Banana Not Bolivarian

 We’re not doing a Down The Rabbit Hole segment this week so let’s just get to it… Caracas Chronicles reports that Carabobo Governor, Rafael Lacava, (Remember him from our election postings? The “Dracula” guy?) It seems he’s suing two Human Rights activists for ‘aggravated defamation’ over a statement by NGO – Provea. “Carabobo state police is one of the most lethal in Venezuela, with 221 victims of extrajudicial execution. Governor Rafael Lacava must be investigated.”

 Our “Dracula” boy may be able to suck a lot out of this one. Chavistas don’t have much success in courts outside Venezuela but inside, as this is, they do very well. Remember Venezuela’s number two man, Diosdado Cabello, got $5 million in a defamation suit where the defendant simply posted an article from another outlet?

 C C did a follow-up titled “A Hairy Trial For Pax Bodegonica”. A great title but my take is that, yes, this could get very messy… or it could just be over, or disappear. The two activists who issued the report are asking the Prosecutors Office and The Ombudsman (the one who’s supposed to be looking out for the people) to open investigations into these extrajudicial killings and is asking Governor Lacava to appoint a commission to investigate the killings, stop the criminalizing of NGOs, and design a public policy to prevent Human Rights violations. In the real world that might happen but in the land of Chavismo you don’t do that…you sue those who issued the report. Venezuela is a “Banana Republic” not “The Bolivarian Republic.”

 Then we have this from FX Empire. Venezuela’s opposition will choose a presidential candidate in a primary election next year. The opposition hasn’t held a primary in over a decade.

 And we have a statement from the US – DOJ (Department Of Justice) that was reported by a whole lot of people. It’s probably because it involves hacking and ransomware which constitute an alarming trend everywhere. The US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has charged a Venezuelan doctor, hacker, and ransomware designer with conspiracy to commit computer intrusions. This guy is not one of those doctors in name only. He had a functioning practice where he saw patients and when he wasn’t doing that he did his more nefarious work on the computer. Customers could lease his products for $500 – $800 per month. One of his ‘customers’ said he used the leased software to infect approximately 3,000 computers. Ransomware attacks are all over the place so it’s good to see one of these guys get nailed.

 And we have La Prensa Latina reporting Maduro has announced the appointment of a new Foreign Minister. This is nothing really new as he seems to make a move like this almost every week. It’s a constant reshuffling from one department or ministry to another and Maduro has a lot to choose from. When Hugo Chavez was running the show there were 11 ministries. Under Maduro I stopped counting when he got over 30. All he’s really doing is rearranging the deck chairs on the “Titanic.”

 Then we have Trade Winds reporting the UK (United Kingdom) High Court ruled that a Greek bank was not entitled to an award over the detention of a mortgaged Greek tanker in Venezuela in 2016. Hmmm… a positive ruling for Chavismo?

 And we have some good news, if it holds up. OVF (Venezuela Observatory Of Finance) says in the first quarter economy grew  7.8%. The oil sector was up while both the financial sector and the public sector were down.

 Then we have a bit of an “uh oh…”. We’ve talked a lot about the Maduro regime buying bolivars with dollars from the BCV (Venezuela Central Bank) to support the bolivar and stem inflation.The exchange rate on the bolivar has barely moved since last October. The question has been, how long, with their limited resources, could the BCV keep it up. Well, the black market exchange rate is now $5.28, which is 9.5% higher than the government rate. Will it continue to move up? We’ll see…

 And we have economist Jose Toro Hardy saying that Venezuela will need $25 billion a year for 8 years to recover production lost in the last 20 years (all under 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism).

 Then we have Fedenaga (Agricultural Association) asking the Maduro regime, and specifically the Energy Minister, to guarantee diesel fuel quotas that have been severely lacking for a long time. I’m going to bring this up again because nobody talks about it, remember the OPEC (Oil Producing and Exporting Countries) charter, of which Venezuela was a founding member? It clearly states that member countries must attend to their domestic needs before exporting oil. The Maduro regime ignores this, like it ignores their Constitution, like it ignores everything that conflicts with what they want to do.

 And we have the Chief of Infectology at Caracas University Hospital warning that a massive vaccination plan is needed (we’re not talking Covid-19 here) and emphasized the 2018 diphtheria outbreak (and should add measles, even polio).

 This might be a good time to ask the question : Has there ever been a more destructive force in the Western Hemisphere than 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism (Chavismo), in general, and the Maduro regime in particular? Venezuelans are dying in every way imaginable. Disease outbreaks from previously eradicated diseases, extrajudicial killings by government security forces, poisoning the environment and killing indigenous peoples, deaths due to lack of electric power and fresh water, lack of medicine, lack of affordable food…I could go on. And yet, celebrities, the Democratic Socialists of America, and others still show support for the Maduro regime. Unbelievable!

 Moving on…Pensioners announced a protest for May 29th because the regime hasn’t met their demands. They say they will radicalize actions until they are heard.

 And then we have the CNE (electoral council) VP saying that Venezuelan’s right to vote abroad is conditional on a political agreement between the regime and the opposition. Shouldn’t they base the guarantee of voting rights on the Constitution and not a political agreement?

 And we have Spanish political party Partido Popular calling for the government to suspend the extradition treaty with Venezuela since it has no judicial independence and uses the courts for repression.

 More tomorrow….


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