- On Wednesday, there were protests in several states for failures in Nicolás’s new system to sell gas that we don’t produce. They said again and again that in “5,000 Bs. gas stations” (as he called the “subsidized” gas stations) gas would be sold to an undetermined number of clients, and later the gas station personnel announced that they ran out of gas for that day and lines in the surrounding areas would have to disband, even though there were hundreds of people waiting. It doesn’t matter how long you waited, cheap gas only exists in chavista statements, like the official opening and closing hours (that nobody abides by) and the respect for rules. It’s all a lie. After three days, there are only three certainties: there’s still a shortage; it’s more likely you’ll get gas in the stations that sell the litre at 0.5 dollars (and they do have a limit of litres you can buy); and in the gas stations, soldiers rule, servicing clients who pay more, although they still have to wait. There are no incentives to quit a business that meant a significant income in cash for two and a half months.
- Despite the chaos in gas stations that thousands of citizens have complained about, the president of the National Institute of Ground Traffic, Enrique Quintana, recommended using the data on vehicles registered on the Patria system to assure the gas subsidy which, he explained, will be in place for 30 days only. According to Quintana, they’ll meet with the transportation sector to establish conditions of the service, the subsidy proposal for public transportation users, and the “restitution of the capital invested by the state”. Careful with that last one.
- Via phone call on a show on the state-owned TV station, VTV, Delcy Rodríguez said that in the last 24 hours, 133 new cases of COVID-19 have been registered for a total of 1,952 cases and 20 deaths, after two patients tied to the outbreak in Las Pulgas market in Maracaibo died. Out of the new cases: 47 are local, 25 from contact with travelers, and 61 are “imported” from Colombia, Brazil and Peru. About the Las Pulgas market, which in merely ten days has had 121 cases, Delcy announced they’ll send a group of Barrio Adentro doctors and Armed Forces to the San Francisco municipality to test 100,000 people. About the number of tests done in the country until Wednesday, she said 995,522, without separating PCR from rapid-response tests.
- CITGO announced the offer of promissory notes expiring in five years for up to 750 million dollars. The company, run by a board appointed by the AN, said in a communiqué that the offer is subject to the market’s conditions and other circumstances, warning that there are no guarantees that it’ll be completed and that they’ll “use the net income of the promissory notes to pay 614 million dollars from a debt that expires in 2021, with interests.” This operation comes because of the problems of cash flow that CITGO is facing because of the drop of demand for oil, as a consequence of global confinement measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. The caretaker government’s special attorney said that refinancing CITGO’s debt isn’t subject to AN authorization, “based on Article 187 of the Constitution, unlike financial operations of PDVSA.”
- Special Action Forces officers detained Navy Lieutenant Luis Santana Orozco and Frigate Lieutenant Jesús Núñez Chirinos, for transporting one kilo of cocaine. According to journalist Javier Mayorca, the operation took place in Caja de Agua, Carirubana, Falcón state.
- The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, welcomed “the agreement between Nicolás’s government and caretaker President Juan Guaidó, for humanitarian aid against coronavirus in the country” because dialogue is fundamental to advance in the political process.
- The UN celebrated the agreement launched between Nicolás’s regime and the opposition led by Juan Guaidó for aid to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and trusts it could be a starting point for other agreements. Secretary general António Guterres encouraged both actors to “implement this agreement abiding by principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.” He also called for “seeking more common ground for overcoming the crisis in the country,” said his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric.
- Four invaders of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington were sentenced for illegal occupation and damages. The sentence included remaining 100 ft. away from the embassy, not having any contact with any representative of the Venezuelan government recognized by the U.S., paying a fine of $750 and being under parole for six months, with the risk of going to prison if they violate any of the terms.
- There have been over 6 million cases of coronavirus in the world, and 367,627 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has had over 1.8 million cases and 107,000 deaths. Brazil has had over 555,000 cases and 31,199 deaths. Mexico had over 1,000 deaths in a day, 101,238 cases and 11,729 deaths. Chile has had 113,628 cases and 1,275 deaths. Peru, 178,914 cases and 4,894 deaths. Colombia, 33,354 cases and 1,045 deaths.
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