Another Security Failure

For Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Efecto Cocuyo

Nicolás announced this Monday that public security will be handled through “peace quadrants,” this time wrapped as a “great mission,” as if the name could make an already failed policy more effective. During the National Bolivarian Police’s graduation ceremony, he spoke of seven lines for the shooting range that our security is: effective patrols (without parts for cars), peace quadrants (already failed), the Operaciones de Liberación del Pueblo (Operations for People’s Liberation, despite all the complaints about their abuses), the social protection systems (CLAP turned into what it’s not), the Movement for Peace and Life (more chavismo) and a plan to fight drug trafficking, paramilitarism and organized crime, another one of many. This time, there will be 2,144 quadrants on which the PNB must focus to reduce crime which, according to Nicolás, is “the product of capitalism’s anti-values,” in other words, another failure of chavismo after 20 years in power.

Oh, Virgin of Carmen!

In this patron virgin’s day, Nicolás said: “We can’t have universities graduating thousands and thousands of professionals in careers that have nothing to do with the country’s development,” promising to insist on the matter a million times until the vocation of students and the offer of universities connects with the Plan de la Patria 2025, a government program on which he improvises at leisure.

It’s impossible that the man responsible for destroying what was left of our economy has any idea about what’s a priority for national development and if he knows, it’d be crucial for him to explain to anyone who seeks to invest on industrial, agricultural or technological development, that their property may be blithely seized at any moment. The same applies for those who study nursing, medicine and education (which he also said were priorities), so they know that their wages will be far inferior to those of a police or military officer. Meanwhile, Diosdado Cabello claimed that they’re already making plans for the political decision to call for a recall referendum against the National Assembly’s opposition lawmakers.

The IMF’s indulgence

Maurice Obstfeld, chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that “It’s very hard to exaggerate the extent of disruption in the Venezuelan economy,” because our economy is in a state of collapse. During the update about the performance of global economy this year, he added that Venezuela’s experiencing an “economic collapse,” cautioning that the entity’s assessments about Venezuela “must be taken with warnings.” In April, the IMF estimated a 15% GDP drop and almost 14,000% hyperinflation, modest estimates when compared with hyperinflation and contraction. In this update, the IMF estimates a two-digit contract and a hyperinflation rivaled only by Zimbabwe’s and the period between the two World Wars, in addition to the pressure on neighboring countries due to our migration. Even with these indicators, the National Bureau for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights (SUNDDE) imposed, after an inspection on La Trinidad Teaching Medical Center, that the institution must receive letters of guarantees and that they must accept all insurance companies, meaning they’ll be working at a loss.

Briefs and serious

  • A year after the protest in which 7,535,259 people rejected the ANC, asked the Armed Forces to defend the Constitution and approved the holding of free elections, María Corina Machado called it the “most important act of rebellion and disobedience in our history (…) a mandate to disregard the tyranny and advance towards the transition,” which she’ll enforce, although once again, she didn’t say how.
  • Lawmaker Tomás Guanipa proposed a new citizen survey to define the opposition’s leadership: “Any democratic exercise is valid (…) we can show that unity transcends parties and call for a consultation to define a united path,” he said.
  • The nurses continue on their 22-day protest streak, demanding wage raises as well as supplies and medicines. Yesterday, they urged citizens to join their cause, restating that they’ll keep protesting until the government answers.

  • Once more, Colombian Treasury Minister Mauricio Cárdenas spoke about the transnational criminal network that profits from the sale and distribution of essential food for the Venezuelan population, keeping ties with people and companies that operate from European Union nations, saying that the work of financial intelligence units “will be a decisive asset to make decisions” regarding the Venezuelan crisis.

We, migrants

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) keeps updating the flow of Venezuelan migration to Latin American countries and published its third report on Venezuelans in Peru which, according to its authorities since the start of 2017 to June 2019, amounts to 462,661 people. Remember the Guyanese mission that was supposed to come to Puerto Ordaz to work on the agenda of consular services for their citizens? The lack of flights between Caracas and Puerto Ordaz forced the Guyanese government to postpone the trip! In Cucuta, a grenade attack left at least ten people wounded, eight of them Venezuelans. The condition of those wounded is stable. Also in Cucuta, Mark Green, chief of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said that our diaspora is “one of the largest displacements of people in the history of Latin America,” pledging a new $6 million contribution for nutrition and health programs in Colombia. “They’re fleeing hunger, lack of medicines and lack of opportunities,” said Green, adding that “they’re fleeing (…) a despotic and dysfunctional regime.”

Abroad

  • Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki. They agreed that “the was no collusion” with Russia to affect the presidential elections in 2016 and that the threats of terrorism and transnational crime are causing problems that they can only tackle by working together, promising to advance toward a “lasting peace.”
  • Thirteen Latin American countries demanded the “immediate end of acts of violence, intimidation and threats” in Nicaragua and the “dismantling of paramilitary groups.” They also condemned violence, as well as repression against students and civilians. Additionally, they urge the government to resume dialogue to create peaceful and sustainable solutions and expressed their support for Nicaraguan bishops for their work.
  • Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell started to change his position toward Nicolás, saying yesterday that Spain “won’t support the tough line of sanctions each time there’s a problem in Latin America.” After the meeting between him and his Venezuelan counterpart, Jorge Arreaza, Borrell said that his role “is demand and dialogue,” while Arreaza published pictures of the meeting on Twitter, saying it was “cordial and productive.”

….

Journalists Jessica Carrillo and Adriana Núñez started releasing an audio report about the case of First Lady Cilia Flores’s nephews. “Porque soy un Flores” reveals how Efraín Campo Flores and Franqui Flores de Freitas, best known as the narconephews, carried out the drug-trafficking business that sent them to jail. All the evidence they recovered (thanks to the access to public information) will be uploaded to http://www.porquesoyflores.com/. But if you want to get the audio report chapters directly, you can subscribe to the Telegram channel https://t.me/porquesoyflores.

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