Yesterday, a video went viral on social media a street plantain vendor being assaulted by a mob. Later, all the attention was displaced by a video uploaded by lawmaker Carlos Paparoni showing a group of people stoning a cow to death in Palmarito, Mérida. Lootings haven’t stopped in Ciudad Bolívar. In Cojedes, 21 people were arrested for attempting to loot a truck transporting live chicken. A truck loaded with bologna, rice and pasta was looted early in the morning in Casupal (Monagas). And just like over 200 people looted a food storage warehouse in Puente Ayala (El Tigre, Anzoátegui) on Tuesday, another group looted several boxes of Natulac juice from a transport they assaulted believing it carried chicken. In several states, shop owners are trying to pull the merchandise out of their stores to protect it, others have decided not to open again.

The campaign to inspect fuel sale chips in Táchira was marked by disorder and confusion.

Additionally, 23-year-old Kevin Morales died of malaria in Bolívar, becoming the third victim of this disease in 2018.

These are the regions that Nicolás doesn’t talk about, in his version of the country anarchy is a myth.

What did Nicolás say?

Since he’s already campaigning, yesterday he came up with the creation of Caracas’ Chief Command to extol his population repackaged in what he calls social policies, claiming that this shenanigans will be “a great invigorating engine for the transformations that Caracas is wishing for.” He also said that all the conditions have been set in 2018 “to build the best government ever made.” That’s why he said that the carnet de la patria is a miracle and claimed that Primero Justicia is behind recent protests, saying that former governor Capriles Radonski is corrupt, and accusing the Guanipa brothers and lawmaker José Guerra of financing the recruitment of “rioters to cause violence.” He urged the people to support peace efforts, that peace we can all feel in the country. Nicolás hopes for a pre-agreement to come out of the dialogue.

Populism by millions

In his Thursday for regions exclusively dedicated to Caracas, Nicolás approved Bs. 28,5 billion for the plan of agro-urban expansion; Bs. 50 billion to improve the infrastructure of municipal markets; Bs. 150 billion to progressively dismantle the garbage transference plant in Las Mayas; Bs. 6.4 billion to repair garbage compactors and put them back in service; Bs. 42 billion to promote the productive activity of the Hogares de la Patria program and Bs. 4.9 trillion to activate the regional fund to strengthen the Clap and sovereign country faires.

Showing the clarity of his priorities, Nicolás also approved Bs. 27 billion for a recreational program for caraqueños during Carnavales and Holy Week and Bs. 13 billion to boost sports.

Sadly, he forgot that 10 cases of measles have already been reported in Caracas.

Forced revalidation

National Electoral Council said that the political party revalidation process ordered by the ANC will take place over the weekend between January 27 and 28. Funny that the same rectoras who have stalled for years to offer a solution regarding the situation of the lawmakers elected in Amazonas in 2015 and most recently, Andrés Velásquez’s challenge against the elections due to vote tampering in Bolívar state, are now proving their efficiency in applying the ANC’s punitive action against parties that refused to participate in the latest elections; the opposition’s new demand in the agenda of negotiations in the Dominican Republic.

And in the Dominican Republic

The government delegation arrived almost 12 hours late to the Dominican Foreign Ministry office to start the technical meeting with Rodríguez Zapatero and minister Miguel Vargas. The hour for starting was changed throughout the day for this circumstance, and MUD’s counselling team sent some tweets trying to cover the hours they had to wait, any sort of optimism vanishing from their reflection. Before travelling, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz tweeted:

“On my way to the Dominican Republic for the “negotiation” (…) If there are no concrete and credible results now, there there will be no reason to keep going.”

Despite asking the mediators for seriousness and synderesis, Delcy Rodríguez claimed that Muñoz “sadly chooses the back door and serves American interests” while he replied:

“Nobody is forced to do something impossible. Venezuelans may define their future, but you invited us as mediators and we won’t be a part of something that won’t mean a credible solution to the Venezuelan crisis.”

Ouch, Delcy!

Human rights

Amnesty International issued a statement saying that lawmaker Gilber Caro has been in prison for a year amidst constant abuses against his human rights. Arbitrarily detained in 2017 disrespecting his parliamentary immunity, almost five months went by before the lawmaker was presented before a court, subjected to isolation and with little food. The military court in charge of the cause established Tocuyito prison as his detention center and his preliminary hearing, vital for the start of a trial, has been suspended nine times.

NGO Foro Penal said in their balance yesterday that 2017 was the year with more political detentions in the country’s history: 5,511 arrests, most of them taking place between April and August. They supported the statements offered by Cindy Portillo, who denounced her husband’s forced disappearance since January 4. Cindy’s husband, Jameson Jiménez, was a childhood friend of former CICPC inspector Oscar Pérez.

Abroad

President Juan Manuel Santos warned Nicolás yesterday about seeking to use Colombia to cover up the failure of his collapsed revolution, urging him to allow the opening of a humanitarian channel; meanwhile, the Colombian Foreign Ministry announced that they will request UN advise on how to deal with Venezuelan homelessness in their country. 

The Lima Group will meet on January 22 in Santiago de Chile to study the progress (decline, actually) of Venezuela’s situation.

The Panamanian oil ship Proteo was supposed to sail yesterday from Curazao with a load of Venezuelan crude, but it was retained by local authorities due to the debts payments demanded by several shipping companies.

The black market dollar rose by more than Bs. 25,000 in three days:

The euro already broke the Bs. 200,000 mark.

Inflation is supposed to slow down these weeks, and yet…

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