Hunger as a mechanism for control.

Photo: Banca y Negocios

Diosdado Cabello: ‘No Vote, No Food!’

That’s what the PSUV vice president asked women to say in their homes, to lead participation in the upcoming “elections”; Venezuelan oil exports tripled in November, but the crisis carries on

  • Those in power have many variables against them to control and mobilize voters in the quote-unquote “election” of next sunday, but none has been so important as their lousy management and their own arrogance, which allows them to continue abusing Venezuelans every day. After using 50 buses to move the crowd to his meeting, on Monday, Diosdado Cabello achieved the headline he’s been working on for years, after saying that women will lead the vote blackmailing their families with food: “I know women will wake up at the break of dawn and tell everyone in their households: ‘No vote, no food!’ A quarantine without eating,” he said. It’s a mockery of the hunger that millions of Venezuelans endure, as international agencies have denounced. Hunger defines our complex humanitarian emergency, which makes us a lot more vulnerable to the pandemic and which hasn’t made Nicolás’s regime change any of its public policies. Considering that women are in charge of cooking is ratifying gender stereotypes. Treating extortion as a way of doing politics, like it means nothing, defines the man and the party. Mocking hunger summarizes what he stands for. 
  • Diosdado Cabello provoked all sorts of reactions with his statement. Caretaker President and AN Speaker Juan Guaidó said that because it considers hunger as a weapon for social control, Nicolás’s regime blocks the entry of the World Food Programme “that puts Venezuela in the five countries at risk of famine, and they persecute Alimenta la Solidaridad, an organization that cares for children in food insecurity,” talking about the recent threats against the organization and its founder, Roberto Patiño. Deputy Delsa Solórzano announced they’ll take Cabello’s statement to the ICC, because “it proves what we’ve been saying: the usurpers are responsible for crimes against humanity. Keeping the population hungry is an extermination crime,” she said. 
  • Primero Justicia published the findings of the Observatorio de la Canasta Alimentaria on the Basic Survival Basket, containing eight basic foods:  the prices doubled in November, so they project an important acceleration of hyperinflation that we’ve already endured for three years.
  • Venezuelan oil exports tripled in November, over half a million barrels of oil, most of it went to China, said Bloomberg. However, the crisis remains when you compare it to last year: oil production was 484,000 bpd, a 48% interannual drop. 
  • Diesel and gas shortages forced coffee farmers to dry their beans on the streets of Chabasquén, Portuguesa state, like they did 20 or 30 years ago. The normal process in a special dryer takes between 15 and 18 hours; it can last up to four days in patios.  The thing is, our country has enough diesel fuel reserves. If farmers can’t get it, it’s because somebody on the inside doesn’t want to sell what they need. 
  • “We can see the recession in the macro numbers; but we’ll see how the state’s apparatus remains, how thy Armed Forces and the police corps survive (…) the entire structure of the State has remained pretty much intact,” said Maduro’s son in a video. It’s interesting, what he chose to highlight as a priority of his father’s management, and his proposal. Venezuela has one of the largest public payrolls in the continent. 
  • Representatives of opposition parties reiterated that they won’t back the “electoral fraud” called by Nicolás. During an event on Monday, Freddy Guevara, Nora Bracho, Delsa Solórzano, Rogelio Díaz, Andrés Velásquez and Luis Regnault said the regime wants to trick the country using symbols of the kidnapped parties (logos, colors, tickets on the ballot), but that it won’t succeed. They assured that this “election” intends to destroy the legitimate National Assembly and consummate the usurpation of the Legislative Branch. All representatives said they’re still committed to the fight for democracy and asked Venezuelans to attend the Popular Consultation planned by the opposition. The team in charge said that it will take place in at least 46 countries: “We have teams in 263 cities and there will be 4,038 points. This makes us think that participation will be massive,” said Horacio Medina. It will take place between December 7th and 12th. 
  • The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (CEV) reiterated that the “elections” will worsen the crisis and that “they won’t solve the problems of the people.” They asked politicians and the civil society to “continue making joint efforts to re-establish the country’s democratic rights,” and they called the Popular Consultation necessary and important. The CEV also said that “the Venezuelan people have the right to express using legitimate channels guaranteed in the Constitution.” 
  • On Monday there were at least nine protests before noon, according to NGO Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social. Once more, protests were caused by the crisis of basic utilities like cooking gas and fuel (in the states of Bolívar, Mérida and Sucre); they also registered protests for the right of political participation, identity (SAIME gave only 200 numbers for documents) and for working rights.  
  • National Guard officers detained a prosecutor of the Public Ministry and two other citizens (one of them without an ID), with over 2,000 pills of alleged drugs. They were detained in Delta Amacuro state. Prosecutor Guerlys Naidelys Hernández Urrieta has voice messages in her phone that tie her to drug trafficking. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez reported 354 new cases of coronavirus in Venezuela and three new deaths, for a total of 102,394 cases and 897 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • While chavismo violates biosafety rules during their campaign, Europe fears that the third wave of COVID-19 will begin, because of holidays and social gatherings.  
  • Moderna announced they applied for an authorization to start selling the coronavirus vaccine, to the FDA and to the European Agency of Medicine. 
  • The U.S. sanctioned China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC) for selling technology and consults that violate human rights and are used to attack, block and persecute citizens. Chavismo developed with CEIEC operations of internet censorship, digital surveillance and the carnet de la patria. 
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, reaffirmed his commitment to the democratic cause and his support for Juan Guaidó. He said that Nicolás’s efforts for manipulating the democratic processes must leave us without a doubt that this election isn’t free nor fair. 
  • Jorge Arreaza attended a meeting with his Hispanic American counterparts about innovation for sustainable development, an agenda that’s very different from the regime he represents. He said that multilateralism is crucial (because of the inequality of financing), and asked for the creation of a rotation system, days after the PAHO said that Venezuela would have no access to this organization’s system because the country hasn’t paid its dues in the last three years. Shameful. 
  • Colombia announced the closing of its borders (land and rivers) until January, 16th, 2021. Maritime borders will be open, though, since the midnight of November 30th.

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.