Since 1899...Really?

 We’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole in a few but first…Reuters reports that judges at the ICJ (International Court of Justice) have ruled by a count of 14-1 that they have jurisdiction over a long-running border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Esequibo region, overruling Venezuela’s objection to the court hearing the case.

 Control over the region was given to Guyana in 1899 but Venezuela claims that’s invalid as Guyana in no longer a British colony. Come on…Since 1899… Really? Venezuela hasn’t paid much attention to this region and didn’t really seem to care until there were major oil and gas discoveries in the region, which are rapidly being developed by Guyana, unlike Venezuela’s massive oil and gas reserves which have been under utilized (destroyed?) by Chavismo.

 Also on the legal front we have Law & Crime reporting that Fox News has settled a lawsuit filed against them by Venezuelan businessman, Majed Khalil, relating to an interview and social media posts identifying him as one of four people who worked with voting software companies Dominion and Smartmatic to “rig or fix the results of the election in favor of Joe Biden”. Now jury selection begins in a similar suit brought against Fox News by Dominion.

 Although terms of the settlement were not disclosed this might get expensive. There was no mention of a suit by Smartmatic.

 Then we have Rio times telling us that Nicolas Maduro’s VP, Delcy Rodriguez, speaking at the Anti-Inflation Summit in Mexico, said Venezuela can be a fundamental part of the regional food crisis if sanctions are lifted and Venezuela can utilize it’s massive oil and gas reserves.

 She didn’t mention (and we never fail to mention) that Venezuela’s oil industry was cratering years before the first sanctions were initiated against Venezuela’s government and their their oil business. She also didn’t mention (and why would she?) that the Venezuelan people have been basically starving since 2014. We’re covering a lot of that in this week’s Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment, “The Real War”.

 As long as we’re looking at Venezuela being part of the solution to the regional food crisis, how about this… La Prensa Latina says “Venezuela buffalo producers look to meet international export demands”.

 Venezuela boasts the largest buffalo herd in Latin America. A comprehensive plan is being developed that includes the export of buffalo meat, live animals, genetic material (buffalo sperm?) and the full host of derivative products.

 The demand is there (as is the food crisis) and the supply is there but, as with all things Venezuela-related, we have an issue. They are still working on compliance with health standards. They still lack a certificate attesting to “Freedom from foot and mouth disease”. But no worries…they’re working on it. The evaluation process is expected to take place in 2025.

 Is it just me or does that seem like a long time? That is, unless as may well be the case, they haven’t started the approval process until now.

 Let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 7 continued…

 …Anyway, he expropriated 3 and 1/2 million hectares (a hectare is about 2 and 1/2 acres) of farmland. It was divided into plots with some livestock for each and gave it (without title) to poor families from the barrios (mostly the slums of Caracas). Aside from the fact that my ancestral family were farmers, I think most people know that farming isn’t an easy way to make a living. Families with generations of accumulated knowledge or corporate farms run by people with agricultural degrees have a rough go of it. What would be the chance of success if you took a family from the South Bronx in New York and dropped them in Nebraska saying “OK, here’s your farm… good luck!”

 You can imagine what happened. 35,000 hectares out of the 3 and 1/2 million hectares expropriated actually produced. Not exactly a testament to societal experimentation. Try getting a drug approved with a 1% success rate in clinical trials. I do have to tip my hat to the 1% that succeeded. Good on ya! You defied the odds.

 Another victim to Chavista scapegoating was the warehousing/ distribution system. They took a big hit in 2014 and never recovered. The warehousing/distribution companies came under fire during “the guarimba” of 2014, the protests spurred by the food shortages (in which the Maduro regime killed 40 protesters) caused by the Chavista’s ludicrous price controls. Maduro had to blame somebody for the empty supermarket shelves so anyone with a warehouse was an easy target. Inspectors, backed up by the National Guard, would show up at a warehouse, seize whatever food was stored there, jail someone from management, and have it delivered to the supermarkets. “Hoarding by those greedy speculators” would not be tolerated by “The Revolution”!

 That pretty much killed the orderly flow of food to the supermarkets. Trucks would go from a processing facility directly to the supermarkets and unload whatever products they had to the waiting crowds. It was chaotic.Some locations got big deliveries while others got nothing. News of pending deliveries was leaked via social media and finding out what product was being delivered, where it was being delivered and when, then going and waiting in line for it, became a full time job.

 When the Chavistas weren’t busy destroying farming, putting all the supporting companies out of business, you know, everything from machinery parts for both the farmers and food processors to seed and fertilizer companies etc. and dismantling the warehousing/distribution network they directed their efforts to fraudulent schemes purported to help feed the starving people.

 One such scheme was a 2010 project launched by Chavez with China’s CAMC Engineering Company. It was promoted as a comprehensive project including the largest rice-processing facility in Latin America and rice paddies twice the size of Manhattan. $100 million was allocated and in 2019 the project remained half-built although the money wasn’t half-spent. At one of the buildings for the Hugo Chavez Plant they had a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Maduro’s Agriculture Minister doing the honors. The visuals on Venezuela’s state-run media were impressive…silos and everything! Looks can be deceiving. It turns out that inside the facility plant workers were filling bags with IMPORTED RICE by hand instead of utilizing the proposed machinery supposedly capable of producing 18 tons per hour.

 More tomorrow….

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