Be Democratic, Pretty Please

Among other news, the EU electoral observation mission presented its final report and recommended some changes like strengthening the separation of the branches of power and trust in the independence of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice

  • On Tuesday, the EU electoral observation mission presented its final report and recommended some changes like strengthening the separation of the branches of power and trust in the independence of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ). Euro deputy Isabel Santos said she didn’t know why the authorities didn’t respond to their visa petitions. The mission also asked for the approval of a new law for careers in the Judicial Branch and the TSJ law to line up with constitutional guarantees that assure a transparent selection of judges to avoid invading the competencies of the Electoral Branch as was proven with the Barinas results. Among their 23 recommendations, they mentioned reinforcing the sanctioning competencies of the National Electoral Council, balancing the coverage in state media, and voiding the Anti-Hate Law. They also mentioned the political use of the Patria system and public funds for campaigns. CNE board member Enrique Márquez called the report “complete, well-meaning, and pointing out elements that must be corrected.” 
  • Economist and member of the Venezuelan Observatory of Finance José Guerra presented a report on dollarization in Venezuela, which indicates that over 99% of stores use the dollar as a reference to set their prices. “It isn’t true that the bolivar has gained some ground in transactions,” said Guerra, since at least 50% of payments in the country are made in dollars. He said our dollarization is “informal and chaotic” which means transactions have limitations, so half of them are made in bolivars. 
  • Nicolás announced that Venezuela surpassed its vaccination goal, it’s 102% for adults over 18 years old. He didn’t say how, but he did thank Russia, China and Cuba for their help. He celebrated the merits of the 7+7 method. Nicolás announced his support for Russia in their advance against Ukraine and said that “peace in Russia is peace for the whole world. We reject all plans to militarily surround Russia.” 
  • The Venezuelan opposition asked for an investigation of Venezuelan citizens tied to PDVSA who had accounts at the Swiss bank Credit Suisse, where there are at least 273 million dollars. 
  • Primero Justicia proposed focusing on the presidential election in 2024. “We propose as our main point of interest holding free elections in 2024 to defeat Nicolás,” said Juan Miguel Matheus.
  • The judicial nomination committee appointed by Nicolás’s National Assembly started interviews for candidates to TSJ justices and their substitutes. 

The National Journalists Guild and the Press and Society Institute denounced the actions against journalist Erika Verdi, director of Táchira News, intending to tie her with FARC dissidents. 

  • Over 2,500 children and teenagers are in danger when they cross the border through the Orinoco River in Amazonas to study in Colombia, warned FundaRedes, because students usually use illegal pathways to get to school since the border was closed in 2020. 
  • The invasion of Indigenous lands in the Sucre municipality in Bolívar continues, warned Salomón Asatali, the captain of the Majawaña community. He said miners “try to enter and take power over the community, buying the inhabitants with utensils and issuing death threats,” said newspaper Correo del Caroní. 
  • Marco Antonio Ponce, director of the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict reported that there have been 92,719 protests in the last ten years, The years with the highest figures were 2014 (9,986), 2017 (9,987), 2018 (12,715) and 2019 (16,739). 
  • Darielvis Sarabia, the mother of the baby killed by the Trinidadian Coast Guard, was released from the hospital after clavicle surgery. On Friday, police officers took Sarabia from the hospital, still convalescent, to testify before immigration authorities and give her statement on the events of February 5th. 
  • Carlos Scull rejected a Peruvian mayor’s proposal to prohibit immigrants from working in delivery services or driving taxis. “Thousands of Venezuelans would be out of a job,” tweeted Scull, and said that blaming crime on one nationality is “xenophobic and doesn’t solve anything.” 
  • Mérida had a second transportation strike against gas shortages in the state. 
  • Máximo Vedoya, CEO of Ternium, also had an account with Credit Suisse while he worked as the commercial director for Sidor. Vedoya had $900,000 in his account. 
  • A helicopter owned by the Armed Forces crashed in Barquisimeto. Two people died and two were injured. It was bought by Nicolás as part of the military cooperation agreements with Russia. 

Venezuela signed another deal with Iran to strengthen bilateral cooperation and hydrocarbon exchange. 

  • Israeli Defense minister Benny Gantz warned about Iranian drones with precision ammo in Venezuela. 
  • Peruvian prosecutor Germán Juárez accused former President Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) of having been under Venezuelan and Brazilian interests to obtain financing from Hugo Chávez and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for his campaigns. 
  • Russia called on its allies to recognize Donetsk and Lugansk as “independent territories”, EU foreign ministers agreed on the first round of sanctions, to limit its financial capacity. The UK will sanction five Russian banks and three businessmen, Germany suspended the authorization of Nord Stream 2, Finland will run a new risk analysis on the Fennovoima project. Canada also imposed economic sanctions and the largest media networks in Estonia and Lithuania will stop broadcasting 20 Russian TV channels starting April. The UN Secretary-General said that recognizing separatists is a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and President Joe Biden announced sanctions and moved soldiers to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia because of the “start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” 

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.