Photo: Miami Diario

New Wave of Gas Shortages in Several States

A “military” liter of gas can cost up to $4; Alex Saab will face eight counts of money laundering in the U.S.; A plane coming from Venezuela and loaded with guns and drugs crashed in Honduras

  • Nicolás’s vice president, Delcy Rodríguez reported on Twitter that there were 744 new cases of coronavirus in the country, for a total of 40,338 cases they’ve admitted to. In addition, she reported eight new deaths for a total of 337.
  • Mauro Zambrano, union leader, reported that the workers of the Materno Infantil de Caricuao Hospital, in Caracas, have called for permanent assembly for lack of biosafety equipment and the increase of coronavirus in that hospital: they’ve had 55 cases.
  • Last night, there was a campaign requesting an urgent humanitarian measure for Metropolitan Police officer Erasmo Bolívar, who’s been in jail for 17 years. He’s had symptoms of COVID-19 for 15 days.
  • Deputy José Manuel Olivares warned on Monday that occupancy in ICUs got worse in the states of Anzoátegui, Bolívar, Caracas, Delta Amacuro, Monagas, Sucre and Vargas: “There are no available beds in Gran Caracas for intensive care patients,” he said. He assured that the rest of the states had an occupancy of over 60% and that the “real number” of deaths on Monday morning was 675. Olivares emphasized that in Venezuela, the contagion rate hasn’t decreased, there’s just no tests. He said that the facility installed at Caracas’ University Hospital has been closed since July 23rd for lack of tests. Olivares reiterated that 86 health workers have died.
  • Former PSUV deputy Juan Giovanni Urbaneja was detained in Anzoátegui state (on the Venezuelan northern coast) on August, 20th, for promoting hate, said journal El Tigrense. Urbaneja had been denouncing irregularities and corruption in El Tigre (Anzoátegui), and he also criticized Nicolás’s regime for the living conditions of vulnerable sectors. 
  • Williams Benavides, from left-wing party Tupamaro, talked yesterday about the advantages of unity and absolute support that they’ll give to Nicolás, before introducing a request for the TSJ to recover control of their party. However, they used the hashtag #TupamaroRebeldes
  • NGO Acceso a la Justicia said that the TSJ declared inadmissible the request presented by political party PPT leader Rafael Uzcátegui, where he tried to oppose the ruling that imposed an ad hoc board on his party. 
  • A resolution published on August, 21st, summarized several changes in command positions of the National Guard. On Monday, Vladimir Padrino López revoked all changes for unknown reasons. 
  • GNB General Gerson Jiménez Báez died yesterday. He had COVID-19. 
  • PSUV members confiscated private property, aided by the national police, and they had time to record a video. They broke into a house in Alta Florida (Caracas) with the argument that they’ll transform it into a center for asymptomatic coronavirus patients.
  • On Monday, there were protests against lack of gas in Aragua, Bolívar, Cojedes and Monagas. The norm is making citizens wait in long lines that are measured in days, not kilometers. The common complaint is that the Armed Forces officers are making money selling gas in dollars. A liter of “military” gas can cost up to $4it used to be pretty much free. 
  • Journalist Eugenio Martínez published images of community assemblies that the CNE is holding to appoint indigenous deputies (indirect vote) to prove that there are no sanitary measures in the process and warning about the outbreak that could happen in December. 
  • Private and public banks are suffering because of the pandemic: they’ve had to cut their payroll (around 4,000 workers since March), they have less income with a country in hyperinflation and contraction and no cash. At least 239 offices have closed and the projection for late 2020 isn’t optimistic. 
  • The basic food basket calculated by Cendas-FVM cost 6,906,073 bolivars (25.86 dollars) in July. This figure is a 30.8% increase compared to June. 
  • A citizen from Hong Kong got coronavirus for the second time on a trip he made to Spain. He’s asymptomatic. “This proves that there are people who don’t develop immunity for the rest of their lives,” said microbiologist Kelvin Kai-Wang To. 
  • On August, 21st, Argus Media published that oil companies providing diesel to Venezuela “would be prepared to stop shipments to Venezuela in October,” as part of the announcement by the U.S. of ending the informal exceptions on sanctions against PDVSA. The piece warns that it’s likely that this controversial cut of supplies will cause more power cuts and gas shortages. But on Monday, there was a general campaign on the benefits of using diesel and the severe consequences of a short supply; people who are lobbying for the measure are being criticized, and so is the opposition for requesting it (?) and sanctions in general. They even use Cuba as an example of why sanctions don’t work. As always, they remove chavismo from the equation, despite them being responsible for all the decisions that destroyed the oil industry and its guilt of the unbearable shortages we have to endure. Nobody said that the measure cutting the supply of diesel will be carried out and looks like a mere possibility that could change in the next few weeks, but how fiercely the opposition is being attacked should be noticed and can indicate that there are other agendas, other than discussing the people’s well-being. 
  • The U.S. Department of Justice, from their embassy in Cape Verde, revealed the charges against Colombian citizen Alex Saab: money laundering and the payment of bribes, according to the document with a police report attached that summarizes the key elements of eight crimes committed in the U.S. 
  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Said Jatibsabadé, denied that Nicolás’s regime had requested missiles from Tehran, and said that the relation between both countries is based on “mutual interests and have nothing to do with other countries.” 
  • On Sunday night, Honduras’ Agencia Técnica de Investigación Criminal found 489 kilos of cocaine on a plane coming from Venezuela. The plane was intercepted after it crashed in a clandestine landing strip. In addition to the cocaine, they confiscated an AK-47, a 9mm handgun and a grenade launcher. 
  • While multiple parties attack members of the opposition, here we are, no strategy to fight chavismo’s atrocities, concentrating in an “election” where there are no conditions or guarantees, and with the reds holding the new Constitution card. Is it possible to create what we need in three months?

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.