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Maduro spoke in a marathon session today at the Bolivar Theater in Caracas, where he was launching a magazine for the Comites Locales de Abastecimiento y Produccion [Local Supply and Production Committees] (CLAP).

The CLAP are community-led organizations that receive food and basic necessities from the government. The items are sorted into shopping bags which the CLAP then deliver into neighbourhoods and apartment buildings and then sell to residents at subsidized prices. Maduro offered high praise to the CLAP, saying:

As long as there are CLAPs there will never be fascism in Venezuela.

Maduro stressed that the CLAP are only the first step in a larger project to “hegemonize the economic system at the distributive commercialization level”, and called the organizations “[acts of] resistance” presumably against the country’s enemies.

As is his style, Maduro veered wildly in his speech, touching on a number of different events unrelated to the event at hand.

On The Meeting with Zapatero and the Dialogue

While Maduro stressed that his meeting with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero yesterday was part of a drive to do “everything” for peace in the country, he dismissed the idea that he was in the process of negotiating with either Zapatero or the opposition, saying:

Some people are going around saying that Maduro is negotiating. You have to be really evil to do that!

Maduro also said that he had called on UNASUR chief Ernesto Samper to come to Venezuela “in the next few days” in order to help start a dialogue with the opposition.

On the Opposition, “Motherfucker” Comment

Maduro leveled new threats of legal action against the opposition. He first took aim at National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup, whom he accused of “harassing” women in general and, more specifically, the heads of the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE). Maduro said:

[Henry Ramos Allup] harasses a woman over here, another over there (…) with that language that he uses [I think Maduro means “he verbally harasses them”].

Maduro also addressed the fact that he called Allup “a motherfucker” at a rally that aired on national television on September 1, but justified the insult by saying:

It wasn’t a hateful expression. It was an expression of protest, of indignation.

He continued by suggesting that Allup was not alone in harassing women, since the entire opposition also does the same:

He harasses this dignified, professional woman of the Republic, a woman who has dedicated her life to law as is the head of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice magistrate Dr. Gladys Gutierrez. And they [the opposition] harass Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz. And they harasses all the female leaders.

Isturiz: Venezuela Will Be Better in December

Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz appeared on the Jose Vicente Hoy show today, and brought with him a message of hope for Venezuelans heading into the last four months of the year.

Isturiz explained that the worst is behind for Venezuelans, since the first half of the year were “the worst months”. However, Isturiz claims that the tide turned some time in May:

Starting then, there was an awakening, a progressive take-off that has yet to stop.

While Isturiz did not explain exactly what this “awakening” is or how it can translate to concrete economic and social improvements, he was optimistic that Venezuela would be a much better place in December than it is today. He said that this is due in part to the fact that the national government is “about to break the back” of the “economic war”.

When asked if the long lines for food that have become routine for Venezuelans will begin to improve, Isturiz answered:

Yes. This will happen progressively and there will be a better control of inflation. I’m sure that as we increase production and the harvest, that will reduce imports a bit and also we have imported raw materials like never before which will guarantee us processed products. In this way, this quarter will give us a happy Christmas.


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