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Jesus “Chuo” Torrealba, the executive secretary of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD)opposition bloc, gave a speech today before supporters, and spoke on the future of the anti-government coalition. Torrealba called on supporters to carry out more hands-on political work in poor neighbourhoods throughout the country and to stop worrying about politicking.

Torrealba also said that “unhappy chavistas” – former PSUV supporters disillusioned with Maduro’s tentue – “are our brothers”, and that they should be extended a friendly hand.

On the issue of winning elections, Torrealba said that the opposition needs to “dejar el ayayay” [essentially, “stop whining”], and continued by saying:

Winning is a challenge, but it’s not the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is that we’re going to receive Chavez’s legacy, the country destroyed, and the economy on the ground… the challenge is to win, guarantee governability and rebuild Venezuela.

MUD Asks U.N. Secretary General for Help

MUD lawyers have asked U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to formally request that the Venezuelan government release Leopoldo Lopez from prison. The request was signed by Jesus Torrealaba, who argues that the Venezuelan government has officially become a human rights violator.

Washington Post Covers Scarcity, Ailing Economy

An article appeared in the Washington Post last week covering the parallel market that has sprung in streets all over Venezuela as a result of the scarcity crisis. The article can be found here,

More specifically, the article talks about the Petare market, where – despite the government crackdown on street vendors – business carries on more or less as usual.

One of the people interviewed for the article is a truck driver named Pedro Zambrano. Zambrano delivers cheese from Tachira state to Caracas every week, and says that about half of his profit is spent bribing inspectors and police along the way. When asked about the scarcity crisis, Zambrano said:

Until they fix the corruption in the National Guard, nothing will change.

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