Head Spinning

 Alex Saab, the corrupt Colombian businessman at the center of Nicolas Maduro’s fraudulent network of  enterprises hasn’t even been arraigned yet and already my head is spinning. We had a couple of stories last week about people connected to Saab and Maduro in various schemes including money laundering and Maduro’s fraudulent CLAP food program. Now we have Luis Alfonso Violaia, also connected to Saab, arrested with 336 bricks of cocaine. Then we have one of Saab’s companies still owing the government of Ecuador $558,000. The Daily Mail reports that in a court filing it was revealed that prior to his arrest Alex Saab met with federal authorities. We don’t know all the details but wire transfers confirm payments to attorneys but the transfers were very convoluted to prevent possible discovery in Venezuela. Then we have a Miami Federal Court transferring fugitive status to six people connected to Saab for money laundering. Hardly a day goes by without somebody somewhere coming out of the woodwork being connected to Alex Saab and possibly Maduro. We’ll have to see how all this plays out among all these people connected to Alex Saab and Nicolas Maduro but there’s sure to be some deal making. Stay tuned.

 S&P Global reports that the upcoming Venezuela elections are not expected to produce any major oil sanctions relief but there may be an easing of things like crude for diesel swaps etc. The need for gasoline and diesel in Venezuela is acute. Last month Venezuela refineries produced 68,000 bpd (barrels per day) of gasoline versus a domestic demand of 225,000 bpd. For diesel we have 56,000 bpd produced versus a demand number of 130,000 bpd. Anything that helps availability of gasoline and diesel, since Venezuela can’t produce it themselves, would be a welcome sight to those waiting in line for days for fuel. I’ve mentioned it before but it bears repeating. The OPEC charter requires all members to supply domestic needs before exporting oil yet nobody’s calling out the Chavistas on this. I guess the optics are too bad as Venezuela was a founding member of OPEC and state owned oil company PDVSA was the envy of the oil producing world until “21st Century Bolivarian Socialism” destroyed it.

 Amnesty International weighed in on Karim Khan and the ICC with this. “The office of the Prosecutor must fully investigate…pursuing cases against those who bear the greatest responsibility for Crimes Against Humanity…timely and effective justice for victims. Does this mean the ICC can’t take forever then just offer up a couple of low level scapegoats and call it a day?

 Marco Rubio’s office released this statement. “The Biden administration can’t cave on sanctions relief for the Maduro regime.” Regarding the free and fair elections and opposition participation, “The individuals running, who are disguised as opposition, are the same ones assisting the brutal regime.” Biden has, thus far, given no indication of doing anything regarding Venezuela but remember Obama and Cuba?

 Caracas Chronicles had an interesting piece on how the global Dubai Expo is the perfect venue for Chavista propaganda. The Chavista message: Venezuela has a pension system for 100% of seniors. They don’t say the average benefit is just a few bucks a month,if that. They reference a population of 33 million. In keeping with Chavismo’s policy of not releasing any pertinent numbers on anything, the 33 million population figure is from years ago before the mass migration of about 6 million of it’s citizens fleeing the country and the ravages of the Maduro regime. The Chavista message : Venezuela school enrollment is 93%. Again, old numbers. The drop out rate has been precipitous under Maduro and most students no longer attend as they need to help feed their starving families. Chavismo celebrates the Ministry For Indigenous Communities when in reality they are responsible for massacring them. Chavismo celebrates state owned oil company PDVSA. Uhh…is that the same PDVSA that has seen production drop from 3 and 1/2 million bpd to less than 600,000 bpd under Chavista stewardship? The same one that can’t produce gasoline or diesel to meet the needs of it’s own people? The only people buying any of this are people that have never heard of Venezuela before.

 The director of Medicos Unidos de Venezuela reports that 75% of radiology services are not working in Venezuela. He also warns of a rise in diphtheria and measles cases. This on the heels of the report from JM de los Rios Hospital that there is still no chemotherapy available to it’s patients.

 And in other healthcare related news we have VP Delcy Rodriguez giving us the frightening news that they have authorized the use of Cuban vaccines Soberana2 and Abdala for children as young as two years. She put out that statement at about the same time as the president of the Venezuela Pediatric Society telling us that the Cuban vaccines are not safe for children.

 Relating to Russia getting in on the act of sending observers to Venezuela for the November 21st elections we have Tass reporting that Russia will continue to support internal political settlement and observance of Venezuela sovereignty. “Our friends have briefed us.” What a surprise.

 In other election news we have social media monitors, Pro Box, reporting that MIPPCI (Chavismo) generated 86% of messages relating to the November 21st elections.

 And BNN Bloomberg reports that the Venezuela government has revised it’s oil production output goal for this year down to one million bpd, down from 1 and 1/2 million. It’s probably a good time for a downward revision since the September number was 527,000 bpd although we did see a bit of an uptick in October.

 And what would a news day be without something from “The Chicken”, still trying to delay his extradition to the US. Now he says he has evidence against high ranking Chavistas including Diosdado Cabello, the number two man in Venezuela (some say number one).

 And is it just me or have the Chinese been suspiciously quiet regarding anything to do with Venezuela recently? Maybe they’re too busy with their plans to invade Taiwan? Just saying….

 More tomorrow….

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