Juan Guaidó Proposes a United Path
A family needs 2.5 million bolivars a day to survive, and wages are far from that; A series of chavista "dissident" events pop up at quite the convenient time; Returning migrants are sent to camps, whether sick with coronavirus or not
- Caretaker President and AN Speaker Juan Guaidó announced a new plan to be discussed in the next ten days, to reach a unanimous pact, save Venezuela and face the electoral fraud of December 6th. “I’ll devote the next few days to present this new plan that I’ve developed and consult it both one-on-one and in groups with different leaders and social sectors of the Venezuelan democratic society so, after listening to one another and debating, we can achieve a united, common, definitive route to present to Venezuelans and our allies in the world,” he said in a video posted on social media. The plan’s main goals will be: condemn the electoral fraud, call on the country to express its will through a mechanism of mass participation and develop a plan of national and international mobilization. Guaidó asked all leaders to assume the responsibility that this context demands. He isn’t asking for “blind obedience or unanimity,” just disposition and humility to listen, debate, concede and agree, with the common disposition of returning freedom to Venezuela.
- Nicolás’s vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, reported that on Wednesday they registered 1,171 cases of coronavirus, for a total of 36,868 cases they’ve admitted to. She also said six more people died (for a total of 303 deaths they’ve admitted to).
- The list of healthcare workers that have died from COVID-19 in Venezuela keeps growing. Until August, 19th, there had been 78 victims in the health sector, including the director of the Hospitals and Clinics Union, Valentín López, who was brave in condemning and denouncing sanitary authorities. Nurse Irene Valero died in Aragua state yesterday.
- According to investigations by the UCAB’s Human Rights Center, there are returning migrants who are sent to camps on the border, despite testing negative for coronavirus and are kept there without a valid reason for 70 days. At the camps, people only get one meal without nutrients. This explains the protests at centers in Táchira state, or in Biruaca (Apure state), where they’re kept in awful conditions.
- An indicator? Almost 2.5 million bolivars a day are needed to feed a family of five, according to estimates by Cendas-FVM. The food basket in July was almost 74 million bolivars (276 dollars), an increase of 31.5% compared to June and 2,178% compared to July 2019.
- A ruling by the TSJ Constitutional Chamber ordered 305 chavista mayorships that signed the Agreement of Tax Harmonization to adjust to the orders in this sentence and send it to municipal governments that didn’t sign. They’ll have 15 days to manifest their agreement, because the only possible answer is accepting the measures. Some chavista mayorships, like Charallave (in Miranda state, next to Caracas), haven’t stopped collecting or threatening closed businesses to collect the tax.
- Despite the unions’ protests of the few workers the industry still has, the extraordinarily low oil production, the almost nonexistent gas production and its consequences like a severe shortage in the country, Nicolás announced a new (?) plan to rescue the oil industry that chavismo destroyed. Since life is what VTV shows, he signed a decree to extend the mandate of the “Alí Rodríguez Araque commission” for six more months, even though, ever since this commission was created in February, oil production dropped to almost half of what it was. He was bold enough to ask PDVSA workers to “fight bureaucracy, and known corrupted officers and the spies who sabotage the industry.” Tareck El Aissami, who presides the commission said: “One of the vital pillars for the recovery of the world after coronavirus in 2021, is oil, the oil market. Venezuela has important leadership at OPEC.” With this statement, so far from reality, we don’t know what to expect.
- The video published by the Tupamaro party was interpreted (I don’t know why) as a message of rebellion. In its stricter sense, it’s a message of submission to power, where they repeat chavismo’s speech, they don’t accuse the institution that intervened the party and warn that they’ll remain on the side of the people who humiliated them, so they can get kicked when they’re down. On Wednesday, the Communist Party rejected the intervention of the Tupamaro party and a few hours later, SEBIN officers showed up at their headquarters of Carabobo state. Yesterday, the secretary general of Patria Para Todos, Rafael Uzcátegui, said that he was censored in Globovisión (as if anyone still watches that channel) and his party members tweeted about the horrors of censorship. Now add to all of this the statements by: (a) CLAP deputy Luis Parra asking guarantees for the “election”; (b) Claudio Fermín describing Nicolás’s communications hegemony as evidence of authoritarianism; (c) ANC deputy Néstor Francia shocked because the December “elections” are made for the PSUV to win, and; (d) the murder of a former PSUV councilman in Sucre state. Let’s put it this way: it’s an exaggerated simultaneity of disagreements and controversial statements. They could have spreaded over time and evolved, but no, they all popped up at once, with discipline. It’s like, in addition to having tailor-made elections, they want to make it look like there’s dissidence.
- The U.S. sanctioned two companies in the UAE, accusing them of providing support to Iranian airline Mahan Air. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the campaign of maximum pressure against the Iranian regime continues: “If you do business with a terrorist organization, you’re at risk of being sanctioned,” he warned,
- The Trump administration is considering new sanctions on Venezuela, tied to gas commerce in the country. According to Bloomberg, the sanctions could affect the exchange of oil with companies in Europe and Asia. The diesel exchange represented almost 80 % of the fuel meant to be exported in August.
- Tarek William Saab, prosecutor general imposed by the ANC, warned the international community about a meeting between Colombian president Iván Duque and representatives of the U.S. government “to increase attacks against Venezuela.”
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