Photo: Infobae, retrieved.
  • Today, March 13th of 2020, Delcy Rodríguez confirmed two cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Venezuela, both from citizens who recently visited Europe. Further quarantine for travelers is planned and all academic activities across the nation are suspended.
  • On Thursday, Nicolás ordered the suspension of flights to and from Europe and Colombia for a month, as a strategy to contain coronavirus. The measure will be enforced from Sunday, March 15th. He said that they have ruled out 30 potential cases. They will focus medical care in 46 hospitals in the country and said they have established how the “private sector will be incorporated to the system, giving it guarantees to work.” A closing of the borders with Brazil and Colombia is being considered. He asked for a non-politicization of the circumstances and asked Trump to lift sanctions (even though the sanctions don’t include medicine or medical supplies). 
  • Caretaker President Juan Guaidó announced the coronavirus pandemic. He explained that Venezuela is one of the most vulnerable countries because of the complex humanitarian emergency and gave five orders to follow: 
  1. “Even when the fight for democracy isn’t suspended,” the protests will be redefined. 
  2. His communication channels with the rest of the world are offered to anyone requesting support. He asked that the humanitarian aid be allowed into the country and expressed his concern for medical personnel and the lack of supplies. He also said the lack of basic services (water and electricity) multiply the severity of the pandemic. 
  3. He called for the installation of a commission with experts in epidemiology to gather more information about the crisis.
  4. He instructed ambassadors to articulate their relationships with foreign governments.
  5. He said the measures in case of a pandemic must be based in science and not politics. Daily flights to Tehran should also be suspended. He asked us citizens to remain alert; there will be more announcements.
  • Delcy Rodríguez will lead the presidential command for coronavirus, which will run “24 hours a day.” Even though Venezuela is the country with the second worst connectivity in the world, Maduro guaranteed the school year continuity online food distribution to the entire country is also guaranteed (!). He said he’s ready for a drop in the Venezuelan basket from 48 to 24 dollars, which will hit the Venezuelan economy “very hard.” When asked about hospitals, he said: “Well, if there’s a situation, it must be solved.” Irresponsible and cruel, like always. 
  • Nicolás’s Interior minister Néstor Reverol announced that, according to what he investigated, the CNE warehouse fire was caused by “terrorist groups” with the intention to sabotage. There were three ignition points, the fire was fed with gas and saboteurs used plastic membranes of parts that the CNE was changing in their machines. Two fuel containers were left behind. CICPC detectives are in charge of the investigation and working with the Anti-Terrorism Unit. In conclusion: to get rid of the country’s voting hardware, a group only needed two fuel containers that were left at the scene.
  • Workers of the healthcare sector protested against the conditions at J. M. de los Ríos Hospital. “Future is dying thanks to Maduro,” was one of the slogans. PNB police officers harrassed protesters.
  • Reuters reported that six tonnes of the highest purity level of gold left the BCV between 2019 and early 2020, in order to try to get currency for the regime. 
  • The U.S. Treasury Department lifted sanctions against Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Western Union and Moneygram operating with Venezuelan public banks. The operations were supposed to cease on March 20th. 
  • The U.S. imposed sanctions on another company tied to Rosneft: TNK Trading International, Swiss Rosneft subsidiary, which managed selling and transporting Venezuelan oil. 
  • University of Miami professor, ALBA enthusiast and money laundering in Latin America expert Bruce Bagley pleaded guilty of hiding 3 million dollars in revenue, obtained in a corruption scheme with the Venezuelan government, revealed The New York Times. Bagley’s funds came from a food company controlled by Colombian businessman Alex Saab.
  • Three FAES officers were detained on Wednesday in Colombia, for being part of a network of spies against members of the Venezuelan opposition residing in that country. They were caught in Cundinamarca and were moved to Colombian Immigration.
  • Venezuelan biologist María Fernanda Puerto-Carrillo won the Future for Nature Award 2020. The scientist leads NGO Proyecto Sebraba, which deals with jaguar preservation in the Colombia – Venezuela border, in Zulia State. She’s been working on it for 12 years. It’s the first time Venezuela is among the nominees and winners of the award for the best projects lead by scientists under 35 years old.
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