The AN Tries to Protect Our Rivers

The National Assembly annulled the resolution of the Ministry of Ecological Mining Development, which takes advantage of the pandemic to allow extraction and exploitation in the basins of the Caroní, Caura, Aro, Cuchivero, Yuriari and Cuyuní rivers.

Photo: La Razón retrieved

  • The AN declared void the Eco-Mining Development Ministry resolution 0010, because it threatens  rivers, ecosystems and indigenous communities in Amazonas.
  • Maduro said on Tuesday that they detected three cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours (288 cases in total and 122 recovered patients, according to him). He blamed new patients, he took it out on Nueva Esparta’s baseball academy and fueled the crazy fire: a conspiracy from the opposition could be to blame for the cases in Margarita. 
  • Education minister Aristóbulo Istúriz presented on Tuesday a schedule that mentions the activities that students should do to complete the 2019-2020 school year. He assured that they’re strengthening all platforms for teaching class, he mentioned a pedagogy guide, he promised a virtual library and community libraries, talked about social media, but nothing is clear or tangible. For example, in the case of a 3rd grade student in Zona 12 at José Félix Ribas in Petare, Caracas—no computer, no internet, no TV—if he’s only able to listen to class on the radio, does he pass too? 
  • Maduro announced that he decided to hand Vive TV over to the Education Ministry so they start broadcasting 100% educational content, 24 hours a day. He didn’t explain how the programming will be designed to satisfy the demands from preschool to university. He said that the measure is backed up by the survey on the Patria system. Miranda’s area chief said that there are parts of the state with education in person, and explained that teachers go to schools to pick up notebooks with homework. They said that the Food in Schools Program is working in some schools, so the personnel is working, and parents can deliver the homework. Miranda is the state with the highest number of coronavirus cases, 88.
  • President of the Sucre Mission Janlisbert Velasco said that this situation didn’t catch them unprepared because they’ve been “preparing for a long time, with Cuban advisors, for education in wartime or adverse conditions.” 
  • With chavismo going on 21 years in power, Nicolás said that missions continue to tackle what remains of structural illiteracy. He also said that “Venezuela, more than a patria, is a matria.” 
  • On Tuesday’s session, the National Assembly approved an agreement to reject politizicing the COVID-19 emergency. They showed the records of persecution against journalists, doctors and Nueva Esparta authorities and assured that the pandemic has been used to persecute and censor. Guaidó expressed his solidarity with the Nueva Esparta inhabitants and governor, as well as with fishermen in Araya. He demanded there’d be an investigation about how the island’s epidemic barrier was violated. The AN also expressed rejection for the remote education methodology, which neglects the quality of our education and is unviable with electricity and internet services in Venezuela. 
  • The AN also declared void resolution 0010, from the Eco-Mining Ministry, which is taking advantage of the pandemic to authorize illegal mining in rivers Caroní, Caura, Aro, Cuchivero, Yuruarí and Cuyuní in Bolívar State, favoring ethnocide of 22 indigenous communities in the region and ecocide of protected areas. 
  • Reporters Without Borders said that COVID-19 worsens the crisis of press freedom: “The pandemic highlights and magnifies multiple crises that threaten the right to free, independent, plural and reliable information,” said this NGO. They say that authoritarian governments see in this crisis the opportunity to impose measures that would be impossible to adopt in normal conditions. 
  • In their Freedom of Press Index, Reporters Without Borders said: “Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarianism doesn’t yield and government repression of the independent press has become a multifaceted, day to day thing.” 
  • The bolivar devalued again on Tuesday, it went from 141,755 to 157,576, an increase of almost 25% in 48 hours, the fastest devaluation that the bolivar has suffered compared to the blackmarket dollar so far this year. From April 6th to the 21st, the dollar increased 56%. 
  • The dollar is valued at 129,093 bolivars in the official market. 
  • Over 35,000 Venezuelans have crossed the border with Colombia to return to the country in the last week, said Felipe Muñoz, border manager. The figure includes migrants who lived in Colombia and other countries. Colombia said that Venezuelans are leaving willingly and they check their temperature before they cross the border. 
  • Reuters published a piece saying that Maduro and Guaidó’s allies have begun conversations, worried about the impact of COVID-19 on the country. Sources on both sides say that there’s no clear agenda for these conversations. Reuters wasn’t able to pinpoint exactly when the talks began, where or how they’re happening, or how Maduro and Guaidó perceive them, but they said that seven sources within the opposition and chavismo confirmed them. Juan Guaidó denied that there’s a secret conversation going on and said that the information Reuters published is fake: “The democratic alternative is united for one cause, and there’s only one possible agreement to save Venezuela: a national emergency government in Miraflores, who can access the international aid we need,” he tweeted.
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury extended Chevron’s license to operate in Venezuela, but forbade drilling, processing, buying or selling, and transporting any Venezuelan oil. They can remain in the country but they can’t do anything. 
  • The regime’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza reported that a group of ten countries requested Michelle Bachelet to include lifting the sanctions in the priority response list her office is drafting. They asked Bachelet to take urgent measures to lift the sanctions. 
  • A plane arrived in Venezuela with 90 tons of humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, water and hygiene kits, to help with the emergency that COVID-19 has caused. 
  • The report about food crises by the EU, FAO and the World Food Programme warns that 265 million people could go hungry in 2020, almost twice as many as 2019. Venezuela is the fourth country on the list of countries in crisis, with 9.3 million people in acute food insecurity and need for urgent assistance. 
  • Coronavirus has caused at least 177,415 all over the world. According to Johns Hopkins university, there’s been over 2,563,384 cases. The U.S. is still the country with the most COVID-19 cases (824,000 cases and 44,845 deaths, highest number in the world). In Brazil, 2,741 have died and  43,000 cases have been confirmed. Colombia surpassed  4,000 cases and 196 deaths. 

Wash your hands, stay home. 


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.