The Worst Economic Prospect in the Region

Our GDP could drop by up to 30%; Battles for the Anti-Blockade Law are at the forefront of our political arena; Carbon exports are apparently growing

Making it that much harder for those who actually care in Venezuela.

Photo: RTE

  • The economic reports published by all international organizations agree that Latin America will be the region worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Cepal calls it the worst economic crisis in a century, the World Bank estimates that the region’s GDP will drop 7.9% while the IMF said on Tuesday that the prospect for Latin America and the Caribbean will be better than the initially thought, an 8.1% drop of the GDP, 1.3 points less than their June estimate. 
  • In the region, because of opacity and development, Venezuela has the worst panorama: the IMF foresees that the drop will be 25%. Even though the World Bank doesn’t include us in its analysis, it affirms that in a context of low oil prices our tragedy only gets worse and it’s fitting to expect a drop of 25% of the GDP. The Economist Intelligence Unit says that Venezuela will drop around 30%, with which Nicolás will accumulate a drop of over 70% since he took office. More than Syria during its civil war. 
  • According to Reuters, Venezuela is increasing production and export of carbon to European countries, seeking new sources of foreign currency income amid the U.S. sanctions. According to them, exports tripled in 2019, generating almost 40 million dollars. This year, carbon exports will surpass tha number, because they generated 37 million dollars until July. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez had a meeting with part of the diplomatic corps to explain Nicolás’s “Anti-Blockade Law” which, according to her, is a “protection for big international investment” that chavismo has always attacked. She also said that it will help national development, it will protect investment and “there will also be special ways of protecting information, to protect those who invest in Venezuela.” Let’s see who wants to be an accomplice. 
  • The International Criminal Court received on Tuesday a report by deputy Wilmer Azuaje, denouncing six people were killed in Operation Gedeón, in extrajudicial killings. “We’ll analyze the documents as it corresponds, in accordance with the Rome Statute and total independence and impartiality,” said a source to EFE. The 20-page report has attachments, 164 photos taken by the CICPC. In the images submitted for ICC revision, six dead bodies are seen, and the boat they used to arrive to our shores has hundreds of bullet holes. In the report they say that there wasn’t an armed confrontation and victims “were tortured and there were extrajudicial killings.” In order to deliver the report to the ICC, Azuaje had the collaboration of the Colombian government. 
  • There was another fire at Cardón refinery in Paraguaná, Falcón. Eudis Girot, the director of the Oil Workers Federation, reported that the fire was caused by accumulated nafta. “The problem is that there aren’t enough pumps to send it where it should go,” he explained and said that these accidents put workers and the community in harm’s way. 
  • AVAVIT, the Venezuelan Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies, warned about the imminent bankruptcy of the agencies after more than eight months without activities, which risks 15,000 direct and 60,000 indirect jobs. They did it one day after the flight suspension was extended for one more month. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez said there are 635 new cases and 6 deaths of COVID-19, bringing the total to 84,391 cases and 710 deaths that they’ve admitted to. The same day the WHO reported that the rate of COVID-19 infection in health workers is decreasing, Nicolás said that his Health minister, Carlos Alvarado, has coronavirus. 
  • The National Assembly approved on Tuesday an agreement not recognizing and declaring Nicolás’s Anti-Blockade law as inefficient. This text violates principles of organization of public powers and further relieves the regime of judicial and political control. The AN wants an investigation to establish civil and criminal responsibilities of people and institutions that use this instrument. So, any negotiation or contract will be illegal and not recognized by the National Assembly and won’t hold any value. With this license for opacity, Nicolás could override laws and the Constitution itself, usurp functions of other branches of power, sign contracts and use accounts as he pleases, something that he already has experience in. The AN also approved and swore in the members of the Organizing Committee of the Popular Consultation. 
  • The Lima Group adopted a joint declaration recommending that the report by the UN International Independent Fact-Finding Mission be examined by the ICC. It’s a demand for justice for those affected and to avoid impunity on a state accused of committing crimes against humanity. 
  • Starting Tuesday, it will be harder to work for justice and against impunity on a country that systematically violates human rights, because three countries known for performing such violations were voted on the UN Human Rights Council: Russia, Cuba and China. They use the tools of diplomacy to their particular benefit.
  • Argentina said that they don’t cosign the Lima Group declaration recognizing Juan Guaidó’s caretaker presidency: “It isn’t in line with our position,” said their communiqué. They emphasize their concern for the call to a common front to restore democracy and Rule of Law in Venezuela and called other members to rethink their position. 
  • Dominican Foreign minister, Roberto Álvarez, proposed during the Lima Group meeting that Venezuela should hold a consulting referendum with UN mediation to solve the political crisis: “The conditions simply aren’t there for an electoral process to solve the situation, due to a lack of trust in political actors,” said Álvarez and assumes that the referendum could “create the appropriate climate for an authentic electoral solution.”

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.