Guaidó’s Strange Power

Photo: Cristian Hernández

Nicolás’s government denounced on Thursday caretaker president Juan Guaidó’s alleged plan, backed by the U.S., to “hand over” international companies in Esequibo: “We know what this criminal organization acting under a political facade intends to do with Venezuela, hand our territory over, renounce our sovereignty,” said Nicolás vice-president, Delcy Rodríguez. To back her accusation, Delcy revealed a voice message from a person she identified as a U.S. government official to Guaidó’s “external advisor”. The alleged official exhorts to “change Venezuela’s position (…) to hand over the Esequibo (…) to ExxonMobil and other international companies.” Alongside Nicolás’s Defense minister Vladimir Padrino, Delcy asked the Public Ministry to “act against the members of this international criminal company” and determine “the responsibilities and corresponding sanctions.” 

Renouncing Sovereignty

According to chavismo, Guaidó isn’t the caretaker president and can’t govern, but for some reason he has the ability to “hand over” the Esequibo, even when it was Hugo Chávez and his anointed Nicolás who abandoned the efforts to keep that territory. Today, they blame it on Guaidó, even though 15 years ago, el finado said that he wouldn’t be “an obstacle to any project carried out in the Esequibo,” adding that this matter would be eliminated from the relations between both countries. Julio Borges, presidential commissioner for Foreign Relations, rejected the accusations against Guaidó and said that Nicolás’s administration “handed our sovereignty to Cubans (…) that are embedded in all the structures of a failed state.” Borges said that chavismo changed Venezuela’s position in our dispute with Guyana “in exchange for political support for the authoritarian project,” and cited three events that prove his accusation against chavismo: Nicolás didn’t reply to Guyana and the UN Secretary General’s announcement of their decision to escalate the matter to the ICJ, he didn’t attend the ICJ to present our defense and didn’t act during the trial to defend Venezuelans’ rights. 

Decided Hyperinflation

The official dollar rate stood at a higher price than that of the blackmarket dollar (that then turned into the “criminal dollar”), while the National Assembly informed that prices in August went up 65.2% and the annual variation was 135,379.8 %. Deputy Ángel Alvarado explained that acceleration was a consequence of the depreciation of the bolivar and the increase of public expenditure by the government. Far from this data (and its consequences), Nicolás’s variety show took place in Fuerte Tiuna, for something he called “communal offense”. The offense would have been more adequate, but the thing is that he asked Aristóbulo Istúriz to create strategies for developing and consolidating new communal cities, and to work alongside Venezuela Bella, Barrio Nuevo and Barrio Tricolor missions to advance with this purpose. It’s not worth mentioning everything else that happened. 

Oh, Pdvsa

Curaçao’s Refinería di Korsou (RdK), started talks with the industrial product conglomerate Klesch Group, to operate the Isla refinery in order to start replacing Pdvsa as their operations supplier, since the contract is expiring at the end of this year. Two managers of the Ocumare del Tuy gas plant were charged by the Public Ministry for allegedly being responsible for the explosion in the facilities that happened on August 24th. They said 

 that Jenny Martínez and Ramón Zerpa “acted in complicity” with a man whom they allowed into this Pdvsa plant so he’d tamper the valves and cause the fire: their first version, blaming the opposition for the fire, changed in 15 days. Besides, Pdvsa Gas manager Leomar Gil Celis, died of cardiac arrest after he was shot three times on Monday night in San Juan de los Morros. 

The Non-Country

Governor Carmen Meléndez asked for patience regarding electricity failures in Lara, because the state gives energy to Zulia State and solving this issue will take a long time. This way, she admits that the electricity problem isn’t a matter of attacks or sabotage, that it hasn’t been fixed and that it won’t be for now. 

Omar Prieto, Zulia governor, demanded businesses to “start accepting petros and bitcoin (…) everyone who doesn’t work with petro will be kicked out from the market.” You should read Katherine Pennacchio’s article titled “I bought a petro”, so you see what Sunacrip’s protocols really look like and the impossibility of conducting business with what they’re trying to impose. 

Prieto should know that Venezuela relies on an electronic system because we don’t have cash, and our current monetary cone was destroyed by hyperinflation. Besides, less people are going to bank offices, the amount of points of sale increased, the number of ATMs decreased and millions of operations are done every day through Pago Móvil. 

Saime announced, as if it were an achievement, that they now have the “Second time extension request” option, with details about how to pay for the piece of paper they stick to passports that they won’t renew. 

Nobody answers for the loss of 26 tons of gold from BCV’s reserves this year. 

Taliban Nicolás

Colombian President Iván Duque compared Nicolás to the Taliban and to former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega for his alleged relation with FARC dissidents and ELN guerrillas: “The regime acts like the Taliban with Al Qaeda and has alliances with drug traffickers,” he said in Barranquilla. Duque was confident when he said that Nicolás’s government protects former guerrillas: “They keep them well fed and protected, and that truly is an aggression against Colombia.” He said that the decision to deploy an “anti-aircraft missile system”  in the Colombian border is a mockery, and that it was “the cruelest way of mocking hungry people… Maduro is a dictator who has ruined Venezuela.” He assured that Colombia won’t attack, but will be respected. He warned the regime about “acting like bullies” and advised him to “feed the people”. 

Movements on the board

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan met in Bogotá with Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, to discuss our humanitarian crisis. 

Juan Guaidó is one of the announces speakers in the Concordia Forum in New York, and Nicolás is expected to speak at the UN General Assembly. The forum will take place on September 23rd-24th. 

Deputies Delsa Solórzano and Simón Calzadilla announced that Movimiento Progresista de Venezuela and Encuentro Ciudadano created the Encuentro por Venezuela, unifying their factions in the National Assembly. 

Two days after the mutiny in the PNB, that left two dead inmates, South African ambassador invited Nicolás’s Prisons minister Iris Varela to South Africa, to talk about the work she’s done in jails. I thought South Africa had left those years of brutality behind. 

On Friday, six out of eight Amazonian countries will meet in the Peru – Brazil border to hold the Amazon Presidential Summit, to discuss its future amidst the crisis caused by the fires that are devastating large areas of this tropical rainforest. Nicolás wasn’t invited. 

 

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