They Did It!

Our first item of the day is a two-part-er. Reuters reports that the Maduro regime and the opposition have asked the UN (United Nations) to manage the $3 billion that are now scheduled to be unfrozen “gradually”. (No mention if the UN will turn the money over to the Chavistas) US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, welcomed the talks in Mexico as “an important step toward restoring democracy to Venezuelans …We will look to the parties to achieve lasting agreements that set the course for free and fair presidential elections in 2024.”

 Uhh…Am I the only one that remembers the elections last November? Maduro agreed to anything and everything leading up to the elections including monitoring delegations from the EU (European Union) and the Carter Center. This led to sanctions relief for several individuals. When the elections finally arrived they were neither free nor fair according to said delegations before they were promptly ushered out of the country.

 I’ve said it many times and it continues to be true. The Chavistas have screwed basically everyone on every deal they have ever made. They have failed to live up to agreements on Human Rights violations and judicial reform according to the UNOHCHR (United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights) and the ICC (International Criminal Court), who is proceeding with it’s investigation into Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime including high-ranking Chavistas and Maduro himself.

 The last free and fair election in Venezuela was in 2015, which the opposition won by a landslide (The elections followed the “Guarimba” of 2014, demonstrations against food and medicine shortages which left 40 protesters dead, hundreds wounded, and thousands jailed) and which led to the opposition-controlled National Assembly (Venezuela’s legislative body) being annulled by the Maduro-controlled TSJ (Supreme Court) and subsequently replaced by Maduro’s unconstitutional ANC (Constituent National Assembly) which after years of opposition politicians being jailed, disqualified, or forced to flee the country, was replaced by Maduro’s New National Assembly, once again controlled by the Chavistas after the latest fraudulent elections.

 Now we’re suppose to believe that Maduro and the Chavistas are going to live up to any agreements with the opposition for free and fair elections so they can get sanctions relief? They have two years until the 2024 presidential election so they won’t be proven to be the unscrupulous liars that they are until then…and in the mean time they get money from frozen bank accounts …ability to export oil to Europe, which should have been rescinded when the Chavistas failed to live up to the terms of the agreement…next up will be selling oil to the US.

 Note: It’s worth remembering that Biden’s advisors are the same guys that “negotiated” the Iran Nuclear Deal during the Obama administration. It was the worst “negotiation” in the history of negotiations in which the US team of “crack negotiators” started out with 10 demands and one by one gave them all up and acquiesced to all Iran’s demands. What a joke…

 Well, we told you it was coming, despite the Biden administration’s denials, and here it is…They did it! The US Treasury Department issued a license to Chevron to allow it to import Venezuela crude oil to the US. The license prohibits cash payments to PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company), who is a joint venture partner with Chevron in their Venezuela operations, although the oil deal for Europe was supposed to be “debt relief only” (just like this one) until the Maduro regime changed it to “cash only”. After a four month pause following PDVSA’s “cash only” declaration, shipments to Europe have resumed and nobody is saying if it’s debt or cash…hmmm…?

 The Treasury Department issued a statement saying this has nothing to do with oil prices and is based on “concrete steps” (there’s that phrase again) to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people. Does anybody believe that money from the banking deal or the oil deal won’t find it’s way into the hands of the Maduro regime? Is anybody buying any of this?

 The we have The News Tribune reporting that two US companies appear to be helping Venezuela bypass US sanctions and quietly transport millions in petroleum products aboard an Iranian-built tanker.

 The sanctions evasion effort is centered around the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao. In September the Togo-flagged tanker, Colon, discharged 600,000 barrels of fuel oil to a Curacao terminal operated by a joint venture between Curacao’s state-owned refining company and a fledgling company, Caribbean Petroleum Refinery, owned by two Venezuelan-American dual nationals. Tracking data shows the Iranian-built tanker loaded the shipment at Venezuela’s port of Amuay.

 The article went on to detail the complicated transaction which obscures who exactly is the buyer and who exactly is the seller. The trail of the cargo goes through a combination of companies, an oil trader, a broker, and there are forged documents involved. It is unknown where the crude went after it arrived in Curacao. A former Treasury Department official, Marshall Billingslea, says “They’re flouting the sanctions because they know under the Biden administration there are no consequences.”

 Then we have Law 360 telling us that a Canadian mining company (unspecified) says PDVSA is still liable for the $1.6 billion debt owed by the Venezuela government in a Washington DC court. This comes in light of the recent denial when PDVSA attorneys attempted to claim it was no longer an “alter ego” for the Venezuela government.

 And we also have Law 360 telling us that an international tribunal has ordered Venezuela to pay more than $105 million to a Barbados company for pocketing dividends it was owed as an investor in a Venezuela oil production services company. No further details.

 Then we have reporting that Luxembourg-based Canaima Fund Lux has launched an investment vehicle to pool European bondholders of defaulted bonds by both Venezuela and PDVSA ahead of possible action against the government. The move will pool bondholders in order to have legal representation.

 Sounds kinda’ like a class-action lawsuit type deal. I guess the Europeans are getting in on the action to secure their place in line when CITGO gets carved up as well as anything else the lawyers can find…The vultures are circling…

 More tomorrow….

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