The plan to restore Venezuela was presented this Thursday morning by politicians and experts. The social area, presented by sociologist Luis Pedro España and lawmakers Miguel Pizarro and Manuela Bolívar, will manage the humanitarian crisis in coordination with the stabilization plan and later tackle the process of reforms. 11 programs have been designed, prioritizing those that will serve to supply food and medicines, but there must also be guarantees for Venezuelans to be able to pay for those products, so there’s a plan for direct subsidies, in addition to immediately reestablishing food programs in schools. Afterwards, lawmakers Juan Andrés Mejía, José Guerra and Ángel Alvarado explained the weight of a humanitarian emergency like the one we’re experiencing, the need for a tax expansion that allows for the recovery of consumption capacity; the need to immediately stop hyperinflation; how political stability depends on social and economic stability; the imperative of shifting from a corporate state to a social one, of eliminating the regulations that have destroyed our economy and the necessary opening to private investment in public companies.
In the oil panel, Yon Goicoechea, José Toro Hardy and Elías Matta explained the importance of PDVSA’s security and of recovering production; they said that the company will still belong to the nation and explained the creation of an independently operated hydrocarbons agency. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó explained that the materialization of this plan was possible thanks to the involvement of many academic and technical talents, proof that everyone is needed to generate results, as well as to achieve social and political consensus to implement it. “There’s no blockade,” emphasized Guaidó, explaining that the National Assembly secured the country’s assets. He said that there must be governability and stability for transition, as well as truly free elections. Before denouncing that FAES had visited his house, he promised for this Friday important announcements about the arrival of humanitarian aid.
Regardless of protective measures
Juan Guaidó left the presentation of the Plan País and went to his house to answer the FAES threat, committed despite protective measures the IACHR issued for him and his family, which underscores chavismo’s intimidation and harassment. The strategist behind the usurper’s campaign must still be banging his head against a wall: the tenderness of 20-month-old Miranda, interrupting the caretaker President’s statements, repeatedly calling him “Daddy” surpassed any of Nicolás’s prayers, jogging sessions, promises or complaints. Sticking to the script, the National Bolivarian Police denied the attack. In any case, Juan Guaidó’s lawyers asked the IACHR to expand the protective measures for their client in view of potentially imminent arrest. The reactions of support for Guaidó were not only immediate and varied, but passionate.
The tireless repression
The same day that PetroChina let slip that it will pull PDVSA from a refinery project of $10 billion —due to its financial state—and that some American refineries have reduced processing of Venezuelan crude due to the higher costs of sanctions, dozens of buses blocked the Libertador Ave. to fill an event few people would’ve willingly attended. Manuel Quevedo asked workers in Miraflores to “stand in vigil and activate loyalty.” For Quevedo, sanctions are “a brazen plundering of the nation’s resources” (yeah, he said that). Against the democratic cause he said: “First they’ll fall (…) before PDVSA stops operating.” Go figure. In the same magnitude of cynicism, his predecessor Rafael Ramírez announced that he’ll present his candidacy for the Presidency.
Dadas las condiciones, presentaré mi candidatura por el chavismo para la presidencia https://t.co/DxB1uqZ8HM
— Rafael Ramírez (@RRamirezVE) January 31, 2019
For the 3,000,000th time, regime Interior Minister Néstor Reverol denounced a new conspiracy, but the important part was the report of the arrest of Miguel Palacios Salcedo (Armed Forces deserter), Alberto Salazar Cabañas and Oswaldo Valentín García Palomo, and the complaint that mercenaries were entering from Colombia to “commit murders against political and military leaders to elevate the country’s levels of fear.”
Movements on the board
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, announced in Bucharest the creation of a contact group involving Latin America and Europe meant to “build trust and create the conditions that are necessary for a credible process to emerge in line with the relevant provisions of the Constitution of Venezuela, enabling Venezuelans to determine their own future through the holding of new elections, with all guarantees.” The group will be made up of eight European countries and four American countries. Its first meeting may be held next week. Russia moved three pieces yesterday: they accused the European Parliament of violating international law by recognizing Juan Guaidó as President; they denounced that Guaidó openly called the Armed Forces to carry out a coup and denied the transfer of Venezuelan gold to their Central Bank. Nervis Villalobos, former Energy Minister, will be transferred to the U.S. to be tried for money laundering, with funds that came from corruption activities in PDVSA. Could someone beat the Pope? Yes! UN Secretary General António Guterres said that the UN is prepared to increase its humanitarian aid amidst the Venezuelan crisis, but that it needs Nicolás’s approval.
Comments aside, read the document of the Plan País, review it and share it. We have to defeat censorship.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.Donate