March of 2021 Was the Deadliest Month of COVID-19 for Venezuela

Vladimir Padrino López blames Colombia for some of the tense situation in Apure state; Press workers in Venezuela must walk the minefield of State repression; PDVSA has plans to expand its gas and diesel production

  • Nicolás’s Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López tweeted his new report on the Escudo Bolivariano 2021 operation, where chavismo is including the armed conflict between the military and guerrillas in Apure. In two weeks, it has forced thousands of Venezuelans to flee to Colombia. Padrino confirmed the deaths of nine terrorists and two military officers, nine injured military officers and 31 people detained. Padrino López accused the Colombian government of allowing the guerrilla actions in Venezuelan territory. Two journalists and two human rights activists covering the armed conflict were detained in a military facility.
  • The Press Workers Guild, SNTP, confirmed that journalists Luis González Pérez and Rafael Hernández, alongside NGO FundaRedes workers Juan Carlos Salázar and Diógenes Tirado, were detained on Wednesday afternoon and were released after 25 hours of arbitrary detention and forced disappearance. They were never taken to their hearings. They took Luis Gonzalo Pérez and Rafael Hernández’s belongings, including their phones and equipment. 
  • Arauca governor José Facundo Castillo reiterated that Colombia lacks the resources to care for the displaced Venezuelan citizens who fled the violence in Apure for long. He said that by being on the border, they’re exposed to any attack from Venezuela and celebrated that security has been strengthened in the area. However, he expressed his concern for the military not being able to control the situation on the Arauca river. Colombian president Iván Duque condemned the arbitrary detention of journalists and assured that this kind of action makes the Maduro regime’s arbitrary behavior evident. 
  • March was the month with the most deaths of COVID-19 in Venezuela: 13 patients died on March, 13th, making it 258 passings for the month, for a total of 1,602, an average of eight people dying per day. Funerary services have collected data that suggests even higher figures. 
  • In March, 36 doctors, eight nurses and six healthcare workers died of COVID-19. That’s 50 workers in total. NGO Médicos Unidos reported 408 deaths in the sector up until March 28th. 
  • 21,000 Cubans in Venezuela have been vaccinated against COVID-19, “thanks to an effort by the Bolivarian government (…) Over 95% of our workers have received the first or second doses by now,” said Dr. Reinol Delfín García Moreiro, chief of the Cuban Medical Mission.
  • Writer Milagros Mata Gil and poet Juan Manuel Muñoz, AKA Moriche, were detained in El Tigre, Anzoátegui state, for publishing a post mocking a wedding that Tarek William Saab attended in Lechería. They were released after their hearing. They can’t talk about their case and have to show up to court every month. 
  • Indigenous Yekuana leaders denounce a measles epidemic in Anadekeña and Santa María de Erebato, Bolívar state. Children are the most affected. Venezuela’s in the last place of Latin America in child immunization.  The national vaccination system has been troubled for years.
  • Juan Carlos Alemán, president of the People’s power and Communications commission of Nicolás’s National Assembly, said they’re creating a platform so users can issue their complaints against cable TV providers. 
  • The Kazakhstan Energy Ministry reported that the OPEC agreed on a gradual increase of oil production between May and July. Nicolás’s Oil minister, Tareck El Aissami, ratified the importance of the Cooperation Declaration in recovering and stabilizing the oil market. 
  • PDVSA reported its plan to expand gas production to 65,000 bpd and diesel fuel to 80,000 bpd in mid-April, when processing units in the Puerto La Cruz and El Palito refineries start working again. 
  • The Argentinian judge in charge of Diego Armando Maradona’s estate case, sent letters to Venezuela, Mexico, Belarus, Cuba, Italy, Switzerland and Dubai to collect information on Maradona’s assets, safe boxes, gold and bank accounts. 
  • Russia opened flights to Germany, Syria, Venezuela, Tayikistan, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka again this week. According to Russian authorities, there will be two weekly flights with Caracas and the source reported that an office of Venezuelan airline Conviasa opened in Moscow this month.

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.