The Instituto Venezolano de Seguros Sociales [Venezuelan Institute of Social Security Services] (IVSS) also spoke on the case, and admitted for the first time since the September 20 incident that the pictures showing six babies in cardboard boxes were in fact real.
However, Carlos Rotondaro – the head of IVSS – said in a written statement that the babies were placed in the boxes even though there were seven available incubators at the hospital. Rotondaro also said that once the incubators were located, the babies were each placed in one.
The IVSS also confirmed that the event happened at the Doctor Guzman Lander Hospital in Barcelona, Anzoategui.
In the aftermath of the release of the pictures, National Assembly deputy Omar Gonzalez said that SEBIN agents have begun questioning doctors and other staff at that hospital in order to discover who took the pictures and shared them online.
Anzoategui Governor: Baby Boxes Should Have Been Decorated
Anzoategui state governor Nelson Moreno (PSUV) broke his silence on the infamous case of the newborns who had to be placed in cardboard boxes at an undisclosed hospital in the state due to chronic shortage of medical supplies.
Moreno offered some advice for hospital staff facing similar shortages:
Instead of having a little box, have a little basket beside the mother (…) and if you’re going to grab a little box, get really creative. Decorate it nicely and make it look like a little basket and put it there beside the mother.
The pictures showing six newborns inside cardboard boxes caused outrage on social media all week as the latest piece of evidence of the country’s continued collapse.
Moreno also said that he did not necessarily believe the IVSS’ assertion that there were incubators available at the hospital, and that the picture was staged. Moreno said:
There might be a good intention in someone who places a baby in a box. It’s possible. There’s no bad intentions in that.
Torrealba Warns Against Hernandez’s Comments
The head of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD), Jesus Torrealba, spoke today on comments made yesterday by Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) rector Socorro Hernandez.
Speaking in a televised interview yesterday, Hernandez contradicted an official statement by the CNE made on Wednesday regarding the second step of the recall referendum process against Maduro. While the CNE statement said that the opposition had to collect signatures from at least 20% of all registered voters in every state, Hernandez said that if the opposition failed to meet the goal in one state the referendum would still go ahead.
Torrealba was suspicious of the contradiction, and suggested that it might be part of a plan to confuse the opposition and force it to put its guard down. Torrealba said:
If what happened with Socorro Hernandez is that she was confused, or she had a [mental] lapse, or [the comment was] part of a strategy to spread confusion, do allow yourselves to be confused.
Torrealba also said that the MUD would hold a major press conference at 10:00 AM on Monday to spell out the opposition’s next steps.
Hernandez Backtracks: 20% Must Be Collected in All States
Shortly after Torrealba’s comments, Hernandez issued a statement clarifying her comments yesterday. Hernandez said:
I want to make something clear about my interview in the television show Vladimir a la 1, which apparently created some confusion after a specific question about a hypothetical situation that the interviewer posed.
The collection of signatures is by state, as is stated on our website (…) which establishes that there is a certain number of signatures [that must be collected] in each state. The sum of all of these numbers equals 3,823,839, and that is the way in which the collection will take place.
Rodriguez Speaks at UN General Assembly
Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez spoke today at the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
During her speech, Rodriguez stressed repeatedly that Venezuela was the target of imperial ambitions originating in the United States. She said:
We want to warn the international community that Venezuela has been chosen has a new objective by imperial power.
Rodriguez also blamed the United States government for encouraging violence in Venezuela:
Moreover, extreme violent groups get support from the United States to cause death in Venezuela, to overthrow its constitutional government using multi-faced economic aggression through sophisticated mechanisms [that include] discrediting [Venezuela], [and] the weakening and boycott of commerce, finance, and the media.
Reverol: Miranda State “World Champion” in Homicide, Kidnappings
Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace Ernesto Reverol called Miranda state “the world champion of homicides and kidnappings” during a televised speech. He made the comment as he laid out a set of areas inside Miranda state that he claims require special attention from law enforcement authorities.
Below, a video of Reverol’s comments along with my translation:
Reverol: … it’s the world champion of homicides and kidnappings. So we’ve planned to take an approach in Miranda taking into account the axis – Valles del Tuy – which is how we geo-reference the delegations – and we see if there’s need for another delegation somewhere else. The axis of Barlovento, the Guarena-Guatires axis. The Alto Mirandino axis and the metropolitan axis. The Baruta-Chacao-El Hatillo and Sucre axis. That’s how we geo-reference that and do a diagnostic to see if we need another delegation…
Miranda state is often the target of criticism by the national government since its governor is opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
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