Venezuela Is Out of Gas

And all other petroleum products. Venezuela, Once an Oil Giant, Reaches the End of an Era – The New York Times

It is a textbook case of socialism leading to decay. Well, and the sanctions over human-rights abuses and election fraud haven’t helped.

For the first time in a century, there are no rigs searching for oil in Venezuela.

Wells that once tapped the world’s largest crude reserves are abandoned or left to flare toxic gases that cast an orange glow over depressed oil towns.

Refineries that once processed oil for export are rusting hulks, leaking crude that blackens shorelines and coats the water in an oily sheen.

Because the bad capitalists, and all the technicians they hired to keep stuff repaired, fled that socialist hellhole years ago.

And of course, decaying infrastructure leads to ecological problems.

No oil means no money, and not just to maintain the infrastructure.

The country now has the highest poverty rate in Latin America, overtaking Haiti this year, according to a recent study by Venezuela’s three leading universities.

Hat tip to Babalú Blog, who notes.

Venezuela is not just out of oil. It has also destroyed a once prosperous and well educated middle class. Many from that middle class now live in the U.S. and support President Trump because they understand socialism in a way that few U.S. college students do.

Meanwhile, In the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

Tyranny, in the name of Socialism, is running amok in that country. Venezuela: Maduro Regime Killed 250 people Per Month in 2020

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, updated her report on Venezuela in which she announced that the regime of Nicolás Maduro murdered more than 2000 people between January and August 2020.

Don’t expect the US media to highlight this story, since they all love socialism, and until a few years ago, they all loved Venezuela. (Hat tip to Wombat-socho.)

Venezuela: A Criminal Regime In Every Sense of the Word

Color me shocked. Mexican Sinaloa Cartel Has Taken Over a Venezuelan City.

OK, I’m not that shocked that Venezuela would turn to the players in The War on (Some) Drugs™ in order to get money. Just about every other source of income for them has fallen apart.

Sources reportedly revealed to InSight Crime a “range of evidence they say confirms the presence of emissaries from Mexican criminal groups. Ranchers, local manufacturers, and residents have all witnessed luxury vehicles entering town, parties blaring with narcocorridos, increased demand for prostitution, and other abnormalities that have changed everyday life.”

“Sinaloa isn’t just a random name, many of the pilots [of drug planes] are Mexican. We’ve seen them talking in hotels, and a person with this accent is easy to remember. They call this town of ours Sinaloa,” one local told InSight Crime on the condition of anonymity.

That’s right; they have “unofficially” changed the name of the town to show it is owned by the cartel.

Socialism at its finest. On the 1990s, Venezuela was a shining star in South America. Not anymore. (Hat tip to Wombat-socho.)

Chicago Teachers Praise Despotic Government of Venezuela

These idiots are in charge of “educating” future generations. We’re doomed. Chicago Teachers Union group’s trip to Venezuela, praise of socialist leader slammed as ‘propaganda tour’.

The four travelers, who crowdfunded the July trip under the banner of the CTU, met with Venezuelan government officials and educators, visited a commune and were featured in local media.

They wrote online about wanting to connect with Venezuelan teachers, students and unionists, criticized U.S. economic sanctions against the South American nation and wrote admiringly of its socialism, its communes and high literacy rates.

Political oppression, starvation, shooting of civilians by the government, decay of infrastructure, spread of disease… none of these things are as important as Venezuela’s championship of Socialism! Or something.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

Did the UN manage to get something right? Amazing. Glavin: Damning UN report on Venezuela’s brutality must not be ignored. Even a broken clock is right once in a while.

There is a lot of spin out there. Certain Presidential candidates in the US, and politicians in Canada as well, want to say the Socialism is a good thing. To do that, they need to ignore Venezuela. And of course the Democrats (and their compatriots in Canada and Europe) would like all of the problems to be the result of US (and Canadian and European) sanctions.

Despite fashionable explanations, neither U.S. sanctions, nor European or Canadian sanctions, are anywhere near the cause of Venezuelan suffering. “The economy of Venezuela, particularly its oil industry and food production systems, were already in crisis before any sectoral sanctions were imposed,” Bachelet’s report concludes. The economy was in a tailspin long before the Trump administration’s August 2017 economic sanctions, which don’t fully kick in until later this month anyway.

Those sanctions may be “exacerbating” the effects of Venezuela’s economic collapse, but it began several years ago, owing to the gross incompetence and hubris of Hugo Chavez, Maduro’s predecessor and mentor. The collapse has continued in hyper-inflationary overdrive under Maduro,

It would be fun if the media would corner all the celebrities and politicians who congratulated the leaders of Venezuela on the wonderful job they were doing, to have those celebs say where things went wrong. But celebrities and politicians don’t get withing shouting distance of a real question if they can avoid it.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

This article has some info about the fallout of the power outage. Infrastructure crisis looms in Venezuela.

First up there is some info about the agricultural sector in the country.

Word from the countryside is that farmers have been unable to find seeds and fertilizer. And the planting season is about to start. Everyone from Wall Street analysts to Rodríguez, who has sold carrots, parsley, bananas and garlic here for decades, worries that this will be the year Venezuela’s agricultural sector collapses.

When Venezuela had 5 days without power, 4.4 million pounds of meat spoiled. No electricity. No refrigeration. Also no water pumping equipment.

As power shut down, the country’s aluminum industry was further crippled: Molten metal solidified and destroyed machinery. When power was restored, leaping voltage burned out computers, air-conditioning units and refrigerators. Transformers blew up.

Things will get a lot worse before they get better.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

The Power outage has entered its 4th day, though there were some reports that the power was “flickering” ‘This Is Going To End Ugly’: Venezuela’s Power Outage Drags On.

“The food we had in our refrigerators has spoiled. Businesses are closed. There’s no communication, not even by cell phone,” 49-year-old Ana Cerrato told Reuters. “We need help! We are in a humanitarian crisis!”

I want you to think about 5 days without electricity. The food in fridge is gone. The food in your freezer is on its way to gone. You can’t cook – except on a BBQ, assuming you have gas or charcoal. And something to eat. The stores aren’t in much better shape, but in Venezuela they haven’t had much in the stores for a while.

After 3 or 4 days institutions that have backup generators are running out of fuel. Water systems breakdown. Hospitals struggle. Communication. What will you do if you can’t call the police, or an ambulance?

Maduro blames the US, but has provided no proof.

Meanwhile, the opposition has said the blackout is the result of years of incompetence that has caused the power grid to deteriorate.

Because that’s what government control usually amounts to.

Meanwhile, In the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela….

Maduro blames the USA. Of course he does. In Venezuela, massive blackout continues as Maduro blames U.S. for outages.

CARACAS, Venezuela — One of the severest power outages in Venezuelan history ravaged the country for a second day Friday, with hospital patients languishing in the dark, most supermarkets closed and phone service largely knocked out in the oil-rich but economically collapsing country.

No electricity means no internet. No WhatsApp, no Signal, no F*c*book, etc. Means the peons have no way to communicate what is going on.

Hat tip to Lucianne, and American Thinker, who notes the following.

Socialism has always been about putting a society in a state of war — from the war pronouncements of its leaders yelling revolution to the socialist shortages otherwise seen only in wartime to the socialist efforts to turn neighbor against neighbor, both from class warfare and internal spies for the regime. In Venezuela, there´s a new front — the equivalent of an EMP attack, an attack on all the people, based on the massive and unprecedented electrical blackout still covering the country.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

Venezuela’s government would rather see people starve than get the help they need. Venezuela crisis: Maduro to close border with Brazil.

When a Socialist country loses the support of the BBC, you know that something bad is going on.

And he will also close the border with Colombia. In both cases it is to keep relief supplies out.

The embattled leftist leader went on TV to say that he was also considering shutting the border with Colombia to stop the opposition bringing in relief.

He denies any crisis and calls the aid delivery plans a US-orchestrated show.

And then there are the statistics. I do love the statistics. Venezuela: All you need to know about the crisis in nine charts.

The charts include the state of inflation, or hyperinflation, the decreasing quality and quantity of food available, the increase in the number of malaria cases. Go take a look.

Venezuela’s Maduro Has Been Able to Count on Support From the Military

Past tense: “has.” Venezuelan general defects as anti-Maduro rallies draw huge crowds.

A high-ranking Venezuelan general called on the armed forces to rebel against President Nicolas Maduro and to recognise the opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim chief as huge crowds rallied against the head of state, adding pressure on Maduro to step down.

It doesn’t say, in the linked article, but Francisco Yánez is a general in Venezuela’s Air Force.

Washington, along with many countries in the western hemisphere, has recognised Guaido as the legitimate president, arguing that Maduro stole his second term, and imposed potentially crippling sanctions this week that are likely to further weaken the OPEC nation’s struggling oil industry.

Meanwhile, in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

Things fall apart. More on that later. Once Again Socialism Runs Its Course.

Dictators, phony elections, military turned on its own people. Sounds like Socialism to me.

Fraudulent elections have a way of supporting socialism and Venezuela is no different. The Presidential elections last May were plagued with allegations of fraud and rigged voter registration. It was rumored that some of Maduro’s campaign advisors were Hillary Clinton and Donna Brazile.

Don’t expect things to end calmly.

New York Times Has a Story on Venezuela That Ignores Socialism

I suppose it couldn’t be any other way, really, since they love socialism. What Is Happening in Venezuela? How It Got Here and Why It Matters.

The closest that they get is admitting that .gov controls industry. Which is what socialism/communism are all about. Free markets? They don’t like free markets. People might decide to buy things they don’t approve of.

But he has centralized power in the executive branch, tamping down on dissent through violence and intimidation, and winning the loyalty of the military by giving it control of lucrative industries.

Violence and intimidation – like Antifa, or the attempt to vilify the kids from Covington Catholic for not toeing The Party Line. Though Maduro and Chávez jailed and killed people, called for rewriting their constitution (Beto – call your office), and basically threw a wrench into democracy.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela… The Lack of Justice

Tyranny is always the same. Venezuela: Maduro Dictatorship Uses Legal System to Persecute Political Prisoners.

The parade of people from Hollywood don’t seem to go down to Venezuela anymore to tell them what a great job they are doing. Maybe they just think that from afar, since the country isn’t too safe.

The dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro, which enjoys an iron grip on the judicial branch, is once again violating citizens’ rights to legal defense, after postponing the first legal hearing for opposition deputy Juan Requesens, accused of participating in an assassination attempt against Maduro, despite a complete lack of evidence.

No legal hearing = no legal rights. He doesn’t like you, and you rot in jail.

[Attorney Joel] García warned that the Venezuelan state has demonstrated a pattern which it applies to most cases of a political nature, which consists of holding people in custody without bringing them to trial:

Socialism. Tyranny. Hard to tell them apart.

Meanwhile, In the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela

This also highlights what a REAL group of refugees looks like. U.N. estimates two million more Venezuelans will flee their homeland in 2019.

First the why. Why are so many people (as much as 17 percent of the pre-collapse population) leaving the country?

Eduardo Stein, the joint UNHCR-IOM special representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants, said Venezuelans are fleeing their home due to hunger, insecurity and lack of access to basic medical care.

And what does a group of refugees look like?

“They are families, women alone, children, young boys and girls, all in conditions of extreme vulnerability,” he said in a statement. “All of them saw no other option than to leave their country — sometimes walking for days — seeking to live in dignity and build a future.”

Not like the “migrant caravan” or the “refugees” who literally invaded Europe over the past few years – both groups where mostly, predominantly male.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

OK, not quite IN Venezuela, but pertaining to… Socialism doesn’t mean that everyone is EQUAL! What, are you crazy? Maduro under fire for dining on steak cut by Salt Bae in lavish Turkish restaurant while Venezuelans starve

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has drawn opprobrium over a video showing him being served slabs of prime steak by a celebrity chef in Istanbul, at at time when food shortages are inflicting misery and malnutrition on millions at home.

The videos were taken down from wherever they were posted, but since the Internet is forever, The London Telegraph has a copy.

Why should the fact that citizens of his country are starving to death keep him from enjoying a good meal? You didn’t think that the fact that Venezuela CALLS itself a Socialist democracy means that it is anything other than a dictatorship, did you?

Consider the case of the firemen facing 20 years in prison for making fun of Maduro.

Why No One Will “Fix” Venezuela

Because it has made itself irrelevant to global interests. North Dakota Is Now Pumping as Much Crude as Venezuela.

Home to the Bakken shale play, North Dakota pumped 1.27 million barrels a day in July, according to state figures released Friday. That’s roughly the same output as Venezuela during the month. The South American nation, whose oil industry has collapsed amid a prolonged financial crisis, saw production fall further in August to 1.24 million barrels a day — about half the level seen in early 2016, according to data from OPEC secondary sources.

And they won’t help themselves. Here is a piece by an ex-Venezuelan that explains why.

I do have bad news to my fellow ex-countrymen: North Dakota Is Now Pumping as Much Crude as Venezuela. So even at energy-producing level, the country has become irrelevant to US Interests.

I have discussed with Venezuelans here and back home what is needed to stop what’s happening in the country, and as usual, I hear a repetition of the crap that has already been tried over and over and failed: Marches, general strikes, appeals to the UN and OAS, social media campaigns, etc. When I point out that unfortunately harsher actions will need to be used, they promptly reply that they are unarmed and it is impossible to get a gun in Venezuela (somehow criminals have no problem). I usually tell them the story of WWII’s Liberator pistol and the concept behind it and the mentally shit themselves at the idea. Their indoctrination has been so complete that they are being starved to death by the Government and murdered by the criminals and they still do not see it in themselves to actually stand up for themselves. They are broke-ass Spanish-Speaking Elois.

AS they say, go read the whole thing.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

The government’s plan to fight hyperinflation is going about like you’d expect. The New Venezuelan Currency Is Just Three Weeks Old and Inflation’s Already 100%.

After a week and a half of no changes in the Bloomberg Cafe Con Leche Index, the price of a cup of coffee has surged the past two weeks, climbing to 50 bolivars from 25 bolivars. For those still struggling to get used to the new pricing system, 50 of today’s bolivars equals 5 million of the old ones.

Annual inflation is ABOVE 100,000 percent.

Meanwhile, In the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

The government is doing what governments do best, ignoring the obvious. Venezuela: Migration Flows Are ‘Normal’

Normal for a 3rd-world s#*t-hole.

The United Nation’s migration agency last month said the exodus of citizens out of Venezuela, which is suffering a hyperflationary economic collapse, is nearing a “crisis moment” comparable to situation of refugees in the Mediterranean.

The Venezuelan .gov is complaining because the UN, the USA, et al are basing their immigration numbers on what Ecuador, Brazil, etc. are saying and not on “Venezuela’s own figures.” Color me shocked. There’s a discrepancy in what Venezuela says? How can that be? </sarcasm> (The Venezuelan government ACTUALLY said it is all the result of propaganda to tarnish Maduro’s image.)

Colombia, Peru and Ecuador on Thursday asked for international aid to manage the migration surge that is overwhelming public services.

You mean that unplanned and uncontrolled migration can put a strain on destination countries? I was told that is impossible.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela

Actually this story is about the impacts on one of Venezuela’s neighbors. Pentagon prepares to dispatch hospital ship to Colombia amid refugee crisis.

As a result of a dire economic and health care situation, rising numbers of Venezuelans are joining an exodus that has set off alarms across Latin America. The United Nations said earlier this week that an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans had fled the crisis-torn country as of June, mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

Those refugees have apparently overwhelmed the health care system of Colombia. And other South American countries. Several hundred thousand refugees have escaped from Venezuela, a large number of them are malnourished.