We’ll head Down The Rabbit Hole shortly but first…Natural Gas World reports that the Biden administration granted a license to Trinidad & Tobago to develop a major gas field in Venezuela territorial waters at Trinidad & Tobago’s request.
The license will allow PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company), Shell, and Trinidad & Tobago to jointly plan and develop a gas exporting project. The Dragon project was headed for production over a decade ago but stalled over lack of capital and partners as well as sanctions.
The terms of the license issued by the US Treasury Department prohibit PDVSA from receiving any cash (just like other sanctions relief deals) so it’s questionable if Shell and Trinidad & Tobago can actually strike a deal with the Maduro regime. Don’t look for any gas relief any time soon.
Then we have Reuters telling us that Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister, Keith Rowley, says that to comply with the terms of the license issued by the US Treasury Department for the Dragon natural gas project it would pay Venezuela with humanitarian supplies like food and medicine. According to Rowley, Trinidad & Tobago has done other swap deals with Venezuela and has supplied them with about $50 million in humanitarian goods so far.
And we have Ekathimerini reporting that a Greece-flagged vessel is one of two tankers chartered by Chevron to carry it’s 5th and 6th cargoes of Venezuela crude oil to the US.
The article also referenced other shipments by other companies and countries bound for Europe but didn’t mention our favorite undisclosed “news” item. That would be whether or not Europe paid cash to PDVSA for it’s latest crude oil shipment, as the Chavistas previously demanded, which would violate sanctions.
Weeks keep rolling by and still nobody’s talking…The longer this goes on the more I think the Europeans caved to the Chavistas demands and paid cash but won’t own up to it and the Biden administration doesn’t want to know (which they should want to know), because the sanctions violation would impact the Chevron deal which is the same deal they gave to Europe. Hmmm…..
Then we have DOJ (Department Of Justice)- US Attorney’s Office telling us that former TSJ (Venezuela Supreme Court) president and current TSJ justice, Maikel Moreno, has been indicted on money laundering and accepting bribes to influence his decisions from 2014-2019. The bribery charges include both civil and criminal cases.
They detailed Moreno’s questionable finances like how, on a judges salary, he has acquired luxury residences in Tuscany, Italy, La Romana, Dominican Republic, Miami, Florida, and Caracas, Venezuela as well as cars, luxury goods, luxury travel, and paid $300,000 for music at his wedding.
Since it was an official statement they stayed on point and didn’t mention that he’s also a convicted murderer and is widely believed to have caused the failure of Juan Guaido’s attempt to overthrow Nicolas Maduro when he backed out of the deal after finding out he wouldn’t be named President of Venezuela.
What more do you need to know about the credibility of the Maduro regime other than as soon as Maduro took power he promoted Moreno and shortly thereafter appointed him head of TSJ?
Let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole for a little more “Three-headed Monster”…
Chapter 14 continued…
…Oh, and don’t think you’re safe just because you’re Chavista. Party affiliation won’t protect you if you don’t toe the party line. In February, 2015, Alcedo Mora disappeared. The day after he “went missing” he sent a text that SEBIN was following him as he attempted to investigate corruption at state oil company PDVSA… and he was Chavista! At the same time, two brothers involved in community organizing with Mora also went missing.
In another example, Ricardo Moreno, Venezuela Foreign Ministry North American Director, was grabbed by SEBIN and held for 12 days with various explanations offered including treason and trafficking of influences. Is there a pattern forming here…multiple explanations/allegations without proof? When Moreno was released after being held for 12 days nothing more was said by either party. It was like it never happened. Speculation was that next time he would simply “disappear”.
In April, 2018, the Maduro regime crossed another line as far as acceptable behavior goes. That’s when they officially endorsed kidnapping in order to extort compliance compliance with their wishes. We discussed earlier the websites that provide Venezuelans with information on the black market exchange rates to buy and sell bolivares (local currency) and dollars. While the standard excuses for the Venezuelan economic disaster are always various forms economic warfare by right-wing imperialists , in April, 2018, they set their sights on these websites as a form of “economic terrorism”. The Venezuela Attorney General went on state TV and blamed these site owners for Venezuela’s economic problems and demanded they be jailed. The problem for him was they weren’t in Venezuela. That’s when the Chavistas embraced a new strategy.
Carlos Marron, owner of webdolarpro.com, had resided in the US for years and his website had been around for years as well, one of 12 popular websites for black market rates. DGCIM grabbed his father when he went out for his morning walk in Venezuela. When he didn’t come home his wife tried to find out what happened to him and she was apprehended by CICPC (the “scientific police”) and held for 8 hours. Up in the US Carlos Marron got a phone call telling him if he wanted his father out of jail he would have to pay and payment must be made in person. DGCIM were waiting for him at the airport in Caracas, he was arrested for “financial terrorism”, spreading false information (according to The Law of Currency Exchange), money laundering, and conspiracy.
Lavrentiy Beria was the head of the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB in the USSR. Stalin once called him “my Himmler” in reference to the head of Hitler’s SS. It’s a subject of debate whether Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich (head of the Gestapo), or Beria killed more millions of people. Beria is reputed to have said ” show me the man and I’ll show you the crime”. That seems to be the Chavista mindset.
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