Live Or Memorex?
Today’s news begins with one of those stories I wasn’t sure if it was new. Back before the digital age, when they still used tapes, they used to ask the question, “Is it live or is it Memorex?” You tell me…
Telesur (government media) had this headline, “Nicolas Maduro Activates New System Of Government In Venezuela”. Sounds like a big deal huh? I’ll give you the highlights… “1 X 10 Government method”… “Map of solutions”… “Concrete Action Agenda of the People’s Power”… “Six Strategic Lines Of Action”… “In addition, these guarantee plans for the rewarding human development and social protection of the people; ensuring the right to the environment, the city and public services” …”Consolidate a new system of justice, citizen security,and the Peace Quadrants”…”Three issues prioritized for the beginning of the new government stage, water,education, and public health” He also couldn’t help mentioning “productive engines.”
So let me see if I’ve got this right. he’s going to fix everything the Chavistas have destroyed and he’s going to do this by addressing … 10 priorities … 6 priorities … 3 priorities … and a partridge in a pear tree. Without details, which Maduro and the Chavistas never provide, what can we make of this “big announcement”?
This is reminiscent of another “big announcement” Maduro made years ago. It was going to turn the Venezuela economy around (as he promised every year) by means of the “15 Motors Of Economic Productivity.” At that time he went as far as to list what each motor was, named a chief for that “department”, and who would head up this “great undertaking”. There was never any mention of what these people would actually do (other than platitudes like we have in this announcement) and how all this was supposed to effect change.
There was a huge media blitz and Chavistas everywhere were banging the drum, “The 15 Motors Of Economic Productivity”… “The 15 Motors Of Economic Productivity”… over and over and over. (Oh, and still no details about what they were actually going to do) They couldn’t stop talking about it…and then…it just kinda’ went away, although, as we can see, Maduro still refers to the “economic engines (motors)”. I know I’m a bit of a cynic (OK, more than a bit) but, at this point all I can say is…”cue the tape”.
Moving on…Splash 247 reports the Biden administration is considering allowing Venezuela to export oil to Europe, according to Italy’s Eni and Spain’s Repsol (oil companies).
And we have the Jamaica Gleaner reporting that the Venezuela Ambassador says there is “no resentment toward Jamaica” stemming from Jamaica forcing Venezuela to sell it’s shares in Jamaica’s Petrojam refinery. Really?
Then we have The Guardian reporting the Director For Venezuela at the Washington Office on Latin America says “The only feasible transition is a pacted transition which is going to require some level of negotiations with political, military, and economic elites… I don’t think that means that the US or other actors of the international community are ignorant or naive about the difficulties that lie ahead. If the problem in Venezuela was simply a lack of dialogue we would have seen this crisis solved years ago.” My question is “What do you need to see from Maduro?” (If you’re considering lifting sanctions) …and I mean real, concrete things.
And we have Merco Press reporting that the Biden administration is reconsidering it’s decision not to invite Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to the upcoming “Summit of the Americas”. This seems to be the Biden administration’s approach to everything. They “reconsider” and “restate” and reiterate” constantly. The only time they don’t “re…” is when it comes to the Republicans.
And on that note we have The News telling us “Biden’s failure at regional diplomacy …” That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell, although they went on and on about his failed policies regarding Latin America (and for that matter, everything else).
Then we have The Epoch Times with this headline, “Sporadic US Food Shortages Worry Venezuelan Immigrants About Country’s Direction”. All I can say, since I lived there and married a Venezolana, is that they’ve seen this movie before.
And we have ILNA News telling us that an expert on American issues (Iranian) says that a Caracas and Washington normalization may not be politically positive for Iran. No worries…Maduro will always be on the side of authoritarians and the Biden administration is so inept you don’t really have anything to be concerned about.
Then we have the UNHCHR (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights), Michele Bachelet, saying she expects the regime and the opposition can finish the talks they started in Mexico (the talks the Chavistas walked out on) in 2021. A whole lot of people are saying this. Your humble correspondent is not so optimistic, as I was skeptical of the other dialogue attempts with Chavismo. What’s the record now? …O-fer 4 …O-fer 5 ?
And we have Caracas Chronicles telling us that both a White House advisor and the EU (European Union) Electoral Observation Mission are clear on what has to happen before sanctions are lifted. Oh really? I haven’t seen anyone be really clear about anything related to easing of sanctions.
Then we have Fedenaga (agricultural association) saying agricultural equipment and machinery in several states in Venezuela are paralyzed due to lack of fuel. Maybe they can borrow-back some of the fuel the Maduro regime is sending to Cuba (for free).
And, as if we really needed to be told, BCV (Venezuela Central Bank) gold reserves dropped another $493 million, down to $4 1/2 billion. This is even after the “Mining Arc” was established by Maduro in 2017 at horrific cost to the environment and indigenous peoples. Since it’s inception gold reserves have never increased. Remember, when Hugo Chavez repatriated most of Venezuela’s gold reserves to Caracas to “protect it for the people” the gold reserves stood at approximately $32 billion.
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