Sorry, Dr. Vargas

While Vargas governor García Carneiro renamed the state as La Guaira, Maduro makes baseless claims on diphtheria and measles cases in the country. Widespread fuel shortages will get much worse very soon. Peru will request visas from Venezuelan migrants while the region scrambles to offer a proper response to the Venezuelan exodus and increase pressure on the regime.

Photo: Efecto Cocuyo retrieved

This Thursday afternoon, the Legislative Council of Vargas State approved the modification of the Regional Constitution to change the state’s name to La Guaira, a measure executed by request of governor Luis García Carneiro, because according to him, that way they’re rescuing the origins of that state, the only one named after a civilian, honoring Dr. José María Vargas, President of Venezuela and founding rector of the Central University. For these decisions there’s no popular consultation, the words of a former chavista soldier are enough and voilá! Vargas is now La Guaira.

Health according to Nicolás

Yesterday, Nicolás celebrated that for three weeks there haven’t been any cases of diphtheria and measles, pathologies that reappeared in his government and that he didn’t mention until yesterday, despite all the complaints about its outbreaks after decades of control: “We’ve managed to reduce measles cases in the country by 91%, and also diphtheria cases by 89%,” he claimed, although he didn’t explain where he got the data, because epidemiological bulletins continue to go unpublished. Nicolás announced: “Tomorrow, in Saint Petersburg, we’ll sign an agreement for joint insulin production. We’ll produce insulin in Venezuela, we have to accomplish it,” he said and added that they’ll sign an agreement between the Health Ministry and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, “to speed up and increase humanitarian support.”

The non-country

  • Lawmaker Franco Casella, who has been in the Mexican Embassy in Venezuela since May 14th, denounced that his house was raided and several personal belongings were stolen. His wife and daughter weren’t home, but Casella still held Nicolás responsible for his relatives’ physical and emotional integrity.

  • Electrical engineer Freddy Brito Maestre was appointed Electric Energy minister and head of the National Electric Corporation (CORPOELEC), two months and five days after Nicolás briefly appointed Igor Gavidia. In the same tweet, Nicolás appointed Gabriela Jiménez as Science and Technology minister.

Without gasoline

“We have gasoline for a month. We’re going to have severe shortages,” said Luis Hernández, head of the Front of Oil Workers of Monagas State, detailing that the fuel situation is tremendously serious in 16 states, and hits Táchira, Mérida, Portuguesa and Bolívar the hardest. According to Hernández, the main cause is the crisis in refineries, in addition to the lack of additives and foreign currency. But this gets worse: the U.S. Treasury Department modified the licenses that authorized “certain activities” of PDV Holding Inc., to further asphyxiate PDVSA’s situation. The Office of Foreign Assets Control modified the General Licenses 7B and 8, which authorized transactions with PDVSA. They also modified General License 13, which authorizes the activities involving Nynas AB, a Swedish company 50% of which is owned by PDVSA. After these modifications, the U.S. won’t authorize transactions or trade agreements related with exports or re-exports of diluents directly or indirectly to Venezuela. However, the regime will open a representation of PDVSA in Moscow this month and they’re already moving staff, according to Manuel Quevedo.

We, the migrants

The Peruvian government announced this Thursday that they’ll request visas from Venezuelan migrants who wish to enter their country. “We want to guarantee an orderly and safe migration. Migration can be organized through a better entry system for Venezuelan citizens,” said President Martín Vizcarra. The announcement was made during the third expulsion of Venezuelans who have clandestinely entered the country or forged information. Meanwhile, Kelly Clements, UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), said during her visit to Ecuador that “the vulnerability of Venezuelan migrants has increased,” and underscored that, unlike in other countries in the region, in Ecuador, Venezuelan migrants are distributed all over the country, even in very remote areas with reduced access to services. The government of Japan officially donated $3.6 million to cooperate with the assistance for Venezuelans who have fled to Brazil. According to a statement issued b UNHCR, the donation “will help strengthen the support of United Nations agencies and the response given by the Brazilian government to receive, assist and protect” Venezuelans.

Movements on the board

  • The Lima Group issued a new statement about the Venezuelan crisis and urged the governments of Russia, China, Cuba and Turkey to contribute to a peaceful solution to the conflict. The Lima Group restated that Nicolás’ regime is responsible for the complex humanitarian emergency, and him staying in power “represents an obstacle for restoring democracy,” and also constitutes “a threat to peace and security mainly affecting the region.”

  • U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, advised chavismo to occupy their seats at the National Assembly again and agree on a political transition process with the opposition. “Venezuelans must be able to come together and take the decisions facing their country through free and fair elections that reflect the will of the majority, not just the corrupt few who hold power,” he said.
  • This Thursday, Russia’s Vladimir Putin said the countries that support Juan Guaidó are “mad”, emphasizing that the role of the international community must be “to create the conditions for dialogue, promote dialogue and facilitate dialogue.” Putin admitted that it’s possible that part of the Russian personnel have left Venezuelan already.
  • Bloomberg journalist Álex Vásquez said that Norwegian mediators in the political talks between the regime and the opposition met in Caracas this Thursday with minister Jorge Rodríguez, to try and organize new meetings: “Juan Guaidó’s representatives didn’t join the meeting and refused to participate in a new round of talks if the government doesn’t offer a concrete proposal to hold free presidential elections soon.”

This Thursday, Argentina’s Mauricio Macri and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro met in Buenos Aires, and agreed on redoubling their criticism against Nicolás’ regime, believing that it’s damaging the region. After holding a work meeting, they both said that they’ll do “all in their power to restore democracy in Venezuela, which is the path towards the future.” Bolsonaro said that “South America as a whole is concerned for the rise of new Venezuelas,” and asked Argentine citizens to be responsible when it’s time to choose their future leaders.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.