Much Ado About Nothing

 Our Down The Rabbit Hole segment is coming right up but meanwhile we have a couple of articles from the news feed that exemplify the political situation in Venezuela. It’s as weird as it gets.

 First we have the Digital Journal reporting that Juan Guaido has been reconfirmed as ‘acting president’ of Venezuela by the 2015 National Assembly (the last fair election in Venezuela was in 2015 when the opposition won legislative seats by a landslide). For the uninitiated, Venezuela’s constitution allows the National Assembly to designate an ‘acting president’ if the office of the president is vacant,which they contend is the situation and has been since Maduro’s last fraudulent election…and the one before that.

 Then we have the US Department of State confirming it recognizes Juan Guaido as the official President of Venezuela and the 2015 National Assembly as the official legislative body,a position also held by about 60 other countries.

 As you might expect, all the usual Chavista suspects were all over the usual Chavista friendly media outlets decrying both moves and proclaiming Maduro is president (he did,after all, win the election,fraudulent as it may have been) and Maduro’s National Assembly (not the duly elected 2015 one) as the official legislative body (they did, after all,win the elections,as fraudulent as they may have been).

It’s worth remembering that in 2017 Maduro created a “Constituent National Assembly” in violation of the Venezuela constitution, rewritten by Hugo Chavez,by the way. The purpose was to nullify the legitimate National Assembly, which they basically did. It’s also worth noting that when Maduro’s National Assembly was elected and the 2015 National Assembly was still in place the “Constituent National Assembly” had yet to be dissolved to at one time there were three National Assemblies and two presidents….got it?

 So on one hand we have a legitimate National Assembly and their designated President with no real power.On the other hand we have  a fraudulently elected National Assembly and their fraudulently elected President with all the power…and it will remain like this for some time. It’s all much ado about nothing. As the saying goes,”it is what it is.”

 Oh,and I almost forgot that while all this was going on we had Telesur (government media) reporting that Maduro has asked his National Assembly to open an investigation into asset theft by the “pro-imperialist National Assembly….justice against this banditry of mafiosi and thieves.” Maybe they should look into the asset theft of the well over $600 billion dollars that have disappeared from Venezuela’s coffers under the stewardship of Chavismo?

 Ugghh…let’s descend to the safety of The Rabbit Hole…

 With no money and no access to credit they tried a series of bilateral agreements to supply the failing systems but country by country,deal by deal, they screwed everyone and burned all those bridges.

 To take us even further Down The Rabbit Hole, Maduro has been ruling by decree for years now (almost since he took power) due to the declaration of a “state of emergency.” At the same time he has, until recently, been denying the existence of a humanitarian crisis. Call me crazy but isn’t it one or the other?

 That led us to the government’s conscious decision to just let people die. They had to choose between paying off their bond holders (Venezuela had never,before Maduro, defaulted on it’s bonds),strangely enough many of those bond holders were wealthy, well connected Chavistas, or putting that money towards caring for the people. Even that only lasted until 2017 and they are now,and have been,in default on almost all of their bonds. They tried to at least pay the interest on the 2020 bonds for a while but eventually those fell into default and now CITGO, one of the regime’s few remaining assets, is at risk as the 2020 bonds were backed by putting up CITGO’s assets as collateral.

 So here we are. The government keeps a well staffed hospital or two as well as a couple of Barrio Adentro locations they can show visitors that are gullible enough to believe the government line.(At least to show them when the power is on) They don’t hear from people like the doctor in one of the “non-showcase” hospitals that said it was like practicing battlefield medicine 200 years ago.

 The good news is that the hospital Duglimar and I visited reopened.The bad news is that with few doctors, no supplies,and now for the most part no food,water, or dependable electricity, it truly is as Duglimar said, “In Venezuela you go to the hospital to die.”

 Summary : It was my intent to focus on how the healthcare system in Venezuela collapsed. In doing so I didn’t get into how horrific the situation is ie: babies in cardboard boxes instead of incubators etc.It is catastrophic and as you can see it is not the effect of outside influences,natural disasters,or civil war.It is a self-inflicted wound, a man-made disaster, a Chavista-made disaster.

 That’ll do it for this week.We’ll be back Monday with more of the latest news from the “paradise” of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism and with the next stop on our “Magical Mystery Tour” of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole, “Setting The Record Straight.” We’ll be sure to get to coverage of this Sunday’s re-vote for the governor of Barinas state.

 Have a great weekend everybody!!!



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