No Agreement

Your Daily Briefing for Sunday, December 3, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.


The government and the opposition will resume talks in two weeks after concluding the two days of dialogue in the Dominican Republic without concrete agreements, according to Chilean Foreign minister Heraldo Muñoz. He explained that the statement issued by the foreign ministers that participated in the process will be reviewed by the parties.

Afterwards, president Danilo Medina reported that the next meeting will take place on December 15th, also in his country, with the purpose of coming to a definitive agreement. Muñoz and Medina asked parties to remain optimistic on the possibility of a political solution, saying that “it’s best to go slowly to do things the right way.” In truth, sources revealed that both parties refused to accept key demands in the negotiation.

The opposition’s version

National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges restated that they attended the meeting with the goal of guaranteeing the rights of Venezuelans, describing the exercise as a difficult, tough process of debate and confrontation, but he said it was necessary to open a path for the future for Venezuelans. He emphasized that the dialogue doesn’t preclude other efforts to recover the country’s democracy and that they discussed elections, human rights and political prisoners, remarking that the fight for food and medicines was the opposition’s main demand: “We offered solutions (…) it was one of the most heatedly debated subjects,” said Borges. The method for this two-day exercise involved opening the discussion about a point, establishing the essential conditions required to solve it and making the proposals. Later, Collete Capriles tweeted: “A framework of internationally backed proposals was established, which each party must discuss internally. Some people expected us to acquiesce, but what I saw was firmness.”

The government’s version

“We don’t need to negotiate with the opposition for 18 hours to maintain our hold on power,” said minister Jorge Rodríguez, admitting that the discussion was hard, that many left satisfied and that now they’re in a structural phase of consulting the people, while the opposition does its thing with “the opposition factors.” Jorge says that they presented their truths, that they showed evidence of attacks against the government and surmised that the true aid will come with the end of sanctions against the economy that chavismo destroyed; as if the sanctions imposed by the U.S., Canada and the EU against tens of government officials had bankrupted PDVSA or ruined the nation. He admitted that there were problems “with the distribution of medicines,” and arrogantly added that they’ll solve them, denying the existence of a humanitarian emergency.

Concerted denial

This Saturday, Health minister and IVSS chief Luis López discarded the possibility that the government would accept humanitarian aid to abate the shortages of food and medicine: “Nobody bows before an empire here and we won’t allow the right-wingers to impose some humanitarian aid on us,” he said during the presentation of the report on medicine delivered through 0800-SaludYa, a mechanism that lacks the structural capacity and the budget to cover the demand of medicines in Venezuela. López’s response is unacceptable and cruel, a death sentence for so many people; I hope it will be documented for the crime it is. Using ideology to justify the disdain for life in the face of hunger and death only intensifies the misery that the most vulnerable already suffer.

Paz Activa is right

Remember Paz Activa’s report mentioning how many policemen and military agents have been involved in organized crime? In Zulia, two vehicles belonging to the State Secret Police (SEBIN) were transporting 530 packs of cocaine. Chased down by a commission of the National Guard’s anti-drug division, one of the SEBIN vehicles crashed and the second one was abandoned as the occupants fled. Three officers with SEBIN uniforms and equipment were arrested: Ángel Barrios Díaz, Orlando Santeliz Díaz and Daniel Villegas, from SEBIN Caracas. In addition to the drugs, the vehicles contained two pistols, two rifles and a fragmentary grenade. In Caracas, the forensic police (CICPC) arrested two National Bolivarian Police (PNB) officers (Michael Lozada and Daniel Prieto) for the kidnapping of two businessmen for a $5,000 ransom. According to CICPC’s report, thirteen other PNB officers were involved, they were already identified.

Tell Jorge Arreaza

Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer on Twitter,) is a human rights activist, Executive Director of United Nations Watch (UNW). From the moment the clown, “independent U.N. expert” Alfred de Zayas set foot in the country, Neuer denounced the false investigation organized by the Venezuelan government, which included the dissemination of pictures of Caracas markets full of food, another with Delcy and one other with smiling soldiers.

Through UNW’s social networks, the organization has challenged the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to speak out and did the same with Antonio Guterres and other U.N. delegates, denouncing the betrayal against the U.N.’s foundational ideals represented by a propaganda exercise like Zayas’s. Alfred de Zayas deleted all pictures and the text with which he accompanied his “official visit to Venezuela,” but UNW remarks: “he didn’t apologize for this despicable propaganda bent on denying the massive hunger of Venezuelans.” My respect for their tenacity and how they used social networks to expose a fraud with colorful bowties.

I don’t usually write briefings on Saturday, but this was important.

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  1. “We don’t need to negotiate with the opposition for 18 hours to maintain our hold on power,” said minister Jorge Rodríguez. Well Jorgito, THAT is the heart of the matter. “and surmised that the true aid will come with the end of sanctions against the economy that chavismo destroyed” You can whine all you want. EVEN if the opposition caves in and makes some cockamanie unenforceable agreement with You and your thugs, even if the AN agrees and says they’ll be on board with a debt refinance agreement. Hell, even if the US OFAC looks the other way, closes its eyes and says “it’s your damned country, finish screwing it up if you like” It’s highly improbable that Creditors at this stage will refinance without the IMF on board, and you will never agree to the changes in economic policy the IMF is going to demand. And if the Russkies thought we were worth the trouble they might lend us money or send us food. HOWEVER, that is highly suspect, Why? they would have done it already. And your friends the Chinese are tired of throwing money at us just to see it disappear. At the rate we’re going I don’t know how we’re going to get to the end of the month. And I’d even bet hard currency that you don’t either, SO, IMHO the opposition THIS TIME did what they had to do. We’ll see what happens in two weeks

    • Can you believe how much more ridiculous this keeps getting?

      That shortly after your post, Maduro announced his grand CRYTOCURRENCY plan to compete with the world’s REAL currencies!!!

      Look, I have a developmentally disabled son (autism, he’s 25), and I can use the word:

      They’re fucking RETARDED.

  2. “Jorge says that they presented their truths, that they showed evidence of attacks against the government and surmised that the true aid will come with the end of sanctions against the economy that chavismo destroyed…”

    If the Chavista’s can’t con and bully the opposition to join them in an effort to get sanctions lifted, exactly what will they do? What, specifically, are their options going into Navidad?

    My sense of it is that if the opposition stands firm with their demands, no matter the political cost, the Chavists will still have power, but nothing else … no money to run the country, billions coming due, yada yada. Once true hyperinflation hits, it won’t matter how many guns they have.

    • “Once true hyperinflation hits”

      When is “hyperinflation” declared to be happening? Is there a precise definition? At its present trajectory, the BsF will keep devaluing at an increasing rate and will be over 200000 Bs to 1 USD by Jan 1; Probably at least double every month. The law of “fair prices” will result in there being no products available to buy, especially after riots and looting start happening all over the country. No way a business can restock under the “fair prices” and the government appropriating business will also result in no products.

      • The shelves are already bare in the chinese markets here in this pueblo, in Punta de Mata, and in Maturin and we’re just in the first days of Dec. I can only imagine what it’ll be like come 15 January or so.

        My woman made the trip to both PDM and Maturin last week and found not a single can of sardines. NOT ONE! For those of your on the outside wondering what’s the big deal about that, here in this area, sardines are one of the few available sources of protein for the masses. I’ve often said I eat more sardines here in a week than I ate in a year in the US.

        It’s getting grimmer by the day.

  3. Todos los chavistas son superados por los asuntos internacionales. Es como un grupo de conejos tratando de hacer matemáticas.


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