Ernesto Villegas, the mayor of the Capital District (Caracas), made some comments today regarding the continued decline in oil prices and the future of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. Villegas insinuated that the United States and the Venezuelan opposition were responsible for the recent fall in oil prices, saying:

If the embittered right wing and the gringos [the United States] bet that by lowering oil prices they are going to stop the Bolivarian revolution, se caeran ambos de una mata de coco [literally, “the will both fall off a coconut tree”, meaning, “they’re both wrong”].

It is generally understood that OPEC (the cartel which controls the world’s oil, of which Venezuela is a member) refusal to cut production is entirely responsible for the plummeting oil prices.

Villegas pointed out that in 1999, Venezuelan oil was selling for around $7 a barrel, and assured supporters that no harm would come to the PSUV or Venezuela if oil fell to the same price:

If it falls again to $7, this revolution would never fall. In fact, it would become stronger.

Finally, Villegas said that regardless of oil prices, Venezuelans would “celebrate Christmas with the knowledge that we will defeat the conspiracy”, and ended by saying:

Our people are undergoing a revolution, and this revolution will continue in 2015 and 2016… and in all the years to come, because this revolution came to stay. 

Venezuela Signs School, Energy Deals with China

The Venezuelan government signed a government with China today to build 1,500 schools throughout Venezuela. Vice-president of Social Matters, Hector Rodriguez, said:

[The agreement] had been worked out previously (…) we’re looking for industries and companies that are willing to build our designs, because we are not buying a school designed for the characteristics of another country. What we’re doing is asking, “Who is willing to build a [school] that looks like us, and that is the product of a national discourse?”

Rodriguez said that even though Venezuela has enough classrooms to adequately serve all students, the government is trying to “balance the quality of infrastructure” by building the new schools.

Also today, Maduro announced that he had signed an agreement with China, this time to co-operate with the production, maintenance, and distribution of equipment and factories needed to make light bulbs. Maduro said:

Let’s not leave anything only written in paper. We have the resources, the money, and you [the Chinese] have the technology (…) let’s optimize investments, both commercial and in terms of installations in Venezuela.

Caracas Records at Least 61 Murders in 3 Days

In what appears to be the most violent weekend in Caracas so far, at least 61 people were murdered in Caracas between Friday and Sunday night. The victims included two police officers, increasing the number of police killed in Caracas this year to 121Among the victims:

  • Leonardo Echarri (23) National Bolivarian Police officer. Murdered while patrolling the Los Eucaliptus neighbourhood. His patrol car came under fire from unknown assailants.
  • Deivis Granados (30) and Henry Briceño (20): Killed in a double homicide, presumably on their way to a party on Sunday night in Carapita.

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