A group of residents staged a protest today on the Caracas – La Guaira highway over the government’s failure to deliver Christmas hams and other food that had been promised to them.

As has become custom in recent years, Maduro promised Venezuelans free Christmas hams this year during a televised address in late October.

Maduro made the same promise last year, and also failed to deliver.

One of the protesters told El Pitazo that the National Guard soldiers who showed up to the scene threatened to arrest everyone if they did not stop their demonstration.

Below, an image of the protesters blocking the road:

Cabello Says No Russian Base Coming

Constituent Assembly president Diosdado Cabello denied today that Russia is planning to set up a military presence on La Orchila, an island located just north of Caracas.

The story was first reported by the Russia’s TASS news agency last week. According to TASS:

According to military envoys, Russian authorities have made a decision (and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not object) to deploy strategic aircraft to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea, which has a naval base and a military airfield. Ten years ago, Russian experts and Armed Forces commanders had already visited the island of La Orchila, located 200 kilometers northeast of Caracas. Venezuelan laws prohibit the setup of military bases in the country, but a temporary deployment of warplanes is possible.

Speaking from the National Assembly today, Cabello said:

Some news came out: ‘Russia is getting ready to build a base in La Orchila”. I wish that were true. Not one, but two, three, four or ten.

It is worth noting that the story as reported by TASS is not that Russia is going to build a base on La Orchila: rather, that they will use an already-existing base to “deploy strategic aircraft”. In other words, the article does not claim that Russia will set up a base on La Orchila, per se, but rather that it plans to use the Venezuelan base that is already there to house some of its aircraft.

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

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