We’re Capable

The Central Bank closed the year with 86 tons of gold reserves, the lowest in 50 years; the Venezuelan Communist Party led a protest for fair wages, right outside the Assembly; the Spanish government will extradite a Venezuelan citizen at the request of Maduro, even though he applied for asylum.

  • Paolo Balladelli, chief of the WHO-PAHO mission in Venezuela, reported that the national roundtable to access the COVAX mechanism has made some progress in guaranteeing access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Julio Castro said that it’s necessary to create a vaccination program that includes medical societies, academia, PAHO and political actors. He said that it was going to be hard, but “we’re capable”. Meanwhile, Maduro relaxed the lockdown for the Carnival holidays.  
  • Coronavirus has caused at least 2,355,410 deaths and over 107,302,760 cases in the world. Official figures claim that there have been 131,828 cases and 1,260 deaths in Venezuela. 
  • BCV hadn’t published any figures since September 2020. In their delayed update, BCV said that inflation on January 2020 was 46.6%, and 77% in December 2020, meaning an inflation rate of 2,959% in 2020.
  • BCV closed the year with 86 tons of gold reserves, the lowest in 50 years, compared to 200 tons in 2015. Those reserves dropped by 12 more tons in six months last year, according to BCV figures, meaning that Maduro has used our reserves for financing his regime. They also used the Mining Arc and destroyed ancestral land, and they haven’t been held accountable for that either. 
  • The Comptroller’s Office asked Maduro’s Assembly to reform the type of sentence applied to those who are charged with corruption, said Elvis Amoroso, ANC-imposed comptroller general. 
  • Maduro’s Assembly approved forming teams of deputies to represent this branch before the European Parliament, the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament and MERCOSUR. Iris Varela read the list and she’ll lead all three delegations. 
  • Maduro’s Assembly also approved calling for a march on March 7th, on the 65th anniversary of Martin Luther King marching for civil rights. They’ll march to UN offices in Caracas against sanctions. 
  • The Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) led a protest for fair wages, right outside the Assembly. LGBTQIA activists also protested, demanding no homophobia from the revolution. On Thursday, communist organizations in Europe, Asia, Africa and América issued a communique asking Maduro to stop attacking the PCV. 
  • Mgsr. Baltazar Porras said that the first condition to advance in any situation when there are differences is honesty and true will to participate from all parties involved. He said the role of the church has always been the same, facilitating and being able to call out both sides. He also questioned the fact that they haven’t even recognized there’s a crisis. 
  • At least 83 governments in the world have used the pandemic to justify violations on freedom of speech and association, reported Human Rights Watch. Authorities have attacked, detained, shut down media, and passed laws to criminalize expressions they say would allegedly violate public health.
  • Maduro’s Interior minister, Carmen Meléndez, inaugurated the “Happy and Biosafe Carnival” operation, on which, over 148,000 troops, who haven’t been trained for this, will be in charge looking out of the population. 
  • SUDEBAN prohibited using points of sale for transactions with foreign credit and debit cards, since those operations aren’t contemplated in the current foreign exchange rules. 
  • Diosdado Cabello suggested opening an investigation against Efecto Cocuyo for sharing a piece by Colombian magazine Semana, about the movements of FARC leaders in Venezuelan territory. 
  • U.S. congressman Mario Díaz-Balart and congresswoman María Salazar rejected the regime’s attack on the media, in particular the recent acts against VPITV. 
  • German channel Deutsche Welle rejected the government’s statement, which had accused them of having an editorial line attacking the country using fake news. DW said they impartially and objectively report about Venezuela and that the best way to settle the matter is by granting the interview the regime has refused to do many times. 
  • U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, James Story, said that sanctions were imposed on officers and state companies to achieve a change in the regime’s attitude against Venezuelans, and that Washington is willing to lift them only if there’s a clear path for free and fair presidential and legislative elections. 
  • U.S. Department of State official Julie Chung said that Venezuela deserves free and fair elections, not a regime that puts their interests above the health of its own people. Chung condemned that amid the pandemic, Maduro is harassing and detaining workers from health NGOs. 
  • The Spanish government will extradite a Venezuelan citizen at the request of Maduro, even though he applied for asylum. Ernesto Quintero, persecuted since 2018 for being an employee in a brokerage firm, was detained on Wednesday and will be sent to Venezuela, violating the UNHCR’s recommendation. 
  • Maduro’s Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, attacked the Biden administration on Twitter again, after Ambassador Story sent a message to the caretaker government and students for Youth Day. Arreaza has been attacking the U.S. for two days.

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.