All About The Money

 We previously discussed how Venezuela isn’t making any money in the oil business, which accounts for 95% of their legal revenue. The Chavistas have squandered the Venezuelan people’s gold reserves (under $5 billion down from over $30 billion) which Chavez repatriated so Chavismo could “protect” it. Nobody, or at least almost nobody, will lend them any money as they have screwed almost every country on the planet. While we, and most of the rest of the western hemisphere, have recently focused on Venezuela’s snub from the Summit of the Americas, the Maduro regime’s talks with the Biden administration about sanctions relief in return for oil, (Biden’s people claim it’s about free and fair elections) and other distractions the court cases around the world, and there are a lot of them, against Chvismo are going forward to the tune of billions and billions of dollars. As we’ve also previously discussed, the Chavistas are basically losing them all…and the Chavista’s delaying tactics are costing them.

 Case in point, we have this from Law 360. A French appeals court rejected Venezuela’s bid to annul the $1.7 billion award to Canadian mining company, Russoro. The court upheld the arbitrator’s authority and as each round of appeals drag on the amount keeps growing by millions of dollars due to interest, attorney’s fees, and other costs.

 Oh, and a quick side-note. It’s also been some time since we heard from the bond holders on Venezuela’s defaulted bonds. They were moving forward in forcing the Chavistas to pay up but backed off when the Biden administration started talking with the Maduro regime on sanctions relief for oil sales (you know, the oil that they don’t really have). The question is,how long will the bond vultures wait, hoping their defaulted bonds will increase in value? FYI, those bonds are now trading at 7 cents on the dollar.

 We also have Law 360 reporting that the British investor group that owns Smartmatic, the voting technology company, filed a $1.5 billion suit against Venezuela over fraud in the 2017 elections. They claim the Venezuela government opted not to use several of the electoral security measures used in other electoral processes (big surprise huh?) and reported results different from those reflected in the Smartmatic electronic system.

 Also from Law 360 we have the US 2nd Circuit Court  questioning PDVSA’s (Venezuela government-owned oil company) claim it didn’t have enough time to gather information for the defense, due to sanctions,in the $38 million suit by a Portuguese company. The judge said they shouldn’t have waited until the deadline was passed.

 These are just a few of the many cases moving forward, albeit slowly, in courts around the world seeking restitution from the Chavistas. No matter what some people would have you believe it really is all about the money.

 Then we have ANI News telling us that the Biden administration is reportedly reaffirming it’s willingness to calibrate sanctions on Venezuela depending on the outcome of negotiations and conversations with opposition leader and interim president, Juan Guaido. Remember, Guaido isn’t even involved in the talks between the regime and the opposition.

 And we have Belta reporting that the Venezuela Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (where do they get these titles?) to Belarus expressed Venezuela’s interest in selling agricultural products on the Belarusian Commodity Exchange. Maybe they should think about feeding their own citizens first? Then again, they ship fuel to Cuba while Venezuelans suffer from gasoline and diesel shortages (which hurts Venezuelan farmers, by the way).

 Then we have ACLED reporting that in Venezuela retirees protested inadequate pensions, professional drivers protested increased fuel prices, and health workers went on strike over Maduro’s failure to deliver promised benefits…just another day in the world of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism.

 And we have Web 3 telling us that scammers hacked the Twitter account of newspaper El Universal, using the information to approach 5 million followers with a false website of the recently popular “Goblin Town” project. Users would link their cryptocurrency wallets which were subsequently drained.

 Then we have Documented telling us that, without official notice, all Venezuelan consulates in major US cities, as well as the Venezuela Embassy in Washington,DC, are closed. All passport,visa, and other services must be addressed through Mexico or Canada. Maduro ordered them closed and Juan Guaido hasn’t been able to keep them open.

 Then we have Caracas Chronicles saying that the Maduro regime has a “Zero Tolerance” policy…against protesters?

 And we have the Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy reporting that after more than two days, four Voluntad Popular (opposition party) activists remained in custody of DGCIM (part of Maduro’s three-headed monster of security services). Why is military intelligence involved and why has there been no statement on charges? Well, shortly after being approached by the Coalition there was a hearing and the four youths were charged with instigating hate (we told you about the danger of “hate laws” as it’s “hate” in the eye of the beholder),association to commit crimes, and obstructing public roads. Sound serious to you? Certainly something the military intelligence service needs to be involved in.

 Then there’s the announcement from the Food Ministry that they have formed a new committee to control production of 11 basic products like sugar, oil, pasta, animal protein, milk, corn flour, rice, and others. You can expect shortages,

 And the speaker of Maduro’s National Assembly threatened Banesco (Venezuela bank) and specifically their founder, Juan Carlos Escotet. “I’m coming to get you, Escotet, I know what you do against judges, thief!” No details were forthcoming regarding exactly what he was talking about.

 And we also have the news that we certainly can’t credit the recent economic growth, fragile as it may be, to municipalities whose taxes have increased 10,000% in two years.

 Then we have the Director of Zulia University School of Medicine saying that two residents have been released from jail but are under house arrest as the investigation proceeds. They allegedly had supplies in their car. The question is, are they thieves looking to sell medical supplies or just people suffering from a lack of available medical supplies?

 More tomorrow….



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