El Nacional published an article today pointing out that since 2009, 10,000 oil industry workers have left PDVSA and migrated from Venezuela due to poor wages and political persecution at the state-owned oil company. The massive loss of human capital is likely a factor in the company’s slow but steady decline in oil output.

Ivan Freites, the head of the oil workers’ union in Falcon state, said:

Due to poor management, PDVSA has caused the exodus of 10,000 employees since 2009, and this situation has gotten worse in the last two years.

The article points out that while global average wages for oil industry professionals average from $2,400-$35,000 per month, PDVSA workers can only expect to make $78.12-$781.25 per month.

Jose Bodas, a director of the Federacion Unica de Trabajadores Petroleros de Venezuela, a oil worker’s union, told El Nacional that PDVSA has also made cuts to health benefits as well as housing and schooling stipends for workers’ families.

An anonymous PDVSA ex-employee told the newspaper why he left the company:

The salary wasn’t enough. What’s more, I had to take out a health insurance policy which was very expensive to cover my family because the clinics weren’t accepting the [PDVSA insurance] because they weren’t making payments. At work, they were always telling me to be loyal to socialism.

FLAR Loans BCV $482.5 Million

The Fond Latinoamericano de Reservas [Latin American Reserve Fund] (FLAR), a regional banking institution, has granted the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) credit worth $428.5 million on a three-year term. The loan will mean a breath of air for the BCV, as its foreign reserves have been in a downward spiral since 2014 collapse of oil prices.

The FLAR issued a statement today announcing the move, and said that “the specific terms of the loan” will be worked out in a contract that will be signed “soon”.

This is the first time that the BCV has comes to the FLAR for financial assistance, where it has $500 million worth of deposits in the institution.


Almagro: No Democracy With Political Prisoners

The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, said today that democracy cannot exist alongside political prisoners in reference to Venezuela. Almagro made the comments during an interview with Venezuelan journalist Vladimir Villegas.

Almagro said:

The concept of democracy is inconsistent with the existence of political prisoners.

Almagro also pointed out that the Venezuelan government’s response to criticism – specifically that coming from him – is always belligerent and ad hominen. Almagro explained:

They [the Venezuelan government] has said that I’m a CIA agent, but that’s not serious. What is serious is leaving people without food, leaving people to do in hospitals while using that type of argument.

Venebarometro: 64% Would Vote to Recall Maduro

A poll by the Venebarometro firm released today has found that 64% of Venezuelans would vote in favour of recalling Maduro from office to trigger a presidential election. The poll found that only 29.3% of Venezuelans would vote against recalling him.

The same poll found that 73.4% of Venezuelans have a negative opinion of Maduro’s term in office, and that 75.5% say that the biggest problem affecting their lives is the chronic shortage of food, medicine and basic necessities.

The poll had a sample size of 1,200 individuals and was conducted June 11-22. It has a margin of error of 2.37%.

OLP Victims Sends Message to Maduro

A group of Caracas residents victimized by the Operacion Liberacion del Pueblo [Operation to Liberate the People] (OLP) have recorded a video message for Maduro asking him to address their issues after they were left homeless by a security operation in their neighbourhood.

The OLP is a security operation that sees members of local police forces work alongside National Guard units to combat organized crime throughout the country. Part of the authorities’ tactics involve demolishing homes they believe to be used for criminal purposes.

The video message was recorded by a group called the Comite de las Victimas de la OLP en la Ensenada [OLP Victim’s Committee from la Ensenada], and was prepared to mark the one year anniversary of the arrival of the OLP in their neighbourhood. Last year, the authorities raided the neighbourhood, arrested residents and left 110 families homeless.

Below, the video along with my translation:

Man: We are the Comite de Victimas de la OLP en la Ensenada to mark the one year anniversary of that cruel eviction to which our community was subjected. We want to send a message to the President of the Republic.

Woman:The Comite de Victimas de la OLP en la Ensenada asks that the President of the Republic acknowledge us so that we may allow us to explain – to clarify – to him that we are not paramilitaries or criminals as they’ve said. We are victims. We are people who were hurt by the National Guard. We are still sleeping on the streets, on the ground wherever we find ourselves when night falls. We have adults sleeping under a bridge and children sleeping on the ground. We can’t stand it any longer. How much longer must we wait for you to hear us?

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com
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