- The CNE imposed by the TSJ announced that legislative elections, tailor-made for Nicolás, will take place on December, 6th. Indira Alfonzo said that 89 political parties are allowed to submit candidates and participate, even though the main opposition parties said they won’t be participating. The timetable announced on Wednesday includes: 1) Electoral registry from July 13th to July 25th; 2) Selecting members of subordinate electoral organizations: July 23rd; 3) Nomination petitions: August 10th to 19th; 4) Electoral drill: October 11th; 5) Electoral fair: November 2nd to 30th; 6) Campaign: November 21st to December 5th; 7) They’ll do 15 audits throughout the process, from August 2020 to January 2021, but they didn’t say anything about the voting system, the machines, their software or the bid for purchase.
- Nicolás Communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, reported 230 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 6,062 cases. He also admitted to three more deaths, for a total of 54 coronavirus deaths in Venezuela. In four days, we had 1,000 cases. Sucre governor Edwin Rojas said that some COVID-19 patients are in critical condition and that they’d be using beds at a private hospital in Cumaná, east of Venezuela. Later, the secretary assured that taking over these hospitals, San Vicente de Paúl and Josefina de Figuera, wasn’t an expropriation but “habilitating” them to care for patients that the public system can’t handle. What will happen when those spaces collapse too? How many hospitals were built in 20 years?
- London’s high court ruled that Juan Guaidó’s caretaker government, and not Nicolás Maduro’s, has the right to claim the Venezuelan gold in the Bank of England.
- On Wednesday, S&P Global Platts reported that Venezuelan oil production dropped in June to 280,000 bpd, almost 10% of what we produced when Nicolás got to power. Oil exports also collapsed in May and kept dropping in June, and it isn’t clear if PDVSA will find a way to export its inventory, which is almost surpassing its storage capacity, or if they’re trying to adjust production to the export level that they can “sell”. The second option would make it clear: the industry doesn’t see a short term solution. Petroguía reported that oil exports from Colombia to the U.S. during the first four months of 2020, dropped 24 %, but this reduction wasn’t thanks to CITGO, which doubled the purchase of oil because of the prohibition on getting oil from PDVSA. On the other hand, Russian oil exports for the U.S. increased 78.6% in the first quarter, and in a year, it became the third supplier of oil and fuels in the American market, only topped by Canada and Mexico, a position they reached because of Venezuela’s disappearance.
- The PSOE allied with Podemos on Wednesday and stopped the Spanish Congress from expressing their rejection of EU ambassador Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa being expelled from Venezuela. Institutional statements require unanimous support of all groups in Congress.
- Slovakian Foreign and European Affairs minister Ivan Korcok, announced that Slovakia joins 24 countries in the EU that recognize Juan Guaidó as caretaker president and explained they made the decision because of the hostile attitude of Nicolás’s regime towards the EU.
- Foreign Secretary of the UK, Dominic Raab, reiterated they reject Ambassador Brilhante Pedrosa being expelled from Venezuela, a decision that he thinks contributes to deteriorating the terrible economic, political and humanitarian situation in Venezuela. “The UK reiterates the call for a peaceful, democratic transition through free and fair presidential elections,” says his statement.
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