So What Now?
With no Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment it’s all current news today so let’s get to it…BNN Bloomberg reports that the US government has assured the UN (United Nations) that contributions to it’s humanitarian fund for Venezuela, $3.2 billion in potentially unfrozen assets, will be safe from seizure by creditors.
This policy reversal could allow the relief effort to begin operating as soon as this month. The delay in the fund becoming operational has been a sticking point to the restart of talks between the Venezuela opposition and the Maduro regime regarding free and fair elections and other issues (like Human Rights violations etc.).
It will likely take months to begin disbursing funds and it remains unclear whether the Maduro regime will return to the negotiating table as the Chavistas have other demands as conditions to re-starting the talks such as the lifting of sanctions and the release of Alex Saab, the architect of Maduro’s totally fraudulent CLAP government food program and other frauds perpetrated against the Venezuelan people, currently awaiting trial in the US. It’s one of those “So what now” kinda’ deals.
No matter what happens, the Chavistas are in no hurry to talk about free and fair elections which will never be allowed, despite protestations to the contrary…not with Maduro’s 5% approval rating.
Then we have AP reporting that a Venezuelan woman, Moraima Escarlet Vasquez Flores, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the receipt of child pornography relating to a child abuse video.
Vasquez Flores was arrested in Colombia and extradited to the US after Sean Fiore of Burlington, Vermont pleaded guilty to federal charges that he commissioned her to make videos of a boy being tortured as well as the killing of a man.
Court records say she sent a hyper link to Fiore depicting what prosecutors described as her “inflicting sadistic abuse on a prepubescent boy” for which she was paid $600 in Amazon gift cards. He later agreed to pay $4,000 for a second video that showed the torture and killing of a man in Venezuela in 2019. She will be held in custody until sentencing in September….very disturbing that there are people like this walking among us.
Then we have Rio Times telling us that Nicolas Maduro announced that Venezuela is preparing to certify more than 50 blocks in the northern coastal area of the country. “We could be talking about the 4th largest gas reserves in the world”.
Great! Now the Chavistas will have more potential resources to squander, like their oil reserves, which are the largest in the world. Remember, the Maduro regime now makes more money from illegal trafficking than they do from selling oil.
And we have Baker McKenzie reporting that the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) issued a new Venezuela-related General License and related FAOs. The article waded through a whole bunch of “legalese” so let me boil it down for you…
It’s official, OFAC will not stand in the way of creditors and bondholders seeking the auction of Citgo shares to repay debts owed by PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) or the Venezuela government.
Citgo is owned by PDVSA which is owned by the Venezuela government so, in basic algebra, if A=B and B=C then A=C.
The Venezuela government is appealing a court decision to allow the sale of Citgo shares to satisfy Venezuela government debts claiming that Citgo is separate from the government.
Now, with Citgo no longer protected by OFAC, we just have to wait for the frivolous appeals to run their course then…Boom!
Then we have Rio Times telling us that a Ferrari showroom is open for business in the upscale neighborhood of Las Mercedes in Caracas amid the ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela. (Note: After a few quarters of positive growth the economy is shrinking again, just like the previous 8 years)
Nobody should be surprised by the presence of high-end products of any kind in Venezuela. Remember, for years, even as the country economically imploded, Venezuela has been in the top 10 countries in the world for private jet ownership. The people may be starving but there’s no shortage of wealthy Chavistas.
Then we have AA telling us that Spain officially received the credentials of new ambassadors from Venezuela and Nicaragua.
How heartwarming it is to see Spain recognizing the governments of a couple of brutal dictators like Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega.
The article referenced 220,000 Venezuelans who live in Spain, many who arrived as migrants/refugees in recent years. They didn’t, however, come right out and say that these migrants/refugees fled Venezuela to escape the government that Spain just recognized.
And we have AP reporting that in the days leading up to the end of Title 42, which allowed for the rapid expulsion of people illegally entering the US, the US Border Patrol stopped 2,400 Venezuelans daily.
That number has plummeted to 50 per day now. The numbers are also down at the Darien Gap, one of the world’s most dangerous migrant crossings, as well so this may be the start of a trend…or not?
That will do it for the week. We’ll be back Monday with our next segment of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole as well as more current news. Until then…. Have a great weekend everybody!!!
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