Photo: Reuters, retrieved.
- Juan Guaidó announced on Thursday that his administration will support health care workers in hospitals with a $100 bonus for three months, while the pandemic lasts. He called it a “small yet important” support for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, adding that with “great efforts and many hours of work” they managed to make “the few assets we’ve recovered” useful for helping during this world crisis. Citizens will have access to the bonus in a virtual wallet that will be developed with the OAS. Guaidó said that all doctors and nurses can enroll to obtain it. He asked the media to be alert and expect important announcements because they’ll publish more information about the process for citizens who are eligible to apply.
- Maduro reported seven more cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, for a total of 204 cases (111 recovered patients). Four out of those seven new are Barrio Adentro collaborators (yesterday was their 17th anniversary), who got it in the Guarenas locality, part of Miranda state (three nurses and one dentist). The other cases are in the Capital District (1) and the states of Lara (1), and Nueva Esparta (1). He said that they ran 18,310 tests in a day and that they’ve tested a total of 268,503 people. He asked his team to see the pandemic as an opportunity to build a better healthcare system, even though they’ve always said that the one we have is pretty solid. He ordered reopening doctor’s offices for the people, improving and reopening CDIs, hospitals, improving communication between doctors’ offices and having a “more human relation with private hospitals”.
- OPEC foresees a historical drop in the demand for oil in 2020, produced by the halt of activities caused by the pandemic, which will provoke a “brutal, extreme impact of global magnitude” in the oil market. The organization assured that “the pandemic currently affects the demand for oil in several regions and countries, with an unprecedented impact on needs, especially when it concerns fuel for transport.”
- Venezuelan oil production keeps dropping and so does demand. According to OPEC figures, Venezuela produced an average of 718,000 bpd in March, 147,000 bpd less than in February. But according to the figures sent by secondary sources, production in March was an average of 660,000 bpd.
- Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing a drop of growth for the COVID-19 crisis. This will require public policy to help the most vulnerable, avoid a financial crisis and protect jobs, explains the World Bank’s most recent report. In the projections for 2021, the World Bank once again excluded Venezuela, because of the lack of data from BCV and the Finance Ministry.
- BCV rejected the National Assembly’s proposal for approving the agreement that authorizes transferring funds between two of its accounts, rejecting what they consider a measure imposed by the U.S. government in conspiracy with the AN, says the statement issued on Thursday.
- After spending almost 24 hours in jail, Dr. Luis Araya was released. He was detained in Lara state by Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) officers. He has to show up in court every month and was charged with inciting hate. The doctor was detained because he shared via WhatsApp an image comparing the biosafety gear worn by a politician to a doctor’s in one of the “sentinel” hospitals.
- Journalist Arnaldo Sumoza, illegally detained for taping a poor water supply demonstration, was released with precautionary measures. He was charged with disturbance of public order. Journalism is criminalized. Chavismo doesn’t tolerate that we spread the word about the problems we face.
- Monagas state governor Yelitza Santaella said that Gerónimo Sifontes, a priest, will remain detained for “unleashing hate and resentment against a political project.” Meanwhile, Iris Varela, Penitentiary Affairs minister, violently threatened people who criticize the regime, as she usually does, on Twitter. Summarized: receiving any kind of social benefit, turns you into chavismo’s slave. That’s the political project.
- U.S. Chargé d’Affaires James Story reported that the U.S. will donate 11 million dollars in humanitarian aid to solve the crisis caused by COVID-19. Story explained that they’re trying to arrange two humanitarian flights for 300 American citizens in Venezuela.
- The U.S. revealed on Thursday the licenses of OFAC’s sanction program, that allow commerce or activity related to humanitarian aid with countries whose governments have been sanctioned, reiterating that sanctions on Nicolás’s regime allow the country to buy food, clothes and medicine. Jorge Arreaza said it’s false that licenses would be issued to buy medicine, food and other essential sectors, and “banks and providers won’t work with the country for fear of sanctions.”
- Johns Hopkins University reported that 2,153,620 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed and 143,844 people have died. The U.S. is the country with more confirmed cases (667,225), followed by Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the UK. In Latin America, Brazil is the country with the most cases (30,425), followed by Peru (12,491), Chile (8,807), Ecuador (8,225) and Mexico (5,847). Colombia surpassed 3,233 cases and 144 deaths. Chile says that the patients that have overcome COVID-19 are immune to the virus for “at least a year” but the scientific community has expressed its doubts about reinfection. New York State reported their lowest number of cases in 10 days, and extended the quarantine until May 15th. Donald Trump presented a plan for reactivating the economy in June. G7 leaders agreed to coordinate relaunching their economies once the pandemic is under control to assure “reliable supply chains” in the future.
Comedian and ventriloquist Carlos Donoso has passed away. His name is tied to laughter, and that’s beautiful. Thank you for the good times, the characters and your talent.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.Donate