- Maduro announced he’s increasing the minimum wage to half a petro. This chavista cyber currency is worth 252.65 bolivars, so the new minimum wage would be $28.97 at the current BCV rate ($4.36). The food bonus increased to 45 bolivars, so wages and bonus would be a total of $39.29 per month. Those who get it will still be poor.
- Jesús María Casal considers that the law to reform the TSJ should have been discussed in the negotiation in Mexico because it’s this method that allows current justices to run for re-election which is unconstitutional and that some nominees have issued sentences that go against the Rule of Law. “In this case, we don’t see a commitment to having qualified, diverse representation (…) and this fracture, this lack of transparency and clarity is in detriment to an effort that requires plurality for the total autonomy of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.”
- Assembly deputy and President of the Socialist Bolivarian Workers Center Wills Rangel said they’re not working on a reform of the labor laws, but that public workers will serve in the political and ideological rearming to achieve “the revolution’s continuity” in the presidential election in 2024.
- Maduro appointed Jorge Arreaza as minister of communes after he lost the second election in Barinas.
- There was a protest in front of the EU office in Caracas, against Nicolás’s support for Russia. Guaidó supported Ukraine and announced there’s a mission of 11 doctors that will aid Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Hungary. He said there are at least 348 Venezuelans in Ukraine.
- The National Hospital Survey highlighted that there was a 44% shortage of supplies in ERs across the country in January and February, 77% of supply shortages in ORs. 36% of hospitals don’t have facemasks, 21% don’t have gloves.
- Ismael León said that 75% of nurses and 48% of doctors have left the country.
- The 2015 National Assembly condemned Maduro’s “shameful support” for Russia and defended Ukraine’s right to sovereignty.
- International cards in Venezuela won’t have to pay fees because of the Ley del Impuesto a las Grandes Transacciones Financieras (IGTF).
- An American judge authorized the process to start selling CITGO stock, to pay back the current owners of the Crystallex debt, a Canadian company whose gold mine in Venezuela was expropriated by chavismo ten years ago. The asset is frozen by OFAC until 2023, but the justice system has readied the process for when it’s released, which increases the risk of losing it. José Ignacio Hernández warned that the process started months ago and yesterday, the Delaware court issued a ruling defining the details of the sale process.
- President Joe Biden extended the decree considering Maduro’s regime an unusual and extraordinary threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy. The decree issued by Barack Obama in 2015 was extended until 2023.
- Over 7,600 people, including children and seniors, have been arrested in Russia for protesting against the war.
- The war will cause the greatest shortage of wheat in history (Russia and Ukraine produce 25% of the world’s wheat and 20% of the world’s corn) and a dramatic increase in the price of fertilizer since Russia is the largest producer.
- Analysts agree in evaluating the first week of the Russian invasion as an operation plagued by tactical and strategic mistakes, which explains its shortcomings (dead, injured and captured soldiers) and brings more terror for the possibility of more powerful and ruthless airstrikes.
- “There’s a real threat of nuclear war,” warned Russian journalist and Nobel laureate Dmitri Muratov. The U.S. announced a TPS for Ukrainians for the next 18 months. Russian propaganda network RT will cease operations and fire most of its employees, reported CNN.
- The second meeting held by delegations from Ukraine and Russia ended with a commitment to open a humanitarian corridor and a potential ceasefire while civilians are evacuated. They are meeting again next week. President Zelenskyy asked to speak with Putin directly and promised to recover the country. He demanded Russia pay for the destruction. He asked NATO for a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Putin said that everything’s going “according to plan” and told Macron that he’ll continue attacking and he’s open to negotiations if Ukraine accepts his conditions, and if not, he’ll get the results with this war. Ukraine approved a law to expropriate the assets of Russian citizens.
- There are over a million Ukrainian refugees, which means the fastest exodus ever recorded.
- The EU will send financial aid to Ukraine for 1.2 billion euros.
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