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January 2019

Transition: the Venezuela case

Social sciences scholars will look at Venezuela in the future as a sui generis case. A self-described socialist revolution, led by an idealistic military putschist, that managed to annihilate one of the best managed State-owned energy conglomerates the world has seen, producing along the way the largest humanitarian crisis to affect the Western Hemisphere. Out of nowhere, a fresh face (Congress Chair Juan Guaidó) emerged, gaining wide international support that moved from symbolic to real implications -for the existing regime- in a matter of hours. Every imaginable superlative applies.

U.S. Treasury sanctions PDVSA

This site's editor is glad to see that what is published here somehow becomes reality. In September 2018 we argued "SDN / SSI PDVSA, then negotiate", and a few hours ago U.S. Treasury sanctioned PDVSA (see below). Only thing to add is that in whatever talks / negotiations with Nicolas Maduro's regime ever to be had, only one goal ought to be pursued -in our view, and that is to remove his wretched regime from power.

INTERBANEX: Nicolas Maduro partially lifts Venezuela's FX controls

Nicolas Maduro is in a bit of a pickle: the Trump administration has recognised Juan Guaidó as legitimate President of Venezuela and, crucially, Carlos Vecchio as his official U.S. Chargé d'Affairs. What this means in practical terms is that the U.S. government will only talk business with Guaidó through Vecchio. Maduro's retort?

What's next for Juan Guaidó & Venezuela?

The state of play is the following: Juan Guaidó, head of Venezuela's Congress, declared himself as caretaker president of the country. Guaidó based his move on an interpretation of article 233 of the Chavista Constitution, that establishes that when an absolute absence ("falta absoluta") happens by swearing in day (10 January), the Head of Congress must take charge and call for fresh elections within 30 days. Given that Nicolas Maduro's last electoral victory was not seen as legitimate, many countries pledged recognition to Guaidó, officially.

White House officials shut down Nicolas Maduro's FoxNews interview

This site has learned that high officials of Donald Trump's White House shut down an interview Nicolas Maduro gave recently to FoxNews. Journalist Maria Elvira Salazar, on unofficial assignment / agreement with FoxNews, met and interviewed Maduro in Caracas. The interview was translated to English, with the purpose of broadcasting it in FoxNews to send a message to the Trump administration, about Maduro's intentions to establish some kind of dialogue. White House officials intervened, censored the whole thing, and the interview ended up being aired, in Spanish, in Univision.

U.S. Treasury hits Raul Gorrin: Nicolas Maduro's favourite operator

U.S. Treasury sanctioned Raul Gorrin and his network today. Has-beens like Gonzalez Dellan and Claudia Diaz Guillen (pending extradition to the U.S. from Spain) have also been targeted. Gorrin, particularly, is a great addition to the SDN list, as he has become the Boligarch-in-favour to the Maduro/Flores power couple in many of their corrupt deals. Globovision, Gorrin's propaganda network, is also included in SDN List.

New PDVSA partner EREPLA: OFAC has last word

Further to infodio's exclusive about a joint services and offtake agreements signed between PPSA and EREPLA Services LLC, replies to request for comments put to Harry Sargeant have been received from Ali Hasan Rahman (see below). As per Hasan Rahman's comments, OFAC has the last word on the deal.


"As Director of EREPLA Services LLC and EREPLA Trading LLC, I would like to respond to the email that you sent Mr. Sargeant last week.

In response to your specific questions: