A Disguised Depreciation

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Prensa Presidencial

Even though Consecomercio chairwoman María Carolina Uzcátegui said that the shortages problem in the country has intensified, with 80% of shelves empty due to the shortage of essential products and lootings, Nicolás announced a new “protection” bonus, the Bs. 700,000 bonus will allegedly reach 8 million people, but he’ll also grant another million “Niño Jesús” bonuses (Bs. 500,000) to reach 9 million beneficiaries.

It was inspiring to hear him say that he’ll cover the pregnancy expenses of Venezuelan women, as if he wasn’t using public funds; in any case, he announced that a total of 77,370 women will get their bonuses and that the carnet de la patria recorded a total of 315,431 pregnant women. He also approved 300,000 new pensions for the elderly and announced that Petro’s presale will start on February 20, and that Petro’s white paper is already created.

La pollera colorá

Nicolás accused Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos of being envious of him and of being obsessed with Venezuela, as well as of carrying out actions of financial sabotage against the country: “One of the most horrifying things that Juan Manuel Santos’ government has done has been stopping the shipments of dialysis medicines that were coming to the country,” specifying that on January 18 in the Nariño palace, there was a meeting between Julio Borges and Santos, where Santos unveiled a list of actions “to hurt us with financial actions; to block the CLAP, medicines, to deal financial damage to the country,” adding the likelihood that Colombia’s creating fake news about the border “to cause an armed conflict.” The cherry on top of these accusations was his explanation of president Santos’ envy: he can’t dance, so Nicolás pointed out: “I do know how to dance, I dance La pollera colorá quite well.”


The J.M. de los Ríos Children’s Hospital’s Hematology service has been out of an operating room for three weeks, so patients and parents protested yesterday in the Vollmer Av. in San Bernardino, demanding a solution.

Without an operating room, doctors can’t diagnose leukemia or monitor chemotherapy treatments, such as lumbar puncture, bone marrow biopsy or marrow aspiration. These patients and parents also denounced that chemotherapy treatments are incomplete, they lack serological reagents and there’s a 70% shortage of medicines.

Also, families and patients of the Western Dialysis Center in Maracaibo protested with this slogan: “This government sentences kidney patients to death,” because they lack the necessary equipment to attend patients in the state. Between December 2017 and now, 25 Zulian kidney patients have died for lack of supplies.

80% of bus drivers complied with the transport strike in Caracas, according to José Luis Montoya, head of the Central Union of Bus and Taxi Drivers.

On Óscar Pérez and his comrades

The National Assembly approved a 60-day extension for the Special Committee that’s investigating the case of Óscar Pérez and his comrades. During her speech, lawmaker Delsa Solórzano, head of the Internal Policy Committee, showed a series of videos that sum up the massacre at El Junquito, including one preserving the testimony of the negotiation between Pérez and the authorities. Solórzano explained that the case was already submitted to international institutions and that they sent the file to the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights. “They murdered them, and we have no death penalty in Venezuela,” said the lawmaker, restating that the Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t open any investigation on this serious human rights violation. She also explained that the evidence was destroyed, that six people had been arrested before the massacre, but that later the number of detentions rose colossally and emphasized the importance of protecting the bodies.

Parliament also approved the creation of a humanitarian corridor in the Venezuela-Colombia border, so that international bodies can provide aid to the growing amount of Venezuelans who use this crossing to leave the country.

Tania, the diligent

CNE rectora Tania D’Amelio tweeted the results of the signature collection drive for parties Acción Democrática (AD) and Primero Justicia (PJ), for the revalidation process imposed by the ANC.

Strangely, she focused more on the information regarding the voter challenge process, and on CNE’s verification of the member lists for revalidating parties, explaining how to challenge the results on the CNE’s webpage.

She said nothing about the second collection drive for this weekend.

The Venezuelan Electoral Observatory studied the results published by the rectora, which remove 137 voters for AD and 93 for PJ “because they’re out of the Electoral Registry or registered in a different state than the one in which they signed.” They also say that AD reached the required 0.5% signatures in 17 states and that PJ only reached it in two states, and that the gap between the figures announced and those shown, could be due to CNE’s voter filtering.

Hate, a counterintelligence matter

The National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) said that the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) summoned the editor and the director of newspaper Región, after a complaint sent by colectivo Círculo de Lucha Popular for the release of an analysis about the events of the Caracazo, made on January 11.

Daniel Trujillo, the outlet’s editor, and director Yndira Lugo were summoned to offer statements in DGCIM headquarters in Cumaná, due to alleged crimes enshrined in the “law” against hate.

I wasn’t aware that DGCIM had any say on this matter.

The SNTP also denounced rising (self) censorship in El Universal, where Social Media editor Mariangélica Ramírez Saldivia ordered the exclusion of contents from social media’s Politics section, without prior approval from the bosses.

The measure stirred dissatisfaction and a group of employees resigned in protest.


  • While Lula da Silva asked a court in Brasilia to stop his arrest while he appeals his sentence, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he’d cancelled his State visit to Venezuela.
  • UN chief António Guterres announced that due to the lack of progress, he’ll leave the solution of the territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana on the Esequibo region to the International Court of Justice.
  • Spanish president Mariano Rajoy said that he’ll continue to offer his opinion on Venezuela’s situation even if the government doesn’t want him to. His Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said that Spain is willing to put an end to the diplomatic confrontation as soon as possible, although it’ll “take time.”
  • Yesterday afternoon, the chargé d’affaires of the American embassy in Venezuela, Todd Robinson, went to the National Assembly and recognized and ratified it as the legitimate representation of the Venezuelan people.
  • Brazil will study the viability of temporarily blocking the entry of Venezuelans by land through the northern border until a census is carried out to determine how many have crossed to Roraima state, with an estimate of over 40,000 Venezuelans who currently live in bordering Roraima state.
  • “My government has also imposed tough sanctions against the communist and socialist dictatorships of Cuba and Venezuela,” said Trump during his State of the Union Address before the U.S. Congress.

Opposition and government representatives will meet again today at 9:00 a.m. in the Dominican Republic.

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.