Photo: El Nacional, retrieved.
  • Caretaker President Juan Guaidó was in Ottawa on Monday, as part of his international tour to obtain support for free, democratic elections. He met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and International Development Minister Karina Gould. “Canada’s position remains clear: we want to see a peaceful transition in Venezuela, led by the Venezuelan people and including free and fair elections as soon as possible, under supervision and international observation,” said Champagne. Canada has imposed sanctions on 113 chavista officials. The Lima Group also seeks a peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan crisis, and Guaidó met with his ambassadors at the Colombian Embassy. “The situation has worsened because of the actions by Maduro’s regime. Millions of people have fled the country and millions are living in extreme poverty,” said Champagne. 
  • On Monday afternoon, the Palestinian ambassador got a replica of Bolívar’s sword. But sovereignty and independence endured yet another blow. Bloomberg ratified the information provided by Argus Media: the regime is studying selling stock and handing control of the Venezuelan oil industry to international corporations. Companies like Rosneft (Russia), Repsol (Spain) and Eni (Italy) could take over properties and restructure part of Pdvsa’s debt in exchange for its assets. According to Bloomberg, Nicolás imposed the self-proclaimed CLAP board of authorities in the AN to enable the lawful requirements to make this happen. This kind of offer doesn’t mean liberating and opening up our industry, because it lacks planning, an investment and legitimacy. We’re talking about handing it over, selling it to pay for our debt and continue going deeper into debt. 
  • Manuel Quevedo, Nicolás’s oil minister since 2019, gave more power to foreign operatives. So far, working with Pdvsa hasn’t been the source of income foreigners expected. Only in theory and with serious actors could opening up the industry help clear the company’s debt, in addition to generating revenue and creating confidence to reactivate the industry. But this requires modifying some laws and contracts with AN authorization. José Ignacio Hernández said: “Only the National Assembly can approve regulatory reforms to allow private investment within oil related activities.” 
  • CLAP deputy Luis Parra now has three accusations of bribery against him: 1) Rafaela Requesens, student leader and sister to deputy Juan Requesens, decried how Parra, through a friend in common, asked her to be less aggressive against him and, in exchange, he’d talk to Nicolás about releasing her brother and deputy Gilber Caro; 2) A group of the National Journalists’ Collegiate decried how Parra tried to have their recognition as Speaker of the AN: “In exchange for a sum of money, all the secretary generals would have to use their institutional representation to express their support in a press conference in Caracas,” said the statement signed by around 50 CNP journalists; 3) Journalist Lohena Reverón told a story on social media: “Luis Parra is handing out dollars here and there” in Yaracuy state. “My grandmother saw a line next to his house (Parra’s) at 6th Ave in San Felipe and stood in line to see what it was all about. She got $30, so did my nephew.” He was also offering $50 to attend a march in Caracas. Where does Parra’s money come from? Did he find lost treasure in the Federal Legislative Palace office?
  • Diosdado Cabello disregarded Juan Guaidó’s tour: “When Guaidó comes back, nothing will happen, he’s nothing already, in ten days people will tear him apart, his partners here and there will ask him why did he go”. He insists chavismo is ready to respond to any kind of attack: “The president asked for an investigation against Juan Guaidó and that’s already taking place (…) If anyone is thinking about U.S. attacking our country, well they couldn’t be more wrong, we are morally and ethically obligated to defend our country”. All the data he provided about the new PSUV members with IDs are questionable. Cabello said that they had personally contacted 10 million voters. Wow. 
  • Deputy Ángel Medina called the civil society from January 27th to January 31st, to create the Electoral Nomination Committee that will decide the new National Electoral Council. 
  • The IACHR will visit Venezuela from February 3rd to February 7th for an in loco observation and confirm the human rights situation. It’s been 17 years since the IACHR came into the country. 
  • Amnesty International demanded on Monday urgent action in favor of union leader Rubén González, who they called a prisoner of conscience. 
  • EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell said that he doesn’t know if Spain violated sanctions and reiterated that the authorities of each country must see they’re enforced. 
  • Partido Popular,  after Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos’s meeting with Delcy, demanded an investigation commission for Nicolás’s government ties to Pedro Sánchez. 
  • The U.S. and Colombia denied that the goal of the joint military exercise was threatening Nicolás’s government with an intervention and assured they only seek to strengthen cooperation to face international threats like terrorism. 
  • Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp, where over a million people died, was liberated on January, 27th, 1945. In the events held to commemorate the date, there were devastating testimonies. I back the survivors’ perspective of Holocaust Remembrance Day so it never happens again.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.