Maria Corina Machado and her Vente Venezuela party formally yielded today to the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica‘s decision to have Freddy Guevara run for Machado in Miranda’s Circuit 2, days after Machado defied MUD leadership by choosing her own substitute.
Earlier this week, Machado named Isabel Pereira as her substitute to run in the December 6 elections. Machado was disqualified from holding officer last month by the Comptroller General. Shortly after Machado’s announcement regarding Pereira’s run, the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica issued a statement saying that only the organization was able to appoint substitutes, and named Freddy Guevara as the candidate in Miranda’s Circuit 2.
In a press conference in Caracas earlier today, Machado remained as firm in her position as circumstances would allow, and called the MUD‘s stance an “injustice”:
We’ve decided that we won’t press Isabel Pereira’s candidature outside the MUD. It’s not because we’re giving up or giving in to threats; it’s out of loyalty to Venezuela. In the face of this injustice by the MUD, Isabel and I will continue to do what we’re passionate for, which is travelling around Venezuela, and we’re going to do it together. We invite all of the Venezuelan people to come with us.
Machado also called the MUD‘s decision to enforce Guevara’s claim to Miranda’s Circuit 2 as “a regrettable error”, although she stressed that she would rather accept the decision than engage in secret “maneuvers”.
Pereira also spoke at the press conference, and threw her support behind MUD for the sake of unity. Pereira said:
Both Maria Corina and I began a project in Circuit 2 for the sake of the Unidad.
Osorio: Venezuela Produces All the Food It Needs
Despite a string of supermarket looting sprees over the last few weeks, Minister of Nutrition Carlos Osorio said that Venezuela produces all the food that it needs to feed itself, but that “mobsters” are sabotaging production and distribution efforts.
Osorio made the comments at a warehouse in Catia, Caracas earlier today. The warehouse was stocked with an illegal hoard of 67 tonnes of baking ingredients. After announcing that the ingredients would be dispatched to supermarkets and bakeries around the country immediately, Osorio said:
This is why some bakeries don’t have enough ingredients for baking bread. It’s not because there’s no wheat in Venezuela, which is what some people who want you to think that Venezuela is poor, that it has no food, say. No. Venezuela has all of the raw materials it needs to produce every basic foodstuff.
What we have is a war against a network of mobsters and distribution networks that go around distributing products informally, who deviate products through informal markets, because they want to turn people to speculation, smuggling, price gouging, and who want to subdue the people one way or another.
People’s Defender: San Felix Looting Was Part of “Media Campaign”
Tarek William Saab, the People’s Defender, called last week’s looting in San Felix part of a “media campaign” orchestrated by government detractors who want to create a “state of anarchy” in the country.
Looters Attack La Guajira Town Hall
A crowd of residents from the Guajira municipality in a remote corner of the country’s western border with Colombia looted four food transport trucks and set fire to the town’s administrative hall on Tuesday evening.
A journalist named Pedro Soscun was on the scene, and reported that Wayuu natives local to the area desperate over authorities’ inability to halt the flow of contraband food into Colombia attacked confronted National Guard troops in the area.
El Universal reports that four food transport trucks carrying rice, sugar, cooking oil and corn flour attempted to cross the border into Colombia near the Venezuelan town of Sinamaica on Tuesday at around 8:00 PM. Indignant residents headed to the town hall to alert authorities of the event, but were met with indifference. It was then that crowd became violent, and at least part of the building was engulfed in flames.
A municipal official told the Panorama newspaper that the attackers were actually bachaqueros, a term used to describe people who sell contraband items on the street at a high premium. The same official said that the trucks that were looted had actually already been seized by the National Guard, and that the bachaqueros attacked them only to recover the merchandise they had counted on smuggling.
Below, some pictures showing the damage at the Sinamaica town hall:
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