We’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole shortly but first…There are emergencies and then there are EMERGENCIES! Case in point, Nicolas Maduro has been ruling by decree utilizing emergency powers, originally granted him by the National Assembly  and subsequently granted to himself, since he took power in 2013. Said powers are supposed to be renewed, if necessary, by the assembly every 60 days, according to the Constitution, but when the Venezuela opposition took the majority in the assembly in 2015 Maduro dispensed with their approval and, of course, the TSJ (Venezuela Supreme Court) ratified this as constitutional. He’s been doing this so long that the term “emergency” has kinda’ lost it’s meaning…so much so that when there is an actual emergency the government issues a “state of alarm”, not a “state of emergency”.

 We have Rio Times reporting that Nicolas Maduro announced the regime will take “emergency measures” in the face of the inflationary outbreak in December when prices rose over 37%. As usual, we have no details on what his plan might be but the Venezuelan people have to hope he won’t be as stubborn to sticking to his failing policies as he has been in the past.

 It’s not difficult to figure out that inflation returned as soon as Maduro backed off the two primary things that were stabilizing inflation, those being the allowance of the de facto dollarization of Venezuela and BCV (Venezuela Central Bank) supporting the bolivar (local currency) by using it’s dollar reserves to buy bolivares on the currency exchanges creating artificial demand for their perpetually failing currency.

 Maduro’s tax on the use of foreign currency/cryptocurrency hurt the dollarization  trend but he is unlikely to repeal it and admit it was a bad idea. The BCV can’t continue using dollar reserves to buy bolivares because they simply don’t have the money and have no credit with anyone.

 It doesn’t look good but we’ll get back to you when (if) Maduro tells us exactly what his “emergency measures”are to combat inflation.

 Then we have NBC4 telling us that the family and friends of an LA County public defender, Eyvin Hernandez, want us to remember that he’s still wrongfully detained in Venezuela (since last March).

 He was arrested and accused of being a spy after he failed to pay a bribe. The Maduro regime loves to have American political prisoners to use as bargaining chips so if you can’t pay the bribe you go to jail (unless you piss them off in which case you may disappear)…happens all the time…it happened to me but I was fortunate enough to have the money. I hope this guy is not forgotten.

 And we have Canadian Dimension telling us that the latest political battle in Venezuela is something you don’t hear much about…seeds. Some members of the National Assembly are calling for changes to Venezuela’s 2015 Seed Law, which prohibits genetically modified seed use, to encourage foreign investment in Venezuela by agricultural interests. Those resisting changes to the law see allowing transgenic seeds in Venezuela as a threat to communal/peasant farming. (Funny, they didn’t see expropriating millions of hectares of farmland as a threat to agriculture)

 Then we have Rio Times telling us that several UN agencies published the Regional Panorama of Food and Nutritional Security in Latin America 2022. According to the report Venezuela had the highest prevalence of malnourishment (spell check says that’s not a word) in the region at 22.9% (6.5 million people). This is an improvement over the last few years where the number stayed stubbornly at 35%. It does, however, confirm our suspicion that Nicolas Maduro’s claim of 7% malnutrition in Venezuela is, as his numbers usually are, nowhere near accurate.

 Let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

Chapter 13 continued…

 …Now that you could quantify the numbers, let’s have a look. In 2015 there were 695,000 Venezuelan migrants, according to the UN. Since it was spread out over the first decade and a half of Chavismo and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism it was hardly an alarming number, however, a good number of those left the country following the “Guarimba” of 2014 so most of the migration has taken place in recent years. What those people had in common with the pre-Chavismo migrants was they were mostly business and professional people. They left primarily from the airport and flew to the US and Europe. All that was about to change.

 The number of migrants went from 695,000 in 2015 to over four million in 2019. Note : This was written in 2019 and today the numbers are significantly higher with the total number of Venezuelan migrants at over 7 million, blowing past Syrian migrants (and Ukraine) to the number one spot on the migrant list. The breakdown by country in 2019 looked something like this :

 Colombia – 1,300,000

 Peru – 760,000 (began requiring visas)

 USA – 351,000 (requires visas)

 Chile – 288,000

 Ecuador – 263,000 (tightening immigration controls)

 Canada – 258,000 (listed number is from 2013 and since then there have been very few Venezuelan migrants admitted entry while Syrian migrants continue to flow into Canada…interesting)

 Brazil – 168,000 – (numbers would be higher except border crossings are in remote areas)

 Argentina – 130,000

 Panama – 94,000 (immigration policy for Venezuelans is on again, off again)

 Mexico – 40,000 (numbers are way up now and Mexico now requires visas)

 Trinidad & Tobago – 40,000

 Curacao – 16,000 (represents 15% of total population)

 Aruba – 11,000 (represents 15% of total population)

 Note : There were an estimated 28,500 Venezuela migrants in 2019 in the Dominican Republic but their numbers are notoriously inaccurate. They are also changing their policy toward Venezuelans)

 These are the numbers for the Western Hemisphere. There are Venezuelan migrants around the globe.

 More tomorrow….

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