Maduro spoke last at an event marking the launch of the Consejo de Economia Productiva [Productive Economy Council], a special commission created to tackle the country’s economic crisis. Maduro said that he hopes that the consejo will result in the “stabilization and improvement” of what he called “a wound” in Venezuelan life: the hours-long line ups at supermarkets around the country.
He said that the economic crisis threatened to destabilize the country, and that his government had “made hard maneuvers” to steer the country through the difficulty.
Although he had promised to reveal details about the nature and scope of the consejo, Maduro spoke vaguely when describing the initiative, saying:
We are going to establish a new policy of public purchases with a specialized central plan that will allow us to [continue] the great investments that the Venezuelan state makes at every level in order to favour internal national production.
Maduro also said that the country had enough bolivares and US dollars to finance its activities through 2016, and that “looking at every project with a magnifying glass” in 2015 has allowed the government to start 2016 on good footing.
Venezuela Paid $27 Billion in Debt over 16 Months
The Venezuelan government has dished out $27 billion over the past sixteen months in debt obligations to foreign lenders. Maduro said that he was proud to make the announcement, considering it proof that Venezuela is an ethical borrower, and said that the country will “continue to honour” its debt obligations.
Maduro looked ahead at the country’s future financial deadlines, and alluded to continued lobbying activity at OPEC:
The time has come to take control of the oil market, of setting new goals for its recuperation and stability. If it can be done, we have a strategy to do it.
Thieves Target University Cafeteria
La Verdad reported today that thieves emptied one of the cafeterias at the Universidad del Zulia of its contents in a raid that allegedly happened two weeks ago.
According to the newspaper, the thieves made out with an impressive catch:
The delinquents took everything they could: air conditions units, the copper tubing, filters, an industrial scale, two industrial fans, four air compressors, two slicers, more than four thousand new pieces of cutlery, [all of the] water pipes, and all of the food that was being kept in storage: 100 sacks of rice, 90 sacks of beans, 20 sacks of pasta, 27 sacks of sugar and seven kegs of cooking oil.
The four armed thieves entered the cafeteria through the roof and subdued a security guard before proceeding to empty the building.
The news made the newspaper today because an inventory report commissioned to take stock of what was stolen was completed and released recently.
So far, no one has been detained over the incident. The cafeteria has been closed, and the students who would ordinarily eat there are being directed to the cafeteria at the university’s engineering wing.
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