You Need 285 Minimum Wages in Venezuela to Feed Your Family

NGO Cendas calculated the horrifying figures; We’re on our way to 90,000 coronavirus cases; Cardón refinery fails and restarts every week

Inflation is merciless, especially on the poor.

Photo: Aurora Israel

  • Delcy Rodríguez reported 381 new coronavirus cases in the country and six new deaths, for a total of 88,416 cases and 759 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • The food basket for a single family reached 114.02 million bolivars in September, an increase of 24.2% from August, and an increase of 1,586.8% compared to September 2019, according to Cendas. That’s 285 minimum wages of 400,000 bolivars, a daily investment of 3.8 million bolivars, almost 9 dollars per day. Minimum wage is 0.88 dollars per month, at the average rate of 450,348 bolivars per dollar.
  • PDVSA restarted gas production in the Cardón refinery two days after a catalytic cracking unit failure. This has become a weekly recurrence. Cardón, with a capacity of 310,000 barrels per day, was producing 15,000 bpd. It’s the only refinery processing gasoline in the country right now. 
  • The agro-industry warned that taxes of up to 20% on corn and rice imports imposed by Nicolás will increase the production costs, and in consequence, the prices. We’re talking about a regime that promotes imports of finished products from other countries. Venmaíz and Asovema warned that the impact on their cost structures severely threatens producers, transport, commerce and consumers. 
  • Protests haven’t stopped. According to the preliminary balance published on Thursday by NGO Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social, there were at least 21 protests in seven states until 2:00 p.m. yesterday: Anzoátegui, Bolívar, Capital District, Monagas, Portuguesa, Trujillo and Yaracuy, mostly for lack of public utilities, working conditions and salaries. Public workers in Portuguesa and Lara protested for better wages and conditions. They delivered documents to the authorities summarizing their problems and demands. The transport sector also protested in Lara, demanding that gas stations remain open for priority sectors: “Open the gas stations so we can get gas and eliminate those mafia schemes that were created, exclusively to find a way to control and destroy the traditional transport in the state,” said one of the drivers. 
  • NGO Acceso a la Justicia denounced that the Labor Ministry suspended workers’ rights to enjoy their vacations while the State of Alarm is in place, and annulled the vacations that were already granted during the crisis generated by the pandemic. The state is exhorting employers to negotiate a date with their employees to effectively enjoy their vacation days. 
  • AN Speaker and caretaker President Juan Guaidó assured on Thursday that they won’t have a traditional campaign for the popular consultation, a proposal to reject the parliamentary elections of December, 6th: “We have to organize command centers to make our voices heard with this consultation (…) We’re going to campaign like Yaracuy did a few days ago, protesting the lack of food, gas, electricity.” In the event at Parque Codazzi, in eastern Caracas, they kicked off the campaign and opposition politicians exhorted citizens to create command centers for freedom to promote participation. Guaidó suggested that the consultation should take place “around December 6th” and reiterated that it will be an exercise of the majority, an exercise of internal pressure, protest and communication. Later, deputy Nora Bracho said that after the event, FAES officers detained eight people who helped with logistics. It’s chavismo’s pattern: they threaten workers or they confiscate equipment so nobody works with the opposition. 
  • Nicolás showed up this afternoon, to respond to the agenda of the past few days. He held the opposition responsible for every sphere of public life that his administration hasn’t fixed. Once more, he said it was all about sabotage instead of his mismanagement. With 46 days to go before his “election,” he ordered deputies that haven’t been elected yet, to approve the laws he considers important. That’s the respect he has for the other branches of public power and their independence. Nicolás wants other laws to legalize “communal cities” and “communal parliaments,” even though the chavista National Assembly legalized those laws in 2010. He also said he wants a Gas Law, because it would force him to meet the necessary production and improve service, as if he were the state itself. About the OAS General Assembly resolution, voted on by most member states, not recognizing the event on December 6th, and calling for free presidential elections in Venezuela, Nicolás decided to insult Secretary General Luis Almagro: “One of these days you’ll get justice, Almagro. Rat, bastard, trash!” And about the secret meeting between candidate Jorge Rodríguez with an officer from Trump’s administration to negotiate Nicolás’s peaceful exit, he said that they were “negotiating my exit… to the beach, because I’m going with Cilita.”
  • The TSJ declared that the request for Guaidó’s Commissioner for Security and Intelligence Iván Simonovis’s extradition from the U.S. is admissible. Nicolás’s TSJ accused Simonovis of attempted murder of Nicolás, treason, weapons trafficking and terrorism. Simonovis replied that his escape in 2019 still hurts the regime. 
  • TSJ-imposed CNE moved the date of the start of the campaign for 6D: it will start on November 3rd and will last a month. They also reported they’ll have 381 voting centers for the drill on Sunday, October, 25th. The drill has been postponed twice. 
  • Remember the military officer that called returning migrants “bioterrorists”? He reappeared. Ovidio Delgado Ramírez, Los Andes commander, promoted the use of wood to cook, in order to survive the cooking gas shortage that Nicolás denies. Even if we don’t consider the ecocide and the wood that will now be rationed by military officers, direct and continuous exposure to the smoke brings serious consequences to respiratory health. 
  • Lawyer Alonso Medina Roa reported on Thursday that both officers who were detained for the homicide of Captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo were charged in court again. The crimes that they’re accused of are torture and murder, a lot closer to the crime they committed. However, this isn’t enough. Torture is part of a system and there’s more people involved. 
  • In the 72nd General Assembly of the Inter American Press Association, the arbitrary detention and intimidation against Venezuelan journalists was condemned, accusing “their massive and indiscriminate character. It happens anywhere in the territory, and at any time of day.” In addition, the IAPA highlighted that “there’s nowhere to go and report these abuses, because institutions are closed.” They also said that police and military officers “block journalists’ free transit.” At least they have the updated story.

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.