With no Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment it’s all current news today so let’s get to it…Rio Times reports that the Venezuela annualized inflation reached 458% in May, according to OVF (Venezuela Observatory of Finance).

 The report also points out that this coincides with lower trade sales and a drop in industrial production. Now I’m no economist but isn’t inflation combined with economic contraction called “stagflation”?

 With Venezuela teetering on the verge of returning to hyperinflation, if economic activity doesn’t pick up I guess that would put them into “hyper-stagflation”?

 Remember, before six quarters of muted economic recovery Venezuela, under Nicolas Maduro and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism, experienced 8 consecutive years of recession causing an 80% economic contraction as well as an over four-year bout of hyper-inflation, second only to Nicaragua’s five year period, which was the longest in history.

 BCV (Venezuela Central Bank) hasn’t reported numbers for May but their numbers are always divergent from reality (in other words, they’re just making shit up).

 Then we have ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) releasing a statement expressing concern that Venezuela’s trade unions do not have a seat at the table regarding public policy and it’s implementation under the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

 They rank Venezuela as the country with the greatest decline in the SDG Index as far as implementation of the 2030 Social Development Goals Agenda.

 They report that there is virtually no consultation, social dialog, or transparency from the Maduro regime. The Venezuelan government states it has “integrated the SDGs and their objectives into the National Economic Social Development Plan and the plan is being executed through bodies of the National Planning System, the Ministry of Popular Power for Planning, and the VP of Planning (I didn’t know they had one). Sounds impressive huh?

 In September, 2022 the Venezuela government signed a framework agreement with the UN (United Nations) to address areas such as health, education, food, science and technology, social care, the economy, and women. They also signed the “Paris Agreement” pledging to reduce emissions by at least 20% by 2030.

 The ITUC maintains that the Maduro regime (to nobody’s surprise) hasn’t done anything to improve the situation in any of these areas.

 Then we have Reuters reporting that holders of bonds issued by PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) , that are backed by shares of Citgo, which is owned by PDVSA, urged New York state’s highest court to reject claims that the bonds are invalid.

 Lawyers for Venezuela’s opposition, which controls PDVSA’s US assets due to sanctions against President (dictator) Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government, argued before the Albany-based New York State Court of Appeals that the bonds were not approved by the South American country’s National Assembly.

 The bondholders trustee, MUFG Union Bank, countered that the contention that the bonds were illegal under Venezuelan law has no bearing in New York, where the bonds were issued.

 “The New York courts should not encourage issuers to try to avoid their debts by abandoning their own previous commitments and representations.”

 US District Court Judge, Katherine Polk, initially sided with the bondholders. The Manhattan-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said the validity of a security, such as a bond, is determined by the local law of the jurisdiction where it is issued.

 Now we wait for the ruling by the New York State Court of Appeals…while the vultures continue to circle…

 And speaking of circling vultures…Reuters also reports that ICC (International Criminal Court) Chief Prosecutor, Karim Khan, announced that ICC has opened an office in Venezuela pursuant to their investigation into the Maduro regime (including Nicolas Maduro and other high-ranking Chavistas) for Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity.

 President (dictator) Maduro said “I am sure that this office will add positive practices…it will surely have a very favorable impact.”

 The ICC announced it’s investigation into the regime in November, 2021 and Maduro said at the time he respects the decision (to open the investigation) but did not share it.

 It’s worth noting that the ICC wouldn’t be able to do this without permission for the investigation from the country in question (Venezuela). Maduro agreed to allow the ICC to look into Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity back when the head of the ICC was Fatou Bensouda, a known Maduro apologist, who covered for him for years. Now she’s gone and it looks like things, however slowly, are moving forward. Once again, the vultures are circling…

 Then we have Law 360 reporting that a Florida Federal Judge rejected Venezuela’s contention that the ongoing crisis in Venezuela prevented them from gathering needed evidence and information and ordered them to pay $23 million in unpaid invoices to a Florida-based chemical distributor.

 It just gets crazier and crazier with these Chavistas…I mean come on…trying to claim that a crisis that you caused (and have failed to address) is preventing you from obtaining evidence and information to justify not paying your bills…really?

 More tomorrow….

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