Photo: France 24

We Could be Paying for Someone Else's Crimes

The death rate of healthcare personnel in Venezuela is extraordinarily high, which means the workers lack adequate protection; A tanker could collapse in the Paria Gulf

  • Delcy Rodríguez reported on Sunday that there are 1,148 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 33,755 cases they’ve admitted to: we doubled the total in only 19 days. Nicolás reported five deaths for a total of 281 deaths. He didn’t mention the deaths of cardiologist Arturo García, in Bolívar state, or the death of nurse Carmen Corro, in Vargas state. The death rate of health personnel is still way too high. According to Médicos Unidos por Venezuela, 71 healthcare workers have died because of unavailable personal protection gear and poor conditions in health centers. Last week, we had a total of 7,950 new cases they admitted to. The past seven days are the seven days with the highest numbers of daily cases so far, according to the regime. 
  • Nicolás said that the quarantine will be radical in Caracas and in the states of Bolívar, Miranda, Sucre, Táchira, Vargas and Zulia, which have the highest number of cases. The measures will include reduced mobility plans, focused testing programs, control checkpoints and reduced hours for businesses… Nothing new. This week, the formal sector of the economy requested a plan that will allow the reactivation of production, guaranteeing biosafety controls. Conindustria (the Venezuelan Union of Industrialists) and Consecomercio (the National Commerce Council),  warned that if the criteria for the “quarantine” doesn’t change for the productive sector, and there’s no plan to help them stay afloat,  60% of industries and 40% of stores in the nation might shut down, leaving 3 million Venezuelans without a job. Meanwhile, Nicolás expects to be the first in getting the vaccine against COVID-19, “to lead by example, and after me, healthcare personnel and older citizens with conditions,” he said. Quite the sacrifice. 
  • The AN Commission for the Environment warned about the collapse of a loaded tanker on the Paria Gulf, in Sucre state. Apparently, there’s no order to unload the ship (with 3.1 million barrels of oil) to another ship, or to tow it, so they fear damage to the environment. The AN sent letters to the president of PDVSA, the Oil Minister and representatives of Petrosucre demanding urgent information about measures to prevent and “minimize the ship’s risk of collapse.” The record of oil contamination in the country is relevant, that’s why the Venezuelan Ecology Association will have a meeting with Inparques (the National Parks Institute) and the Ecosocialist Ministry to obtain permits so NGOs and the academy can collect samples of the hydrocarbons spilled. Let’s hope they’re allowed. On some beaches, they have blocked volunteers from helping out. 
  • Journalist Eugenio Martínez said that the CNE published new rules for electing indigenous deputies on August 14th, keeping severe restrictions on voters’ secrecy rights, which only applies to General Assemblies: “This correction by the CNE is mild, and still contains significant violations of our Constitution and electoral laws,” wrote Martínez. While the CNE president imposed by the Supreme Tribunal, Indira Alfonso, was saying that they were considering modifications, they had already published the new rules on the CNE website. Let’s consider that less than four months away from the “election”, there’s no information about the machines or software used for counting votes, or for processing data.
  • Before he was detained in Cape Verde using a bucket to shower, Alex Saab was trying to escape several countries’ financial surveillance through the Bulgarian bank Investbank, but the move was found suspicious and the money was frozen in Bulgaria, said Roberto Deniz in another piece for ArmandoInfo; to make matters worse, the trace left by those $158 million, leads—once more—to deputy Luis Parra and his CLAP faction, as displayed in a photo obtained for the piece, and in records of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry where Parra introduced himself as president of the “sub-commission for financial control,” a made-up post. Now, far from his client’s innoble past, Baltasar Garzón’s law firm accused the authorities in Cape Verde of violating the Colombian citizen’s right to defense because one of his lawyers didn’t pass the security controls at the airport. Come on!
  • Spanish Foreign minister Arancha González Laya said that the dialogue must be explored “until the very last minute” in Venezuela, to hold parliamentary elections in democratic conditions, but if there’s no dialogue, Spain won’t recognize the results.
  • Turkish Foreign minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu will meet on Tuesday with his counterpart Jorge Arreaza, Nicolás and Delcy. According to the Turkish communiqué, they will sign several agreements to commemorate 70 years of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Caracas. 
  • The strategic framework of U.S. policy in Latin America emphasizes a campaign of “maximum pressure against Venezuela” said Robert O’Brien, security advisor to President Trump. The strategy includes strengthening an alliance with Panama against money laundering. 
  • After the precedent of the trial in the U.S. that indemnified three former hostages of the FARC with funds confiscated from Samark López, Ingrid Betancourt’s son (whose mother was kidnapped from 2002 to 2008), wants the same: a multimillion dollar indemnization to compensate for their suffering. This is very serious for our country: funds that could be used in Venezuela, now have an open lid that would mean paying for crimes by the FARC whose accomplice, in the eyes of U.S. justice, is chavismo. 
  • There have been 21.5 million cases of coronavirus and 773,649 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Latin America and the Caribbean is the most affected region, with over 6 million cases. Brazil with 3.3 million cases and 107,852 deaths is the most affected country in the region. Peru is the second, with 525,803 cases and 26,075 deaths. Peru has the highest number of deaths in proportion to their population of almost 33 million, for every million inhabitants they’ve had 784 deaths. Mexico follows with 517,000 cases and 56,600 deaths; Colombia with 456,689 cases and 14,810 deaths and Chile with 585,946 cases and 10,452 deaths. The U.S. is the country with the worst figures: 5.4 million cases and 170,000 deaths. Every week, the virus and the confinement leave millions of homes all over the world in misery.

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.