Tachira state governor Jose Vielma Mora said yesterday that until the Colombian government outlaws currency exchange establishments along the Venezuela border, the border between the two nations will remain closed.

The Venezuelan government has long maintained that the economic crisis the country is experiencing is the result of a so-called economic war waged against it by foreign and domestic enemies. The currency exchange centres in Colombia play a role in this war, the Venezuelan government argues, because they help to lower the value of the Bolivar and are conducive to corruption and organized crime endeavours.

Referencing a recent Colombian government move to regulate the establishments, Vielma Mora said:

The infamy [is] generated by these currency exchange establishments and Colombian citizens who turn exchanging Bolivares into a banquet. I’m asking the Colombian government to overturn Resolution No. 8, which affects the currency exchange rate and creates corruption, inflation, and feeds narco-paramilitary capitalists along our border.

Vielma Mora pointed out that while the Banco de la Republica de Colombia only recognizes the existence of 12 currency exchange establishments along the Venezuelan border, some 3,000 such locales operate in the region.

Bloomberg: Cabello Positioning Himself for Post-Maduro PSUV

Bloomberg Business published a piece today in which it points out that Diosdado Cabello is in exactly the right place to set himself up as the leader of the PSUV in a hypothetical Maduro-less future. The article points that the deepening economic and social crisis appears to have no end in sight, and that Cabello has been performing “gritty tasks” while Maduro travels the world and speaks from the MIraflores Palace.

The article quotes Diego Moya-Ocampos, a political analyst at IHS Inc., saying:

For now, Cabello has a marriage of convenience with Maduro, in which they understand they need to work together to ensure the continuity of the government (…) Steadily, however, Cabello is positioning himself as the leader in the next presidential elections.

The article points out that Cabello’s long, personal history with Chavez allowed him to amass vast levels of military, business and political power, a fact that has left him in charge of the country’s “most powerful” government faction.

Looking forward to the December 6 elections, Juan Vicente Leon, the head of Datanalisis, said:

A significant defeat in the parliamentary elections without a doubt will divide the ruling party, forcing their internal divisions to the front (…) When this happens, a new leader will come through to challenge the president.

Rodriguez Denounces U.S. Comments on Elections

While speaking to Chilean media yesterday, United States Secretary of State John Kerry spoke briefly on the upcoming December 6 parliamentary elections in Venezuela. Kerry called Venezuela an “imperfect democracy”, and said that the parliamentary elections:

… [will set] the bar to measure what kind of democracy Venezuela is.

Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez blasted Kerr’s comments, calling them “immoral”, and saying through her Twitter account:

Venezuela rejects the unfounded statements made by Secretary @JohnKerry about our homeland.

Rodriguez also said that the United States electoral system had “a lot to learn from the Venezuelan” one, since Rodriguez pointed out that the United States President is not technically directly elected by the people (but rather by an electoral college).

Grenade Attacks Continue Against CICPC

At around 2:30 AM local time, a grey Dodge drove up beside the CICPC offices in Higuerote, Miranda state. An unknown group of assailants lobbed two grenades at the building, neither of which exploded.

This latest incident is the latest in a string involving grenades and CICPC offices around the country.

Below, a picture of one of the dud grenades from last night. El Nacional reports that an officer at the scene identified the object as an MK 2:

National Bolivarian Police Officer Murdered by 20 Home Invaders

A 24-year-old National Bolivarian Police officer named Joserman David Castro Gonzalez was murdered in his own home after at least 20 people broke in and shot him eight times. The murder happened at around 1:00 PM yesterday in El Valle.

Gonzalez’s family said that the assailants killed him without saying a word, and some of whom left the scene on his motorcycle.

El Nacional reports that at least 108 police officers have been murdered in the Greater Caracas region so far in 2015.

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

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