A Useless Exercise

Photo: Bloomberg retrieved 

ANC-imposed Comptroller General Elvis Amoroso announced sanctions against the boards of directors of Pdvsa, Citgo and Monómeros Colombo Venezolanos, that had been appointed by the National Assembly. The measures against them are based on the AN’s alleged contempt and TSJ rulings, and they impose a prohibition of and blocking bank accounts, a measure that, he explained, will be submitted to international institutions outside Venezuela. Turns out his reading skills are terrible, too. Amoroso is also the president of the Republican Moral Council and he voted for himself to be a TSJ justice in December 2015, and announced that Luisa Ortega Díaz, Germán Ferrer, Tomás Guanipa, Antonio Ledezma and Julio Borges are barred from serving as public officers, for hiding and falsifying information in their sworn statement. Disqualifying exiled politicians from running for office is a great contribution to our Republic, right? 

Answers for Amoroso

Pdvsa’s Ad Hoc board appointed by the National Assembly tweeted that the actions by Maduro’s administration “won’t stop the work for defending Venezuelans’ interests and recovering our assets abroad.” José Ignacio Hernández, Attorney General appointed by Guaidó, tweeted: “The Comptroller’s Office can’t issue political measures to bar anyone from running for office, nor can the usurping comptroller issue valid decisions. They keep insisting on legally disguising what’s a clear political persecution.” Julio Borges,Tomás Guanipa, Luisa Ortega Díaz and Germán Ferrer rejected the statement and didn’t recognize “an usurping regime’s” political measures. Ortega Díaz called Amoroso a “criminal,” repeated that this measure isn’t valid and suggested that Amoroso paid attention to “international investigations” against him and his son, Jesús Hidrobo.

Even Turkey backfires

– Ziraat Bank, the largest bank in Turkey, has stopped providing services to the BCV because of the latest sanctions. The BCV trusted Ziraat to pay contractors, move money and import products in Turkish liras. The bank proves that Turkey might be chavismo’s ally, but handles its economy carefully. 

– Swiss engineering and industrial contractor Sulzer denied the information that it’d work with Chinese company Wison to repare Venezuelan refineries: “Sulzer isn’t working on any new projects in Venezuela, beyond the older contracts that are currently suspended, waiting for overdue Pdvsa payments.” 

– About Nicolás’s last announcement about a plot to murder him, exiled deputy Lester Toledo said: “He keeps making up ridiculous stories about how the entire world wants to murder him. We’ve heard it a million times, nobody believes it.” He warned Nicolás that the people conspiring are in his closest circle.

– Jorge Arreaza said today that Nicolás “paused the dialogue” but that chavismo hasn’t retired: “Of course there’ll be contact and surely we’ll manage to re-establish this dialogue with necessary reflection with a new mechanism that guarantees peace,” he said.

An unprecedented crisis

The AN Delegate Commission was installed on Thursday, for the parliamentary recess. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó announced that the Legislative Branch will keep working to solve the complex humanitarian emergency. The presidents of the commissions and the board take part in the commission. It will keep using diverse mechanisms to pressure Nicolás for a political transition: “Continuing with this regime means blockades, poverty and death. Progress and prosperity can be guaranteed with a process of change in our country,” said Guaidó, warning that they’ll hold an extraordinary session on Tuesday. He also rejected the trial against union leader  Rubén González; that on August 16th it’d have been 16 days since Edgar Zambrano was detained and on Wednesday, “it’ll be five months from Roberto Marrero’s kidnapping. It’s an unprecedented crisis.”

The non-country

  • Union workers and social leaders protested to demand Rubén González’s release. Human rights defenders Marino Alvarado said that the Prosecutor’s Office  is an accomplice in the injustice of a civilian being on trial in a militar
  • – The CSN announced a national protest for September 4th to reject the current minimum wage (Bs.40.000 + Bs. 25.000 food bonus ). Their goal is that salaries and pensions will be in dollars
  • Limiting ONGs is chavismo’s answer to the Bachelet report. Diosdado Cabello said the ANC will create a law to sanction NGOs that “get money from the empire to plot against our country”. It’s a recycled idea from 2010, when a similar law was approved to hunt down these organizations. .

– Iván Freites, president of the Venezuelan Oil Worker Federation denounced the severe crisis in the oil sector. According to him, “all Pdvsa refineries are paralyzed” and the industry can’t guarantee the supply of fuel to the entire country and said that the little gas we produce is a poor quality and 90% goes straight to illegal traffickers. 

– Today on Nicolás’s variety show celebrated the Venezuelan athletes that won in the Pan American Games of Lima 2019, fundamental for alleviating the complex humanitarian emergency and hyperinflation. 

We, the migrants

Christian Krüger Sarmiento, head of Colombian Migration issued a statement about some Colombian congressmen saying that the border should be closed, guaranteeing that such a measure would only increase illegal migration: “When people are starving, as it’s happening in Venezuela, there’s no way to limit their mobility; assisting them is a humanitarian issue,” he said. Filippo Grandi arrived to Brazil to check on the living conditions of Venezuelan migrants in Boa Vista and Pacaraima. In an interview for CNN en Español, Guaidó warned that out exodus could easily grow to 8 million people if measures aren’t taken in 2020. 

Russia for Nicolás

Vladimir Padrino López, Nicolás’s Defense minister, signed an agreement with his Russian colleague Serguéi Shoigú, to allow war ships to visit each country’s ports. Shoigú  said that Russia highlights “the unprecedented U.S. pressure, to destabilize the situation in your country.” Padrino also criticized U.S. actions and accused them of violating international law. He thanked Shoigú and president Vladímir Putin the invitation for the Army International Military Games 2019. María Zajárova denounced today that a British base in Guyana trains Venezuelan refugees to be part of “sabotage and espionage groups” who’ll be deployed to Venezuela. Foreign Minister Serguéi Lavrov accused the U.S. of applying the Monroe Doctrine on Venezuela, saying that people who think like this “seem to live in another time and don’t understand the realities of the modern world.” 

All the Russian media effort makes Shoigú’s words more cynical:  “Only Venezuelans have the right to decide their future. International meddling especially in today’s tense situation, it’s inadmisible.” That’s how they are.

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