Cut Off From The Palace

For Friday, August 17, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Tal Cual Digital

This Thursday marked the 53rd day of the nurses’s strike, and they gathered early at the JM de los Ríos Children’s Hospital, with the support of several healthcare sectors, as well as the oil and electric sectors. The march’s goal was to reach the Miraflores Palace to demand that the government improve salaries and working conditions. The march could only make two blocks, since Vollmer Av. was blocked by the National Bolivarian Police (with the same misogynistic principle: placing female officers at the frontlines so that any attack would be aggravated by gender) reinforced by National Guard officers who held the march in place.

Vice-minister Armando Marín arrived to Vollmer Av. to receive the document, but the march’s leaders didn’t hand it over with the certainty that Marín doesn’t have the authority to answer their demands. Then Miguel Carvallo, director of the Vice-President’s Office’s Social Attention Department, came and promised to take the document to the President’s Office.

“We do nothing if this doesn’t reach the president and the most important thing is for him to solve this. Enough of Venezuelans dying in hospitals for lack of supplies, enough of Venezuelans dying in their homes because they never make it to the hospitals,” said Freddy Ceballos, head of the Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation. Fanny Gamarra, head of the Venezuelan Federation of Nurses, established August 21 as the deadline for Nicolás to announce new salaries for the healthcare sector. Her demand is a salary equivalent to 210 minimum wages.

All set?

Although the Venezuelan Banking Association said that online banking services will continue operating between Friday 17 and Monday 20, this Thursday Interior Minister Néstor Reverol said that those services will be suspended for 24 hours starting on Sunday 19 at 6:00 p.m. In his view, 95% of online banking services are adjusted for the reconversion, including the distribution of the new monetary cone’s banknotes across the country, claiming that the entire banking system has the bills to begin the process. For some reason, they’re going to make impromptu inspections in bank vaults to make sure that the bills are properly distributed. Given the hasty reconversion, Reverol asked citizens to take all necessary measures (?) and ratified that on August 23 through 25, retirees and pensioners will get the exorbitant pension of Bs.S 42.40. The new BCV resolution containing the regulations to remove five zeroes from the bolivar is already published in Official Gazette, repealing the regulations published on April 30.

Requesens’s case

This Wednesday, Diosdado Cabello accused lawmaker Ismael García of being involved in the drone flight and also mocked lawmaker Juan Requesens for the humiliating video shared on social media. Yesterday morning, lawmaker Juan Miguel Matheus demanded an investigation on the way the confession where Requesens admits having facilitated the passage of one of the culprits from Táchira to Colombia was extracted. “We must investigate the fraudulent way in which these statements were obtained,” said Matheus, emphasizing that the judge rejected those videos as evidence; he also demanded an examination by an independent physician, that Requesens be allowed to meet his family and pointed out that his gastric bypass surgery means Requesens is a patient who needs special food and treatment with medicines. The former Heads of State and Government participating in the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA) demanded that an impartial and qualified international mission be allowed to determine the veracity of the incidents denounced by Nicolás, and to confirm the conditions and treatment given to lawmaker Juan Requesens. The International Union of Socialist Youth also expressed concern for the systematic human rights violations in Venezuela and demanded respect for Requesens’s human rights.

The hot potato

National Assembly Speaker Omar Barboza said that Parliament hasn’t yet decided how to proceed with the sentence issued by the exiled justices, ordering them to fill the Presidency’s vacancy, after declaring Nicolás “de facto president.” The sentence must be discussed by the various parliamentary caucuses after being reviewed by the legal department: “The problem isn’t about making decisions for their own sake but knowing whether we can execute them or not. We must be careful and responsible because the credibility of the only legitimate public branch is at stake, we can’t falter in constitutional terms,” said Barboza.

He explained that they’ll use the contents of the sentence to advance the Comptrollership Committee’s investigation on Odebrecht. “There’s no rule of law in Venezuela and these sentences are inapplicable, but this is an important sight of the will to fight corruption and we’ll delve deeper into the details,” added Barboza. Additionally, in view of the intense criticism for the National Assembly’s regular sessions period, lawmaker Delsa Solórzano explained that this doesn’t mean they’re going on vacations: “The Constitution forces us to conclude the regular period and call for the extraordinary period. In fact, we’re in the National Assembly right now,” she wrote.

Briefs and serious

  • Yesterday, central states experienced a piece of the mayhem suffered by Zulia and Táchira, with outages and blackouts. The malfunction keeping many areas of Caracas in the dark since last night, sparked a night protest of Altagracia neighbors around the Miraflores Palace, also without electricity.
  • Argentine authorities arrested Luis Abraham Bastidas Ramírez, former logistics and general services manager at PDVSA and cousin of former Minister Rafael Ramírez, accused of laundering $5 million, who had an Interpol arrest warrant on him, issued at the request of the Principality of Andorra’s judicial authorities.

  • All the blackmail applied by the government to force Venezuelans to attend the national transport census failed. According to reports by executive spokespeople, only two million units have registered, merely 35% of the automotive fleet.
  • After attacking the access to the digital outlet, and demanding internet providers to block its IP address, yesterday the government advanced on diversifying its censorship strategy: they barred four journalist, Ewald Scharfenberg, Joseph Poliszuk, Roberto Deniz and Alfredo Meza from leaving the country; and blocked the publication of the information about Alex Saab Morán regarding the alleged case of corruption with CLAP boxes. Now denouncing corruption in food imports is a crime, because according to Saab, these investigations damage his honor and reputation. It’s a terrible precedent for press freedom and the access to information.

Ecuador’s government announced that starting Saturday, August 18, they will demand that Venezuelans show their passports as a requisite to enter their territory, said Interior Minister Mauro Toscanini. Up until now, we only needed to show our ID cards.

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    • Gordon – you need an app to automatically post that comment on every CCS article. Because it always applies.

  1. The march’s goal was to reach the Miraflores Palace to demand that the government improve salaries and working conditions

    I know what the problem is.

    • Exactly!
      They see the problem as too low wages and not enough supplies.
      For whatever reason, they refuse to recognize that the regime’s mismanagement, incompetence and corruption is the problem.
      As long as the regime continues to print money, the hyperinflation will continue. If printing money increased wealth, Parker Brothers, the manufacturer of Monopoly games would be worth more than Apple.
      The regime has made the country almost completely dependent on imports by destroying domestic production. That is why Venezuela is so dependent on declining oil revenues to pay for imports. The value added to other manufactured goods that used to be exported is no longer available.
      The Saudi’s have been taking action to diversify their economy and lessen their dependence on oil revenue. Chavez and Maduro did the opposite. This has allowed the regime to completely control the economy and control the population that is dependent on handouts from the regime. The regime refuses humanitarian aid because it will damage their own influence. Eventually there will be nothing to distribute to the masses as oil production collapses and foreign reserves disappear.
      The old saying that “Stupid is expensive and painful” comes to mind.
      The people that I assist are worried and confused about the re-conversion of the currency. I have encouraged them to buy and hold any Dollars that they can. The regime has been unknowingly Dollarizing the economy.
      When there is no currency in circulation, the suspension of electronic banking makes buying anything almost impossible unless you have foreign currency.
      Somewhere in the bowels of Miraflores the speechwriters are busy formulating the excuses as to why the re-conversion is a failure.
      Yankee Imperialism!
      The US, UK, EU, UN, OAS, and other countries are all conspiring with the opposition led by Julio Borges to destroy the revolution and enslave the people in a Capitalist society.
      By now the speechwriters can just cut and paste from one speech to the next.

    • More than half of those products are still forbidden to be imported by “plain citizens” (aka non-enchufados)

      “Prohibited items for shipments to Venezuela

      The following list of items is prohibited to be sent to Venezuela under any Liberty Express service offer:
      • Gas mask
      • Bulletproof personal protection vests.
      • Air pistol, paint or air ammunition and everything related to ammunition.
      • Tirolinas or “Chinas” of any kind.
      • Pepper spray.
      • Clubs
      • Electroshock weapon
      • Balls of bearings.
      • Marbles.
      • Items that contain gas or compressed air.
      • Knives of any type and class (including Machetes and axes).
      • Police Batons (Rolos)
      • Sports protective articles.
      • Camouflage items.
      • Helmets of any type.
      • Chest protectors (Chest)
      • Protective gloves
      • Golf balls
      • Baseball balls
      • Baseball bats.
      • Face masks.
      • Elbow and knee pads.
      • Pornographic material.
      • Narcotic or psychotropic substances
      • Knives.
      • Live or dead animals.
      • Values, cash, traveler’s checks.
      • Liquid or dangerous chemical products.
      • Hallucinogenic products.
      • And any product whose transfer may involve contraband
      • Bitcoin machines”

  2. “For some reason, they’re going to make impromptu inspections in bank vaults to make sure that the bills are properly distributed.”

    I am confident they will be distributed “properly”. Well, distributed, in any event.

  3. Yes the nurses seem to miss the bigger point but to their credit at least they are doing something and their demand for higher wages will accelerate the hyper inflation which will help to end the Chavistas at some point.

    • As soon as they say the real roots of the problem: “fuera maduro!!!!” the GNB starts shooting tear gas. “Indirect protest” is the only form of protest right now, like what the health workers are doing.

      Also, colectivos are everywhere, infiltrate protests do false flags so that GNB can go in heavy handed and arrest people. That is what probably happened last night near Miraflores.

  4. For the record, Banco Venezuela has said that wire transfers will not be allowed on Monday as they make the change over. For all practical purposes though, wire transfers are almost impossible to make right now. I suspect that there’s a system overload taking place as people try to buy something before they go offline. Who knows when and if they’ll be up and running? We shut down this morning after having mutliple customers come by trying to do wires with no luck.

    Cash? Virtually nothing in the streets these days. What Gordon said above. A VCF.


  5. This nurses’ strike is fucking pitiful.

    Instead of protesting this shit-fuck of a dictatorship, they’re marching for more money for themselves. Fuck ’em:

    Come to Miami, ladies. There are a lot of toilets that need nursing here.

    Forget your worthless credentials. You’re not taking blood samples here.

    You’re spraying Lysol on the underside of the toilet rim.


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