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April 2019

BREAKING: Juan Guaido & Leopoldo Lopez made rallying calls from military base in Caracas

Early this morning, Juan Guaidó made rallying calls from La Carlota, a military base in West Caracas. Guaidó was flanked by Leopoldo Lopez, who had been under house arrest and is prohibited from leaving his home or making public announcements.

Better to follow latest through local radio (https://rcr.tv/), social media and Twitter that we will be updating regularly.

On Venezuela, Trump gov pushed itself into an impossible corner

Juan Guaidó, the self appointed, interim President of Venezuela is in a pickle. So are those who pushed him to assume a role that should have ended already. Everything started on false, or impossible, premises. Cese de la usurpación they called it, whatever the f*&% that means. The hope was that Nicolas Maduro would relinquish power. As if dictators / criminals of such ilk just wake up one day, knowing that without power and protection that office provides they're as good as dead, and just come to the realisation that time's up.

Twitter blocks @alekboyd, censors information on rampant corruption.

It seems that for Twitter, some users are more equal than others, some private information is more equal than other. Some telephone numbers are more equal than others... I remember vividly the break into my apartment, threats to my children, theft of laptops and pictures obtained through illegal surveillance that lasted months, and that were posted on Twitter, without problem. I remember the impersonation in Twitter accounts depicting me as a racist, and baseless defamation that followed suggesting as I was pedophile.

Canada sanctions Venezuela: will it help?

Canada announced a new set of sanctions on 43 individuals two days ago (see below). There's a few interesting names in there, folk linked to chavista repressive apparatus, First Lady, armed forces and intelligence, Venezuela's Treasury, judiciary, telecoms (CONATEL), mining, governors -one Rafael Lacava associated to Boston Group... The ones this site is interested the most are those linked to PDVSA. That's where Reinaldo Muñoz Pedroza slots in.

[UPDATED] Hugo Carvajal arrested in Madrid on drug trafficking charges

Former chavista intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal -travelling as Adolfo Jose Mourinho- was arrested yesterday in Madrid. Spanish sources report Carvajal had arrived in Spain (from the Dominican Republic) back in March. Sources familiar with Carvajal's arrest report that while his identity was fake the Venezuelan passport used was legitimate. Spain had been informed of an international arrest warrant (drug trafficking) pending on Carvajal in September 2018.

U.S. government warns Repsol about PDVSA

About a month ago, Reliance let it be known that it was to halt diluent exports to Venezuela... from its U.S. based subsidiaries. Before Reliance's announcement, sources had informed this site that Brian Ballard had been retained to lobby in Mukesh Ambani's favour with the Trump administration. Ambani seeks lifting of sanctions, so his business can keep booming at Venezuela's expense.

Message to Treasury: it's Cubametales stupid!

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (bless them) issued fresh sanctions against PDVSA last Friday. A number of tug boats (34) and one oil tanker were added to the list. Targeting the parasitic Cuban dictatorship is paramount to bring an end to chavismo in Venezuela, and there is no better way than disrupting, or altogether stopping, continued transfer of oil to Raul Castro.

Venezuela's debt problem

$1,305,592,000,000 (please have this number in mind -one trillion, three hundred and five billion, five hundred and ninety-two million dollars- as you read through). Two very charitable chaps from Cleary Gottlieb, Richard J. Cooper and Mark A. Walker, have published a paper on Venezuela's debt, entitled "Venezuela's Restructuring: A Path Forward" (see below with added comments). It is work that shows the kinds of problems a future administration will have to deal with ($191.4 billion debt) in terms of pleasing the country's creditors.