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For Thursday, March 1, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

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Photo: Henri Falcón

It’s likely that one of Henri Falcón’s intentions when he registered to run in the election is to earn the notoriety he lacks, and in order to fulfill that goal, he and his party comrades have started creating controversy about everything.

Freddy Pérez, who says he’s a teacher but can’t even write a tweet without spelling mistakes, accused MUD members yesterday morning of being racists and introduced the concept of “Caraquenian oligarch white supremacy,” which in his imagination, despises Falcón for being a “black man from the province.”

Eduardo Semtei, incapable of saying eight words consecutively—listen to him and prove it— also linked the 48-hour extension that the National Electoral Council gave for presidential candidacies to a possible registration of Acción Democrática and Un Nuevo Tiempo candidates. Henry Ramos Allup demanded that he face his decision “without soiling others,” and also told him to ditch poor-grade hallucinogens.

COPEI chairman Pedro Urrieta clarified that his party didn’t approve of Falcón’s registration, saying that those who did it assumed representation they don’t have and that COPEI will challenge the registration.

Today, Falcón will sign an agreement with Jorge Rodríguez regarding the results of April 22.

When Drácula didn’t have a car

A few days ago, chavista governor Rafael Lacava said in a VTV show that he was a “pran” in high school, saying that he would control his classmates by sheer coercion, as criminal leaders do in Venezuelan prisons; a mark of honor for any civilian authority. The Spanish newspaper El País revealed an investigation proving that Lacava hid funds in Switzerland and Andorra, and that in 2009, he tried to move the fees he allegedly received from a company for “mediation services” in the construction of an oil refinery. Reports don’t show the sums he transferred during these operations, as they were written before Rafael Lacava was mayor of Puerto Cabello. To conceal the money trace, according to the bank, Lacava turned to a home-brewed mercantile structure: he created a company behind his Andorra account (Iberoamerica Assets Corporation) and placed a front man behind it, who revealed the identity of the true owner: the governor of Carabobo.

Let’s talk economy

During January, the price of the Basic Basket, which includes food and essential services, reached Bs. 35,392,706.24, a 40.9% increase (Bs. 10,269,269) equivalent to 41.3 minimum wages. The yearly variation between January 2017 and January 2018 was 4,152.6%, 129 minimum wages. The BCV announced that the third Dicom auction resulted in a exchange rate of Bs. 43,489.65 per euro, a 21.36% increase (Bs. 7,718). This is the bolívar’s third depreciation in three weeks, with this version of Dicom that has shown a Bs. 12,502,156 increase, translated into a 29% depreciation and a variation of over 40% on the value of the exchange rate. Additionally, Reuters reports that PDVSA’s Venezuelan refineries will operate at 43% of their total capacity in March due to lack of spare parts, light crude and raw materials. But don’t worry, starting today, March 1 (and until March 31 at midnight), the National Tax Service (Seniat) will start the campaigns to declare and pay Income Taxes (ISLR).

Dismantling

Imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab said that a network trafficking drugs from Caracas to Europe and the Middle East was dismantled. Ozer Murat and Mohammad Nasser Fares were arrested in France and the Prosecutor’s Office is requesting that they be extradited to Venezuela. According to Saab, Murat is already under investigation but since he must accuse Ortega Díaz’ administration of any evil, there was no arrest warrant against this drug trafficker. He spoke of 14 people arrested in Venezuela and four arrested abroad, including Yorlenny Santiago and Juan Pablo Díaz, detained in Maiquetía on January 18 with almost 33 kilos of cocaine in their carry-on —a brazen decision— and Saab had the gall to claim that they managed to bring the drug due to complicity with an airport official. Brilliant!

Luisa’s short memory

The National Assembly’s Interior Policy Committee met vie Skype with exiled prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz, who announced that she’ll request the Netherlands Parliament to expel the Venezuelan ambassador (Haifa El Aissami) from the International Criminal Court because “she has become a disturbing element for any investigation.”

The prosecutor condemned the government’s call for early parliamentary elections and said that they seek to scrap the National Assembly just like they did with her. “Nobody should be prosecuted for their convictions; there mustn’t be thought prisoners,” said Ortega, but she was the one who created that sentence.

Aside from this, lawmaker Delsa Solórzano said that the Interior Policy Committee is investigating the video showing Valentín Santana alongside Erika Farías, Ernesto Villegas and Fabio Zavarse, because Santana has three arrest warrants against him and he’s still at large despite meeting with State officials.

Abroad

  • Mario Vargas Llosa thinks that April 22 elections in Venezuela could only be a fraud, that they’ll be a farce and that there are no precedents in Latin America of a country that has been impoverished as fast as Venezuela. The writer said that Venezuela’s case must serve as cautionary tale for Mexican voters, to prevent that nation from falling back to populism and demagoguery. In his defense, López Obrador simply claimed that Vargas Llosa “is a good writer, but a bad politician.”
  • Former Colombian president César Gaviria said that he deeply regrets that Venezuela “had lost its democratic way,” and urged Nicolás Maduro to get accustomed to being called a dictator.
  • The United States criticised that countries with questionable human rights records are members of the UN Human Rights Council, citing Venezuela and Burundi. Mary Catherine Phee thinks that the Council’s work is undermined because the Council’s member countries should have the highest human rights standards; and that “people known to be human rights abusers” shouldn’t speak before the Council.
  • Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador in the UN, said that she agreed to keep working with Guatemala in favor of the human rights of Venezuelans so that they “can take back their government democratically.”
  • After hopping for joy for his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Jorge Arreaza claimed in the Disarmament Council that “the international judicial regulations to prevent threats against peace are being violated by the tag team of warmonger countries that seek to crush countries that don’t bow to their will.” As if Russia was producing candy instead of nuclear weapons. Call him “el coherente” when you see him.
  • Haiti removed its ambassador at the UN after the special representative of Secretary General António Guterres said that he gladly accepts a corruption investigation on the way that $2 billion in oil loans from Venezuela were spent. My love to Rafael Ramírez and Petrocaribe.
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12 COMMENTS

  1. Blah, blah, blah

    This country will meet with this other country to discuss the Venezuelan situation,

    This leader will meet with this leader to discuss the Venezuelan situation,

    International organizations will hold a round table to discuss the Venezuelan situation,

    The NCAA March Madness summit will gather its member school to discuss the Venezuelan situation,

    None of this talk will solve anything. This is not diplomacy, this is a waste of time…

    • The regime has already responded to the article. If only the regime were as fast in correcting its dysfunctional economic policies.Twiter feed: daniel duqnenal.

      5 minutes ago. Now we will see how serious the opposition is, just as @leopoldolopez may be sent to military gaol again.

      BREAKING (1 h) The secret police is not only inside the home of @leopoldolopez but it is arresting journalists trying to cover the scene. The Lopez article did hurt the regime in the right place!..

      Importante notar que ya con la publicación de este articulo en el @nytimesES ya la dictadura se está moviendo en contra de los restos de @VoluntadPopular , y seguramente contra @leopoldolopez mismo. ¡Saludemos la valentía de esa gente VP!

      Does the regime pay attention to foreign news media? The above show it does.

      • Good read Dale! Thanks for the linky. Anyone note this near the very end??

        “López was also flexible in his thinking about transition. Through most of our conversations, he strongly opposed the idea of military action, but when we spoke late the other night, he said he was beginning to think differently. An unwelcome mechanism can bring welcome change.

        “In 1958, there was a military coup that began the transition to democracy,” he said. “And in other Latin American countries, there have been coups that called elections. So I don’t want to rule anything out, because the electoral window has been closed. We need to go forward on many different levels. One is street demonstrations; a second is coordination with the international community. But this is how I’m thinking now: We need to increase all forms of pressure. Anything, anything that needs to happen to produce a free and fair election.””

        Dayum, that first paragraph.

  2. Imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab said that a network trafficking drugs from Caracas to Europe and the Middle East was dismantled. Ozer Murat and Mohammad Nasser Fares were arrested in France and the Prosecutor’s Office is requesting that they be extradited to Venezuela.

    What are the odds if they were extradited to Venezuela, that they would be freed with all charges dropped?

  3. “Freddy Pérez, who says he’s a teacher but can’t even write a tweet without spelling mistakes, accused MUD members yesterday morning of racists and introduced the concept of “Caraquenian oligarch white supremacy,” which in his imagination, despises Falcón for being a “black man from the province.””

    Ohhhh… taking a page from the United States own Democratic Party playbook! Classic move! Meaningless, but sure to whip up the press.

    Henri, if you want to be infamous, be found in bed with a dead woman or a live boy (quote Edwin Edwards, D-LA). Nothing gets you face time in the press like that sort of thing….

  4. Is this a comedy…..or is it a comedy…
    The Regime kidnapps the Mud and gives Falcón the go….
    It’s laughable….if not outright hilarious….
    Every door…every key……..even better is this Evangelical Chavista …talk about a piece.
    They are legitimizing the election without a fight from the opposition….
    All this condemnation…Rhetoric….bla bla bla..
    Venezuela is fucked untill the shooting starts
    The whole process is a game that you cannot win….
    I was in the DR yesterday…..I was near the Laser airlines gate…..alot of very Gordo men in PSUV shirts enjoying the freedom and excess of Santo Domingo……
    No shortages for them

    • “alot of very Gordo men in PSUV shirts enjoying the freedom and excess of Santo Domingo……”

      Turns my stomach that those phat phucks know damn good and well that they’re destroying their country but it doesn’t matter to them one bit as long as they’re first in line at the gravy train.

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