How Long Has It Been?

 After a long weekend we’ve got some catching up to do before we can head Down The Rabbit Hole so let’s get to it.

 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, reiterated all aspects of her previous reports regarding the Maduro regime’s human rights abuses (what is this, a dozen times now?) and called for them to institute reforms.

 Telesur put out the regime’s response calling the latest report fallacious and biased because it was not verified by the state in question. Does that mean all the abuses referenced in the report can’t be true because the Maduro regime hasn’t admitted to them?

 Anadolu reported that Michele Bachelet is hopeful that Venezuela will follow through on it’s proposed police reforms, that talks will continue Tuesday, and that they hope to have an office in Venezuela soon. There should be a follow up in September.How long has it been now? A couple of years I guess….

 For those of you late to the party, Michele Bachelet visited Venezuela a couple of years ago and much was made both about how her office was indeed responding to the widespread reports of human rights abuses by Maduro and his various services as well as the positive response by the regime to her visit. They would cooperate fully with the High Commissioner and her representatives on subsequent trips and fact finding missions. Here we go again. After two years they hope to have an office soon! Are you kidding me? And all this comes amid the backdrop of the chief prosecutor for the ICC protecting Maduro during his entire time in office and slow walking calls that he be investigated for crimes against humanity. Now that we have a new chief prosecutor and Bachelet has reiterated her stance ( and may soon have an office) maybe we will see some action in a decade or two?

 There has been a lot of talk (without really saying anything) over the last few days Covid related. They ,the Chavistas, are all playing up the new (what is this,the fifth one now?) vaccine coming out of Cuba. Remember, none of their vaccines have been accredited by anybody. It’s all about Abdala and how it will help Venezuela with their vaccine plan, which nobody seems to know exactly what that is. Until Abdala it was all about COVAX and all the money Venezuela paid them. Then it got quiet on the COVAX front. Now Venezuela is hyping Abdala as well as demanding COVAX supply them with vaccines or return their money,which curiously enough nobody is really sure exactly how much it was or where it is. But they are confident the new Abdala vaccine from Cuba will help them achieve a 70% vaccination rate by October. Uhhh.. has anyone done the math? They say they started putting their plan in motion in February or March. The current vaccination rate is about 11%. Uhhh.. 11% in four months then up to 70 % in the next three? With no real plan and no real money? Just more Chavismo, “It’s gonna’ be great!”

 Do you remember the big news about how the Chavista CNE (electoral council) was going to allow the main opposition umbrella party, MUD, to participate in the upcoming elactions? Well, it seems that many of their candidates will still be barred from running because they have not submitted their tax declarations. What’s that you say…? No prominent Chavista has submitted a tax declaration in years….??

 And now we can add an oxygen crisis to the seemingly endless list of crisis’s in Venezuela. The Health Ministry stopped paying the four main suppliers, however, they are addressing the situation. They have threatened expropriation.

 Quick question, what does Maduro’s announcement that he will eliminate the “protectors of the people” positions in the government ( positions he unconstitutionally created) really mean if he follows that up with his plan to install a parallel communal state?

 One more note on the free and fair elections front. NGO, Acesso a la Justicia, reports that there have been 145 TSJ (supreme court) rulings against the 2015 National Assembly. You remember them don’t you? The last guys voted in by a free and fair election.

 DW reported that the police arrested the head of human rights group Fundaredes. This was followed up by a story in Reuters that the director and two others were being held and charged with instigating hatred, treason, and terrorism. This comes after they held a news conference regarding government links to armed groups in the border areas engaging in illegal mining and trafficking. The regime’s “hate law” allows this because hate, treason,and terrorism, mean whatever the government says they mean and criticism of high government officials can carry a penalty of up to 20 years. Remember that when you hear people talking about the need for anti-hate laws. Opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, received a 14 year sentence for much the same charges when he encouraged peaceful protests in 2014. Hate is what they tell you it is.

 I have to tip my hat to the regime on allowing the WFP to distribute 42,000 food packages to at risk children. I know that to the uninitiated this move would seem like a no-brainer but Maduro has a long history of denying any aid to the Venezuelan people. We can only hope he will allow it to continue.

 Following up on our six zeros story, reports the regime is indeed putting plans in motion to lop six zeros off the “Sovereign Bolivar”, the current iteration of Venezuela’s fiat currency. This follows lopping off five zeros in 2018 and three zeros in 2008 not to mention the issuing of the government’s relatively nonexistent cryptocurrency, el Petro. Let’s see, 12 zeros is a trillion so 14 is what? A hundred trillion? So when this is done, adjusted to Pre- Chavez  bolivars, you would need a hundred trillion bolivars in exchange for a dollar.

 The Democratic Socialists of America met with Maduro. No great surprise as they have previously stated their support of his regime. Remember that when you hear these people try and portray themselves in a kinder, gentler light.

 Oh, and Sputnik, Mehr, and Fars (Russia and Iran) report another plot to assassinate Maduro. How many is that now? Two dozen…three dozen…more?

 And in oil news PDVSA June exports were up ahead of China’s new tax on heavy crude (ie: Venezuelan crude). With all this happy talk about quadrupling Venezuela’s crude exports by year’s end it’s important to remember PDVSA earlier this year said it would need 58 billion dollars to restore production to pre- Chavez levels….. Just sayin’….

 I was going to get started with our Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment, “Control Freaks”, today but I think we’ve had enough insanity for one day. But before I go, let’s reflect. July 4th was Independence Day in the US. July 5th was Independence Day in Venezuela. two very similar constitutions, two dissimilar outcomes. Simon Bolivar freed the Venezuelans from the tyranny of Spanish rule. Who will free the Venezuelans from the tyranny of “21st Century Bolivarian Socialism?” And who will free us from the impending “New Democratic Socialism” many are proposing? Just sayin’….

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