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DIYPatriot 03-02-2017 14:07

Down to the last drop
Who could've ever imagined?


Over the remainder of 2017, Caracas needs to fund $7.2 billion in debt payments – an amount that it can only meet if oil prices spike far higher than the ongoing boosts caused by OPEC’s output reduction agreement. Current reserves stand 66 percent lower than levels in 2011, when the government held $30 billion in foreign currencies to spend on loan repayments and other official business. "The question is: Where is the floor?" Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America fixed income strategy at Nomura Holdings, told CNN Money. "If oil prices stagnate and foreign reserves reach zero, then the clock is going to start on a default."

Venezuela’s financial report for 2016 stated that roughly $7.7 billion of the remaining $10.5 billion in foreign reserves had been preserved in gold. Last year, in order to fulfill debt obligations, Caracas began shipping gold to Switzerland. The drastic fall in oil prices in 2014 and widespread corruption have both caused an economic meltdown in the South American country, where citizens had become accustomed to imported goods paid for by fossil fuel revenues. President Nicolas Maduro has resorted to opening the country’s border with Colombia to allow Venezuelans to purchase necessary medical and day-to-day supplies.

Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA’s default is probable, according to the ratings agency Fitch, which cited the oil giant’s weak liquidity position and high amortization scheduled for 2017 as the causes of the default problem last month. "Should oil prices remain around current levels, average recovery may lead to additional future defaults to further reduce obligations and allow for necessary transfers to the government," said Fitch’s senior director Lucas Aristizabal. The company has projected that its oil production will maintain its 23-year-low in 2017.

Meanwhile, our foreign policy with Latin America, most notably Venezuela, is beginning to take shape.


During the first month of President Trump’s administration, the question of U.S. policy on Venezuela and other Latin American countries remained largely unknown. But recently, political leaders in Venezuela have a good idea of what America’s new position might look like. We could be seeing a much more hardline approach compared to the policy under former President Obama. In early February a bipartisan group of congress members called for sanctions on Venezuela and demanded for the release of political prisoners. They specifically pointed to Venezuela’s Vice President Tareck El Aissami, and his possible links with drugs and terrorism. In response, last week the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against El Aissami for drug trafficking under the Kingpin Act along with other prominent Venezuelans. This first act sent a sharp message to Venezuela’s socialist leader, President Nicolás Maduro Moros, known as Maduro.

Following this, Trump used his Twitter account to post a picture of himself with Vice President Pence and Senator Marco Rubio (FL-R) along with Lilian Tintori, the wife of a prominent Venezuelan opposition politician, now being held as a political prisoner. In the tweet, Trump called for the release of Tintori’s husband, Leopoldo Lopez. Then the U.S. Department of State called for the release of more than 100 prisoners of conscience, including Lopez. In addition to calling for the release of political prisoners, the sanctions against Venezuela are also a way of condemning the human rights abuses (including the imprisonment of Lopez) happening in this south American country

For opposition activists, such as youth party leader Carlos Graffe, recent U.S. actions are welcome. Graffe, youth wing leader for Proyecto Venezuela spoke with Opportunity Lives almost a year ago about the protest movement in Venezuela and his hopes for the future, which include overturning President Maduro’s government.

Badger52 03-02-2017 16:56

DIY, thanks for those. Hey, Maduro, is that foreign policy too nuanced for ya?

I'll have to fire up the key this weekend & CQ YV and see if there's anyone down there yet that hasn't sold their radio to buy bread.

Flagg 03-02-2017 20:13


Originally Posted by tonyz (Post 624335)
The socialist diet.

Study: Venezuelans lost 19 lbs. on average over past year due to lack of food
Published February 20, 2017

In a new sign that Venezuela’s financial crisis is morphing dangerously into a humanitarian one, a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food.

The extreme poor said they dropped even more weight than that.

The 2016 Living Conditions Survey (Encovi, for its name in Spanish), conducted among 6,500 families, also found that as many as 32.5 percent eat only once or twice a day — the figure was 11.3 just a year ago.

In all, 82 percent of the nation's households live in poverty, the study found.

The lack of food has even earned a nickname: “The Maduro Diet.”

<snip> complete article at link.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, so did aid to Cuba.

Cuba's economy went into freefall and Cubans on average also lost a considerable amount of weight.

Rates of cardiovascular disease in Cuba also collapsed in the period following the weight loss.

I'm waiting for Maduro/Venezuela to start promoting the benefits of the new "Venezuela Diet" from dumpster diving, eating flamingos, and just going hungry.


It would be very interesting to see real time data(such as realtime "in the moment" smart phone surveys/polls) with a visual representation of when/where all those little guys transform from voting for anyone who promises to end their pain(parental pain of watching their kids go hungry) to eliminating the very people who are creating/enhancing that very pain.

Obviously Maduro and his Cuban/Russian/Iranian buddies will use every tool available to prevent/disrupt effective opposition from forming.

But ubiquitous mobile phone distribution globally must be one of the most disruptive pieces of technology to move at least slightly closer towards "science" on the art/science revolution continuum.


Cuba is broke and dependant on Venezuela for free/cheap energy so I'm guessing is dug in like a tick to maintain the influence and gravy train.

Russia is going broke fast with cheap commodity prices, increasing foreign adventures to pay for its disruptive/influence foreign policy model.

Iran has access to more money due to nuclear deal, but has some very expensive foreign military adventures going on.

Outside of Cuba's undivided attention, I wonder how high on the list of priorities Venezuela is for Russia/Iran?

Would Maduro popping up in Pyongyang before Xmas be outside the realm of possibility?

tonyz 03-02-2017 21:52


Originally Posted by Flagg (Post 624643)
Would Maduro popping up in Pyongyang before Xmas be outside the realm of possibility?

What, like Kim Jong Nam?

...the Venezuelan people can only hope.

Tree Potato 03-03-2017 08:56


Originally Posted by Badger52 (Post 624630)

I'll have to fire up the key this weekend & CQ YV and see if there's anyone down there yet that hasn't sold their radio to buy bread.

It would be interesting to hear unfiltered first person accounts.

Is there anything coming out from Venezuela similar to what "ferFAL" provided from Argentina, written by someone experiencing the crisis first hand?

trinity 03-15-2017 21:23

The misery continues:


Venezuela threatens to expropriate bakers that don't obey new bread regulations

According to Roman poet Juvenal, people hope for just two things: bread and circuses.

While there is no word on the circus, Venezuela’s beleaguered government is demanding that bakers at least give the people bread.

The socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro threatened earlier this week to expropriate bakeries in Caracas that fail to adhere to new regulations aimed at tackling widespread bread shortages.

Pete 03-17-2017 06:18

Venezuela has a bread shortage
Another article on the bread situation

Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem.

Read more here:

OGOTA, Colombia

"Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country...."

JimP 03-17-2017 07:24

Right out of ATLAS SHRUGGED.

Bakeries can't produce bread? Just have the government FORCE them....

That's some progressive thinking right there.

Badger52 03-17-2017 07:31


Originally Posted by JimP (Post 625115)
Right out of ATLAS SHRUGGED.

Bakeries can't produce bread? Just have the government FORCE them....

That's some progressive thinking right there.

+1 They must have an ex-pat named Wesley Mooch advising them. Watch the experiment fail, kiddies - let's see if it ever makes it to the history books that make their way into schools (holding breath not).

trinity 03-17-2017 09:16


Originally Posted by JimP (Post 625115)
Bakeries can't produce bread? Just have the government FORCE them.....

And if their business fails, they are de facto criminals and arrested as such and put on Venezuela's no-fly list. (I'll have to go back and find the article--it was linked from one of the other articles in this thread.

sfshooter 03-17-2017 11:36


Originally Posted by JimP (Post 625115)
Right out of ATLAS SHRUGGED.

Bakeries can't produce bread? Just have the government FORCE them....

That's some progressive thinking right there.

Your right Jim, this story has already been written with the title of ATLAS SHRUGGED. I am currently in the middle of this book right now.

Team Sergeant 03-17-2017 18:16

Venezuela, end game....
Venezuela, can we predict what will be the tipping point? Where the people attempt to overthrow the current corrupt socialist/communist "leadership"?

I've not studied South America as much as other parts of the world. What's next a prolonged civil war?

SC Pete 03-24-2017 22:08

VZ problems
I am amazed at how far they have fallen. Worked there in the 80s, and while they had a big underclass, it was a modern country, with anything you wanted available. Good sized middle class. They were proud of their history, and always told you about their Constitutional Democracy...Heh. Look what the Commies brought you to. And look how fast our Hollywierd celebs abandoned talking about the "new way" in VZ. They can all go to hell. Get exactly what they asked for...

DIYPatriot 03-27-2017 09:59

Socialists Anonymous?
Isn't the first step to admit that one has a problem and that their life has become unmanageable?


Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro has said he asked the United Nations for help in boosting his country's medicine supplies. Hospitals in the country are reportedly running on just 3 percent of the supplies they need. Maduro's admission on Friday that Venezuela was battling a crippling medicine shortage was a rare public admission of the desperate state the cash-strapped country finds itself in. "I have asked the United Nations to regularize the whole medicine issue," Venezuela's president said in a broadcast on national television. "The United Nations has the most advanced plans to recover the pharmaceutical industry's productive capacity."

Story Continued
Meanwhile, fourteen other countries urge Venezuela to re-establish a democracy...

Badger52 03-27-2017 10:15

"...regularize the whole medicine issue." = the whole world should gimme free stuff.

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