The dollar won’t obey

Your daily briefing for Saturday, January 20th, 2018.

This Friday, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López, in his role as chief of the Mision Sovereign Supply, supported the most recent measure to bankrupt the companies that still produce something in Venezuela: forcing them to sell at a loss, as if economy worked with the military principle of commanding and obeying, as if he had access to some sci-fi gimmick to prevent the bolívar’s depreciation while the BCV continues to print bills. He blamed the delays in CLAP bag distribution on “economic sabotage”; but don’t worry, he announced that over 1,500 containers will arrive this Saturday, January 20, because they’ve worked hard so that the ships would come. So cute. He urged Sundde chief William Contreras to get shops to revert back to the prices they had on December 15, 2017, which “were already inflated,” according to him. Cavidea expressed concern for the effects of this measure that will intensify the scarcity problem and make food production unviable. Meanwhile, he black market dollar increased to Bs. 211,337.55.

Nor will crime

The annual report issued by the foundation InSight Crime revealed that Venezuela is the counter with the highest murder rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, surpassing El Salvador, Jamaica and Honduras by a long shot. The analysis is based in the total of recorded homicides and in the total population estimated for 2017. Let’s remember that the government hasn’t released homicide statistics for over a decade while institutions such as the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV) offers non-official statistics. In its most recent report, OVV estimates a total of 26,616 murders in Venezuela, including 5,535 carried out by security forces. Back in November 2017, the international political risk rating agency Eurasia group released of the most dangerous cities in the world (also calculated using their own murder rate) and not only was Caracas the first, but they also included Maturín, Ciudad Guayana and Valencia among the first ten.

And much less the IVSS

Once again, the people of the Coalition of Organizations for the Right to Health and Life (Codevida) denounced the shortage of the nine expensive medicines with which they prevent patients from losing transplanted organs. Far from a resolution, the crisis has intensified over four months, leaving five people dead, 20 who already lost their organ ad 30 kidney patients who are starting to reject their kidney. Codevida head Francisco Valencia monitors medicine requests in several states in the country. Each testimony is more painful that he last, people who lead a normal life after years of dialysis and other procedures, see their chances dwindle because the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security won’t provide the immunosuppressant they need. The price of some medicines is above three million bolívares.

The diaspora’s dimension

Over four million people (4,092,717) have left Venezuela, according to a study carried out by Consultores 21 between November 17 and December 4, 2017. 29% of Venezuelan families have at least one relative living abroad. The survey shows 40% of the population wants to move to another country, with young people between 18 and 24 years old taking the biggest slice (51%), followed by people between 25 and 44 years old (39%) and over 45 years old (30%). The main reasons to leave the country are the economic situation (70%), the political situation (22%) and job and study opportunities (8%). 56% would rather live in South America, 15% in North American and 9% in Central America and the Caribbean, compared to 6% who would rather live in Europe; and the five countries with the greatest potential to do so are: Colombia, Chile, the United States, Peru and Ecuador. Concerning the perception of relatives about the potential return of those living abroad, 15% believe they will return; 50% believe they will “if things change” and 29% believe they won’t return at all.

He’s still campaigning

“You’re at home, using the QR code and that information is reaching my computer, I’m monitoring this,” said Nicolás, in his absurd version of Big Mustache, the guy who knows everything through the carnet de la patria. He spoke of the 209,455 pregnant women registered in the Humanized Childbirth plan, only to announce that 108,900 of them would receive their Bs. 700,000 bonus yesterday. Nicolás claimed that he doesn’t care about “the words of liars, of traitors, of those who dress in robes to call for war, what I care about is loving he people,” the people with carnet, because otherwise there’s no way to prove their love for him. He increased payment for the 200,000 members of the Movimiento Somos Venezuela to Bs. 320,000 ad announced that this weekend, they’ll be going door to door to identify people with disabilities so that they can benefit from the José Gregorio Hernández Bonus, right before recommending people to heal certain diseases with “ancestral” medicine; so you know, time to find aloe vera, carmelita water, lemon and lots of herbs.

They still don’t hand them over

Even though the Ombudsman or the imposed Prosecutor General have failed to mediate in the irregular circumstance that has prevented the families of the victims of the Massacre at El Junquito from recovering their bodies to bury them, the lawmakers of the National Assembly committee investigating the case reported the abuses that the victims’ families and friends have had to endure, including intimidation, threats, illegal searches, enforced disappearances, arrests and tortures against detainees. Additionally, two women are being tried in a military court for “instigating hate.” Journalists who have stood guard at the Bello Monte morgue reported the content of the death certificates. In the cases of Óscar Pérez and Díaz Pimentel, the cause of death was “head trauma caused by gunshot wound”; the certificates of Abraham Agostini and Lisbeth Andreína Ramírez say they died due to “subdural hemorrhage fractured skull gunshot wound single projectile” and Daniel Soto died of “bullet wound in the third cervical vertebra.” The special committee reported that they’ll pay for the funeral and transport expenses of the seven members of Óscar Pérez’s team. Their bodies are still in the morgue.

A little mercy would make a huge difference. –They’ve been pleading for their rights for four days–.

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.