Forward Without the PSUV

The National Assembly advances on the correct process to appoint new CNE authorities, while chavismo tries to muddle it all; Venezuelan exiled deputies fight for the diaspora's rights in America; the continent struggles through its demonstrations.

Photo: El Universal, retrieved.

Without PSUV deputies in the room, the National Assembly agreed to create a Nomination Committee to appoint CNE authorities. In the extension of the permanent session that caretaker President Juan Guaidó declared yesterday, deputy Jorge Millán asked to continue debating the approval of this committee because “we’ve all seen the actions of these people (PSUV)”. Millán’s request was approved. The Nomination Committee, the first step into advancing the renewal of the Electoral Branch, will be conformed by 11 deputies, to be presented in the session on Tuesday, November 5th. Guaidó criticized chavismo’s absence, despite the declaration of permanent sessions. “Not recognizing the AN was what brought us here. We know what abandoning the democratic way brings. It’s clear they can’t agree on anything”, said Guaidó during the session. 

Nomination Committee Keypoints 

– 21 members, 11 deputies and 10 members of the civil society. Before appointments, the AN must create the Preliminary Commission, with 11 deputies from all of the factions. This appointment will need a ⅔ majority. 

– Members of the commission must call on every sector of the civil society to have candidates for the remaining ten members. Their election also depends on a ⅔ majority. 

– When 21 members are elected, the Electoral Nomination Committee will exist, which will be in charge of calling universities, NGOs and the Moral Branch to send their CNE candidates’ credentials.  

Honoring Debt 

Juan Guaidó assured that a future transitional government will honor the debt that Nicolás assumed: “All of the country’s debts which have been legitimately contracted, will be respected,” he said before the session on Wednesday. “We’ve talked in due time (with creditors) in a strategy stemming from respect of our assets, the trust we must build for the future of our country,” he said, without providing any details about the institutions or countries that he was talked to. He said that Venezuelan debt has increased from $20,000 million in 1999 to over $130,000 million, without considering the debt to airlines or pharmaceutical companies. 

Dignified Salaries Immediately 

The health sector protested outside the J.M. de los Ríos Hospital, demanding better salaries and conditions to offer adequate care to their patients. “We’re not ruling out an indefinite strike or mass resignation, if our demands aren’t met. We need to feed and educate our children too and we don’t have the means,” said Ana Rosario Contreras, president of the Caracas Nurse College. They chanted “No quiero bono, no quiero Clap, yo lo que quiero es un salario digno ya” (“don’t give me bonus, don’t give me clap, all I want is a fair wage now”). The nurses’ union decried threats in several states so they wouldn’t join the strike. As with teachers, nurses’ testimonies are devastating. 

The Non Country 

– Public transportation in the state of Miranda will increase minimum fare to 2,000 bolivars “with or without the Transport Ministry approval.” 

– Venezuelan exports will drop 49.9%, according to Cepal, versus 2% that’s estimated for Latin American and Caribbean exports.
– Deputy Jorge Millán reported that Nicolás’s government has an alleged plan (called Centurión) to stop the march on November 16th, contemplating framing leaders for subversive plans: “These traps by the regime won’t stop Venezuelan people’s actions from happening,” said Millán. 

Like a Pig!

In his variety show, besides showing a Green Lantern style ring, Nicolás approved 11,881,296 euros to receive 13,500 tons of pork in December. He also announced that the Clap in December will contain a pack of 150 grams of coffee, “premium quality, gourmet, the best coffee in the world, Venezuelan coffee”. He announced a negotiation between his deputies and the opposition to appoint the Electoral Branch in the AN: “I think it’s a nice gesture that there’s dialogue in the adeco burguesa National Assembly, between the guaidoista sector, chavistas and democratic opposition. The debate is open”. The PSUV will submit a document on Tuesday, saying that they’ll appoint new CNE authorities for parliamentary elections. 

TPS for Venezuelans? 

Foreign Relations Commissioner Julio Borges and Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.S.

Carlos Vecchio met with American congressmen. They asked for protection to Venezuelans with mechanisms like the TPS and an increase of pressure on  Cuba and Nicaragua. Earlier, the Asociación Multicultural de Activistas Voz y Expresión (Amavex) condemned that this year, at least 300 Venezuelans deported to other countries have been forced to buy tickets back to Venezuela on their arrival to airports. They exhorted Trump’s government to create a human rights commission to determine whether “there’s coercion in entry points” and asked Guaidó to declare the “migratory crisis in the U.S.” 

Turmoil in the Continent 

Argentina: the markets are still volatile, expecting economic decisions by president elect Alberto Fernández. The Federal Chamber confirmed Cristina Fernández’s process is ongoing. 

Brazil: Presidente Jair Bolsonaro yelled at TV Globo for publishing a report mentioning him in the investigation of the murder of councilwoman Marielle Franco. Bolsonaro said “the truth is by my side.” According to Justice Minister Sergio Moro, if the accusation is untrue, the investigation must be assumed by the Public Ministry. 

Bolivia: protests and counter-protests are still happening, from Evo Morales’s supporters and detractors, while Foreign Minister Diego Pary announced that the OAS results will be binding. OAS representatives started arriving in La Paz, but the opposition led by Carlos Mesa rejected the audit, because it was unilaterally agreed by the OAS and Evo’s government. The Defense Minister said last night that at least two people died during the protests. 

Chile: the protests started in peace but looting and clashes with security forces happened in the afternoon. The call for a national strike, made by teachers unions, was peaceful and protesters even made it to the Palacio de La Moneda. The Chilean government desisted on its plans to host the APEC summit and the global summit on climate change COP-25, because of the protests. Amnesty International denounced tortures and sexual violence during the protests. The Prosecutor’s Office announced they’re investigating 23 deaths during the protests. 

Colombia: the massacre of five members of the Nasa community in the Cauca department sparked indignation and indigenous people denounced they’re victims of  “genocide” while the state does nothing. The Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC) said that ever since the government of President Iván Duque (August 2018), at least 125 indigenous people have been murdered. They demand a IAHRC visit. The government said they’ll send 2,500 troops to the Cauca.
Mexico: López Obrador’s government presented a report about the actions in Culiacan on November 17th against Ovidio Guzmán, son of El Chapo, admitting mistakes and sharing footage of the moment of the failed detention that sparked a wave of violence. All of the cases’ grey areas blew up in a wave of criticism for AMLO. 

Panama: for the third day in a row, groups opposing the approval of the constitutional reform, expressed their discontent on the streets. It began around the National Assembly and made it to the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) headquarters. They vandalized the entrance. A group of protesters was arrested last night.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.