Still in China, Maduro made several announcements today regarding the fruits of his trip to the country.
He began by asserting that Venezuela “is not a bankrupt country”, and added:
Sometimes, there’s a global conspiracy to make it seem to the world that Venezuela is a bankrupt country. Venezuela has economic power, a productive people, and the world’s largest oil reserves.
Paradoxically, he also said that he was confident that his government would be able to secure the necessary funds to “guarantee the functioning” of the economy, which is currently in recession and suffering from an inflation rate of approximately 64%.
Maduro also announced that China would invest 20 billion dollars in Venezuela, although he did not provide any details about how exactly the money would be spent or when. He said:
At this moment, we can say that we’ve collected more than 20 billion dollars in investment during the course of this trip. They are earmarked for a series of social, economic and oil projects.
The president also spoke about what he believes to be the need to “maintain unity” within OPEC to ensure that “order is re-established” and oil price can once again to the ~$100 range, which is where Venezuela believes they should be.
Cabello: Opposition is “Desperate”
PSUV vice-president and President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello made some scathing remarks about the Venezuelan opposition today. Cabello said:
Yesterday the right wing were desperate, they went insane, imagining looting sprees [and saying that] people were desperate [for food and basic necessities].
Cabello appeared to be referencing a social media campaign during which Venezuelans took pictures of empty supermarket shelves and shared them on Twitter.
They [the opposition] will never again govern this country. Not in years, not in centuries. That’s where desperation will take them.
Vielma Mora: Tachira “Ready” for Guarimbas
Tachira state governor Jose Vielma Mora spoke to the media today about the possible re-emergence of gurimbas (barricades) in the state of Tachira He specifically addressed an attempt by a group of protesters to erect a barricade on a road near San Cristobal this week.
Vielma Mora explained that last Tuesday, a group of about 40 protesters tried to put up a guarimba near San Cristobal yesterday, but that the attempt was thwarted by security forces. He stressed:
The guarimba will not fix the economic problems. The guarimba will only close and impede supply lines. They create chaos.
Vielma Mora’s comments come 11 months after Tachira became the epicentre of a national protest movement that saw guarimbas erected throughout Venezuela’s major cities.