Opposition mayor Enrique Franceschi of the Rio Caribe municipality in Sucre state was stabbed to death at his home today. The Public Ministry released a statement, saying:
According to preliminary information, Franceschi’s lifeless body was found in the morning hours of this Sunday, July 20 with multiple stab wounds inside his home in Rio Caribe.
This was the scene outside Franceschi’s home earlier today:
While the culprit(s) and motive are still unknown, opposition figures were quick to comment on the loss of their political comrade. Henrique Capriles said:
On behalf of all the mayors of Venezuela, our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Enrique Franceschi. It is a regrettable tragedy.
Ramon Aveledo, the executive secretary of the MUD, drew a connection between Franceschi’s murder and the severe insecurity Venezuelans live every day:
This crime demonstrates one again the state of helplessness Venezuelans [live] and the levels at which insecurity finds itself in this country, which despite the innumerable – very well publicized – but failed security plans the government has attempted, there is no indication that [crime rates] are coming down.
The Asociacion de Alcaldes por Venezuela [Association of Mayors For Venezuela] also released a statement, urging the Public Ministry to get to the bottom of the murder:
We ask the authorities at the Public Ministry and other justice bodies that they go to every length to ensure that Enrique’s murder does not go unsolved, something that has happened to so many other Venezuelans.
PSUV Annual Congress Underway
Party elections took place today at the PSUV annual congress, where representatives from all regions of the country would be chosen to speak for their constituents within the PSUV. Maduro took the opportunity to talk about the importance of the congress, saying:
The foundation of democracy is an educated people who don’t let others choose for them (…) the revolutionary chavista people are choosing their congressional delegates (…) Let us keep building the largest, most democratic party!
President of China Visits Venezuela
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Venezuela today. He was welcomed by Maduro at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia:
The highway linking Maiquetia and Caracas, along which the two heads of state would travel later in the day, was adorned with the image of the Chinese head of state: