Let’s dive right in to our current news from the land of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism… France 24 reports that Venezuela President (dictator), Nicolas Maduro, accused US President, Joe Biden, of “looting” over the proposed sale of Caracas’s most valuable overseas asset, oil refiner Citgo after a Delaware court cleared the way for Citgo shares to be auctioned to pay creditors with claims against PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) and the Venezuela government.
It will take about a year to work through the process, including appeals and delays, but the demise of Citgo is more or less assured. “What Joe Biden’s government is doing is one of the thefts, one of the biggest lootings that has ever taken place against any nation in the world and we reject it.” Maduro’s VP, Delcy Rodriguez, indicated the acts are “null and void”.
Nico and Delcy overlook the fact that the auction of shares in Citgo is to repay creditors that had their assets illegally seized by the Chavistas.
For a little perspective, over the years of Hugo Chavez’s reign, 1999-2013, Ecuador, also had a socialist government. They expropriated (seized) about 100 companies or entity’s assets.
The Chavistas meanwhile expropriated (seized) about 1,200 companies or entity’s assets. You could add at least over a thousand more companies since Maduro took power so you have the Chavistas seizing the assets of well over two thousand companies operating legally in Venezuela during their time in power.
When it comes to the “looting” of assets and resources, either belonging to private companies or the Venezuelan people, nobody even comes close to the Chavistas.
Then we have Latin Times with an article that explored the Venezuela minimum wage, the associated “Cesta Ticket”, and the “War Bond”, which was recently announced by Venezuela President (dictator), Nicolas Maduro.
They had some hits and misses although, to be fair, unless you’ve lived in Venezuela it’s difficult to understand the complications of something that is simple in most places.
The “Cesta Ticket” (which they referred to as being like food stamps) is a food allowance that Maduro announced would increase from $15 a month to $40 a month but the article was misleading in that not all people who earn the minimum wage, which remained unchanged at $5 A MONTH, qualify for the “Cesta Ticket” food allowance.
If your employer provides a daily meal, which many do, you don’t get the “Cesta Ticket”. These people do get a meal a day but it doesn’t really help feed their families.
They also added in the $20 “War Bond” into the monthly income calculations but it’s a one-time deal, not a monthly stipend, so after you buy two kilos of coffee (a little over $5 each) and a couple of other items you’re done.
They did have one interesting tidbit though. Cendas puts the cost of the monthly food basket, enough to feed a family of five the essential food groups for a month, at $510.
If you don’t receive the “Cesta Ticket” you need 100 minimum wages to feed your family and if you do get the “Cesta Ticket” you still need 11 monthly combos of the minimum wage and “Cesta Ticket” to feed your family.
For perspective, the monthly minimum wage in Colombia is $242, in Brazil it’s $264, Mexico is $321, and Uruguay comes in at $527.
It’s also worth remembering that the UN metric for extreme poverty is earning less than $2 a day. Venezuela’s $5 a month is well below that but the Venezuelans have seen much worse. At one time the minimum wage was as low as an unbelievable 67 cents A MONTH!
It’s pretty easy to see why, Human Rights violations aside (including the 1,400 extrajudicial killings a year committed by Maduro’s security forces), thousands of Venezuelans flee 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism every day.
Then we have this from Americas Quarterly…”The US Should Have Moderate Expectations For Venezuela’s Elections”…Ya’ think?
The article primarily addressed a lot of things we already know but I have to give them props for two things…
First, their summary of Colombia President, Gustavo Petro’s recent Summit on Venezuela, in Bogota. “In the end, the conference participants issued a short statement agreeing what needs to be agreed upon.” Sound familiar?
Second, regarding the upcoming presidential election (Which hasn’t been officially scheduled), “…Maduro’s nearly guaranteed victory in 2024”. With Maduro’s single digit approval rating there is no way he can win a free and fair election, therefore the 2024 election will be neither free nor fair and the foregone conclusion…Maduro wins.
Then we have IOL with this…”The desperate cries of Venezuela continue to fall on America’s deaf ears”. The title grabbed my attention but it didn’t take long for the piece penned by Abbey Makoe to disappoint.
After regurgitating a few paragraphs of Chavista propaganda she said ” The story of Venezuela’s troubles began in 2018 with the results of the disputed election…” I’ll stop right there.
2018 marked Venezuela’s 5th consecutive year of recession, the 2nd year of hyperinflation, and the Venezuelan people have been starving since 2014. Remember all those protesters killed by Maduro’s security forces in 2014 and 2017?
I could go on but I’m sure Ms Makoe, an obvious Maduro apologist, wouldn’t care. Talk about “desperate cries falling on deaf ears”…
That will do it for the week. We’ll be back Monday with our next segment of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole and more current news. Until then…Have a great weekend everybody!!!
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