Since it’s all current news today let’s get to it…BNN Bloomberg reports that Venezuela is in early-stage talks with the EU (European Union) on a $1.5 billion plan to capture it’s methane emissions and export them to Europe as natural gas with the help of Eni (Italy) and Repsol (Spain). BTW, we’re still waiting for an answer to the question, “Did the Maduro regime receive cash, as they demanded, for shipments of Venezuela crude to Europe by Eni and Repsol, which would violate the sanctions-easing agreement? But I digress…

 Discussions are still preliminary and a feasibility study to ascertain the scope of the repairs (to idle oil wells, deteriorating infrastructure, gas hubs, plants, and pipelines) and the plan includes construction of a 56 mile pipeline connecting Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago with financing arrangements still to be agreed upon.

 The project would use a portion of the EU’s Global Gateway Initiative Funds and the plan has been confirmed by Maduro’s VP, Delcy Rodriguez, without providing details.

 So what are we talking about here? Are the Chavistas really concerned about it’s methane emissions, which are the second highest in the world? Given the fact that they are willfully destroying the environment at every turn, with constant oil spills and the environmental devastation of Maduro’s “Mining Arc”, etc. their concern for the environment is questionable (laughable).

 What is more likely is the Maduro regime can appear to be environmentally conscious for a couple of years without doing anything as the plan is under consideration and, if the Europeans are gullible enough, get their hands on some of that $1.5 billion from the EU Fund.

 We can expect the Chavistas to announce another “historic, strategic agreement” that will last only until the Maduro regime is expected to contribute.

 Then we have Rio Times reporting that Venezuela President (dictator), Nicolas Maduro, announced that the government housing project, Gran Mision Vivienda, has delivered 4.6 million housing units.

 He commented on the impact of US sanctions (as he always does and which we’ve debunked numerous times) and pondered how much further the program might have progressed without the imposed sanctions.

 As long as we’re “pondering”, I have to wonder why the Chavistas never gave the residents of these housing units the titles, as Hugo Chavez promised they would?

 I support the concept of the government housing initiative but without following through on Chavez’s promise the program is just another mechanism for the Chavistas to control the people. Without legal title to the houses the residents must comply with the Chavista’s wishes or face removal… kinda’ like “under the radar extortion”.

Then we have another piece from Rio Times telling us that the Venezuela political party, Vente Venezuela, led by Maria Corina Machado, has reported vandalism and threats at it’s future headquarters near the Colombia border.

 According to the party, graffiti at the site included intimidating messages and references to Colombia guerilla group ELN. Despite being disqualified from holding public office for 15 years by the Maduro regime’s Comptroller General, Ms Machado continues to campaign for the opposition’s primaries in October to decide who will face off against Nicolas Maduro in the 2024 presidential election (still not officially scheduled by CNE, the Venezuela electoral council).

 She has faced threats and attempts to disrupt her participation in rallies. Now the Chavistas have enlisted the aid of their Marxist rebel comrades, who have enjoyed safe haven in Venezuela for decades, courtesy of the Chavistas, to join in the political oppression.

 And we have Argus Media reporting Venezuela oil output to remain flat for 2023, according to PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) president, Pedro Tellechea.

 He said production should remain near the current level of 831,000 bpd (barrels per day) and the goal of one million bpd will not be reached blaming sanctions and corruption for the failure. He plans to increase production in 2024 to 1,760,000 bpd through the reactivation of mothballed oil wells.

 OK, now for a dose of reality… Nobody believes PDVSA’s number of 831,000 bpd any more than they believed Nicolas Maduro’s prediction of reaching two million bpd this year (not the referenced goal of one million bpd). Independent analysts put Venezuela’s current production at 760,000 bpd, not 831,000 bpd, thanks to Chevron being granted a license to export oil to the US. Those same analysts put Venezuela’s maximum capacity at 850,000 bpb, which won’t increase significantly without substantial foreign investment , which is unlikely given the widespread (and justifiable) distrust of the Maduro regime. FYI, last year’s production was about 625,000 bpd, up from the year before, both years where Maduro predicted production of two million bpd.

 Then we have Taipei Times with the headline “For Migrants The Darien Is Hell, For Tourists It’s A Magnet”. We’ve been telling you about the Darien Gap, connecting Colombia and Panama and known as one of the most dangerous migrant crossings in the world, for years. Now it appears adventure tourism is on the rise in the Darien.

 Tourism routes are not the same as those traveled by migrants but tourists are exposed to minor injuries such as a foot fungus known as “jungle rot”. Migrants are exposed to greater dangers with at least 137 dead or missing, according to UN-IOM (United Nations International Organization for Migration). I would think outdoor enthusiasts could find a better option for their tourist dollars.

 That will do it for the week. We’ll be back Monday with our next installment of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole and more current news. Until then… Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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