New Banknotes, Same Problem

Photo: VTV

The bolívar soberano’s sovereignty lasted nine months. Nicolás ignored all the warnings about the performance of investment amidst hyperinflation and launched a monetary cone with eight bills that lost value and usefulness very fast. Starting today, June 13th, the Central Bank of Venezuela adds three new bills to the cone and increases the highest denomination from Bs. 500 to Bs. 50,000, a bill that could pay the current minimum wage but isn’t even worth $8. These 50,000 bolívares soberanos are equivalent to 5,000,000,000 bolívares fuertes and to 5,000,000,000,000 of that old currency without surnames that preceded chavismo. The huge gap between the Bs. 500 and Bs. 10,000 bill may save the regime some money, but not the citizens, although we already use digital methods to pay even for the fruit we buy in the street. Chavismo will keep issuing higher denomination bills or carrying out new reconversions, but the problem is hyperinflation and Nicolás has done nothing to solve it. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó said that “the regime’s arrogance destroyed the country,” adding that the country needs an immediate solution and that solution is the end of usurpation.

Dismantling the National Assembly

Guaidó himself denounced yesterday afternoon that the Supreme Tribunal of Justice ordered that lawmakers Tomás Guanipa and José Guerra be stripped of their parliamentary immunity, asking to consider the severity of the incident, the assault of the will of voters and the regime’s attempt to finish off the National Assembly: “Every attack intensifies the country’s problems and speeds up the end of the dictatorship,” he said. The TSJ’s ruling isn’t official yet. Deputy José Guerra said that the action is desperate and added that “they want to deal a deadly blow to Primero Justicia, because we had nine deputies in Caracas, now we’re down to four and they think that indicting Tomás (Guanipa) and me, only two would be left.” Professor and deputy José Guerra has dedicated his life to university education and public service, he has my respect and solidarity.

Who brings the soldiers?

María Corina Machado, Diego Arria and Antonio Ledezma restated their rejection to the negotiation supported by Norway and demand its definitive end “leaving no space for suspicions.” They urged Guaidó to authorize the access of an international coalition to liberate and rebuild the nation: “There’s only one real option on the table. That option is force, understood as an appropriate combination of the National Assembly’s institutional strength, your caretaker Presidency and the legitimate TSJ, with the mobilized strength of organized Venezuelans and the strength of a loyal international coalition that cooperates with us in the task of ousting the ruling narco-state,” they added and urged Guaidó to invoke the support of his international allies.

Meanwhile, as if she had any legitimacy to give lectures on democracy, youtuber Luisa Ortega Díaz asked politicians to unite and rethink their strategies “to defeat the hatred imposed by madurismo. We have to set aside hidden agendas and talk straight to the people.”

About health

Doctors, nurses and workers of the Concepción Palacios Maternity Hospital in Caracas protested this Wednesday for the lack of surgical supplies, the shortage of medicines and the health center’s contamination; denouncing that the hospital hasn’t received any resources since September 2018: “We don’t get a dime,“ said Fetrasalud secretary Pablo Zambrano, adding that they’ll resume street protests until the Health minister responds. The working staff revealed the unhealthy conditions because: “There are no mops to clean the floors, no chlorine, nothing.” “Every day, the hospital must restrict its operation for some reason, and now it’s restricted because we don’t have anaesthetics or surgical instruments,” said Dr. Moraima Hernández from the Infectology Unit.

In other matters, here’s an interesting information: in ten years the pediatric emergency of Maracay’s Central Hospital has been opened three times; thus, the governments of Rafael Isea, Tareck El Aissami and Rodolfo Marco Torres have taken credit for investments and equipment in an area that has the same amount of beds since its creation.

The non-country

  • The Sectoral Mining Plan, approved a week ago by Nicolás, admits setbacks, social decline, crime and environmental impacts in the Orinoco Mining Arc, and recognizes the worsening of living conditions for miners (including indigenous communities), the rise of crime and the pollution that affects national parks. From an average contribution of 0.79% in 2003 to the GDP, mining dropped to 0.28% in 2018 do to the fall in production of all minerals compared to the installed capacity of companies due to obsolete technology and disinvestment.
  • Now the CLAP box must be paid through the mobile wallet, which means that beneficiaries must open bank accounts. This month, a new price was set: Bs. 6,000 (the price for a loaf of bread); that’s why beneficiaries only complain about the irregular distribution and the drop in the amount of products.
  • Over 100 animals were removed from Zulia’s Metropolitan Zoo, a measure taken by the regional executive. The 108 animals were transferred to a private company in Yaracuy; they include three jaguars, a puma, an Orinoco caiman, a bear and bufalos.

  • Saúl Cabrero, head of Consultores 21, said that 47% of Venezuelans want to emigrate, according to a survey carried out in March. For approximately the past three years, the pollster has analyzed the index of the Venezuelan migration. Cabrera speculated that this is the largest exodus in the history of Venezuela and Latin America.

Movements on the board

  • Romain Nadal, French ambassador in Caracas, said that his country is working so that Venezuelans can enter European territory with expired passports; adding that they don’t judge the postures of Venezuelan politicians and that they support negotiations in Oslo.
  • Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo and his Norwegian counterpart Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide, discussed Venezuela’s situation. He said that they’ve supported the creation of conditions that allow Venezuelan to live in democracy once again and to “start the institutional, economic and social reconstruction.” He also spoke about the challenges of the migration crisis and the need for more cooperation to assist refugees and migrants.
  • Peruvian Vice-President Mercedes Aráoz said no quotas will be imposed for humanitarian visas of Venezuelan citizens, also ratifying her country’s desire for democracy to be restored in Venezuela: “Each case will be analyzed. It’s evident that the situation is very critical and Peru wishes democracy to return to Venezuela (…) This work must be done, but moderately, because we don’t have the capacity to receive so many people,” she said.
  • Donald Trump said that he’ll meet with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Japan, in a moment when the United States and Russia are in conflict due to various matters in the international agenda, including Venezuela.

We go on.

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