National Assembly deputy-elect Delsa Solorzano told El Nacional in an interview that the MUD-controlled National Assembly – which will begin its first session on January 5 – would thoroughly investigate cases allegations of corruption and drug trafficking leveled against high-ranking PDVSA and PSUV officials. Solorzano told the newspaper:
We will bring all of these cases to the National Assembly without exception.
In particular, Solorzano referenced the fact that at least $20 billion were embezzled through CADIVI, the currency exchange program at the time, over a period of a year. So far, no one has been held responsible for fact. Solorzano said:
$25 were stolen through CADIVI in a year. I filed the complaint at the [Public Ministry] and they never gave me an answer. I filed a complaint at the Comptroller’s office and they said that they knew who was responsible, but that they couldn’t do anything about it because that was the Public Ministry’s job. When we went back to the Public Ministry, the Attorney General told me: ‘I won’t investigate this because I wasn’t the Attorney General when it happened’. That can’t be the answer from an Attorney General.
On the issue of drug trafficking, Solorzano said that the National Assembly would have to investigate why individuals carrying diplomatic passports have been arrested for trafficking drugs, as was the case with First Lady Cilia Flores’ nephews currently awaiting trial in New York.
Solorzano also stressed the importance of passing an amnesty law to secure the release of all political prisoners in the country, saying that it was impossible for reconciliation between the PSUV and the rest of the country to occur so long as political dissenters sat in jail.
Pepsi Workers Freed After Arrest for Sabotage
Yesterday, Polar announced that “several workers” arrested on Friday by government officials at its Caucagua plant in Miranda state were released yesterday. The individuals worked for Polar’s Pepsi operations in the country, and were arrested under suspicion that they were sabotaging operations at the plant by purposely not producing as much Pepsi as possible.
Polar said that the reason for the slowdown in production has to do with a severe shortage of raw materials needed to produce the drink.
Macri Calls Out Venezuela at Mercosur Meeting
Argentinian President Mauricio Macri used some of the time allotted to him at the Mercosur summit in Asuncion, Paraguay to call in the Venezuelan government to free all political prisoners in the country. Macri said:
I want to explicitly ask before the heads of state from Mercosur for the prompt release of political prisoners in Venezuela, because there can be no room for political persecution for ideological reasons or for thinking differently [among member nations].
Macri also said that the Argentinian government was “pleased” to see the results of the December 6 parliamentary elections.
Maduro was not able to attend the summit for “personal reasons”, so Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez attended instead.
Rodriguez Responds to Macri
When it was her turn to speak, Rodriguez took to the offensive against Macri, accusing him of meddling and supporting violence. Rodriguez said:
You’re meddling in Venezuelan affairs (…) you’re defending this type of protest, this political violence.
Rodriguez also said that she “understands” why Macri would call for the release of “violent people” in Venezuela, since she believes his goal is to do the same in Argentina with prisoners from that country’s dictatorial era.
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