- The UN estimates that 783 million people are living below the extreme poverty threshold (set at less than 1.90 dollars per day), 10% of the world’s population. In Venezuela, that could be the situation of most Venezuelans. On Wednesday, the black market dollar rate reached 402,881 bolivars, meaning: the minimum wage and pensions, 400,000 bolivars, are worth less than a dollar. Nicolás’s regime devalued the bolivar so much, it created a new threshold for extreme poverty. A new name is needed for this. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 crisis increased the vulnerability of most Venezuelans with severe difficulties to satisfy their most basic needs: health, education, access to water, electricity, cooking gas and transportation. And the more rural the area, the more vulnerable. It’s not casual where the protests are happening.
- During the 45th session of the Human Rights Council, the results of the Fact-Finding Mission for Venezuela were formally presented. 12 countries and the EU requested holding investigations after the Mission’s report, and agreed that the Venezuelan State needs to independently investigate these accusations and stop practices that are hurting human rights. They also demanded that the necessary measures be taken to release all political prisoners and those who were arbitrarily detained. The chief of the Mission, Martha Valiñas, emphasized yesterday that there are “reasons to believe that these violations were committed as a part of a general and systemic conduct and in accordance to state policy, and that’s why they are considered crimes against humanity.” They expressed their support for renewing the mandate of the Mission. 39 countries out of which 13 will have voting rights at the UNHRC. The debate about the report will continue on Thursday, September, 24th.
- Jorge Valero, the regime’s ambassador to the UN, couldn’t even read properly, but reiterated that the report was paid for “by the U.S.” and that’s why he demanded an investigation as to how the Mission’s resources were spent, even though he warned that “it’s wasting the scarce resources that the Human Rights System has.” Valero said that the report is a political operation by the Lima Group and repeated the argument of the Mission “not working on the field.” Only Cuba and Ethiopia rejected the report accusing an “unconventional war” to justify a military aggression. Shameful.
- In Caracas, the regime’s foreign minister, prosecutor general and ombudsman, (imposed by the ANC) gave a joint statement saying that this regime, accused of crimes against humanity, prepared its own human rights report, with an alleged strict development and without political bias, according to them. It’s called “Venezuela’s truth against the Lima Group’s Infamy,” but they will release it on Thursday, when we’ll know its truthful and neutral content.
- At least 17 states reported electricity failures during Wednesday afternoon, and nine suffered power outages.
- There were protests in the states of Monagas, Yaracuy (with repression), Lara, the Capital District, Bolívar and Aragua. Citizens were protesting for water, condemned the lack of public utilities, and poor quality of life, gas shortage and lack of public transport, the terrible distribution system of cooking gas, and the abuses by state security forces.
- There was a fire at the Public Ministry in Caracas, almost at the same time of the officers’ human rights presentation. No casualties were reported but they didn’t report the cause of the fire or the damages caused.
- A handful of PDVSA long-term clients started reducing the oil trade and scheduling the last shipments so they’ll ship before the deadline established by the U.S., said reuters.
- Nicolás’s Communications minister, Freddy Ñáñez, reported that they detected 986 cases of COVID-19, for a total of 69,439 cases they’ve admitted to. He also said that there were ten deaths (574 in total). On Wednesday, three doctors died, two in Zulia state and one in Mérida state: pulmonologist Enrique Caldera Faría, LUZ emeritus professor, surgeon Ciro Fernández Gil and the regional coordinator of Barrio Adentro Mission Zulia, Ingrid Rosendo.
- Nicolás said in his virtual speech for the 75th General Assembly that all the necessary guarantees for his “elections” exist, and that’s why he invited the world to accompany the process, even though the CNE hasn’t received the RSVP to the formal invitations they sent out. He talked about his management of the pandemic and mentioned the dubious figures, because the point was saying that he’s doing well (compared to other countries’ figures), “despite the sanctions.” He talked about mass immigration, that he used to deny, only to mention that there are many people returning because of xenophobia. Nicolás talked about human rights, not because his government violates them, but because in the country, in his narrative, they are respected. He didn’t mention the report by the Independent Mission, accusing him of crimes against humanity. He didn’t mention Iran, but he did suck up to China, Russia and Cuba.
- AN Speaker Juan Guaidó, recognized by several countries as the caretaker president, talked before several diplomatic representatives and thousands of people on social media, to request help to stabilize the country: “It’s time for decisive actions.” He asked the Secretary General to move political will to restore sovereignty, asked the HRC to read the Mission’s report and to help denounce Nicolás before the ICC, as responsible for the documented crimes against humanity. Guaidó asked those who still back chavismo to rectify and collaborate to end the terror that “the dictator and human rights violator Nicolás Maduro imposes over Venezuela.”
- Delcy Rodríguez is forbidden from entering the EU, for being accused of violating human rights. However, on Monday, January 13th, 2020, she met with Spanish minister José Luis Ábalos at Barajas airport. This is the Delcygate case, which the Spanish Supreme Tribunal reactivated yesterday.
- The Guatemalan Army reported that two people died in Guatemala when a plane that illegally entered from Venezuela crashed. The plane was carrying drugs.
- According to the ILO, the amount of hours lost because of the quarantine in Latin America is equal to 80 million jobs: we are the region of the world that lost more work between April and June, way above the world average.
- The Bolivian interim government accused Evo Morales of over unlawfully handling 16 million dollars that Venezuela paid to “buy” media outlets and spread a favorable image of Evo: the Bolivarian checkbook that walked through Latin America.
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