Photo: Tal Cual retrieved

The number of Venezuelans who left the country surpassed the four million, according to the UN Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migrations, becoming one of the largest displaced groups in the world, with an astonishing exit rhythm: in only seven months, since November 2018, the number of refugees and migrants increased by one million. It’s quite serious that regime foreign minister Jorge Arreaza minimizes this drama as an “instrumentalization of migration,” in a clear exercise of projection of his recent campaign about the children who have died for lack of bone marrow transplants. While the various UN agencies seek financial support for host countries, some nations are trying to stop the migrant flow by complicating the access. Such is the case of Peru, whose President, Martín Vizcarra, aside from turning the expulsion of Venezuelans into news (clumsily feeding xenophobia,) imposed a visa starting on Jun 15th. Various Human Rights organizations criticized this measure and the regime, applying the principle of reciprocity, will demand visas from Peruvian citizens starting the same day.

The flow at the border

After decreeing the closure of the border with Colombia on February 22nd to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid, and allowing the crossing of students and patients traveling to that country on March 11th, Nicolás authorized reopening the Tachira border crossings starting on Saturday, June 8th. Freddy Bernal, in his role as Tachira’s political protector (?), announced that they’ll apply “a migration system through the use of an ID card with the support of SAIME,” cautioning that “there’s no justification to cross through irregular trails” and that those who use them will have to face the law. Colombian Immigration said this Sunday that in the first day after the border was reopened, 34,000 people entered and 40,000 exited Colombia through authorized crossings.

And in Venezuela

Out of the ten million children in Venezuela, 3.2 million are in need of basic assistance. According UN data, the rapid intensification of the crisis have expelled 750,000 children and teenagers from the school system. In the words of Christophe Boulierac, spokesman for UNICEF, they’re concerned that the current situation has reduced children’s access to essential services and increased their vulnerability, “causing the loss of years of progress”; emphasizing the need to vaccinate more children, protect them from infectious diseases and support their nutrition. Economist Omar Zambrano wrote on Twitter a long thread about the increase of infant mortality rates in Venezuela and how these aren’t linked to the recent financial sanctions imposed by the U.S., because it’s a reflection of the collapse of the Venezuelan population’s general health conditions, and started long before the sanctions, because up until 2017, the situation was already “a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.”

The non-country

– After the “anti-imperialist march” this Saturday, Nicolás defended food distribution through the Local Committees of Supply and Production, as if it was a productive an efficient project. Meanwhile, Vladimir Padrino López hosted an “event of loyalty for Nicolás” along with the troops of Lara State. It pleased the minister to see the mayors wearing militia uniforms, and among other things, he claimed that “imperialism and its lackeys will always fail before the Armed Forces’ steadfast loyalty.”

– Tragedy in Anzoátegui: three people burned to death and one was badly injured after the car they were on exploded near El Chaure Refinery.

– The headquarters of CICPC, the Aragua Police and the Prosecutor’s Office, which share the same building in Turmero, Aragua State, were attacked with gunfire early this Sunday. The identity of the attackers and their motives are still unknown.

– NGO Espacio Público denounced that the Conatel officials who shut down the radio station Radio Plus 94.9 FM in Monagas, “took the transmitters, computers and all the equipment from the cabin,” also preventing people from taking pictures of the seized equipment. Also in Monagas, no gasoline was sold this Sunday.

– Deputy Karim Vera denounced this Sunday that National Guard officers arrested 17 people for protesting fuel shortages in Tachira. Vera said that their civil rights are being violated. In Merida, a person died and another was injured by gunshots in a clash for fuel.

Expired passports

Although several nations in the region have implemented policies to facilitate the regularization of the immigration status of Venezuelans, many have been affected by the expiration of their identity documents, which are impossible to renew with this regime. In order to “protect the human right to identification,” Juan Guaidó decreed that Venezuelan passports would be extended for five years. The five years start counting after the original date of expiration and the measure benefits Venezuelans living abroad. To formalize the extension, the embassies where Guaidó’s representatives have been recognized, will issue a consular identification and a stamp, whose issuance will be tied to the payment of consular services, except in the case of vulnerable citizens. The U.S. was the first country to recognize the resolution and this Saturday, the government of Spain followed suit. OAS chief Luis Almagro urged the countries that support Guaidó to do the same and “return Venezuelans their right to identity.”

Movements on the board

– Diosdado Cabello met in Havana with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, Army general Raúl Castro Ruz and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez.

– Cuban Foreign Minister Rodríguez expressed to Canada their “firm and invariable solidarity” with Nicolás and urged them to support the initiative of a “respectful dialogue.” By the way, Cabello said in Havana, that “Canada is hostile against Venezuela” that “does whatever the U.S. tells them to do.”

– Having shut down the consular offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, Venezuela will have all diplomatic functions in Canada in the embassy in Ottawa. 

– The Saint Petersburg Summit ended with 650 signed agreements, according to Russian presidential advisor, including an agreement between Moscow and Caracas for the supply and production of insulin in Venezuela.

– Perhaps another agreement explains the statement of Aleksandr Schetinin, Russian Foreign Ministry official responsible for Latin America, about Russia’s disposition to increase the contingent of military specialists in Venezuela “if Caracas requests it.” Ah! El Aissami announced that they’re evaluating establishing payments in rubles to trade with Russia despite the sanctions.

Good news!

– This Sunday, karate fighter Andrés Madera won the gold medal in the final 67 kg match of the Premier League K1 Shanghai 2019.

– In a friendly match, La Vinotinto won over the U.S. (3-0), with a double goal by Salomón Rondón, who became the Venezuelan top scorer, surpassing the 23-goal record set by Juan Arango.

Venezuelan Marianne Díaz was recognized with the award “Human Rights Heroes” for investigation and leading action campaigns in favor of digital rights. The award, created by Access Now, will be delivered by UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. Without a cape but with codes!

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