Tik Tok..Tik Tok

Our friends at Caracas Chronicles had an interesting piece, an evaluation of social media in Venezuela among the various demographics, specifically Tik Tok, of which I must say I’m not a user. I don’t trust anything involving the Chinese government, despite their protestations that it is secure. That said, the comparison dealt with organic trends only since, as we’ve detailed before, social media in Venezuela is dominated by “Madurismo’s” inorganic trends.

 What we already know is that “Boomers” blame younger generations for not having the grit to charge against the dictatorship. It was the “Boomers” that put the Chavistas in power so the “Millennials” blame them for birthing Chavismo. “Generation X” stands in the middle, confused and melancholic, not knowing if they’re being blamed for one or the other.

 Then we have “Generation Z”, the young millennials. (It’s confusing where the line should be drawn) Most of them weren’t even born when Chavez was elected (that was back when elections in Venezuela had some semblance if legitimacy) and none of them were of voting age before he died. It’s a generation that most folks would expect have nothing to compare Chavismo with, the new man, “born and raised in The Revolution”.

 Well, the new men and women seem pretty pissed. The prevailing opinion on Tik Tok seems to be “Yep, it sucks!” Welcome to the future… It would appear that despite the Maduro regime’s efforts to play up Venezuela’s “economic resurgence” and count it as proof of some kind of victory for “The Revolution”, “Generation Z” isn’t buying it. To quote Pete Townsend, “The kids are alright”.

 Then we have Rio Times reporting that Venezuela’s INAC (similar to the FAA in the US) says there are many requests (10-12) from international airlines that want to connect with Venezuela that are now being evaluated. Euro Atlantic Airways was the only airline specifically mentioned, regarding flights from Portugal. Is this a sign that Venezuela’s fragile economic recovery may continue? Or, is it more likely that it is just more PR like all the MOUs (Memorandum Of Understanding) and “historic, strategic agreements” the Maduro regime has been touting (which, by the way, are meaningless)?

 And we have Reuters telling us that Venezuela asked judges at the ICJ (International Court of Justice) to throw out the case filed by Guayana in 2018 to confirm the border established in an 1899 arbitration process between Venezuela and then British Guiana. Maduro’s Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez, told the court “We will demonstrate Guyana’s claim is inadmissible” (This is the same claim the Chavistas make about everything…like “We have irrefutable proof” which never seems to materialize) Venezuela wants to resolve the long-running border dispute in direct talks with Guyana (They can’t intimidate, bully, or threaten the ICJ) while Guyana insists the matter was decided in 1899.

 Nobody paid much attention to the disputed territory until there were major oil and gas discoveries in the Essequibo region which are being developed by the Guyana government and international oil majors. With it’s oil production capacity decimated by the Chavistas (despite sitting on top of the world’s largest proven oil reserves) I’m sure the Maduro regime would love to get it’s hands on another source of revenue. Then they could expropriate (steal) all the existing assets).

 And we have PR Newswire reporting that the non-profit, Simon Bolivar Foundation awarded $1.68 million in grant funding to support health needs of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. As we’ve said before, they need all the help they can get.

 Then we have the Washington Institute telling us that Venezuela’s links to the Iranian military (Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism) are nothing new and Conviasa (Venezuela government-owned airline) is suspected of being heavily involved in Iran’s global illicit arms network.

 When connecting to Moscow, Conviasa regularly turns off transponders on flights and makes unscheduled stops in Tehran where they frequently take on cargo but no new passengers. It is also becoming more evident that Venezuela is involved with Iran’s military drone program and recently touted possession of drones which , when armed, are capable of impacting Miami.

 And we have The Record telling us that the “Free Alex Saab” campaign (Saab is the architect of Nicolas Maduro’s fraudulent CLAP government food program and other Chavista schemes and he’s currently awaiting his next court appearance in the US after being extradited from Cape Verde) is a global effort recruiting social media influencers  and surrogates in Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal (We already knew about all their cohorts in the western hemisphere) in addition to it’s existing networks in Iran and elsewhere.

 And how about this from BMC…Chagas disease, a tropical parasitic disease causing fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, and if untreated enters the chronic phase causing eventual nerve damage and risk of heart failure is among other insect-borne diseases, like malaria, still prevalent in Venezuela. (Zika and Chikungunya come to mind and don’t forget all those previously eradicated diseases like measles and diphtheria)

 Then we have Oilprice.com reporting that energy analysts now say it will take $250 billion to rebuild Venezuela’s oil infrastructure decimated by Chavismo and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. It would require participation by western oil majors of which only Chevron still has operations remaining in Venezuela and three of them, Total (France), Equinor (Norway), and Inpex (Japan) recently accepted the Maduro regime’s condition of forgiving all unpaid debt and dividends just to exit the country. Who’s going to rebuild that collapsed infrastructure? If you believe the Chavistas and the Iranians it will be “Iran to the rescue”. And where will the Iranians get that $250 billion?

 And we have Hart Energy reporting that Rystadt Energy forsees it’s offshore investments in Suriname (neighboring country to Guyana and Venezuela) growing to $23 billion by 2031. It further demonstrates the oil and gas industry contrast in South America with companies expanding exploration and production in Suriname and Guyana and leaving Venezuela. It’s worth repeating that Venezuela now produces, give or take, about 650,000 bpd (barrels per day) and before 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism they produced 3 and 1/2 million bpd…just saying…

 Then we have National Interest with a good heads-up piece on “Who Is Alena Douhan?” She is a professor of international law and Director of the Peace Research Center at Belarusian State University. Since March, 2020 she has also served as UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures (sanctions), those imposed without the approval of the UN Security Council. She is financially supported by Beijing and Moscow and voices support for Russia, China, Syria, and Venezuela among other authoritarian regimes. For the uninitiated, Belarus is Vladimir Putin’s version of a Soviet-era satellite. Ms. Douhan is a good example of why Donald Trump walked away from the UN Security Council.

 More tomorrow….


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