Lunch Break: We Have Gas Shortages in 18 States Now

Gas shortages spread all over the nation with no end in sight; The Caracas subway system is looking worse and worse for the wear; Political prisoner Juan Requesens is tormented through courtroom delays.

Photo: CiberCuba, retrieved.
  • Zulia’s government secretary, Lisandro Cabello, announced on Thursday a pico y placa plan (where drivers can take out their cars only on specified dates according to their license plates,) starting on December 16th, to solve the gas shortage and the long, slow lines at gas stations. The same was done in Tachira (in March) and in Bolívar (in October.) According to the leader of the Venezuelan Oil Workers Federation, Iván Freites, 18 states report gas, gasoil and domestic gas shortages; a key fact was provided by journalist Fabiola Zerpa: “Before October, the gas Pdvsa imported came in one ship, straight from Europe. Now, with the sanctions, distributors have to jump through hoops to deliver it. Up to four transfers per shipment.” 
  • One day after the crisis brought on the Caracas subway by a train derailing, Eduardo Páez Pumar and Ricardo Sansone, part of the train and metro experts of the opposition’s Plan País, denounced how this system may completely collapse very soon. Evaluations reveal the same tragedy that fell upon Pdvsa: losing technical management for favoring ideology, low availability of trains with overloading of the ones working (which run all day,) and we know the rest of this equation. Keep in mind the extra pressure of technical antiquity and technological obsolescence, all the missing money from key projects of infrastructure (hello, Odebrecht!) and how little Nicolás cares about this all.
  • The Public Ministry (our Prosecutor’s Office) detained seven men for carrying 180 oil drilling pipes in two trucks. The perforation manager for the Western Coast Division, three supervisors, one operator and two drivers were arrested for  “embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime.”
  • No government representative has explained, so far, why there’s Russian soldiers in Canaima. 
  • Joel García, lawyer of political prisoner and deputy Juan Requesens, said on Thursday that the initial hearing for the deputy’s trial hasn’t started and it’ll resume on Monday, December 16th. He also said that, once again, the hearing wasn’t public and five officers were in the courtroom just to intimidate. “The judge can’t violate this right, trials are public,” he says. 
  • The government of Panama issued a decree accepting expired Venezuelan passports, not to enter the country but to run migratory or work-related errands, and other processes before state institutions. 
  • Two days after Alberto Fernández swore his oath of office, former Bolivian president, Evo Morales, arrived to Buenos Aires to stay in Argentina as a refugee, said Foreign Minister Felipe Solá.
  • According to the OAS Secretary General Commissioner for the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis, David Smolansky, almost half of all Venezuelans arriving to Brazil apply for refugee status or some kind of formal residence.
  • On Friday, December 13th, at 4:00 p.m., another Música x Medicinas session will be held at La Poeteca (the amazing spot at the Mene Grande tower,) with a concert by my dear friend Ricardo del Búfalo. In addition, people from Provea, Organización Nelson Garrido and La Vida de Nos will present the book “Don’t Let Silence Catch Up: Photos and Stories about Human Rights,” and they’ll hold the award ceremony for Provea’s 2nd Literature Contest!

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.