Carabobo state governor for the ruling PSUV party Rafael Lacava posted a video on his Twitter account last night in which he mockingly threatened the student leadership at the Universidad de Carabobo (UC), which was attacked yesterday by government forces. The attack took place as students voted for their new council.
Throughout the day, government supporters set off tear gas grenades and discharged firearms to disperse voters. The government supporters also installed parallel voting stations on campus to confuse voters.
University campuses have traditionally been proofing grounds for the next generation of political leaders, making them a natural target for the kind of political repression that UC experienced yesterday.
This morning, the university announced that the student party “Alianza 23” had defeated the PSUV-aligned party handily, winning 85% of ballots cast:
#News The Alianza 23 [party] won the elections at the [Universidad de Carabobo] with 85% of ballots cast.
However, governor Lacava appeared to ignore the results of the election in a mocking video that he shared online last night. In the video, Lacava shows the camera a message: that the opposition-aligned students at UC lost the election. As he does this, a song plays in the background.
Below, the video along with my translation:
Lacava–en eccentric figure even by the standards of Venezuelan politics–has given himself the nickname “Dracula” after a story from famed Venezuelan comedian Emilio Lovera. In the story, an increasingly terrified young man waits for a ride on the side of a road knowing that “Dracula’s Car” might appear at midnight and take him away to his doom.
Lacava has styled himself as a kind of crime-fighter who appears suddenly, like Dracula’s Car, to terrify his enemies. This is also evidenced in the video above not only by the reference to Dracula’s car, but also by the fact that Lacava is wearing a Superman t-shirt and a Batman baseball hat.
With this context, the video can be understood as a threat to the student leadership at UC that Lacava is going to punish them for their defiance.
Central Back Shows Signs of Life as IMF Deadline Looms
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced today that it was engaged in “discussions” with the Banco Central de Venezuela [Venezuelan Central Bank] (BCV) for the release of official economic figures before an November 30 deadline.
Back in May, the IMF warned Caracas that it would face consequences if it did not release official economic information by the end of this month. The consequences could include an expulsion from the IMF, which would cut Venezuela off from a potential source of funds.
Today, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said that the two sides were engaged in talks, and that he was “hopeful [that the talks] can lead to a productive outcome”
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