Photo: El Periodico, retrieved.
  • Nicolás asked the IMF for 5 billion dollars to help amid the COVID-19 emergency. In his letter, he asks for money from the Fast Financing fund to solve the contingency, the first time chavismo asks the fund for money since 2001. Hugo Chávez threatened to break ties with the IMF in 2007, but didn’t follow through; in 2015, Venezuela took funds from the IMF to up its reserves after the fall of oil prices. In October 2019, Venezuela said that the IMF “takes the rights to education, health, room and board away from the people (…) it privatizes everything (…) and prioritizes the bank accounts and interests of millionaires.” On March 10th, he said he had the resources to fight coronavirus and on Monday he said that he had the medicine we needed. Coherence isn’t his forte. Economists thought it’d be unlikely that Nicolás would agree to the IMF’s demands (technical assistance, accountability, international organizations managing the funds, etc.) or that Venezuela meets the necessary requirements, considering chavismo’s opacity. Our payment crisis isn’t transitory, no efforts have been made to solve it and Venezuela doesn’t even have a public budget. 
  • As predicted, the IMF said it can’t consider Venezuela’s request for a $5 billion emergency loan to fight coronavirus because its members don’t have clarity whether they recognize Juan Guaidó or Nicolás Maduro. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez said on Tuesday that three new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, all male and “in eastern Caracas” (although the Vargas governor said they had confirmed four new cases in the state). Starting on Wednesday 18th, the subway and railroad system serves only workers of priority sectors: food, health, telecommunications and security. An order was issued for mandatory use of masks and 1.5 mts of distance between people in markets and pharmacies. He said they’ll hold an online survey, in the Patria platform, about citizens’ health conditions. Some homes have no internet or electricity. Amazing survey. 
  • Hilda Rubí, a doctor in Guaidó’s health commission, denounced that 80% of hospitals lack the capacity to face COVID-19. Venezuela is one of the three countries with the worst possible conditions to face the pandemic. She encouraged the regime to reveal the real figures of COVID-19 cases in the country. 
  • On Tuesday, a doctor in José Ignacio Baldó Hospital (known as El Algodonal) said that they’re monitoring a 25-year-old male patient since Sunday, with COVID-19 and that he’s been stable even though the hospital lacks running water. 
  • The INAC reported about flight restrictions to Venezuela and between states. Only mail and load transportation takeoffs, landings and flights are allowed. 
  • The Armed Forces posted videos from their tours on municipal markets in Caracas, demanding the use of masks and optimal distance between people. 
  • Jorge Rodríguez said quarantine has been kept by 90% of the population. He used the Washington Post’s simulation again, the one Nicolás used to try to prove that quarantine is the best solution to avoid getting the disease and lied about the Venezuelan health system “being prepared for this type of epidemic” while Colombia isn’t. 
  • Deputy Delsa Solórzano warned that deputy Tony Geara was detained by Sebin in Bolívar on Saturday, presenting COVID-19 symptoms. She demanded he get tested as soon as possible. 
  • Lawyer Raiza Ramírez denounced nurse  Rubén Duarte was detained in San Cristóbal by Dgcim for demanding better working conditions, according to the Law of Prevention, Conditions and Work Environment.
  • The WHO registered a total of 193,475 coronavirus cases in the world. The death toll is 7,864.
  • EU leaders approved closing their borders for 30 days, with a few exceptions. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she’ll coordinate the return of Europeans trapped abroad.
  • Russia is doing animal testing for a new coronavirus vaccine and expects to have the first prototypes in June. The Chinese Defense Minister approved trials in humans of the vaccine developed by the Military Academy of Science. 
  • Donald Trump called COVID-19 the “Chinese virus”. Authorities in Beijing protested and Trump stood by his use of the term despite Chinese protests. China announced they’re removing press credentials for American journalists in China. Pompeo asked Beijing to “reconsider” expelling American journalists. 
  • The Colombian and Venezuelan Health ministers agreed with the WHO to exchange epidemic information, about contact of COVID-10 patients and about the installed capacity of health services in border states.  
  • Bazilian president announced partial closing of the border with Venezuela starting on Wednesday. He will allow goods to cross. 
  • Because of the coronavirus epidemic, sporting events like the Roland Garros, the Eurocopa and Copa América have been postponed. The Olympic Committee doesn’t want to suspend the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for July. 
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.