Laundering With Gold

For Monday, August 27, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Prensa Presidencial

From the Military Museum, in another plenary of the government party’s ongoing congress, Nicolás announced a savings plan in gold with lingots that will be freely accessible in sovereign bolivars in two formats: 1.5 grams will cost Bs.S 3,780 and 2.5 grams for Bs.S 6,300. A population that’s fleeing because they have nothing to eat, can’t save money in gold.

The plan will have other beneficiaries. More announcements:

  • Pensions will be paid through digital wallet; in other words, pensioners will have to register in the “patria” system.
  • He repeated the threat of setting at least two prices for gasoline: the international price (or “far above that”) at the border and another price for the rest of the country.
  • They’ll try a direct gasoline subsidy through the carnet de la patria. The trial’s so improvised that they’ll start training 8,000 young workers now (one per gas pump) from the Chamba Juvenil plan “to regulate and eradicate gas trafficking for good.”
  • He created the Ministry of Interior Commerce to “articulate the national market” and announced that he’ll create the Vice-Presidency of Productive Economy.
  • Additionally, Nicolás spoke of a 72% approval rating for the recovery plan, seven million workers who have registered for the government to pay them the new wage, a little under four million vehicles registered in the transport census; 12 million carnet holders who will benefit from the reconversion bonus and another restructuring in Minerven, because “it has many internal vices, so it can produce all the gold.”

More from the amazing chavismo

The Venezuelan Association of Public Health announced in a communiqué that there are measles cases all over the country, adding the states that had been unaffected up until May this year and keeping Delta Amacuro, Capital District, Vargas and Miranda among the most affected. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the number of suspect cases notified in 2018 is close to 5,300, and there are 3,545 confirmed cases; both numbers experienced a significant increase compared to those accumulated during 2017. Remember that according to PAHO, Venezuela has a 95% death rate due to the virus, with 115 out of 121 deaths notified to the organization; there’s been 35 measles deaths in Delta Amacuro; seven in Miranda, two in the Capital District and 53 yanomami natives in Amazonas between January and July 2018 alone. From the six deaths reported in Brazil, two were Venezuelans. Last Friday, Nicolás had the gall of claiming in front of his community “doctors” that they already had the diseases under control, but he lied as usual. The National Vaccination Campaign will end in September 15.

Harassing trade

The National Bureau for the Defense of Socio-economic Rights (Sundde) announced that 200 people have been arrested and 500 stores have been fined “for crimes such as price retagging, speculation, hoarding and boycotting the economy,” according to their bulletin, as if that was an achievement. Government harassment against stores returned with the imposition of prices on 25 already scarce food products and Nicolás’s obsessive demand of turning each citizen into an informer and each authority into an executioner, whatever necessary in order to deny the normal course of the economy; that’s why Sundde also claims having received “more than 50,000 complaints.” The point is that we haven’t even reached the D Day, when the first payment of the colossal minimum wage is made and with millions of this bolivar -depreciated since launch- circulating, nobody’s going to regulate the storm. Price controls, extortion, the harassment against producers, distributors and shop owners won’t solve the drama of a collapsed production.

We, migrants

Peru’s strategy of demanding passports to enter their territory worked: the flow of Venezuelans declined, while some requested asylum from the Peruvian government in order to enter legally, since they didn’t arrive on time to avoid the demand for this requisite. Peruvian immigration authorities allowed children accompanied with their parents, pregnant women or elderly citizens to enter without a passport. While the Vice-minister on Human Rights announced the need to start a campaign against any form of discrimination against Venezuelans, a sensible solidarity campaign was developed on social networks with the powerful hashtag #YoSoyVenezolano; advantages that bureaucracy lacks. President Michel Temer announced in Brasilia the creation of a humanitarian mission whose goal will be providing medical attention for a week to Venezuelan immigrants living in Roraima shelters; discarding any possibility of closing the border. In view of the tremendous drama, yesterday the Venezuelan government celebrated that some 100 Venezuelans will return this Monday, August 27 from Peru in a flight booked by Conviasa.

“The real tragedy is that there’s a kind of natural selection in the mass exodus of Venezuelans: only the strongest, the fittest can travel by foot. The most vulnerable stay behind: the elderly, the children, the sick, at the mercy of the murderous revolution.” – Omar Zambrano.

We go on.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.