Photo: Últimas Noticias
The Bureau of Institutions of the Banking Sector (Sudeban) announced yesterday the implementation of provisional measures for banks, including recapitalization, increasing limits, the periodic review of credit card limits, as well as the limits for money transfers and point of sale operations. “Banking is unviable in hyperinflation,” said the head of Venezuelan Banking Association, Arístides Maza, explaining that there are no banks with low risk rates, that the Venezuelan banking system is experiencing enormous risk and the cause of everything lies in inflation. Maza demanded that recapitalization doesn’t become the key of this issue. Additionally, Sudeban said that the government will issue new bonds and that they’ll take measures regarding the remittances in the country, based on findings of Sudeban’s Financial Intelligence Unit and the study that proves the existence of virtual exchanges offices that perform remittance operations through private banks.
In the Finance Committee
Lawmaker Rafael Guzmán doesn’t think that Venezuelans living abroad will choose to send their remittances through a new Dicom, because there are no incentives due to exchange controls, emphasizing that even if all remittances were to be processed through Dicom, they couldn’t cover the demand since the country needs some $15 billion for exports. Lawmaker José Guerra said that Nicolás’ State of Exception and Economic Emergency decrees have done nothing but ruining the economy, unleashing hyperinflation and the bolívar’s depreciation (it lost 19,000% of its value in two years) restating the need to lift exchange controls, cleanse PDVSA and stop the BCV’s constant printing of cash without support. By the way, the black market dollar rose again and is now at 191,202.53 bolivars per dollar.
Sell at a loss
To make the already complex economic map even worse, Vice-President Tareck El Aissami claimed that product prices “increased brutally” between December 15 and January 3, in what he deems “a war strategy.” He cautioned that “the full weight of the law will be applied to companies that don’t return to December prices starting today.” The fact that the vice-president says there’s no justification to raise prices and that companies get enough dollars to cover production supplies is as fallacious as betting on the new Dicom to increase dollar availability and even more, boost national production. He mentioned hunger and lootings as mere points of view in public opinion, not as events recorded by his office. Fedecámaras condemned the government’s persecution after prices rose: “Markets must be urgently restocked (…) and it can only be done through serious, responsible and well-structured economic policies,” he said, adding that the government’s latest decisions don’t tackle the sources of the problem.
Investigating the operation
Lawmaker Delsa Solórzano, head of the Internal Policy Committee, condemned the actions of security bodies and the institutional opacity regarding the operation to capture former CICPC inspector Óscar Pérez and his team, calling it a flagrant violation of the Constitution and all the Venezuelan laws that protect life: “A group of citizens who wanted to turn themselves in and were massacred in spite of their surrender.” She demanded that the government answer for this possible extrajudicial execution. The National Assembly approved the creation of a special committee to investigate the death of Pérez and of several of his teammates.
After the massacre, the insult
Minister Néstor Reverol confirmed Óscar Pérez’s death during a statement in which he used the term “terrorists” 21 times, mentioning that other five members of Pérez’s team were killed along with a woman whose identity hasn’t been revealed. Reverol claimed that thanks to an interview Pérez held with CNN and to the information “contributed” by political leaders at the dialogue table, they managed to find the place where he was hiding. He said that despite all attempts to reach a peaceful, negotiated surrender, the group started firing. He praised the behaviour of the officers who took part in the operation, claiming that their actions complied with the criteria established for “situations that infringe upon the differentiated and progressive use of potentially lethal force.” Funny that he didn’t mention Heiker Velásquez or the bomb car that Nicolás said the rebels were preparing. Sadly, he didn’t explain why the government hasn’t allowed the relatives to identify the victims’ bodies and why so many journalists denounce that they want to cremate them and hand over the ashes. Neither the Ombudsman nor the imposed Prosecutor General have issued statements about this case.
- Mgr. Mario Moronta repudiated that Nicolás asked for an investigation on the speeches of Antonio López Castillo and Víctor Hugo Basabe: “They said everything we’ve been saying, everything we’ve said for quite some time. An investigation is unnecessary, because they’ll try to investigate something they haven’t discovered yet,” adding that there haven’t been any instigation of hatred or violence and that they can review that in the CEV’s documents which are open to the public.
- MUD issued a statement regarding minister Reverol’s remarks. It reads: “Reverol is the same man who said that Juan Pablo Pernalete had been the victim of a bolt gun and not murdered by a GNB tear-gas canister (…) what everyone wants to know is: why were armed civilians, the so-called colectivos, leading a public order operation?”, saying that MUD is steadfast in its strategy to confront and overcome the regime through constitutional, peaceful, democratic and electoral fight.
- Luisa Ortega Díaz said that the operation against Óscar Pérez and his team was an extrajudicial execution: “the order was murder,” she said, and wanted to know how much more evidence do the UN and the International Criminal Court need to prove that this is “a genocidal and human rights violating” government. As if she hadn’t contributed to these variables herself.
- Nicolás appointed Mayor General Richard López Vargas as general commander of the GN and ordered minister Padrino López to take over the carnet de la patria system. In his speech, outgoing commander Sergio Rivero Marcano had even more nerve than Luisa in her video.
- Oh! Yesterday, Palestine Foreign Minister Al Malki started his visit, which he opened by saying “the challenge in Venezuela and Palestine is the same, we have a common enemy and must fight together.” Inspiring.
Journalist and writer Milagros Socorro will receive the Oxfam Nov Award; the words they used to describe her contribution in defense of free speech are beautiful.
It’s also nice to know that Mexico’s Metropolitan Autonomous University will create the subject Electrochemistry and Materials and name it after former Simón Bolívar University rector Benjamin Scharifker, head of the Venezuelan Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences.