Photo: Caraota Digital, retrieved.
- Donald Trump ordered on Wednesday to double the number of American military officers in Latin America to fight drug trafficking in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. The military operation is backed by 22 countries and its urgency responds to the increase of cocaine trafficking by air and sea in March, due to the decrease of flights as a consequence of the pandemic. Earlier, sources told AP that the U.S. was sending “Navy ships to Venezuela, to strengthen their anti drug operations in the Caribbean.” The deployment intends to increase pressure on Nicolás, but it isn’t actually a sign of a military operation in Venezuelan soil.
- Jorge Rodríguez considers the operation a way of distracting Americans from “the erratic handling of COVID-19.” However, he celebrated that the U.S. is protecting its borders against drugs “coming from Colombia” and added that “Venezuela’s robust anti drug system” was at their service, assuring that “if the intention is real, we’re willing to cooperate.” The Venezuelan Embassy in the U.S., appointed by the National Assembly, celebrated the anti-drug operation.
- The EU announced that it’s studying the proposal of a transition government as a way to solve the Venezuelan crisis. So far, the proposal has received express approval by the UK, Kosovo, Brazil, Ecuador, Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Costa Rica and Croacia. Chile is analyzing it but hasn’t yet expressed a position.
- Jorge Rodríguez said that, on Wednesday, “over 10,000 rapid response tests” were made, but the official figures report just one new confirmed case, in Nueva Esparta. There are 144 confirmed cases, 80% in the states of Miranda, Vargas, Aragua and the Capital District. He said that a pregnant woman with coronavirus delivered her baby and the newborn tested negative.
- Juan Guaidó won’t attend the hearing about an alleged coup plan described by chavista officer Clíver Alcalá Cordones. He said that the Prosecutor’s Office has been usurped and has no power to subpoena him, Guaidó being the speaker of the National Assembly and the caretaker president. If they’re trying to stage something, he said, they should subpoena the people accused of drug trafficking. Guaidó insisted on building a National Emergency Government to stop more disasters and save the country, reminding everyone that the international community recognizes the AN and his authority. Recently, the dictatorship detained another one of his advisors, Demóstenes Quijada.
- There are over 900,000 COVID-19 cases and over 45,000 deaths around the world since the pandemic started. On Wednesday, WHO director warned that the number of deaths has doubled in a week, and that’s why they fear a “fast escalation” of the pandemic. In addition, the FAO, the WHO and the WTO warned about the risk of “global food shortages,” as a consequence of commercial restrictions. Several UN agencies insist that the quarantine doesn’t substitute the importance of water and soap, so every government must work to make sure that people have easy access to those.
- Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva doesn’t think that the crash between the cruise ship and the Venezuelan Navy ship should develop into a diplomatic impasse and reiterated that his government is willing to clarify the situation. He called the incident “regrettable” and highlighted that it indeed must be investigated.
- U.S. intelligence services concluded that China has lied about their coronavirus figures, reported Bloomberg. The WHO said yesterday that Iran is also reporting less cases than they actually have.
- Colombian president Iván Duque asked for more work on Venezuelan immigrants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in his nation.
- The UN asked the international community for urgent support to protect millions of Venezuelan immigrants from the economic consequences of the pandemic: “Millions of migrants and refugees, and the communities that receive them, still need urgent support, particularly as they start to feel the economic impact of the pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said special envoy Eduardo Stein, and he exhorted the international community to increase their support for humanitarian programs, protection and integration, because the lives and well-being of millions of people depend on them.
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