Photo: Efecto Cocuyo

Deputy Ángel Alvarado, member of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, revealed this Monday that May’s inflation rate was 31.3%, the accumulated rate was 905.6%, and the interannual rate was 815,194%.

About the publication of the Central Bank’s figures, he said that “it’s not enough to publish the data, measures must be taken to solve Venezuelans’ essential problems. The figures recognize a past problem but not the present problem,” because hyperinflation hasn’t stopped and acquiring goods and services with dollars has become harder. Yesterday morning, Peter Cerdá, vice-president for the Americas of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said that Venezuela is the country with the largest accrued debt at a global scale in this sector: $3.8 billion.

Protests of all kinds

Workers from various sectors (education, health, Foreign Ministry and electricity) protested in front of the Labor Ministry to demand better wages and work conditions.

 Dr. Carlos Prospero from the Vargas Hospital, denounced 75% malnutrition among workers and cautioned that the actions they’ll take in the next few months will be “more conclusive.” Lourdes Ramírez de Viloria, head of the Federation of Associations of University Professors, denounced that the Ministry violates all their rights; and Reinaldo Díaz, from CORPOLEC’s union, demanded the restitution of the collective bargaining. Yesterday, a criminal gang imposed a protest against the Special Actions Forces (FAES) and the National Police (PNB) and prevented transit in the José Félix Ribas neighborhood in Palo Verde. Don’t forget that retired oil workers have been in a hunger strike for the past 12 days in Caracas. In Barinas and Táchira, people protested for the lack of cooking gas. In Carúpano for lack of water. Bus drivers in Maracaibo are starting a general strike on Wednesday for the lack of gasoline and against paying the authorities, which was also denounced in Maturín: $10 to enter the gas station. Zulia, Merida and Tachira continue without electric power and in Margarita, people protested for the collapse of all public services.

We, the migrants

“We want to advance in promoting a solid legislative framework for one of the state policies, exemplified by Argentina: receiving refugees under the mechanism of community sponsorship,” said Juan Carlos Murillo, regional representative for UNHCR.

Jorge Arreaza continued his campaign against UN agencies and wrote: “We don’t need to remind UNHCR that their mandate pertains refugees,” and strangely, Arreaza doesn’t know that the status of refugee is decided by host countries, not by UNHCR.

While VTV announced as an achievement that several regime authorities met “to evaluate the impact of state policies in border areas,” the Metropolitan Police of Cucuta carried out an operation on illegal crossings and blocked access through those trails. In March, Venezuela was the second country of origin of asylum seekers in the European Union: the number of Venezuelan asylum seekers increased by 121% in the first four months of 2019. In fact, yesterday caretaker President Juan Guaidó cautioned that our exodus could surpass Syria’s.

More figures, but on health

The most recent reports issued by the Pan American Health Organization highlight the serious public health events related with preventable diseases through vaccination, with Venezuela as one of the countries with the most events (11) in the region:

  • Measles: with an outbreak since mid-2017, with over 6,500 confirmed cases, in addition to the confirmed cases of measles imported from Venezuela. There have been 76 deaths, none of them in 2019.
  • Diphtheria: the outbreak started in July 2016, and by April 30th, 2019, over 2,700 suspected and confirmed cases have been reported, including 280 deaths. Colombia confirmed cases also imported from Venezuela.
  • Malaria: between 2010 and 2018, the number of cases increased by 900% and the spread grew from 12 to 17 states, with the national incidence rate rising tenfold in the same period.
  • Dengue: after a drop of 84% of cases between 2015 and 2017, dengue reported an increase for 2018 and in the first third of 2019, the trend continues growing. In the first 17 weeks of this year, incidence increased by 1,942%. Venezuela reported 3,636 suspected cases.

The non-country

  • The National Guard confiscated 201 packs of cocaine in Falcon State, inspiring regime Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López to reflect on it: “Venezuela keeps being the victim of Colombian drug trafficking. Many want to put the center of gravity in what they call transit countries and they refuse to see the great producer country and much less the great consumer country.” According to El Pitazo, the vehicle transporting the drug was identified with the logo of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN).
  • Dr. Ramón Rubio, head of the Aragua Doctors Association, denounced that the Central Hospital of Maracay has no doctors because the Health Ministry hasn’t paid the doctors working and studying there. The doctors decided to set a period until June 30th for debt payment.
  • “The Chamba Juvenil program has over 1,600,000 registered members, 262 of which are incorporated to the Inces in various training areas,” said Delcy Rodríguez yesterday, before announcing that the scholarships for members of the productive high school program will be equal to a minimum wage.
  • SAIME activated a mechanism to ratify the request of passports pending approval since 2016 until 2018, to filter the requests and validate user information.

Movements on the board

  • Argentine President Mauricio Macri and his Colombian counterpart Iván Duque, demanded this Monday in Buenos Aires the end of Nicolás’s usurpation. Duque spoke for speeding up the diplomatic isolation, while Macri said that the migration wave “isn’t sustainable in time.“
  • U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo said yesterday that in Venezuela “over 60% of the country goes to bed hungry every night (…) malnutrition is so common that Venezuelans call it Maduro’s diet.”

  • Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso said during a press conference of G20 finance ministers, that the Venezuelan crisis is a geopolitical risk.
  • The U.S. Southern Command said that this Friday, June 14th, a hospital ship will sail to assist Venezuelan migrants. It will stop in 11 nations.
  • Given the measures adopted by Argentina, prohibiting regime officials from entering their territory, OAS chief Luis Almagro told others governments in the region that they should replicate the measure.

  • Venezuela’s oil loans to Nicaragua dropped by 73.4% last year compared to 2017, according to a report issued by the Nicaraguan Central Bank. Nothing to regret, those funds (which add up to $4.9 billion since dictator Daniel Ortega rose to power in 2007,) are managed outside the National Budget.

This Sunday, messages between Brazilian judge Sergio Moro (who put Lula Da Silva in jail) and prosecutors from the Lava Jato case were leaked, severely discrediting their impartiality during the process and this Monday, the team at Plop (creators of El Chigüire Bipolar among other pearls) used this case to open the Ampli, a channel that mixes explanatory journalism with humor, something that will surely help understand and spread complex stories. They’re @elamplipuntocom on Twitter.

 

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.