El Nacional reports today that Twitter users have been uploading pictures and videos of long lines at supermarkets in Merida and Tachira states.

According to the newspaper, a journalist named Leonardo Leon reported that security officers at the Glorias Patrias Bicentenario market in Merida attempted to limit the number of people in line, which caused those excluded to react angrily.

Below, a video uploaded on YouTube today showing hundreds of people lining up at a Yuan Lin supermarket in Merida:

Below, some pictures of the same line:

Twitter user AgrioDulceCcs (@SweetSourCcs) uploaded these pictures today of the PDVAL in Core 4, Barquisimeto:

Maduro’s Letter to Ban Ki-Moon

Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez has formally submitted a letter written by Maduro to United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-Moon. In the letter, Maduro calls for the United Nation’s support in Venezuela’s dispute with Guyana over the Essequibo region, which both countries claim as their own.

In the letter, Maduro reminds the Secretary General of his ability to appoint an arbitrator who would help Venezuela and Guyana reach a resolution to the issue, and asks him to begin the process of appointing one.

Below, my translation of the letter:

Caracas, July 9 2015
Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General of the United Nations
New York .-

I have the honour of addressing you in accordance with the goals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and International Public Law, and rescuing the supreme values of peace and humanity, with the objective of calling your attention to the matter of the effective fulfillment of the Geneva Agreement of February 17 1966, signed and ratified by the governments of the Republic of Venezuela, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the government of British Guyana, today Cooperative Republic of Guyana, to resolve the territorial controversy [that arose] as a consequence of the Venezuelan contestation to the arbitrary decree of 1899 as null and void (Article I of the Geneva Agreement).

In this Agreement, the parties recognized that the ongoing territorial controversy between Venezuela and Guyana must be resolved in a cordial manner that both parties find acceptable (Preamble to the Agreement).

With this public knowledge, the new government of Guyana has ignored – when it hasn’t disavowed – the Geneva Agreement of 1966, displaying a stubborn and ambivalent attitude, and committing several serious and grave offences against my country and my people; as such, as appeal to your office to initiative the process of assigning a Buen Oficiante [literally, “Good Officer”; I’m translating this term as “arbitrator”].

Given that the selection of an arbitrator is an adequate manner by which to further the peaceful resolution of this territorial controversy, in accordance with Article IV.2 of the Geneva Agreement of 1966, starting in 1987, the Parties made this request, giving the title of arbitrator to Oliver Jackman until 2009, when – due to his death – they presented a new joint request. In 2010, the Secretary General appointed Professor Norman Girvan as its Personal Representative, who worked towards a solution until his unfortunate death in 2014. This circumstance left an empty spot that has not been filled, despite Venezuela’s insistence.

At the moment, given the fact that the method [of using] arbitrators has not been exhausted, we now ask teh Secretary General of the United Nations to exercise the charge recognized by the Parties to the Geneva Agreement and name a new arbitrator, including the possibility of historic investigation as a way of helping [the arbitrator] exercise his duties and with the negotiation to which we strive through this peaceful and acceptable agreement, which is the point of the Geneva Agreement.

Venezuela is sure that the arbitrator must have, as did the previous ones, great ethical attributes, a deep academic specialization, and with a knowledge of the culture and history in which this region lives, which will contribute to negotiation process between to the two countries so that it may advance towards a peaceful solution, as Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Geneva Agreement of 1966 set out.

I must reiterate that when the Cooperative Republic of Guyana gained its independence, Venezuela, when it recognized the new state on May 26 1966, expressed the following reservations;

“… this does not imply resignation or a diminishing our territorial claims, nor does it affect in any way the right to sovereignty that flow from the claim engendered by Venezuelan’s contestation of the arbitrary Paris Decree of 1899 on the border between Venezuela and British Guyana, which is null and void… as a consequence, the territory of Guyana Esequiba over which Venezuela claims territorial sovereignty is the eastern border with the new State of Guayana through the Essequibo River, from its source to its mouth at the Atlantic Ocean…”

As Head of State, I see myself obligated to call your attention in the name of Venezuela’s rights to Guyana’s behaviour, which pretends to proclaim in a unilateral manner and without notification or consultation over large swaths of the territory in question, both land and maritime, in spite of Venezuela’s historic claim.

However, despite these actions that are so clearly contrary to the Geneva Agreement of 1966 and to international law, Venezuela maintains that this Treaty constitutes the ideal way forward to revolve this issue over a large part of our territory of which we were stripped fraudulently through the arbitrary Agreement of 1899, the complaint against is precisely the origin of the Geneva Agreement of 1966.

As a consequence, pursuant to the historical legacy of the Liberator Simon Bolivar, and adhering to diplomacy, peace, cooperation, integration and the union of peoples – which are standards of Venezuela – I respectfully ask you in your capacity as Secretary General that, in accordance to the powers granted to you in Article IV.2 of the Geneva Agreement, you begin the process to designate an arbitrator with the goal of advancing, in compliance with said Agreement, bilateral negotiations for the practical resolution of the controversy in question.

Secretary General, the construction of a world in peace and justice is based on the consolidation of a world system of respect to sovereignty and equality among states. Our country is a firm defender of these principles. We are sure that by working together we will be able to continue to consolidate a more just world system. I once again extend my greetings.

Nicolas Maduro Moros

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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