- Nicolás called the flexibilization this week a “complete success,” ignoring the chaos caused by the new distribution of gas, the protests for basic services and the long lines in banks, to name only a few of the scenarios where thousands of citizens were exposed to the virus, paying no attention to social distance measures and disregarding the lack of running water and soap. He openly lied about his health policies’ achievements that he can’t prove, because his policy was pretty much limited to early confinement measures. According to him, “a disciplined, conscious and cooperative behavior ruled the sectors that were allowed to be flexible this week.” He clearly wasn’t on the street. He reiterated that on Monday, June 8th, the seven days of “conscious, radical, voluntary, familial and communal” quarantine will begin, with the 7×7 system that will reduce local infections. On the other hand, Dr. Julio Castro reported that we’re in a new phase of the epidemic and that the increase in cases this week (with the highest number of cases and deaths so far) isn’t tied to the flexible quarantine, because we’ll see its consequences in around three weeks.
- In the last 24 hours, there have been 61 new COVID-19 cases in Venezuela, for a total of 2,377. Even though we had 232 cases this weekend, he repeated that “the curve remains flattened, but there’s still danger from people infected in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Peru.” He accused President Duque of infecting Venezuelan migrants and asked for the blockade of migrants from illegal roads. He repeated that Zulia’s coronavirus is “a different strain” and added: “COVID-19 coming from Colombia is being studied by scientists because it’s a brutal virus. Five Venezuelans who were feeling okay one day, suddenly died the next. Gigantic epicenter.” The official death toll: 22.
- Acceso a la Justicia (accesoalajusticia.org) said in its last report that 17 “sentinel” hospitals in Caracas lack the infrastructure to cure COVID-19 patients. There’s a lack of supplies and equipment, hospitals with soap don’t have disinfectant and those that have gloves don’t have masks. Of course, some don’t even have water. Out of the surveyed hospitals, half don’t have masks or gloves. The situation keeps getting worse.
- Families of 34 people who disappeared on June 7th, 2019, in a boat that left Agüide port in Falcón state, asked for help to find their family members. They were going to Curaçao and every passenger paid $400 to board.
- At Barquisimeto’s Central University Hospital ER unit, officers from the Criminal Intelligence Unit detained a resident for not immediately giving care to a cop who arrived without vital signs. When the officer’s death was confirmed, Dr. Ángel Silva was beaten and handcuffed but collective action stopped his detention.
- Neighbors of El Silencio protested because they haven’t had running water in weeks. In addition to barricading the street, they had a round of pot-banging. Media outlets denounced that neighbors were threatened to have their CLAP taken away if they kept protesting. On Twitter, they reported one person was run over by a car. The PNB was sent to disperse the protest and had no ability to meet the neighbors’ demands.
- Venezuela restricted the return of migrants to three days a week and only 300 people per day, said Juan Francisco Espinosa, head of Colombian Immigration.The new measure that will be in place from Monday, June 8th, decreases the possibility of Venezuelans returning through humanitarian corridors. Access had already been restricted for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at the José Antonio Páez International Bridge, connecting the Colombian department of Arauca with Apure state, allowing in groups of 100 people only. This criteria will apply to Simón Bolívar International Bridge as well, connecting Cúcuta with Táchira. Colombian Immigration says that it would decrease the number of returning migrants by 80%. A formal humanitarian corridor hasn’t yet been established in La Guajira, said Espinosa. Up until Friday, over 71,000 migrants had returned to Venezuela. Meanwhile, a group of Venezuelans with Copa Airline tickets are still stranded in Chile and are demanding Nicolás authorize a flight to return home. Holding such large groups of migrants on the border could multiply contagion rate.
- Nicolás said that the only countries sending humanitarian aid to the country are China, Russia, Iran and Cuba, but on May 29th, a shipment of 12 tons of aid arrived from Germany. He said that the U.S. offered 20 million dollars to help, “and they haven’t even sent 50 cents!” He didn’t say which documents he signed, which American institution signed them and why he was willing to receive millions of dollars from Trump’s government.
- The increase of gas prices left no major consequences on its first week, with its chaotic and militarized execution, constantly harassing the press. Venezuelans can’t focus and Nicolás takes advantage of our frustration to advance his plans of fraudulent elections, with his tailor-made opposition willing to participate. Re-establishing trust amid the confinement after so many consecutive failures is a difficult task for the opposition. The country is a mess and it’s the regime’s fault, and they’re happy to talk about achievements they can’t prove, they’re impossible clients for oil that stands at its maximum storage capacity and controlling COVID-10 as an excuse for infamous political control.
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