Photo: The Conversation
- The Physics, Mathematics and Natural Sciences Academy issued a second report about COVID-19 in Venezuela, where they state that under-registration of cases is too high and that can be estimated from the number of positive PCR tests compared to the tests that had been done, and for the delay in registering the growth of the pandemic, which can be up to 18 days. The Academy estimates that we’ve reached 4,000 daily cases and projects two scenarios for the contagion rate: low reduction, which would mean between 7,000 and 14,000 new cases per day in the next three months, and the substantial reduction, which would mean 4,000 new cases per day. They said that “the epidemic will keep its ascending trajectory in the next few weeks,” because it’s still in its expansive phase. Hours later, Delcy Rodríguez announced that we had 1,188 cases yesterday (for a total of 56,751 cases they’ve admitted to). She only talked about eight deaths, for a total of 452. The figure published by the National Hygiene Institute, more than twice that official number, was best kept quiet.
- AN Speaker and caretaker President Juan Guaidó reported that the public consultation contemplated by the unity pact will contain questions about the humanitarian crisis, the tools to fight back and the free elections, including one to three questions per topic. He reiterated that the call is supported by Article 70 of our Constitution and that its purpose will be the expression of a majority “understanding the measures imposed by the pandemic and persecution by the dictatorship.” Guaidó thinks that the difference between the last process and this one, is that in this opportunity it will be countersigned by the caretaker government with the international community. Even though he doesn’t know the content of Henrique Capriles’s conversations with other political actors, he emphasized that he’s in constant communication with the European Union and that there are five conditions to consider an electoral process as competitive: 1. Right to elect and be elected. 2. Appointing a CNE according to the Constitution. 3. Timelines for presidential and parliamentary elections. 4. International observation. 5. Legalization of political parties.
- “I’m on the street aware that it’s a different situation, but I’m convinced that it’s the moment for all of us to assume a patriotic labor,” said deputy Freddy Guevara on Wednesday morning, when he left the Chilean Embassy after two years and ten months. Chavismo accused him of promoting the protests in 2017 and he was one of the beneficiaries of the “pardon” decreed by Nicolás on August, 31st, an action he thinks was political, not legal. “In a way, the dictatorship has said that, for now, they won’t detain me,” he said, and asked for freedom for Leopoldo López, Roberto Henríquez and the rest of political prisoners. “All of us who are in this fight are afraid to be captured by the fist of the dictatorship or be murdered. But we must move forward and advance,” said Guevara who took a moment to criticize those who break with the opposition and affirmed that if “Turkey, Russia and Cuba are in the negotiation, nothing positive will come out for Venezuela.”
- In Puerto Ordaz, Bolívar state, Dr. Williams Arrieta was detained, after being beaten for complaining about the corrupt system to enter gas stations. His wife followed the car where he was taken, and when she made it to the Guaiparo police station, she was also detained. When she was released, she said that they want to charge him with “promoting hate, resisting authority and attacking an officer.”
- Four days after he was detained, the Public Ministry announced that they’ll charge Dr. Antonio José Amell Cantillo, a Colombian citizen. He’s accused of reselling medicine for COVID-19 patients, said ANC-imposed prosecutor general, Tarek William Saab. They haven’t allowed the doctor to communicate with anyone.
- Because of the rain in Aragua state, El Limón River has overflowed in Maracay. We don’t know the magnitude of the damage so far, or the number of injured, disappeared or dead people. Governor Rodolfo Marco Torres only said that the situation was “relatively under control.”
- Because she’s done so well with the numbers during the pandemic, Nicolás appointed Delcy Rodríguez as the minister of Economy and Finance to substitute Simón Zerpa.
- The consumer price index of the Finance Commission of the National Assembly reported a 25% inflation in August. Cumulative inflation is 1,079.67% and interannual inflation is 3,078%. It’s been 35 months in hyperinflation. In August, we needed 67 million bolivars to buy the family food basket.
- The official dollar keeps trying to catch up with the black market rate, and on Wednesday, it reached 358,000 bolivars, according to a tweet by the Venezuelan Central Bank, while the black market dollar was 361,741 bolivars.
- Transparencia Venezuela analyzed the economic and political relationship between China and Venezuela from 1999 to 2919. The report reveals that we owe around $16,731 million, “a number that almost triples Venezuela’s international reserves in June 2020,” said Transparencia. The report explains that the governments of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás received over $68,000 millions from China and that, when they signed the agreements, the Chinese imposed four disadvantageous rules: recognizing “only one China” (Venezuela suspended visas to Taiwanese representatives); hiring their technology, products and workers; the commitment to pay most loans with oil and confidentiality on the agreements. This last part is expressly forbidden in Venezuelan law.
- After denouncing daily torture ordered by the U.S., Alex Saab’s legal team now denounced that members of the Cape Verdean police raided the briefcase where he had the evidence about the alleged diplomatic mission in his trip to Iran, and that by taking it away from him, they stopped the judges from knowing the story. But, on Wednesday the office of the Cape Verdean Attorney General paid a surprised visit to Saab, which allows them to confirm that he hasn’t been tortured, but that there’s “strong evidence that he’s been self mutilating,” so they took away the object he used to this end in his cell. Nicolás’s Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, requested that the Cape Verdean government give him a humanitarian measure, house arrest for Saab, because of the “notorious decline of his health”. Meanwhile, in Venezuela, the families and lawyers warn the regime every day that political prisoners are in danger because of the awful conditions in which they are kept and the pandemic.
- Rubén Limardo, who won the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, is now part of the International Fencing Federation Hall of Fame. He’s the second Latin American citizen to achieve this. Limardo was voted unanimously by the IFF’s Executive Committee in the first year he was eligible, for his trajectory.
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