Maduro held a meeting today with state governors and cabinet ministers to discuss the issue of insecurity. However, only PSUV governors were invited to the meeting, excluding all opposition governors.
The news first broke after opposition governors – primarily Henrique Capriles of Miranda – announced that they had not received an official invitation to the meeting. Through Twitter, Capriles said:
There’s supposed to be a meeting to talk about insecurity, we told [Maduro] that we wanted to attend, but that’s as far as things got…
Capriles was referring to the fact that the meeting was announced several days ago, and that at the time, he expressed his desire to attend. On December 30, Capriles tweeted:
We’ll be there [at the meeting] on January 4, because we’ll always fight when it comes to issues like violence, without any kind of prejudice.
Later, Maduro confirmed the fact that the meeting was indeed open only to PSUV governors. Maduro tweeted:
I’m fine-tuning plans and actions for 2015 with the team of Bolivarian governors and ministers today.
Maduro Gives Post-Meeting Talk
After the meeting, Maduro took to the airwaves to discuss several topics.
He announced that he was going to go on an international tour to help “face the new projects in terms of [national] income, due to the fall in oil prices. Maduro said:
I’m on my way to China to carry out this agenda. I will also visit several OPEC countries to continue to make efforts at the highest levels to level-off the market [oil] prices.
Maduro also took the time to criticize the United States, saying:
We’re facing a United States that has the habit of taking over natural resources. They have a habit of destroying OPEC. It’s crazy, pretending to try to control the world. This isn’t a world of slaves. It’s a world of brave men and women, Venezuela among them, full of rebellious men and women.
He also took a jab at the opposition, telling his cabinet to “watch out for the crazies” while on his trip abroad.
In a puzzling tangent, Maduro also said that the only way his government would release “the monster of Ramo Verde” [Leopoldo Lopez] was if the United States first released Oscar Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist currently serving a a 55 year prison sentence in the United States for seditious conspiracy. It’s unclear if Maduro was serious about his suggestion.
Maduro also attempted to rally listeners to work hard in the months ahead, saying:
I’m calling for a renaissance of our homeland. Let’s take advantage of this moment.
Twitter Users Highlight Scarcity
Venezuelan Twitter users have taken to the #AnaquelesVaciosEnVenezuela [#EmptyShelvesInVenezuela] hashtag to document the country’s ongoing scarcity crisis. Below, some pictures found on Twitter by searching the hashtag:
At a Bicentenario supermarket in Maracaibo, Zulia state:
And one in Barquisimeto:
An undisclosed supermarket in Bello Monte, Caracas:
An undisclosed supermarket somewhere in Venezuela:
The pictures below appear to show a noble attempt by supermarket staff to give the illusion of packed shelves by stocking them with the same product:
A carniceria [deli counter] stocked to the brim with vegetables and other non-meat products:
The hashtag is currently trending at #1 in Venezuela
At Least 13 Hurt in Airport Traffic Accident
A pick-up truck drove into a terminal at the Josefa Camejo International Airport in Punto Fijo, Falcon state today, injuring at lest 13 people.
According to local media, the driver of the truck lost control of the vehicle, panicked, and pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, causing the accident.
Below, pictures of the event: