- The U.S. Department of State offered a 5 million dollar reward for Maikel Moreno, the president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. In March, the U.S. offered a 15 million dollar reward for information leading to Nicolás Maduro’s arrest and 10 million dollars for Diosdado Cabello, Hugo Carvajal, Clíver Alcalá and Tareck El Aissami. The U.S. had previously accused Moreno for receiving bribes to manipulate judiciary processes, sanctioned him in 2016 after ruling the National Assembly was in contempt and froze his assets in the country. Nicolás’s Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, published a statement rejecting this action by Donald Trump’s government.
- On Tuesday, they reported 440 new cases of COVID-19 in Venezuela and four deaths, which brings the total to 12,774 cases and 120 deaths according to Nicolás’s vice president, Delcy Rodríguez. Local contagion: 412. No news from Zulia state, for example. She said 6,983 patients have recovered (55% of cases they’ve admitted to), even though on July 18th, Jorge Rodríguez said there were 3,972 (35%). It’s worth mentioning that this would mean our recovery rate was a 1000 patients a day, in the last 72 hours.
- Through the National Press Syndicate, workers with COVID-19 from the state’s main tv station, VTV, denounced that they’re “prisoners” inside the network, that some of them sleep on the floor, because there isn’t enough space, and that their families can’t talk to them. 50 workers (30 of them from the press division) don’t get medical care or medicine, said the Syndicate.
- Authorities from Vargas state located a COVID-19 epicenter in a CLAP packing facility: they took at least 55 workers of Salva Foods 2015 C.A. (owned by Álex Saab) to Los Caracas after they tested positive in quick-response tests, reported news site El Pitazo.
- Nicolás celebrated (!) “Health Tuesday” and made contacts with regions where hospital wings that had already been inaugurated were inaugurated again… He said he’s thinking about relaxing the quarantine on July 27th, despite the accelerated increase all over the country, and that he’ll build the most powerful health system (which he didn’t in seven years, nor chavismo built before that). He announced that the IVIC’s Molecular Biology Lab will start doing PCR tests for COVID-19 diagnosis, overseen by the Rafael Rangel National Hygiene Institute. Meaning, they’ll keep controlling the information. Eloy Sira, director of the Venezuelan Science Institute, told Nicolás that “the coronavirus strain in Venezuela and America is more easily spread than Wuhan’s!” (!). Dr. Julio Castro said: “The problem isn’t how many labs are running tests, the important thing is to process the amount of tests required so results don’t take between 7 to 9 days. Only then can we have a diagnosis and treatment.” It has been announced before that labs in Zulia and Táchira would start working (to run labs for returning migrants), but the status of those services is unknown.
- During the session on July 21st, caretaker president Juan Guaidó appointed deputy in exile José Manuel Olivares as special commissioner for health and sanitary care of migrants. The National Assembly approved an agreement to decry the criminalization of migrants and refugees who have returned to the country because of the pandemic before the International Criminal Court. Deputies also debated state terrorism and the presence of armed irregular groups in the country, after an ELN leader swore loyalty to Nicolás Maduro. They also received a report by NGO Súmate about irregularities of the elections of December 6th, denouncing the role of the TSJ and the absence of guarantees to recover trust in the vote. Deputy Julio Montoya asked for the creation of a mixed commission that investigates the scheme of bankrupt banks in Central America and the Caribbean owned by the Banco Occidental de Descuento (BOD) group, owned by Víctor Vargas.
- Nicolás’s regime ordered the eviction of student residence Livia Gouverneur, at the Los Andes building in Plaza Venezuela, Caracas, originally occupied in 2005 and expropriated with help by the Metropolitan Cabildo. They want to use it to host patients with coronavirus now. Security officers threatened students to charge them as “bioterrorists” if they didn’t leave the premises.
- Andrés Eloy Méndez, former director of the National Commission for Telecoms (Conatel) said he was a victim of FAES abuse and asked for actions by Falcón state governor, Víctor Clark. He warned that he’ll talk about the situation with Padrino López. El Nacional published the information, not VTV.
- Commissioner Iván Simonovis denounced that, as they made Colombian Alex Saab a Venezuelan citizen, so was ELN leader Álvaro Díaz AKA Eduard, who made the news over the weekend for swearing loyalty to Nicolás. “He was also favored with a Venezuelan identity. With this disregard for the rules, the regime has issued thousands of documents to guerrillas and terrorists that threaten security all over the world,” he wrote. By the way, Honduras confiscated 806 kilos of drugs in a plane that was coming from Venezuela yesterday.
- Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia expressed their support for Juan Guaidó’s proposal to establish a transition government that leads to free and fair elections and say that the pandemic is a key accelerator to change Venezuelan conditions. Nicolás’s Foreign minister Jorge Arreaza, criticized the statement and disrespectfully asked, “is this a mere formality demanded by Washington?”
- Nicolás’s Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López, in his role as political spokesman, said that Colombian authorities are “nowhere to be found” on the border: “We only see drug traffickers and paramilitaries extorting Venezuelans to grant them illegal passage through shortcuts and illegal passageways,” he wrote.
- Mike Pompeo asked the public in London “to understand the threat that the Chinese Communist Party represents” after meeting with the British government, undergoing strong tensions with Beijing: “We believe that the whole world must work in unity to make sure all countries, including China, behave (…) in a way that corresponds international order,” said Pompeo standing next to his counterpart Dominic Raab. He had previously met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
- Chavismo stole everything from Venezuelans. They did it in such exorbitant amounts, that even the reward for the head justice of Nicolás’s TSJ, feels small and unattractive to any potential captor. We must reunite what’s actually huge amounts of money, and we must even ponder the lousy responses that the regime gives for their own.
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