More Of The Same

 It never ceases to amaze me how the Chavistas will say pretty much anything regardless of the facts.They live by the mantra “Any lie repeated long enough and loudly enough will be considered as the truth.” Caracas Chronicles reported yesterday that Maduro’s Health Minister,Carlos Leal stated “Venezuela has achieved ‘zero hunger’ since 2015. This despite all the reports from almost any credible source that the majority of Venezuelans are food insecure with numbers ranging up to 90 %.Oh yeah,and as I stated earlier,I watched them wasting away before my eyes. As all Chavistas do he was sure to include a blurb condemning the ‘systematic campaign of US aggression’.

 They also had an item from the AN (Assemblea Nacional) Delegate Commission reporting that 90% of Venezuelans had no steady running water supply.That number ,90% seems to pop up a lot regarding things in Venezuela whether it be regarding food,water,medicine,whatever. It is only a small portion of the population that regularly enjoys these “luxuries”,or as we say in the real world basic needs.

 There was also a quote from UN Special Representative Eduardo Stein who said “The Venezuelan exodus seems to have no end,so there is a possibility it will become a forgotten crisis.” To many Hollywood types that are always willing to trot down to Caracas for a photo op with Nicolas Maduro,like Jamie Fox,Steven Segal,Danny Glover, to name a few the crisis is already forgotten or never really existed. I wonder if they know (or care) that in addition to the over 5 and 1/2 million people that have already left,even in the throes of Covid 700-900 a day are still crossing the closed border to Colombia.

 But as I told you yesterday,have no fear.The folks at Venezuela government owned news outlet Telesur will keep you up to date on what’s happening.Oh, wait,the various headlines they offered yesterday included gems like “More Congolese Flee Violence and Seek Refuge in Uganda.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!

 And let’s not forget the piece from the Miami Herald as we approach the 4th anniversary of Luis Sanchez,former prosecutor,languishing in jail at the notorious Heliocide in Caracas. He was investigating corruption in the government until his main suspect was appointed Attorney General and had him arrested for ….. wait for it …. Yes! corruption!! I almost forgot to mention that four years later he still hasn’t been officially charged with anything. Why do they refer to all the filings on both sides motions? There ain’t much in the form of motion for Luis Sanchez.

 Enough of that,back Down The Rabbit Hole…….

…. And then there was another round of major protests (not to be confused with the smaller variety that occur daily for food, water,electricity,etc.) and an uprising/coup attempt depending on who you talk to.In that week there were 5 more deaths, another 300 wounded, and about the same number of arrests with more promised.

 The sanctions pressure was also ratcheted up to include the mining sector which I’ll address in subsequent writings. The rape of the environment, the slaughter of indigenous peoples,and the rampant disease caused by the government’s “Mining Arc” deserves special consideration. Suffice to say, the Venezuelan people saw no improvement in their situation.

 Unlike many protesters in the US who often don’t really understand why they’re there, protester after protester in these various manifestations all had the same response to the question “Why are you protesting?” And the answer is “As long as Maduro remains in power we will continue to die.” Sanctions relief would simply allow Maduro and his cadre to remain in power longer causing more and more Venezuelans to die every day. That is,of course, unless you believe Maduro will suddenly wake up tomorrow and after seven years (it seems longer) of doing nothing but inflicting pain and death on his people will  reverse course and decide to provide them with food and medicine instead of buying weapons to prolong his tenure. What do you think?

 Another revenue source which isn’t talked about much by the usual suspects and is vehemently denied by the Chavistas is trafficking.Their vast networks for illegal trafficking of narcotics,gasoline,food,and minerals produce an estimated nine billion dollars a year. Where are the stories of the benevolent narco- traffickers buying food and baby formula for the long suffering people of Venezuela? I will get into these in subsequent writings as well but anyone that does even minimal research on the Maduro regime knows of the existence of these networks and how (and how much) they profit the Chavistas. These are bad guys and what they do to the Venezuelan people is pure evil. As Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

 So what are the alternatives? Doing nothing is not an option and I don’t want to go to the other extreme of armed intervention although “The Great Liberator”, Simon Bolivar, used armed intervention by the British to free the Venezuelans and Colombians from Spanish colonial rule (another one of those things nobody likes to talk about). Dialogue? You can’t be serious! Dialogue has been tried five times (or is it six) since 2014 with the Chavistas and has failed miserably each time as the first thing on the list, free and fair elections monitored by international groups, is a non-starter for Chavismo. With Maduro’s  approval rating south of 13% his party,PSUV, would lose in dramatic fashion.That pretty much leaves us with sanctions in the hope that they will financially strangle the Maduro regime to the point where he can’t buy the loyalty of the military any longer and he will step down or be forced out by international pressure through demonstrations mounts although I don’t know how much more the Venezuelans have in the tank for demonstrations.

 One thing that is still out there even after all this time and nobody seems to talk about, except yours truly,is the bond holders.Yes they’re still out there and Venezuela  has pretty much defaulted on everything and can’t renegotiate. Once again we’ll leave the details of this scenario for later as it’s very complicated but the only reason the bond holders haven’t pursued this more aggressively is the hope that a change of government might get them some return on their money.When they give up all hope the bond vultures will swoop in and there will be nothing left but bones although it takes a really…really long time.

 Summary : Like it or not we live in a sound bite world and people are prone to irresponsibly parrot anything that supports their views without bothering to check the facts. It’s easy to see with even the most minimal amount of fact-checking that Venezuela was suffering and Venezuelans were dying by the thousands long before sanctions were initiated,that non-individual sanctions were not used until The Chavistas had every opportunity to address the horrific conditions they imposed on their people and options other than sanctions allow more atrocities to be perpetrated on the people of Venezuela and more Venezuelans die.





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