The carnet de la patria‘s [“Motherland I.D.”] prevalence in Venezuelan life grew today, following Maduro’s announcement that seniors would need to have a card in order to receive their pension. Maduro made the announcement during a televised address earlier today. The measure takes place effective immediately.
Maduro posted his announcement on his Twitter page. Below, the announcement along with my translation:
Starting now, we will pay pensions each month through a digital wallet, so that seniors will not have any problems and [so that they will] have their resources at their disposal.
Seniors usually have to line up for hours at their local bank to receive their monthly pension, which is July was Bs. 8,400,000, which is approximately $1 at today’s black market rate. The frustrating process sometimes resulted in spontaneous protests.
Aside from the negative effect that forcing the least technologically-inclined demographic into receiving and managing their pensions electronically, the fact that only seniors who have signed up with the carnet de la patria is also likely to exclude individuals who do not want to sign up for the regime I.D.
Launched early last year, the carnet de la patria was originally intended to track supermarket purchases as a measure to ease food shortages. However, the regime has steadily made the carnet a requirement for more and more services over the last several months/ Earlier this month, Maduro announced that a new gasoline subsidy would only go to those who have the carnet, while those who present the card when they voted in this year’s presidential election were promised a cash gift for doing so.
Because the carnet is administered by the ruling PSUV party, regime critics argue that signing up for one is tantamount to signing up for a party I.D. Venezuelans who do not support the PSUV may have reservations about giving the party their personal information, and of depending on the party’s whim to receive social services that were once universal to all Venezuelans, regardless of political affiliation.
Cabello: Next 90 Days Will Be Crucial
PSUV vice president and Constituent Assembly chief Diosdado Cabello said today that the next 90 days would be “crucial” for Venezuela as the country adjusts to the economic reforms that Maduro introduced on August 20. Cabello said:
These [next] 90 days will be crucial and a great challenge. How Venezuela awakes on January 1 will depend on what happens in these next months. It depends on us. We can’t just leave it to the economic team, because this is also a problem for the party.
Cabello was referencing the fact that Maduro promised last week to subsidize a salary increase for small and medium businesses in an attempt to stop them from passing on the increased costs to consumers.
Cabello also commended PSUV followers for being “an army of peace”, and called on the party to keep on its toes and tackle issues wherever and whenever they appear.
Venezuelan Entry into Peru Falls Following New Passport Requirement
Effective today at noon, Venezuelans wishing to enter Peru must present a valid passport at their port of entry, a change from the previous system that just required any piece of identification. In its first hours, the new measure reduced the number of Venezuelan entries into Peru by nearly 50%.
According to EFE, 1,630 Venezuelans entered Peru today, which is down from an average of 3,000 over recent days. Two weeks ago, on August 11, 5,193 Venezuelans entered Peru through Ecuador.
The new passport requirements do not apply to minors, pregnant women, or seniors. 200 of the Venezuelans who entered Peru today where children.
Peru’s new passport requirements for Venezuelans form part of what appears to be a change in attitude towards Venezuelan migrants in the region.
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