We’ll head Down The Rabbit Hole in a few but first…Insight Crime had a piece titled “Organ Sales In Venezuela : A New Online Scam?” This could be a new low for Venezuela besides the black market for Covid-19 vaccines. The low is not that there is a black market for things like organs but that there is a need for a black market in things like organs. There have been a few people caught up in this after being linked through social media accounts , however, this shouldn’t be a big surprise. There has been a black market in Venezuela  for most health-related products and services for quite some time due to the collapse of the healthcare system.

 La Patilla reported that there are very few transplant surgeons left in Venezuela (We’ve previously discussed the mass exodus of medical doctors) and all transplants are now performed privately after Maduro cancelled the government transplant program so they’re very expensive and donors must be family members. There is also the issue that organs for transplant require special care and you obviously need hospital facilities, not to mention transplant surgeons.

 Due to all the above factors, online scamming of organ sales for transplant may not become as widespread as fake car sales which set up the interested parties for kidnapping but it is out there. When I read the story a while ago about the Venezuelan woman arrested for her involvement in the production of videos of men abusing prepubescent boys it was disturbing but only in the context of the depths to which depraved individuals can sink. Is this organ story disturbing? Well, maybe so but only in the context of the fact that there is a need for a black market in organs for transplant at all.

 Next up we have a piece that I’m not sure I understand. Law 360 reports that lawyers for the Venezuelan government signal that a recent US Supreme Court decision  in a Nazi art case ( Holocaust survivors are claiming a painting in a Spanish museum) to return the case to a lower court warrants nixing  the seizure order against their clients, PDVSA (Venezuela government oil company) and by extension Citgo.

 The judgement sides with California’s “Choice of Law” whereby the recipient of stolen property can never acquire title or possession of said property while Spanish law says they can. I think the ruling says the exact opposite of what the lawyers for Venezuela contend in that the recipient of the stolen property, the Venezuela government, has no rights to the assets they stole from Crystallex who was subsequently awarded $1.2 billion by a lower court.

 We also have Law 360 telling us Rusoro Mining is fighting attempts by the Venezuela government to delay efforts to enforce the $1.6 billion award in Delaware. It says the suit must continue so they won’t be at a disadvantage relative to other creditors targeting shares of Citgo ( like Crystallex in the $1.2 billion award and there are others). It’s worth noting that Citgo is about the only remaining tangible asset at PDVSA. With the two cases here, totaling $2.8 billion as well as others, there may not be much left of Citgo after all the plaintiffs and bond holders get their respective pieces of the pie.

 And Lex Blog tells us that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Class Action vs Avior Airlines over Miami to Caracas “exit fees” may proceed. Travelers from Miami to Caracas were hit with a previously undisclosed fee of $80 per person when attempting to fly to Venezuela. These types of “exit fees” or “airport taxes” are common in Latin America but don’t exist in the US, at least I’ve never encountered them.

 And here’s a curious announcement. Admin.ch reports The Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela present their credentials (to Switzerland). ?Huh?

 Then we have Mehr News reporting that the Iran Oil Minister is ready to sign deals with Venezuela. (I told you they sign a lot of these deals and cooperative agreements)

 And we have The Hill reporting that the State Department’s top diplomat for the Western Hemisphere says the representatives from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua won’t be invited to the upcoming “Summit of the Americas” in Los Angeles in June. This has been signaled for some time now although it must have surprised Mexico, whose president, Obrador (AMLO), asked Biden to include them. As a committed socialist I would expect nothing else from AMLO.

 Now, let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole….


 1/ Chavismo promised, and continues to promise, exactly what today’s socialists (and yesterday’s) are promising.

 2/ You can’t have an honest discussion about universal healthcare if you can’t have an honest (factual and detailed) discussion about how to pay for it. See chapter 1

 3/ US sanctions are not responsible for Venezuela’s humanitarian problems. See chapter 2

 4/ PDVSA, Venezuela’s state owned oil company,was once the envy of the world. Today it is in ruins, not because of the downturn in oil prices, or US sanctions. 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism destroyed it and if they killed that they can kill anything. See chapter 3

 5/ After promising a more reliable electric grid, Chavismo completely ignored it and now, due to neglect and corruption, electric service has been set back 60 years. See chapter 4

 6/ Don’t take access to fresh water for granted. Chavismo has made the situation exponentially worse. See chapter 4

 7/ Price and currency controls don’t work. Period! See chapter 5

 8/ Cryptocurrency might be the way of the future but Venezuela’s “El Petro” is, as the Washington Post said, “might be the most obviously horrible investment ever”. See chapter 6

 9/ Venezuela’s food crisis is man-made (Chavista- made) and has been going on since 2014. See chapter 7

 10/ Maduro’s CLAP food program isn’t a solution to the food crisis. It’s a political weapon and a corrupt mechanism to enrich himself and other Chavistas. See chapter 7

More tomorrow….


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