Photo: El Impulso, retrieved.

ANC deputy and Nicolás’s former labor minister, Francisco Torrealba, announced on Twitter  (with the image of an old Official Gazette) the third increase of Venezuela’s minimum wage so far this year, it went from 40,000 to 150,000 bolivars, an increase of 375 %. 

He also increased the food bonus by 500 %, from 25,000 to 150,000 bolivars. The so-called integral wage is 300,000 bolivars, or $15.2, according to the BCV’s official rate and it keeps workers who earn minimum wage in extreme poverty, because they’re paid barely $0.5 a day. Pensions will also be 150,000 bolivars. This is Nicolás’s 28th minimum wage increase, and the 50th in 20 years of chavismo. Nicolás didn’t do his variety show, he wouldn’t own up to his actions. 

Reactions 

Caretaker President Juan Guaidó called the new minimum wage “a mockery” and said it’s still the lowest in the continent, the evidence of Nicolás’s economic failure. Deputy in exile 

José Guerra said that the increase is insufficient to buy the basic food basket ($250) and it’s why “workers are going through a precarious situation.” Deputy Alfonso Marquina, member of the National Assembly’s Finance Commission, said that Venezuelans need at least 12 minimum wages to afford the basic food basket and said that the regime will have to issue money not backed by reserves, to honor the salaries of the public sector and pensions, which means the impact on inflation will be palpable. 

Defending the Autonomy 

Professors, students and heads of several Venezuelan universities met at the UCV Aula Magna to reject Sentence 324, issued by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ,) which aims at setting the rules for the election of university authorities. The Venezuelan Association of University Deans (Averu) reported that they’ll take their proposal for defending university autonomy to the AN on Tuesday. Dean Cecilia García Arocha explained that the TSJ’s decision violates their right to defense and the Constitution. García Arocha also said that they’ll denounce the continuous violation of the right to education before the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and encouraged the defence of autonomy and future actions to rescue academia. 

The Other Country 

– Many chavista spokespeople used state media to talk about the triumph of the Ecuadorian indigenous people’s movement, for achieving the derogation of the decree that ordered ending subsidies for fuel. 

– Since the ANC will debate on Tuesday about the crisis in Ecuador (already solved,) chavismo announced an indigenous peoples’ march in solidarity with Ecuadorians; too bad it doesn’t include all those who have had to flee to Colombia and Brazil, escaping the complex humanitarian crisis. 

– Violating the law, again, Nicolás’s planning vice-president Ricardo Menéndez delivered the first draft of a potential Annual Budget and Operational Plan Law 2020 to the ANC. 

– In an interview with Vladimir Villegas, Tania Díaz denied Venezuelans’ problems, denied that Nicolás’s delegation had retired from the negotiation table and Nicolás’s economic mistakes. In an extraordinary self-describing exercise, she said: “This economic, political elite, a heartbroken elite, has taken away the right to exercise politics from an entire nation.” 

Criminal Incidence 

“Thanks to cooperation between the military and police forces that we’ve developed in the peace quadrants, criminal incidence has been reduced by 35.8 % so far this year,” said Néstor Reverol, Nicolás’s interior minister. Believe it or not, he also said that all security policies in the past three years have lowered criminal incidence: “3,114 homicides have been prevented, and 36,000 crimes compared to last year,” said Reverol. According to him, the murder rate in 2016 was 56 for every 100,000 inhabitants, 47 in 2017, 33 in 2018 and in 2019, it’s 22. Reverol asked all security forces to “come together in a peace quadrant, organize around them.” Isn’t that cute? 

The Non Country 

– The president of the Venezuelan Pediatric Association, Huníades Urbina, said that 50 % of children in Venezuela are at risk of malnutrition, clarifying that most children endure some form of malnutrition because of the precarious access to food most Venezuelans endure. 

– He also said that between 50 % and 65 % of children aren’t vaccinated, which explains why “diseases that had been eradicated are starting to appear again.” 

– Wilmar Castro Soteldo, Nicolás’s agriculture minister, condemned the impact of sanctions over the people’s right to food during the FAO’s 46th Food Security Committee meeting. 

– Juan Crespo, president of Flour Workers Federation (Fetraharina) denounced that Bimbo had stopped working on Monday morning: “The Catia plant, which is the largest flour mill in Venezuela, which can process 30,000 tonnes a month, is paralyzed… we don’t have raw materials.” 

– Nueva Esparta governor, Alfredo Díaz, will denounce the takeover of his property before the National Assembly. 

Movements on the Board

– Nicolás’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza said that the Colombian government is trying to evade its tragedies by accusing Venezuela, promoting hate and xenophobia, calling the exercise “ridiculous” and saying they “lack the courage to face their reality.” 

– The Lima Group, the EU and the United States asked members of the UN to not pay attention to Nicolás’s candidacy for the Human Rights Council. 

– Diosdado Cabello went to China and met with Huang Kunming, chief of Communist Party’s Department of Propaganda. This trip happened almost a month after he traveled to North Korea and Vietnam, where he allegedly “strengthened bonds of cooperation.” 

– Nine leaders of Catalonian independence were sentenced on Monday from 9 to 13 years in prison for their failed secession attempt in 2017. 

The Vinotinto defeated Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in a friendly match in Caracas. The Remolacha Mecánica won with Salomón Rondón and Darwin Machís’s goals. Rondón has scored 27 goals in total, he holds the record for most goals in the history of our team. In addition, the Venezuelan Soccer Federation honored captain Tomás Rincón for 100 games with the Vinotinto.

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