Today marks the 20th year of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. It was on this day in 1998 that Hugo Chavez was elected president, having convincingly defeated his main rival, Henrique Salas Romer, with 56% of the vote.
The video below shows the moment that the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) announced Chavez’ victory on the night of December 6. Chavez is announced the winner at around 1:55:
In the video below, Chavez speaks his first words as President of Venezuela starting at around the 2:40 mark. Chavez says:
At this time which we’re living, we can repeat one of Jesus of Nazareth’s seven words: It is finished. The people of Venezuela have chosen to restore their dignity, and to pave the road towards a true homeland, a true democracy. I–the instrument of a collective, at this time which I consider to be so historic for the future of Venezuela–from the bottom of my heart and soul wish to acknowledge all of you, compatriots from Lara state and in all of Venezuela, for the decision that you have made. We are opening the doors to a Bolivarian Venezuela. Hugs to everyone. Now we move to maintaining our commitments with all of you. May God be with us, and a thousand thanks to you all.
It is finished.
Protests in El Valle After PNB Accused of Killing Two Youths
Residents of El Valle blocked a local road in protest this afternoon after two National Bolivarian Police (PNB) officers were accused of killing two local youths.
According to reports from the scene, the youths-who were cousins--were building a Christmas manger in El Valle’s Calle 18 when the police arrived on the scene. For reasons that are not clear, the police opened fire on the children, killing them.
One of the victims was named Yonaiver Moreno, and was in his last year of high school. It is not clear how old the other victim was.
In the video below, a group of women talk about what happened. Towards the end of the video, a man on a motorcycle approaches the barricade. The protesters shout, “You can’t come through here!”:
Woman 1: … we know that these were good kids. And they do this to them?
Woman 2: There is no rule of law here.
Woman 1: I’d just walked by that area. You saw me, right?
The police arrive, and this is how they act. Is this the police that takes care of us? (…) We have no one to defend us. Instead, they kill our children. These aren’t police, they’re thugs. We want justice. We want them to pay for everything that they’ve done.
Maduro Says Venezuela Will Sell Oil in Petros In 2019
Still in Moscow, Maduro said today that all of Venezuela’s oil sales starting in 2019 will take place in Petros, the regime’s custom-built digital currency.
Speaking to reporters, Maduro said explained that the reason for the move is to move Venezuela away from using the U.S. dollars. Maduro said:
We are going to progressively sell all of our oil production in Petros. In 2019 we [will] have a program, a schedule, so that all of Venezuela’s oil production will be sold in Petros [to] keep liberating us from a currency that the elites in Washington use to blackmail, to attack the peoples of the world, to harm economies.
Maduro then pivoted to saying that it was important for the world to use the U.S. dollars “as an exchange currency”, but stressed that it should not be used “as a political mechanism”.
By all measures, the Petro has been a failure. Since announcing its birth in December of last year, the regime has struggled to provide even the most basic details about the digital currency. This has resulted in several failed attempts at launching the currency into circulation, leaving observers to classify the Petro has little more than a scam.
Likely as a reaction to the fact that investor are unwilling to put money in the Petro, the regime has in recent weeks turned to forcing transactions through the currency. Back in October, the regime announced that any Venezuelan wishing to purchase a new passport or extend the life of their current one would have to do so using Petros.
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