Photo: Twitter vía @BianculliRosa

Local Coronavirus Cases Tripled in a Day

The figures defeat the propaganda of pandemic management that sounded miraculous; The country is saddened by the collapse of a canopy at UCV

  • Venezuela breaks its number of daily COVID-19 cases, once again. On Wednesday, 231 new cases were registered (local infection: 159, “imported”: 72), the total is now 3,386 and 28 deaths. A 41-year-old patient died, a nurse from Los Frailes de Catia, in Caracas. Local cases tripled in a day. With that, the official statement of the borders being the only dangerous area is over. Nicolás announced he’ll announce new protection measures soon. 
  • Chavismo has repeated three messages regarding coronavirus over and over: 1. Everything is under control (the nonexistent flattened curve); 2. Borders are the only risk (returning migrants are to blame); 3. There’s a “more aggressive strain” in Zulia. The early quarantine coincided with the worst part of fuel shortage, and flexibilizing the quarantine affected only the formal sector of the economy. We’ve all seen people on the streets that don’t even use masks. Every update has been an excuse for political agenda and figures were underestimated. The citizens’s disregard for the rules is similar to how chavismo has narrated the problem. Today, in Venezuela, there isn’t a hospital which has, at the same time, biosafety gear, medical supplies, sanitary supplies, electricity and water. Not one. Deputy José Manuel Olivares, who’s in exile in Colombia, wrote last night: “The number of deaths not accounted for grows every day,” and mentioned the example of the death of former chief of Maracaibo’s University Hospital on Tuesday. 
  • The most recent TSJ rulings against Acción Democrática and Primero Justicia, reunited the opposition block on Wednesday. Juan Guaidó emphasized these actions won’t be recognized by the international community, which has reduced their response time to chavismo’s atrocities. “It isn’t the first time a dictatorship wants to end political parties, but all dictatorships have fallen and political parties still exist. The caretaker government is recognized by the world, it won’t be  any different with the continuity of the National Assembly, the dictatorship will fall and the republic will prevail,” said Guaidó. He encouraged the public to turn unrest into mobilitazions, emphasizing the need for protection against COVID-19 and he recognized the despair, he asked the nation to work together: “It isn’t only about resisting, it’s also about fighting (…) we must exercise that right.” 
  • On Wednesday, deputy Chaim Bucarán asked the TSJ to suspend Un Nuevo Tiempo’s current board and appoint him as president of the party. “We requested the presidency of the party,” said Bucarán. If his request is accepted, it would be the third party in a week over which authorities are imposed by the TSJ. In order to increase their number of attacks over democratic institutions, the ANC reverted yesterday a decree they issued in December 2017, when they modified the Law of Political Parties, with the TSJ’s blessing, forcing parties to validate before the National Electoral Council. What’s their argument for changing it now? “Guaranteeing more participation of Venezuelans to turn this pandemic into an electoral celebration,” said Diosdado Cabello. That’s how the parties the TSJ intervened will be able to participate with their chavista authorities even though they have no voters. Cabello said that political parties with criminal charges won’t be able to participate in elections. The TSJ hasn’t ruled if Voluntad Popular is a terrorist organization. 
  • One of the canopies covering hallways across “Tierra de Nadie” in the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) collapsed. The UCV was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, for considering it “a masterpiece of urban planning, architecture and art.” Architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva couldn’t have foreseen chavismo’s rejection of modernity, civility and knowledge. The collapse was commented on social media, because UCV transcends its alumni. It’s, in fact, everyone’s patrimony. Attacks against public universities include low budgets, allowing robberies and fires and blocking the renewal of authorities, who stay on their jobs for so long that they forget how important it is to be transparent. 
  • Jesse Chacón, former minister and Nicolás’s ambassador to Austria, received a shipment of humanitarian aid from the International Atomic Energy Agency, with X-ray machines, biosafety and rapid-response test kits.
  • “The UK expresses its concern for the new actions by Maduro’s regime, which undermine even further the democratic process in Venezuela. We reiterate our call for a pacific, democratic solution and early presidential elections,” says a statement from the British Foreign Ministry. 
  • Former national security advisor John Bolton, will publish his book next week, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, a summary that will be less than favorable for Trump’s electoral numbers. The Washington Post said that Bolton presents Trump as an erratic and terribly uninformed commander, with many discordant encounters with his advisors and with foreign leaders. The Justice Department filed a suit to block the publication. Yesterday, news of a phone call made in May 2019 appeared, where President Vladimir Putin compared Juan Guaidó to Hillary Clinton “to strengthen Nicolás’s position (…) an opinion that greatly persuaded Trump.”
  • Dr. Julio Castro explained last night that COVID-19 cases we’re seeing today aren’t associated with flexibilizing the quarantine, that we’ll see the impact of that measure in a few weeks. There are two reasons: the delay in processing the tests, that is still centralized and controlled by chavismo, and the virus’s incubation period of seven to ten days. It means that the record numbers we saw yesterday are cases that started weeks ago. The outbreak in Maracaibo was a month ago. So, if you can, please 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.