Fiercely Independent

 We’ll head Down The Rabbit Hole in a bit but first…Daily Mail reports that a Federal Prosecutor in Argentina, Carlos Sternelli, launched an investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime in Venezuela following a criminal complaint filed by the Clooney Foundation For Justice.

 The Argentina legal system has answered the question, “Will they apply the principle of universal jurisdiction to investigate the Maduro regime, as they have done in the past?”

 There was speculation that Argentina President, Fernandez, a Maduro ally, would try to prevent the opening of the investigation in Argentina but the Argentine justice system has proven to be fiercely independent (Unlike in Venezuela where there is no independent judiciary).

 The Clooney Foundation complaint alleges that the two cases stemming from the 2014 food protests, in which dozens of protesters were killed by Venezuela government security forces, are emblematic of a systemic violation of Human Rights in Venezuela.

 In his writ, Sternelli requested documents from the Venezuela justice system and Venezuela medical records as well as documents from the UN (United Nations), OAS (Organization of American States), Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and ICC (International Criminal Court), who is conducting their own investigation into Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime.

 Then we have Rio Times telling us that in a recent debate, eight of the leading candidates in the Venezuelan opposition primaries to decide who will face off against Nicolas Maduro in the 2024 presidential election (not yet officially scheduled yet, in case you were wondering), all have their own plans for an economic recovery in Venezuela.

 They all differ in one aspect or another but they all have one thing in common, there is no place for Chavismo in any economic recovery for Venezuela.

 Noticeably absent was Henrique Capriles, who criticized the other candidates for their lack of unity in coalescing behind the common goal of defeating Nicolas Maduro. I’m not sure what that means except that he thinks everyone should support him, as they did when he ran against Maduro after the death of Huho Chavez.

 He lost to Maduro by a razor-thin margin and many people think he actually won. Since then he has failed to regain that kind of traction and there have been rumors he’s been willing to make a deal.

 At this point all we know is that Maria Corina Machado is the clear leader in opposition polls but she’s facing a 15 year ban from holding public office…just like Capriles.

 Now let’s go Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 1/ continued…

 …So now that it’s raining cats and dogs, you’re under-funded and under-staffed, what do you do? Simple, deny that there’s a problem and fire the Health Minister! They even had one Health Minister that only lasted a week because she was under the mistaken impression that she was actually supposed to do something. When she responded to the WHO (World Health Organization) request for a report on epidemiology she was immediately fired. The Chavistas had been denying the resurgence of all these previously eradicated diseases and she violated the ultimate edict of Chavismo, “Tell them nothing!”

 You may be wondering how you can “tell them nothing”, about pretty much anything, especially a question like “where did the money go?” It’s simple. Early on, Hugo Chavez set up a government department called Fonden to distribute 60% of government spending. The first 40% of spending was accountable to the National Assembly, Venezuela’s legislative body. Fonden was, and is, accountable to nobody, except Chavez and now Maduro. Also, nobody is brave enough to ask a question like that but we’ll save that discussion for later.

 With no money and no access to credit they tried a series of bilateral agreements to supply the failing systems but country by country, deal by deal, they screwed everybody and burned all those bridges.

 To take us even further Down The Rabbit Hole, Maduro has been ruling for years by decree due to a declaration of a “state of emergency”. At the same time he has been denying there is a humanitarian crisis (until recently). Call me crazy but isn’t it one or the other?

 That led us to the government’s conscious decision to just let people die. They had to choose between paying off the bondholders, strangely enough most bondholders were connected Chavistas, or putting their money towards caring for the people. Even that only lasted until 2017 and they are now in default on all their bonds.

 So here we are. The government keeps a well staffed and supplied hospital or two as well as a couple of Barrio Adentro locations they can show to visitors that are gullible to believe the government line. They don’t hear from people like the doctor from one of the “non-showcase” facilities who said it was like practicing battlefield medicine two hundred years ago.

 The good news is that the main hospital on Margarita Island has reopened. The bad news is that with no supplies, few doctors, and now for the most part no food, water, or dependable electricity, it truly is as Duglimar said, “In Venezuela you go to the hospital to die.”

 Summary : It was my intent to focus on how the healthcare system collapsed. In doing so I didn’t get into how horrific the situation is ie; babies in cardboard boxes on the floor instead of incubators etc. It is catastrophic and as you can see, it’s not the effect of outside influences, natural disasters, or civil war. It is a self-inflicted wound, a man-made disaster, a Chavista-made disaster.

 That will do it for this week’s Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment. We’ll be back tomorrow with more current news….



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