Coronavirus Has Apparently Reached the PSUV

So far, we don’t know about any ruling party authority that has sought medical attention in the collapsed public health system, which should be the pride and joy of any socialist system

Photo: France 24

  • PSUV vice president Diosdado Cabello tested positive for coronavirus, as he said on social media. Nicolás confirmed it: “I’m sure that with your morale and spiritual strength and the protection of our José Gregorio Hernández, you’ll make it through these days.” Immediately after, Zulia governor Omar Prieto admitted he was infected, too. He had denied he had it up until that point, and contrary to what he demanded from citizens, he didn’t go to a CDI, he went to the San Francisco private hospital. Shortly after, Sucre governor Edwin Rojas confirmed that the mayor of the Cruz Salmerón municipality in Araya, Jonny Acosta, also tested positive. On the other hand, the main director of the TSJ-imposed CNE, José Luis Gutiérrez, suffered a pleural effusion (liquid in between the tissues covering his lungs and his torax) and is hospitalized in a private hospital. 
  • The National Assembly approved on Thursday the “Special Law against Public Contracts Tied to Defense, Recovery and Protection of Assets, Goods and Interests of the Venezuelan State Abroad.” The exposition of motives says this regulation isn’t intended to be a substitute for any current law, but set special rules because of the extraordinary situation to rule all contracts for buying goods and services and ensuring transparency in operations. The law hasn’t been published in official AN media or shared with the press. Not everyone approved the law, and deputies of the 16J Fraction abstained because they consider it an “impertinent” law, since the AN and the caretaker government should be trying to achieve the end of usurpation first. 
  • The AN approved a report from the Finance Commission about authorizing a contract of public interest between Venezuela and BRV Disbursement Co. LLC and BRV Administrator Co. LLC to execute the “Special Law for the Fund for Liberation of Venezuela,” for 80 million dollars. Guaidó requested approval of this contract for 1,250,000 million dollars. Both companies, with headquarters in the U.S., will provide services of payment and fund management. Venezuela will be represented by the Special Expense Council, contemplated in the Special Law for the Fund for Liberation of Venezuela, approved in February. The process to choose the companies was approved by the OFAC, because it’s the institution in charge of frozen assets abroad.
  • Nicolás announced that the new school year will start under the same online education system implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19: “We’ll start the 2020-2021 school year with the ‘One Family, One School’ method, with social distancing.” He ruled out going back to school in the short term. The serious failures in public utilities will deepen the already noticeable education inequalities denounced by ENCOVI in their latest survey: two out of five students are falling behind, 40% regularly misses school for lack of services or food, and we have the worst connectivity and internet speed in Latin America, with a great amount of homes that don’t even have internet. However, Nicolás said that we should bet on tech platforms and he was bold enough to say that he will improve internet connectivity and use ViveTV as a multimedia platform. 
  • Nicolás’s Communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, reported that there are 362 new cases of coronavirus, for a total of 8,372. He also announced five deaths, for a total of 80 deaths they have admitted to since March 13th. 
  • Juan Guaidó assured the public that the opposition keeps fighting for conditions instead of demanding them from a dictatorial regime that would never grant them. So, what to do on December 6th? “There are alternatives that can become an election, a process of demands, a process of battles. I’m not even talking about boycotting. The alternative we present must be with participation, mobilization, not standing still. I can’t give more information because it’s being debated,” he said. 
  • Camila Fabri, Álex Saab’s girlfriend and Lorenzo Antonelli, start showing up in the investigations against Nicolás’s middleman. According to an investigation by El Tiempo, Antonelli is a key player in gold and food exports—through CLAP— and in the currency exchange with countries like Turkey, Iran and Russia. Italy and the UK were the first countries to reveal Fabri and Antonelli’s ties with Álex Saab’s schemes, since they confiscated 1.8 million euros they moved from an open trust fund in the UK. 
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “In the end, what the U.S. is trying to achieve is restoring democracy, and the Venezuelan people are the ones who will do that (…) We’ll do everything in our power,” he said and expressed his approval of the global support the Venezuelan democracy cause has obtained, expressed in the support Juan Guaidó has received. 
  • Libya and the U.S. are investigating the exchange of gold for cash between Venezuela and the leader of Libyan militias Khalifa Haftar, said Libyian officers. They said they’ve tracked Haftar’s plane and suspect that they’re transporting gold from Venezuela to Eastern Africa, and from there to Europe and the Middle East. 
  • The European Parliament rejected on Thursday Nicolás’s TSJ attacks against the National Assembly and the appointment of a CNE board of authorities, and the moves against opposition party leaders to hand out the parties to politicians tied to chavismo. 
  • Bolivian interim president Jeanine Añez has tested positive for COVID-19 and will remain in isolation until she’s tested again. Three ministers in Añez’s cabinet have also tested positive. 
  • Since March, chavismo has openly lied about its handling of coronavirus, about the terrible state of our health system and about the resources they have to help citizens. They have insisted on having everything under control, and they have blamed transit on the border for local contagion. If they have repeatedly lied about sensitive, provable matters, why are they being transparent now? It isn’t the first time a powerful player says they have the virus and a couple of days later they reappear “healthy and strong” as if they have conquered a battle. It’s their narrative.

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.