Say It Ain't So, Joe

 I gotta’ tell ya’, if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. I left Venezuela with my wife and daughter after being subjected to the disaster of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism and the reign of the worst president in the history of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. I arrived in the US to be subjected to the rapid rise of socialism in the US and, wouldn’t you know it, the reign of the worst president in the history of the US, Joe Biden.

 Whenever I see Joe Biden I think of two things. The first is a quote from Dennis Miller talking about his family’s Thanksgiving dinner where everyone is observing the obvious deterioration of their Grandfather and asking the question, “What are we going to do about Grandpa?” The next is the perfect description of Joe Biden, even before his obvious deterioration. It’s from former president Obama describing Joe’s capabilities, and to paraphrase, “Never underestimate Joe’s capacity to F__k things up!”

 That said, we have Joe Biden over at the G 7 meeting with world leaders and pushing his climate agenda.(At the same time, as we know, he’s desperately searching for a way to lower gasoline prices, even though the solution is right in front of him). This, and the NATO meeting are the preludes to his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia. The administration insists that the Saudi Arabia trip is to discuss a range of issues but if you believe that you are, as Rick Roberts says, “A special kind of stupid”.

 Why else would Biden be going to Saudi Arabia if not to beg for oil? He’s subjecting himself to major embarrassment, having to grovel before the Crowned Prince after labeling him a pariah, so this is not a routine diplomatic trip to discuss “a range of issues”. He’s desperately looking for a source of oil, if not specifically for the US, at least for the world oil markets to try and bring down the price of crude. If he wasn’t so committed to AOC’s “Green New Deal”, which was exposed by her former chief of staff who was the architect of said “deal” as “having nothing to do with climate change…it’s all about power”, he could simply produce all the oil the country needs right here in the US, not to mention cranking up natural gas production, badly needed globally. (FYI, the US is the “Saudi Arabia” of natural gas)

 On a side note, with all Biden’s talk about transitioning to clean renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, due to Biden’s policies (and others of a similar mindset), the world is turning to coal, the least environmentally sound fuel choice but it’s abundant. Coal use is up 20%…we could be using natural gas… right? But I digress…

 So, can you imagine Biden’s dismay (If he even knows what’s happening as he’s led around by the hand by his wife as he’s reviewing his cue cards to tell him when to sit, stand, etc.) when the president of France tells him that he’s wasting his time going to Saudi Arabia? It seems Macron has already talked to Saudi Arabia and the UAE and was told they (OPEC) are already producing at near peak capacity so any discussion of a production increase is a moot point. (Oh, and with high oil prices they’re making money hand over fist)

 The smart thing for Biden to do at this point is to come up with some lame excuse to cancel the Saudi trip (rearranging the presidential sock drawer?) and work on increasing domestic oil and gas production. That will never happen as Biden is ideologically wedded to “The Green New Deal” so he’ll go down in flames. We can only hope he doesn’t drag all of us with him.

So…what does all this have to do with Venezuela? That is what we’re all about here at TFT…right? Well, as all this stuff is taking place over in Europe we have something taking place in this hemisphere. FX Empire reports that US President, Joe Biden, has sent, Roger Carstens, US Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs, back to Caracas with other US officials. This is the same delegation that went to Caracas back in March. It’s supposedly to talk with Maduro about the release of American political prisoners and yes, after the last visit two jailed Americans were released. So far, details haven’t been disclosed, just like the last meeting.

 One thing we do know is that despite the Biden administration’s statements that lifting of sanctions in return for oil wasn’t on the table, after the last visit there was eventual sanctions relief for several individuals in the ranks of the Chavistas, including the First Lady of Venezuela, Cilia Flores, and her nephew. There was also sanctions relief for Eni (Italy) and Repsol (Spain) allowing them to ship oil to Europe from Venezuela in return for debt relief.

 Biden has already rewarded Maduro with this relief in return for Chavismo returning (supposedly) to the negotiating table with the opposition in Mexico. If Biden is hoping to placate his base by not allowing the US oil and gas producers to increase production while courting potential oil shipments from abroad, like Venezuela, it’s a policy for disaster. As we’ve detailed before, Venezuela, for all intents and purposes, has no oil to sell. Maduro is just using the inept Biden administration, just as the Iranians used the Obama administration on the disastrous “Iran Nuclear Deal”. The Iranians got everything they wanted and the US got nothing. Maduro will just follow the same game plan. Biden has already given concessions and after securing the relief of a couple of political prisoners got nothing else, certainly no oil. It looks like he’s getting ready to do it again. Say it ain’t so Joe.

 Before we get to other Venezuela-related items I want to commend Boris Johnson from the UK. He put forward the idea of the G7 and other countries diverting grain production from bio-fuels and using it to feed people…what a concept. Put feeding those who are starving ahead of a “woke” environmental agenda. As you might expect, Biden shot down the idea.

 Moving on, we have the president of The Commission Against Corruption of Maduro’s National Assembly announcing new reforms of the “Anti-Corruption Law” including modifications regarding criminal charges,prison, fines, and asset seizures. They also approved opening an investigation against former Anzoategui Governor (opposition), Antonio Barreto Siva.

 And in-line with Maduro’s constant hyping (begging for investors?)of his proposed “Technology Park”, Maduro created a new Vice-Presidency, VP for Science and Technolgy and Gabriel Jimenez, who was Technology Minister, was appointed. Nobody does bloated bureaucracy better than the Chavistas, in general, and Maduro specifically. Chavez fired 18,000 oil professionals from government-owned oil company PDVSA and replaced them with 40,000 Chavista loyalists. Although I have to give him credit for keeping the number of “Ministers” down. Under Chavez, Venezuela had 11 “Ministers”, you know…like a cabinet position. Under Maduro, I stopped counting at 30 “Ministers”.

 Then we have Vietnam Plus reporting that Vietnam’s Ambassador to Venezuela says Vietnam is looking to promote ties with Venezuela in trade and investment. He specifically mentioned Venezuela exporting wood to Vietnam. Does he know that Venezuela is undergoing rapid deforestation as citizens chop down trees for cooking fires because Chavismo can’t supply cooking gas to it’s own people? I didn’t even mention the massive deforestation caused by Maduro’s “Mining Arc”…Although that wouldn’t necessarily be a consideration. Venezuela has no gasoline or diesel to spare and yet they continue to send it to Cuba.

 And, in case you think we forgot, Merco Press reports that Argentine Prosecutors announced they have officially opened a terrorism probe into the Venezuelan – Iranian Boeing 747 flight and crew detained in Argentina for over two weeks. They specifically mentioned Ghasemi Abbas and his confirmed ties to Iran Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force…you know…the terrorist guys.

 Then we have SANA reporting that Nicolas Maduro has called for lifting of “Western” sanctions against Russia as they are negatively impacting developing countries (Now who could he be talking about?) Nico said, “Some have spoken of the attitude of Europe and the United States as economic suicide.”

 And we have La Prensa Latina reporting that new leftist president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, has reached out to Venezuela regarding fully opening the Venezuela/ Colombia border. Before we over-react we should note that this was one of his campaign promises.

 Then we have the World Bank reporting that Development for Peace is using WhatsApp to monitor and direct aid to address the need of displaced Venezuelans, both internally and abroad. It has been especially useful during Covid-19 lock downs.

 And we have the US-DOJ (Department Of Justice) telling us that a 6th Venezuelan has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess cocaine. First it was a 4th, then a 5th, and now a 6th out of 11 involved in this case. We’ll keep you posted.

 Then we have CGTN reporting that six are dead following the crash of a Lear Jet 55 near Caracas. Remember, Venezuela is still ranked #8 in the world in private jet ownership, despite it’s disastrous economy with 95% of the population living below the poverty line.

 More tomorrow….

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