Your daily briefing for Saturday, July 7, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.


Nicolás announced this Friday two new bonuses to be transferred via carnet de la patria: Independence and Niño Simón; without specifying amounts, but claiming that they’ll benefit at least ten million carnet holders. The rest of his presentation was a needless mockery of the severe hardships we’re facing, admitting an unprecedented economic distortion and promising to beat it (as if he hadn’t created it himself); he promised that our economic development will astonish the world “knockout for the economic war and imperialism!”; he announced as an achievement that six million homes now depend on CLAP boxes to eat and he now wants the boxes to arrive every 15 days and to contain proteins and hygiene products. He claimed that the CLAPs are “a tool for the country’s productive transformation,” another pointless joke, but he added that today Tareck El Aissami will offer details about the new “agreed” prices and that Caracas will have a better water supply system by October.

Out of electricity

Venezuela ranks 10th (out of 137 studied nations) in the list of countries with the worst electric service, surpassing Pakistan, Ethiopia and Argel. Yesterday morning, the head of the committee of citizens affected by outages, Aixa López, denounced that so far in 2018, there have been 16,210 electric failures in the country: “What’s happening in the country resists definitions, what Zulians are living is a crime,” adding that the electric system’s still collapsing, that it hasn’t be stabilized and that the government keeps lying about the state of the electric system, that Minister Luis Motta Domínguez “doesn’t take responsibility and doesn’t tell the truth about what’s happening.” For López, if the government keeps lying, it’s impossible to help solve the issue. A bit later, in Vargas state, amidst a protest for the new collective bargaining agreement, Reinaldo Díaz, executive secretary of the National Electric Corporation’s (Corpoelec) union, said that close to 17,000 electric industry employees have quit to emigrate, explaining that “many failures can’t be solved due to lack of personnel.” The demand of Corpoelec employees is a decent salary.

Briefs and serious

  • A judge in Houston ruled that ConocoPhillips may include Citgo, PDVSA’s branch company in the U.S., in its case to enforce the two billion dollar compensation obtained in an arbitrage for the nationalization of their assets in Venezuela. The decision is another defeat for PDVSA.
  • The start of the monetary reconversion, set for August, could be postponed against because the Central Bank’s new administration is studying the previous one, but also, the new banknotes haven’t arrived!
  • Lawmaker Delsa Solórzano said that in the first year of administration, they’ve received 2,865 complaints for human rights violations. For the second year, they received 5,000 complaints and if they account for the complaints against other rights, they surpass 8,000. The complaints about repression, illegal detentions, homicides, cruel treatments or tortures, have been ignored by State institutions.
  • “This is a most powerful message to the Venezuelan government that these abuses will no longer be tolerated, not just in the region but also in the United Nations,” said Tamara Taraciuk from Human Rights Watch about the complaint made by 53 UN member countries against human rights violations in Venezuela.

We, migrants

The European Parliament demanded that Venezuela allows the access of humanitarian aid and urged the European Union (EU) to release more funds to assists Venezuelan fleeing the country, expressing their consternation and alarm about our humanitarian crisis, emphasizing that “the Venezuelan government insists on denying the problem.” Besides thanking Colombia, Brazil and other countries for their help and solidary, they also asked EU member nations “to provide an immediate response of protection” to Venezuelans with humanitarian visas. A Guyana Foreign Ministry delegation will visit Puerto Ordaz between July 12 and 16 to guarantee a more effective response to Guyanese citizens who want to return to their country and to Venezuelans who seek shelter there. State Minister Joseph Harmon said that the information from Puerto Ordaz suggests that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 Guyanese citizens in the area. The families of the 172 Venezuelans arrested in Trinidad y Tobago protested before that nation’s embassy in Caracas to demand that their relatives be released as returnees. Lastly, yesterday Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie dispatched the second contingent of doctors and specialists in primary healthcare who, under the coordination of the White Helmets Commission, will work in Cucuta to relieve the humanitarian crisis of Venezuelan migrants. This organization focuses on attending pregnant women and children up to 17 years old.

Diplomatic tensions

This Thursday, U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo issued a statement ratifying his support for freedom in the country, remarking that he’s working with the U.S. partners to “help reach a future of peace, democracy and prosperity.” The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry condemned Pompeo’s statement. After the discrepancy for the trial against Rafael Correa, president Lenín Moreno spoke of asking UNASUR to return the building that served as their headquarters “to give it a better use,” adding that even though it was a good idea, “to to human and ideological failures,” that project never crystalized; well, yesterday the Ecuadorian Parliament urged Moreno to label our situation as a humanitarian crisis, to request the creation of a humanitarian channel between the two countries to attend increasing emigration and also declare the state of vulnerability of Ecuadorians living in Venezuela. Meanwhile, in Caracas, the Foreign Ministry delivered a note of protest to Ecuador rejecting the stance adopted by their government regarding Venezuela. After Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga spoke on behalf of the Lima Group rejecting the possibility of a U.S. military intervention, a spokesman of the White House Security Council denied that such a thing has been planned, although he acknowledged that the military option continues to be one of the tools that Washington has to “help” Venezuelans “recover democracy”; additionally, Colombian president-elect Iván Duque and U.S. vice-president Mike Pence held a meeting, and you can imagine the local paranoia, while Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza is currently in South Africa.

Nurses keep protesting, yet the Administration has done nothing about it or their demands. The Central University’s Professors Association also said that the sector will continue on strike that started this Thursday. Note: yesterday, the UCV’s Security Department released a job offer for security guards that includes a monthly salary of a bit less than Bs. 15,000,000, which far surpasses a professor’s wages.

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.