Malta and Empanada

Photo: @AsambleaVE

That’s what caretaker President Juan Guaidó had for breakfast in the José Félix Ribas slum in Petare, Sucre municipality, the largest in Caracas. He visited the place early this Friday to listen to the neighbors and deliver water purification tablets for children’s community kitchens. Guaidó sidestepped the regime. On social media he wrote: “We’re focused on organizing all sectors to change the reality we live. Seeing them today is a signal of hope and solidary work to rebuild our country together. Amidst the tragedy we go forward and bring solutions to Venezuelans”.

Last night, wearing excessive makeup, Nicolás reviewed his version of the events of 2002 during an alleged meeting with the Council of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. Guaidó toured Petare while Nicolás reviewed the past on TV. Journalist Eugenio Martínez made a video explaining how Juan Guaidó’s approval rating rose in two months, while chavismo’s stuck in a historic minimum.

There’s nothing without electricity

Reuters dedicated an important article to the pejorative effects of the electric disaster on the national industry, explaining with testimonies the unviability of production in a country amidst hyperinflation, in recession, with a new contraction of demand, with difficulties for the supply of raw materials and with collapsed services, affecting everything, from operation for lack of electricity, to sowing for lack of water.

In late 2018, eight of every 10 food industries reported less orders to Conindustria, estimating that March blackouts caused losses for over $217 million; estimating another $100 million for power rationing in April. The common concern is that as corruption continues to decline, there will come a day in which we won’t have any food at all. Meanwhile, Delcy Rodríguez keeps repeating the story of the non-conventional attacks to explain a mess that isn’t improving so far: only Caracas and Vargas have relatively stable electricity service, the rest of the country is under a fierce rationing plan.

Detentions

The National Police in Madrid arrested Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal, former chavista military counterintelligence chief and former lawmaker, due to an extradition order from the United States derived from documents held by Raúl Reyes, former FARC commander, where he’s mentioned as a collaborator in the delivery of arms and drug-trafficking businesses. Carvajal recognized Guaidó as legitimate President in February and has been using social networks to preach about Nicolás’ imminent fall and all the privileged information he has about the regime’s shadiest recesses. State secret police agents (SEBIN) arrested to Central Bank employees (from the banking workers union) who met with Guaidó at the National Assembly.

Also yesterday, SEBIN put another electronic shackle on commissioner Iván Simonovis, perhaps it’s a detail of the regime’s sadism, a souvenir of how they framed him for the events on April 11th, 2002.

A humanitarian disaster

Virginia Gamba, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflicts, said: “I think there’s not a single humanitarian agency that isn’t concerned because this a major humanitarian disaster,” emphasizing that the lack of access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance is despicable and criticizing Nicolás for not prioritizing humanitarian needs over his political ambitions. Gamba also expressed her concern for the impact of Venezuelan migration flows in other countries of Latin America, and cautioned about the risks faced by children and teenagers who leave Venezuela on their own, increasing their vulnerability to human rights violations. Meanwhile, UN Special Representative Eduardo Stein said yesterday in a forum organized by the World Bank that “there was no timely response to the Venezuelan crisis,” restating figures that ratify the humanitarian disaster. Also yesterday, the World Bank donated $31.5 million to Colombia for the reception of our migrants.

Movements on the board

OAS chief Luis Almagro met with UN High Commission for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, to talk about the state of human rights in America.

U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo congratulated Chilean President Sebastián Piñera for his efforts in isolating Nicolás’ regime, for receiving Venezuelans fleeing the crisis and for his leadership in creating Prosur. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added four shipping companies and nine ships that continue dealing with Venezuela to their list of sanctions. Argentina accredited Elisa Trotta as diplomatic representative appointed by caretaker President Juan Guaidó and formally announced they’re leaving UNASUR.

By the way, Sudan’s Defense Minister Awad bin Auf resigned his post this Friday as chief of the military junta established to rule the country after the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir, only 24 hours after taking over.

Alfredo González, managing editor of Mexican newspaper El Heraldo, claimed that representatives of Nicolás and Juan Guaidó will travel to his country to start a round of talks to find a solution to the political crisis.

González revealed the place where the event will take place, but not the date, adding that both teams are finishing up logistical details. He also says that Venezuelans see Mexico “as the most neutral territory in the continent” (hahaha!), a phrase he connects with flattery for President López Obrador, a way of calibrating the goal of his article and his unbiased opinion. According to González, Fabiana Rosales and Lilian Tintori will travel to Mexico in coming days to kick off the project. We’ll see.

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