Pope Francis Mentions Venezuela in His Easter Address

While the dictatorship criminalizes patients and discriminates through the carnet de la patria, fires (without water to put them out) asphyxiate people in Caracas, Miranda and Aragua.

Photo: Malay Mail, retrieved.
  • Nicolás reported on Sunday six new cases of COVID-19, in the states of Nueva Esparta (3), Aragua (2) and Miranda (1), for a total of 181 cases in Venezuela. He reiterated that all patients with symptoms should be hospitalized including those isolated at homes. It must be said that this order might discourage people from reporting their condition, considering the possibility of being hospitalized in the precarious public health system. Lying about what happens with the pandemic is a crime, he said. 
  • He also extended the decree of state of alarm and the quarantine for 30 more days and reported that a National Hygiene Institute team was sent to Táchira state (bordering with Colombia) to analyze samples from Venezuelans coming back. He exhorted them to abide by the necessary health measures and the quarantine, adding that 80% of people returning through our borders have carnets de la patria, a political, biased document that shouldn’t replace the Venezuelan ID card. He repeated that the curve has been flattened but the emergency isn’t over.
  • Tareck El Aissami said that under a surveilled and relative normalcy, and gradually, all economic sectors in Venezuela have reactivated during the pandemic and no area has paralyzed. He also said that the economy in the country is “taking place with absolute normalcy” (!). 
  • Indigenous deputy Virgilio Ferrer denounced that the Armed Forces violently attacked Guarero’s Wayuu tribe, shooting civilians that took to the streets to protest the lack of food, medicine and water. 
  • Journalist Lohena Reverón reported on Twitter (@lareveron10) that in places like Catia, in Caracas, people won’t be allowed to leave their homes on “Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays.” The rest of the week, they must carry a safe passage certificate that would be issued by the Communal Council, door to door, and to obtain it you need a carnet de la patria and having been part of the census. They say that if citizens leave their homes without the safe passage certificate or in the days when it’s forbidden, “they’d be taken to an isolation center.”
  • The calima and suffocation sensation have gotten worse because of fires in Caracas, Miranda and Aragua. Some of them happened on Saturday and on Sunday, there were more in the Ávila, Cotiza, Baruta and El Hatillo (at least 20, reported the mayor) municipalities, the Pan American highway and San Antonio de los Altos. Firemen from the Simón Bolívar University asked Hidrocapital for water in order to be able to put the fires out. 
  • Coronavirus has infected 1,844,410 people and has taken 113,948 lives in the world. The U.S. is the country with the most confirmed cases (554,226), followed by Spain (166,127), Italy (156,363), France (133,669), Germany (127,574) and the UK (85,199). In Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil leads the list (22,169 cases), followed by Peru (7,519), Ecuador (7,466), Chile (7,213), Mexico (4,219) and Panama (3,234 patients). Then, it’s the Dominican Republic (2,967 cases), Colombia (2,709) and Argentina (2,142). The dictatorship in Nicaragua exposed people on Sunday with Frente Sandinista parades and parties, ignoring WHO recommendations. The World Bank expects that the effect of the global COVID-19 crisis in Latin America to be a recession, with a 4,6% contraction of the regional GDP in 2020, made worse by the little growth of the last few years, the protests in 2019 and the drop of oil prices. 
  • Hundreds of millions of Christians celebrated Easter on Sunday, under unprecedented conditions because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pope Francis prayed for “hope to be contagious as well” at an empty Saint Peter’s Basilica. He also asked for a “practical, immediate solution” for humanitarian aid to arrive to Venezuelans who suffer because of the social, political, economic and sanitary context: “This is not the time to forget. Don’t let the crisis we’re facing make us forget and leave aside many other emergency situations that bring suffering to many people (…) May the Lord of Life allow for practical and immediate solutions for Venezuela.” Venezuela was the only Latin American country mentioned by Francis in his message to the world on Easter Sunday.


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.