Photo: El Diario

Unreported Gold Withdrawal Leaves Venezuelan Reserves At Its Lowest in 50 Years

The constant sale of gold bars is the regime’s attempt to obtain some liquidity but they don’t report that they’re using this money. There were 167 violations of journalistic work in Venezuela in 2020, affecting at least 208 press workers.

  • Venezuelan gold reserves dropped three tonnes in the first semester of 2021. We currently have 83 T. only, the lowest in at least 50 years, due to the constant withdrawals of gold made by Maduro’s regime. Apparently, the constant sale of gold bars is the regime’s attempt to obtain some liquidity but they don’t report that they’re using this money. 
    • There were 4,900 million dollars by the end of June, a drop of 187 million dollars compared to late 2020. This drop is added to the 19 T. that were withdrawn last year, so in barely 18 months, the gold reserves have dropped 22 T, over one per month. 
    • The regime doesn’t share what the destination of the gold bars has been. 
  • In his last cabinet reform, Maduro added ten military officers to key positions. Rocío San Miguel, from NGO Control Ciudadano, said that “generally, officers have been appointed to the Ministry of Interior, Peace and Justice, which is the area of political intel and control of public order,” but Maduro also increased their participation in ministries and a third of the extensive cabinet is controlled by the military. San Miguel thinks that one of the problems of military presence in ministries is that any mechanism for democratic control of other branches of power has been deactivated, they don’t offer checks and balances and they’re one of the pillars of power in Venezuela. 

The Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons reported that the regime released 260 prisoners from the Cabimas Prison. They had already released 80, but didn’t say what was the criteria to release them. There were 1,208 inmates in the prison and because of these releases and deaths caused by several diseases there are 650 now. 

  • The National Electoral Council (CNE) and the Consejo de Expertos Electorales Latinoamericanos (Ceela) signed another agreement for deploying a mission for the November elections. Ceela upheld the presidential “elections” carried out by chavismo in 2018.  
  • Andrés (Chola) Schloeter, the opposition candidate for the Sucre municipality, said that one of the challenges he faces is rescuing the vote and building bridges with parts of disappointed sectors of chavismo. He said that his candidacy was agreed upon through conversations and negotiations with other opposition candidates. 
  • MUD candidate for Vargas, José Manuel Olivares, echoed the constant complaints of families in the Valle del Pino sector for the lack of cooking gas and irregularities regarding its sale. 
  • The vice president of the CNE Enrique Márquez reported that he tested positive for coronavirus. 
  • The PAHO considers that the partial agreements signed in Mexico between the opposition and the regime are great news. Ciro Ugarte assured that Venezuela has the urgent need to increase immunity and insisted that the country needs “more vaccines and more support.” 

The PAHO said that Venezuela will have priority in accessing the COVAX vaccines, after highlighting that only 11% of the Venezuelan population has been vaccinated, one of the lowest percentages in the region. 

  • Delcy Rodríguez said that she had meetings with chavista governors regarding the progress of the vaccination plan, alongside Maduro’s Health minister, Carlos Alvarado. They only spoke about having the meeting, not what was actually discussed. 
  • According to the Redes Ayuda report, there were 167 violations of journalistic work in Venezuela in 2020, affecting at least 208 press workers. They were victims of verbal and physical attacks, arbitrary detentions, kidnapping attempts and raids on media outlets. 
  • Julio Borges announced the launch of a website to help Venezuelan migrants, as part of the Hermanos program, which seeks to promote the integration and legalization of Venezuelan citizens in their receiving countries. The site is a tool that will help people make different kinds of consultations and find out of consular services, get in touch with NGOs and find employment opportunities, among others. 
  • Guyana rejected the agreement signed in Mexico between the regime and the opposition, joining efforts to recover the territory: “This agreement is a frontal threat to Guyanese sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said the Guyanese Exterior Ministry in a communique. 
  • Russia reiterated its willingness to contribute in the search for a political solution for Venezuela. 
  • U.S. Senator Bob Menendez expressed his support for the negotiations, “to restore constitutional order, democratic institutions and political rights in Venezuela.” He said he backs a negotiated solution to the crisis and supports the Unitary Platform. 

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.