The Coin Flip

 First up today we have a piece from Caracas Chronicles telling us something new about the Venezuelan migrant situation…and here we thought we knew it all. The overwhelming number of migrants crossing the US southern border apply for asylum. No surprise there. What is surprising is the difference in approval rates among the immigration judges. Some have an approval rate of 62% or higher while others have a denial rate of 97% or higher.

 So, for a Venezuelan migrant, they have to get out of Venezuela, a task in itself, across Colombia, cross the Darien Gap (one of the most dangerous migrant crossings in the world…dead bodies in the jungle, etc…we’ve told you about that horror show before), head north through Central America and across Mexico, cross the southern US border (FYI, migrant deaths attempting to cross into the US are up 50% this year), and then …what…it’s the flip of a coin depending on what judge you get?

 The immigration process is cumbersome and complicated (and is best handled by a lawyer, as I know from personal experience). The good news for Venezuelans is that since there are no direct US – Venezuela flights deportations among Venezuelan migrants are much less frequent than migrants from other countries, but they do happen. For Venezuelans, the main problem is getting there, and even then there are no guarantees. (Just so ya’ know, we went the legal visa route, immigration lawyer etc. and it took us two and a half years to get visas for my wife and daughter, although Covid-19 didn’t exactly speed things up.We will be eternally grateful to US Senator Chuck Grassley for getting us across the finish line)

 Next up we have Jerusalem Post reporting that Fars News Agency (Iran government media) is claiming that the Emtrasur, Iran-Venezuela “Mystery Flight” (you know the story, terrorist ties, sanctions violations etc.) was diverted from Uruguay to Argentina and detained as part of a “Zionist regime”/ US plot to disrupt Iran- Venezuela relations and distract from the two countries’ “historic” 20 year agreement (as we’ve told you, Venezuela signs these “historic, strategic agreements” all the time and they basically mean nothing), signed while all this was happening. “This caused the crew of said flight to be taken hostage.”

 They also claim Argentina’s Jewish community is involved in the conspiracy as well as Saudi Arabia, BBC Persia media, and the Turkish Embassy…What? No partridge in a pear tree? Needless to say, the investigation is ongoing.

 Then we have The Block reporting that the Twitter account for the Venezuela branch of accounting firm PwC (Price-Waterhouse Coopers) was hacked to promote a scam cryptocurrency giveaway. The same link purporting to represent the company Ripple has been posted 14 times. No details on the number of victims nor the amounts involved.

 And we have KCNA telling us that it appears Kim Jong Un, North Korean dictator, sent a thank you reply to Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelan dictator, for his congratulatory letter regarding the 77th anniversary of the DPRK (What a laugh…Democratic People’s Republic of Korea…the only factual part of that is the “K” because they are one of the two Koreas). I think I missed a memo when Nico sent the letter. It’s good to know that the fat little dictator and the fat big dictator are still BFFs. They can compare notes on how to starve their own citizens and still remain in power…hint … Chairman Mao said it…”Political power comes from the barrel of a gun.”

 And we have Standard Media reporting that the Kenya Supreme Court has ruled that claims by lawyer Julie Soweto that Venezuelan Jose Carmego rigged the recent presidential election are “no more than hot air and a wild goose chase”.

 Then we have VOA News reporting that Venezuela Armed Forces made the largest pot bust in 10 years. General Domingo Hernandez said 6,293 pounds of marijuana were seized and 12 people were arrested, all Venezuelans…but could there be more to the story? He said it was a Colombia cartel operation…? Anybody that knows anything about drugs or crime would question why, if it was a Colombia cartel operation, were no Colombians arrested?

 Then we have something kinda’ revealing. Rio Times tells us that “The Venezuelan population welcomes the increase in music shows in Venezuela, including foreign artists.” Many believe it reflects the “economic boom” Venezuela is experiencing in 2022. I have to agree as far as what this says about the “economic boom”. The shows, just like the overall economy, benefit the privileged few. With a minimum wage of under $14 a month not many people can afford concert tickets…they can’t even afford food.

 And we have Economic Times telling us that it seems India hair exporters are having trouble getting paid for shipments to China. It made me think that not too long ago there were a lot of stories about Venezuelan women selling their hair in Colombia to raise money to feed their children. I haven’t seen any of those stories recently but I have to believe the practice is still going on…I mean…what has changed?

 Then we have the US-FDA (United States- Food and Drug Administration) issuing a statement that outbreaks of Vibrio Parahaemoliticus, a type of food poisoning, has been detected in 7 US states and Washington,DC. It is linked to fresh crab meat from Venezuela.

 Then we have Daily Mail reporting that about 20 people are missing for approximately two weeks now after following a woman into the Venezuelan Andes after she told them she received a revelation from the Virgin Mary. The group originally had 40 people but some dropped out as the behavior of Rosa Garcia, the retreat organizer, became increasingly erratic. I don’t want to be too unsympathetic but I visited the Venezuelan Andes in 2009, when it was safe compared to today, and it was still relatively dangerous and I was traveling with friends that knew the area… OK… I’ll just say it…Are you people out of your minds?

 And speaking of missing people, we have a story from the Santa Fe- New Mexican. Check out this story…something is missing…and I don’t mean the woman. A woman went missing in the mountains near Ski Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ground search teams, a helicopter, and a K-9 unit were deployed to look for the 74 year-old woman who separated from her niece on the hiking trails, choosing to head back to the car. There were also advisories on the local news.

 According to New Mexico State Police spokesman, Officer Ray Wilson, Maria “Rita” Moncada Moreno has been located and is safe. So, there you have it…What’s missing? Uhh…everything? Where was she found? What was she doing all this time? Where is she now? Why no interviews from either Ms. Moncada Moreno or a family member? Somebody somewhere doesn’t want us to know something. Maybe it’s just as simple as a comedy of errors? Whatever the case may be I hope we get a follow-up story.

 That will do it for the week. We’ll be back Monday with more for you. Until then….

 Have a great weekend everybody!!!!

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