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Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez provided today’s COVID-19 update, and announced 159 new cases of the virus in the country as well as one new fatality, bring the total number of cases to 2,632 and 23 dead.

Despite the fact that the trend over the past few days has been of an increase in cases, Rodriguez praised the government’s “7 x 7” quarantine easing measure, and asserted that it was working to keep COVID-19 “under control” in Venezuela. The measure is so called because it allows for people to leave their homes for a seven day stretch, and then asks them to stay at home in quarantine for seven days.

Despite assertions to the contrary from the Maduro government, quarantine is a luxury that a relatively small number of the Venezuelan population can afford, as many need to leave their homes on a daily basis to earn a living and find food, gasoline and other basic necessities.

Court Orders DirecTV Executives Held in Jail

A Caracas court issued a ruling today ordering that three DirectTV executives be kept in prison after the trio were charged with a slew of crimes stemming from the company’s abrupt May 19 announcement that it was ceasing service to the country.

The three men are named Hector Rivero Olivares, Carlos Jose Villamizar, and Rodolfo Carrano Puglieses. They are charged with a set of crimes that include “aggravated fraud”, “boycotting”, and “destabilizing the economy”.

The charges stem from the fact that on May 19, DirecTV announced that it would no longer provide services in Venezuela as a result of the difficulties with conducting business in the country due to the U.S. government’s sanctions on Venezuela. The announcement left customers who had contracts with the company in the difficult position of having paid for services that were no longer being rendered.

DirecTV’s May 19 statement emphasized that the decision had been made “by the company’s U.S. leadership team without any involvement or prior knowledge of the DirecTV Venezuela team.”


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