Elliott Abrams was rather clear on the issue.

Photo: The Globe Post

The American Government Will Not Accept the Moving of Weapons Between Iran and Venezuela

The regime held an election drill that featured the abuses of actual elections seen these 20 years of chavismo; The petrochemical industry is about to stop; Leopoldo López’s escape leaves uncomfortable diplomatic relations behind

  • Communications minister, Freddy Ñáñez, reported that there were 482 new coronavirus cases and four new deaths in Venezuela, for a total of 90,047 cases and 777 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • Infectologist Julio Castro expressed his concern about the alleged medicine against COVID-19 that the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research has allegedly developed: “I find it unrealistic that in six months we have a medicine that has proved efficiency on patients,” he said and added that the alleged stability of today doesn’t entail control over the pandemic. He added that “the gas shortage in the country had an impact on the spread.”
  • News site Efecto Cocuyo explained that in 2020 there have been at least 16 oil spills in five states: Anzoátegui and Zulia, with four incidents each, Carabobo and Falcón with three spills each, and two in Monagas. 
  • The Venezuelan Association of the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry warned that they’re about to shut down, needing enough liquefied gas that they use as fuel. This sector has an impact in many industrial chains and its collapse would generate a funnel in almost every process of production and trade. 
  • Journalist Roland Carreño has been missing since Monday afternoon. Journalist Carla Angola, who doesn’t live in the country, said on social media that he may have been detained by security officers of the regime.
  • The CNE imposed by the Supreme Tribunal called the electoral drill on Sunday “massive and successful.” Indira Alfonzo, president of the CNE, said: “This drill surpassed the expectations we had set.” She didn’t say how many voters participated. 
  • The candidate and PSUV’s campaign manager Jorge Rodríguez also called the exercise successful and said that the mass participation was evidence of “the thirst for voting” on December 6th. He warned that the PSUV will order the CNE to hold another drill, closer to the election, so the population understands the voting process better. 
  • María Verdeal, vice president of MAS political party, said that during the drill, the CNE allowed what it was supposed to forbid: official vehicles, social control over citizens in their puntos rojos, proselytizing in voting centers, abuse of power and embezzlement. She emphasized that PSUV members took over centers and spent way too much money on speakers and music. 
  • Former rector of the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Luis Fuenmayor Toro, tweeted that during the electoral drill, “colectivos took over all voting centers, there were no facemasks but there was hostility for voters who weren’t members of the PSUV.” Was that what they wanted to rehearse all along? 
  • Jorge Rodríguez spoke about Leopoldo López’s escape and denied that people had been detained because of this: “It’s evident that even with a criminal situation and because of the possible complicity of the person who regrettably serves as the ambassador (…), some people who worked there were interviewed. They said interesting things about the kind of life López led in there and the close relationship that the ambassador had with López, and these things will be known soon,” he said. He accused Ambassador Jesús Silva of cooperating in the escape and curiously didn’t want to comment on the thesis of negotiating to facilitate the exit of the leader of Voluntad Popular. 
  • Spanish Ambassador Jesús Silva assured that the diplomatic mission he leads has always been respectful of the law and acted with neutrality, after being accused of violating the Vienna Convention: “We’ve always respected the rules and we hope that, in reciprocity, the Vienna Convention is respected too. We can’t affect the standard functioning of a diplomatic mission,” said Silva. Despite what Rodríguez said, Europa Press reported that six security guards of the residence were released on Monday morning and the release of cook Nubia Campos was confirmed late in the afternoon. 
  • On Monday, Dr. José Gregorio Hernández’s (1864-1919) remains were exhumed. He was called the doctor of the poor and he will be beatified in 2021. The ceremony took place in the Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria Church in Caracas, on the 156th anniversary of his birth. Baltazar Porras assured that exhumation is an act of faith in resurrection: “We stand before the remains of someone we are sure is in heaven. We don’t stand before a body, but before someone who resurrected,” he said. Porras asked citizens to act like José Gregorio and help others because “we live in a destroyed country, marked by poverty.” The ceremony included mass, the swearing in ceremony of the members of the tribunal and a reading of the Transfer Certification, from 1975, when the first exhumation happened. The medical group verified the remains, a process directed by Enrique López Loyo, pathologist and president of the National Association of Medicine. In Isnotú, where José Gregorio was born, trujillanos celebrated since Sunday night. 
  • Journalist Federico Black reported that a citizen called deputy José Brito a traitor of democracy, an “alacrán” (“scorpion,” a corruption-related slur), and his bodyguards tried to beat the citizen up and he was kicked out of the hotel they were in. Brito responded: “Look, jerk, they didn’t tell you the truth. I don’t need bodyguards to be respected. PS: tell your little friend that they’re still cleaning up the shit he left on the floor.” A real PSUV talent.
  • Nicolás’s Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, said that he participated in CEPAL’s 38th period of sessions of the High Authorities and Chancellors Dialogue. As part of a government that has been in hyperinflation for 33 months and 7 years of recession, he said: “We need a new, fair economic model, that guarantees people’s social rights, that contains climate change and creates peace.” The oil spills, burning gas and having people using wood to cook… those things aren’t part of that model. 
  • Elliot Abrams, U.S. Special Envoy for Venezuela and Iran, warned that his country will destroy any long-range missile that could have been delivered by Tehran to Caracas, emphasizing that the moving of weapons won’t be accepted: “It won’t be tolerated or allowed (…) We’ll do everything in our power to stop the delivery of long-range missiles, and if they make it to Venezuela, they’ll be destroyed there.” 
  • The U.S. Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on the Iranian energy sector, including the Oil Minister and tens of companies, accused of supporting terrorist entities: “The Iranian regime uses the oil sector to finance destabilizing activities,” said the Secretary of Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.

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.