Spain’s El Mundo published an article today in which it shows that three out of the five professors on Gladys Gutierrez’s doctorate thesis committee were closely associated with the Spanish left-wing party Podemos at the time that they approved Gutierrez’s dissertation, granting her a doctorate degree.

Gutierrez is currently the president of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), Venezuela’s top court, and plays a key role in maintaining Maduro’s grip on power.

According to the newspaper, Gutierrez’s thesis committee at the University of Zaragoza included Juan Carlos Monedero, who is one of the founding members of Podemos. Monedero was a leader of the party until last year, when it was revealed that he accepted €425,000 from the Venezuelan government.

Francisco Palacios Romeo and Jose Maria Perez Collados were two other members of the thesis committee. El Mundo claims that the men are members of Podemos in the Spanish autonomous community of Aragon, and are “linked to leaders of the party”. Palacios was Gutierrez’s thesis director.

Gutierrez’s doctorate thesis was titled “El nuevo paradigma constitucional latinoamericano. Dogmatica social extensa y nueva geometria del poder” [“The New Latin American Constitutional Paradigm. Extensive Social Paradigm and New Power Geometry”], and was approved by the committee in December 2011.

Podemos is currently the target of a criminal investigation in Spain, as authorities allege that the party received millions of Euros in illegal money from the Venezuelan government for a number of years for political activities in Spain.

Food Prices Increasing 2% Per Day Since 2015

The Centro de Documentacion y Analisis Social de la Federacion Venezolana de Maestros (CENDAS) announced today that so far in 2016, food prices in the country have been increasing at an average rate of 2% per day. On average, food was 718% more expensive last month than it was in April of 2015.

CENDAS said that in April, a family of five had to spend Bs. 184,906.35 to buy all of the food needed to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. The figure means that a Venezuelan family of five must earn 16 times the minimum monthly salary to meet its dietary requirements.

The same report found that the difference between basic food products in supermarkets – where they are sold at government-set prices, which makes them nearly impossible to find – and on the black market averages 2,681.70%.

Regional PSUV Deputy Allegedly Arrested Alongside Paramilitaries

Correo del Caroni reports today that Luis Gamez, a PSUV deputy at the Bolivar state legislature, was arrested by security forces near the town of Tumeremo alongside 15 paramilitary fighters, whom he apparently attempted to smuggle into the town. The newspaper claims that it was provided the details of the case by “military sources” familiar with the arrest.

Recently, Tumeremo has become the site of what appears to be a violent struggle over illegal mining in the area. Two months ago, members from an illegal mining criminal gang executed at least 17 miners near the town.

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