Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez gave a speech today in which he praised the work of the regime for standing up to the “brutal, evil attack” that it faces from its national and international enemies, whom he blamed for waging an “economic war” against the country.

The term economic war is often used by regime officials as an explanation for the collapse of the Venezuelan economy. The term implies that a collection of regime enemies ranging from foreign governments to diaspora communities are actively working to dismantle the country’s economy in order to force a change in government in the country.

Padrino Lopez said that despite the ferocity of the economic war, the regime was still successful in providing food and basic necessities to everyone, saying:

We are guaranteeing the people of Venezuela their food. That’s the effort that the government of Venezuela is making to satisfy the needs of our people when it comes to food.

Venezuela is currently undergoing the worst food scarcity crisis in living memory. The crisis, which began in earnest in 2014, was precipitated and has been exacerbated by massive government corruption and decades of economic policies that have destroyed the country’s food production and import ability.

Just this past week, Caritas published the results of a study that found that 68% of children under five years of age in Vargas, Miranda and Zulia states–some of the most heavily-populated in the country–were malnourished.

Padrino Lopez also spoke briefly on the results of the October 15 gubernatorial election, calling it a victory for democracy in Venezuela. He said:

… the popular victory that we won on October 15 [as] a popular victory for the people of Venezuela, a popular victory for participative and leading democracy, a victory for the whole system of citizenship that we have, participative and leading [sic].

The minister went on to warn the regime’s enemies that the Venezuelan military would stand at the ready to counter any threat to it, saying:

We will not be stopped by imperial threats nor by internal threats from the fascist, terrorist right wing that has filled Venezuela with terror and that does not want democracy.

We are happy. The people of Venezuela is happy because we’ve called for [municipal] elections. More elections. we want elections and more elections….

Residents of 23 de Enero Protest Lack of Water

Residents of the 23 de Enero neighbourhood of Caracas staged a protest today over the lack of water service to their community by blocking roads in the area. Some residents claim to have lost water service eight days ago, while others say that they had had no water in their homes for at least 20 days.

The 23 de Enero is one of Caracas’ most iconic neighbourhoods. Built in the 1950s as a social housing project, the neighbourhood is home to tens of thousands of people, many of whom live in the massive buildings that have become synonymous with the area. Originally built as an answer to Caracas’ population boom, the neighbourhood is today one of the city’s poorest.

Lima Group Releases New Declaration Following Thursday Meeting

The Lima Group–twelve nations united in their hope to see democracy restored in Venezuela–has released a statement following a meeting of foreign ministers in Toronto, Canada that took place on Thursday.

This is the third statement issued by the Group, which was formed in early August as a regional initiative to the establishment of the Maduro dictatorship.

The release includes nine points, the majority of which condemn the regime’s contempt for law, human rights and the Venezuelan people. The release also contains a condemnation of the regime for its unwillingness to admit that there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding in the country, and for refusing any type of international food and medical aid to alleviate the suffering of millions of Venezuelans.

The full release can be found here.

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

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