Ditching The Dollar?

 We’ll get started with this week’s Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment shortly but first…SABA reports that Venezuela President (dictator), Nicolas Maduro, announced his country will move forward on the path of getting rid of the US dollar in economic transactions.

 Last month Argentina announced the transition to the Chinese yuan to pay for goods imported from China and Brazil and China announced the establishment of a clearing house for trade without using the dollar.

 Despite the desires of these leftist/Marxist leaders, the Chinese yuan will not be replacing the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency for one important reason. The price (value) of the US dollar is determined on the open market while the price (value) of the Chinese yuan is determined by the Chinese government. In the world of global finance (not the fantasy land of authoritarians) that’s a big deal.

 Then we have Aleteia telling us that in Venezuela the pitiful salary of $20 a month has caused many university professors to retire, switch to private institutions, or seek alternative means to survive… but not Jesus Diaz.

 He rides his bicycle to work every day at the University of Tachira, near the Venezuela/Colombia border, teaches on holidays and during university vacations, and refuses to be a part of the radical deterioration of higher education (and education in general) in Venezuela.

 He simply will not abandon his students. He says he places the success of his course in “the hands of the Creator” and often encourages his students to join him in prayer. Good on ya’ Prof!

 And we have Law 360 reporting that the Third Circuit Court refused to lift the temporary stay on litigation to enforce more than $2.7 billion in debt.

 The court was responding to a motion brought by six companies that wanted the stay lifted so they could be added to the list of companies to participate in the proposed auction of Citgo shares.

 Looks like everything will remain on hold while the court reviews Venezuela’s frivolous appeal claiming Citgo is not the Venezuela government, which it clearly is as it is owned by PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company).

 Then we have TUKO reporting that a second detainee arrested in Venezuela’s wide-reaching corruption probe (purge) has died, according to Venezuela Attorney General, Tarek William Saab.

 Juan Almeida, the deceased, had long been suffering from liver disease Saab wrote in Twitter. In April, another detainee committed suicide, according to authorities but rights groups have demanded an independent investigation, which isn’t surprising.

 Remember the guy that supposedly committed suicide by jumping from a 10th floor bathroom window while in custody? Authorities had to revise their report when they were informed that the bathroom on the 10th floor had no windows.

 Now, let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 12, “The Supremes”

 The basic structure of Venezuela’s government was set up by “The Great Liberator”, Simon Bolivar, to resemble, to a degree, that of the United States of America. What we see in Venezuela today resembles the government of the USA in name only ie; Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. We already know that the Executive branch no longer has presidential powers, it’s a dictatorship. We just discussed the lunacy of the Legislative branch, a legitimate assembly that can’t pass laws and an illegitimate assembly that does. That leaves us with the Judicial branch, Venezuela’s Supreme Court, the TSJ.

 I hardly know where to begin, it’s so crazy, but I’ll give it a shot. Venezuela’s TSJ sees a lot more cases than the US Supreme Court. I don’t know what it was like back in the day but in recent times the court reviews thousands of petitions/cases so just based on the math it can’t take too long to reach a decision (unless it’s contrary to the Chavista’s wishes in which case it may never be heard).

 The TSJ gives new meaning to the term “Judicial Activism”. It’s worth noting that compared to the Maduro years the Chavez years were relatively tame but this is by comparison only. First things first, Chavez changed the name from “The Supreme Court” to “The Supreme Tribunal of Justice”. It’s a small thing but rebranding is generally a sign of changes to come. Under Chavez the Chavista-controlled National Assembly added nine permanent judges and 32 stand-ins in 2010. Overall during Chavez’s term 12 judges were added to the TSJ increasing the total of judges from 20 to 32. Needless to say, all added judges and all replaced judges were pro- Chavista and their primary focus was always tied to Chavez’s wishes, dismissing everything else. A good example of this “protectionism” was in 2008 when the OAS (Organization of American States) court, Venezuela was still a member of the OAS at the time, ordered a judge reinstated stemming from an appealed firing in 2003. It simply never happened.

 When the TSJ was given it’s new name and new members it’s function was defined as “to control according to the Constitution and related laws the constitutionality and legality of public acts.” Under Chavismo the lines between a legal entity and a political entity became blurred or non-existent even though they were the ones that defined the TSJ’s responsibilities. The TSJ regularly makes recommendations to the CNE board (the electoral council). In 2012 it ruled that the top opposition leader couldn’t run against Chavez. It categorized it’s decision as an administrative decision and not a political one, whatever that means. By the way, as much as the Chavistas loved maligning Leopoldo Lopez, the opposition leader, and constantly professing their love for Simon Bolivar, “The Great Liberator”, it’s Lopez, not Chavez, who’s Bolivar’s descendant.

 More tomorrow….

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