Despite Sanctions, Venezuela Paid its Debts With the UN

The Venezuelan minimum wage isn't enough to buy a single dollar anymore; Roland Carreño remains in jail; The alleged IVIC medicine against coronavirus generates heated controversy

Priorities for the regime are clear.

Photo: The Wire

  • The exchange rate of bolivars per dollar surpassed the 500,000 bolivars mark, 50 billion bolivars on the currency before chavismo’s cosmetic modifications. In the last few weeks, the BCV rate had been higher than the black market dollar, but on Wednesday, the BCV set it at 471,188.80 bolivars per dollar. Minimum wage, mind you, is 400.000 bolivars. Less than a dollar.
  • Freddy Ñáñez reported 476 new cases of COVID-19 and four new deaths in the country, for a total of 90,876 cases and 784 deaths they’ve admitted to. Deputy José Manuel Olivares assured on Wednesday morning that the real figure is 1,614 deaths. He said that as long as they can hold the “election” in December, chavismo “manipulates information, the number of cases and deaths, an artificial distribution of the curve.” 
  • Olivares also accused the regime of offering fake treatments while there’s only 500 PCR daily tests in the country, questioning how Nicolás announced the DR10 molecule as an effective treatment, “one of the 200 molecules being studied around the world with positive results to fight the viral spread of COVID-19,” he said. 
  • NGO Médicos Unidos reported that the total of healthcare workers who have died of coronavirus increased to 237, after six new deaths in the last eight days. Olivares explained that even when this is the highest death rate in the region, the curve has slowed down. 
  • Journalist Roland Carreño was taken to the Justice Palace by SEBIN officers. He went to his hearing before the 4th terrorism court, reported the National Syndicate of Press Workers. He was arbitrarily detained on Monday evening, and reappeared on Wednesday evening, while Nicolás’s Communications minister and his prosecutor general revealed on Tuesday night that the journalist allegedly confessed to “committing crimes against the Republic.” His lawyers, Ana Leonor Acosta and Joel García, denounced that he’s being framed: “If there isn’t a private lawyer present, all confessions are invalid,” explained Acosta. At the moment I wrote this, there wasn’t any new information on the case. 
  • The IACHR expressed concern for the arbitrary detention of Carreño, and demanded Nicolás’s regime that if he must be taken to justice, he should be taken to a competent and independent court with judicial guarantees. That hasn’t existed in Venezuela for years. 
  • Luis Somaza, director of the AN’s Citizen Assistance Service, denounced the forced disappearance of Gerardo Yanes Gil, a member of his team. His whereabouts were unknown since October 26th. In the afternoon, Somaza reported that Yanes was released from his arbitrary detention after over 36 hours in the hands of FAES. 
  • Carlos Millán, the caretaker government’s ambassador in Chile, reported that SEBIN officers raided his home in Naguanagua-Carabobo, where his grandmother lives alone. Breaking all of their evil records, SEBIN detained Amalia Arteaga, 71 years old. We don’t know what she’s being accused of. 
  • In addition, SEBIN officers raided a building in Lara state, looking for Juan Pablo Soteldo (Special Comptroller of the Republic, appointed by the AN), according to statements by deputies Olivia Lozano and Macario González. He hasn’t lived there in years. 
  • Nicolás summoned the international press on Wednesday. He blamed the democratic forces of our severe humanitarian, economic and institutional crises: “We don’t have an opposition, we have a permanent conspiracy, financed by the U.S. government with the complicity of several European governments. Even if they disguise themselves as sheeps, they’re terrorists.” He talked about the escape of Leopoldo López, whom he called “a psychopath, impulsive, full of violence, ambition, money and personal power.” He added that López turned himself in, in 2014, because former mayor Antonio Ledezma was going to try to murder him and added: “It was Diosdado who saved his life.” According to him, there was a second attempt inside the Ramo Verde military prison, led by Raúl Isaías Baduel and denounced by journalist Leopoldo Castillo. Nicolás assured that Leopoldo wanted to run in the ANC elections “but there wasn’t an agreement in the end.” 
  • Maduro made the best of the opportunity, and attacked Spanish Ambassador Jesús Silva Fernández, calling him “colonialist and racist.” He assured Silva hates Venezuela and said that he participated in Operation Gedeón (?). Without any evidence, he said he was in charge of planning and negotiating Leopoldo López’s escape. He accused Pedro Sánchez of being “pretty uninformed about the Venezuelan situation, he always makes mistakes.” He expressed he is tired of Sánchez underestimating and rejecting our reality and assured that Juan Guaidó will have the same fate as Leopoldo López, living in the same Salamanca neighborhood in Madrid, even though he hopes that Venezuelan justice will bring López to prison again. 
  • In order to prove how little the U.S. sanctions affect his priorities, Nicolás said: “Venezuela can buy missiles from any country we want, be it the U.S., Colombia, Iran, Russia or China. The country that wants to sell one bullet, we’ll buy it.” Bullets are his priority and there’s money for that. 
  • He said the OAS is never coming back to Venezuela: “Not in a thousand years, if they exist by then. We invite the EU, Mr. Josep Borrell, the invitation still stands, we have told you to send observers.” 
  • He blamed U.S. Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams of the recent weakening of diplomatic relations with Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire. Even though, in February 2019, he ordered to close the airspace and territorial waters with all three islands to block humanitarian aid from entering the country. 
  • He announced that Venezuela has enough gas for 20 days and that he achieved that because they’re producing 30% more than the average demand in the country. 
  • What he didn’t say is that Venezuela paid all its debt with the UN: more than 21 million dollars that made us lose the right to vote in the institution. Now that the debt has been paid, and with Russian and Chinese allies’ veto power, that’s where the efforts will go. So they were lying when they said they couldn’t do it because of “sanctions.”

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.