We’ll continue with our next Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment, “Bullets”, on Monday but we have plenty of recent news. First up, we have our headliner. It’s not the most pressing but it’s interesting for sure. We already know that under Chavismo disease has made a huge comeback in Venezuela Measles and malaria are prominent among them and we also have diphtheria and even polio which we all thought we were done with. Then we heard about Black Fungus in Venezuela which, as we saw in India, can be a big problem. Then we heard Yellow Fever had reared it’s ugly head in Venezuela. And all this as Venezuela tries to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. I saw an article on doctors and nurses in Venezuela fearing a third wave of the coronavirus with sanitary conditions much worse than in 2020. PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) said this week that a stronger pandemic response was needed especially in Yellow Fever areas. And now Nature.com tells us we need to pay attention to Venezuela Equine Encephalitis. Are you kidding me? A horse disease? Well, it seems that this malady can also infect humans and when it does there is no known cure or vaccine. It seems a little alarmist to me but,regardless, this is getting downright biblical….Maduro may have to fire the Health Minister…again.
We’re approaching that time of year when everybody is putting out their year end estimates. The IMF estimates that Latin America will finish the year as the region with the world’s highest inflation, predicted to be 9.3%. As worrisome as that may be they predict inflation in Venezuela at 2,700% which is up from last year although well short of over a million% from before. They also expect the economy to contract 5%.
Maybe things will at least be a little better with the new “Digital Bolivar”? Well, not if you listen to Venezuelan economist Asdrubal Olivares (and look at Maduro’s track record). He thinks the new bolivar will suffer a big devaluation in November due to increased government spending as they print bolivars like crazy in an attempt to buy yet another election. He also points out that Venezuela is currently the only country in the world experiencing hyperinflation, soon to pass the previous record of a five year duration. Remember, most episodes of hyperinflation last well under a year.
But maybe Maduro will prove everybody wrong. He did,after all, have an epiphany this week. He said ” We should have the capacity to produce medicine we need.” Wow! What a revelation! (Maybe the Chavistas can produce some food while they’re at it)
And I can’t pass up an opportunity to talk about “The Chicken”, Hugo Carvajal. As he awaits extradition to the US he said he had a lot of incriminating information about the Chavistas. True to his word he gave a judge documents which he said were proof of payments authorized by Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro to founders of Spain’s socialist Podemos party in 2007. We’ll see where this goes along with the other pending extraditions.
And in the “distractions” category we have TRT World reporting that Maduro is calling on Spain to apologize to the indigenous peoples of the world.Then we have Telesur (government media) reporting that Venezuela proposes to unveil the truth about colonial genocide. Funny how tyrannical regimes love to dwell on the past transgressions of others (in this case some four hundred to five hundred years ago) so we won’t focus on things like the report from CSIS that Maduro’s environmental assault is nearing the point of no return and who is suffering? Why, that would be the indigenous peoples in Venezuela and throughout the Amazon Basin.
And in the “silver lining” category we have Freddy Guevara, the head of the opposition’s negotiating team for the talks in Mexico, telling us that the current situation presents us with a window of opportunity…however…the talks will take six months at least. When are those elections again? Oh, right, November.
Then we have Merco Press and others reporting that political prisoner and former Chavez aide/general, Raul Baduel, died in prison. The cause of death was reported as Covid-19. There are many that dispute the official cause of death. Our friends at Caracas Chronicles report that his wife claims he was tortured and killed and finds it suspicious that she was not allowed to attend his burial. This was followed by Aljazeera reporting that the UNHCHR (remember Michele Bachelet?) urges Venezuela to investigate Raul Baduel’s death. They also gave us a little history on Baduel. He was a staunch ally of Hugo Chavez until he disagreed with him in 2009 and was arrested. Then he was allowed house arrest until 2017 until he disagreed with Maduro and was rearrested. He died in the custody of SEBIN (remember them?). They also mentioned that his two sons are also in jail.
We’ve had numerous people criticizing EU’s Josep Borrell over his decision to send an electoral observation mission to Venezuela for the November elections. WLRN tells us that the EU shouldn’t legitimize a sham election although neither should Juan Guaido be left out there as the only one crying “foul”. Then we have a bit of a revelation. In the midst of Borrell’s critics and Borrell defending his position we have this from FT. It appears that Josep Borrell ignored the advice of his own staffers regarding sending observers to Venezuela. In the exploratory mission’s report to Borrell they said, “…minimal conditions for electoral observation aren’t met at the moment.”
Well,that does it for another week here at Tales From Teodoro. And just so you know, next week’s Down The Rabbit Hole segment, “Bullets”, is not about how shootings are down this year in Venezuela and a contributing factor, as many gang members have stated, is the high cost of bullets….See you Monday.
Have a great weekend everybody!!
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