The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica [MUD] announced this afternoon that the highly anticipated talked with Maduro’s PSUV party scheduled to start next week in the Dominican Republic are now on hold pending a decision from the ruling party.
A message posted on the MUD’s official website explains that the organization is still waiting for the PSUV to agree to begin the talks in the presence of representatives from several Latin American countries. The talks were originally scheduled to begin on November 15 in the Dominican Republic.
According to the MUD, the foreign ministers of Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia and Nicaragua have volunteered to participate in the talks, but the PSUV has evidently not agreed to their participation in the November 15 meeting as of yet.
Part of the MUD’s statement reads:
We are troubled by the fact that the [PSUV] representatives have not confirmed their presence at the [November 15] meeting yet due to participation of the foreign ministers.
The MUD considers international participation in the talks vital, since they believe that might motivate the PSUV to engage in the talks earnestly. Previous dialogue efforts between the two sides have failed because the PSUV has not kept its promises.
2018 Oil Production Will Be Lowest Since 1989
Bloomberg published an article yesterday in which points out that Venezuela’s oil production next year is expected to be the lowest in 29 years. According to the article, analysts believe that Venezuela will produce a meager 1.84 million barrels of oil per day next year. For reference, Venezuela produced nearly 3.2 million barrels of oil per day in 2011.
Bloomberg points out that oil production has been falling for seven years, and so is the quality of the products. Buyers have been turning away Venezuelan oil recently, as was the case in August of this year when Phillips 66 rejected an oil shipment because the product contained “high salt content” as well as “excess water and contaminants”.
On the quality of Venezuelan oil within the context of the overall collapse of the country, the article continues:
A refiner in Europe and another in Japan say they have reduced purchases of Venezuelan oil not only because of low quality, but also because of growing concerns over doing business with the state oil company amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis and U.S. sanctions. The buyer in Japan said PDVSA has been attempting to lure them back by offering “steep” discounts.
FARC Setting Up Satellite Party in Venezuela
Colombia’s Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Comun [Revolutionary Alternative Communal Force] (FARC) is holding an international summit in Maracay, Aragua state this weekend with the goal of setting up a satellite party in Venezuela. The party hopes to unite the people of Colombia and Venezuela to “unmask the principal fascist instigators” whom they claim are at work in both countries.
A message posted on the Colombian Communist Party website describes the summit in the following way:
[The summit is] an indispensable exercise given the current complex situation created by imperialism, the open and unashamed complicity of fascism and the ultra-right wing that are attacking the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Since its foundation in 1964 until November of last year, the FARC went by another name: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia [Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces]. The FARC was one of the principal combatants in the Colombian conflict, and was considered to be a terrorist organization by the governments of Colombia, the United States, Canada, among others. The FARC laid down its weapons last year and launched a disarmed political party earlier this year bearing the same acronym.
“Cuban” Street Food Causing Stir
A street food vendor in the Bellas Artes neighbourhood of Caracas has caused a stir on social media by offering “Cuban” versions of staples like hot dogs and hamburgers that are missing their key ingredients. The sign is being described on social media as pathetic indication of the severe crisis affecting the country.
The vendor placed the sign on his stand, which you can see below:
The sign reads:
Cuban Hamburger without meat Bs. 12,000
Cuban Hot Dog without sausage Bs. 5,000
The phrase at the very bottom of the sign reads “No fio“, which roughly translates into English as “You must pay up front for your purchases”.
According to El Nacional, the price of a hamburger sold by street vendors as gone up 261.76% in the last four months.
Critics of the Maduro regime often lament the fact that, according to their view, Venezuela is increasingly becoming like Cuba: an impoverished nation where political dissent is not permitted.
Chavez drew the ire of many Venezuelans by claiming that Venezuelan and Cuba “are the same country”, and by working tirelessly to bind the two nations together.
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