We’ll finish up Tales From The Crypto in our Down The Rabbit Hole segment in a few but first your update. It’s just another day,another trampling of the rights of Venezuelans by the Maduro regime. There is some abuse committed by the Chavistas almost every day but this time Caracas Chronicles had more than normal. First up we have National Assembly deputy Freddy Guevara sitting in the slammer and not allowed to see his lawyer nor family and he has had no hearing within 48 hours as required by Venezuela law.
Then we have a joint detail by SEBIN/DGCIM (two heads of the three headed monster of Maduro’s security services/secret police) detaining Jairo Perez for protesting water shortages. They haven’t told us what his crime is yet. Sometimes they concoct something right away and other times people are held for years without being formally charged or even released after years of incarceration with no one ever knowing what they were (supposedly) charged with. Who knows? He may even be released shortly, no explanation given for his detention, and it’s just another ho hum day in the socialist paradise that is the “Glorious Revolution.”
Maria Coromoto Gonzalez was detained without a warrant when her home was raided and the person listed on the warrant wasn’t there.
The headquarters of rights group Fundaredes was raided as were the homes of the director and his mother. No explanation has been given although I expect it would be something like “Because we can.”
The Prosecutor General of Venezuela has sent a document to the ICC (International Criminal Court) requesting transparency and substantial dialogue. He says he’s trying to determine if crimes against humanity may have been committed. With his protector no longer there Maduro must feel the need for a smoke screen.
Maduro calls for a Real Economy, diverse and productive. Doesn’t productivity require someone actually working? Don’t businesses have to do business? Don’t you need power and water? Just thinking out loud….
Oh,and while he was at it, Maduro calls for the extradition of Leopoldo Lopez from Spain to face terror-related charges.
The one thing the Chavistas have proven they are good at is destruction. In currency related destruction they have set a new record high (low) for the exchange rate of the bolivar. It’s now 3,528,301. If you want to compare it to the original bolivar (before the Sovereign Bolivar and the Strong Bolivar) you need to add 8 zeros to that number. I don’t even know what category that number would fall into. What comes after trillions? Quadrillions?
Insight Crime reports the indigenous Warao people continue to be exploited, this time in Guyana near the Venezuela border. They are being forced into illegal mining as well as recruited,then lied to, then enslaved,and when employed paid 50% of the going rate.
Citgo, still a PDVSA concern, says it has no immediate plans to supply LPG to Venezuela. Even with sanctions relief nobody seems very interested in helping out the Venezuelans.
They are,however,watching Cuba closely. Spain’s ABC correspondent has been imprisoned. And how many protesters are missing? Something like over 5,000?
OK, lets head Down The Rabbit Hole….
….As far as I’ve been able to confirm,there have been somewhere over $300,000 sold,that’s dollars,not units and that’s in actual investment in Petro’s not the government’s various distribution schemes.They are doing everything they can to generate any kind of sales or use for el Petro.In a recent,highly questionable,move the government forced the Petro into the retirement system. This was a low blow even for the Chavistas.
Venezuelan retirees receive their pensions monthly via the Carnet de la Patria (the Homeland Card) system. Don’t get me started.Once again, the Carnet de la Patria will require it’s own chapter as it’s governmental,political,and economic extortion.Bolivares are placed into the accounts of pensioners then they can transfer them into their bank accounts or withdraw cash. Without prior notification the retirees got a little surprise. After the fact, they received a text message that the monthly deposit had been made but it wasn’t in bolivares, it was in Petros! When the uproar commenced as the retirees had no idea what to do with the Petros they were told ” Don’t worry, it’s a simple two step process to convert the Petros to bolivares.” They failed to mention that the “simple process” would delay the arrival of the bolivares by a day or two. They also failed to mention that if you were one of those people that would go to Banco Venezuela and conduct your business in person it would take an extra trip. (remember, it’s a two step process) It was a fiasco that,as far as I know, hasn’t been repeated.
When Maduro launched his new currency, designated bsS for Bolivar Soberano, it was tied to the Petro saying it would provide stability as the Petro was tied to the price of a barrel of oil.Let me see if I’ve got this right. Is this supposed to be like algebra, A=B and B=C so A=C ? So how’s that working out? When the bsS was announced in August,2018 the black market rate (the real value) was 101 bsS/dollar. On June 1st,2019 the rate was 6,000 bsS/dollar and today it’s around three and a half million bsS/dollar and a new devaluation looms on the horizon.
It seems that good old stable Petro isn’t faring much better although if you go to the right government website you can find the good old Petro still valued in the $60 range. As previously stated this doesn’t jive with three and a half million bsS/dollar. You have one government website with the Petro valued in bolivares,another with the Petro valued in dollars and the prices don’t match up. Is it worth $60, $33, or $2? Nobody seems to know. Funny thing is…nobody cares!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention another little eccentricity of el Petro. Unlike Bitcoin, which I own a little of by the way, where you can buy it today and sell it tomorrow, PTR has a holding period of 90 days (although the government would have you believe that’s not true)…and guess what…nobody cares!
Summary : I can understand Maduro’s fascination with cryptocurrency. It’s like they teach you in lifeguard training “Drowning people are desperate and will latch on to anything.” I’m sure he thought it would be creating money out of thin air just like with his “Sovereign Bolivares.” Unfortunately for Maduro and the rest of the Chavistas they failed to understand even the most basic concept of cryptocurrency, lack of centralized control.Once you get past the conceptual level they really didn’t understand anything else either.
There has never been a more confusing,convoluted,and contrary initial offering in the history of financial instruments, and there have been some doozies. Not surprising when you consider the source but you would think that as they worked their way through the process they might have been able to at least improve the situation a little,clarify the situation a little. You would be wrong.
The only thing remotely resembling the truth about el Petro is that before the concept phase it was worth ZERO. After it was launched it was worth ZERO. Today it’s worth ZERO. Thankfully,other than the few people coerced into buying that $300,000 worth of PTR, nobody fell for this fraud.Again from the Washington Post “The Petro might be the most obviously horrible investment ever.”
Have a great weekend everybody!
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