

The Colombian government said that they’ve never refused to sell medicines to Venezuela, pointing out that they don’t meddle in the commercial relationships of the pharmaceutical industry in other counties and restating their willingness to cooperate with everything related to public health.

With dictator Robert Mugabe under house arrest, general Sibusiso Moyo said that “it is not a military takeover of government,” and that once they’ve fulfilled their mission, they expect “the situation will return to normalcy.”

The black market dollar hit Bs. 60,942.07 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.