The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, continued his attack against the Maduro regime today in an interview published in En Perspectiva, an Uruguayan newspaper.

Almagro offered a scathing rebuke by the Maduro regime and its tendency to repress political dissent through violence, saying:

The only effective measure that the Venezuelan government takes today is the element of repression. If it managed the economy like it manages repression, everyone in the country would be a Maduro supporter.

Calling Venezuela “a country sinking in repression”, Almagro stressed that the country’s political prisoners are not only politicians, but also students and journalists.

Almagro’s comments come as the OAS meets this week at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. to discuss the ongoing Venezuelan crisis, among other issues affecting the region.

Child Killed, 14 Poisoned After Eating Bitter Yuca

A two-year-old child has died and fourteen of her family members have become poisoned after eating bitter yuca Maturin, Monagas state. El Nacional writes that the deceased child is the third person to die from eating the tuber in that city in recent weeks.

Yuca – known as cassava in North America – is commonly eaten in Venezuela. A particular strain of yuca, known locally as “yuca amarga” [bitter yuca], is typically not eaten because its consumption can be fatal unless it is thoroughly prepared. However, given the ongoing food shortages in the country, more and more Venezuelans are taking the chance with the potentially poisonous bitter yuca.

Five Officers Hurt in Incident at Caracas High School

The principal of the Urbaneja Achephol High School in the San Pedro parish of Caracas called the National Bolivarian Police (NBP) to respond to an incident at the school after a group of senior students refused to remove the “promotional t-shirts” they were wearing. According to the students, the principal last year – who is no longer at the school – had always allowed the students to wear the t-shirts.

It is not clear what the term “promotional t-shirts” means in this context, but it is possible that the t-shirts bore political or marketing slogans. High school students in Venezuela are typically required to wear uniforms in high school.

El Nacional reports that the NBP officers “fired rubber pellets” to quell the unrest at the school, and that one student was arrested. It is not clear how the officers became injured.

Mansion’s Bakery, First Casualty of “Bread War”, Now Closed

Last Wednesday, regime inspectors expropriated Mansion’s Bakery in the La Candelaria neighbourhood of Caracas as part of the ongoing “Bread War”. The “war” began last week when Maduro claimed on television that Caracas’ bakers were purposely baking too little bread and forcing costumers into long lines in order to cause chaos and undermine his regime.

The bakery’s neighbours awoke today to find that it was closed.

The bakery – which was immediately renamed “Minka” and given a face-lift by the new regime owners – – has not opened for business today, and it is not clear when or if it will again.

Below, an image of the closed bakery taken today:

It is not exactly clear who the individuals in charge of the bakery were, or if they have any kind of experience either running a bakery or even baking in general. Yesterday, when El Nacional raised the issue with one of the individuals, the individual replied:

We’re not perfect. We’ll figure it out as we go along.

William Contreras, the head of the Superintendcia Nacional para la Defensa de los Derechos Socioeconómicos [SUNDDE], which is the agency that took over the agency, warned earlier today that while the expropriations were “temporary” and were only supposed to last 90 days, bakeries could be taken indefinitely if they continued to be found in violation of regulations.

Massive Theft” Knocks Cellphone Service Out in Seven Cities

Telecommunications giant Movistar announced today that a “massive theft” of its equipment at its facility in Guanare has left every major city in Barinas and Portuguesa states without cellular service today. Through its Twitter account, Movistar announced that it was working to restore service to the seven affected cities.

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

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One thought on “03.21.17: Figuring It Out

  1. Pingback: 3.22.17: Cowards and Wretches | In Venezuela

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