I am in the process of moving in to a new apartment. This means that I will not have steady Internet access until the evening of Thursday July 3. As a result, you might notice a drop in the quality of daily updates until then. I apologize for the temporary disruption, and thank you for your understanding!
Winston Krone, a cyber-security expert based in the United States hired by Pedro Burelli – one of the people accused of planning to assassinate Maduro – says in an article on the Wall Street Journal that Google does not have any record of three out of the four e-mails the government used as evidence for the plot.
Krone claims that the evidence he has seen suggests that three of the e-mails were outright faked, while the fourth e-mail (originally sent two years ago) contained text which was added by a third party, presumably the Venezuelan government. Krone said:
All of the objectively verifiable evidence is consistent with the falsification of the e-mails related with Pedro Burelli and [those] included in the report by the Venezuelan government.
Krone was able to compare the evidence provided by the Venezuelan government to internal records maintained by Google, after obtaining a judicial order from a court in the United States which ordered Google to give Krone access to the records in question. Google complied with the order last week.
Krone’s investigating casts doubt on the entire government case, which also accused other Venezuelan opposition figures – including Maria Corina Machado – with plotting to assassinate government officials, including Maduro, and overthrow the government.
Venezuelan Air Travel Industry Continues to Suffer
Information released today by the Asociacion de Lineas Aereas de Venezuela (Association of Venezuelan Airlines) (ALAV) suggest that the country’s air travel woes are taking a turn for the worst.
According to ALAV, the national air fleet – the number of Venezuelan owned and operated aircraft – sits at 123. Out of this total, 62 are not operational – 50 are grounded for maintenance, and 12 are awaiting approval from the Instituto Nacional de Aeronautica Civil to be allowed to fly.
In other words, 50.4% of the airplanes Venezuelans use to get around the country are out of service.
According to Julio Arnaldes, the director of the Asociacion Venezolana de Mayoristas y Empresas de Representaciones Turisticas (Association of Venezuelan Wholesalers and Tourist Industries), the fact that half of the country’s civil airplanes are not operating has affected approximately 450,000 employees (direct and indirect) of the tourism and travel industry.
Humerto Figuera, executive president of ALAV, it is normal for 25% of the Venezuelan civil air fleet to be grounded for maintenance. The reason for the elevated percentage is the difficulty with which spare repair parts can be found and brought into the country, echoing the scarcity crisis that has affected virtually every sector of Venezuelan life.
Comptroller of the Republic Speaks on Government Corruption
Adeline Gonzalez, the Comptroller of the Republic (whose job it is so oversee the proper financial management of government bodies) spoke out today against the government, saying that the majority of “corrupt officials” belong to the PSUV. Gonzales said:
Who controls more mayoralties, governorships and ministries? The government, the government party. Where are the officials who we are investigating? Obviously, they are the ones who are governing, and we are investigating them…
Gonzalez made the comments during a interview on Venezolana de Television, a state-run television network.
She also pointed out that “not everyone found guilty of corruption has to go to jail”, and that there are currently 1,500 individuals who have been stripped of their ability to work in public service due to corruption-related activities.
Finally, a couple of pictures from some protests that took place today:
The two pictures below were allegedly taken near Miraflores in Caracas, and appear to show Chavistas protesting against the government. They are alleged to be PDVSA employees demanding contracts:
The red sign on the right reads, “Enough betrayals! [We want] a contract now! Who are we? Communal PDV, Communal Gas, PDVSA Communal Gas”
The small demonstration below allegedly took place in La Candelaria neighbourhood of Caracas, where neighbours demanded better security: