Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles criticized the secrecy surrounding the dismissal of Miguel Rodriguez Torres as Minister of Justice, the Interior and Peace following a violent raid on a colectivo headquarters earlier this month that left five people dead. Maduro unceremoniously fired Rodriguez Torres from his post during an event in Caracas this past Friday.
The press release reads in part:
Nicolas [Maduro], in every cadena in which he spoke on radio and television, worshipped and spoke highly of the work that the minister [Rodriguez Torres] was doing. They almost thanked God for enlightening them enough to hire this man whom they considered a genius, and as it turns out on Friday they fired him and no one knows why. Why was he removed from his post if he was doing such a perfect job according to the government? Do they really think that naming the Minister of Defence [as Minister of the Justice and Peace] will solve the insecurity problem? How many promises have been made to resolve this issue? All this government has done is play musical chairs that don’t result in real solutions for the problems of Venezuelans.
So far, the government has declined to comment on either the Rodriguez Torres’ dismissal or that of the entire CICPC leadership following the October 7 incident involving a colectivo in Caracas.
Rice Prices Rise 163%
The price of rice is set to increase by 163% compared to its current price, so says the Superintendencia para la Defensa de los Derechos Socioeconomios (SUNDDE), the government body responsible for setting prices on consumer goods.
The old and new prices are listed below:
- White Rice, Type I (1-10% broken grains): Old Price – Bs. 9.5/kg New Price – Bs. 25/kg
- White Rice, Type II (10-18% broken grains): Old Price – Bs. 8.82/kb New Price – Bs. 23.23/kg
- White Rice, Type III: Old Price – Bs. 8.38/kg New Price – Bs. 22/kg
Street Vendors Banned from Selling Basic Necessities
The national government put a law into effect today which bans street vendors from selling basic necessities and medicine. The law came into effect through the Gaceta Oficial No. 40.526.
Though the letter of the law says that the items in question cannot be sold through “informal businesses”, the measure is aimed at stopping the practice of street vendors – called buhoneros – from selling their wares on streets. The government believes that this kind of “informal” economy is responsible for the country’s scarcity crisis, since it is believed that products are siphoned off the supply chain at various points to end up in the hand of the vendors, who sell the items at many times their government-dictated value.
The law specifically prohibits the sale of cooking oil, toothpaste, diapers, potatoes, tomatoes, rice, corn, school supplies, cement, and bricks, amongst others.
Identity of Woman Arrested in Brazil Discovered
The identity of a government employee currently facing charges of weapons smuggling in Brazil has been revealed. The woman’s name is Jeanette Del Carmen Anza, and she has been an employee of Minister of Communes and Social Movements Elias Jaua for the past twelve years, according to a website which claims to have read Anza’s police report.
Brazilian authorities had reported earlier that a woman had been arrested aboard a PDVSA private jet in Sao Paolo, and that a revolver and ammunition had been found among the woman’s possessions. Authorities at the time gave no details other than confirming that the woman was an employee of a high ranking Venezuelan government official.
According to Konzapata.com, the weapon actually belonged to Jaua, who had apparently asked her to bring it to him via private jet to Sao Paolo. Allegedly, Anza told the police that she had looked for the weapon in Caracas but was unable to find it, and was unaware that it was actually inside a piece of luggage.
The image below appear to be the police report in question, and has been circulating Twitter since the news broke today: