Interim president Juan Guaido called on Venezuelans to take to “mobilize” once again, this time by attending neighbourhood meetings on Saturday to organize future steps.

Speaking at a rally in El Hatillo today, Guaido tried to raise spirits by saying:

… darkness and hopelessness cannot take a hold of us. It happened once before, and we cannot allow it to happen again.

Guaido also said that Saturday’s event was meant to spark the same kind of civic engagement that marked the first weeks of January, which saw cabildos abiertos [roughly, “open meetings”, akin to town-hall meetings] take place regularly throughout the country. Guaido said:

On Saturday we are going to re-start the communication channels, open spaces, town hall meetings and assemblies, which took us to January 23…

January 23 was the day that Guaido declared himself interim president, citing article 233 of the Constitution.

CNN Speaks with Alleged Drone Bomber

CNN published an interview today with a man it claims was involved in the August drone attack against Maduro.

In the interview and accompanying video, CNN spoke to “an organizer of the attack” who said that he belongs to a group of army defectors “and others” who are currently in Colombia. Footage recorded by CNN at an undisclosed location used by the group shows drones like the ones used in the August assassination attempt practicing maneuvers.

According to CNN:

The attack was prepared on a rented farm in rural Colombia. Weeks before Maduro’s speech, the Venezuelan defectors had ordered commercially available drones online from the United States, and customized them to detonate a homemade bomb through the remote control app.

I helped write an article for Bellingcat alongside Nick Waters on the drone attack, which you can find here.

Reuters: White House Considering Credit Card Sanctions

Reuters reported this afternoon that the White House is considering banning Visa and Mastercard from operating in Venezuela, allegedly in an attempt to target 

… the elite and groups loyal to Maduro, including members of the military, armed gangs and Cubans operating in Venezuela.

The report cites “a senior Trump administration official”, and adds that the measure has not been finalized.

If put into the effect, the measure would affect not only regime officials, but also ordinary Venezuelans who rely on credit cards for everyday purchases.

News of the possibly credit card sanction comes on the same day that the State Department confirmed that it had revoked the visas of more than 340 individuals it claims are connected to the Maduro regime.

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

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