Low Attendance on the First Day of School After 17 Months

Among other news: children returned to school on Monday, after 17 months. PDVSA authorized a new price for diesel and gas oil, an adjustment that was imposed and executed in silence. Venezuela's economy has shrunk 2.7% in 2021.

  • Children returned to school on Monday, after 17 months. 
    • The regime didn’t improve teachers’ salaries or provide public schools with supplies to prevent the spread of the virus. 
    • Parents’ disinformation is a key variable in explaining the poor attendance rates as is poverty: a home where there’s no food can’t provide uniforms. 
    • In schools where they had class, they asked children to bring face masks and hand sanitizer, and strategies dividing classrooms into groups of 15 to 16 children. 
    • Teachers denounced that there are no conditions and Griselda Sánchez warned about the deterioration of schools, the low vaccination rate and the worst salaries in the world. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez and Maduro’s Education minister Yelitze Santaella did a sort of report on the first day back from a high school in Fuerte Tiuna. Delcy had contacts with other states where authorities are seeking re-election, they talked about remodels, attendance and prosperity. 
    • Delcy said that almost 3,200 schools were rehabilitated and 5,000 high schools will become vaccination centers for kids over 12 years old. 
    • The president of the Asociación Nacional de Instituciones Educativas Privadas, Fausto Romeo, was in attendance and highlighted the need to encourage children and parents to go back to school and explained how municipal taxes affect schools. He asked for reactivating credits so schools can make infrastructure investments. 
    • 7The Venezuelan Federation of Teachers rejected going back to in-person systems because the conditions that were agreed upon haven’t been met. 
  • PDVSA authorized a new price for diesel and gas oil, an adjustment that was imposed and executed in silence. Since the currency redenomination, gas stations started charging 0.01 bolivars per ltr. of gas oil, but it’s now 0.50 dollars (over 2 bolivars) per ltr. This will directly impact the supply chain of goods and services. A PVSA source said to Tal Cual that it began in gas stations in Caracas, Vargas and Miranda, with a notification by colonel Marino Lugo. The diesel fuel supply is controlled by the state and it hasn’t been enough to supply the demand. 

Read more about how the diesel crisis is causing delays in supplies chains and boosting inflation: Diesel Shortage Strangles Venezuelan Wholesalers

  • “The electoral road and negotiations are the only possibility for ending this social, political, and economic crisis,” said CNE board member Roberto Picón. He assured that the organizations that want to activate the recall referendum against Maduro must introduce the necessary documents after January 10th, 2022. 
  • CNE board member Tania D’Amelio warned on VTV that a set of rules validating observers has been approved and that they must “respect the process of sovereignty, the agreements signed by the CNE and constitutional principles.” 
  • The International Criminal Court confirmed that Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan will be in Latin America for ten days, including Colombia and Venezuela. His agenda will be focused on authorities, the Judicial Branch and members of the diplomatic corps. 

NGO Una Ventana a la Libertad said that at least 70 prisoners in Tocuyito prison are going to be released. Foro Penal reports that five political prisoners are included in the group: César Valera, Héctor Roque, Juan Barreto, Adolfo Artigas and Gustavo Páez Pérez.

  • Acceso a la Justicia warned that the plan proposed by ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab is discriminatory because lawyers outside of the institution weren’t allowed to participate. 
  • The rector of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), Cecilia García Arocha, responded to the appointment of Jacqueline Faría as the “protector” of the institution. She insisted the UCV is an autonomous institution, which allows them to elect their authorities and that a protector is an imposed authority. Students protested outside the University Education Ministry against the appointment of Tibisay Lucena and Jacqueline Faría.

The Venezuelan Observatory of Finance reported that the country’s economy has shrunk 2.7% in 2021. Venezuela is heading to the eighth consecutive year of recession, the economy is now 20% of its size in 2013. 

  • A member of the National Transportation Federation, José Luis Trocel, insisted that the fee must finally be updated and dollarized, allowing to charge at least 0.30 dollars or 1.29 bolivars. 
  • After a video where a neighbor kicked a dog in Caracas went viral this weekend, Tarek William Saab tweeted that the man had been detained and will be charged with animal cruelty. 
  • Former prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz, who was fired in 2017, requested asylum in Spain. Colombia had granted her refugee status and gave her a special protection measure for being politically persecuted. 

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.