Under the Rain

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Contrapunto

In Venezuela, eight of every ten protests are motivated by social rights, according to the Observatory of Social Conflict. There were several protests this Monday for recurring water supply issues and the public transport crisis.

Amidst the rainy season, the Executive once again shows its incapacity to plan and invest in what’s necessary and that’s why several states have seen their services and roads affected by the rains. Each time a government institution talks about rains and tropical waves as if they were extraordinary phenomena, it’s playing an unneeded prank on a collapsed country, worthy of a failed and often absentee State. This applies to the serious circumstances of the natives of Pume Yaruro town in Alto Apuro, who are suffering a health emergency due to lack of anti-malaria medication. But we’re supposed to feel hopeful for the Plan 50’s “progress” and the accomplishments of the Working Roundtables of Agreed Prices (imposed is a more accurate name); while Diosdado Cabello keeps denouncing the fake “economic war without any kind of parameters” and the National Electrical Corporation (CORPOELEC) announces a new power rationing plan for Zulia State, where citizens already suffer the “load administration plan,” another evidence of the Executive’s cruelty and incompetence.



“We want Tibisay Lucena’s paycheck,” was one of the slogans repeated yesterday by nurses who have been on indefinite strike for a week, demanding better salaries, supplies and medicines, and that health centers be sanitized. Nurses haven’t stopped working in emergency rooms. Lawmaker José Manuel Olivares said that the National Assembly will unite and serve as intermediary for the sector’s protest. The Venezuelan Federation of University Professors Associations (Fapuv) called for a new national 24-hour strike set for today, including a march of employees. Fapuv denounced that the University Education Ministry promised salary improvements with a minor federation without informing the others. They also demand an urgent meeting with Minister Hugbel Roa to discuss not only salaries, but university budgets, student dropout rates and the operation of dining halls, transport, libraries and laboratories. Meanwhile, the executive secretary of the Venezuelan Workers Federation, Tito Blanco, said that unions are considering the proposal for an indefinite strike made by Causa Radical leader Andrés Velásquez.

Amazing chavismo

During the promotion event for 16,900 Armed Forces officers, Minister Vladimir Padrino López urged officers to remain steadfast to guarantee the peace of Venezuelans including the demand for loyalty towards the “bolivarian project to save our beloved nation.” According to Rocío San Miguel, head of NGO Control Ciudadano, promoted officers were required to sign a document of loyalty to Nicolás; will it work as an incentive against rebellious plans? Education Minister Elías Jaua asked the chavista leadership to start a democratic transformation within PSUV (hahaha!) and avoid turning into “a political leadership whose sole purpose is to hold onto power through the administrative manipulation of politics,” in other words, what they already are. He was cynical enough to defend the right to protest that this government has systematically violated. But don’t worry, the ANC, showing the clarity of its priorities, will discuss same sex marriage and the decriminalization of abortion, while CLAP will also distribute PDVSA cooking gas cylinders now. Great!

Reducing crime?

Interior Minister Néstor Reverol said that the country’s crime rate dropped by 27% in 2018, that the murder rate fell by 26% and that kidnappings decreased by 54%, attributing this accomplishment to his Ministry’s recently-created “Frente Preventivo,” which allegedly reduces crimes with “awareness, sports and recreation campaigns.” Reverol claimed that there’s “a political violence, we have criminal and psychological violence, but there’s also media violence,” sadly, he didn’t explain how many of them are exercised by the State itself. Countering Reverol’s optimism, with the hashtag #Violencia, journalist Vanessa Moreno denounced that on July 1, eight armed men robbed Cuban doctors living in Ciudad Caribia: “The armed men took $152,000, 30,000 pesos and several cell phones from the Cuban missions base.”

Officers from CICPC and SEBIN are investigating the robbery. Journalist Ronna Rísquez asked necessary questions: “How does a Cuban mission have $152,000 in a country with currency exchange controls? Does that money come from Cuba or Venezuela? Who knew the Cubans had that?”. The most popular theory is that the robbery was carried out by chavista colectivos.

We, migrants

In June, Venezuela immigration in Peru surpassed 353,000 people, according to figures from Peruvian authorities. National Migration Superintendent Eduardo Sevilla said that they’re “working 24 hours since May 30 for a rhythm of 2,200 (daily) appointments for Venezuelan citizens,” while UNHCR Colombia said that 315,000 Venezuelans have crossed over to Colombia and left for Ecuador through the Rumichaca bridge, between January 1 and mid June, 2018. Today, another 164 Venezuelan migrants will be transferred from Boa Vista to Río de Janeiro, Igarassu and Conde (northeastern Brazil,) according to a communiqué by UN Brazil. The organization Venezolanos Perseguidos Políticos en el Exilio (Politically Persecuted Venezuelans in Exile, Veppex) asked U.S. vice-president Mike Pence to grant them a temporary legal status until “Venezuela becomes a free country again,” proposing an initial protection period of five years, renewable for another three. Meanwhile, Bolivian president Evo Morales accused Pence yesterday of seeking to convince some South American countries to intervene Venezuela.


  • “I call on all Mexicans to reconciliation and to put aside personal interests, regardless of how legitimate they might be, in favor of the higher interest, the general interest… the country goes first,” said Mexico’s President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Sunday night. Several Venezuelan government authorities have congratulated him and expressed their hopes for his government.
  • Former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, formally accused of being the mastermind behind the kidnapping of lawmaker Fernando Balda, had until this Monday to appear before the National Court so as not to be considered a fugitive of justice. He did it in Ecuador’s Consulate in Belgium, but kept saying that it’s “a vulgar political persecution.”
  • Guyana and Venezuela will have to submit their written arguments to justify their stance about whether their dispute for the Esequibo region falls under the International Court of Justice’s jurisdiction, said this institution yesterday in a communiqué. Guyana has until November 19, 2018, while Venezuela can send the reply until April 18, 2019.

Last Saturday, El Falconiano ceased circulation, becoming the second media outlet in three days to announce “changes or shut down for lack of supplies,” as denounced by NGO Espacio Público. On June 28, El Siglo (Aragua) announced the change of its circulation days in May, Cojedes’s Las Noticias dropped its printed version, thanks to the Alfredo Maneiro Editorial Corporation’s chokehold on newsprint and its enormous efforts to restrict the rights of Venezuelans to be informed.

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.