The BST Returns
With no Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment today we’re all about current news so let’s get to it… Argus Media reports that Venezuela officials discussed increasing crude output with Rosneft (Russian oil major) chief executive, Igor Sechin, on the heels of Cuba asking the Russian company for help with it’s energy shortages.
We’ll spare you the full quotes from both Sechin and Venezuela’s Oil Minister but here’s the gist of the “Happy Talk”. Tareck el Aissami, Venezuela’s Oil Minister, also known for his terrorism and drug-trafficking ties said “Cooperation with the Russian Federation is broad and deep…continue to complement our oil and gas potential… defined a work agenda to increase crude oil production.” For Sechin’s part he vowed “…to do everything that we can in order to move forward.”
It’s been a while so, just for fun, let’s break out the “BS Translator”. According to the BST, Venezuela says that they’re sure hoping the Iranians can pull off some kind of engineering and construction miracle and magically restore the oil and gas infrastructure the Chavistas destroyed. They may have an update for their Marxist friends in Cuba in another 3-4 months.
Rosneft says, according to the BST, that they pulled out of Venezuela even before Russia’s debacle in Ukraine began. They transferred all their Venezuela assets to another Russian entity so, although they will do what they can to support the Cubans (which Russia, ‘the USSR’, did for three decades), it’s really out of their hands and is between Venezuela and Cuba.
I don’t know about you but I find the “BS Translator” version more plausible than the “Happy Talk” that was actually reported.
Then we have Rio Times telling us that Iran will begin renovation of Venezuela’s largest refinery complex in the coming weeks to restore it’s crude distillation capacity. The joint effort between PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) and NIORDC (National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company) is scheduled to last 100 days. (This must be that engineering and construction miracle the “BS Translator” was talking about)
OK, let’s pause for a moment. Iran and Venezuela have been hyping this for a while now, ever since the project was announced as part of the “historic, strategic agreements” reached between the two countries…And they haven’t started yet?
A skeptic might think that the Iranian petro-engineers have now seen what they’re up against and are thinking “We had no idea it was this bad. There’s no way we can complete this in 100 days!” Oh, and it’s been a while since we had an update on the similar repairs that have already begun at a smaller refinery in Venezuela…Could the Iranians have bitten off more than they can chew? I’m anxiously awaiting further updates on both projects.
Then I have to say, I seem to constantly fall victim to wishful thinking when it comes to Venezuela under Nicolas Maduro and the Chavistas as I love Venezuela and it’s people. I wish that Venezuela had any, or all, or even one of the things that most people in the real world take for granted. They have none of them. You know the list… everything from affordable food and medicine to fresh water to things like Human Rights… But fear not Venezuelans! Help is on the way!
It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s Venezuela’s Own Superhero…Super Bigote! (mustache)
The character was created in the image of Nicolas Maduro in 2021 and is billed as being “at war with imperialism”. Super Bigote is used to deflect blame for the country’s multitude of problems.
According to Elias Pino, retired historian and specialist in personality cults, Super Bigote is a diversion seeking to soften public anger and dissuade discontent and protests. “…so we invented this character …You have to find something that makes you think you’re not living in hell, only in purgatory.”
Only in Venezuela can living in purgatory be a goal. My goal for Venezuela is for Super Bigote and Nicolas Maduro to both be gone.
Then you have Reuters reporting that Venezuela opposition party, Popular Will, said former “interim President”, Juan Guaido, will be it’s candidate in the October presidential primary to choose someone to face off against Nicolas Maduro.
The Chavistas have deemed him “ineligible to hold public office”, as they did his competitor in the primary, Henrique Capriles, and Guaido’s mentor, our favorite Venezuela political leader, Leopoldo Lopez, currently in exile in Spain.
Note : Just to refresh everyone’s memory, Leopoldo Lopez was the guy imprisoned by Maduro when he called for peaceful protests in 2014. After years in prison he was offered a deal by the Chavistas if he would soften his position. He turned down the offer and chose to remain in prison. Now that’s a man of conviction!
Then we have ITUC telling us that Central ASI Venezuela has been trying to establish a dialog with the UNRC (United Nations Resident Coordinator) since 2016. They are attempting to present and coordinate cooperation between the UN, the Maduro regime, workers groups, and trade unions.
Of particular concern is the case of Gabriel Blanco, an officer of the Caracas branch of Central ASI, who is still in detention by the Maduro regime and is emblematic of cases involving persecution and harassment of trade unionists.
Central ASI has come a long way since 2016 but between the UN, NGOs, workers groups, trade unions, and the Maduro regime it appears they still have a long way to go.
Then we Translating Cuba with another of many pieces on the celebration in Venezuela of Hugo Chavez. I don’t want to rehash everything I told you the other day so I’ll be brief.
On the anniversary of the death of Hugo Chavez we had speeches by Nicolas Maduro (dictator), Raul Castro (replacement dictator for Fidel Castro), Adan Chavez (brother of Hugo Chavez), Daniel Ortega (dictator of Nicaragua), and others extolling the virtues of Hugo Chavez and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism and bashing the “imperialist, colonialist US Empire”.
Only authoritarians (and Democratic Socialists like we have in the US) could view the most destructive force ever unleashed against a country in the Western Hemisphere as a good thing.
That will do it for the week. We’ll be back Monday with our next Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment and, of course, more current news. Until then….Have a great weekend everybody!!!
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