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Venezuela Watch Thread


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#181
BasilBerylium

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Something new happened during all this time?


This website has a magic that makes people draw back here like moths to light.


#182
caltrek

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^^^If missing a debt payment can be considered new:

 

Venezuela just defaulted, moving deeper into crisis

 

http://money.cnn.com...t-sp/index.html

 

 

(CNN) Venezuela, a nation spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, has missed a debt payment. It could soon face grim consequences.

 

The South American country defaulted on its debt, according to a statement issued Monday night by S&P Global Ratings. The agency said the 30-day grace period had expired for a payment that was due in October.

 

A debt default risks setting off a dangerous series of events that could exacerbate Venezuela's food and medical shortages.

 

If enough holders of a particular bond demand full and immediate repayment, it can prompt investors across all Venezuelan bonds to demand the same thing. Since Venezuela doesn't have the money to pay all its bondholders right now, investors would then be entitled to seize the country's assets -- primarily barrels of oil -- outside its borders.

 

Venezuela has no other meaningful income other than the oil it sells abroad. The government, meanwhile, has failed for years to ship in enough food and medicine for its citizens. As a result, Venezuelans are waiting hours in line to buy food and dying in hospitals that lack basic resources.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#183
caltrek

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UPDATE 1-Venezuela's PDVSA in talks to supply gas to neighbors

 

http://www.businessi...ighbors-2017-11

 

Introduction:

 

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA is in contract talks to export natural gas to neighbors Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Aruba, a company official said on Wednesday.

 

Gas sales could provide a welcome boost to energy revenues for a country suffering acute cash problems and in talks to restructure its debt. Venezuela, which is almost entirely dependent on crude exports, has seen income decline since oil prices crashed in 2014.

 

Colombia used to export gas to Venezuela through a pipeline. That flow would be reversed if an agreement with Colombia is reached on price, PDVSA's vice president of gas, Cesar Triana, said during a gas conference in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

 

Price talks between PDVSA and Colombian state-run energy firm Ecopetrol have taken a long time, Triana confirmed. The Venezuelan firm modified the pipeline in preparation to pump gas to Colombia.

 

"The negotiations have been hard due to current gas prices, which are very low," Triana said.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#184
caltrek

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Koch Brothers Sue Venezuela to Collect $409 Million

 

https://www.courthou...ct-409-million/

 

Introduction:

 

(Courthouse News) — Charles and David Koch are suing Venezuela to collect $409 million awarded by an international arbitration panel.

 

In a federal complaint filed Nov. 28 in Washington D.C., two companies owned by the billionaire brothers, Koch Minerals Sarl and Koch Nitrogen International Sarl, say they have not been paid an award granted them in October by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, after then-President Hugo Chavez expropriated FertiNitro in 2010.

 

At the time, Koch Minerals Sarl indirectly owned 25 percent of the equity of FertiNitro, which operated two fertilizer plants located in Jose, Venezuela.

 

Koch Nitrogen International Sarl had a long-term agreement with FertiNitro to purchase, at a discount, both ammonia and urea.

 

The Tribunal found that Venezuela unlawfully expropriated the two companies interests in FertiNitro. It awarded Koch Minerals Sarl $140,250,000 in principal compensation, and Koch Nitrogen International Sarl $184,800,000.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#185
caltrek

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Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro threatens to ban opposition parties from future elections

 

https://www.thestar....-elections.html

 

Extract:

 

(The Star) CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Opposition parties in Venezuela won’t be bullied out of participating in future elections, a leading anti-government politician said Monday, rejecting threats a day earlier by socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

 

As the ruling socialists captured a majority of mayoral seats across Venezuela on Sunday, Maduro said that opposition parties would be banned from future elections as punishment for boycotting the races.

 

But Juan Mejia, a leader of opposition party Voluntad Popular, called the vote an “electoral farce,” saying that his party would not be eliminated by a presidential decree.

 

…Three of the four biggest opposition parties refused to take part in Sunday’s contests, protesting what they called an electoral system rigged by a “dictator.”

 

…The mayoral elections follow a crushing defeat of opposition candidates in October’s gubernatorial elections, where anti-Maduro candidates won just five of 23 races amid allegations of official vote-buying and other irregularities.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#186
Sciencerocks

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'This guy's insane': Report reveals South American leaders feared Trump planned to invade Venezuela
Source: RawStory

 


BRAD REED
02 JAN 2018 AT 08:11 ET

This past August, President Donald Trump floated the idea of using military force against Venezuela’s government.

This idea didn’t sit well at all with other leaders in the region, and a new report from Politico claims that the leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Panama all told Trump that they opposed invading Venezuela during a meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

“[Secretary of State Rex Tillerson] tells me you don’t want me to use the military option in Venezuela,” Trump told the leaders during their meeting, according to Politico. When the leaders all responded that they were opposed to using military force against Venezuela, Trump seemed shocked. “Is that right?” he asked them. “Are you sure?”

A former U.S. official who was briefed on the meeting tells Politico that the leaders of the countries “just had wide eyes about the entire engagement” and walked away from it fearing Trump’s mental state could spark major wars in South America.

 

 

Read more: https://www.rawstory...vade-venezuela/



#187
caltrek

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Venezuelans ‘Loot to Eat’ Amid Economic Tailspin

 

https://www.courthou...nomic-tailspin/

 

Introduction:

 

PUERTO CABELLO, Venezuela (AP) — The cab of Carlos Del Pino’s big rig gave him a nerve-rattling front-row seat to a surge in mob attacks on Venezuela’s neighborhood markets, cattle ranches and food delivery trucks like his.

 

Shortly after pulling away from the docks at Puerto Cabello, the country’s biggest port, he witnessed 20 people swarm a truck ahead of him and in a frenzy fill up their sacks with the corn it was carrying to a food-processing plant. The driver was held at gunpoint.

 

“It fills you with terror,” Del Pino said.

 

He has hauled cargo for 14 years, and on a good month earns the equivalent of about $100, enough to support his wife and two daughters. Yet, despite his fears, he sympathizes with his impoverished countrymen, who are becoming desperate amid Venezuela’s widespread food shortages and sky-high inflation.

 

“They have to loot to eat,” he said.

Looting.jpg?resize=400%2C277

A youth moves quickly to collect grains of corn on the street that fell from a truck that was looted outside the port in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.

(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#188
caltrek

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US and Allies Look to Military in Venezuela

 

https://www.counterp...n-in-venezuela/

 

Introduction:

 

(Counterpunch) The Bolivarian social and political movement first led by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and holding state power since1999 has long faced U.S. assaults.  They’ve ranged from U. S. support for an unsuccessful military coup in 2002, backing for violent street disturbances, U.S. moneys assigned to political opponents, and U.S. economic sanctions against Venezuelan political leaders. Now the U.S. government may be on the verge of blocking Venezuelan oil sales in the United States.

 

One avenue for altering Venezuela’s government seems to be closing. Political forces rooted in Venezuela’s business class and mobilized against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro are flailing. But another has yielded results. Years of shortages at the hands of bankers and commercial interests have led to suffering and distress such that serious destabilization, their goal, may be at hand. Terrible inflation and real hardship for most Venezuelans may be the cue for military intervention billed as humanitarian.

 

It’s evident from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit February 1-8 to Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Jamaica that the United States sees action ahead, and soon. In Austin, Texas, en route, he noted that, “The corrupt and hostile regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela clings to a false dream and antiquated vision for the region that has already failed its citizens.” He noted that, “In the history of Venezuela and in fact the history in other Latin American and South American countries, oftentimes it’s the military that handles that, that when things are so bad that the military leadership realizes they just – they can’t serve the citizens anymore, they will manage a peaceful transition.”

 

A day later in Mexico City he charitably mentioned that, “If President Maduro would return to the Venezuelan constitution, restore the duly elected assembly, dismantle the illegitimate constituent assembly, and return to free, fair elections, then he’s happy to stay.”

 

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, never shy about regime change in Venezuela, tweeted that, “The world would support the Armed Forces in Venezuela if they decide to protect the people & restore democracy by removing a dictator.”

 

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#189
wjfox

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'We are dying': Venezuela's oil workers have become so hungry they are too weak to do their jobs

 

February 23, 2018

 

Food has become more important than employment, and thousands are walking off the job to find it, leaving few left to produce the oil that keeps the economy going

 

http://business.fina...o-hunt-for-food

 

 

0223market.jpg



#190
bgates276

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Makes me wonder how long Maduro can hold on to power, and just how bad things will get. If the police and military end up walking off of their jobs, at that point, perhaps there will be a rebuilding of the Venezuelan political system and economy, from the ground up. In the mean time, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if people ended up starving to death.



#191
caltrek

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Venezuela presidential election postponed to May

 

http://www.worldaffa...n-postponed-may

 

Introduction:

 

(BBC News) The snap presidential election in Venezuela scheduled for 22 April has been pushed back by a month, the National Electoral Council (CNE) has announced.

 

The CNE said the poll would now be held on 20 May.

 

The move came after an agreement was reached between the government and a small number of opposition parties.

 

President Nicolás Maduro has registered to run for a second six-year term.

 

At least they are going to go ahead with elections.  Given the history of unfounded complaints against the Venezuelan concerning their practices, I am very skeptical about arguments based on the idea that Maduro is behaving in a fraudulent manner.  It is not so much that I trust Maduro, I don't. It is more that I distrust his opposition.  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#192
Sciencerocks

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Latin-Americas worst-ever refugee crisis: Venezuelans. 1.10million on the move
This human outflow, which the United Nations says amounts to more than 1.1 million people, is the largest displacement of people in Latin American history. But Venezuela’s refugees are attracting far less attention or international aid than those fleeing Burma or Syria. That needs to change.

?uuid=aswdVBjmEeiSyTdrT-V_9w

The reason for the exodus is simple: Once proud citizens of the richest nation in Latin America, Venezuelans now are starving. A social survey released this week showed that more than 90 percent say they do not have the means to buy sufficient food, and 61 percent say they go to bed hungry. Though it controls the world’s largest oil reserves, the regime founded by Hugo Chávez has wrecked not just oil production but the economy as a whole, leaving stores empty of food and hospitals deprived even of common medicines. Inflation is skyrocketing above the 2017 rate of 2,600 percent, and rampant homicide has made Caracas one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Compounding the crisis is the refusal of the Chavista government, now headed by Nicolás Maduro, to accept humanitarian aid, which it describes as a means for foreign invasion. Rather than take basic steps to feed people or stabilize the economy, Mr. Maduro, steered by Cuban advisers, is preparing to stage a rigged election for every office in the country in April, which would allow for the elimination of all formal political opposition. The regime already put down a pro-democracy uprising last year with mass repression that led to more than 120 deaths.

Latin American nations that for years avoided addressing the collapse of democracy in Venezuela now are reaping the consequences in a very human form. Foremost is Colombia, which for years pandered to the Chavista regime and now finds its border cities overrun with desperate refugees, some of whom are reduced to sleeping in parks and begging on the streets. In an effort to stem the tide, Mr. Santos suspended border passes for 1.5 million Venezuelans and deployed 2,000 troops to block informal entry routes into the country. That may slow the refu­gee arrivals but at the cost of denying relief to hungry people.

 

 

https://www.washingt...m=.81c96b9b3a08

Collapse of the Food Supply

An overwhelming majority of Venezuelans already lack easy access to food and daily necessities. Surveys report that nearly nine in ten Venezuelans have difficulty purchasing food; relatedly, three out of four Venezuelans have lost weight, an average of nineteen pounds just in 2017.

Years of intervention, nationalization, and expropriation have decimated local agriculture. The vast majority of food now comes from abroad, and distribution is firmly in the hands of the Maduro-aligned military. In addition to providing the food sold in price-controlled supermarkets and restaurants, the military directly distributes basic products to nearly six million families, roughly 70 percent of the population, through local provision and production committees (CLAPs). According to news reports, a good amount of this official food supply is sold on the black market. This control gives military officers—and their families—access to food as well as significant power and enrichment opportunities. Already there have been reports of uneven access to the military-distributed food packages through CLAPs. If the prevalence of food diminishes, whether at government-controlled prices or on the black market, desperate Venezuelans would flee in larger numbers.

The government increasingly needs to choose between using its hard currency to pay external debt obligations and feeding its population. In 2017, it chose to reduce food and other essential imports by nearly 30 percent in order to meet debt payments of $10 billion. The government owes another $10 billion in 2018 and $14 billion in 2019. U.S. financial sanctions have made it virtually impossible to roll over or raise new money in international markets, and Russian and Chinese loans have not covered the shortfalls. If the government chooses to continue servicing its obligations, food insecurity could worsen to an extent that drives mass emigration.

 

 

https://www.cfr.org/...-refugee-crisis



#193
caltrek

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There is no doubt that Venezuela is going through some very rough times.  Still, it should be noted that the extent of the refugee crisis is a matter of dispute.

 

 

The World Bank has compiled data over the years on the numbers of Venezuelan-born people living abroad. The numbers point to far smaller migrations than Paez has estimated.

During the years Chavez was in office (1999–2013), the World Bank’s figures tell us that the number of Venezuelans living abroad rose by about 330,000.

 

 

…During 1999–2013, the World Bank figures also say that the number of Colombian-born people living in Venezuela grew by 200,000. Forero’s article implies that migration from Colombia to Venezuela ended in the “late 20th century.”

 

 

…According to a Colombian university study of Venezuelan migration to Colombia, it averaged about 47,000 a year from 2011–14, then rose to 80,000 a year in 2015–16.

 

US government data show migration from Venezuela to the US rising from about 7000 a year before 2013 to 28,000 a year by 2015, including Venezuelans who have entered without authorisation.

 

 

 

From 2000–13, the US was the destination for about 30% of Venezuelan-born people who left to live abroad, according to the World Bank figures. If the Colombian university study and US government data are accurate, then the US has been the destination for about 20% of Venezuelan migrants after 2013. That would mean about 140,000 Venezuelans a year were leaving to live abroad by 2016.

 

 

Source: https://www.greenlef...-refugee-crisis

 

 

Part of the explanation given as to why the refugee crisis from Venezuela may be exaggerated is that the government of Columbia does not want to acknowledge a problem with internally created refugees.

 

 

 

  1. Colombia’s population of internally displaced people is about 7 million, and has consistently been neck and neck with Syria’s.  According to the UNHCR, as of mid-2016, Colombia is also the Latin American country which has the most number of refugees living outside its borders: over 300,000, mainly in Venezuela and Ecuador. Forero and his editors picked the wrong country to compare with Syria

…It’s very important to expand on the first point.  Colombia is a humanitarian and human rights disaster, and has been for decades, in very large part due to its close alliance with the United States. Thanks to Wikileaks (CounterPunch, 2/23/12), we know that US officials privately acknowledged estimates that hundreds of thousands of people were murdered by right-wing paramilitaries, and that the killings have nearly wiped out some indigenous groups. Those genocidal paramilitaries have worked closely with the Colombian military that Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly praised in 2014 as a “magnificent” US partner.  “They’re so appreciative of what we did for them,” raved Kelly.

 

http://fair.org/home...uelan-refugees/

 

I think it is also premature to conclude that the elections in Venezuela will be rigged.  The western lame stream press has a history of inaccurate reports of unfair elections conducted there. So renewed claims along those lines should be taken with a certain degree of skepticism.  Perhaps Maduro will take steps to rig those elections, or perhaps the Chavistas are simply once again the target of an unfair and inaccurate smear campaign.  We should let reports from unbiased third party election observers come in before jumping to conclusions in that regard. 


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#194
caltrek

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One aspect of the issue of elections in Venezuela is the back and forth concerning participation. Rightly or wrongly, Maduro insists that parties that participate need to participate at all levels of government:

 

 

Venezuela opposition banned from running in 2018 election

 

 

 

(BBC) Venezuela's President, Nicolás Maduro, says the country's main opposition parties are banned from taking part in next year's presidential election.

 

He said only parties which took part in Sunday's mayoral polls would be able to contest the presidency.

 

Leaders from the Justice First, Popular Will and Democratic Action parties boycotted the vote because they said the electoral system was biased.

 

President Maduro insists the Venezuelan system is entirely trustworthy.

 

In a speech on Sunday, he said the opposition parties had "disappeared from the political map".

_99151548_gettyimages-889584176.jpg

Venezuelans look for their names on electoral rolls before voting in 2017 mayoral polls

AFP


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#195
caltrek

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Nominations for Venezuelan Elections Through Internet Comes to an End

 

http://www.worldaffa....org/world-news

 

Introduction:

 

Caracas, mar 14 (Prensa Latina) The National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela confirmed the period for filing in nominations through the web to the forthcoming general elections on May 20 came to an end on Wednesday.

 

…In order to be a candidate for a legislative post, Venezuelan citizens must have at least reside in the country for the past 15 years, be over 21 years of age and live in the territory for which they apply for four consecutive years.

The National Electoral Council called for the celebration of the aforementioned elections after the signing on March 1 of the electoral guarantee agreement between the government and the opposition with the aim of working together for the stability of the country.

However, following orders from Washington some opposition parties did not sign the accord brokered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, under international supervision

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#196
caltrek

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Escalation of the International Right against Venezuela Denounced

 

http://www.plenglish...zuela-denounced

 

Introduction:

 

Caracas, Apr 3 (Prensa Latina) Politician Yul Jabour, deputy of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) of Venezuela, warned today that the international right promotes an escalation to isolate the South American nation and its government.


In an interview with the Venezuelan channel TVes, the representative of Bloc de la Patria before the Inter-Parliamentary Union (UIP) indicated that as part of these actions the opposition Democratic Unity Table (MUD) tried to approve a resolution against Venezuela in the 138th Assembly of that body.

He explained that during the meetings scheduled from March 24 to 28 in Geneva, Switzerland, the delegation of the Venezuelan opposition presented a document that sought to sanction the government of the president, Nicolás Maduro.

Jabour described as a resounding failure the performance of the MUD in trying to promote a resolution that proposed a humanitarian intervention in the South American country and wrongly pointed out the absence of democracy and electoral guarantees in Venezuela.

The opposition representation of the National Assembly (Parliament) in contempt attending the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union was unmasked after the proposal received the rejection of the body for lack of legal support, stated the deputy of the Communist Party of Venezuela.

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#197
caltrek

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Supporters Call to Reach 10 Million Votes for Maduro

 

http://www.plenglish...otes-for-maduro

 

 

 

Caracas, Apr 6 (Prensa Latina) The head of Nicolas Maduro''s political campaign, Jorge Rodriguez, has said the incumbent president deserves for the May 20 general elections the 10 million votes promised once to Commander Hugo Chavez.


At the swearing in ceremony of the electoral campaign leadership at the National Pantheon, Rodriguez highlighted Maduro's steadfastness in the face of the right opposition's aggressive assault on the nation's stability.

Rodriguez told a massive crowd that attended the event, presided over by Maduro himself, that those votes are precious for the future, for life and the children of Venezuela.

He insisted that campaign's leaders will work hard to have the incumbent president win a new term in office for the 2019-2025 period.

Prior to the ceremony, Maduro told national and international media that these campaign leaders are committed to put up a fight against interventionism and the defense of the rights of all Venezuelans.

maduro-votos.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#198
BasilBerylium

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those votes are precious for the future, for life and the children of Venezuela.

:lol:


This website has a magic that makes people draw back here like moths to light.


#199
wjfox

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In Venezuela, five years of severance pay now buys a coffee

 

Published: 16:24 May 1, 2018

 

CARACAS: When Yolanda Abreu got her cheque for severance pay after five years working as a cardiologist, she let out a laugh of sheer disbelief: it was barely enough for a cup of coffee.

Like her, millions of Venezuelans have seen their salaries decimated by rampant hyperinflation that is expected to drive prices up by 13,000 per cent this year, IMF figures show.

Her story hit the headlines after she tweeted a photo of the cheque for 156,584.29 bolivars, which equates to about $0.20 on the black market.

“They called me from Caracas University Hospital to come and collect my cheque for benefits accrued over five years of service as a level 2 specialist in cardiology and electrophysiology,” she wrote on Twitter.

And what will it buy, she wondered indignantly. “A coffee?”

 

https://gulfnews.com...offee-1.2214737



#200
funkervogt

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I'm continually surprised that Venezuela hasn't gone full-blown Planet of the Apes yet. The fact that their economy has practically ceased to exist, and yet some critical mass of people (particularly military and law enforcement) still shows up for work each morning impresses and confuses me. 






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