Venezuelan Daily Brief

Published in association with The DVA Group and The Selinger Group, the Venezuelan Daily Brief provides bi-weekly summaries of key news items affecting bulk commodities and the general business environment in Venezuela.

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 03, 2015

International Trade


Trade is down 70% after border closure

Alejandro García, mayor of Ureña, on the border with Colombia in Táchira state, says that trade has dropped 70% and the border closure is "negative...I am blinded and disappointed...all is negative, the only good thing is an improvement on security, and even that is relative...irregular activity continues with food being extracted as some military continue to charge in Colombian pesos for people to pass food and fuel through". More in Spanish: (Noticiero Digital,



Economy & Finance


Pro regime legislator says "the country is running out of money"

Pro-government legislator Saúl Ortega, who also heads the MERCOSUR Parliament (PARLASUR) says the government must take steps in the face of constantly dropping oil prices, and says "we still do not produce what we need to consume". Ortega said "it is no secret that Venezuela lives on imports", and warns that if the opposition wins upcoming legislative elections it would "lead the country to chaos". More in Spanish: (El Universal,


Moody's: Political challenges in Venezuela to increase as opposition is poised to make gains

The political outlook in Venezuela (Caa3 stable) will likely face increased challenges should opposition parties make significant gains in the country's upcoming congressional elections, says Moody's Investors Service. The elections are scheduled for December 6 and should Venezuela's opposition United Venezuela win a simple majority in the assembly, as suggested by recent polls, it could try and force President Nicolas Maduro from office through a recall referendum. While the opposition has benefited from that situation, it has not presented any detailed proposals of its own to tackle the country's economic problems. "The opposition appears to be waiting for the economic malaise to erode government support," said Jamie Reusche, a Moody's Vice President - Senior Analyst. "It hasn't laid out a clear economic strategy of its own to confront the substantial challenges the country faces because that could carry a political cost." As a result, Moody's believes that politics will become more contentious following the elections and little will be done to address Venezuela's economic imbalances. (Moody's,



Politics and International Affairs


Opposition shows 5 polls reveling it has a 26-30 point advantage going into legislative elections

The leaders of the United Venezuela opposition movement have presented a consolidated report on 5 major polls that show an "irreversible" vote intention advantage in favor of coalition candidates ranging 26-30 points above the regime candidates in upcoming December 6th parliamentary elections. Henry Ramos-Allup, of AD, the official link between the united campaign command and the National Elections Board (CNE) explained that the loss of popular support explains the "government's anguish" and advised President Nicolás Maduro to "drop the arrogance". He provided copies of United Venezuela appeals for the CNE to put a stop to government unfair advantages, and said they have had no response. The five major polls that were shown are DATANALISIS, HINTERLACES, CONSULTORES 21, MORECONSULTING Y VENEBARÓMETRO, and also reflect a 32-37 point loss in popularity by Maduro to date this year. Ramos said "it is the people, not Nicolás Maduro who will decide what is the agenda for a dialogue, and when." More in Spanish: (El Universal,


UNASUR observer mission remains on hold, Uruguay may pull out and CNE bars other observers

The assembling of a UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) observer mission to attend the upcoming legislative elections on December 6th continues frozen and there is not yet any signed agreement between the member nation foreign ministries. Uruguay's Elections Court (CEU) has said the entire mission is "at risk" due to a lack of response by Venezuela's National Elections Board (CNE). CNE chairperson Tibisay Lucena says there is still time for the UNASUR to participate, and added that the mission "has to be approved by Venezuela's Foreign Ministry". She also rejected the presence of 500 independent international observers that have been invited by the opposition. "Do not get any false hopes on international visits, the only people that will be able to enter voting centers are those approved by the CNE". More in Spanish: (El Nacional,


European Union says Venezuela bans diplomats from trials

Federica Mogherini, the European Union's (EU) high representative, says that "unfortunately, Venezuelan security personnel have made it impossible since February for EU diplomats to observe trials, even though they are supposed to be public". She said that both the EU and the OAS have expressed their willingness to support upcoming elections here, "but have not received an invitation by the government or by Venezuela's election authorities". A delegation of 3 members of the European Parliament is visiting Venezuela to meet with both government and opposition representatives on an "exploratory" mission to "evaluate the political situation" and "prepare to send" a full delegation. More in Spanish: (El Universal,


Universities fear a takeover by the government

Venezuela's University Professors Federation calls a document sent out by the National Assembly a "threat" against university autonomy and the freedom of trade unions. The pro-regime majority in the Assembly has accused the professors of paralyzing activities in 10 major universities nationwide, where students and faculty are protesting a lack of resources.  The resolution, signed by National Assembly President, Captain Diosdado Cabello, among others, claims universities are sequestered by different forces and that university authorities have established a "state of siege" on the rights of students for an education. The pro government legislators are calling for an audit and intervention of paralyzed universities here. Dr. Cecilia García-Arocha, Rector of Venezuela's Central University says that for 8 years they have warned of budget deficits and that they will receive only 32% of their requests for 2016 and 90% of it goes to salaries well below any standard. Student leaders have accused the Maduro regime of provoking the crisis in order to take over autonomous universities. More in Spanish: (El Universal,


US says Venezuela is the main transit route for Colombian drugs

US Assistant Secretary of State for Anti Narcotics Affairs, Ambassador William Brownfield, says Colombian drug lords have decided the "cheapest and most efficient" way to transport over half of their products are through the Venezuelan border. According to a UN report, Colombia exported 442 tons of cocaine in 2014. More in Spanish: (El Universal,



The following brief is a synthesis of the news as reported by a variety of media sources. As such, the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Duarte Vivas & Asociados and The Selinger Group.

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