Child Labor Grows in Venezuela

While panhandling, cleaning houses, and selling drugs, children starve and are the victims of violence; Journalist Roland Carreño is still in jail; The political persecution against Requesens and Afiuni worsens

It was already Dickensian, now worsened by coronavirus.

Photo: CBS News

  • Child labor in Venezuela increased 20% because of coronavirus, according to the most recent report by NGO World Vision titled “A Double Edged Sword,” where they describe the problems and risks faced by children during the pandemic. In the homes interviewed in Caracas and Miranda, in August, they discovered that over 12% know of children involved in risky or difficult work. Among these jobs are begging on the streets (28%), domestic work (26%) and street hawking (19%). Another 15% mentioned that children are forced to sell illegal drugs. The report contains dramatic figures that mix  the complex humanitarian emergency with the conditions of the pandemic: children are starving in at least 73% of homes, during the pandemic child marriage increased by 49% and 19% said the number of incidents of sexual violence or gender violence has increased, girls being the usual victims. World Vision recommends measures for social protection of Venezuelan children, a demand that NGO CECODAP (who works for the rights of children and teenagers in Venezuela) has raised for years without an answer.
  • Inflation between January and October was 1,798% and interannual inflation was 3,332%, according to the AN’s Finance Commission. Inflation in October closed at 23.8%, and the currency devalued by 25%. Deputy Ángel Alvarado said the basic food items for a family were worth 111 million bolivars in October ($234, while minimum wage is 400,000 bolivars).
  • Freddy Ñañez reported 266 new coronavirus cases in Venezuela and four deaths, for a total of 95,149 cases and 830 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • Dr. Julio Araque died of COVID-19 on Sunday. Seven healthcare workers have died in November. 
  • The Supreme Tribunal of Justice ratified the five-year sentence imposed on judge María Lourdes Afiuni, accused of “espiritual corruption.” Afiuni has been the victim of an unfair process, of state violence, in a case full of suffering. Right now, the judge is undergoing treatment for a carcinoma on her face.
  • Joel García, lawyer of journalist Roland Carreño, confirmed that the defense hasn’t obtained a copy of the court file yet, or any details about the investigation against his client.
  • Family and lawyers of deputy Juan Requesens denounced that authorities have sped up the process against the deputy to take him to court before December. 
  • ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab, gave on Monday his version of the meeting at the ICC with chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. They talked about the files “Venezuela I” (human rights violations between  2014 and 2017) and “Venezuela II” (U.S. sanctions). Saab said that  both files are in the preliminary examination phase. He said that if the ICC decides to investigate Venezuela for crimes against humanity, he’ll prove how these cases have been investigated and who’s responsible. He added: “They can’t say that there are crimes against humanity in Venezuela because there have been attacks against specific civilian groups.” The Fact-Finding Mission report contradicts this statement, saying that this “specific population” was protesters and political dissidents. One of the most severe human rights violations in Venezuela is the very (illegitimate) appointment of Saab as prosecutor.
  • Jorge Arreaza posted videos on TikTok to prove that chavismo took over the Venezuelan diplomatic office in Bolivia. He fabricated a video where they pretended to switch a picture of Guaidó for one of Simón Bolívar (when, in reality, the Bolivar painting has always been there) and the whole thing was described by José Gregorio Cumare, representative of Juan Guaidó’s caretaker government, as “an assault on the embassy.” Arreaza said that works of art property of the embassy were allegedly stolen by Cumare and his team. He also said that the regime appointed Alejandro Yánez as the new ambassador.
  • The authority imposed by PSUV for Táchira state, Freddy Bernal, said that opening the Colombian border isn’t in the plans and assured that “Táchira has been a contention wall of COVID-19 for the rest of the country,” as if we didn’t have cases in all states. 
  • Olympian Rubén Limardo, who got a gold medal in London 2012 and was a PSUV deputy for Bolívar state, announced that he’s working as a delivery man in Poland. He said he’s been living in Poland for 19 years, although he was a legislative candidate in 2015, something that would be very outside the law. Our transparent and lawful CNE didn’t ask for a proof of residence.
  • A Colombian court admitted a request against Bogotá mayor Claudia López after her xenophobic discourse on social media against Venezuelan migrants, accusing them of being responsible of high crime rates in Bogotá.

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.