Preliminary Commission

Photo: RPP noticias retrieved

On Tuesday, the National Assembly  approved  appointing the new preliminary commission that will create a committee that will elect new nominees for the CNE. That’s advancing in the new National Electoral Council. The preliminary commission is composed by new deputies, from the opposition and the Psuv:  Ángel Medina, Luis Aquiles, Stalin González, Piero Maroun, Olivia Lozano and Franklyn Duarte from the opposition and Willian Gil, Nosliw Rodríguez and Jesús Montilla, from Psuv. 

The 16J faction rejected creating this preliminary commission and at the same time complained about being left out of it. Deputy Omar González, from Vente, emphasized that this block doesn’t support negotiations with the government. 

What Else Happened in the AN?

During the conversation about our complex humanitarian emergency, caretaker President  

Juan Guaidó warned Mark Lowcock, UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, that the country is about to become a catastrophe. Deputies approved the creation of a Frente para la Defensa de la Seguridad Jurídica y Personal de los Productores Agrícolas venezolanos  and rejected political prosecution against the lawmakers. ANC deputy Francisco Torrealba, who leads the Psuv faction even when he can’t be a deputy anymore, said that electing a new CNE is one of the seven items agreed on at chavismo’s negotiation table with itself, and asked the ANC to activate the mechanisms for renewing the authorities (even if it’s not up to them). He asked for a liason commission between the AN and the ANC because, according to him, the legislative branch is still in contempt. Incoherency defines them. 

New Sanctions

The Treasury Department and the OFAC imposed sanctions on five officials of Nicolás’s government: “Treasury is identifying high ranking officers that act in the name of an oppressive regime (…) who continue participating in corruption and human rights abuses,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, who said that these measures seek to coordinate U.S. efforts with allied countries like Canada and the EU.

Remigio Ceballos, Comando Estratégico Operacional commander; Néstor Blanco Hurtado, Guardia Nacional general commander; José Adelino Ornelas Ferreira, Consejo de Defensa Nacional secretary general; Pedro Carreño and Carlos Calderón Chirinos, high ranking Sebin officer were all sanctioned.

Julio Borges asked to strengthen “every pressure mechanism against the dictatorship and its collaborators”. OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro asked the UK to quickly apply measures to severely sanction human rights violations in Venezuela. And following measures from El Salvador, Guatemala’s President Elect Alejandro Giammattei, announced that when he takes office in January, he’ll expel Maduro’s diplomats.

Let’s Talk Oil

U.S. and EU sanctions on Venezuela and Russia, and U.S. sanctions on Iran, “are elements that negatively impact global economy and commerce,” said the OPEC in its annual report. They foresee that oil will continue dominating the energy market until 2040, but will yield territory to other sources of energy, in an uncertain landscape marked by the mix of environmental policies and measures to stop climate change. 

Meanwhile, Pdvsa and Chevron plan to refine oil again in the plant they run under the company called Petropiar, which has been working as a mixing plant to produce Merey oil, reported Reuters. The companies will start producing synthetic oil Hamaca in early 2020. It’s unclear if Pdvsa has a client already for that future production. 

The Non Country

At least 11 bodies were found in La Bonanza landfill, in Valles del Tuy, Miranda State. So far, none of the victims has been identified, but it’s said that some of the bodies can be drivers that were reported missing. No authorities have offered statements regarding this case. 

Governor Héctor Rodríguez, filed a lawsuit against deputy Américo de Grazia for “promoting hate and defamation” after the lawmaker said that  Rodríguez traveled to Tumeremo to receive one of the gold mines that the regime announced that would be handed over to the governors. Carlos Holmes Trujillo said that his country is evaluating a proposal by Senator Fernando Araújo, about declaring Venezuelan migrants as refugees. Granting refugee status wouldn’t only alleviate the terrible conditions of Venezuelans in Colombia, but would open the doors for Colombia to ask for more economic contributions to the international community. Over half of transactions in Venezuela are already made in dollars! says a study by Ecoanalítica. It’s reported that 54 % of all sales in Venezuela were in dollars. In Maracaibo, the second largest city in the country, around 86 % of all transactions were in dollars, while Caracas is one of the least dollarized cities, according to the survey they conducted between October 10th and October 15th. 

Turmoil in the Continent

Bolivia: the letter of resignation that Luis Fernando Camacho wants to give to Evo Morales didn’t arrive, because the leader of the Comité Pro Santa Cruz, leading a movement to force the president to resign, couldn’t leave El Alto airport, city of  La Paz. Journalists covering the events were detained for hours and confronted by Evo’s supporters. Polarization grows, we know this is bad. Over 14 days of conflict between the government and the opposition have caused the country to lose 1,500 million dollars. 

Chile: President Sebastián Piñera said that he won’t abandon the presidency despite calls for resignation by social sectors. He said he’s willing to negotiate about everything, including a constitutional reform to stop the crisis, but warned there’ll be no impunity: no forgiveness for people who burned supermarkets or those accused of excessive use of force. 79 % of Chileans consider that protests will have positive consequences, according to Criteria.

Mexico: at least three American Mormon women and six children who lived in the north of Mexico died after they were “ambushed”. President  Andrés López Obrador expressed his condolences to Donald Trump for the brutal murder and promised justice. Trump offered military help and limited himself to thanking AMLO for cooperating. 

Only 20 % of the world’s population enjoys internet freedom, according to the latest report by Freedom House. Out of over 3,800 million users in the world, 71% live in countries where people have been arrested or jailed for criticizing religious, social and political issues. Internet freedom is getting worse for the ninth year in a row all over the world. In Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia, especially. Why did the internet freedom index get lower in Venezuela? Nationwide blackouts, connectivity issues, detaining citizens and all the information that the government imposes or censors. 

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