Venezuela Leads Bloomberg’s Misery Index for the 6th Year in a Row

The COVID-19 outbreak at El Helicoide has been confirmed and the TSJ and the CNE insist on a dynamic of no accountability.

Photo: Rodrigo Abd / AP

  • Delcy Rodríguez tweeted on Thursday that there were 981 new cases of coronavirus (a new daily record). The total is 23,280 cases they’ve admitted to. There were 7 deaths, for a total of 202 deaths. They didn’t include the death of immunologist Anselmo Rosales, founder of the Immunology wing of the Domingo Luciani Hospital and the HIV National Service at the IVSS in the official figure. He died in Maracay. 
  • The National Assembly confirmed that there are cases of coronavirus in El Helicoide and DGCIM. There are political prisoners in those facilities. One of them has been hospitalized. The AN demands that members of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights be allowed to evaluate these places. They claim that the overcrowding rate tripled compared to 2019, which multiplies the risks in a pandemic and can turn the centers into an epicenter of infection. 
  • On June 12th, the TSJ usurped (again) faculties of the AN and appointed new members of the National Electoral Council board of authorities, to prepare for the “election” in December. Rafael Simón Jiménez, former deputy for Bolívar State in 1998, backed by chavismo, participated in this abuse and was elected vice-president of this CNE. In less than two months, he resigned his post because he doesn’t like it, because it limits him and he rather be a politician, even a candidate. Why does a man that barely obtained 5% of the votes in 2008 when he ran for Barinas governor is a candidate for the AN? Because the system he approved a month ago guarantees he can be elected only if he leads the state’s list, annules direct indigenous vote and comes up with 48 new deputies in an inexistent national circuit. Meaning, he doesn;t need votes anymore, only political agreements. So when you’re a part of the Negotiation Roundtable, from which he admitted he received all the premade orders, the coast is clear to go ahead. 
  • Journalist Eugenio Martínez reported that “in three months, nine main and substitute directors have resigned (appointed between 2014 and 2020). We haven’t seen a resignation letter in any of the cases.” Even though CNE directors should be politically independent, and in any other country that those who impose the rules use them to their favor is frowned upon, his short time at the CNE gave Rafael Simón Jiménez a lot of visibility and propaganda. Since chavismo stopped worrying about perception a long time ago, this doesn’t contradict its agenda. It’s the same man who, when he found out about his appointment on the same morning it happened, and that the CNE agenda had already been established by the “roundtable”. One more piece of evidence on how branch independence works in Venezuela. 
  • Diosdado Cabello, vice president of the PSUV, reappeared on social media with a tweet, a photo and a video, which allegedly confirm that he’s out of the hospital. The most important part, (pretty well illustrated by El Chigüire Bipolar) is that it serves to show the huge differences between those who have to make do with the collapsed public health system to get medical attention or isolate, and the conditions and medical resources of those in power. 
  • Last night, the hashtag #EnFuerteTiunaNoPasanRoncha (There’s no suffering at Fuerte Tiuna) summarized the reactions towards the low sensitivity of showing the privilege of those in power at Fuerte Tiuna Hospital to Venezuelans who have seen their health system in ruins. Yesterday, two women gave birth on the street. 
  • Nicolás said on Tuesday that “Venezuela has been declared in the world as a territory free of drug production and processing,” and that’s why he’ll create the National Anti Drug Superintendency. But on Thursday, Colombia’s El Tiempo showed a video of the Armed Forces of Colombia and Guatemala chasing a plane on July 26th, where they confiscated “2,107 kilos of cocaine that had come from Venezuela.” 
  • Venezuela leads Bloomberg’s Misery Index, for the sixth year in a row. This was calculated before the pandemic’s impact on unemployment and inflation in our country. The U.S. dropped 25 spots and they projected a terrible reversion because of the pandemic. 
  • Miguel Pizarro reported  that the transfer of funds to the Red Cross was made, in order to see to the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela and that the resources will be destined to supplying hospitals and health workers. CAF granted $750,000 to help Venezuelans. The funds will be managed by the PAHO. 
  • The ad hoc board of the BCV identified other accounts in Europe, but doesn’t have control over those resources since the governments of the countries where they have the accounts have to decide if it’s up to Juan Guaidó’s caretaker government or Nicolás’s regime to manage the funds. Ricardo Villasmil, president of the ad hoc board, said to the National Assembly they’re expecting more information about the BCV’s accounts in the French Treasury and Portugal’s Novo Banco.  He also announced that they have 2.2 million dollars in their power. They are waiting for the decisions of the Treasury Department and Parliament to have access to $80 million in the Federal Reserve. 
  • Judge Leonard Stark, of Delaware’s Federal Court, scheduled a hearing for September 17th, to discuss a potential sale of CITGO assets. This sale will be carried out to pay a $1,200 million that the Venezuelan State owes Crystallex.
  • Owens-Illinois sued in Singapore, in order to collect part of an arbitration award of around $ 500 million that they won after the expropriation in 2010 of two factories thet had in Venezuela. They want ownership of the Máximo Gorki oil tanker, used as floating storage since 2018. The ship is worth around 24 million dollars. 
  • The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee received James Story’s nomination for Ambassador to Venezuela. In his speech, Story expressed he will work towards peacefully restoring democracy in Venezuela. He said that Hugo Chávez’s failed economic policies brought Venezuela to “an unavoidable politics descending from totalitarism (…) disguised as socialism”, and that he will work to find stolen funds, valued in dozens of thousands of million dollars, that could be used to rebuild the country. 
  • Elliott Abrams will start his functions as the U.S. special representative for Venezuela and Iran. For some, this means that the Venezuelan agenda isn’t enough for an eight-hour work day and for others, it means that both nations represent the same conflict. 
  • Twitter will start identifying the media associated to governments, an extraordinary measure to understand what’s actual news and what’s propaganda. Can you imagine when they get to Venezuelan media? 


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.