Photo: El Diario.Es

Concrete Against Coronavirus

Such is the defense we have against COVID-19; Chavismo says the new Constitution is written down; Russia says it's ready to release a coronavirus vaccine—let's hope it's not tested on us

  • Chavismo increased the horrible policy of “radical isolation of Caracas parishes to stop the spread (of COVID-19)” with GNB checkpoints and concrete barriers. A regime that’s incapable of supplying water through regular pipes so people can wash their hands at home, thinks that the contagion rate will slow down with checkpoints.
  • By 11:55 last night, chavismo hadn’t reported Wednesday’s coronavirus figures. One minute later, Nicolás’s vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, tweeted that there were 587 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 17,158 cases they’ve admitted to, and Caracas (289), Miranda (90), Bolívar (53), Zulia (34) and Sucre (27) are the states with the worst figures. Also, Rodríguez announced five more deaths, bringing the total to 156 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • José Manuel Olivares reported that “in the last 72 hours, six health workers have died because of COVID-19, which proves the magnitude of the crisis we’re going through.” He denounced that “the dictatorship hasn’t even admitted to most of these deaths of health workers.” The medical association of Zulia confirmed the death of oncologist Edgar Manzanero, while in Anzoátegui, they confirmed the death of pediatrician Alexis Moya.
  • “Elliott Abrams, I’m saying yes. I agree with you. I got your message,” said Nicolás on Wednesday, after assuring he had received a message from the U.S. Special Envoy for Venezuela; Nicolás didn’t specify what he agreed with. Abrams considers the Norwegian government’s participation in a negotiation a reasonable way to solve the crisis in Venezuela, but he said that without a commitment for a democratic transition, the parts won’t make any progress. That’s why Abrams said that Nicolás has never shown willingness to negotiate and he added that while he remains in power, there won’t be free or fair elections in Venezuela. On the other hand, Nicolás said that “everything that was discussed with the Norwegian delegation will proceed, I’ve always supported dialogue.” Abrams replied to Nicolás’s insidious exercise and said: “This is a joke or falsehood. The U.S. hasn’t sent him messages,” and reiterated that “Venezuela’s recovery begins the day he (Nicolás) leaves” and that they’re willing to discuss the details of his exit. 
  • Bloomberg reported that because of the economic collapse and sanctions, the regime proposed to award majority shareholding and control of the oil industry to large international corporations, a move that would end decades of state monopoly. They assure that Nicolás’s representatives have talked to Rosneft, Repsol and Eni SpA, to allow them to take over oil facilities and restructure PDVSA’s debt in exchange for assets. 
  • Nicolás’s Defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López, ordered firing 302 Army officers, at the recommendation of an Investigation Council. Journalist Sebastiana Barráez explained that this organization, from a legal standpoint, doesn’t have the power to determine expulsions. 
  • The CNE published the list of citizens selected as members of the electoral voting stations that will be working on December 6th. Several citizens, when they consulted the CNE website, found that they have been moved to another voting center. The journalist specialized in the electoral source, Eugenio Martínez, said that he had never seen so many cases of journalists being moved to other centers and he thinks “it’s a deliberate action to reinforce the public’s lack of confidence,” he wrote. 
  • The mayor of Libertador municipality, Erika Farías, reported on Wednesday the schedules and working days that were imposed for commercial activity in 13 municipal markets in Caracas “as part of the actions for radical quarantine,” said a military officer, and we are sure that he’ll get a medal for how he conjugated the nonexistent verb “aperturar.” 
  • Hermann Escarrá said that the new Constitution project was completed today, and said that only two debates in the ANC are required for its approval. He emphasized that they must seek solutions for the debate, because the constituent process is temporary. He was bold enough to say that a broader system for guaranteeing human rights and tougher rules against corruption were added. 
  • Nobody from chavismo has responded for eliminating the indigenous vote and how this imposition violates the Constitution and human rights of vulnerable indigenous communities that have been disrespected by the regime. Lawyer José Ignacio Hernández said: “It doesn’t matter if indigenous communities were consulted, nobody can be consulted to violate the Constitution.” We only need PSUV to understand that. 
  • In October 2008, the Venezuelan government signed a contract for 1.5 billion euros with a Spanish company led by CAF to rehabilitate Line 1 of the Caracas Metro.The contract has been investigated for the alleged payment of illegal commissions for 65 million euros. Venezuela owes Spain 138 million dollars only in delays and forfeited payments. 
  • Pequiven’s ad hoc board presented the summary of their activities on Wednesday. They highlighted the achievement of rescuing Monómeros and blocking a $20 million scheme that Nicolás’s regime attempted. 
  • Nicolás’s Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, assured that Alex Saab’s defense is in the hands of his legal team and the regime is only providing support “as we would do with any other Venezuelan citizen detained abroad.” He denied that Saab was a provider for the state and called him an “agent.” But Saab did recognize him in his contractor role in 2017. 
  • Russian authorities will approve the vaccine against COVID-19 created by the Gamaleya Institute on August 10th. It would be the first country to approve a vaccine against coronavirus, said Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Sovereign Wealth of Russia Fund: “The Americans were surprised when they heard the Sputnik. The same thing will happen with this vaccine. Russia would have arrived first.” There is great concern about the possibility of  this vaccine’s trials in humans not being completed. In Venezuela, we’re also afraid of being the Guinea pigs of Nicolás’s boss. 
  • There have been over 16.9 million cases and over 665,486 deaths of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has had 4.4 million cases and over 150,500 deaths. Brazil is number two, with 2.5 million cases and a sad record yesterday, 1,595 deaths, for a total of 90,134. Mexico has had 408,449 cases and 45,361 deaths. Peru has surpassed 400,683 cases, with 5,678 new cases and has had 18,612 deaths. Chile has had 351,525 cases and 9,278 deaths, while Colombia is a new epicenter with over 10,000 cases in a day for a total of 267,385 cases and 9,074 deaths. “It isn’t a second wave, just a wave,” said the “assertive” WHO yesterday.

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.