Rafael Briceño Sierralta

Lunch Break: The Struggle for a New CNE

Both the fake National Assembly directive and the actual legitimate one move their pieces to appoint new CNE authorities; The fake directive is also doing all it can to wash its own reputation; The Venezuelan Medical Federation is concerned about Coronavirus reaching our nation.

Photo: Contrapunto, retrieved.
  • With 92 deputies, the National Assembly held an ordinary session on Tuesday at the Los Palos Grandes Sq.; at the Federal Legislative Palace, chavismo and CLAP deputies faked another session sans quorum. The legitimate AN called the civil society to participate in the Electoral Nomination Committee that would make the list of candidates for new rectors of the National Electoral Council. Since the AN lacks the 112 votes necessary to elect new electoral authorities, and because of persecution against deputies, it opens a window for potential negotiation. This is the alternative to the “legislative omission” that chavismo is spreading, a situation that would allow the TSJ to appoint new rectors. 
  • At the National Assembly: 1) Deputies approved the use of 20 million dollars of the special fund for litigation created on November 2019, to pay the team defending Venezuelan assets abroad; 2) Cuban interference, evident with ambassador Dagoberto Rodríguez’s incorporation into Nicolás’s cabinet, was rejected; 3) First Vice-President of the AN Juan Pablo Guanipa requested naming Nicolás a traitor. It’ll be subjected to a vote on February 4th; 4) A sub-committee was appointed to investigate femicide in the country, directed by deputy Manuela Bolívar; 5) Deputies questioned the incorporation and swearing-in ceremonies of “fake lawmakers” in CLAP deputies’ meetings; 6) Homage was paid to deputy Addy Valero, who died on January 22nd and to 11 children and teenagers who died in a fire in Cagua while trying to find food.
  • CLAP deputies created a committee to investigate the humanitarian aid funds (there’s plenty of information about most of the funds’ origins and destination). This group of deputies still hasn’t explained how they financed their international tour to clear Álex Saab’s reputation. Deputies Enrique Márquez and Ángel Medina rejected being included without consulting in this. They also swore in Amanda Linares for Cojedes and Edmundo Prieto for Nueva Esparta, even though they both lost the election. Francisco Torrealba (PSUV) said that they’re willing to talk to the opposition about new CNE directors, but didn’t rule out the TSJ option for “legislative omission”. 
  • Víctor Amaya, Tal Cual newspaper’s editor-in-chief, mentioned that Globovisión is broadcasting CLAP deputies propaganda with symbols of Primero Justicia. How are they paying for this institutional effort?
  • Nicolás’s attorney general, Reinaldo Muñoz Pedroza, hired the firm Foley & Lardner LLP for 12,5 million dollars for legal services and lobbying, said EFE. The law firm will develop a strategy to approach the U.S. government and remove Muñoz Pedroza and others from the list of sanctioned individuals. Using our money. 
  • The Venezuelan Medical Federation exhorted the Health Ministry to strengthen sanitary measures to avoid a coronavirus epidemic, which could cause a tragedy: an epidemic without medical supplies, measures of protection or alarms to see to cases of the virus, would be a disaster. The Epidemic Bulletin hasn’t been published in years, so there’s no way to develop or execute an adequate public policy to solve this or any other health crisis. 
  • Fe y Alegría reported 3,000 open positions in 176 of its schools because of mass resignations for low salaries. The Education Ministry is responsible for paying Fe y Alegría teachers and their salaries range from $4 to $7 a month. Paid in bolivars. 
  • NGO Espacio Público said that Conatel officials asked Unicable TV to pull the networks that broadcast Juan Guaidó’s international tour off the air.
  • It’s been a year since U.S. sanctions were imposed on Venezuela. Even though over 500,000 daily oil barrels in production and exports were lost, Nicolás’s regime didn’t collapse because it sent oil to Malaysia, Togo and Singapore, increased exports with Cuba and kept doing business with India, among other practices. Something must justify the flexibility to execute sanctions on Venezuela, since it’s nearly impossible that the U.S. doesn’t know about chavismo’s ways. Yesterday, El Pitazo published a video showing racking between two ships with a Liberian flag near Amuay on Sunday, January 26th. 
  • While Nicolás examines the possibility of handing over our oil industry to international corporations, the industry produces as much as it did in 1945. It’s the result of several factors: restrictive laws, corruption, lack of investment, lack of qualified personnel and a restrictive fiscal system. In 2019, the failures of the electric system and no capacity for storage, in a country with an economy that has contracted for seven years in a row and has had hyperinflation for two years. Anything to do with sanctions? 
  • FAES director, Miguel Domínguez, said that former Colombian senator Aida Merlano, who escaped on October 2019 while serving 15 years in jail for electoral fraud, was detained in Maracaibo. Her capture is a challenge for Duque’s government: even though they should demand her extradition, Colombia broke diplomatic ties with Maduro’s government and the ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs said that they’d only deal with Guaidó’s government. 
  • AN Speaker and caretaker President Juan Guaidó will visit Miami on Saturday, February 1st. 
  • Colombian immigration will issue the PEP special permit for Venezuelans again. Anyone who entered the country before November 29th, 2019, can apply.
  • The Peruvian Foreign Minister informed that Haiti has been officially incorporated into the Lima Group. 
  • Peru expelled 131 Venezuelan citizens with criminal records on Tuesday, most of them detained in a hostel, where the police seized weapons and drugs. They are back in Venezuela already. 
  • The Salvadoran Unit of Financial Investigation is investigating Alba Petróleos for money laundering for over 430 million dollars. The company was founded in 2006, 40% belongs to El Salvador and 60% is owned by PDV Caribe, a PDVSA company created to execute the Petrocaribe Agreement.
  • The Spanish government interceded to stop the police from deporting Delcy Rodríguez for stepping on Spanish territory, violating EU sanctions and European laws. The police were forced by law to deport Rodríguez, but didn’t because of minister José Luis Ábalos’s intervention.

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.