A Caracas court ordered Antonio Ledezma’s transfer from the Ramo Verde military prison to a hospital last night so that he might receive medial care for an inguinal hernia. Mitzy Ledezma, Antonio’s wife, confirmed the news yesterday, saying that her husband was removed from the prison by his doctor and two SEBIN agents.
Ledezma’s lawyer, Omar Estacio, announced early today that his client was at the San Roman urological centre, and that he was expecting to undergo tests later today in preparation for a surgical procedure. Ledezma, who was treated for an inguinal hernia last year, had been in a tremendous amount of pain over the last few days, prompting the move.
Estacio also said that after the surgery, Ledezma will be allowed serve part of his pre-trial detention under house arrest to allow him to recuperate in comfort.
Ledezma has been in prison since February 19 pending his trial. He is accused of conspiracy and associating for the purposes of committing a crime.
Ledezma’s wife expects that her husband will undergo an operation within the next 48 hours.
PDVSA: 2014 Earnings Drop 4.4%
PDVSA, the state-owned oil company, announced today that it’s 2014 earnings had dropped 4.4% as a result of the fall in oil prices that began in the second half of the year. PDVSA posted earnings of $128.439 billion in 2014, down from $134.326 billion in 2013. The company also said that it sold 7.6% less oil in 2014 than it did in 2014.
Reuters has posted a calculator on which you can plug in your own estimates of how much money was deducted from the earnings, which gives you the company’s revenue for the year. Since PDVSA has not released exact revenue figures, Reuters estimates that a $14.55 billion oil deal with China, along with a similar deal with the Caribbean region worth $4.13 billion, means that PDVSA subsidized/gave away somewhere around $24.21 billion in oil revenues last year.
The drop means that while PDVSA made a profit of $15.835 in 2013, that of 2014 was $9.074 billion.
AG: 1,711 Arrested for “Destabilizing the Economy”
Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz announced that since January, 1,711 individuals have been arrested for “destabilizing the economy”. Diaz made the comments during her radio program, Justicia y Valores. Diaz explained that the individuals had been detained mostly for hoarding and smuggling food.
Diaz said that her office had provided additional resources to the General-Director Against Organized Crime, Yurima Gil Trias and her team:
We’ve decided to strengthen the actions of this team of professional from the Public Minister, and that’s why 12 experts have joined them in order to help them with the project of contributing to the peace of the country.