Pushing Forward

 We’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole in a few but first…Reuters reports that Venezuela’s opposition commission said it will move forward with it’s late October primary vote (scheduled for October 22nd) to pick it’s presidential candidate for next years general election (not yet scheduled) after CNE (electoral council) sought a delay.

 Remember, CNE recently offered to “help” the opposition organize it’s primary vote, an offer we said should be avoided at all costs.

 The opposition electoral commission, made up of 8 lawyers and experts, had asked for up to 400 additional voting centers, security at the centers, and help facilitating visas for electoral experts and foreign journalists covering the primary process.

 Venezuela’s opposition currently counts some 3,000 voting centers so it may have been helpful to utilize some of the 14,000 schools that typically serve as electoral centers, however, the schools cannot be used without CNE authorization.

 It also may have been helpful to have CNE assist in streamlining the visa process for those monitoring the primaries but, once again, you don’t get the help without giving up control of the process to CNE.

 I’ll say it again, cooperation with CNE (the Maduro regime) is not worth the price…I mean come on…What was the first thing CNE wanted to do? Oh, delay the primaries. The Chavistas can’t be trusted in political dealings, business dealings, legal proceedings, or anything else.

 Then we have Rig Zone telling us that Petrobras is studying how Chevron managed to resume operations in Venezuela to see if it makes sense for Brazil’s state-controlled oil company to reenter the oil rich nation, according to CEO, Jean Paul Prates.

 Petrobras has had difficulties discovering new oil fields in Brazil in recent years and oil production in Brazil is expected to decline by the end of the decade unless new discoveries are made.

 Prates cautioned that Venezuela’s oil industry has suffered from “extreme decadence” (Code for “The Chavistas destroyed PDVSA, Venezuela’s government-owned oil company) adding that Petrobras won’t “carry Venezuela on it’s back”.

 Prates needs to listen to that voice in his ear cautioning him. Chevron didn’t have to reenter Venezuela as Petrobras would have to do. They had maintained a presence in Venezuela and in return for resuming operations are being paid through debt reduction, as required by the sanctions-easing agreement.

 I know Petrobras is exploring alternatives but surely there are better options than having to deal with the inept and corrupt (criminal) Chavistas.

 And we have Reuters reporting that, as you may have heard, the US is restarting deportations of Venezuelans who cross the US-Mexico border unlawfully, according to Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorcas. Washington reached an agreement with Venezuela to repatriate Venezuelans who enter the US illegally, he added.

 The announcement came the same day Joe Biden said he would expand sections of the border wall, a signature policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump. Biden ordered construction of the wall halted his first day in office.

 It remains to be seen if this is a real shift in policy or a temporary measure in response to Biden’s low polling numbers.

 Side note : Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Representative from New York, is decrying the repatriation (deportation) of Venezuelans. I don’t see what her problem is…She is a member of Democratic Socialists of America, who visited Nicolas Maduro last year and proclaimed him “a kind leader who cares deeply about his people”. Why wouldn’t they want to return home?

 Now, let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 14/ continued…

 …In 2017 the FAES was created to, of course, “protect the people”. Nothing could be further from the truth. While DGCIM and SEBIN were widely known for “disappearing people” and their operations were cloaked in secrecy, FAES is widely known for killing people and there is nothing secret about it. People are routinely killed in living rooms in front of their families or dragged outside to be shot where the neighbors can see. They are masked, dressed in black, and carry long guns and when they come they’re not coming to arrest anyone. Occasionally you may see them in uniform and without a mask but that’s usually in the daytime, not on one of their operations. It’s not even clear who’s who in the chain of command. They are affiliated with the PNB, the national police, but that’s really all anyone knows about them, and it seems nobody wants to ask…would you?

 While DGCIM and SEBIN may be a notch below FAES on the lethality scale they are no less terrifying. Captain Acosta was in the hands of DGCIM and Fernando Alban was detained by SEBIN. While they weren’t dragged out in the street and shot in the head, FAES- style, they are no less dead. Both groups operate, for the most part, with impunity and have come under fire for human rights violations. In March, 2019 DGCIM had 15 members denounced by OAS (Organization of American States) along with three prosecutors and two MPs (assembly members). It is frequently reported by attorneys that they have been able to secure release orders only tho be frustrated by SEBIN. SEBIN is under the direct control of the Vice President of the country so it is their stance that, when they choose to, they can disregard court orders and only recognize orders from the office of the Vice President. It happens all the time and with no independent judiciary there is no recourse.

 Oh, and don’t think you’re safe just because you’re Chavista. Party affiliation won’t protect you if you deviate from the party line. In February, 2015 Alcedo Mora disappeared. The day before he “went missing” he sent a text that SEBIN was following him as he attempted to investigate corruption at state oil company PDVSA…and he was Chavista! At the same time, two brothers involved in community organizing with Mora also “went missing”. In another example, Ricardo Moreno, Venezuela Foreign Ministry North American Director, was grabbed by SEBIN and held for 12 days with various explanations offered including treason and trafficking of influences. Is there a pattern forming here…multiple explanations/allegations without proof? When Moreno was released after 12 day nothing more was said, by either party. It was like it never happened. Speculation was that next time he would simply disappear.

 More tomorrow….

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