"The Elephant"

 First up today we have something that inundated the news feed. Caracas Chronicles had the title “Using Migrants as a Political Weapon”. I would be remiss if I didn’t address “the elephant in the room”. That would be the arrival of small contingents of Venezuelan migrants that arrived in the wealthy enclave of Martha’s Vineyard and in front of the home of Vice President, Kamala Harris. They were sent to these locations from Texas by Republican Governors Ron DeSantis (Florida) and Greg Abbott (Texas).

 The prevailing opinion among most media outlets, including our friends at Caracas Chronicles, is that it is a political stunt and constitutes inhumane treatment of migrants. They say they should have been sent to an institution in charge of helping them or an emergency center.

Before I get to my response to this I would like to remind everyone that we here at TFT have been covering the Venezuela migrant situation extensively since we launched in June,2021 and were researching it for years before that. We’ve shared details from various countries in South America, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the US southern border, Canada, Europe, even a piece from Iceland…in short, we know what we’re talking about. Did I forget to mention that my wife and daughter are Venezuelan migrants and members of her family have fled from Venezuela to Mexico and Europe?

 That said, here’s my take… Are the situations in Martha’s Vineyard and in front of Vice President, Kamala Harris”s home political stunts? Absolutely! Are they necessary? Absolutely!

 The illegal immigrant situation at the US southern border is in full-blown crisis mode and yet is denied by the Biden administration, including VP Harris and the Secretary of Homeland Security, who insist the border is secure. Before the events of this week and recent arrivals of migrants in New York and Washington,DC, the crisis at the US southern border received very little coverage by most media outlets (except to agree with the administration…”Nothing to see here”). Now it’s everywhere!

 As far as the contention that the migrants should be sent to institutional or emergency centers instead of Martha’s Vineyard and Washington,DC , it’s a naive reaction focused only on the hardships the migrants have already endured, to which we are totally sympathetic by the way. The rape of approximately one third of the migrant women crossing Mexico to get to the US southern border is unconscionable as well as other abuses and hardships. It is precisely this issue that makes it necessary for moves like we saw this week to draw attention to the crisis (and it is a crisis). Nothing else has worked! The Biden administration, the Democrats, and the majority of the media have been complicit in the denial of the crisis. Now they can’t ignore it.

 While we agree that the best place for these migrants would be in the hands of institutions or emergency centers to help them  the reality is all those avenues to help them are overwhelmed along the US southern border and elsewhere with approximately two million migrants crossing the border illegally this year due to the Biden administration’s policies. They have to go somewhere so perhaps it’s not such a bad thing to send them to self-professed “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states” where help should be more readily available?

 Moving on…We have Caracas Chronicles reporting that Venezuela Oil Minister, Tareck El Aissami, says he delivered new evidence to the other Tarek…William Saab, Venezuela Prosecutor General, regarding the $4.85 billion that Rafael Ramirez allegedly stole when he was president of PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) in 2012 and 2013. he said the reports show irregularities in financing by “non-financial private companies”. He also assured that the confession by former vice president of finance at PDVSA, Victor Aular, offered details to investigate the crimes. (It’s interesting to note that Aular repeated El Aissami’s version word for word)

 Then we have BCV (Venezuela Central Bank) doing another intervention into the currency exchange system, the 37th this year. They injected $80 million ($200 million was promised so they may be short of cash) to keep the gap between the official rate and the black market rate to 1 and 1/2 bolivares.

 And we have the former mayor of Guanta, Anzoategui accusing Prosecutor General, Tarek William Saab of directing “the largest corruption network in Venezuela” along with his brother, Douglas Saab, and demanded Tarek explain…who is Gabriel Urbaje?… who he said handles “large contracts” at PDVSA along with Tarek’s brother.

 Then we have the Venezuela Observatory of Prisons requesting the ICC (International Criminal Court) Prosecutor’s Office continue the investigation into Venezuela after the Maduro regime asked that the case be dropped into the hands of local judicial authorities. (If you’re the Chavistas of course that’s what you want. Remember, at one point, except for a coupe of cosmetic “look how impartial we are” and inconsequential rulings, the tally at TSJ, Venezuela Supreme Court, was : rulings in favor of Chavismo – 50,000… rulings against Chavismo – ZERO…Oh, and the UNHCHR, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has declared Venezuela has no independent judiciary)

 And then, according to a joint resolution by the Defense Minister and Interior Minister, citizens can record what officers do at checkpoints and holding documents can only be done as established by law. Maybe it’s a reminder to officers to stop violating citizen’s rights? (The rights referred to in the “joint resolution” already exist in current laws)

 And we have Caracas Chronicles telling us that Venezuela is one of the countries that pays the highest taxes and fees for flights and air transportation in Latin America which makes tickets 136% more expensive.

 And we have a group of 11 political parties demanding that the opposition’s Unitary Platform define the date and characteristics of primary elections.

 Then you have Las Americas reporting that two Colombian ELN (rebel group) commanders, currently in Cuba, will travel to Caracas to set conditions to start the peace process in which, as previously reported, Venezuela will act as guarantor. You would think things would progress easily as ELN is chummy with Maduro, a Marxist, the Cuban government, Marxist, and Colombia’s president, Gustavo Petro, is also a Marxist. Since ELN are Marxists it should be one big happy family…right?

 And in a follow-up we have the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian telling us that the family of the infant killed in it’s mother’s arms (Venezuelan migrant) by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard has been resettled in Canada. There was no update on the status of the investigation into the incident.

 More tomorrow

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