At 4:45 a.m. this Friday, a magnitude 4.7 tremor shook Caracas, Carabobo, Miranda and Vargas. According to data from the Venezuelan Foundation of Seismological Research (Funvisis), the epicenter was located 20 kilometers to the northeast of Morón, Carabobo state. Shortly after, Funvisis reported a second 3.0 tremor. There was no material damage nor human losses. Completely omitting this event, Nicolás used a campaign event to order the takeover of the Hydrological Company of Mérida due to the constant water rationing and the increase in the service’s price, blaming governor Ramón Guevara for the layoffs at the Hydrological Company and for the “sabotage to the supply” of water. The company “Aguas de Mérida,” charged with supplying that state, rejected Nicolás’ statement and the expropriation order with a communiqué touching all the necessary details: water shortages are being reported all over the country due to poor policies to maintain the service. Later, a main pipeline ruptured in the La Toma sector of El Hatillo municipality, causing a landslide in the community that destroyed three houses and left another five at severe risk. The pipeline’s collapse is a tragedy revealing another: the existence of housing on top of pipelines, just because the State allowed it. Clinging to the official script, the ministries of Electric Energy, Ecosocialism and Water denounced sabotages to explain water rationings, asking the people to keep a high morale. Chavismo evades the magnitude of the water problem and the direct ties between their policies and the collapse of a service managed by loyalists instead of specialists; loyalists who enjoy impunity for their mistakes, so nothing ever improves.
The protests called by the Broad Front for a Free Venezuela this Friday fulfilled their humble aims considering how hastily they were proposed and the lack of available information about their structure and purpose. Let’s keep in mind that the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict has a pretty detailed record of our demonstrations and that’s why they establish that there’s been a 93% increase in protests across the country, and that most of them demand social rights. Yesterday’s protests had the same pattern: demands for food, health, better salaries, medicines and supplies, essentially. Several Broad Front spokespeople insisted that they don’t seek to call for massive protests, but instead brief, focalized demonstrations, “connected” with each sector’s agenda. These protests may reduce the level of exposure to regime repression, but are they effective beyond social networks?
Nuestro jefe de campaña de Sucre Ángel Arias se encuentra estable y en recuperación para seguir trabajando duro por su estado. El 20 de mayo Venezuela tendrá un nuevo presidente y él lo podrá ver. Seguimos adelante con nuestra Ruta de la Esperanza por todo el territorio nacional!
— JAVIER BERTUCCI (@JAVIERBERTUCCI) April 27, 2018
Early in the morning, a regional campaign chief for candidate Javier Bertucci was shot, apparently by a criminal who wanted to steal his cellphone. He’s currently out of danger. Minister Vladimir Padrino López asked the Armed Forces to remain “united” and urged their members to exercise the right to vote, adding that soldiers are called to “wield the sword to preserve Venezuelan independence and sovereignty” right before explaining the two opposing models for May 20: the one he supports and another he deemed unpatriotic and treasonous. Meanwhile, Nicolás said that people will choose between him and Henri “Faltrump”, blithely admitting in El Vigía a crime established in the Law against corruption, that he uses State resources to his favor: “… for the mobilization of inauguration of public works, because we combined a didactic but constructive electoral campaign.”
VIDEO: Maduro admite que se aprovecha de la entrega de obras públicas para hacer campaña y favorecer su candidatura. pic.twitter.com/F1tEFFtI33
— Gabriel Bastidas (@Gbastidas) April 27, 2018
He said that the crowd waiting for him in Falcón state was the biggest ever seen by Falcón’s people in their entire political history. He claimed that he’ll build 100,000 new housing units and restated that the sale of gasoline for international services supplied by Venezuela will be charged and paid in petros.
- Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said that Nicolás is writing a new Constitution which “would turn Venezuela officially into a dictatorship.” Among other things, it would include abolishing universal suffrage and establishing a system of corporate elections.
- Bogota mayor Enrique Peñaloso, said he’ll propose the next President of Colombia to give automatic nationality to Venezuelans fleeing from the humanitarian crisis, so they can regularize their situation, access dignified jobs and develop.
- Brazilian president Michel Temer and his Chilean counterpart Sebastián Piñera restated yesterday the need for a democratic solution and for “truly free and democratic” elections in our country.
- Lawmaker Williams Dávila said that the Parliament of Mercosur declared an electoral emergency in Venezuela. The text says that they’ll activate the “necessary mechanisms to make formal decisions to guarantee credible elections.”
- Yesterday, while the Dominican Republic’s General Directorate of Immigration is carrying out mass raids to arrest illegal Venezuelans and Haitians, the UN published a survey made by the International Organization for Migration that allowed the characterization of Venezuelans who have entered Brazil in recent months, which they hope will help structure better public policies to assist them.
- Fedeagro chairman Aquiles Hopkins said that Brazilian authorities are willing to cooperate so that Venezuelan recovers its production. During a coming visit to Brazil, their agenda already has an invitation from the Foreign Ministry and another from the Agriculture Ministry.
- Copa Airlines will resume operations on May 1, with flights to Caracas and Valencia.
- Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal revoked the preventive imprisonment of former president Ollanta Humala and his wife, and ordered their release to they’re free to face the proceedings for the Odebrecht case.
- The grace period that China granted Venezuela to pay for the capital of their debt expired. Caracas is trying to renew it to prevent oil revenues from plummeting further, since China may discount the equivalent value in dollars of oil shipments to cover the debt service -capital and interests-; meaning that Venezuela wouldn’t receive $7 billion per year, which would dramatically intensify hunger, shortages and of course, hyperinflation.
- South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un signed the “Declaration of Panmunjom for peace, prosperity and the unification of the Korean peninsula.” We’ll see what it brings.
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