Last Oil Drill Standing
Experts say that’s the current situation, while coronavirus and economic chaos spread and returning migrants have to jump through hoops
- On Monday, oil service company Baker Hughes reported that during May, there was only one active oil drilling rig in the country, a terrible historic minimum. Economist Francisco Monaldi says “it’s the lowest point ever recorded in the last hundred years,” so it’s logical to assume production will keep dropping. On the other hand, Elías Matta, president of the AN’s Oil and Energy commission, and former PDVSA executive José Toro Hardy ratified their rejection of the current system for gas distribution and payment collection. They reiterated that with an emergency government, the gas supply could be reestablished in 15 days, through CITGO, and repeated they condemn the lack of transparency on payments of Iranian gas. Hardy criticized the drastic increase of gas prices and emphasized the need of keeping subsidies while the purchasing power recovers. He warned they’re trying to stretch out Iranian gas, mixing it with some resources in Amuay and that’s why it’s octane content is lower and isn’t up to the country’s standards. He said that in order to prove this, they have to run physical-chemical tests.
- They reported 96 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. The number of recovered patients also increased, (487), even though two days ago, Delcy Rodríguez herself said there were 385. The regime says that there have been no “local” infections, which reinforces discrimination against returning migrants. Out of the new cases, 90 came from Colombia and six are health and security workers on the border. Rodríguez said that Colombia has 256 cases on the border (145 in northern Santander, 109 in La Guajira and 2 in Arauca), but Venezuela has had a total of 1,255 cases from there, which would prove they’re not reporting all cases. She said that if we didn’t have “imported cases” Venezuela would only have 15 active cases today.
- On Monday, the BCV published the inflation rate for April (27.5 %) and May (38.6 %), and 295.9% for the first five months of 2020. The regime doesn’t publish this kind of information regularly.
- The TSJ forbade importing DirecTV equipment without the approval of the ad hoc board presided by the president of CONATEL and the Minister of the President’s Office.The decision orders SENIAT to hold on to the equipment and start sanctioning procedure.
- A detainee died after he fell from the third floor of La Guaira’s CICPC headquarters. It’s like the case of councilman Fernando Albán: police sources say that the person under arrest was handcuffed, threw himself out the window, fractured his skull and died. The crimes keep happening because of the certainty that there’ll be no consequences.
- Equestrian trainer Ramón García Mosquera said that the horse called Ocean Bay, champion in several competitions, was kidnapped on Sunday, killed and dismembered for food.
- Venezuela is the Latin American country with the lowest capability to fight corruption, said a study by Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA), while Uruguay is the country better prepared to do so. The Capacity to Combat Corruption index evaluates and classifies countries regarding the efficiency to fight crime.
- The National Assembly will activate a communication mechanism through several digital platforms so citizens can denounce aggressions by state security officers in gas stations. In addition, the Defense and Security commission assured that they’ll release a detailed report on the officers’ behavior.
- Juan Francisco Espinosa, director of Colombian Immigration, said Maduro’s regime decision to restrict the migration flow to only three days a week and with a limit on how many people can return was regrettable. In addition to slowing down the process, compromises other countries’ abilities to provide medical attention to migrants and refugees, because this population isn’t a priority in their public policy. Deputy Carlos Valero criticized Nicolás for this decision, understood as another violation of human rights by the government. Valero considers the measure is unconstitutional and it will worsen the crisis on the border. But not a day goes by without chavismo saying that returning migrants are the main threat “they come with the same curve that exists in those countries,” said Delcy Rodríguez last night. President Iván Duque said on Monday that institutions like the UNHCR and IMO should pay attention to the restrictions, because “the Venezuelan regime is trying to limit the return of its citizens to their own country.”
- The pandemic sank the global economy into the most extensive crisis since 1870, warned the World Bank yesterday. They expect a global contraction of 5.2% and a drop of Latin America’s GDP of 7.2 %, which will translate into the worst recession in 80 years, and the risk of dragging 70 million people into extreme poverty. FAO deputy director Julio Berdegué, also thinks that “economic and social consequences in regards to nutrition are very serious.” In fact, the FAO calculates that there’ll be 20 million people living in hunger after the pandemic in Latin America and Venezuela makes almost half of that figure: there are 9.3 million people living in food insecurity already.
- “Even though the situation in Europe is getting better (meaning the coronavirus pandemic), it’s getting worse in the rest of the world,” said WHO director Tedros Adhanom. “Over 136,000 cases were reported yesterday, the highest number in a day,” he added.
- There have been over 7.1 million cases in the world and 406,413 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. still has the highest figures, with over 1.9 million cases and over 110,000 deaths. Brazil has had over 707,000 cases and 37,134 deaths. Chile, 138,846 cases and 2,264 deaths and Colombia 40,847 cases and 1,373 deaths.
- María Corina Machado proposed an international coalition (with legitimacy and disposition as established by the TIAR) that would deploy an Operation for Peace and Stabilization as the only resource to remove Nicolás. “The regime advances in destabilizing the hemisphere,” she said. On social media, users criticized the proposal in her op-ed, because of three main reasons: it puts the financial weight and risks on an nonexistent coalition, she didn’t explain her own role in the project (tasks, allies, methods); and the operation is based on the premise that the first actions will develop into the following actions, as it if were a piece of art made with dominoes, and not a regime that’s been in power for 21 years.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
We’ve been able to hang on for 19 years in one of the craziest media landscapes in the world. Now, the difficulty level was raised abruptly with the global pandemic. We’ve seen different media outlets in Venezuela (and abroad) cutting personnel to avoid closing shop. This is something we’re looking to avoid at all costs, and it seems we will. But your collaboration goes a long way in helping us weather the storm.Donate