Deep Sixed

 We’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole in a minute but first we have some news on the CITGO Six.Remember them? The business executives headquartered in Houston and summoned to a special meeting in Caracas where they were arrested as they got off the plane. It looks like their roller coaster ride in and out of jail is over and not in a good way. They’ve been released from jail twice whenever Maduro wanted to put on a show signalling he was not the authoritarian everyone knows he is only to be thrown back in the slammer. The latest was when Alex Saab was extradited to the US and Maduro threw a temper tantrum.

 The six men have now been deep sixed for a while.The TSJ (Venezuela Supreme Court) has upheld the prison sentences, one for 13 years and the other five for 8 years. They’ve been in custody for over four years. With no negotiations going on with anyone and nothing on the horizon where Maduro might need a bargaining chip or six (there are plenty of other political prisoners anyway) it looks like the CITGO Six will remain in prison.

 In the latest on it’s legal wrangling to get out of paying it’s debts we have this from Law360. PDVSA (government owned oil company) says it’s not the government’s alter ego and the $118 million attachment to Citgo bondholders should be dismissed. It’s the same old story and it hasn’t worked for them yet.

 We also have Law360 telling us that PDVSA has moved for dismissal of the $246 million judgement against them awarded to a financial firm. They are also complaining again about the $3 million in attorney fees. There are plenty more of these cases winding their way through courts in various jurisdictions. We’ll keep you posted.

 And the ICG (International Contact Group), a group of representatives from various countries in North America,South America, and Europe has issued a statement telling us pretty much what everyone except Maduro’s little group of supporters has said. The Maduro regime needs electoral reform, judicial reform, political and Human Rights reform, and they must address the humanitarian situation and that they should return to the negotiation table. So, Chavismo should stop everything it’s doing and has been doing, reverse course, and go against everything the Maduro regime symbolizes and negotiate with…who…and for what? I’m glad they’re on the record with that.

 And continuing with our narrative on Chavismo’s financial shenanigans, we have Times of Malta reporting that MFSA (Malta Financial Authority) has cancelled the license of Portman Capital relating to their involvement in laundering over 500 million Euros for the Chavistas. With all the cases circulating around the world sometimes we lose track of the big picture. Chavismo is responsible for the greatest plundering of the resources and assets of a sovereign people in modern history.

 And then we have Telesur (government media) reporting that the UN Security Council is debating the effects of unilateral sanctions. This plays well with the Chavista narrative that US sanctions are the cause of all Venezuela’s ills and not the cancer that is 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism.

 We also have all kinds of groups and countries calling for an investigation into the Trinidad Coast Guard’s killing of a 9 year old Venezuelan baby when it fired upon a boat of migrants fleeing the Maduro regime for Trinidad.

 Remember when we told you how there were all kinds of law suits around the world by the Chavistas claiming defamation? One by one they are being dismissed…almost everywhere…except in Venezuela. Check this out…In April,2021 the TSJ awarded $13.2 million to the number two most powerful man in Venezuela (some say number one), Diosdado Cabello, for defamation related to drug trafficking. In May,2021 a judge ordered an embargo on El Nacional’s headquarters and assets stemming from an article they published by ABC (Spain). Knowing no Spanish court would allow the suit they went after El Nacional in Venezuela. Now, as of January 27,2022, the land and offices of El Nacional have officially been granted to Diosdado Cabello.

 And in the latest example of “show arrests ” by Chavismo we have Caracas Chronicles telling us that a Venezuela General has been arrested for gas smuggling.  Relax, there are thousands of Venezuelan generals.

 Let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole….

 Also in Decree 3.196 two different prices are referenced for a barrel of oil. One refers to the OPEC basket price while the other references the Venezuela basket price which are far apart not to mention one is denominated in dollars and the other in Yuan.

 “Maduro announces economic overhaul tying new currency and minimum wage to Petro.”

 “Petro will be additional unit of account for banks.” Banks now list balances in both bolivares and Petros.

 “Maduro claims Petro will be used for international commercial transactions.”

 “Maduro announces special cryptocurrency teams to conduct cryptocurrency mining nationwide.”

 “Maduro announces official Petro sales to begin November 5th.” Note : No mention is made of previous launches nor previous whitepapers.(the total is now 7 for something that usually requires 1)

 “Maduro says he has a schedule for oil to be sold in Petros in 2019.”

 “Maduro announces fuel for airlines to be sold in Petros.”

 “Maduro decrees public authorities and entities must also promote and guarantee the use of cryptocurrency in the public sector.”

 “Maduro announces central cryptocurrency mining registry.” Note : Without getting into the specifics of cryptocurrency mining, it is essentially adding a block in the blockchain which works as a de facto auditing process as well as facilitating trades and earning the miner cryptocurrency. It’s a flawed explanation but it’s all I’ve got.

 I could go on with the announcements,decrees,changes, etc. but my head would explode. Why don’t we just say that nobody seems to be exactly sure what el Petro is, what it’s worth,how it can be used/traded,how much has been sold,and, most importantly,what other changes/reconfigurations are coming and are there any protections for the buyer (other than oil/whatever that,for now, doesn’t really exist). We already know that the government has been raiding cryptocurrency miners, jailing them,confiscating their equipment,or extorting them into working for the government.

 There are also conflicting versions of exactly who is and isn’t required to accept el Petro as payment for goods and services, exactly what those goods and services are, and if you’re required to accept them how do you do so since there is no mechanism in place for processing payments with el Petro.

 At this point it doesn’t appear that there are online transactions occurring for purchasing PTR. There have been some individuals, much hyped by the government, that have purchased PTR in person, at the office,you know, old school style. There were photos of a Chinese government official leaving the office with his certificate of ownership in hand splashed everywhere.As with all things Chavismo related nobody asked the question “So what can that guy do with that piece of paper?”

 More tomorrow….

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