The Moody’s credit ratings agency warned yesterday that since it considers the Venezuelan government unlikely to undertake much needed economic reforms, hyperinflation is probably already underway.
The statement from the agency pointed out that so far this year, the Banco Central de Venezuela has not published official financial data, making calculation of the figure more difficulty. Through other methods, Moody’s calculated the annualized inflation rate for August to be over 150%, a figure that is consistent with those from other financial firms. For all of 2015, Moody’s calls for an inflation rate in the 200% range.
Tintori Set for UN Visit
Leopoldo Lopez’s wife, Lilian Tintori, is set to visit the United Nations General Assembly next week as part of her campaign to denounce her husband’s “political lynching”. While Tintori provided no details on the exact nature of her visit, she said that she was committed to maintaining her work of raising international awareness about the Leopoldo Lopez case as the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica gears up for the December 6 parliamentary elections.
Lopez was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison two weeks ago. The court that sentenced him is expected to release the judge’s written decision on October 1, at which time Lopez’s defense will launch an immediate appeal of the verdict, says Juan Carlos Gutierrez, one of Lopez’s lawyers. Gutierrez summarized the basis for the appeal:
There was no fire [at the Public Ministry], some youths confessed to throwing rocks and burning CICPC vehicles out of their own will, and the Public Ministry’s witnesses admitted that Lopez’s speeches did not call for violence.
31 Ibero-American Ex-Presidents Denounce Venezuelan Situation
A group of 31 former presidents from across the Ibero-American world have signed a document expressing worry over “the use of the justice system to condemn the leaders of the democratic opposition”.
In the same document, the former presidents also expressed concern over the December 6 parliamentary elections and the states of exception in effect in 23 municipalities across the country, saying:
The suspensions of [constitutional] guarantees currently taking place in Venezuela and the militarization of its border regions cannot allowed to mean the suspension of democracy and the rule of law; more specifically, it cannot create obstacles to the carrying out in a normal fashion of the parliamentary elections set for December 6.
The document also criticizes the Venezuelan government for the “indiscriminate expulsion” of Colombian citizens.
The full list of the 31 former Presidents who signed the document can be found here.
FARC Leader Apparently Flown on PDVSA Airplane to Cuba
The leader of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, a.k.a. “Timochenko”, arrived in Havana, Cuba yesterday for a meeting with Colombian officials as part of the two sides’ peace process.
Yesterday, La Patilla reported that it appears that Echeverri arrived in Cuba aboard a private jet belonging to PDVSA. As evidence, La Patilla pointed to the following clip of Echeverri’s arrival shown on Cuban television:
At around 7 seconds, a group of men – including Echeverri – are seen standing around the airplane that they presumable arrived in. Two letters are briefly visible on the bottom side of the airplane’s left wing: they appear to be “YV”, a registration prefix reserved for airplanes registered in Venezuela.
La Patilla also points out that airplane’s colour scheme in the video matches that of YV 2869, a Beechcraft 1900 airplane owned and registered to PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company. The article posted this picture as evidence:
Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles reacted to the news at an event in Palo Alto, Caracas, saying:
Venezuelans should demand a public explanation. They have to come clean. What was Commander Timochenko travelling in a PDVSA airplane? Where was that airplane coming from? Why did they use a PDVSA airplane?
Capriles pointed out that because the airplane did not travel to Cuba on official state business, it is a bold-faced example of corruption.
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