Wanted : Juan Guaido

 We’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole in just a bit but first…CNN reports that Venezuela Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, announced Venezuelan authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Juan Guaido, former “Interim President” and opposition leader, currently in Miami, Florida.

 Saab told reporters that Guaido used PDVSA (Venezuela government-owned oil company) resources to finance himself, pay his legal expenses, and forced PDVSA to accept his financing terms. He claimed that Guaido’s decisions cost Venezuela $19 billion and resulted in the almost definitive demise of Citgo (US refiner owned by PDVSA).

 Uhh…OK…I think we’ll place this in the “whatever…” category. First, where did that $19 billion number come from? (Hint : He made it up)

 Second, everybody knows that the auction of Citgo shares (the process is set to start this month) is to pay Venezuela’s debt due to illegal expropriations and asset seizures as well as the Maduro regime’s bond defaults (The PDVSA 2020 bonds specifically used Citgo shares as collateral).

 Citgo is getting carved up because it’s the only foreign asset of the Venezuela government that’s really worth anything and the auction of shares has nothing to do with Juan Guaido.

 Saab said Venezuela will request a “Red Notice” from Interpol (The Chavistas do that all the time and are almost always denied the Interpol International Arrest Warrant).

 According to Saab, the arrest warrant against Guaido will be for the alleged crimes of treason, usurpation of functions, profit or extraction of money, securities, and public goods, money laundering, and association. (he left out “and a partridge in a pear tree”)

 He also said at least 28 investigations are ongoing in the country against Guaido for a raft of crimes including all those previously mentioned as well as terrorism and arms trafficking.

 My only question(s) about this entire absurdity is “What took ’em so long?” and “Why now?”

 Then we have Middle East Monitor reporting on something I’m sure everyone’s been waiting for…Venezuela President (dictator) Nicolas Maduro accused Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians, in a televised address. (FYI, Maduro’s BFF these days is Iran)

 “We demand an immediate ceasefire…the commencement of peace negotiations…” What is it with these guys?

 Kinda’ sounds like his statements after Maduro regime security forces killed 140 anti-government protesters in 2017 (as well as wounding thousands and jailing thousands more)…or when they killed 40 protesters in 2014 (as well as wounding hundreds and jailing thousands more).

 Maduro, and other authoritarians like him, love to call for dialog, completely ignoring atrocities like Hamas terrorists beheading Israeli babies and raping Israeli women during the horrific attacks launched from Palestinian territory. (FYI, I could have gone on and on listing the atrocities but kept it brief in the interest of time)

 Yeah…what’s really needed here is dialog with Hamas…as they are wiped off the face of the earth!

 Now, let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 14/ continued…

 …Bachelet, in her former capacity as President of Chile, while not exactly a supporter of Maduro, wouldn’t condemn his, and his regime’s,behavior. There is currently a pre-investigation (This was in 2019, now there’s a full-blown investigation) in progress by the ICC (International Criminal Court) into the Maduro regime’s Human Rights violations and possible crimes against humanity prompted by a scathing report by OAS (Organization of American States) that was officially presented to the court. So, what would she do?….What would she say?

 If Maduro thought he would get a free pass he was sorely mistaken. The report stated that in the prior 18 months the regime had been responsible for 7,000 extrajudicial killings (some put the number at 9,000). The Chavistas, as usual, responded with mixed messages. “The numbers are inflated or inaccurate” or “They were people resisting arrest or obstructing justice” (Always a good reason to kill demonstrators) or the ever popular “She’s a puppet of right-wing imperialists” and there was a lot more. The report was quite detailed but here are a few of the highlights :

 During the 2017 protests, government-backed ‘colectivos” killed 52 protesters. As of May,2019 there were still 793 people arbitrarily detained. In the four months from November, 2018 to February, 2019 there were 1,557 deaths in hospitals due to lack of supplies (aid shipments were denied by Maduro). The population suffers from chronic food insecurity and access to food is a Human Right. The government is systematically violating the rights of indigenous peoples through environmental destruction and even denying them governmental representation. In these respects and many more the government ombudsperson, who is supposed to speak on behalf of the people, is suspiciously silent…always.

 Summary : The US government and the CIA in particular have been widely criticized for backing the Pinochet regime in Chile a few decades ago, and rightfully so. He was reviled for his death squads and the fact that the US backed him is a stain on US foreign policy to this day, and again rightfully so. That said, Pinochet, during his 17 years in power was responsible for between 1,200-3,200 (the Chilean government says 3,000) extrajudicial killings. If the global community is still outraged at 3,000 extrajudicial killings, that happened over a period of 17 years and occurred decades ago, how will they react to 7,000 extrajudicial killings in 18 months? When FAES drags a barrio resident out into the street in the middle of the night and shoots him in the head it’s part of the “Operation for People’s Liberation”. When a ‘colectivo’ member shoots a protester it’s part of “Plan Zamora”, the 2017 plan authorizing crowd control by sniper, coordination of ‘colectivos’ and national militia by the government, and military trials for civilians. 

 Maduro and the Chavistas have nothing but contempt for the rule of law, societal norms, or even common decency. They have proven time and again they will do anything to stay in power. The migration crisis and all the other issues in Venezuela are nothing short of tragic. The “Three-Headed Monster” of Maduro’s security services (Can we just call them “death squads”?) is nothing short of terrifying.

 Update : The UN-OHCHR, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner Of Human Rights, demanded that FAES be disbanded. The Maduro regime’s response was to change the name and change the uniforms… but they’re still there.

 That will do it for this segment of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole. We’ll be back tomorrow with a full slate of current news…

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