Today is the Dia Nacional de la Milicia Bolivariana [National Bolivarian Militia Day] in Caracas, and Maduro oversaw festivities at the National Pantheon in Caracas. The day is meant to celebrate the country’s militia organizations, which Maduro praised in a speech today. He described the organizations as:
The full expression of the civil-military union to defend our right to peace, our sovereignty, and to defend the rights of the people.
Maduro also said that the militia is a “solid” component of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, and argued that militias played an integral role in returning Chavez to power after a coup d’etat temporarily ousted him from power on April 12, 2002.
During his speech at the National Pantheon, Maduro called on the country’s militias to continue to stand guard against the country’s enemies, namely the United States.
Maduro pointed to a Washington Post editorial published today which calls for political intervention in Venezuela, calling it evidence of the United States’ “desperate interventionism”.
Maduro suggested that the White House was secretly behind the editorial, saying:
What reasons does this decadent and immoral empire have for having this newspaper – which has always served as the proponent of coup d’etats – to call for intervention in Venezuela today?
Below, pictures from today’s event commemorating the country’s militia:
Washington Post: Venezuela “In Desperate Need” of Political Intervention
An opinion piece published by the Washington Post today argues that the rapidly deteriorating situation in Venezuela, along with the national government’s inability to solve it, requires “political intervention by its neighbours”.
The article points to the fact that the medical and food scarcity crisis shows no sign of subsiding and that the government has proven wholly incapable of providing even the most basic infrastructure needs to its citizens that the Maduro government is not capable of ruling the country effectively. What is worse, the article argues, is the fact that Maduro appears bent on waging a “scorched earth” war against the National Assembly, blocking each one of its legislative proposals through a supreme court that is “illegally packed” with PSUV judges.
The article calls for regional organizations like the Organization of American States to show leadership by sanctioning the Maduro regime for its continued human rights abuses, and that “an explosion is probably not far off”.
Former PSUV Minister Admits $60 Billion Went “Missing”
Former Minister of Electrical Energy Hector Navarro testified before the National Assembly today on the state of the country’s electrical system, saying that anywhere between $20-$60 billion “went missing” in 2012 and 2013.
Navarro said that he was one of a number of officials who brought attention to the apparent corruption, which saw shell companies embezzle billions through the government’s currency exchange system, which was called CADIVI at the time.
Maduro: Opposition Politicians are “Autistic”
Speaking on his weekly television show En Contacto Con Maduro last night, Maduro criticized opposition politicians for allegedly failing to take the initiative to help solve the country’s problems, and called them “autistic”. Maduro said:
Do you think that any right-wing [opposition] governor has taken the initiative to produce anything, to help with the distribution of products, to help some of the people in [food] lines? (…) Do you think that a single right-wing mayor has taken a measure – any measure – to help the country’s economy recover?
No. They are autistic. They don’t want to see, hear nor speak. They’re simply divorced from the country. All they do is conspire, and create more and more difficulties and unrest.
IMF: 2017 Inflation Rate Will Hit 1600%
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released an economic forecast today in which it predicts that the Venezuelan economy will collapse a further 8% this year, having shrunk 5.7% in 2015. The IMF also predicted that the Venezuelan economy will contract by 4.5% in 2017.
The IMF report also predicts that the 2016 inflation rate in the country will be 500%, while that for 2017 will be a staggering 1,600%. The average inflation rate for Latin America and the Caribbean will be 5.7% and 4.3% in 2016 and 2017 respectively according to the report.
Official figures from the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) put the inflation rate in Venezuela at 141.5%. The national government no longer requires the BCV to publish economic data, meaning that official numbers on inflation and other rates is extremely rare and unreliable.
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