Outreach Chavista Style

 We’ll head Down The Rabbit Hole in a sec but first…Merco Press had a piece that shows us the level of cooperation we can expect from the Maduro regime with the opposition going forward. They keep playing up the outreach they are willing to make to resolve the many issues facing Venezuela. Here’s some outreach Chavista style…

 Remember the three women that the 2015 National Assembly has chosen to lead the opposition now that they’ve dissolved the “interim government” and removed “interim president” Juan Guaido? Well, Maduro’s judiciary has issued a warrant for the arrest of all three. How’s that for outreach? Oh, and is this that new “independent” judiciary Maduro keeps telling us about?

 Then we have Aljazeera telling us that Nicola Maduro’s Attorney General, Tarek Saab, has asked Interpol for assistance in apprehending the three women heading up the opposition National Assembly in exile. They now have arrest warrants for charges against them including treason, money laundering, and impersonating public officials.

 And we have Just The News reporting on the Biden administration’s new process for migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. 30,000 people per month will be able to qualify for temporary parole in the US for up to two years. Those who do not qualify will be returned to Mexico who says they’ll accept up to 30,000 per month.

 OK, now I’m no math genius but I think there’s something missing in this plan. Between those allowed in and those returned to Mexico, it accounts for up to 720,000 migrants per year : 30,000 + 30,000 = 60,000 per month X 12 (months) = 720,000 per year.Last year US Border Patrol encounters were approaching 2.4  million migrants. So, what’s the plan for the 1,680,000 migrants not accounted for in Biden’s plan?

 Then we have Law 360 telling us that the Venezuela opposition’s decision to replace “interim President”, Juan Guaido, and dissolve his “interim government” and replace it with a commission to manage foreign assets is already having a delaying effect on some of the 52 court cases involving the Venezuelan government.

 Lawyers for the Venezuela government have asked for a stay in two cases and a Venezuela government-owned mining company has asked the US Supreme Court to rule on requirements for service on arbitration awards. (Do we still have to pay?) With many cases having dragged on for over a decade, this is going to be a mess.

 Then we have Reuters telling us that Venezuela owes $20.7 million to US law firms handling litigation against creditors seeking to collect unpaid debts from bond defaults and nationalizations carried out by the Venezuela government over 15 years ago.

 The country owes more than $60 billion over companies nationalized under Hugo Chavez as well as from defaulted sovereign government and PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) bonds. (We would add the billions they still owe China and Russia for loans and weapons deals)

 The most notable lawsuits involve PDVSA 2020 bonds in which US based refiner CITGO, a PDVSA subsidiary, was specifically offered as collateral for the bonds. It’s one of Venezuela’s few overseas assets that’s really worth anything.

 So, they didn’t pay the companies for expropriations, they didn’t pay the bondholders for defaults, and we now know they didn’t pay their lawyers either. What’s next, a lawsuit against them by their lawyers?

 Let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 11 continued…

 … With nobody, Maduro included, in favor of TSJ being the most powerful entity in the country (this may be the only time Maduro sided with the international community), the TSJ quickly reversed itself, “just kidding folks”, but it was too late. The people were fed up with the whole situation.The various factions vying for power while the Venezuelan people were dying in greater numbers every day for a variety of reasons all related to inept governance or lack of governance. They took to the streets… again. It was all the same issues as the “Guarimba” of 2014, hunger at the forefront, with a lack of medicine, healthcare, and pretty much everything else right behind.

 The demonstrations went on for four to five months at full strength and lingered after that. Maduro must have figured that the 40 protesters killed in the 2014 “Guarimba” didn’t get his point across so he upped his repression game this time. 165 protesters were killed, 1,958 wounded, and over 5,000 detained. As usual, Maduro blamed all Venezuela’s problems on the economic war being waged against “The Revolution” by the US, Colombia, far-right oligarchs, etc. He also blamed the same crowd for the violence associated with the protests and even for the protests themselves. Certainly it was inconceivable that the Venezuelan people weren’t happy.

 As the days turned into months and the violent clashes mounted along with the death toll Maduro called for dialog. He abhorred the violence being perpetrated on the peaceful people of Venezuela by a few extremists. He failed to mention that his guys were the ones with the guns. The opposition didn’t want dialog, they wanted a recall election to oust Maduro, which was a foregone conclusion should free and fair elections be held. (Just like today)

 In 2017 the international community hadn’t caught on to Maduro’s game and some of them haven’t to this day. When confronted with a threat to his regime he calls for dialog while he represses dissent (the usual, killing, wounding, beating, and jailing) knowing full well that time is on his side. The opposition has shown in the past that given time they will always manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The dialog went on for months, changing venues, mediators, representatives shuffling in and out of meetings constantly telling anyone who would listen that progress had been made and they were optimistic about the prospects of the next meeting. The Dominican Republic, Mexico, former Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero, and even the Pope continually parroted the same line.

 In the midst of all the chaos and upheaval combined with the confusion and lack of clarity over dialog on the part of the opposition Maduro saw opportunity. The nullification of the National Assembly by the TSJ (the assembly still existed but any laws passed by them would be ruled unconstitutional) wasn’t enough for Maduro. He called for the creation of a Constituent Assembly (referred to as the ANC). Snap elections were called and Maduro, the TSJ, and the Electoral Council all confirmed the legitimacy of creating a parallel assembly despite the fact that according to the Constitution, written by Hugo Chavez by the way, required a popular referendum. Maduro was skipping that step proving once again that the constitution was whatever Maduro said it was. The Constituent Assembly would consist of representatives from all electoral districts and their primary responsibility would be to rewrite the Constitution although they would be all-powerful and beholden to nobody so they could pass laws etc.

 More tomorrow….

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