Minister of the Interior Ernesto Reverol announced today that 405 people have been detained in connection to the unrest that shook the country over the weekend. Reverol said that in Bolivar state alone – the capital of which saw four days of continuous looting – 286 individuals were arrested.
Reverol’s announcement came as the head of the Bolivar state chamber of commerce, Fernando Cepeda, said that approximately 450 business had been “destroyed” by the looting that rocked the city over the weekend.
Cepeda’s assessment of the situation in the state was grim. He said:
The impact [of the looting] is really serious. It’s worrying. Our city has not lived through a situation like the one that developed on Friday night. We… estimate that approximately 450 businesses were totally destroyed.
On the scope of the looting, Cepeda pointed out that supermarkets were not the only targets:
Businesses such as tire stores, hardware stores, [retail] businesses, and liquor stores were also completely looted and dismantled, and four or five of them were then set on fire.
Cepeda said that only two supermarkets in the entire state were not looted over the weekend.
On the situation in Bolivar state today, PSUV vice-president Diosado Cabello announced earlier this afternoon that order had been restored in the region:
All of Bolivar state is enjoying absolute calm. If you want to see what peace looks like, go walk around Ciudad Bolivar.
Gov’t Promises “Credits” For Affected Businesses
Bolivar state governor (PSUV) Francisco Rangel Gomez said today that the state government would take special measures to help any business affected by the looting recover.
Rangel made the announcement by saying:
We’ve already reached an agreement with the public banks so that it can give special credits to the business owners who have suffered damages over the last few days (…) with the support of the national government, the public banks and a series of revolutionary institutions, our businesses will recover quickly.
National Assembly Secretary: Recall Referendum Effort Was “Mistake”
National Assembly deputy and secretary Roberto Marrero spoke today on the recall referendum effort against Maduro that so preoccupied the opposition for much of the year “was a mistake”. The attempt to hold a recall referendum against Maduro ultimately proved to be futile, as the Supreme Court and National Electoral Council successfully stalled the effort.
Marrero said that a better strategy to try to remove Maduro from power would have been to amend the constitution to shorten presidential term limits.
Despite his negative assessment of the opposition’s strategy against Maduro so far, Marrero remains convinced about the path forward for Venezuela:
Maduro does not generate confidence. The solution to Venezuela’s problems involves Maduro leaving.
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