Ready Or Not?
Before we get into our first article of the day I want to go over something that relates to it…in a way. We’ve talked before about Maduro’s utterly fraudulent (and failed) cryptocurrency, “El Petro”. It was supposedly the first sovereign cryptocurrency with each coin backed by (and price based on) a barrel of oil. The international community was buzzing about this “revolutionary” idea. As is always the case with Chavismo, they were a little short on details. As each whitepaper was put out there (normally you have one, the Chavistas had 7 as they kept revising it due to skepticism) more questions were raised about exactly what was the meaning of “backed by a barrel of oil”. To put this to rest Maduro announced the actual location of the designated oil fields that would supply the oil…you know, sector such and such, grid such and such. It all looked very official and professional. That was until somebody figured out that the coordinates referenced fields that hadn’t been developed yet. No drilling rig, no pumping equipment, just open land…OK, got the picture?
Now to our first story…Reuters reports that two tankers carrying Iranian crude oil and condensate are scheduled to discharge their cargoes at Venezuela’s Jose terminal. OK, the condensate is understandable. Venezuela has long been unable to produce condensate needed to dilute it’s extra-heavy crude for refining. Before their falling out with the gringos Venezuela bought most of it’s condensate from the US. What needs to be explained is why they’re importing crude oil from Iran. Aren’t they sitting on top of the largest proven oil reserves in the world?
Over the last couple of weeks Nicolas Maduro, his Vice-President, Delcy Rodriguez, and Oil Minister, Tareck El Aissami have been telling anybody that would listen that Venezuela “stands ready to supply the world’s oil and gas needs”. If that’s the case, what are they doing importing Iranian crude? Is this an “El Petro” situation? You know…”The oil is right there, in sector such and such, grid such and such.” (They don’t mention that to get it you’ll have to drill it, pump it, and transport it yourself) So, are they ready to supply the world’s oil and gas needs or not?
Another question, just because I have a curious nature, pertaining to the two tankers. One is an Iranian VLCC (very large crude carrier), no question there. The second one, however, according to PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) documents, is the name of a ship that was scrapped, according to registries. Why is that? It’s just another case of something we’ve known for a long time. In any transaction with the Chavistas nothing is ever as it seems.
Then we have BNN Bloomberg with a piece on the migrant crisis. We have discussed in great detail the horrors of the 60 mile swath of the Panamanian jungle known as the “Darien Gap”, one of the most dangerous migrant crossings in the world. Just a couple of years ago it was used by a few scant hundreds of Venezuelan migrants. In the last year that number has skyrocketed to more than 70,000 Venezuelan migrants crossing Darien.
There is an alternative for those wanting to migrate north to Central America, across Mexico, and on to the US southern border. It involves going from Colombia to the Caribbean island of San Andres then traveling in an overcrowded boat to Nicaragua’s Mosquito Coast, some of whom don’t make it. Most Venezuelans use the “Darien Gap” route as they don’t have the $2,000 to get to San Andres but the fact that there is even an alternative like this being used speaks to how incredibly dangerous it is to cross the “Darien Gap” and yet 70,000 Venezuelans in the last year have chosen to do so. It speaks of utter desperation.
Also on the migrant front we have Caracas Chronicles telling us that Brazil President, Jair Bolsonaro, says in the last couple of months around 600 Venezuelan migrants a day crossed into Brazil. (the number would probably be higher were it not for the remote location of the Brazil/Venezuela border) They also report that Chilean President, Gabriel Boric, says the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has produced an “unprecedented migratory flow”.
Caracas Chronicles also reports that Paraguayan President, Mario Abdo Benitez, says he’ll lead the petition for the UN to renew the mandate of the FFM (Fact Finding Mission).
Then we have NBC News reporting that Leonard Glenn Francis, a.k.a. “Fat Leonard” has been arrested by INTERPOL in Venezuela. He fled the US while awaiting sentencing for his conviction relating to a $35 million bribery scheme involving the US military. (He was under house arrest and cut off his ankle monitor) No date has been set for his extradition. (Now Maduro has another bargaining chip along with the US political prisoners already detained in Venezuela)
And we have Rio Times telling us that Venezuela Foreign Minister, Carlos Faria, at a meeting with NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) reiterated his government’s demand that the US and EU (European Union) lift their sanctions on Venezuela. Hardly a day goes by without some Chavista at some level demanding sanctions be lifted so…is this news?
And Rio Times also reports that Russia’s Vladimir Putin reaffirmed Russia’s ties with Venezuela saying, “Venezuela is our strategic partner.” Again the question…is this news?
Then we have Reuters reporting that US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, announced the US will provide nearly $376 million in new humanitarian aid to vulnerable Venezuelans including Venezuelan refugees and migrants and their host countries. FYI, they’ll still have a long way to go to catch up to the amount of money spent on Ukraine migrants (5 times that spent on Venezuelan migrants) or the amount spent on Syrian migrants (1o times that spent on Venezuelan migrants). As we keep saying, the Venezuela migrant story “just ain’t sexy” like the Ukraine and Syrian migrant story. It’s just as deadly though.
Oh, then we have this from La Prensa Latina…”Venezuelan migrants welcome full border reopening with Colombia.” Now that it’s easier for Venezuelans to leave 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism and cross into Colombia it looks like the number of Venezuelan migrants at the US southern border won’t be going down anytime soon. FYI, Colombian authorities say there are currently 2.5 million Venezuelan migrants in Colombia.
Then we have the Miami Herald reporting that News Guard, a disinformation watchdog, says Venezuela is a conduit for Russian propaganda (as we’ve previously told you). Of the 35 websites operated by authoritarian governments in Latin America monitored by News Guard 21 were based in Venezuela. About half of the top narratives were complete mis-characterizations.(spell check says that’s not a word) The disinformation campaigns often begin in Venezuela and gain popularity before spreading from there.
And we have Nasdaq reporting that Venezuela Oil Minister (among his other responsibilities), Tareck El Aissami, said Venezuela has requested international warrants for the arrest of 23 former executives at Venezuela-owned petrochemical company, Monomeros, located in Colombia and previously controlled by the opposition. At least they’re not following their “CITGO pattern” and luring them to Caracas, supposedly for a meeting, then arbitrarily arresting them as they got off the plane. FYI, five of the “CITGO Six” have been in prison since 2017.
Then we have Workers World with an article claiming that the US-DOJ (United States Department Of Justice) now concedes the status of Alex Saab (the architect of Maduro’s fraudulent CLAP food program and other schemes currently awaiting trial in the US) as a special envoy. We are unable to confirm it at this point and, if true, how it would affect claims of diplomatic immunity, which will be heard on December, 21st of this year.
And we have IRNA telling us that the Foreign Ministers of Iran and Venezuela met to discuss forming a joint economic commission to accelerate implementation of agreements (remember all those “historic, strategic agreements”?) I can hardly wait.
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