Workers Demonstrated Against Poor Wages All Through October

Some of these demonstrations faced repression from the regime; 160 migrants deported from Trinidad and Tobago; The “electoral carnival” continues

301 demonstrations in October alone.

Photo: El País

  • Delcy Rodríguez reported 280 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths in Venezuela, for a total of 102,040 cases and 894 deaths they’ve admitted to. Maduro said: “36 weeks after the coronavirus hit, we have a more powerful health system.” He said 95% of patients in Venezuela have recovered and everyone has received free medical care. 
  • On Saturday, Dr. Samuel Darío Mogollón died of complications of COVID-19. Many of the deaths of healthcare personnel aren’t counted in the government’s figures, as several NGOs have said. 
  • NGO Observatorio de Conflictividad Laboral del Instituto de Altos Estudios Sindicales counted 301 workers’ protests in October: 93% for wages and salaries. In 27 out of 301 there was repression from the regime. Minimum wage in Venezuela is still the lowest in the world, less than a dollar a month. 
  • NGO Prepara Familia said that on November 28th, a ten-year-old called Deyvis Román died at the J.M. de Los Ríos Hospital. Deyvis was granted precautionary measures by the IAHRC, so the Venezuelan State would protect him and guarantee medical treatment.
  • ONG Fundaredes denounced 70 illegal landing stripes in six border states: “The use of Venezuelan territory for illicit activities brings as a consequence the battle over control of those areas by irregular armed groups,” said Javier Tarazona.
  • The Central Hidroeléctrica Simón Bolívar, at the Guri dam, is operating above their max, jeopardizing the machine room in the case of a flood, said expert José Aguilar, who called the situation an “irresponsibility”: “With Guri, the heart of the Venezuelan electrical system, there’s no playing around.”
  • On Saturday night, Trinidad and Tobago deported 160 Venezuelan migrants, knowing they’re escaping a complex humanitarian emergency and a dictatorship. The Security Minister explained that all those people entered the island illegally, even though a Supreme Court justice managed to stop the deportation of other 19 migrants. The most serious part, denounced by David Smolansky, is that the deportation was done under the custody of officials of the Maduro regime. This coordinated action was done by Nicolás’s Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza. On Saturday, the IOM and the UNHCR said there’s a total of 5.4 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees. Around 80% (4.6 million) in Latin America and the Caribbean. It doesn’t matter how many they send back; they’ll keep leaving. 
  • For the ninth time after he was detained, the TSJ suspended the trial against Rodney Álvarez, a Ferrominera worker, detained since 2011. His lawyer, Manuel Sarabia, explained that less than a month after the trial began, it was stopped again because of a judge change. He reiterated that Álvarez’s is a political case. 
  • The ANC-imposed president of the CNE, Indira Alfonzo, said that they held the ninth audit of the voting machines on Sunday. She said that over 90% of the machines that will be used in the “election” of next weekend were verified. Over 20 million people are called to vote in this fraud, because the CNE’s permanent registry is outdated and it doesn’t count the millions of migrants out of the country. 
  • Maduro said that this week the quarantine wasn’t radical, despite “the pandemic still being here.” However, he announced as an achievement that, “starting tomorrow, November 30th, four weeks of total flexibilization begin in 53 sectors of the economy.” He also announced that, starting this Monday, the curfew at municipalities on the border is lifted. With opacity, with the disinformation behind the electoral fraud, with the risks that PSUV has imposed on employees and members in mass conventions, the risk of spreading grows higher in a country with a destroyed health system and no supplies. 
  • “I already have the toys from Baby Jesus for Venezuelan children and the pork for 6 million families,” said Maduro. 
  • Outside the regime-controlled TV version of reality, incentives for the election are less romantic than they’re in the narrative. Jaime Bello-León said: “There was a ‘kilo of rice for your vote’ journey by my house (…) everyone in line lost so much weight. They couldn’t hide the sadness, either.” 
  • Meanwhile, in state-owned TV station, VTV, Maduro praised the alleged debate of candidates that have been going on for weeks, and assured it was “on fire.” He shared a WhatsApp and Telegram number to share “the key messages of the battle.” 
  • Diosdado Cabello assured that current deputies of the AN “must be charged with treason” and said that they’ll be processed with a document being drafted by Hermann Escarrá.
  • Maduro, Jorge Rodríguez and Diosdado Cabello have said that it’s the responsibility of UBCHs (PSUV units in communities) to “capture” voters for December 6th and explain how to vote. Nicolás even offered prizes for the first 100 communities that have the highest attendance. 
  • November 29th is the Day of Human Rights Defenders. May they receive my admiration for their work, with special respect for those who do it in this version of a country, with so many risks. Thank you. 
  • On Saturday, it rained for five hours straight in Falcón state, which caused floods that affected at least 12 municipalities. Journalist Gregoria Díaz reported that the flood of the Coro River blocked transit, flooded homes and destroyed crops. There are families who lost their homes. 
  • The flood in Táchira state forced many Venezuelans to be stuck in Colombia, making it impossible for them to cross using illegal pathways. 
  • On Sunday morning, one of the most emblematic voices of Venezuelan radio passed away: Carlos Eduardo “Charlie” Ball, who worked at Circuito Unión Radio for 50 years. He was a lovely man, and I loved how he understood music, the facts I learned from listening to him and how his enunciation made me smile. Rest in peace. I will miss him.

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.