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Venezuela: The Fourth Worst Alimentary Crisis in the World

748 protests in August and almost 1,000 coronavirus cases per day, per week; the Argentinian Foreign Ministry admits the severity of the human rights crisis in the country; the AN insists with the public consultation

  • The Wall Street Journal published a piece about hunger in Venezuela, explaining how the general gas shortage is “the last blow on national food production (…) that prevents products reaching the market,” production that’s already limited because of the lack of seeds and chemicals, price controls and expropriation of farms and processing plants. “The conditions in Venezuela, which was suffering the worst economic collapse in its history even before the pandemic, are the most horrifying,” said John Otis and quotes the report that states that we have the fourth worst food security crisis in the world, with one third of the population not having enough food for normal human development in 2019. Even now that there’s more disposition for imports, hyperinflation and unemployment stop millions of families from having enough to eat. “This isn’t a famine yet, but it’s a food security emergency (…) The food supply system has completely collapsed,” says Susana Raffalli, food security consultant in Venezuela. Despite all of this, Nicolás doesn’t allow the World Food Programme to enter Venezuela. 
  • The Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social reported that there were 748 protests in August, which would mean around 25 protests per day, an important figure considering the pandemic. 94% of protests were for social rights. The main characteristic in August, which persisted in September, was the lack of gas and the terrible conditions of public utilities. Poverty was the base of it all. 
  • On October the 1st, there were several protests in eastern states for public utilities in Monagas, Anzoátegui, Nueva Esparta and Sucre. Social media users denounced repression by state security forces against a protest for lack of gas at the Panamerican highway in La Pastora, Lara state. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez reported 907 new cases of coronavirus in the country and seven deaths, bringing the total to 76,029 cases and 635 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • Nicolás’s Oil minister, Tareck El Aissami, assured that starting Monday, 1,568 gas stations will start working on the “normalization” plan. It’s impossible to normalize the supply of something you’re not producing. However, the minister said that the subsidized and international currency payment methods will both be in place, that the subsidized gas for cars and motorcycles is 120 and 60 lts. per month respectively, and that public transportation units will continue being 100% subsidized. What they call “international price” will be 50 cents per ltr. El Aissami said that they managed to reactivate “two of the main refineries in the country “to guarantee the internal demand of gas.” That’s not what oil workers say, but they insist. The schedule according to the last number of your license plate is: Monday: 1 and 2, Tuesday: 3 and 4, Wednesday: 5 and 6, Thursday: 7 and 8, Friday: 9 and 0.
  • The TSJ approved resuming activities in courts starting Monday, October 5th: resolution Nº 2020-0008 published yesterday establishes that courts will work during the weeks of quarantine flexibilization according to the “7×7 model.”
  • Former minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres was taken to the Military Hospital ER for “degenerative ailment of the bones product of being locked up, a delicate heart condition and other complications.” Rodríguez Torres was detained in 2018 for participating in alleged plots against Nicolás, but he was also responsible for a good part of chavismo’s repression apparatus. 
  • The National Assembly approved on Thursday calling for a popular consultation agreed in the Unity Pact for Free Elections. The questions would be: 
  1. Do you support all international and national mechanisms of pressure to, under a Constitutional framework, hold free, fair and verifiable elections through which we could end Nicolás Maduro’s usurping regime, protect the Venezuelan people from the humanitarian crisis, forced migration and crimes against humanity, in order to guarantee the peace, wellbeing and progress for Venezuelans? 
  2. Do you reject the event called by Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship for December 6th or any other date while there are no conditions to hold free, fair and verifiable elections and request the international community to not recognize the results? 
  • The agreement exhorts the UN, OAS, EU and the international community to accompany them in the consultation process that is “a vehicle of expression,” said Juan Guaidó and the way to build agreements beyond our differences. He asked citizens to participate in protests to prove (again) that there’s a majority who wants freedom, a majority that must express its will without fear. 
  • Reuters reported that PDVSA will be providing its clients a “new address” to transfer oil from ship to ship, in a place far from the Venezuelan coast. This decision would imply more costs and less supervision. The place is 20 kms north to the Los Monjes island, in the Venezuelan Gulf, near the maritime border with Colombia and in front of Aruba. 
  • Nicolás’s regime questioned the position of the EU of not recognizing the call for December 6th, for considering there are no conditions to celebrate a free, fair and democratic process. Jorge Arreaza called it a “biased position” even though the EU established a criteria early on, that chavismo didn’t abide by. The Foreign Ministry also denounced “another provocation by the U.S.” after a war ship came near our territorial waters. The Foreign Ministry condemned the “Southern Command’s intentions of intimidation.”
  • European Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrel will speak before the Eurochamber next Wednesday to explain everything about the diplomatic mission sent to Caracas on September 24th. 
  • After the controversy caused by the Argentinian Ambassador to the OAS, who asked not focusing in the human rights situation in Venezuela for considering it “biased and stigmatizing,” the pressure forced the Argentinian Foreign Ministry to clarify their position on human rights. On Thursday, Felipe Solá met with the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, Edward Prado, and talked about our humanitarian situation that they now call “concerning.”

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.