Getting It All Wrong

 We’ll get to our Down The Rabbit Hole segment shortly but first …we have Nicolas Maduro giving yet another speech. Telesur (government media) reports Maduro stressed that his government “…defeated the US economic blockade which violates the fundamental rights of the ‘Bolivarian ‘ people (He loves to call them ‘Bolivarians’ instead of Venezuelans)…over 500 unilateral coercive measures in force since 2014 against our country.” Maduro has been saying things like this for the last week. Both he and his VP, Delcy Rodriguez, spouting statistics that can’t be confirmed (because they made them up?) One thing that can be confirmed is the sanctions. The 1st sanctions were issued by Barack Obama in 2015 and all the sanctions until 2017 were against individuals (Human Rights violating Chavistas) and not against the country. When it comes to sanctions the Chavistas continue to get it all wrong.

Then we have Caracas Chronicles reporting that Maduro’s National Assembly held a session to debate the report of the ‘Special Commission for Dialogue, Peace, and National Reconciliation’. The VP of the commission didn’t speak about the content of the report, who they talked to, or how the dialogue had been reformatted. The head of the National Assembly said the report was only preliminary and also mentioned “We’re going to rebuild a welfare state.” (What a lofty goal, an entire country dependent on Chavismo) and also said the negotiations with the opposition will take place in Venezuela, not Mexico.

 And we have Mongabay reminding us that when the Chavistas aren’t busy violating Human Rights and committing crimes against humanity they turn their attention to destroying the environment. I can’t remember who said it but I love the term ‘ecocide’. The Political Ecology Observatory of Venezuela says that it’s difficult to assess the scope of the problem in Venezuela as the government publishes no statistics on deforestation, infrastructure, or mining activity, and blocks researchers from investigating environmental threats. There were at least 73 oil spills last year. One was 951,000 gallons and lasted for two weeks coming from a facility that hadn’t had a maintenance inspection in years.

 Satellite readings show that in the Yapacana National Park 5,503 acres have been deforested and in Canaima National Park, one of the most remarkable places on earth and home to the world’s highest waterfall, 2,471 acres have been deforested and that’s only within the designated park boundaries, the surrounding areas have seen much more. There is severe loss nationwide due to logging and wood trafficking (yes, wood trafficking as there is no cooking gas). Also, more deforestation leads to increased mudslides. They also tell us that 80% of the country’s garbage is in open, poorly contained dumps that leak into drainage systems and waterways. They show the same disdain for the environment they do for the people.

 And we have a Spanish court authorizing Colombian prosecutors to interrogate Hugo Carvajal, “The Chicken” (I just love that). He has previously confessed the Maduro regime (and Chavez before him) has illegally financed leftist movements for over 15 years. A lotta’ people seem to want to talk to this guy before he is eventually extradited to the US. Besides the courts of the world being filled with cases dealing with Chavismo’s illegal expropriations they’re filled with cases of Chavista corruption. No wonder that even though Venezuela’s economy was in recession for eight years and 95% of the people live in poverty Venezuela still ranks number 8 in the world in private jet ownership.

 Then we have FX Empire reporting that four oilfield service majors have joined Chevron in the appeal to restart operations in Venezuela. If approved, they could help boost output ( We told you…the Biden oil for sanctions relief deal is still out there). The output would need a lot of boosting as the current drilling rig count in Venezuela is… wait for it… ZERO! That’s down from 87 when Maduro took power.

 I guess now’s as good a time as any to go Down The Rabbit Hole….

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

 We already know the Chavistas are 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. (remember, this is all pre- Covid-19) What about their education? Forget about the fact that as soon as Hugo Chavez came to power one of his first moves was to replace all school books with new “Chavista Revised” versions of everything.(One of the first moves any socialist/Marxist regime makes is always to eliminate history so that ‘history’ begins with ‘the regime’) How about just getting the kids 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” (remember the hospitals?) 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 miss work on a regular basis.

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

 Of those that do comply, 96% don’t meet the basic nutritional standards of the program.

 For both the children and the teachers it’s not difficult to figure out why they’re not in the classroom. It’s all about money and food (aside from the basics like electricity 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 trying to help their parents find their next meal.When the government supplied meals for the children in schools parents would make it a priority to get their kids to the classroom if for no other reason than to get a meal, but now… why bother?

 This one is a bit of a reach and will never go anywhere but I can’t help thinking about it. It’s the United Nations resolution ratified in 2005. It pertains to four items, among them crimes against humanity, and is called “The Responsibility To Protect”. It states that the UN may intervene when a government is committing crimes against humanity. 190 countries signed off on this. The ICC (International Criminal Court) is currently investigating the Maduro regime for gross and systematic Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity. Investigations by the ICC take years (this one’s been in the pre-investigation phase for about 3 years now and just now became an official investigation) and even if they find that Human Rights violations and crimes against humanity were (and are) being committed by the Chavistas (the evidence is overwhelming) it’s unclear what action(s) would be taken. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the UN to invoke the Responsibility To Protect before such time as the ICC concludes it’s investigation and probably not afterward but the possibility, no matter how remote, is out there.

 We’ve dealt a lot with Chavismo’s destruction of the Venezuelan economy. Each year since Maduro took power he has proclaimed it as the year of the “Revolution’s Economic Miracle” and the huge projected boost in productivity. Each year production declines and GDP contracts, six years (now 8 years) and counting. (We’ve recently covered the signs that this year may actually show positive growth)

 More tomorrow….

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