Photo: La Prensa, retrieved.

During the second day of the national strike called by teachers to denounce terrible working conditions and low wages, the coordinator of the Union Coalition for Education, Griselda Sánchez, warned that if they get no answer about their demands, they’ll call for a new 72-hour strike. According to the Union Coalition, at least 95% of teachers joined the strike: “While the nominal wage increases, the real wage decreases. This is not a recent problem, we must change the policy, but the regime is clinging on to power,” said Víctor Márquez, president of the UCV Professors Association. There were teachers protests in Aragua, Cojedes, Carabobo, Miranda and Vargas. Nicolás’s education minister, Aristóbulo Istúriz, never showed up, while university education minister, César Trómpiz, said the strike was only enforced by institutions with no academic activities. 

Breaking Records

The same day that a FAES commissioner was accused of the alleged murder of a salesman from José Félix Ribas (Petare) slum and two criminals died when they tried to rob a Polichacao near Sambil (Chacao,) ANC-imposed prosecutor general, Tarek William Saab, said that they’ve declared 372 State officers guilty of extortion and kidnapping charges. Saab said that since 2017, 5,157 cases have been reported, 1,871 have been charged and 1,026 have been accused, a total of 3,478 people accused and 2,159 detained, “which reveals how the institution is prosecuting this.” What Saab failed to mention is how he explains that these practices have increased during the administration he represents.

Persecuting Dissidents 

While Primero Justicia deputies held a press conference to reject deputy Juan Pablo Guanipa being stripped of his parliamentary immunity, two Sebin patrol cars were surrounding the party’s headquarters. Deputy Alfonso Marquina said that Nicolás’s regime thinks that persecuting leaders they’ll stop the people’s indignation and exhaustion. “Today, we’re all Juan Pablo Guanipa, it can be any of us here tomorrow, or you watching. This regime doesn’t forgive dissent, those who want to live in a democracy,” said Marquina, who reminded everyone that, in this case, as in the case of 18 other deputies that have been victims of the same proceedings since May (TSJ makes the request and the ANC approves,) it’s not about parliamentary immunity, “but about the criminalization of politics on those leaders who are defending people ignored by the regime.” Only the National Assembly can strip any of its members of their parliamentary immunity.

The Non Country

– The executive secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrão, informed the public about the process regarding the accusation of torture and extrajudicial execution of Venezuelan councilman Fernando Albán, which just started. The State has three months to respond and inform about the human rights violations denounced by his family.

– The BCV announced new resolutions that would dollarize credit through a new Value Unit of Commercial Credit, another monetary measure for a structural problem. Economist Luis Oliveros commented about his expectations about the legal reserve: “By doing so (releasing it), we could see the credit bounce back,” and added that this measure doesn’t solve the crisis, that the government keeps controlling and meddling in the economy. 

– One of the Puente Llaguno gunmen on April 11th, 2002, Richard Peñalver, was confronted in Tenerife, Spain. In a viral video, we hear a woman asking him “What are you doing here, Peñalver?” and he answers “I saved many lives” while the woman calls him a murderer. The Metropolitan police officers who defended citizens from Peñalver and his peers’ bullets are still in prison. 

– Diosdado Cabello said that “when things don’t work, people can be angry, but they must know who they should be mad at,” referring to the protests in Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia, which he called an “awakening.” “What’s happening isn’t because of the Sao Paulo Forum, or the IMF, or Maduro,” he said, later adding that everything is going according to plan. His speech writer doesn’t like him that much. 

We, the Refugees

Only half of the $739 million that the UN asked the international community for the Venezuelan migration crisis have been collected, said UN representatives and the EU. The number of migrants reached 4,5 million. “The situation is getting worse because the flow hasn’t decreased, while there’s no lasting political solution, this flow will continue and the receiving countries have exhausted their budgets,” said UNHCR – IMO special representative, Eduardo Stein. Latin American and Caribbean representatives, EU members, UN agencias, NGOs and financial institutions like the World Bank and the IADB will attend the Brussels Solidarity Conference, on October 28th-29th. Nicolás’s regime representatives won’t attend. 

Broken Balance 

Nicolás said that he’ll travel to Azerbaijan to hand over Venezuela’s presidency of the Non Aligned Countries movement, saying he had a “victorious” balance. His variety show was broadcasted in the morning, and talked about the petro as a “convertible cryptocurrency” (he’s been at it for years,) assuring viewers that he’s going over the full guarantees of the Christmas bonus payment (repeating that Christmas will be a “vaccine against bitterness and violence.”) “Evo Morales is on the same level as Mahatma Gandhi. He’s one of America’s great leaders,” he said and then asked for stopping the “infamous repression against Chilean people and answers for people who have disappeared and been massacred.” 

Chavista Diplomacy 

Nicolás’s foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, said that “Venezuela is going through an unconventional war experiment, alongside theft of the republic’s goods and assets,” he said in the inaugural Mnoal meeting in Baku, but he wasn’t talking about chavismo’s looting. According to him, the regime is a victim of “the interventionist attacks by foreign factors in their desire to change the government and install a regime that aligns with their interests.” But because serving another government isn’t always bad, he met with his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodríguez, to analyze joint strategies for “defending and protecting the people.” In Russia, Seniat director José David Cabello held a “bilateral meeting to exchange ideas, establish bonds of commerce and projects of customs development, and going over all commercial exchange between Venezuela and Russia.” 

Turmoil in the Continent 

– Bolivia: Evo Morales called the opposition’s accusations of electoral fraud a “coup d’état,” and said his followers should remain alert to defend democracy. His rival, Carlos Mesa, accuses him of being the perpetrator of the coup. The OAS head of electoral observation, Gerardo de Icaza, said that it would be a “better option” to call for a second round, even if Evo obtains a sufficient margin in the first round. The U.S. warned Evo that there’d be “serious consequences” in the case of electoral irregularities. Another electoral authority resigned last night in Bolivia, for a total of four officers resigning because of this election. 

– Chile: It’s day five of the curfew in Chile, while the human rights violations accusations increase. Thousands of Chileans remain on the streets after calling for a general strike, despite the apology and reform measures announced by Piñera. Interior vice-secretary, Rodrigo Ubilla, confirmed that the number of deaths during protests has increased to 18.  The INDH has counted a total of 1,894 detained, 269 injured, 137 from firearms from last Thursday. They also verified cases of tortures and abuses by security officers. 

– Ecuador: An investigation against the president of the Indigenous Nations Confederation, Jaime Vargas, was announced after a statement about the alleged creation of his “own army” to defend the people.

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