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A team of Harvard University professors said that Venezuela is likely to default on its foreign debt in the short term.

Economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff made the prediction after Venezuela’s bonds fell to a three-year low yesterday. Venezuelan debt is the riskiest in the world, as is the cost of insuring its bonds against default. Both facts signal potential trouble for the country’s foreign debt.

The comments came in an article co-authored by the two professors, in which they claim that the Venezuelan economy is “so badly mismanaged” that the inflation-adjusted per capita GDP of the country today is 2% lower than it was in 1970, even though oil prices have increased ten times since then.

The authors argue that it is evident that the Venezuelan government has already defaulted on its residents in a number of ways, and that the probably that it will default on external debt is nearly 100%.

Lopez Trial Continues

Leopoldo Lopez’s trial continued today, starting at about 1:00 PM.

Lilian Tintori, Lopez’s wife, Tweeted that she was personally appealing to the presiding judge, Susana Barreiros, to release Lopez based on a report by a United Nations body that called his detention “arbitrary” and called for his immediate release.

Tintori’s request was evidently denied, as the day’s proceedings ended at approximately 6:00 PM, and were scheduled to reconvene on October 28.

Notwithstanding, Voluntad Popular has tweeted that it believes that the judge might formally address the United Nations report tomorrow.

Video Shows Manfredir Mayhem

A video uploaded by La Patilla shows the chaos that tore through the Manfredir building in Quinta Crespo last week when CICPC officers raided it, resulting in the deaths of five people.

The video, seen below, is followed by my translation:

Reporter: We can now see…
Woman in Red: 
Cameras! … bring the cameras. They took my son!
Reporter: What’s your son’s name?
Woman in Red: Kevin, Kevin… uh… Dilan Acosta.
Reporter:  Why did they take him?
Woman in Red: To investigate him. He doesn’t have anything to do with this.
Reporter: But why? What’s the point?
Woman in Red: No, no! My son in Las Mercedes, in Terrazas. I’m his mom.
Reporter: Who took him?
Woman in Red: The PTJ [replaced in 2001 by the CICPC].
Reporter: Ok, what time did they arrive in here?
Woman in Red: The morning. Since the morning.
Reporter: So they broke down the doors, and then tell us what happened.
Woman in Red: Yes, they broke down all the doors and they came in because the tupamaros [a common name for the colectivos armados] were here. Yes, the tupamaros. We’re people who don’t have anywhere to live… invaders.
Reporter: Ok, and why was your son detained?
Woman in Red: No, they say they’re investigating him. Dilan Acosta… el presto sus servicios [literally, “he lent his services”, but I’m not sure what exactly she means], he works in Terrazas Las Mercedes.
Reporter: Do you have any information on any of the other people they detained?
Woman in Red: Yes, lots of them. Almost all of the boys from here.
Reporter: Did they break down any doors here? Can I come in and see?

Woman signals to reporter to follow her into an open room.

Woman in Yellow: Look what they did to my room. My room was so neat. I live here with my husband. I’m the one who cleans the building. My husband is the one who takes out the trash. We’re not members of a colectivo, we’re not anything, and look what they did to my room. Because they’re abusing their power.
Woman Off-Screen: They steal, they steal.
Woman in Yellow: And on top of that, they arrested him. This can’t be happening.
Reporter: What’s your son’s name, ma’am?
Woman in Yellow: My husband! It was my husband. Luis Enrique Castillo. They arrested him.
Reporter: Why did they arrest him?
Woman in Yellow: We don’t know. Because they took me out of here. I had to take my daughters out of here. One is eleven, and the other is six. This is an injustice!
Reporter: Ok. Can you please show me what else they did here?
Woman in Yellow: Well, this is my room here, so I don’t know. But there are others. Look what they did there, and how they flipped this over. They destroyed this place.
Reporter: We can see how the doors and the door frames have been broken by force. At this point, it is not known why officers from the CICPC have raided this building today, October 7th. These are exclusive images.
Woman in Yellow: … they have to respect the children!
Reporter: We continue to observe how the CICPC left some of the… .

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