Ah, The Digital Bolivar
First we had the bolivar…then the “fuerte”(strong) bolivar…then the bolivar “soberano” (sovereign) bolivar…and now we have the digital bolivar. The last three iterations are courtesy of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. La Prensa Latina reports that one year after it’s third major monetary restructuring under Chavismo (one under Hugo Chavez and two under Nicolas Maduro) the digital bolivar (we’ll just call it the bolivar) has already lost almost half it’s value (48%). This was despite the BCV (Venezuela Central Bank) intervention into the currency exchange market, buying bolivars with dollars, to create artificial demand so the new bolivar wouldn’t lose it’s value too fast…and it worked. As long as BCV continued to buy bolivars the value remained relatively constant…until BCV couldn’t afford it anymore. Then, left to stand on it’s own, the bolivar lost value.
In what may be the worst case of financial mismanagement by any government in history, the two financial bunglers, Chavez and Maduro, have lopped off a total of 14 zeroes from the currency meaning that what you could buy for one bolivar before the Chavistas took power you would now need 100 trillion bolivares! Ah, the bolivar… Viva la Revolucion!!!
Then we have the new DAVE bulletin revealing that 1 in 9 births in Colombia are by Venezuelan mothers with a total of 67,175 births. Remember, there are 2.5 million Venezuelan migrants in Colombia and the migrant exodus isn’t stopping any time soon.
Also from Caracas Chronicles they tell us that after the report by the UN-FFM (United Nations Fact Finding Mission) on the Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime and it’s top officials, including Maduro himself, the opposition’s Unitary Platform thanked the countries that spoke out in Geneva and demanded that the mission’s mandate be renewed.
And we have judge,Luis Ovalles, absolving 6 GNB (Venezuela National Guard) officers charged with the murder of a 16 year-old student, Ruben Dario Gonzales Jimenez, shot and killed during a 2017 protest (government authorities killed 140 protesters that year). I guess it’s not that big of a deal when the Maduro regime commits an average of 1,400 extrajudicial killings per year. To quote Daniel Dravert in The Man Who Would Be King, “Different countries, different customs…Peachy”. That comment came as our two intrepid heroes watched the Afghans play polo with the decapitated head of a prisoner.
Then we have opposition leader and interim president of the parallel government, Juan Guaido, speaking about Colombia re-establishing relations with the Maduro regime. “I’d like to know if President Gustavo Petro will raise his voice for Human Rights, for fair elections, for the most vulnerable…only with justice and democracy will prosperity arrive in Venezuela.” In other words, will Petro give his fellow leftist/Marxist, Nicolas Maduro a pass?
And we have two-time presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, confirming that he still has presidential aspirations, but it isn’t a personal aspiration, but an “aspiration to see change in the country”. There are those, such as we here at TFT, that think Capriles didn’t take a hard enough line against Maduro and the Chavistas, like our girl, Maria Corina Machado, who has maintained from the beginning, that Venezuela has no future that includes Nicolas Maduro.
Then we have the IOM (Institute Of Migration) estimating that 200,000 migrants will cross Darien in 2022 and demanded a regional response to manage the phenomenon. Remember, the “Darien Gap” is one of the most dangerous migrant crossings in the world and yet Venezuelan migrants are using it by the thousands in an attempt to head north through Central America, across Mexico, and on to the US southern border.
And according to authorities, 84,394 migrants from Cuba and Venezuela entered Honduras this year. The INM registered 4,082 migrants from Cuba and Venezuela in 2021.
Oh, and in New York they started erecting tents for humanitarian aid to shelter 13,600 migrants from Texas, mostly Venezuelans.
Now, let’s go Down The Rabbit Hole….
Chapter 1/ continued…
Now comes the real killer. With all the oil money pouring in and all the borrowed money available the Chavistas didn’t use that money to fund Barrio Adentro. Instead they diverted funds from the existing hospitals guaranteeing their deterioration. Since it happened over time nobody really cared. The sun was still shining. Why worry about an incubator that doesn’t work? We have lots of ’em. Just throw that one in a storeroom and we’ll fix it later.
As all this was happening there was another situation developing. Many of the Cuban doctors used their participation in Barrio Adentro as an escape mechanism. They came to Venezuela from Cuba where they earned very little and found that due to the terms agreed upon by the two governments they would earn even less. Can you say, “indentured servitude”? Very quietly their ranks thinned (those without family members remaining in Cuba as de facto hostages) as they would visit other South American countries and simply not return. What’s the big deal? When there’s 25,000 of ’em who cares if a few go missing? The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day.
THEN IT BEGAN TO RAIN
Shortly after the death of Hugo Chavez from cancer (it’s worth noting he chose to have his cancer treated in Cuba, not Venezuela) the price of oil fell off a cliff from over $100 a barrel to under $30. When you receive 96% of your revenue from oil exports THAT’S A PROBLEM!
By this time even the extraordinarily constructed national oil company, PDVSA, (once the envy of the oil-producing world) was falling victim to Chavista policies and production was falling by roughly a million barrels a day. Again, when you receive 96% of tour revenue from oil exports THAT’S A PROBLEM!
In the first year and a half of Maduro’s tenure the Chinese complied with his requests to borrow more money and loaned him another $10 billion. After 2015 they told him there would be no new money and all the loans from Russia were arms and oil related. Since none of their other allies had any money there would be no more borrowing. THAT’S A PROBLEM!
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