Torrential downpours caused severe flooding in much of Caracas today, as the city’s dilapidated drainage and sewage system became overwhelmed by the rain waters. The sections of Baruta, Sucre and El Hatillo were particularly hard-hit by the flooding.
Below, some pictures of the floodwaters this morning from around Caracas.
Submerged vehicles in Las Mercedes:
In Palo Verde, the flooding made it nearly impossible to navigate the roads:
A torrential river in Palo Verde:
In the Turumo neighbourhood, flood waters flowed fiercely down a mountain, turning roads into rivers:
In the outskirts of Petare, the water almost completely covered vehicles:
Caracas mayor Jorge Rodriguez told the media today that at least 30 families were affected by the rain, although it is not entirely clear what he meant by that. Rodriguez spoke on the affected families, saying:
They’re being looked after at this moment. At this moment, the head of the government for the Capital District is meeting with these families in San Jose, and we’re permanently monitoring [them].
The National Meteorological Service predicts that the country will continue to experience rain over the next 48 hours.
Venezuela Warns OAS Against Suspension
Bernardo Alvarez, the Venezuelan ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), issued a press release today in which he warned the body against suspending Venezuela from the organization for alleged human rights violations.
The OAS’ head, Luis Almagro, has been under pressure over recent months from Venezuelan and international human rights advocates to suspend the Maduro government from the body over its continued human rights violations and general undermining of democracy in Venezuela.
Article 21 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter allows for the OAS to suspend the member of any country found to be in a state of “unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order”. The article reads:
When the special session of the General Assembly determines that there has been an unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order of a member state, and that diplomatic initiatives have failed, the special session shall take the decision to suspend said member state from the exercise of its right to participate in the OAS by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the member states in accordance with the Charter of the OAS. The suspension shall take effect immediately.
The suspended member state shall continue to fulfill its obligations to the Organization, in particular its human rights obligations.
Notwithstanding the suspension of the member state, the Organization will maintain diplomatic initiatives to restore democracy in that state.
In the press release, Alvarez says that any attempt to apply Article 21 to Venezuela “would become an attempt to usurp the sovereign authority of the State”, and suggested that Almagro does not have the authority to apply Article 21 in the first place. Alvarez argues that any attempt to apply Article 21 to Venezuela must come from the General Assembly of the OAS, where it must be submitted to a vote by its members.
For Alvarez, applying the Article to Venezuela is a moot point, because “there has been no break in or alteration of the constitutional order” in Venezuela.
National Assembly Creates Commission To Investigate Food Crisis
Earlier today, the National Assembly voted to create a mixed commission to investigate the food scarcity crisis affecting the country.
The National Assembly had summoned former Minister of Nutrition Carlos Osorio to attend today’s parliamentary meeting, but Osorio refused to attend. In response, MUD deputy Ismael Garcia moved to have Osorio sanctioned by parliament over his contempt of their summons.
During the debate, PSUV deputy Ricardo Sanguino said that the national government bore absolutely no responsibility regarding the country’s food scarcity crisis, to which MUD deputy Carlos Berrizbeitia replied, “You control the currency exchange, the sea ports and the distribution channels”.
MUD deputy Andres Eloy Camejo chastised the PSUV in similar fashion. Referring to the PSUV’s tendency to blame the country’s problems on the United States, Camejo said:
When are you going to stop blaming the gringos? Take responsibility over what’s happening in Venezuela. You aren’t providing materials for production.
Osorio: “Bourgeois” NA is Attacking Me
Osorio, who served as Minister of Nutrition until earlier this year, said that he would seek legal action against the National Assembly over some of the comments made by legislators there today regarding his tenure at the Ministry of Nutrition.
Osorio, who is a General in the National Bolivarian Armed Forces and is currently the head of the army’s Central Regional Defense Command, said that he could continue to defend Venezuela despite the attacks by the “bourgeois” National Assembly.
Osorio made a number of comments through his Twitter account, saying:
In the face of the attacks and injuries against my honour, I will take legal measures to claim my defense…
I will maintain my morale high and defend the homeland and [Chavez’s] legacy now more than ever with the same strength that my Commander Chavez taught us.
This bourgeois National Assembly hates the people. They will not be able to subdue this son of Chavez, seeking to [tell lies] while they wage war against the people. Enough!
We go with God, with Bolivar, with Chavez and with my Commander President @NicolasMaduro onward with the revolution. No one will lead us astray from that path.
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