Photo: Noticias Barquisimeto, retrieved.
- Juan Guaidó asked world leaders in Davos for help against Maduro’s regime: “We are facing a criminal organization that protects terrorist groups like ELN, Hezbollah cells (…) If we have to jump over fences in order to go to work, we will. But we can’t do it alone, we need your help to face a criminal organization.” Guaidó painted a bleak picture for Venezuela, facing an unprecedented tragedy: “From 1999, Venezuela has been ruled under a terrible model that has destroyed the country’s productivity, has installed a repression apparatus that harasses and kills, and despite that, we’re here to tell you we have the skill to rebuild Venezuela.” He thanked the World Economic Forum for giving him the chance to speak and promised that Venezuelans will remain firm in their efforts to recover democracy.
- During the World Economic Forum, the caretaker president met with important economic and political leaders, among them German chancellor Angela Merkel and the vice-president of the Euro Parliament Dita Charanzová; Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte; U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and White House advisor Ivanka Trump, former U.S. Secretary of State EEUU, John Kerry, and former Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair. Guaidó confirmed meetings with Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz, and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for today. He’ll be in Madrid on Saturday to meet with Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya. “The goal is to work on an agenda that puts European pressure in order to overcome tragedy, seeking the necessary support for the region and trying to contain the humanitarian crisis,” he said on Thursday.
- The La Paz acoustic shell, in Caracas, was surrounded by FAES officers on Thursday morning, there to stop the AN session to commemorate January 23rd, 1958. Because of this, a press conference was held at Bolvívar Sq. in Chacao, with guest speaker Guillermo Tell Aveledo, dean of Law and Political Studies of the Metropolitan University: “We can’t set aside any legitimate means within our reach. It will be up to the republicans and to the democrats to tell us what to do at this moment.” Aveledo talked about how 40 years of democracy allowed for opportunities of development: “The country went from being a country with illiteracy, malaria and disease to a country with a growing middle class. This country started being fairer and richness was better distributed.” The dean said that a true political change must be achieved in order to have justice and democracy.
- CLAP deputies commemorated the end of a dictatorship by endorsing a new one. Their speaker was Rafael Marín, a lawyer that asked the TSJ for legitimacy for the self-proclaimed board and to end the sentence of contempt. He also talked about the need for appointing a new CNE as soon as possible, saying that if the TSJ appoints it, the opposition may be able to create a parallel Electoral Branch to call for elections they won’t achieve. He recognized Maduro as the constitutional president and exhorted Juan Guaidó and the rest of the opposition deputies to join the CLAP AN.
- Chavismo faked a march to Miraflores, where Maduro said he’s waiting for Donald Trump to have an “eureka moment” and understand he’s ready to “negotiate with respect with the U.S.”.
- Nicolás’s communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, talked about Juan Guaidó as a corrupt individual tied to bolichicos. Nobody in the opposition answered him, a prominent chavista, former Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez, did: “Jorge Rodríguez, you can’t be more cynical. The one who became rich with electric contracts was your middleman Majed Khalil. Alejandro Betancourt is a partner in Pdvsa with mixed company Petrozamora and in the oil belt with a fake company from Malta. I have the evidence.”
- Delcy Rodríguez didn’t do that well either, since she’s banned from entering Spain (because she’s sanctioned by the EU since 2018). She had to meet inside a plane parked in Barajas with the Transport Minister and number two at PSOE, who by the way, should have ordered her detention and didn’t. Now, the Spanish opposition is asking José Luis Ábalos to show his finances.
- Deputy Ismael León and his assistant Alexander Matos’s first hearing in court was done at midnight, after their arbitrary detention and disappearance. Public defense was imposed, so we don’t know what charges they’re accused of. León obtained house arrest and Matos is on probation.
- Around 500 children and teenagers in the hematology wing of J.M. de los Ríos Hospital are now adrift, after they closed down the unit because of disrepair, contamination, lack of supplies and reagents. Provea decried how militias and alleged hospital personnel took pictures of everyone who protested and wrote down their names.
- Venezuela is the highest ranked country in corruption in Latin America and the Caribbean, and fifth in the world, according to the IPC 2019, published by Transparency International.
- Pdvsa’s total debt for 2019 is 34,465 million dollars and we should highlight an increase of $466 million in the total amount of debt in bonds, which was $25,177 last year because of the default. The default affects CAF: Fitch Ratings decreased its rating because Venezuela keeps a high cuota total of their loan portfolio, which deteriorates their risk profile.
- After 17 years of unfair prison, one of Hugo Chávez’s first political prisoners, Metropolitan Police sub-captain Marco Hurtano, was released.
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