Here We Go Again
With most of the world focused on the debacle taking place in Afghanistan nobody’s really paying attention to the much ballyhoo’d talks in Mexico between the Maduro regime and the opposition. Before we head Down The Rabbit Hole let me get you caught up.
So, why the headliner “Here We Go Again?” Well, the Chavistas are nothing if not repetitive. Maybe it’s because they’re not substantive. They have nothing of substance to offer anyone,except maybe misery. The “big talks” in Mexico are going about as expected or at least how we expected them to go. BNN Bloomberg reports that Maduro is now calling for direct talks with the Biden administration when the talks reconvene in early September.Maduro has said over and over that he demands sanctions relief or nothing is going to happen. In the five point memorandum signed by both sides a couple of days ago there was nothing about direct talks with the US, the EU, Canada, or anybody else. The memorandum covered areas of agreement between the two parties, mediated by Norway. Now,here we go again,just like all the prior talks between the Maduro regime and the opposition.One step forward ie; the memorandum of agreement and two steps back, Maduro sabotaging said agreement as well as the next round of talks with his demands.
Each time Maduro has demanded sanctions relief both the US and the EU have responded by saying they won’t consider any relief until they see credible advances toward actual free,fair,democratic, and internationally monitored elections. That’s what these talks with the opposition are all about.It’s what the past talks were about and what the future talks will be about. (Not just the future talks in this series but future talks down the road after these talks fail) It’s just more of the same from Chavismo.
And then we have Tass (Russia) reporting that the talks in Mexico were very constructive and will resume in September. What is this,the UN? Are we having big meetings where the celebrated outcome is the decision to have more meetings?
And then we have TRT World reporting on another blatantly transparent show of good faith by the Maduro regime. Opposition leader Freddy Guevara has been released and Maduro says he would be welcome at the negotiating table in Mexico for the next round of talks. Chavismo has given no details regarding conditions of his release but we do know that the charges against him of terrorism and treason have not been dropped. How serious can these charges against him be if he would be allowed to travel to Mexico? Could he be rearrested? (of course). If he sought asylum in Mexico would AMLO (the acronym for Mexico’s socialist president) turn him over to the Chavistas?(of course)
We have a quick follow up on last week’s “El Dorado” segment highlighted by the oppression of indigenous peoples in Venezuela.The Yekuana people are reporting 400 illegal miners from Brazil are operating 30 mining machines on their territory and enslaving local Yekuana.And the response from the Venezuelan military in the area……nothing!
And in another “Here We Go Again” moment Caracas Chronicles reports Maduro is resurrecting one of his economic blasts from the past.”Venezuela has reactivated 16 engines and we’re finding the way to true economic growth” says Nicolas Maduro. Isn’t this rosy prognostication the same thing we’ve heard every year since he took office in 2013? Only this time he’s mentioning engines, a reference to his 15 motors of economic production, which worked about as well as all his other economic plans …..and that would be…a dismal failure. He also said it’s time for credit in dollars (and Petros) to be issued to help production referencing loans from the government. While businesses could certainly use an infusion of dollars I’m not sure how much an infusion of Petros would help (he just can’t let it go). Probably as much as an infusion of bolivares.
Somewhat lost in the news is Cuba. Translating Cuba reports “Cuba’s Looting Of Venezuela Continues, From Oil To Beans.” It seems to have come to light that with the Cubans starving just like their “Revolutionary Brothers” in Venezuela the Venezuelans are now packing and shipping beans to Cuba. What they are really sharing are beans that are of such low quality even the starving Venezuelans won’t eat them,and that’s saying something.
Now let’s go Down The Rabbit Hole for a little bit more about “The Card” before we finish it up tomorrow.
….Just because there wasn’t much news about this initiative doesn’t mean nothing was happening.The Venezuelans tried advancing the project on their own…and failed.They got the Cubans to help…and that failed. Finally they wised up and went back to the source,China and ZTE.With the advances in technology the Chinese had them set up in short order with biometric smart cards capable of using digital wallets to process payments and more importantly to upgrade the database. If you have the “Carnet de la Patria” any government bureaucrat can access the following simply by entering your name :
Employment and income
State benefits received
Presence on social media
Membership in a political party
Participation in Socialist Party events
Whether you have voted
The card is not required by the government but over half the population have registered. The majority of them did so for benefit related purposes. Retirees get their pensions through the card. Remember that from the “EL Petro” story? The CLAP food program is run through the card, in return for supplying the government with basically everything they could possibly want to know about your life. Tell them everything and you get a box of food every month or so at a cheap price (free for some). This is the most common and most insidious use of the card.With the distribution run by the ‘colectivos’, Chavismo’s private militia (under the watchful eye of the military), with numbers estimated at 400,000,you can expect a visit any time the government wants your participation or cooperation in something.Comply and your CLAP food box arrives,maybe even on time. Don’t comply, good luck.
To be continued….
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