Questions Anyone?

 It’s time to close out another week of insanity in Venezuela before we continue on with more Down The Rabbit Hole on Monday so here we go.The November state and local elections are just around the corner.We’ve covered a lot of the talk from the regime side of this as it’s an important part of the talks in Mexico between the regime and the opposition.After all the assurances from Maduro and friends about the new CNE (electoral council) and the more inclusive nature of Venezuelan democracy we should be in pretty good shape. Uhhh….well…maybe not. One of the major opposition parties, Primero Justicia, doesn’t know if it has a spot on the ballot or not. Are they OK as a stand alone entity? Can they use their MUD spot? (MUD was the opposition’s umbrella party that may or may not still be viable) MUD was suspended in 2018 which caused most international actors to regard the Venezuelan political process as totally fraudulent. They were recently reactivated but it’s still unclear if candidates from individual parties will be allowed to participate in the November elections or if not under their individual party’s banner will they be permitted to run using their MUD affiliation.Is it one,or the other,or none,or both? Nothing can happen without clarification from the CNE. And the CNE says….nothing! Questions Anyone?

 And with the Mexico talks taking center stage we have this from Norway, the “mediators”. They tell us that the regime and the opposition “…are at the end of exploratory conversations and are starting a new cycle with the goal of starting negotiations in Mexico.” Huh? Is this more of that UN type talk? Everyone is in Mexico and supposedly ready to go,optimistic, all that good stuff and the mediator says we’re entering another ‘cycle’. It sounds like we’re going to have a meeting to decide if we are going to have a meeting…. Questions Anyone?

 But we do have a statement from the regime. Deputies (representatives) from Maduro’s National Assembly (not to be confused with the legally elected 2015 National Assembly) met with the CNE to know and/or evaluate guarantees for the November elections. Huh? Isn’t that what’s been going on for months leading up to the talks in Mexico? Questions Anyone?

 At least we have vaccine news.PAHO (Pan American Health Organization), in light of recent concerns over lack of Sputnik V (Russian) vaccines in Venezuela, says COVAX vaccines should be arriving in late August. Uhhh…isn’t it already mid August? And Sinopharm (Chinese) vaccines will arrive later. That’s good to know. But everyone can rest easy. As reported in  Prensa Latina(Cuba) the success of ozone therapy was presented in Venezuela this week….just like they presented their findings on the efficacy of herbal tea therapy?

 And then we have the ICC Office of the Prosecutor clarifying that the lack of investigation by the state (Venezuela) makes investigation admissible. Is that clearing the way for the investigation into whether or not to launch an investigation into the Maduro regime’s human rights violations and crimes against humanity?

 And while we have the ICC looking into having investigators investigate whether or not to launch an investigation we have the Venezuela Foreign Minister calling for the ICC to investigate US sanctions as crimes against humanity.

 And Prensa Latina(Cuba) reports UN “experts” reject unilateral sanctions. That must be the experts from China,Nigeria,and Myanmar.

 Things haven’t gotten any better for jailed opposition leader Freddy Guevara. He’s presenting cardiac arrhythmia symptoms and lawyers and family are asking that he receive medical treatment. Good luck with that.

 Caracas Chronicles reports that at the JM de los Rios Hospital, site of recent protests  for almost everything health related,the pediatric unit has had three deaths in ten days. So…..

 Americas Quarterly updated the regime’s approval numbers leading up to the Mexico talks as well as the upcoming elections. Maduro’s approval rating is 10% while Chavismo as a whole has a sterling 30% approval. Sounds like a recipe for a resounding political victory for the Chavistas huh? They went on to say in their analysis that if Maduro shows credible commitment to reforms the US and EU could restructure sanctions. Thanks for clearing that up. They did,however, have a great description of Chavismo  : …created authoritarian institutions,clientelist networks, mechanisms of social control,local brokers,ties to armed groups, a loyal economic elite, alliances with powerful non-democratic countries,and a radical left-wing narrative. That pretty much sums it up.

 Then we have the flurry of headlines from all the international media organizations regarding the big talks in Mexico :

 Reuters – Norway Involved

 Telesur – Maduro Optimistic

 IBT Times – Sanctions And Elections On The Table

 AP – Low Expectations For Talks

And there were many more…..

 We did have something substantive of a follow up nature. Remember the news about Maduro finally allowing NGO’s into Venezuela after years of denying them access to help the starving and dying Venezuelan people? Well,in a report that surprised absolutely nobody, the major problem faced by NGO’s is CLEAN WATER ACCESS. As we covered in our “Just The Basics” Down The Rabbit Hole segment, without reliable access to power and water you can’t really do anything.

 That does it for me. We’ll be back Monday with the latest from over the weekend as well as beginning our Down The Rabbit Hole segment “The Card” (it’s dangerous)

 Have a great weekend everybody!


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