- In less than 24 hours, six newborns died in Porlamar’s Central Hospital, in Nueva Esparta state. The families protested against the sanitary conditions and lack of supplies in neonatology and ob-gyn wards, explaining that they’re instructed to bring all of the supplies themselves (including water), in order to get medical attention. “There’s no air conditioning or incubators for premature babies,” said a citizen. The deaths of these babies are added to the serious record established by Nicolás’s regime, that they’ve tried to cover up in many ways, but is also one of the reasons they’ve stopped publishing the weekly epidemiology bulletin since 2016. Chavismo hasn’t developed public policy for our circumstances: in Venezuela, very few people can afford methods for planning a family, teenage pregnancy is abundant and common and because of the malnutrition figures and the vulnerability of pregnant women has increased. In the last few years, they invented the Misión Niño Jesús and Humanized Labor Program precisely to get away with not solving this emergency.
- Nicolás said on Wednesday that he’d only leave power if Venezuelans decide so in a 2022 referendum. Betting on our bad memory isn’t only bold, it’s also a summary of his profound dislike for the citizens. In 2016, Nicolás warned that he wouldn’t allow his own removal, and even fired over a thousand public workers for signing for the referendum against him. Journalist Eugenio Martínez shared this fact: “The petition of the 2017 referendum is still suspended without resolution in files (by orders of five state criminal courts). In addition (…) CNE changed, modified and altered the rules for requesting a referendum.” However, Nicolás’s prêt-à-porter opposition started playing its role: pretending to be listening and writing messages about the pertinence of a referendum. They’re despicable.
- Nicolás said that there’ll be elections to renew the National Assembly this year, because “Venezuela has to solve its political differences, ideology, projects and ideas to go one way, the electoral way, the way of votes, the way of democratic and plural debate.”
- Táchira governor Laidy Gómez assured the public that neither PSUV or Nicolás will make her change her position and that she didn’t know about the arguments to ask for her dismissal as governor. The request, she says, is a “mockery” that won’t intimidate her.
- Former councilman Junior Pantoja was released yesterday with no restrictions. Pantoja was detained in May during a police operation in the José Félix Ribas slum, Caracas, during the gang war of Petare between criminals “Wilexis” and “El Gusano”. He worked in community kitchens feeding children in Petare.
- Delcy Rodríguez reported 179 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 4,366 (even though there have been inconsistencies in the figures for the last couple of days). In addition, she reported three deaths, two in Zulia and one in the Capital District, for a total of 38.
- Mauro Zambrano, spokesman for Caracas’ Hospitals and Clinics Union reported that at least 144 workers have been infected with COVID-19 and at least four of them have died. Last night, ob-gyn doctor Manuel Romero died of COVID-19. The government hasn’t admitted to the deaths of patients that died before him.
- San Cristóbal’s Central Hospital director Leonardo Contreras, confirmed that a Táchira farmer died of coronavirus on Monday. Benjamín Patiño Bustamante, 78 years old, was admitted to the hospital on June 18th.
- Citizens denounced that patients with symptoms of COVID-19 have died in Zulia, but in their death certificates, they mention pneumonia or respiratory conditions, which contributes to under-registering the virus.
- PAHO warned on Wednesday about “recurring outbreaks” of COVID-19 for the next two years. Ciro Ugarte, director of the Health Emergency Department, (after 101 days of quarantine and more than 4,000 cases) said that they’ve identified “labs for PCR testing and we have proceeded to identifying quality and safety conditions, equipment of facilities and training of personnel” in Venezuela. He also talked about the meetings that have taken place between the Health Ministry and the commission of experts appointed by the National Assembly, where they’ve identified urgent elements, like new treatment protocols and supply and protection gear inventory. Clarissa Etienne, director of PAHO, said that the cases of coronavirus have tripled in the region in the last month and are now half the total of cases in the world.
- The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned the captains of five Iranian ships that brought oil to Venezuela. In addition, the U.S. government published the Country Reports on Terrorism 2019, where they severely criticize Nicolás’s regime for not collaborating in the fight against terrorism. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reported that Venezuela hasn’t proved to have the political will to tackle concerns about terrorism: “The regime’s usurpation of the judiciary system and military and security services for their own illicit goals, rampant corruption and cooperation with criminal elements set up the ideal conditions for illegal activity,” he said and added that the regime accuses political dissidents of terrorism. The report says that Nicolás and his associates “use criminal activities keep their illegitimate hold on power, fostering a permissive environment for known terrorist groups, including FARC and ELN dissidents and Hezbollah sympathizers.”
- High-ranking officers of the International Contact Group expressed their concern for the intensified political crisis in Venezuela, the loss of even more political and democratic spaces, and the deterioration of the human rights situation. They said that recent TSJ decisions hurt the possibility of a consensual electoral solution and democratic elections. Same old, same old.
- Jorge Arreaza, Nicolás’s Foreign minister, met with his Russian counterpart Serguéi Lavrov. Arreaza asked for stronger cooperation and assured Lavrov that Venezuela’s natural resources “are open for fair and legal Russian investment.” He’ll also meet with deputy prime minister Yuri Borísov.
- Lavrov said that Russia and Venezuela have strategic partnership bonds and reiterated Moscow’s solidarity with Caracas against “external interference.”
- Nicolás’s Defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López, said that a U.S. war ship navigating so close to the Venezuelan coast was “an act of provocation.” He warns that if the ship executes “military operations” in Venezuelan waters, “they’ll get an overwhelming response.”
- Spanish newspaper El Mundo included in its front page on June 25th, a letter by Juan Guaidó and opposition leaders to former president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, where they criticize him “for being an ally of an usurper that oppressed and kills us.” They ask if he’d tolerate an election where the PP, Psoe, Ciudadanos and Vox were barred from running or were persecuted and they regret that “you’re now defending criminals and you’re not even trying to hide it.”
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