Most People Are Starving

Your daily briefing for Saturday, July 14, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Foro Libertad

In June, hyperinflation marked the food basket price jump. The Center of Documentation and Analysis for Workers (Cenda) revealed that the food basket’s price reached Bs. 164.2 million, a 125.5% hike (Bs. 91.3 million,) a higher variation than the one recorded in May and the highest thus far. The price of ten out of the eleven products in the basket more than doubled. With the new minimum wage, people can scarcely buy 1.8% of the basket and a worker needs Bs. 5,471,924 per day to feed his family, meaning that the monthly minimum wage is lower than the amount necessary to pay for a day’s worth of food, so a family requires 55 minimum wages just to cover their food expenses. During the first half of the year, the basket shows a 1,957% cumulative variation (Bs. 156,177,409), while the yearly variation is 19,565%, over Bs. 163 million.

Amazing chavismo

A hospital ship from China will arrive to the country soon. A commission from the ship He Ping Fang Zhou met this Friday with Venezuelan Armed Forces officers to “coordinate details of joint operation,” according to the military institution’s Twitter account, without saying anything about the operation nor its nature, only that this is an order from Nicolás and that the Armed Forces’ Strategic Operational Command will comply with it. It’s inspiring that this news coincide with the testimony of Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López, regarding the institution he leads: “Unlike previously, there isn’t a military clique here (…) There’s a big family here, with values and principles of respect, discipline and tolerance. We’ve achieved a level of harmony and friendship never seen before in the Armed Forces”; of course, aside from officers who have been arbitrarily arrested for alleged conspiracies. Meanwhile, the National Electoral Council published the timetable for municipal council elections set for December 9 this year. By the way, CNE authority Tania D’Amelio said that political parties that didn’t participate in the May 20 electoral process won’t be able to participate in the municipal council elections because the Constituent Decree for Participation in Electoral Processes (approved in December, 2017), states that political parties who abstained from nominating candidates must go through a revalidation process. The Central Bank published the results of the 22nd DICOM auction that closed this Friday with an exchange rate of Bs. 120,455 per dollar, for a total of $582,631 granted to 29 companies and 299 natural persons, which represents a 45.6% drop compared to the amount granted in the previous auction. Powerhouse country!

We, migrants

Cucuta councilman Jaime Marthey asked the Mayor’s Office to declare health emergency in the city because the hospital network is collapsed. The councilman explained that they’ve treated over 29,000 Venezuelans “taking away” space from the city’s inhabitants: “the government assumes we can continue assisting our own citizens along with the people coming from Venezuela with the same infrastructure and economic resources,” said Marthey. The Organization of American States and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) agreed to support the governments of the countries hosting Venezuelan migrants and implement actions for local protection and integration, the development of social inclusion policies and the creation of economic opportunities to help them become autonomous. Far from those possibilities, the Dominican Republic’s Interior Minister José Ramón Fadul denied humanitarian migration for Venezuelans because, in his view, the Venezuelans who have emigrated to his country “are middle class (…) they don’t look so weak” and they’ve displaced Dominicans in several minor trades: “So I think this is more a policy of migration benefit, but we must do is applying immigration laws,” said the noble Fadul. And he said it on the same day that the UN’s member States agreed on the Migration Pact that seeks to open more ways for regular migration, protecting immigrants and cooperating in a better handling of borders. The text will be formally adopted in December.

SOS Nicaragua!

“I urge you to put aside death, violence, confrontation,” said dictator Daniel Ortega from a police command in Masaya while his troops fired against the students of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN), after the National Police blocked all accesses to the university. In order to visit Masaya, Ortega militarized the city and claimed that “peace must be permanently consolidated.” The stability of death. And he had the never to say that “the police shoots in any country in the world.” His hordes also attacked Monimbó, while he restated that the OAS, the IACHR, independent media outlets, the church and the relatives of murdered citizens are lying, that only him and his official media are telling the truth. OAS secretary general Luis Almagro demanded yesterday the end of the attack against the UNAN and protection for the lives of students, saying that’s unacceptable to use force against the university. Antonia Urrejola from the IACHR said that UNAN students had opened a debate “for a spontaneous and peaceful evacuation.” Still, the witnesses of the attack request the presence of every mediator who can help evacuate the students. These kids’ testimonies are heartbreaking.

Despite the official indifference to their demands, the nurses haven’t stopped protesting after 20 days on strike. Ana Rosario Contreras, head of the Nurses Association of Caracas, restated that they’ll march to Miraflores to demand answers and denounced that Health Minister Carlos Alvarado seeks to defuse the protest with bonuses six times higher than the average wage of these professionals. There were also patients who used the nurses’ protest to denounce the lack of supplies and medicines to treat cancer.

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.