The Amazing Case of the Disappearing Gold

Here's your daily fix of Venezuela news

  • Gerardo Blyde, leader of the opposition delegation in the Mexico talks, said that it’s highly likely that the process will resume soon. This process started in August 2021 and was suspended two months later—per chavismo’s decision. “It’s a long, complex road, but it’s the only alternative that will guarantee an agreement that will help Venezuelans and work for better democratic conditions for 2024,” said Blyde, with a tone that sounded more like he was presenting something to his high school class than with the conviction of a politician of his skill and experience. He insisted that they should change the political model and improve living conditions, while they achieve re-institutionalizing the country. He added that the international community and democratic sectors are betting and working on restarting the negotiation. We’ll see.
  • Venezuelan gold reserves decreased by 6 tonnes during the first half of 2022, according to financial statements published by the Central Bank. Since Maduro took office, the reserves have dropped 293 tonnes, which equals 80% of what we had in 2013, without counting what has been extracted from the Orinoco Mining Arc and hasn’t been reported. The amount of gold in our reserves is at its lowest in 70 years. 
  • The Central Bank published price indexes for June and July, even though Venezuela doesn’t have the highest interannual inflation rate in the world. BCV figures reflect chavismo’s failure: inflation has steadily increased since March despite the large amount of dollars that chavismo has sold trying to control the exchange rate and keeping public workers’ salaries low. 

The price of the black market dollar surpassed the increase that was registered during all of July. 

  • Maduro fired Marco Polo Cosenza from ONAPRE. Former treasurer Jennifer Quintero was appointed as ONAPRE director. 
  • The UN launched a new humanitarian aid plan to help 5.2 million people in Venezuela. The plan seeks to provide health, nutrition, food security, and education assistance. The amount of people in need of help is higher. 
  • Elsa Castillo, leader of the Venezuelan Teachers’ Federation, said that 70% of teachers have resigned because of the regime’s labor policies: low wages and loss of benefits, among others. She reiterated that teachers demand a working table to negotiate and abolish ONAPRE’s new rules. They’ll protest until they are heard. Castillo has been threatened and harassed. 
  • In Amazonas, Piaroa organizations and communities protested to demand justice for the murder of Indigenous leader Virgilio Trujillo.
  • The IACHR reported that they sent former mayor Omar Lares’ case of violation of political rights and his son Juan Pedro Lares’ prison and torture to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 
  • There was a fire at an IVSS warehouse in La Yaguara. Health minister Magaly Gutiérrez said that it impacted the dialysis supplies storage wing. She didn’t say how much was lost or how much they’ll invest to resupply. It’s a country without figures. 
  • The Supreme Tribunal of Justice authorized numerous releases in the last 100 days, in hopes of mitigating overcrowding in Venezuelan prisons, assured Justice Gladys Gutiérrez. No political prisoners will benefit from the measures. 
  • Nicolás’s National Assembly deputy José Gregorio Correa was bold enough to talk about the opposition primary and said that talking to the government was “very easy”. He said he missed Ramón Guillermo Aveledo because he was able to force the opposition to speak with the regime. 
  • Maduro’s defense minister Vladimir Padrino López inaugurated a competition that’s part of the military games Russia organized and Venezuela is one of the hosts for the first time. Myanmar, Belarus, Abkhazia, Uzbekistan, Bolivia, China, India, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Indonesia, and Cuba. The Venezuelan team did terribly, because of a lack of skill and many errors. 
  • Iran demanded that Argentina release the Venezuelan-Iranian plane and its crew members: “We hope that Argentinian authorities won’t let themselves be pressured by the U.S. and the Zionist regime (of Israel),” said a spokesperson of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. 
  • PSUV announced they started a process of renovating its grassroots, inspired by the changes high-ranking members have shown in the last 23 years. How they explain the method it’s enough to take their credibility away. 
  • A survey by Ipsos revealed that Maduro, Miguel Díaz-Canel (Cuba) and Pedro Castillo (Perú) have the lowest approval ratings in the region. They surveyed 297  opinion leaders in 12 Latin American countries and concluded Nicolás has a 5% approval rating, Díaz-Canel 14% and Castillo 15%.

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.