One Year After the Nationwide Blackout, Everything's the Same (or Worse)
The regime keeps denying responsibility on the attacks suffered by caretaker President Guaidó and those marching with him in Barquisimeto; 50% of Venezuelans survive with two dollars a day.
Photo: Yahoo News, retrieved.
- On March 7th, it’ll be a year since the nationwide blackout. A general malfunction that day at the Simón Bolívar hydroelectric central left the entire country in the dark. Since then, blackouts haven’t stopped; the Blackout Victim Committee reported that there were 87,260 power failures in Venezuela in 2019, and since nothing has been done to solve the problem, it’ll only get worse. According to Winston Cabas, president of the Venezuelan Association of Electrical Engineering, our system “is vulnerable, fragile and unstable” and it’s in the same condition as last year, or even worse. Almost a year later, the Electric Energy Minister asked on social media for a celebration of the International Energy Efficiency Day while several states (Táchira, Mérida, Carabobo, Zulia, Lara and Trujillo) and neighborhoods in Caracas had intermittent service or full outages. Traffic lights didn’t work and traffic collapsed, several subway stations and stores were shut down. Also, Netblocks reported connectivity failures in at least 12 states and said that “electricity failures in Venezuela seem to be increasing frequency and duration.”
- The National Press Workers’s Syndicate (SNTP) accused Diosdado Cabello for discrediting and exposing journalist Edward Rodríguez, the AN’s and Juan Guaidó’s communications director. Cabello nicknamed him “AKA Cabezón,” and blamed him for staging the Barquisimeto attack and preparing another “show for March 10th, 2020.” The SNTP also said Cabello wants to stop professionals who “record and expose criminal actions of groups allied with the government.” Lara’s La Prensa reminded Cabello that he didn’t mention the president of Barquisimento’s Wholesalers Food Market Juan Carlos Sierra, or councilwoman Juana Colmenera, photographed on site during the attack.
- Jorge Rodríguez, Nicolás’s communications minister, accused Juan Guaidó’s bodyguards of firing shots into the air in Barquisimeto. As the sole piece of evidence, he presented an audio where Guaidó allegedly reprehends his staff for endangering people’s lives. He also showed a video with Clímaco Erick Medina’s alleged confession (he was, allegedly, arrested by Sebin), where he says he’s the man pointing a weapon at Guaidó and he was paid 400 dollars for this. Rodríguez exhorted AP to tell the truth (?). Deputy Delsa Solórzano confirmed Orlando Fernández Medina’s accusation for the disappearance of Yelitza Luna and her daughter Yekianni. Sebin detained them in Lara, for protecting people who were at the march with Guaidó.
- Opec proposed an additional cut in oil production by 1.5 million bpd until June 30th, because of coronavirus’ impact, but for this to happen, Russia must be persuaded on Friday. China is the first oil importer in the world.
- Private fund MCAHoldCo Ltd hired a German bank to manage the supply of acquiring Venezuela and Pdvsa bonds, according to a document found by Reuters. The proposal includes paying 10.5% of the value of bonds issued by the country and 6.5% for Pdvsa bonds, to bondholders who haven’t been able to collect their interest and capital from the government since 2017. “The offer being made is way below the market,” said a source. The proposal expires on March 16th.
- Two dollars a day is the amount that over 50% of Venezuelans have to survive with, said deputy Daniel Antequera. Since 2017, over 61.20% of Venezuelans survive with shortage of food, medicine and medical supplies, and public service failures.
- Humberto Prado, commissioner for human rights, formally complained before the IACHR for the attacks against protesters in Lara. The AN considers it a “an unsuccessful magnicide attempt”.
- The march to the AN on March 10th will start at the Juan Pablo II Sq., Francisco de Miranda Ave.
- Juan Guaidó uploaded a video on Twitter where he approaches Sebin officers outside his home. He asked them to “not comply” with chavismo’s orders. “They send their extermination group to the corner of my home and as soon as I get there, they flee.” He asked them to not embark on this kind of adventure and reminded them that the government later leaves them alone and in jail.
- Donald Trump asked Congress to extend “the state of emergency” on Venezuela that Obama issued on March 8th, 2015. Arreaza rejected the renewal of the Executive Order.
- The Spanish government announced that it has no intention of modifying the visa exemption for Venezuelans who wish to enter the country.
- Brazilian diplomatic personnel started leaving Venezuela, even though the embassy will remain open. The same is happening on the other side.
- Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, CIDH president, promised that they’ll use all of their resources to defend human rights in Venezuela, after a public meeting focused in the humanitarian emergency during the CIDH’s 175th period of sessions.
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