There's No Time for Correct Observation at Next December's "Elections"
By flexibilizing quarantine, there were protests in ten states for failures in services and shortages; 50 healthcare workers died in September; 76 days away from the “election” and we don’t know essential elements of the voting system
- On Monday, a new week of “quarantine flexibilization” started and there were protests in ten states because of the collapse, To summarize: in Amazonas, Barinas, Bolívar, Cojedes, Lara, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Táchira and Vargas states, there were citizens complaining for failures of the gas and electricity supply, for the shortage of gas and cooking gas, lack of cash and public transport. Meaning: there isn’t one part of the public sphere that isn’t chaotic. In Caracas, students of the Federation of University Student Centers protested in front of the Education Ministry for the situation of the education system and the lack of conditions to start school, including lack of basic utilities, low wages for teachers and how hard it is to mobilize in a country without gas. Workers of the Caracas Mayor’s Office also protested against their poor work conditions and so did the oil workers at Amuay and Cardón refineries.The country complains but nobody listens.
- Nicolás reiterated his invitation to the UN, to send a commission that assists as a “companion” to the alleged parliamentary election of next December. Not as observers, mind you, he demoted them. Electoral journalist Eugenio Martínez explained that 76 days away from the event, we don’t know essential aspects of the voting system and the necessary audits to obtain information on the machines, the counting system, the authentication of voters’ ID, software, telecom infrastructure and the system of nominating candidates.
- In the real country, between Sunday and Monday, four doctors and one nurse died of COVID-19. 50 healthcare workers died in September only. In Zulia state, Dr. Víctor Nuñez and nurse Juana Ramírez; in Vargas state, pediatrician Hellen Villalba; in Cojedes state, OBGYN Pedro Manuel Sánchez and in Lara state, Dr. Yorhelys Heredia.
- Freddy Ñáñez, Nicolás’s Communications minister, reported that there were 787 new coronavirus cases in the country (for 67,443 cases they’ve admitted to). Ñáñez confirmed eight new deaths (555 deaths they’ve admitted to) and said 56,726 patients have recovered (84% of cases!). There’s 10,162 official active cases.
- According to figures by the Venezuelan Central Bank, one euro in Venezuela is worth 441,881.33 bolivars, meaning, a worker that earns minimum wage or a pensioner, can’t buy one euro with his monthly wage. It’s expected that the price of the dollar will surpass 400,000 this week too. It already did in the black market.
- Amnesty International denounced the human rights violation of thousands of people, locked down in mandatory quarantine centers in Venezuela, El Salvador and Paraguay. According to the When Protection Becomes Repression report, there have been at least 90,000 arrests in Venezuela, most of them returning migrants and refugees. They said that these centers keep working despite being improvised facilities that lack the proper sanitary conditions, where detainees don’t get medical treatment and the risk of getting infected is higher.
- EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell insisted that there are still no conditions for “transparent, inclusive, free and fair” elections that can be observed in Venezuela, because we’d need “five or six months of preparation.” Maybe because of that, Spanish Foreign minister Arancha González Laya emphasized that there’s no time to hold free and fair elections even though she also said that “it’s not the EU who dictates the elections or the conditions.”
- Commissioners at the UN Humberto Prado and Miguel Pizarro condemned the regime’s attacks against the members of the UN Fact-Finding Mission and the questioning of the report. They consider that the criticism by chavismo is an “insult to the victims of human rights violations.”
- The opposition condemned the human rights violations committed by Nicolás’s regime, documented on the Mission’s report. For deputy Freddy Guevara, it marks a “before and after in Venezuelan history, in the fight against the victims of the dictatorship for justice, and in the lives of the people who committed these crimes against humanity.” He questioned that the ANC-imposed prosecutor wants to take merit away from the investigation, despite admitting that the Public Ministry charged at least 1,000 officers in the past three years for being tied to human rights violations.
- Maikel Moreno, president of Nicolás’s TSJ, said that the UN Mission became “a new mechanism of aggression that intends to draw and advertise a series of partial appreciations”. However, former Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz assured that the Mission’s report is a warning for those who are in public office and continue to take orders from Nicolás: “Everyone knows that in Venezuela, they use police and the Armed Forces to commit the crimes ordered by Nicolás Maduro.”
- PSUV’s secretary of citizen security in Ciudad Guayana, southern Venezuela, Roy Quiaragua, taped a video to complain that a store didn’t accept a one-dollar bill in bad conditions. He threatened to call SUNDDE, the institution that chavismo uses to punish private businesses meaning it isn’t irregular that hyperinflation destroyed the bolivar’s purchasing power, or that there’s no cash, or that there’s a de facto dollarization going on; what’s irregular is that his dollars aren’t accepted, dollars on which he should make some clarification, because his government salary is paid in bolivars, right?
- The U.S. government announced sanctions against the Iranian Defense Minister and against Nicolás, for considering he violated the weapons embargo on Iran: “It doesn’t matter who you are, if you violate the embargo on Iran, you will face sanctions,” warned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Re-establishing these sanctions was criticized for being unilateral by France, Germany and the UK on Sunday.
- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Yavad Zarif reacted to the announcement and said that he doesn’t think that sanctions will have “a significant impact” because “the U.S. has already exerted all the pressure it could.” It’s expected that this matter will be debated at the UN General Assembly.
- The London Court of Appeals will analyze starting Tuesday, September 22nd, Nicolás’s appeal against the ruling that granted caretaker President Juan Guaidó’s team the control of the gold reserves in the Bank of England. The court will have to rule on whether the UK recognizes Juan Guaidó with all it implies and if it has the power to examine the actions declared illegal in Venezuela.
- Vice President Mike Pence said that he talked to Juan Guaidó and that the U.S. supports him as they support the Venezuelan people and will continue to do so until freedom is restored.
- Deputy Stalin González wants to preserve the vote “to achieve the change that Venezuela wants and end the crisis,” according to what he wrote for Spanish newspaper El País. He criticized that the opposition disregarded the vote and, in consequence, “the search for feasible solutions to put an end to the crisis.”
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