Lilian Tintori spoke to the press today regarding the hunger strike her husband and Daniel Ceballos are currently participating in. Tintori said that Ceballos was entering the fourth day of his hunger strike, while her husband, Leopoldo Lopez, had begun his second. She also explained that the two men were unwavering in their demands, which she repeated to reporters:
[The announcement] of parliamentary elections and international observers, the release of political prisoners and an end to repression in the country.
Worryingly, Tintori said that neither men had received any kind of medical attention since the start of their hunger strike. She said that she was willing to forego her conjugal visit with Lopez so that the former presidents of Bolivia and Colombia – Jorge Ramirez and Andres Pastrana, respectively – could be given access to the men in order to ascertain their condition.
Earlier today, Raul Emilio Baduel and Alexander Tirado – who were both arrested in March 2014 for protesting in Maracay – announced today through their families that they joining Ceballos and Lopez in their hunger strike. Baduel is a former Minister of Defence and is currently serving a seven year sentence for corruption, a conviction he says was politically motivated
Central Power Station Barely Operational
El Nacional is reporting today that the Planta Centro electrical substation, located in Carabobo state, is producing 300 megawatts out of the 2,000 it needs to meet the demand for the states which it services. The plant is supposed to provide enough power to meet the needs of six states: Carabobo, Falcon, Aragua, Yaracuy, Guarico and Cojedes.
Franklin Lopez, the head of the Carabobo state Colegio de Ingenieros [College of Engineers] said that the plant is not generating enough electricity due to the fact that only one of its five generators is operational. The organization issued a warning in 2008 to the state government warning that the plant could suffer generator failures if a number of maintenance measures were not taken, but the warnings went unheeded.
Lopez said that out of the five generating units, Unit 2 has been out of commission since 2009 due to a fire; Unit 3 does not work because part of its foundation is unstable; Unit 4 is operational, but does not generate electricity due to a lack of water.
The details regarding the Planta Centro came to light today during a meeting of the National College of Engineers in Carabobo. During the same meeting, Feliz Oropeza, the president of the Colegio Nacional de Ingenieros, said that 70% of the roads in the state have not received any maintenance in 20 years.
Maduro Shuffles Cabinet
Maduro announced a number of cabinet changes today through his Twitter account. The changes are:
- Chief of the Capital District: Ernesto Villegas is replaced by Juancarlos Dugarte.
- Ministry of Communes and Social Movements: Elias Jaua is replaced by Rosangela Orozco.
- Superintendency of Fair Prices: Andres Eloy is replaced by Cesar Ferrer.
The Minister of Transport, Haiman El Troudi, is the new Vice-President of Territorial Socialism, but Maduro did not specify who would replace him at his post.
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