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The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica intensified its call for a national protest on Wednesday, calling on all Venezuelans to stop working from 12:00 PM to 12:10 PM. The call was made by the head of the bloc, Jesus Torrealba.

Torrealba said:

At noon we will stop [what we are doing] wherever we are.

The point of the protest will be to mount pressure on the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) to announce the date for the second step in the recall referendum against Maduro.

Cuba Feels Venezuela Crisis, Asks Russia for Oil 

El Universal reports today that the government of Cuba has formally asked Russia to provide it with a stable oil supply after the island nation’s traditional supplier – Venezuela – continued to face difficulties.

The request allegedly comes via a letter from Raul Castro to Vladimir Putin. A source told Spain’s Efe that the letter does not specify how much oil Cuba needs from Russia, but Havana did promise to adhere strictly to payments for the oil.

TSJ Rules in 25th Case Against National Assembly

The Tribunal Supremo de Justicia [Supreme Tribunal of Justice] (TSJ), the nation’s to court, ruled on its 25th case against the opposition-controlled National Assembly today, annulling a law passed by the legislature on August 9 to help regulate gold mining in the country.

The TSJ annulled the law because it considered it to have been passed “in open disregard to judicial decisions”, since it was passed in part by the deputies from Amazonas state whom the TSJ had removed from their posts in December of last year.

As such, the TSJ did review the actual content of the law. The fact that it was voted on by the Amazonas deputies was enough for the top court to strike it down.

Since December, the TSJ has issued 25 rulings against the National Assembly, Seven of those rulings – counting today’s – have struck down every law passed by the National Assembly.

BCV Head Ranked Worst in the World

Global Finance has ranked the Banco Central de Venezuela‘s head, Nelson Merentes, as the worst central bank chief in the list of the 75 countries that it examined.

The rankings, which were originally released on September 1, grade central bank chiefs from “A” (excellent) through “F” (outright failure). Merentes was the only central banker to receive a letter grade of F.

The BCV no longer publishes official statistics, including inflation rates, making the work of making sense of the Venezuelan economy much more difficult.

The 2016 rankings from Global Finance can be found here.

Maduro Publishes “Fundamental” Economic Speeches

Maduro has published a booklet containing the “fundamental” aspects of his economic philosophy. The book appears to be made up almost entirely of previous speeches he has given on the economy, and is titled “Towards Good Economic Governance”.

Maduro released the booklet through his Twitter and Facebook accounts yesterday, saying:

The goal of this document is to serve as a study and debate aid through the entire homeland about what we have proposed over these past few years of economic warfare, and where we work towards the overcoming of adversity through the Bolivarian Economic Agenda with the help of the people through the Comites Locales de Abastecimiento y Produccion [CLAP] and when the unstoppable march of the Gran Mision Abastecimiento Soberano.

The 16-age document can be found here, in Spanish.

The first page of the document contains the following text:

The term “economy”, in its Greek etymological origin comes from oikonomia: oikos, “home”, and nemein, “administration”. The economy, from that basic premise, must answer precisely to this essence, how to “organize the home”. In this way, as our Plan de la Patria sets out, the Bolivarian Revolution demands that we create a new economic order, a “new Venezuelan home”, with greater riches, under social justice criteria, with humanism as our flag, without giving up any of our sovereignty.

The great historic objective in this new era is to transform economic neoliberalism in Venezuela. We must do with with a great Revolucion Economica Productiva, and in that way building the material base that will allow us to make the Social Bolivarian Revolution irreversible.

Start of Classes Pushed Back to September 26

Minister of Education Rodulfo Perez announced today that the start of the school year has been pushed back from September 16 to September 26 for elementary school, and October 3 for higher education institutions.

Perez did not offer any explanation for the delay in the start of the school year, and made the announcement through a tweet that begins with, “Yo, my people!”:

Yo, my people! We’re starting school activities 26 Sept: [Kindergarten], primary and special.03 Oct: middle and technical


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