What War On Terror?

 Since we’re back to our standard fare we’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole in a bit but first…People’s Daily reports that the Maduro regime rejected the US questioning of it’s commitment to fight terrorism after the US State Department certified before congress that Cuba, Iran, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (That would be North Korea), Syria, and Venezuela were not cooperating fully with US anti-terrorism efforts.

 In a statement, Caracas rebutted Washington’s “questioning of Venezuela’s commitment to the fight against terrorism, which has been demonstrated by the fulfillment of all it’s obligations year after year.”

 They also said that US foreign policy toward Venezuela “constitutes, in itself, a true form of terrorism” referring to US sanctions which they claim are “economic, political, and financial terrorism.”

 They didn’t mention that the Maduro regime allows terrorist organization Hezbollah to operate training camps in Venezuela.

 Then we have Merco Press reporting that Brazil’s President, Lula da Silva, is hosting a two-day summit for leaders of 11 South American countries.

 The agenda is wide-ranging but it seems the purpose is to rebuild (or replace) UNASUR, The Union of South American Nations, which was created during Lula’s second term in 2008. UNASUR has disintegrated over time and now consists of only seven members.

 If nothing else, we can expect more meetings and/or summits as representatives from all the countries shuffle back and forth wasting their respective taxpayer’s time and money while accomplishing virtually nothing.

 And we have Natural Gas World telling us that Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago will continue negotiations on jointly developing a dormant offshore natural gas field with a meeting scheduled in Caracas for mid-June.

 The Dragon Field, which lies along the maritime border of the two nations, holds an estimated 4.2 trillion cubic feet of gas. Trinidad & Tobago needs the fuel to boost it’s LNG and petrochemical industries and Venezuela hopes to have access to cash flow from gas exports.

 The US green-lighted talks for the project in January but there has been no progress since a meeting in March between the two countries to sign confidentiality agreements.


 Now let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 13 continued…

 …Those are the numbers and while they are staggering and growing (The largest migration in the history of the Western Hemisphere) they don’t tell the whole story. Just like the Syrian crisis the early migrants took flights or traveled overland to neighboring countries and were more or less self-sufficient. Eventually the Syrians just kept pouring out and wound up all over Europe and these later migrants had nothing in common with the earlier ones, at least as far as self-sufficiency goes. They were simply desperate people fleeing a country ravaged by civil war and most arrived at the doorstep of host countries with nothing, in poor health, and not much in the way of prospects.

 The most frightening thing about the Venezuela situation is something I’ve repeated in earlier chapters. Syria is suffering from years of civil war. Other countries have had large numbers of refugees due to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, massive river flooding etc. or famine caused by years of drought. All these situations are understandable. Venezuela’s defies belief in that it is due to none of these factors or anything like them.

 Before the onset of Chavismo and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism people were not fleeing Venezuela, THEY MIGRATED TO VENEZUELA! In the latter 20th Century 15% of the Venezuela population were immigrants coming from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Lebanon, Syria, and people of Jewish heritage. There were also a large number of Canadians and Americans as well as from anywhere companies invested in Venezuela originated. Many of the earlier immigrants established family businesses or were professional people. Most of those have now returned to their country of origin but it didn’t happen overnight. People were reluctant to give up on businesses they had invested a good portion of their lives (and resources) building. A good example is the 70 year-old Portugese woman who returned to Portugal a few years ago. In Venezuela she owned an accounting firm and employed 10 people. In Portugal she is a cleaning lady. Now don’t get me wrong here. It’s not a knock on cleaning ladies but a cleaning lady is like an independent contractor.In Venezuela this woman had 10 other people and their families tied to her success, and had for years. When she finally had to give up they did as well. Some professional people were fortunate enough to find work in their country of origin in their chosen professions but those are few and far between. There are Venezuelan doctors and lawyers washing dishes all over the world…and those left behind are nowhere near that fortunate.

 The earlier escapees, those first 695,000 before 2015, left primarily by plane and most, having the financial wherewithal, took their families with them. As the migration ramped up over the next few years the situation changed drastically on several fronts.

 The next few years the migrants were mostly what we’ll call “the middle escapees”. This group contained the majority of Venezuela’s middle class as well as those, who for one reason or another, stayed another few years. Unlike round one, many of these people, while by no means destitute, had more to consider financially and this fostered change beginning with destination and method.

 More tomorrow….

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