National Assembly president Julio Borges reacted to yesterday’s regarding the restructuring of the country’s foreign debt by calling Maduro “irresponsible” for accumulating so much debt in the first place. Borges was also pessimistic regarding the possibility that the debt could be restructured at all, since he believes that “no one” believes that Venezuela can make good on its debt obligations given the worsening economic crisis in the country.

In response to being called “a traitor” by Maduro live on television for his leadership role in the opposition movement, Borges said:

Maduro is the traitor, since he indebted Venezuela irresponsibly and today he’s killing us through hunger.

Borges also criticized Maduro for refusing to allow international humanitarian aid to flow into the country, and suggested that the regime is in fact deliberately attempting to impoverish Venezuela to make its people entirely dependent on it. Borges said:

The government is by design destroying the quality of life of Venezuela in order to make them poorer and more dependent on it.

Freddy Guevara Stripped of Parliamentary Immunity

National Assembly vice president Freddy Guevara has been stripped of parliamentary immunity by the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), the country’s top court, paving the way for criminal prosecution.

The top court’s decision was announced on state-owned television by vice president Tareck El Aissami, who said that Guevara’s case had been forwarded to the Constituent Assembly for processing. El Aissami also revealed that Guevara has been banned from leaving Venezuela.

While it is not clear exactly why Guevara has been stripped of immunity or what crime he is alleged to have committed, it is likely that the regime has set its sights on Guevara due to his prominent position in the Voluntad Popular (VP) opposition party. As national coordinator of the party, Guevara was instrumental in calling for and organizing the protests that took place in the country from April to July of this year. Guevara has also been an outspoken critic of the Maduro regime on the international stage, much to the ire of the government.

Earlier this week, Guevara announced that VP would not participate in the upcoming December municipal elections, given the fact that the country’s electoral system has been severely compromised and works actively to benefit the ruling PSUV party and suppress the opposition vote.

VP issued a press release this evening reacting to news of the decision against Guevara. According to the release, the crimes that the regime claims Guevara has committed are “invented”, and that the measure is nothing more than evidence that the Maduro dictatorship does not tolerate political opposition.

Canada Announces New Sanctions Against Regime Officials

The government of Canada announced a new set of sanctions today against 19 PSUV officials, citing the “pervasiveness of significant corruption and violations of human rights in Venezuela”. According to a press release by Global Affairs Canada, the sanctioned individuals:

…are responsible for, or complicit in, gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, have committed acts of significant corruption, or both

Among the 19 sanctioned individuals are President Maduro and Vice President El Aissami.

These new sanctions are separate from those levied against 40 regime officials back in September. The sanctions announced today freeze all assets of the named individuals in Canada, and bans them from entering the country.

Maduro Shuffles Cabinet

Maduro promoted the mayor of the Libertador municipality, Jorge Rodriguez, to the position of Minister of Communication and Information. Maduro made the announcement by saying:

Jorge Rodriguez has demonstrated unconditional and infinite loyalty to Commander Hugo Chavez. For his permanent work [sic] and his commitment, I have invited him to join the government in a primordial [sic] task, and starting today he is the new Minister of Communication and Information of the Bolivarian Revolution.

Rodriguez is one of the most prominent figures in chavismo. His sister, Delcy Rodriguez, served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for years, and is now at least on paper the most powerful person in the country since she is the president of the Constituent Assembly.

Maduro also announced three other cabinet changes. They are:

  • Ernesto Villegas is now the Minister of Culture.
  • Stella Lugo is now the Minister of the Insular Territory of Miranda.
  • Jorge Marquez is now the Minister of the Office of the President.

15 Arrested for Drug Trafficking

Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace Nestor Reverol announced yesterday that ten individuals have been arrested for trafficking 140 packages of cocaine to the Dominican Republic through the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia. Reverol revealed that the individuals include 5 National Guard soldiers and 5 airport workers.

During a press conference yesterday, Reverol announced that the cocaine was smuggled into the island nation in a Laser Airlines flight that left Venezuela on Monday. Once it arrived in the capital of Santo Domingo, authorities there discovered the drugs.

Reverol also said that in addition to the ten arrests in Venezuela, Dominican authorities have in their custody five Venezuelan citizens whose suitcases are believed to have been used to smuggle the drugs.

Maduro Caught Eating Empanada On Air

On Tuesday, Maduro was caught munching on an empanada live on air while hosting a television program. Apparently, Maduro believed that he was no longer on air when he decided to produce the item from his desk drawer and take a hearty bite.

Below, the video:

Empanadas are a common dish throughout much of Latin America. The Venezuelan version of the food is made with corn flour and are fried. They are typically stuffed with cheese or ground beef.

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

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3 thoughts on “11.03.17: Infinite Loyalty

  1. Pingback: 11.05.17: Jesus Medina | In Venezuela

  2. Pingback: 11.06.17: Mounting Pressure | In Venezuela

  3. Pingback: 11.10.17: (Not In) Default | In Venezuela

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