Remains A Concern

 Nasdaq reports that the UNHCHR (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, stated in a new report (I think this is three now) that Venezuela (the Maduro regime) has taken some steps to strengthen the rule of law but the lack of judicial independence of the legal system remains a concern. (I think she said that a year ago) She highlighted the restructuring of the National Police and the “official dissolution” of FAES as steps taken to reform the rule of law. I think she missed a memo…the FAES hasn’t gone anywhere. The stigmatization and criminalization of advocacy groups and the use of anti-terrorism and organized crime legislation against Human Rights activists and the media is also a concern… “Ya’ Think?” Diosdado Cabello, Chavismo’s number two man (some say number one) said the report is “full of falsehoods”.

 And Human Rights Watch  tells us that Venezuelan authorities have failed to implement the High Commissioner’s recommendations. They urge the High Commissioner to push for more accountability. (Does that mean we’ll get another UN vote condemning the Maduro regime and doing nothing?)

 And Human Rights Watch also had this…The report by the UNHCHR should be a guideline for the upcoming negotiations between the Maduro regime and the opposition. They seem to be saying what we’ve said over and over again (and yet the international community still accepts this). The Maduro regime does nothing but pay lip service (we use that term a lot pertaining to the Maduro regime) to reforms of the judiciary and free and fair elections as evidenced by the UNHCHR’s report and the reports from electoral observers from the EU and the Carter Center. They always offer a veneer of reform whenever their fraudulent and oppressive activities are questioned.

 For judicial reform we had some new judges appointed by the National Assembly… that would be the Chavista- controlled National Assembly so they appointed “Chavista friendly” judges. Then we had a new head of the TSJ (supreme court) appointed by Maduro and approved by Maduro’s National Assembly. The new head of the TSJ is the one who held the position before the last one, Maikel Moreno, the convicted murderer. During her tenure the TSJ reviewed thousands of cases… number of rulings against Chavismo…ZERO!!

 For electoral reform we had two “opposition members” appointed to the 5 person CNE (electoral council) board.Aside from the fact that the Chavistas would still have a 3 to 2 majority and could still do whatever they wanted, one of the “opposition members” is a former Chavista (can you say ‘false flag’?) and the other is lukewarm opposition, at best. I think you’ll need a little more lipstick on that pig before the next report…which will again “express concern”. Maybe after that the Maduro regime will be placed on “super double secret probation”.

 Then we have NTD reporting that the founder of Dissident Project warns Americans to beware of China. He cites China’s role in Venezuela’s collapse…Chinese loans… Chinese weapons… Chinese intelligence… and Chinese technology. Remember, it was the Chinese that helped Maduro create the “Carnet de la Patria” (the Homeland Card) for Venezuelans to receive government benefits including monthly food boxes from Maduro’s totally corrupt and fraudulent food program, CLAP. All these tyrannical regimes help each other and Maduro is in bed with all of them… China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua…I could go on but I think you get the point.

 And speaking of authoritarian regimes…BELTA reports that Belarus (Russia’s ‘little brother’) is helping Venezuela with it’s “Gran Mission Vivienda”, you know, the government housing program for the poor where the government retains the title so they can extort the occupant. They formed a joint venture with the Chavistas for 120 apartments.

 Then we have the Washington Examiner telling us that Colombia’s election of leftist (Marxist) Gustavo Petro shows that in this environment even the best governments can’t win.

 And CSIS tells us that one area of particular concern to the Venezuela opposition with the election of Gustavo Petro in Colombia is the possibility that Maduro may request the extradition of Venezuela opposition figures residing in Colombia. The request would have to pass through the Colombia judicial system but with Petro in charge will they maintain their past position to not comply with Maduro’s requests? FYI, Petro has, in the past, mocked Venezuelans and the hardships they face. With nearly two million Venezuelan migrants in Colombia will Petro change Colombia’s welcoming attitude towards Venezuelans fleeing 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism?


 And Insight Crime reports that 4 of the 6 ex-FARC mafia leaders killed in the last year were killed in Venezuela…shocking!

 And what would a news day be without an update on “the mystery flight” in Argentina? Merco Press reports that Emtrasur (Venezuela government-owned airline subsidiary) CEO says the Iranian crew members of the detained Boeing 747 cargo flight, detained now for about 3 weeks in Argentina, were flight instructors and that the scandal is “ridiculous”. The comments were made on a Zoom call with Emtrasur’s finance manager, who was on the flight and detained in Argentina. Both dodged questions regarding the overwhelming evidence linking Iranian crew members to Iran’s Quds Force and arms deals. Meanwhile, an Iranian man has been arrested trying to arrange travel to Uruguay with false documents, a drivers license from Buenos Aires and an ID card of another person. The suspect has been arrested in Argentina before, claiming to be Palestinian and that he traveled from Venezuela to Ecuador, then to Peru and Bolivia, and entered Argentina on foot at the end of 2021, of which there is no record.

 Then we have Jerusalem Post telling us that IRGC – Quds Force unit 840 runs it’s South American operations out of Venezuela as does Lebanon’s Hezbollah. (We told you, Maduro is in bed with all the worst the world has to offer) Mahan Air, the previous owner (we think) of the Boeing 747 detained in Argentina, transported Iranian- made drones and parts to Venezuela.Intelligence agencies began monitoring the plane’s activities after Mahan switched registration of the plane to the newly- formed Venezuela company Emtrasur. The aircraft has sparked concerns over covert transfer of operatives and equipment at “fueling stops” after observation of loading and/or unloading activity at Cordoba airport when it was supposedly only there after being diverted due to weather conditions.

 And we have Caracas Chronicles telling us that the actual owners of the Boeing 747, detained for 3 weeks now, seems to be unclear. It could be Emtrasur (the subsidiary of Venezuela government-owned Conviasa Airline) or Mahan Air (Iran) who allegedly sold the plane to Conviasa, or it could be Fars Air Qeshm (Iran), also a previous owner. Everything about this plane, it’s crew, it’s purpose, etc. is still a mystery, even after 3 weeks of detention and investigation. It seems like the more we know…the more we don’t know. Oh, and the Chilean Minister of the Interior has requested that the session of the Defense Commission, where she’ll be interrogated for this case, be held in secret.

 And Naked Capitalism says that Russia is expanding it’s military ties with Nicaragua and Venezuela. So how is it that Nicolas Maduro has a $15 million price on his head in Washington, has ties with the Russian military, just signed a 20 year cooperative agreement with Iran, and yet the US sent a delegation to Caracas (again) to discuss a “bilateral agenda”?

 And we have the Independent telling us that US President Joe Biden will meet with Mexican President AMLO (Obrador) this month after snubbing Biden’s invitation and skipping the Summit of the Americas, in protest over the exclusion of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. Hmmm… Mexico is an oil producing nation…right?

More tomorrow…

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