Your daily briefing for Friday, December 8, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The cumulative inflation rate until November was 1,369%, as reported by the National Assembly’s Finance Committee. We’ve reached the four-digit rate for the first time in our history, this announcement marks the official onset of hyperinflation, without the information that the Central Bank has refused to release. Lawmaker Ángel Alvarado said that the inflation rate for November was 56.7%, adding that his estimates are quite conservative, and predicting that the year could close with 2,000 to 2,100%, the highest figure in the country ever, and also the highest worldwide. The drop in oil output, price acceleration and the rise of the monetary base to finance public spending, explain how we got here and the most alarming consequences include over 75% scarcity, millions of Venezuelans eating only once a day, a general malnutrition rate of 70% and 300,000 children that could starve to death. The crisis will only intensify with this regime.

Approved budget

The ruinous National Constituent Assembly (ANC) didn’t have enough with approving the 2018 Budget in an hour, violating the National Constitution and the protocol of Parliament, which used to review the budget for weeks before approving it. Yesterday, through a decree published in Official Gazette dated December 5, the ANC approved the National Budget, the Special Law on Indebtedness and the Yearly Operational Plan 2018.

They forgot to mention the amounts, but they claim that their approval was necessary to guarantee: the country’s economic and social development, governability, wellbeing and the access to essential rights; such as life, health and food, which have been blatantly violated by this administration.

All of this makes Nicolás’ campaign from Hotel Humboldt all the more inspiring, as he tweeted videos and images of his contemplative feast, so divorced from reality, that he spoke of tourism as a way to restore the economy, even though the International SOS and Control Risks listed Venezuela as one of the most dangerous countries to visit.

Photo: International SOS

An exercise of hate

While Rafael Ramírez, no longer Venezuela’s ambassador to the UN, explained in an interview with BBC World that he lacks the resources to live in the U.S. (don’t worry, a crowdfunding campaign was launched for his sake), Oil minister and PDVSA chairman Manuel Quevedo incited harassment in PDVSA against opposition employees: “We can’t allow any more escuálidos in PDVSA!” he frantically said, associating honesty with chavismo even though every individual incriminated in corruption cases comes from their ranks; even though PDVSA was bankrupted by chavismo, among other things, for prioritizing loyalty over knowledge, as well as imposing a perverse power structure, far more focused on stealing than on producing.

Human rights

The death toll for yesterday includes: a 13-year-old boy who died of malnutrition weighing only 11 kilos (Portuguesa), four people who were riding on a truck because there’s no public transportation means (Bolívar) and five miners in El Callao, according to lawmaker Américo De Grazia.

Lawmaker Delsa Solórzano also presented the Interior Policy Committee’s yearly report, accounting for 4,000 cases of human rights violations, another sad record which includes 92 homicides per 100,000 citizens, the shutdown of 51% of surgery rooms in public hospitals and over 98% of medicine shortages.

Add this to the complaints about the situation of political prisoners and see how the map keeps getting darker. Yesterday, the preliminary hearing of general Raúl Baduel was postponed for the 9th time. He’s been held in El Helicoide’s “tomb” for four months. Lawmaker Edgar Zambrano cautioned that mayor Alfredo Ramos is in serious risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke (CVA) due to his severe hypertension, dyslipidemia, arthritis and gastroesophageal reflux. With this in mind, it makes sense for Venezuela to top the world pessimism index, as revealed by a Global Attitudes Survey study.

Photo: Hannah Dreier


The regional government of Roraima, a Brazilian state bordering with Venezuela, declared a state of “social emergency” in an attempt to address the crisis caused by considerable amount of Venezuelan immigrants who have arrived in recent months. They estimate that 30,000 Venezuelans have crossed the border in the last two years, with no means or conditions to provide for themselves, which creates “severe difficulties for the teams responsible for providing them with logistical support.”

In fact, the report on poverty and human rights released by the IACHR also emphasizes the concern for the Venezuelan migration to other Latin American nations and explains the gravity of the poverty levels of many immigrants, who have been forced in some cases to enter other countries illegally as a survival strategy to preserve their life and integrity in better conditions.

Also, representatives of the European Parliament and the U.S. Congress agreed on their deep concerns about “the seriously deteriorating situation regarding democracy, human rights and economic and social instability in Venezuela,” says the joint statement, in which both blocs consider the ANC illegitimate and denounce the illegal persecution and repression carried out by the government, which they called to respect the Constitution.

About elections

Even the head of Ceela a CNE-bound organization that acts as an international observer , Nicanor Moscoso, regretted that new gubernatorial elections will be held in Zulia on Sunday, December 10, because in his view, there “was already a winner,” Juan Pablo Guanipa, removed by the Zulia’s Legislative Council after refusing to take his oath of office before the ANC. All end-of-campaign speeches were shameful. After 19 years in power, speaking as if they were just starting reveals not only cynicism, but huge indifference.

The CNE hasn’t addressed the fraud in Bolívar state. Relevant detail: the CNE won’t take candidacy replacements. All the dropped candidacies and alliances that took place this week will have to be widely disseminated on social media, because the CNE won’t do it.

Yesterday, Australia became the 26th nation to legalize same-sex marriage. I found the speeches in the aftermath of the announcement of this decision frankly moving.

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.