"The People's Gold"

 Why is it that every time governments profess to be doing something for “the People” it seems “the People” always get screwed? Maduro’s “Mining Arc” was supposed to be environmentally protective and produce vast quantities of gold for “the People”. It poisons the rivers with mercury and it produces plenty of gold for criminals but very little for “the People” while destroying an entire way of life for indigenous peoples. And what about the gold “the People” already have?

 Reuters reports the BCV (Venezuela Central Bank) gold reserves are down by six tons this year as of June,2022. The total in Venezuela’s vaults is now 73 tons, a 50 year low. The value of the gold reserves is estimated (gold prices fluctuate daily) to be $4.3 billion. That’s $231 million less than the value of the reserves in December,2021 even though the price of gold is up this year. As we’ve told you before, this is down from over $30 billion in reserves when Hugo Chavez repatriated Venezuela’s gold from vaults around the world to Caracas to protect it for “the People”.

 The best analogy I’ve heard for the Chavistas is “They’re like meth addicts living in a house. They have sold everything they had to support their habit. The power and water have been shut off. The furniture wasn’t worth selling so they burned it in the fireplace for heat after the power was shut off. Now they’re ripping the wiring out of the walls to sell it for the copper.” Sounds about right to me and they won’t stop selling/stealing “the People’s gold” until it’s all gone.

 Then we have Hart Energy with an oil update (remember, it’s “the People’s” oil). Venezuela is on track to achieve an average oil production for 2022 of 678,000 bpd (barrels per day). It would be the first time Venezuela has had consecutive years of increased production since 2004. Sounds impressive except for the fact that back in the day PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) was producing over 3 million bpd, was the most profitable company in the world, and the envy of the oil producing community. After two decades of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism the Chavistas have completely destroyed PDVSA and analysts estimate Venezuela’s maximum sustainable production capacity, without international investment of which there isn’t any, at approximately 850,000 bpd, despite Nicolas Maduro’s guarantee that production would be 2 million bpd by the end of 2022…in his words, “whether there was rain, thunder, or lightning”. (I guess that’s like “come hell or high water”) Oh, and the two consecutive years of production increases come after producing only 512,000 bpd in 2020.

 Then we have AP reporting that a huge fire tore through a warehouse in Venezuela at the Social Security Institute. No injuries were reported but it’s the storage location for a large quantity of medical equipment which is already critically is short supply.

 And we have Hindu Business Line reporting that Indian companies are making significant imports of Venezuelan petcoke, a byproduct from oil upgrading, used as a replacement for coal. They have previously not imported petcoke from Venezuela but are scrambling as coal prices are at record highs and petcoke is not prohibited by US sanctions. Venezuela cargoes could replace more traditional suppliers as the Venezuela product is heavily discounted (just like their oil).

 This made me think about something that just isn’t said enough. India’s primary energy source is coal, as is China’s. They are the two most populated countries in the world. They are not part of any of these “climate change” agreements, nor are the African nations. Without their participation all the trillions of dollars the “Green New Deal” types want to spend on the “existential threat of climate change” will have basically no effect. Oh, and did you hear that Germany, at the forefront of the green movement in Europe, is increasing coal usage? Kinda’ makes you wonder what we’re doing as the US has more coal and Natural Gas (which is green energy no matter what you hear) and yet we’re not utilizing it.

 Then we had another piece on oil production by Resilience. The article’s focus was on South American oil production, past and present. The present was mostly about Brazil, whose current oil production is about 3 million bpd, similar to Venezuela’s oil production pre- Maduro (and pre- Chavismo). As previously referenced, Venezuela oil production today is about 680,000 bpd. As far as history goes, in the early 2000s, Hugo Chavez, obviously self-enamored with the wonders of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism, predicted that Venezuela oil production would be 5.8 million bpd by 2012. I guess you can’t destroy the company (PDVSA) that produces the oil, as the Chavistas did, and still increase production, can you?

 Oh, and before we move on I want to remind you…Don’t forget about little old Guyana, that tiny South American country nobody pays much attention to. Within two years they will be producing 850,000 bpd of oil…What were those Venezuela numbers again? Oh, that’s right…current production of 680,000 bpd with a maximum sustainable capacity of 850,000 bpd (and that’s with sitting on top of the world’s largest proven oil reserves). Quick review…two South American countries with oil production by capitalism…production rising….one South American country (Venezuela) with oil production in the hands of socialism…production destroyed! Just saying….

 Then we have Caracas Chronicles reporting that Gerardo Blyde, leader of the opposition delegation for the Mexico talks, (you know, the talks the Chavistas say won’t happen until they get their “Mystery Plane” back and corrupt businessman Alex Saab is freed) said “It’s highly likely the process will resume soon.” He gave no reason for his optimism.

 And we have the news that despite all the money the BCV (Venezuela Central Bank)  has spent selling dollars to buy bolivares (local currency) and keep the exchange rate supported, the bolivar is falling. It took 4.3 bolivares to buy a dollar when the latest iteration of the bolivar was introduced last fall. (refresher…Maduro lopped another six zeros off the bolivar bringing the total to 14 zeros since the Chavistas took charge) It now takes over 6 bolivares to buy a dollar so the bolivar has lost 30% of it’s value in about 10 months. The minimum wage, paid in bolivares, remains the same at 130 bolivares per month so now it’s down to under $22 per month, well under the UN (United Nations) measure of extreme poverty of  a dollar a day, more or less. It’s worth remembering that when Maduro announced the recent iteration of the bolivar he also announced a massive 6,000% increase in the minimum wage just to get it UP TO THE UN MEASURE OF EXTREME POVERTY!!!

 And we have Iran International telling us that Russia is holding joint military exercises with Iran and Venezuela this week. From what we’ve seen, the Venezuelans (and maybe all three) could use the practice.

 More tomorrow….



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