A Tragedy That’s Just Beginning

That’s what deputy José Manuel Olivares called the pandemic in Venezuela; AD’s main headquarters was attacked by colectivos with weapons that should only be controlled by the state

Photo: Twitter vía @Ciroramones

  • Acción Democrática headquarters were taken by force on Sunday and, on Monday, colectivos attacked members of the party and press workers gathered outside. Party activists demanded colectivos to leave the premises, when they were attacked with explosives and tear gas, which should both be controlled by the state. Deputy Carlos Prosperi assured that the people who attacked the organization are colectivos pretending to be members of AD, who work with Nicolás’s regime and the board imposed by the TSJ, headed by Bernabé Gutiérrez. Prosperi condemned that from the inside of the building, they fired rubber pellets and that there were armed men, intending to take the headquarters from its rightful owners. Bernabé Gutiérrez, with absolute cynicism, says that they took over because of the horrible conditions of the building, that they wanted to “rescue” it. He thinks of himself as the party’s “legitimate” authority with the support of the chavista TSJ and its propaganda and repression apparatus. It’s inadmisible that war supplies property of the state are used to attack defenseless citizens and journalists.
  • On Monday, Nicolás’s vice-president, Delcy Rodríguez, reported a new record of coronavirus cases in a day: 995, for a total of 26,800 that they’ve admitted to. She also said that there were 6 deaths, for a total of 229 they’ve admitted to. 
  • Deputy José Manuel Olivares, National Assembly commissioner for health, warned that the death toll is over twice what the regime is reporting: “We have confirmed 224 more deaths, for a total of 439.” Out of those deaths, 58 were health workers and 21 have happened in the last week only. It’s a catastrophe that’s just beginning. He added that in Venezuela, the death rate is 1.7, while in the rest of Latin America, the average is between 3 and 6, which means they’re under-registering the number of deaths. He also said that 720 people have been waiting for the results of their PCR tests for 15 days in Delta Amacuro. He reiterated that Venezuela is the country that runs the least PCR tests in the region, and that if they allow the decentralization of diagnostics, that could change. Another serious claim made by Olivares is that three of the main health centers in Caracas are already over their capacity, and that’s why they’re taking patients to Maracay, Aragua State. 
  • The CNE published, at the very last minute, a Project of Gender Equality that modifies the rules for the “elections” in December, and imposes percentages to the proportion of potential candidates based on gender: the lists will demand an equal composition of 50% candidates per gender, while nominal postulations will require at least 40% women. Because they published this document after the deadline, the CNE violates the Constitution yet again. 
  • The president of the CNE imposed by the TSJ, Indira Alfonzo, reported that from Monday, August 10th and until August 19th, the parties that are left (and the parties that have been intervened, of course) will be able to submit their candidates. 
  • There were protests for gas in Bolívar and Monagas states on Monday. In addition, the alleged protector of Nueva Esparta, Dante Rivas, announced that only the gas stations in dollars are working in the state. By the way: Julio Borges said that despite the collapse of PDVSA, Nicolás’s regime is still sending at least 10% of production to Cuba. 
  • The Venezuelan Central Bank reported that between August 10th and August 14th, the supply of foreign currency to citizens and companies will increase through “currency interventions, allowing national companies to have access to foreign currency.” This happened after the black-market dollar price increased for several days in a row. The hyperinflation didn’t stop during the quarantine. 
  • Colombian president Iván Duque assured that the extradition of Álex Saab to the U.S. “is necessary and fundamental in order to untie the obscure bonds of the Venezuelan dictatorship with drug trafficking, with money laundering and with a huge criminal network.” Saab wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia, where he asked him to respect his alleged diplomatic immunity and allow him to return to Venezuela. He says he’s a victim of a politically motivated process, of great injustice, since he’s been “illegally” detained and he even complained about the medical attention he’s getting, which he called rudimentary. He said that the “lack of action (by Correia) will have legal and political consequences” and that “Venezuela will always treat you with more respect and will give you more opportunities than the U.S.” The amount of money Saab has moved is larger than Cape Verde’s external debt. 
  • Family members of former Metropolitan police officer Erasmo Bolívar demand his immediate hospitalization, because the symptoms of coronavirus that he has been presenting for the last days have gotten worse: fever, pain and difficulty to breathe. Erasmo Bolívar is Hugo Chávez’s political prisoner, who’s been in jail for 17 years for the events of April, 11th, 2002. So much damage has been inflicted upon the officers. We hope Erasmo Bolívar is moved from Ramo Verde so he can get the medical attention he needs.

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.