Lunch Break: “A Second Chance for Venezuela”

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Photo: Al Navío, retrieved.
  • Caretaker president Juan Guaidó asked publicly Vladimir Padrino López to meet, so he can explain the militarization of the National Assembly: “The Armed Forces have no power to let anyone in or not.” Guaidó said he’ll call for street protests: “It’s the moment to rise up and stand strong. We’ll mobilize on the streets on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and on Tuesday we’ll go to the National Assembly.” He also called for the union of all leaders to revive the protests: “I’m not asking for a second opportunity for Guaidó, I’m asking for a second opportunity for Venezuela.” 
  • For José Luis Azuaje, president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (CEV,) the challenge in 2020 will be “to stand and succeed.” Mario Moronta, CEV vice-president,  rejected Luis Parra’s self-proclamation. Nuncio Aldo Giordano said this year started with “winds of war” and called the events on January 5th as a sad and dark page in the history of a country for which the priority has always been peace. 
  • Saime updated the price to renew passports (10,798,914 bolivars / $190), and passport extensions (5,638,915 bolivars / $100). 
  • The National Communications Center denounced that the farms of deputies Lincoln Pérez and Julio César Reyes in Barinas were intervened by National Lands Institute’s officers. The same thing happened to Luis Lippa’s farm in Apure. All of them are backing Guaidó. 
  • Oil production reached its lowest level in almost 75 years: one million barrels per day. 
  • The news that started with the Central Bank and The Strategic Command Operations of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces’s (CEOFANB) accounts being suspended from Twitter, ended up also applying to other chavistas, their media and their institution. Accounts were suspended for violating  “Twitter’s terms and conditions” and some of the accounts in fact operate under a large network working for Nicolás in disinformation and censorship. It’s dozens of accounts so far, including those of Freddy Bernal, Hugbel Roa, Víctor Clark, Jesús Suárez Chourio and Kenny Ossa; institutions like the GNB, the Air Force, etc; and official media like Presidential Press, CiudadCCS, La Radio del Sur and Infocentros.
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury gave Globovisión a deadline of January 21st to end pending contracts before their operations are permanently blocked. This would mean, for example, leaving DirecTV. Exactly one year ago, the OFAC sanctioned Globovisión, among other companies belonging to Raúl Gorrín.
  • Reuters reports that Donald Trump’s government is considering sanctions on deputies that participated in Nicolás’s attempt to forcefully take control of the National Assembly. 
  • IACHR’s Edinson Lanza rejected the attack on journalists by chavista paramilitary. According to him, the GNB’s inaction “is evidence of the violence against journalists being encouraged”.
  • Amnesty International condemned the “serious attacks” against members of the opposition in the National Assembly and warned that this is “part of the repression against any way of political dissent.” Erika Guevara Rosas, AI director for the Americas, denounced the that deputy Gilber Caro and Víctor Ugas have been missing since December 20th. 
  • The Argentinian government withdrew Juan Guadió’s representative Elisa Trotta Gamus’s diplomatic credentials: “We don’t recognize Guaidó as president but as an outstanding leader of the opposition,” said a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry.

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About the Author

Have lived and invested in Venezuela full time for the last eight years and visited for each of twelve years prior to that. Studied and closely followed developments in Venezuela since 1996.