Merciless Repression by the National Guard in the Venezuelan Guajira
The number of coronavirus cases in Venezuela increase and volunteers are wanted for the Russian vaccine, unapproved so far by the World Health Organization; Venezuela caused a skirmish of sorts in the European Parliament
- NGO Codhez said that in the Venezuelan Guajira, the National Guard (GNB) has repressed, mistreated and persecuted people for protesting against their terrible conditions. In addition, the location of those detained yesterday morning is unknown: “Around 200 GNB officers repressed the group protesting in Paraguaipoa. They demanded to talk to mayor Indira Fernández for lack of public utilities like water, electricity and cooking gas. They expected to talk to her but she didn’t show up,” tweeted the NGO. Protesters made a list of the people who’d be talking to the mayor in order to establish a negotiation roundtable: this is the list that GNB is using to find them in their homes, including four Wayuu women and social leaders (spokespeople for Community Councils in La Guajira). Some of them had to flee and find refuge in the Alta Guajira, all of this in Zulia state, northwestern Venezuela.
- The PAHO wasn’t consulted by Venezuela and it won’t be involved in the Sputnik V clinical trials for the Russian vaccine that will take place in the country: “At the moment, we have received information about this trial only through news,” said Ciro Ugarte, director of Health Emergencies.
- Nicolás’s Health minister, Carlos Alvarado, said on Tuesday that 2,000 volunteers for the Russian clinical trial will be chosen through a website, where they’ll ask a couple of questions and then analyze the answers. “They have to be healthy people,” he said.
- Delcy Rodríguez reported that 608 new cases of COVID-19 and 6 deaths, for a total of 80,404 cases and 671 deaths they’ve admitted to.
- The gas supply, as we expected, hasn’t been what chavismo promised: there are states in the country where citizens are still making long lines and others where it’s easier to find justice than a gas station with subsidized prices. Most people report that they supply less litres than the ones established by minister Tarek El Aissami, and that entering the gas station still depends on the military officers’ will. That’s why the protests continue. There were protests in states across the nation like Anzoátegui, Aragua, Bolívar, Lara and Zulia yesterday.
- The chief of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, admitted on Wednesday that the efforts to convince Nicolás’s regime to postpone the elections failed. In a heated statement before the European Parliament, Borrell said that trying was “necessary” and that the refusal to postpone “shuts down any possibility” of dialogue about the potential participation of an electoral mission. He said that both representatives he sent met with over 70 Venezuelan political representatives to debate the possibility of creating the conditions so the elections can be considered free and fair, and that the only group that opposed postponing the elections was Nicolás’s prêt-à-porter opposition. He said that he “knows the Venezuelan situation pretty well” and warned about fractures within the opposition. After the regime’s refusal, he said that the European Union “can’t even consider sending a mission (…) because it would require respecting democratic standard that simply didn’t exist and continue not to”. In any case, he emphasized that “any attempt was incompatible with the December 6th date”.
- Borrell denied that the mission to Venezuela was clandestine, he insisted that they explained to Jorge and Héctor Rodríguez (chavismo’s representatives) that an observation mission entails respecting the entire verification process and its deadlines, which demanded delaying it. He also said that the only way out of our many crises would be through dialogue and political negotiation, that there won’t be one “sole conducive event” that will make them go away. He later said that the European Union treats Nicolás as they treat Aleksander Lukashenko: “We don’t think he has democratic legitimacy but he has control of the country.” With this argument, he said that they’ll continue to work for honorable, democratic, free and transparent elections. “We recognize Juan Guaidó as the caretaker president in charge of holding elections he hasn’t been able to hold,” said Borrel and added that “the elections in Belarus weren’t free or transparent and the opposition still participated. Do you think that the opposition legitimized Lukashenko? Of course not.”
- In another day of fake Productive Wednesdays on state media, Nicolás lied about the citizens’ expectations of his Anti Blockade Law. His vanity made him say that “many people in Venezuela have renewed hope with this law (…) and they have their hopes in me, because I wrote it and presented it.” He didn’t acknowledge the criticism that many of his allies have made to that mockery, because it’s an instrument that would only grant Nicolás broader faculties and competences than the ones he already has with the (eternal) State of Economic Emergency he decreed and that even violates the Constitution. He said that the law would allow “an economic and productive victory” and repeated what he’s been saying since 2013: “Venezuela is on the way to becoming an economic superpower.” He was cynical enough to say that the plan of Sowing Venezuela 2020 was starting, even though farmers denounce every day on social media the miserable conditions of our fields without the minimal resources to produce.
- Argus agency said that the oil production in Venezuela was 380,000 bpd in September, a little over the previous month. Professor Francisco Monaldi explained that “exports increased, so there was some expectation of a higher increase in production, because of the storage availability.”
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