Getting It Straight...Again

 We’ll head Down The Rabbit Hole in a few but first…Rio Times reports that the Maduro regime held an international seminar in Caracas called “National Unity for the Recovery of the Venezuela Economy in the Face of the International Blockade”. What a mouthful.

 Maduro’s VP, Delcy Rodriguez, said her country lost, on average, $29 billion a year, every year since 2015 as a direct consequence of the sanctions imposed by the US and it’s allies. Rodriguez highlighted that 929 “illegal sanctions” have been applied against her country, 60% of those imposed by the US.

 She went on to say that the situation has led them to go to the ICC (International Criminal Court) to demonstrate that it is a systematic violation of Human Rights and stressed that the sanctions not only had an economic impact but translated into a loss of life.

 Those statements are nothing new for the Chavistas, and those who support and enable the Maduro regime. It’s basically a “the best defense is a good offense” strategy.

 We have addressed the blatant falsehoods she alluded to and debunked everything she said in several of our Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segments in great detail and continue to do so with our daily current news offerings so we wont rehash it here.

 That said, there are a couple of salient points we need to remember. The first is that while sanctions were initiated in 2015 by Barack Obama, they were sanctions against individuals in the Maduro regime in an attempt to get them to change their policies and criminal behavior which was (and is) killing Venezuelans who had been (and are) starving since Maduro took power in 2013.

 Sanctions against PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company), responsible for 96% of Venezuela’s legal revenue (they make more these days from their illicit trafficking than from oil), were not initiated until 2017 and by that time, under Chavista stewardship, Venezuela had already lost almost 2/3 of their oil production.

 Note : If VP Delcy wants to talk about lost revenue how about this…Under Chavista icon, Hugo Chavez, PDVSA lost 2 million bpd (barrels per day) of oil production. With oil prices well above $100 a barrel for much of his tenure, how much revenue was lost due to 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism? You do the math.

 As far as the Maduro regime’s demonstrating Human Rights violations to the ICC, Delcy failed to mention that the ICC didn’t respond to the Chavista’s protestations but are officially investigating the Maduro regime for systematic Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity. This is the real truth, the real facts, and are only a couple of examples that expose Delcy’s statements as purely Chavista propaganda.

 Then we have Argus Media telling us that representatives from the Maduro regime and the Venezuela opposition have confirmed both sides will meet in Bogota for talks hosted by Colombia’s leftist (Marxist) President, Gustavo Petro.

 Since the Chavistas have demanded sanctions removal before resuming the official negotiations in Mexico (hosted by Norway) this may just be a way station to more substantial talks.

 The Chavistas have also demanded the release of Alex Saab (The architect of Maduro’s totally fraudulent CLAP government food program and other schemes, who is currently awaiting trial in the US on money laundering charges after extradition from Cape Verde, Africa) as a condition for negotiations. They have also said that until the previously agreed-upon $3.2 billion UN-managed humanitarian fund consisting of potentially unfrozen assets is operational there”s nothing to talk about. This is really just the Venezuelan Marxists signalling respect for the Colombian Marxists.


 Now, let’s go Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 8 continued…

 …To get an idea of lost revenue let’s use some low numbers so our lost revenue estimate will be on the low side, a minimum if you will. Although historic usage, on average, is much higher, let’s use the low number of 200,000 bpd (barrels per day) of gasoline. In a country of 5 million cars this should be much higher but there aren’t that many cars on the road these days. People either can’t find parts or can’t afford them. So, 200,000 bpd X 55 gallons (average volume of a barrel) = 11 million gallons per day. Let’s use a really low gasoline price, in real world terms, of a dollar a gallon X 11 million gallons X 365 days in a year and that equals over $4 billion dollars a year in lost revenue! Just from government subsidies! And these are the low numbers!

 Every analyst and ally, except Cuba, advised Maduro to raise gas prices for years (not like that seemingly huge 6,000% increase in 2016 which hiked prices to 25 cents per tankful). He listened to none of them, which is pretty much his reaction to anything that would require him to change policy. He did announce a major price increase at the time of his economic overhaul and the introduction of his new “Sovereign Bolivar” currency. Tell me if this doesn’t sound typically Chavista. The new plan would involve new registration and regulation levels. Two different prices, subsidized pricing for those registered with the plan, and an international average price for those not part of the plan. Of course this would all be through the “Carnet de la Patria” and also required that people register their cars for the plan. So, the government gets more people to sign up for the corrupt “Homeland Card”, gathers more information on cars and car owners, and then does nothing. Gasoline prices in 2019 were still where they were in 2016. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that when the new bsS, “Sovereign Bolivar, came into being the government had to allow the old currency, the bsf, “Strong Bolivar” (As opposed to just the original “bolivar”) to stick around because the new currency didn’t have a denomination small enough to pay for gasoline.

 So why did this continue? It couldn’t be political considerations since Maduro is a dictator and had already proven he didn’t (and doesn’t) care what anybody thinks. It couldn’t be that, like in the good old days, he was raking in so much revenue in oil sales and unnecessary loans that he simply didn’t need the money. So what is it?

 More tomorrow….

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