Olivares Persecuted

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: El Universal

Primero Justicia denounced that the regime is going after lawmaker José Manuel Olivares and his wife, Jofreny González, revealing an arrest warrant against her.

According to the party, these attacks “are aimed at intimidating the lawmaker who has been leading the healthcare sector’s protests.” Olivares accompanied the protests and demanded that the government give nurses and doctors the same salary as the military. The lawmaker revealed he received a the threat to his family’s safety, including his three-month old baby: “You have two options: either you stay in Venezuela without talking about health (…) or your brother, your mom and wife are going to a SEBIN cell. Your other option is to take a long vacation and we figure out what to do with your family,” is what Runrun.es reports regarding a call Olivares got from a high-ranking officer of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN). Shortly afterwards, SEBIN agents went to his home, showing the arrest warrants issued against his family, so the oncologist chose exile.

28 days later

Lawmaker Olivares’s exile was a hard blow against the agenda of healthcare employees, who demand better working conditions and proper salaries, and they’ve requested support for their protest, but apparently, that support can be discriminated: this Monday, Ana Rosario Contreras, head of the Caracas Nurses Association refused the support of leader María Corina Machado and asked the opposition’s leadership to avoid politicizing her sector’s fight, remarking that they must deal with their own issues. Meanwhile, the Pan American Health Organization asked Venezuela to take urgent preventive measures to cover “the frantic spread of measles and diphtheria outbreaks, decrease malaria mortality rates” and tackle the fragmentation and segmentation of health services. But the government chose to announce the arrival of 62 recently graduated Cuban doctors for the Barrio Adentro mission, a source of hard currency for the Cuban government and a precious incentive for the 6,300 so-called “integral doctors” graduated at El Poliedro last Thursday. The indefinite strike of electric sector workers began yesterday.

A million percent

The International Monetary Fund decided to correct it’s discreet projections about our economy and in less than a week, it reported that it estimates 1,000,000% of annual inflation, concerned by “large migration flows, which will lead to intensifying spillover effects on neighboring countries.”

Our crisis gives no signs of improvement, according to the IMF, so it forecasts a considerable fiscal deficit “financed entirely by an expansion in base money, that will continue to grow and “fuel an acceleration of inflation as money demand continues to collapse.” The IMF also cautioned about an 18% contraction of the GDP, making 2018 the third consecutive year with a two-digit real GDP decline, a contraction that means the loss of 50% of our GDP per capita compared to 2012.

Nearing the purple phase

Susana Raffalli, expert in Food Security, spoke of the 10,000 malnourished children she’s examined in the programs she works on with Cáritas in Venezuela: in June, 16 states reached the red phase that rates Venezuela as a humanitarian crisis, since 15% of children are at risk of dying from malnutrition; cautioning a 50-year setback in the health sector. “33% of children already show stunted growth and this is irreversible,” Raffalli explains and in this complex humanitarian emergency, institutional decay makes the recovery map even harsher. This 15% of children at risk keeps us in the red zone of nutrition emergency. When we reach 30%, we’ll be in the purple zone, which represents catastrophic famine. You can read the entire interview in Tal Cual.

Amazing chavismo

In view of their party’s congress, absolutely useless for the country, other voices have joined the “Meaculping”; chavista are discovering their mistakes after 19 years of incompetence and corruption. After Jesús Faría discovered that exchange controls are pointless and Elías Jaua demanded (after holding dozens of public offices) that the PSUV elite can’t remain in power forever, Freddy Bernal said that they were the ones who caused the crisis and that they can’t blame past governments for the loss of governability.

Former Minister Rafael Ramírez joined the exercise cautioning that if PSUV doesn’t take responsibility, “the people will trample them”; demanding a “serious revision of what’s happening in the country,” but only to retake el finado’s path, making sure to warn critics that they might end up “in jail like Rodríguez Torres or exiled like me.” Regarding this map, former Ombudswoman Gabriela Ramírez said that the coming congress was “a fiction of internal democracy” and claiming that there are “visible and profound” rifts within PSUV. Wow!

Diosdado’s version

For Diosdado Cabello, Nicolás is the revolution’s first critic, adding that wherever there are problems they’re identified “and the decisions are taken immediately,” one lesson they allegedly learned after the crushing opposition victory in 2015 elections. Lying is a compulsion, which is why he claimed: “Private property is sacred here, we’ve been respectful, from commander Chávez to Nicolás”; he also said that the people understand “perreras” as means of transportation, that the economic model will be discussed in the PSUV congress (including the revision of public service fees) and blamed the government’s innumerable failures on a plan to destabilize them, as well as restating his new favorite threat: the recall against National Assembly lawmakers.


  • Hundreds of families were affected when the Orinoco river overflowed in several municipalities of southern Monagas state. Civil Defense director Raúl González spoke of 344 victims, with no reports of casualties.
  • It’s been almost a month since the “Plan 50” was announced to impose prices on products amidst hyperinflation and there’s still no information on “reached agreements.” Meanwhile, the price of the PAN pre-cooked corn flour (by Empresas Polar) reached Bs. 741,000 which, compared to the Bs. 54,000 it costed, represents a 1,272% increase. The hyper doesn’t wait.
  • As a response to the call made by Human Rights Watch due to the Uruguay’s refusal to adhere to the statement about the Venezuelan crisis, its Foreign Ministry said that nobody can question their commitment with human rights and that isolating Nicolás hinders the “hability to help with the democratic restoration”; except they think differently about Nicaragua. Tabaré Vázquez won’t die of coherence.
  • Vilma Núñez, head of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh), denounced that there are at least 400 person arrested who qualify as political prisoners. Yesterday, there was a huge march in Managua to commemorate Students Day. Daniel Ortega has systematically violated the law of University Autonomy and has murdered dozens of students.

Rubén Limardo got the second place at the World Cup of the International Fencing Federation held in China, after being defeated in the final by the olympic champion, the French Yannick Borel.

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.