(Merida, 07-21-2020).On July 8, the Ministry of Popular Power for University Education, Science and Technology (MPPEUCT, by its acronym in Spanish)) which responds to the interests of the facto government of Nicolas Maduro, convened a virtual meeting of the directors of student affairs of the public universities of the country. The objective unique of it, which was also made in an improvised way, was to request the salaries of scholarship students and trainers from January to June 2020, in order to pay them through the Patria system. In addition, the scholarship students from the autonomous universities have not been paid since April 2019.
The politicization of student scholarships is not new. It began to be announced in May 2018, when Mppeuct stated that they would be processed through the homeland card (Spanish: Carnet de la patria) a tool of political control created by the facto regime. In order to allocate the scholarships, they created the Sucre Scholarship Registration System, which in addition to being a parallel mechanism to the detriment of university autonomy,it established a selection process of only 50,000 students, an amount that does not even represent 2% of the university enrollment announced by Nicolás Maduro himself on October 2019 (2,829,520 students).
Insufficient and discriminatory
On May 27 of this year, César Trompiz, the minister of the regime for university education, stated that the university scholarships had been paid through homeland card. «Thanks to President @NicolasMaduro today, through the Patria platform, we have deposited the University Scholarship to all the fellows of each Institution of University Education in the country», said Trompiz in a tweet published that day. The statement was not only politicized but also false; not all the fellows received the payment, which was only 320,000 bolivars, less than two dollars at the time.
Once again, the Observatory of the University Of Human Rights Of Los Andes (ODH-ULA) condemns and denounces the repeated actions of the facto regime against university autonomy in Venezuela. Likewise, it rejects the political control and manipulation mechanisms that seek to annul the selection processes of fellows, which respond and should respond to the merits and economic needs of the students.
In the face of this new attack, ODH-ULA expresses its support to the Unit of Student Services of the University of Los Andes (DAES-ULA, by its acronym in Spanish) and to all university students with scholarships from this and other public universities in the country.