They're Everywhere!

 We’ll get to our Down The Rabbit Hole segment in a few but first…Nord News reports that the number of refugees is up about 33% this year, most of them Venezuelan unlike last year when most of them were from Ukraine. So, where are we talking about? Wait for it…It’s Iceland!

 Granted, the numbers we’re talking about aren’t that big but, then again, Iceland isn’t that big. It’s the same as with the migrant situation in some of the Caribbean island nations where the number of migrants isn’t that big compared to other countries but Venezuelan migrants account for 15% of their total population.

 It’s confirmation of a couple of things we’ve been telling you. Venezuelan migrants are everywhere and the exodus of people fleeing Chavismo and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism isn’t stopping.

 Unlike Ukraine, where there was a huge surge  of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion, then it pretty much died down, the Venezuela migrant (and humanitarian) crisis just goes on and on. There has been no war in Venezuela, nor any natural disaster and yet there are more migrants from Venezuela (7.1 million and counting) than any other country in the world including war torn areas like Ukraine and Syria.

 The disaster in Venezuela is a self-inflicted wound, a man-made disaster, a Chavista- made disaster.

 Then we have Rio Times telling us that the Venezuela government reaffirmed the schedule for the opening of air and maritime transit for the Dutch islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao after negotiations with the Netherlands.

 The schedule is Curacao, April 3rd (air and maritime), Bonaire, April 3rd (maritime), and Aruba, May 1st (maritime), which is kinda’ surprising as Aruba is closest. The closure of air and maritime service goes back to 2019 when Nicolas Maduro closed Venezuela’s borders to the three islands to prevent humanitarian aid from entering the country. People need to remember those days as they talk about “normalizing relations” with a guy that denied his people humanitarian aid from all over the world as they were starving and dying from lack of medicine because he felt his grip on power threatened. He did it before and he would do it again.

 Then we have telling us that stablecoins, a cryptocurrency that is linked or pegged to an external reserve asset (No, we’re not talking about Maduro’s  totally fraudulent cryptocurrency, EL Petro), like USDT, which is pegged to the dollar, has been used in countries like Venezuela to deal with inflation and devaluation but it is increasingly being used as a payment method for foreign accounts and providers that are afraid of using traditional payment means due to sanctions risk.

 Most of the use is by smaller companies but last October the US-DOJ (United States Department Of Justice) indicted 5 Russian nationals and 2 oil brokers that were using USDT as part of a scheme to purchase equipment for the Russian military and sell Venezuelan oil, over 500,000 barrels in one transaction.

 And we have another migrant piece, this one from elfaro, reporting that Guatemala has become a key gatekeeper for the US in curbing migration. Authorities reported that 15,393 Venezuelans were barred from entering through Honduras. The next closest group was Ecuadorians at 2,039.

 In October when the Biden administration announced the two year ‘temporary parole’ program for 24,000 Venezuelan migrants the word went out (somewhat mistakenly) across the Andes to Venezuelans that had already fled the Maduro regime to other South American countries until they could figure out their next move, “If you want to go to the US now is the time”.

 Some of those that managed to get into Guatemala were then extorted by the Guatemalan police. 882 others were assisted by NGOs and the Guatemalan government to return to Venezuela on “voluntary return flights” because they ran out of cash and couldn’t earn money to stay or continue north. (It’s worth noting that Venezuela government-owned airline Conviasa was charging airfare for these flights, not the government-assisted transit hyped by the Maduro regime)

 Some migrants have even considered re-crossing the Darien Gap, one of the most dangerous migrant crossings in the world, between Panama and Colombia (infamous for all the dead bodies littering jungle pathways). This is just another illustration of “Venezuelan migrants are everywhere”.

 Now, let’s go Down The Rabbit Hole…

Chapter 18 continued…

…So how does this apply to Venezuela? Well, everything in Venezuela is run by the Chavistas in Caracas. To do anything requires a Byzantine process of approvals by various people, departments, and ministries. (Remember, Hugo Chavez had 11 ministries while Nicolas Maduro already had 32 ministries when we stopped counting) What can be accomplished relatively easily and inexpensively in the real world in a day or so will be very costly in Venezuela and can take weeks or months. It’s the perfect set up for corrupt bureaucrats and in Venezuela they’re everywhere. Permits, documents, etc. are required for everything so if you want to get what you need you can either go through the interminable process or pay a fixer. There was an actual “menu” posted online with prices for passports, cedulas (Venezuela government ID), drivers licenses, etc. (Although now most people get their drivers licenses online)

 So what is 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism today? Functionally it is a bloated, inefficient, corrupt, bureaucratic nightmare, overburdened throughout with people in their positions due to ideological loyalty rather than ability. Bit by bit all the rights of the people have been stripped away until they now live under an authoritarian dictatorship that bears no resemblance to a democratic form of government (like they had before Chavismo). Much like the Cuban government, it’s sole purpose, as it has been from the beginning, is self-perpetuation and serves only itself and not the people it claims it is there to serve. It is a kleptocratic, narco- mafia state that is replete in every area with criminals and thugs who all richly deserve to be in jail. (From the top down)

 It is a far cry from what 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism was supposed to be and how it was represented both to it’s people and the world. It was, supposedly, the new model of government that really could deliver everything to everyone including total equality and freedom from the oppressors, the oligarchs, the elitists. It was embraced by people and governments all over the world. As the people of Venezuela would learn over the more than two decades of Chavismo, what we saw in the quote from “The International” was exactly how things would unfold. They were told what they wanted to hear. When it became clear that wasn’t going to work out they were told what they were willing to or wanted to believe. When it became clear that wasn’t going to work out they were told everything else. When it became clear that none of this was going to work out they finally learned the truth…and, unfortunately for them it was too late to do anything about it!

 Venezuela is a manifestation of what happens when we forget things that we all used to accept as fundamental truths. You know, all those things you hated to hear growing up then later found them all to be true. Things like “There is no free lunch”, “If something seems to good to be true it probably is too good to be true”, “Don’t believe everything you hear”, and so on. The reality is, when they say “This time will be different”, it won’t! When they say “The old rules don’t apply”, they do! If you’re thinking “That could never happen here”, think again. You would be well served to remember that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results and, more importantly, “DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID!!!

 That will do it for the week. We’ll be back Monday with more fun and games from “Dystopia”. Until then…Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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