Henry Ramos Allup, a leading opposition figure, is in hospital following due to a head injury. Allup, who runs the Accion Democratica (AD) party, has been a fixture on the Venezuelan political landscape for decades, and is arguably the last of the old guard.
When news initially broke of Allup’s hospitalization, rumours began to spread on social media that the 75-year-old had suffered a stroke. However, at approximately 9:30 AM local time, the rumour was dispelled by National Assembly spokesperson Oliver Blanco:
[Doctors have] just concluded the draining of a hematoma on [Henry Ramos Allup] due to trauma from un golpe [literally, “a hit”. This could mean that Allup fell and hit his head, or that someone hit him int he head]. He has not had a stroke and he is recovering well. Venezuela is with him!
Allup began his political career at the age of 15 when he entered student politics, and was elected to represent the state of Carabobo in the national legislature in 1994. Allup served as the president of the National Assembly for the 2016 term, following the defeat of the PSUV by the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica [MUD], a coalition of opposition parties to whose leadership he belonged.
Rafaela Requesens Stresses Importance of Internal Ouster for Maduro
Rafaela Requesens, a student leader and sister to jailed opposition legislator Juan Requesens, spoke today in an interview published in El Pais about the importance of defeating the Maduro regime from within.
Requesens told the newspaper that she is certain that “the Maduro government will fall”, and that she is concerned about the future of a post-Maduro Venezuela. Requesens believes that chavismo will not disappear simply by removing Maduro from power, which is why she considers it vital that the opposition work to court “officials and middle-level [politicians]” who do not agree with Maduro’s leadership.
For Requesens, the opposition’s path forward is clear:
The opposition must break Maduro from inside the regime.
State TV Airs Rare Rebuke of Economic Policy
Venezolana de Television (VTV), a state-owned television network, aired a rare rebuke of the economic situation in the country today during a show called Zurda Konducta.
One of the show’s hosts, Llafrancis Colina, expressed discontent with the overall economic panorama in Venezuela, and in particular the fact that Christmas bonuses–which are ubiquitous in Venezuela–can hardly be used to purchase anything, given the fact that the country has the highest inflation rate on the planet.
Colina’s comments also include a critique of what she calls “QuesoToday” (CheeseToday) and “JamonToday” (HamToday), a take on the famous DolarToday website that was used for years by Venezuelans to check the price of foreign currency on the black market. Colina’s criticism appears to be that rather than checking the price of foreign currency daily, Venezuelans are now checking the price of basic goods like ham and cheese to determine the worth of their currency.
Below, Colina’s comments along with my translation:
Colina: … and in some business they’re already paying the Christmas bonuses. They’re not enough to buy anything.
The new economic index is QuesoToday and JamonToday because the price–a kilogram of cheese is what is a dollar is worth. What’s that all about?
Man: That’s right.
Colina: And people are so shameless. Go to a mall in Caracas–CityMarket, El Recreo–the people from Takri, who look like they have a magical [unintelligible] because they accept dollars and go “Pay me here like this, and I’ll give you change like that, and the receipt is in Bolivares”–that’s how it is.
You take a look around and say, “What happened here”? People are saying “Where is the government”? What happened to us, to the state? It feels like we’re letting ourselves get squashed.
Zurda Kondukta is a political commentary show that is aimed at young adults.
Note: I will be traveling all day tomorrow, and will likely be unable to write a daily update.
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