Impossible Imposition

For Friday, June 29, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: AVN

Amidst hyperinflation and even though the government hasn’t taken any measures to alleviate the phenomenon, Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez opened the Strategic Table for Public Services, Productivity and Housing to advance the “Plan 50”, a policy that’s already failed, to regulate the prices of 50 goods and services. The government calls this impossible imposition a “development of agreements to regulate prices.” Rodríguez claimed that they want to preserve (already destroyed) public services and urged presidential offices to create a policy for the common good to guarantee “Venezuelan power.” Producers and business owners warn that regulating prices is unviable in an economy wracked by hyperinflation, and they fear that products will vanish in case these regulations are implemented without taking into account the costs for resupplying inventories nor production revenues. Strangely, this happened while Food Minister Luis Medina announced that a plan was created for supply every four months, meant to “guarantee the supply of basic basket products,” because according to his monitoring of inventories, there’s a 16% supply of the most relevant items in the basket. And the brilliant Minister added: “This means that there’s a considerable lack of supply.”

Normalizing the collapse

We’re going to normalize the economy, on our terms, our way, but we’re going to make it. Let the capitalists know,” said Nicolás yesterday, proving why he’s been failing so disastrously thus far in economic terms, dragging the whole nation down in the process. In order to “normalize the economy,” he said he’s willing to do anything, that he won’t be announcing but acting, so he expects to have people’s support for the actions he’ll implement. He was cheered during the session with Urban Land Committees, and he parroted the litany about a new stage for Communal Councils and Communes, for the “reactivation” of all forms of chavista organization, of course. The approval of financing for new urban projects was tiresomely repeated, just like Erika Farías’s appointment as the person responsible for construction projects in Caracas, while he expects to reach three million housing units by 2019 (he didn’t explain where he’ll import materials from, but he did say he’ll pay with petros) and promised to go to the ANC to present the Bill for the Plan de la Patria 2019-2015.

From exile

The Supreme Tribunal of Justice in exile ordered the President’s Office yesterday to provide “within an imperative period” all the services established by the country’s laws in the General Consulate of Miami. The Political Administrative Chamber accepted an action filed by a group of Venezuelans residing in Miami aimed at the “full operation” of the Venezuelan General Consulate, whose services are deficient. The consulate was shut down in 2012 by order of el finado and was reopen this year by Nicolás’s decision for May 20 elections. According to the TSJ in exile, the order’s meant to benefit the diaspora in the U.S. who has been stigmatized by the government, to protect “the rights of children and teenagers” and those of “considerable number of retirees and pensioners.” Luisa Ortega Díaz gave the justices of the TSJ in exile 18 pieces of main files and 46 annexes linking Nicolás with Odebrecht, accusing him of corruption and money laundering. “I won’t stop, I’ll keep doing this,” said Ortega Díaz, calling Nicolás a “thief who has taken over the money of Venezuelans.” She requested the TSJ in exile to preserve the accusation and the evidence and to schedule a hearing for trial.

We, migrants

The Chilean government granted 3,000 vistas to illegal foreigners thanks to the immigration reform approved by president Sebastián Piñera as a response to a wave of immigrants from Venezuela, Peru and Haiti, “so they can fully integrate in our society,” said Piñera. The authorities expect that some 200,000 foreigners will sign up for the regulation program that ends on July 22. Meanwhile, the European Parliament mission that’s visiting Colombia expressed concern for the Venezuelan exodus because they believe that the crisis will be long “as long as their country’s political situation isn’t fixed,” said Agustín Díaz de Mera, who announced the implementation of a resolution that will be presented to all political groups in the European Parliament with the goal of making this humanitarian crisis more visible. Diego Beltrand, regional director of the International Organization for Migration, remarked the efforts made by the region’s countries to help Venezuelan immigrants and prevent the situation from intensifying. Beltrand said that our immigration has reached two million citizens in the last three years, so he urged the countries that our hosting us “to work on [our] regularization.” His call was mirrored by UNHCR representative Juliana Bello, while Eduardo Sevilla, Peru’s National Superintendent of Migration, revealed that there are over 353,000 Venezuelans in his country and only 53,000 have a Temporary Stay Permit. All of them emphasized the need for a regional response to immigration.

Abroad

  • Journalist Jessica Carrillo reported that the third accused in the case of the presidential couple’s narcosobrinos, Honduran Roberto Soto García, hasn’t pleaded guilty and although a cooperation arrangement (Plea Bargain) is still a possibility, it hasn’t happened. It’s apparently unlikely that Soto García’s testimony will change the case because the narcosobrinos have a sentence in appeal process.

  • U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence called for Latin American countries to take actions to isolate the Venezuelan government. Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno, with whom Pence had been meeting, spoke as if chavismo didn’t have 19 years in power and said: “We believe that the solution in Venezuela can only be achieved by Venezuelans.”
  • Colombian President Elect Iván Duque met with U.S. senator Marco Rubio to talk about how to help solve the crisis and restore democracy in Venezuela.
  • By the way, the meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin is scheduled for July 16 in Helsinki, Finland.

After 45 years of uninterrupted work, Diario El Siglo (Aragua state) will start circulating four days a week due to lack of newsprint, controlled by the Alfredo Maneiro Editorial Corporation.

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