We Told You...

 People often say “I hate to say I told you, but….”. Well,we here at TFT don’t hate to say it…we love it! I do have to admit that the Chavistas make it pretty easy, at least most of the time. The headline from Caracas Chronicles read, “No Dialogue, No Negotiation, Or Anything Like That”. So says Jorge Rodriguez, head of Maduro’s AN (National Assembly). We also had Nicolas Maduro calling on the political and social movements of “Argentina Peronista” to pressure Argentina President, Alberto Fernandez (We told you he would do nothing for as long as possible). Maduro clearly isn’t happy that Argentina hasn’t returned the Emtrasur “Mystery Plane”, you know, the Boeing 747 cargo plane detained in Argentina for over two months. Remember, the US claims the plane should be turned over to them because the the transfer of the cargo jet from Iran’s Mahan Air to Emtrasur, a subsidiary of Conviasa (Venezuela government-owned airline) violated US sanctions forbidding Mahan Air from transactions relating to US- produced products (The Boeing 747 was made in the USA).

 Now, as Jorge Rodriguez said, the Maduro regime won’t participate in the upcoming (or at least we thought they were upcoming) talks with the opposition in Mexico with the number one item on the table being free and fair elections. Those would be the same talks the Biden administration asked the Chavistas to be a part of and has already given some sanctions relief for their proposed participation.(We told you about this one too…They, being the Chavistas, would come up with an excuse to back out of the talks, although we may not have expected it quite so soon) Until the plane is returned from Argentina to Venezuela…Nada!

 If this seems familiar…well…it’s exactly the same MO as the last time the Maduro regime agreed to talks with the opposition with the number one item on the agenda being “free and fair” elections. In that instance the talks progressed round after round (in Mexico) with both sides reporting “progress”? Then the US extradited corrupt businessman, Alex Saab, from Cape Verde, Africa. Saab is the man at the center of various fraudulent schemes by Maduro and other high-ranking Chavistas, chief among them being Maduro’s CLAP food program, which is a total sham. The Chavistas tried everything they could to stop, or at least delay, the extradition fearing Saab would provide the US-DOJ (United States- Department Of Justice) with details of their illegal activities, even claiming that Saab was a diplomat and as such was immune from prosecution. When that failed and Saab was extradited the Chavistas, in their usual “petulant child” fashion, threw up their hands, kicked the table, and walked away from the Mexico negotiations. They demanded (the Chavistas are big on demanding) Saab be released or they would not return to the negotiations with the opposition. It’s worth noting that the Maduro regime kinda’ backed away from that demand when a little sanctions relief was dangled in front of them.

 In Jorge Rodriguez’s statement about the plane in Argentina being returned to Venezuela he didn’t mention Mahan Air, US sanctions, the ties of crew members to Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards operational arm, nor Hezbollah, which are all pertinent points to this whole Emtrasur “Mystery Plane” situation. He did, however, manage to insult the Argentina Prosecutor General, Cecilia Incardona, who is in charge the investigation into the flight and crew, calling her a thief and saying she’s an “employee of the US”. Come on Jorge, don’t sugar coat it…tell us how you really feel. We also had Chavista, Pedro Carreno, who chimed in by insulting President Fernandez asking him to say “…if he’s a ‘puppet of the empire’ or if he governs a country”. Chavismo doesn’t really understand the concept of branch independence in government. In Venezuela, under the Maduro dictatorship, everyone does whatever Maduro says and the TSJ (Venezuela Supreme Court) ratifies it as constitutional.

 So, here we are. The Chavistas have walked away from negotiations they didn’t want in the first place. I mean really…free and fair elections…Maduro, with his 13% approval rating has nothing to gain from free and fair elections. Then we have Argentina President Fernandez, also with nothing to gain and in kind of a tough spot, especially if he needs US support with the IMF and the World Bank to restructure Argentina’s debt (again). We also have Joe Biden on the sidelines who, by the way, says the sanctions relief for several individuals (like his wife) and allowing Venezuela crude to be shipped to Europe was not contingent on actions by the Maduro regime. His administration still insists any sanctions relief will be tied to concrete action by Chavismo allowing free and fair elections (even though some relief has already happened). The good news is that, at least for now, the Biden administration won’t be making a ridiculous oil deal with the Maduro regime (for oil the regime can’t produce and would send it to China or Cuba even if they could). So there you have it.

 Moving on…We have Rio Times telling us that inflation in Argentina (who knew Argentina would be in the news so much these days?) is accelerating while it’s slowing in Venezuela. Inflation in Argentina was actually higher in July than Venezuela, which has held the inflation top spot in the world for years. It’s interesting that this was the only article I found on what may be the biggest economic surprise in a while.

 Then we have Tehran Times telling us that the Venezuela Minister of Transport visited Iran’s SAIPA Automotive Group. The CEO of SAIPA says they are ready to cooperate with Venezuela jointly and export their “high quality cars” to Venezuela. They are planning to export both completely built units and units for assembly in Venezuela. Who needs Ford and Toyota (they used to produce over 200,000 cars a year in Venezuela and now produce zero) in Venezuela when they can buy those ‘world famous’ cars produced in Iran or cars assembled in Venezuela from kits made in Iran. Anybody want to get on that waiting list?

 More tomorrow….


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