Nothing To See Here

 We’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole in a sec but first… Venezuela’s ANC (Maduro’s Constituent National Assembly) imposed Prosecutor General says “Venezuela doesn’t need the ICC (International Criminal Court) to get justice. The justice system works. Human rights activists are buffoons, they lack moral authority.” OK, so there’s “nothing to see here” and the UN Human Rights Commission and all those NGOs are just making this stuff up. We can be sure that Chavismo is investigating itself…Uhh.. OK.

 Market Watch reports that Morgan Stanley, Interactive Brokers, and several others are under investigation for their dealings with Venezuelan businessman Luis Rodriguez. They were involved in managing his $100 million account but the question is, why?  There were many red flags regarding money laundering etc. that were ignored and the overall scheme involves about $100 billion…maybe that’s why. And by the way, Luis Rodriguez’s cousin is former Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, also under investigation.

 Then we have Representative Delsa Solorzano telling us that the regime is trying to empty “La Tumba”, a prison infamous for torture and housing detainees whose location is “undisclosed. She contends it’s to avoid scrutiny as many foreign observers are headed to Venezuela. Don’t want anyone accidentally finding out about possible Human Rights violations now,do we? Maybe they’ll find some of those 248 people that “went missing.”

 And in case you missed it, journalist Angel Cedeno died after being refused admission to three hospitals. He was taken to a fourth, admitted,and subsequently died. No further details.

 Oh, and to great fanfare, Maduro celebrated the 16th anniversary of CEOFANB, the militia created by Chavez. As if the regime wasn’t already heavy handed enough.

 And on the economic front we have Americas Quarterly telling us that the de facto dollarization occurring in Venezuela won’t save the economy. It may stabilize the economy and stop the disastrous free fall but it will stabilize at the bottom of a deep depression. There has been no substantial shift in the way economic policy is conceived or executed.

 The State of Merida’s Governor (opposition) reports that he still hasn’t received resources to supply healthcare centers, 16 hospitals and 260 clinics. Maybe they should ask Merida’s Chavista “protector of the people.”

 What do you say we head Down The Rabbit Hole….

 ….Oh,and just so you know,I didn’t forget about exports.The 2019 export estimates (again,real numbers are hard to come by) are about $21.8 billion, down from $98 billion on 2012. This leads us to the precipitous drop in GDP. According to a July,2019 IMF report, for the period 2013-2018 the economy contracted by 65% and continues to decline.Overall the economy has gone from $359 billion to $70 billion under Chavista stewardship.As I’ve said before, these are numbers reserved for countries ravaged by war,natural disasters,etc. For Chavismo it’s business as usual.

 In case you didn’t know, Venezuela used to have an impressive amount of gold reserves. As recently as 2011 they had over $30 billion in gold in vaults around the world.To great fanfare,Chavez repatriated almost all of these reserves, supposedly to protect it from those who would sabotage “The Revolution.” The cameras were rolling and the flashes were popping as the gold arrived, was loaded onto trucks, and driven through the streets of Caracas in a parade-like or circus-like atmosphere. One had to wonder where it was going and more importantly what would happen to it (as if we didn’t know). That over $30 billion is now under $5 billion and falling. If it weren’t for the narco-trafficking dollars coming in those reserves would be completely gone by now.

 This one is self-explanatory, in 2018 suicides were up 500% in Venezuela.

 We already know the Chavistas are completely ignoring the health and welfare of the children of Venezuela,for that matter everyone in Venezuela who isn’t Chavista, but let’s stay with the kids.What about their education? Forget about the fact that as soon as Chavez came to power one of his first moves was to replace all the school books with new “Chavista Revised” versions of everything. How about just getting the children in school? Chavez did a good job, in the beginning, seeing that all children had access to schools. Just like every other aspect of “21st Century Bolivarian Socialism” it turned bad and when it did it turned really bad. Check this out ….

 As of June,2019 78% of children did not attend school.

 67% of teachers missed work on a regular basis.

 87% of schools didn’t comply with the national school food program.

 Of those that did comply 96% didn’t meet the basic nutritional standards of the program.

 For both the children and teachers it’s not difficult to figure out why they’re not in the classroom.It’s all about money (aside from the basics like power and water). The adults,parents and teachers alike,don’t earn enough to buy hardly anything …. food,clothing,medicine,cleaning supplies,personal care items,….nothing! Instead of being in school teachers are trying to find their next meal.Students are helping their parents try to find their next meal.When the government supplied meals to the children parents would make it a priority to get their kids to school if for no other reason than to get a meal but now,why bother?

 Note : This wasn’t part of Down The Rabbit Hole but remember,a million students have recently dropped out.

 To be continued….

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