Photo: @TVVnoticias

Protests continue in Venezuela. In various states, citizens demand the restitution of electricity and water services, but the state is more focused on repressing than on providing solutions. This Wednesday, April 3rd, Nicolás spoke (on the phone) on Diosdado Cabello’s show, and defended paramilitary groups (colectivos) calling them good people: “Enough satanizing them! Onwards, colectivos, to guarantee the country’s peace!” he said. For Nicolás, Venezuela is the testing ground for a non-conventional war, that’s why he claimed that this is “the electric, cybernetic, electromagnetic and psychic war to topple a government.” He insisted on blaming U.S. President Donald Trump for the electric collapse: “We won’t deceive anyone, the situation is dire,” and he called on his ministers and governors to create WhatsApp groups to report about power rationing “in real time, so that people know when there’s going to be load administration where they live.” He urged people to buy candles, flashlights and water recipients, because “we have to be prepared; these people decided to wage war on us.” He said that he’s ready to buy appliances abroad to replace those that have been damaged by blackouts, but of course, through the carnet de la patria. After such messages, José Luis Rodríguez’s ambition to be a presidential candidate or William Ojeda changing sides yet again, are nothing.

Multiform attacks

Delcy Rodríguez announced this Wednesday that they’ll carry out the intervention, restructuring and modernization of the National Electric Corporation (Corpoelec), as if it had been managed all this time by anyone other than chavismo itself. “We’ve installed the Electric Bureau and we’ve defined two lines of work: attending the electric emergency and building a new system through Corpoelec’s modernization,” said Delcy, adding that after “armoring the electric system against the multiform attacks it has suffered” and restoring it, water and basic service issues will be solved.

So in order to put an end to alleged sabotage, attacks, fires and mercenary gunfire, chavismo will restructure Corpoelec. Although they lack the decency to admit that the collapse is their responsibility, the announcements prove that reality always trumps fiction. By the way, since April 1st they’ve been handing out the “Pueblo valiente” bonus for carnet de la patria holders, for “resisting the attacks against the electric system.” The bonus is Bs. 25,000 ($7), not enough to buy a pack of candles.

Guaidó’s immunity

In response to his stance regarding the removal of Juan Guaidó’s parliamentary immunity, the UN Secretary General’s spokesman said that Guterres “restates his call for all actors to take immediate measures to reduce tensions and to abstain from any action that could lead to a greater escalation.” Meanwhile, the German government condemned the action and demanded that Guaidó’s safety and personal integrity be guaranteed. Colombian President Iván Duque said that he rejects any attempt to capture Juan Guaidó and that he thinks that “an arrest of the dictatorship merits a clear rejection and a multilateral action to restore constitutional order in Venezuela.”

The Argentine Foreign minister also rejected “the attempted removal of [caretaker President’s] parliamentary immunity” and condemned “all intimidation and harassment of Maduro’s dictatorial regime.”

Juan Guaidó said yesterday that there will be more that 67 rallying points across the national territory for the protest on Saturday, April 6th: “What I can tell you for a fact is that it’s going to be massive and we need each one of you to mobilize for the definitive end of the usurpation,” he said after the Plan País meeting.

Good and bad meddling

The Chinese government denied that troops of their People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are in Venezuela to deliver humanitarian aid and military supplies: “Our position in Venezuela is clear and consistent: we defend international law and the rules of international relations and we oppose interference in other countries’ affairs,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. Aside from the fact that Venezuela has a month to pay its debt with Russia to avoid late payment fines, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov; the regime’s Planning vice-president Ricardo Menéndez said in Moscow that he’s waiting for Russian help to secure power and water supply systems in Venezuela. However, Jorge Arreaza said in Beirut that “the only meddling” here is that of the United States. He also accused the U.S. of “violating international legislation” by attempting to stop the gold trade between Venezuela and Turkey; and expressed his rejection to the “United Kingdom’s meddling statements,” for rejecting the removal of Juan Guaidó’s immunity, as well as the opinions against the military cooperation between Russia and Venezuela. In any case, The Times of Israel said that Arreaza was in Beirut to meet the leader of Hezbollah before visiting Syria, where he’ll meet President Bashar Al-Assad.

The U.S. moves

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton talked about the Venezuelan crisis, among other topics. Larry Kudlow, economic advisor for the White House, said yesterday that the United States has plans to quickly revitalize Venezuela’s economy, including financial measures and food aid, as well as population funds. The rescue and reform plan would imply providing dollars to the nation and the United States is working with banks in the region about this possibility. Also yesterday, the U.S. announced that they’re storing humanitarian aid supplies in Curaçao, coordinating with regional governments and humanitarian partners the logistical aspects for a safe and efficient delivery.

Additionally, a bipartisan group of senators submitted a draft law that seeks to increase humanitarian aid to Venezuela to $400 million and with it “support Guaidó and his efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela,” said senator Bob Menéndez. Deputy State Secretary John Sullivan will be in France for the G7’s Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting where they’ll discuss the Venezuelan crisis.

Moreover, U.S. Special Envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, denounced that one of the things the Russians are doing in Venezuela is “helping the regime with a S-300 missile system, which was apparently damaged by the blackout,” cautioning that they’re monitoring all of their actions.

Yesterday was Tal Cual’s 19th anniversary: claro y raspao.

For Teodoro, we go on.

 

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