Photo: Crónica Uno retrieved

Mere Days Before January, 10

Nicolás approaches his self-proclamation and due to this imposition, this was a helter-skelter Tuesday. Venezuela took its complaint against U.S.-levied economic sanctions before the World Trade Organization; but far more important, the U.S. Treasury Department expanded its list of sanctioned individuals. In the words of Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin: “Venezuelan regime insiders have plundered billions of dollars from Venezuela while the Venezuelan people suffer.”

The new names are:

  • Raúl Gorrín, owner of TV channel Globovisión and insurance company Seguros La Vitalicia, both among the 24 properties targeted by sanctions. Gorrín was recently indicted by the U.S. for allegedly being involved in a money laundering and bribery scheme.
  • Gustavo Perdomo, Gorrín’s partner and brother-in-law.
  • María Alexandra Perdomo, Gustavo Perdomo’s wife.
  • Leonardo González, Gorrín’s partner.
  • Claudia Díaz Guillén, el finado’s former nurse and former National Treasurer, currently demanding from Spain (where she’s accused of money laundering and embezzlement) not to be deported to Venezuela.
  • Adrián Velásquez, Claudia Díaz’s husband and former aide of late Hugo Chávez.

The Law of Transition

Three months have passed since the death of councilman Fernando Albán, who was under state custody, yet there’s no investigation to establish any responsibilities; that’s why yesterday’s National Assembly session started with a minute of silence in his memory. Before the session, AN Speaker Juan Guaidó said regarding the statement of the Lima Group: “This is a dictatorship and Maduro won’t eagerly yield power and transfer any functions to the AN. There’s a clash of forces and we must generate the conditions to mobilize both national and international pressure,” adding that we need “the support of the regime’s political and military grassroots to restore constitutional order.” The debate at the Hemiciclo revolved around the creation of a Law of Transition, as the presidential period that’s about to start is considered “usurpation”. The draft law seeks to develop a clause for Article 233 of the Constitution and use it to renew the electoral, judicial and citizen branches.

The usual suspects

Declaring “the flagrant contempt weighing on the National Assembly,” the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice ruled that, in their interpretation of Article 231 of the Constitution, Nicolás Maduro’s self-proclamation must take place before TSJ justices. That explains the amount of soldiers posted around the Tribunal’s headquarters. Sadly, in three years the TSJ never resolved the challenge against electoral results that caused the condition that left Amazonas State without legislative representatives. At the end of another session of “Con el mazo dando” but in another stage, Diosdado Cabello ordered the TSJ and the Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation for treason against those who supported the statement from the Lima Group and appointed a committee to assess what actions to take against the National Assembly.

González López reappeared

Express justice Christian Zerpa requested during his press conference on Monday a proof of life for former SEBIN director Gustavo González López. The government granted his request with enviable speed and González López, who had disappeared until today, will be the first-ever Security and Intelligence Advisor for the President’s Office, according to Delcy Rodríguez, because Nicolás thinks that this instance is necessary, since the country is threatened “both internally and externally”.

The Vice-President of the Republic spoke earlier, to show a couple of audios that are,  allegedly, evidence that the Exxon Mobil ships were moving through and exploring Venezuelan waters, cautioning that she’ll take this “evidence” before the United Nations. Vladimir Padrino López also spoke to express: his condemnation for the Lima Group’s statement; his unfaltering support and absolute loyalty to Nicolás, and to impart lessons on integrity, because he finds the meekness of taking orders from foreign governments exasperating.

Of condemnations and supports

Once again, the European Union requested holding new presidential elections in Venezuela after disregarding the results of May 20, 2018. Spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said that the EU Council demanded respect for the National Assembly, as well as the release of all political prisoners, compliance with the rule of law, human rights and fundamental rights. Kocijancic emphasized that the EU is convinced “that a peaceful and democratic solution is the only sustainable way to end Venezuela’s crisis.”

Following Peru’s example, which announced this Monday its decision to prevent Venezuelan authorities and their relatives from entering their territory, yesterday the Lima Group member countries, except Mexico, joined this decision, according to Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo. Meanwhile, Uruguay decided to attack the Lima Group. The National Union of Press Workers denounced that the Communications Ministry refused to issue credentials for international media outlets seeking to cover Nicolás Maduro’s self-proclamation.

 

Although most economists agree that the black market dollar is still quite cheap, it’s fairly shocking to think that, with the eight zeroes slashed by chavismo’s two reconversions, the price for a dollar on Tuesday, January 8 (in the morning) was Bs. 110,000,000,000. We lost our currency like we lost our country and perhaps that’s why all of chavismo’s efforts to look solid are immaterial for all of us who have to live amidst their ruin. These are complex days. Please, refine your sources and verify every piece of information you send.

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