PSUV second-in-command and Constituent Assembly president Diosdado Cabello announced today that the party would hold a rally this coming September 11 “against imperialism”.

News of the rally comes in the heels of the publication of a New York Times article which revealed that the White House has held meetings with rebellious army officers who plotted to overthrow Maduro at least three times over the past year or so. According to the article, U.S. involvement in the meetings was strictly limited to simply listening what the plotters were planning to do, and that at no time did the White House offer assistance to the rebellious officers.

Speaking during a PSUV event this afternoon, Cabello condemned the White Houses’ involvement in the meetings, and reiterated the assertion that Washington was responsible for the August 4 drone attack against Maduro.

Expert: Venezuela Producing 8% of 1998 Level

Juan Pablo Olalquiaga, the head of CONINDUSTRIA, said in a television interview that aired today that Venezuelan industries were currently producing only about 8% of what they put out in 1998, before Chavez was elected president.

Olalquiaga said that the cataclysmic drop in production was due to a combination of two factors:

If you consider the fact that we have left one quarter of the industry [that we had in 1998], [and these are] working at one quarter [of their capacity]. What you see, then, is that we have less than 8% of the production capacity that we had 20 years ago.

He also said that the situation was exacerbated by the fact that the Maduro regime maintains a policy of keeping “borders closed to import raw materials”, which helps to paralyze industry in the country.

Jorge Rodriguez Says Requesens Has Been “Convicted”

Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez said in a televised interview today that National Assembly deputy Juan Requesens had “confessed” to the crimes with which he was charged, and that he had been “convicted”. The comments are counterfactual, since Requesens has yet to be brought before a judge, so the charges against him have not yet been proven.

Requesens was accused of helping to orchestrate the August 4 drone attack against Maduro. He was arrested on August 7, and has been under the custody of the regime’s political police since then.

Since his arrest, Requesens appeared in a short video clip in which he named two individuals that the Maduro regime claims were also involved in the plot. In the clip, Requesens does not admit to committing any crime. In a video and images released later, Requesens can be seen wearing boxers that are heavily stained with feces.

Rodriguez said that the drone attack was “a serious massacre” that was thwarted at the last second.

Judicial independence is virtually non-existent in Venezuela, as leading regime figures routinely comment–and, as in this case, pass judgement–on prisoners whose cases have not been resolved by the courts.

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

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