No More Babies In Boxes?

 We’ll get to our Down The Rabbit Hole segment in a few but first…Rio Times reports that Venezuela President (dictator), Nicolas Maduro, announced the successful reconditioning of 3,400 units of medical equipment for the public health system.

 He blamed the challenges faced in obtaining spare parts to repair the disabled equipment on sanctions (even though healthcare and health related services are exempt from sanctions)

 He credited the National Plan for the Recovery of Medical Equipment (Who knew they had one?) with saving Venezuela $21 million and says the program in place since 2018 fosters a culture of corrective and preventative maintenance.

 I guess that’s the alternative to the standard practice of the Chavistas and 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. That would be doing things like throwing malfunctioning incubators in storerooms and putting newborn babies in cardboard boxes on the floor.

 Then we have Comms Update telling us something  we missed in the piece on Venezuela’s telecommunications system plans for 2023-2025. According to Conatel, Venezuela’s telecommunications regulatory agency, Venezuela looks to phase out 2G connectivity by 2025.

 It’s worth noting that only the government-owned provider, Movilnet, operates a 2G network… and you thought 2G was a thing of the past huh?

 Then we have Reuters reporting that judges at the ICC (International Criminal Court) in The Hague gave the green light to Chief Prosecutor, Karim Khan, to proceed with the investigation into alleged Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime in Venezuela..

 Quick explainer, the “pre-investigation” was slow-walked by Khan’s predecessor, Fatou Bensouda, for years as she was a known Maduro apologist. This went on for three years until she stepped down and then Khan launched an actual investigation almost immediately.

 Caracas had sought a delay/deferral since they were (supposedly) investigating the allegations themselves. The judges said that while Venezuela is taking some steps to investigate, “It’s domestic proceedings do not sufficiently mirror the scope of the Prosecutor’s intended investigation.”

 An independent panel at OAS (Organization of American States) reported in May that the legal reforms proposed by the Venezuela government worked to actively shield high-level perpetrators from prosecution by the ICC.

 The wheels of justice certainly do grind slowly but it’s good to see the process against these criminals is moving forward.

 And we have Rio Times telling us that AS/COA released it’s fifth edition of the CCC Index (Anti-Corruption Capacity Index). Of the 15 countries assessed, the two countries with the most significant declines (the two most corrupt) were Venezuela and Guatemala.

 Then we have Merco Press with yet another index release. The Institute for Economics and Peace released it’s Global Peace Index ranking the peace levels of 163 countries. Venezuela and Colombia were the lowest ranking Latin American countries, tied at 140th place.

 Then we have the Oman Observer reporting that Russian oil firm, Roszarubezhnoft, who acquired Russian oil major, Rosneft’s assets in Venezuela in 2020, is asking PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) for a deal similar to the one they have with Chevron (oil export sales for debt reduction). They are currently owed about $3.2 billion by PDVSA. A similar overture was ignored by PDVSA last year.

 Then we have OPS Group reporting that the FAA has cancelled a long-standing restriction which prevented US operators from overflying Venezuela airspace.

 So, what has changed? “The situation in Venezuela is at a standstill and the FAA hasn’t yet provided any explanation for lifting the restriction, however, the US Department of State maintains it’s ‘Do Not Travel To Venezuela’ warning citing risk of kidnapping, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and unlawful imprisonment”.

 The US-DOT (Department Of Transport) also bans transport of cargo or passengers between the US and Venezuela. So, what’s the deal with the FAA? Is this another step toward “normalizing relations” with Venezuela (and the oppressive Maduro regime)?

 Let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 18 “Bullets” continued…

…9/ Venezuela’s food crisis is man-made (Chavista-made) and has been going on since 2014. See chapter 7.

 10/ Maduro’s CLAP food program isn’t a solution. It’s a political weapon and corrupt mechanism to enrich himself and other Chavistas. See chapter 7.

 11/ Venezuela had the world’s cheapest gasoline for years, but not to benefit the people. It’s been used, through illegal trafficking, to buy the loyalty of the military. See chapter 8.

 12/ Venezuela’s “Mining Arc” is environmentally reprehensible, threatens indigenous peoples, and it’s another means to buy loyalty from the military. See chapter 9.

 13/ The government ID card, “Carnet de la Patria” (Homeland Card), is just another means of oppression (weaponization or extortion) of government benefits. See chapter 10.

 14/ The Maduro regime constantly displays a blatant disregard for the Constitution, which was written by it’s icon and Chavista namesake, Hugo Chavez. See chapter 11.

 15/ The Supreme Court of Venezuela, TSJ, is completely non-independent and is solely an extension of the executive branch. See chapter 12.

 16/ Many US critics refuse to denounce the regime of Nicolas Maduro and yet refer with horror (and rightfully so) to the US support of the Pinochet regime in Chile a few decades ago. Pinochet’s death squads were responsible for about 3,000 extrajudicial killings during his 17 year reign.How do they reconcile that with the Maduro regime’s security forces committing 1,400 extrajudicial killings per year since he took power in 2013? See chapter 14.

 17/ With over 7.1 million Venezuelan migrants who have fled 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism, why all the coverage on migrants from Syria and Ukraine and so little on Venezuela? See chapter 13.

 18/ Venezuela has no free speech, no free press, and no Human Rights…Period! See chapter 16.

 19/ Venezuelans wish they had a 2nd Amendment. See chapter 15.

 That will do it for this holiday-shortened week. We’ll be back Monday with another Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment and more current news. Until then…Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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