Photo: Efecto Cocuyo


This Friday, Antonio Morales, representative of the Bureau of Banking Sector Institutions (SUDEBAN), confirmed Banesco’s takeover of 90 days (extendable) and, although he remarked that “the entire financial sector is under preventive investigations,” mentioning exchange house Italcambio as an example, he asked citizens to keep calm, because “there are many rumors of financial runs and other things.” Morales claimed that the intervention is an action that “the people demanded” and explained that Banesco executives “were developing illegal foreign exchange transactions activating a speculative and fraudulent market, which is the origin of this induced economic war.” If this is what the Superintendent thinks, we shouldn’t be surprised that later, the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) sent agents outfitted as OLP operatives to Banco Occidental de Descuento (BOD) headquarters in La Castellana, who swept through all their offices. However, Nicolás claimed: “If you vote, I swear to you that I’ll bring the prosperity and economic development that this country needs,” right in the middle of a raid against one bank and with another one intervened. Surely, investors are eager to bathe the country with their resources.

The aftermath

Last night, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice announced through its Twitter account that the “3rd Court of Control of Caracas sentenced Banesco’s board members for the alleged commission of collection, money laundering and criminal association,” listing the names of the accused among other messages. This takes place after Banesco’s mean headquarters was visited by the units of the Scientific Police’s Special Actions Brigade (BAE), and Banesco Grupo Financiero’s chairman Juan Carlos Escotet warned his employees on a letter about the approach of the country’s financial collapse; the improbability of applying the monetary reconversion in the time period imposed by the government and the lie used by the State to arrest Banesco’s executives. In a video, Escotet says: “This is a political decision taken with the aim of diverting public opinion from the serious problems that Venezuelans experience (…) If this is a political decision, I hope it contributes to guarantee employment sources and the stability of our clients.” By the way, the first statement issued by Banesco’s newly installed Administrative Board is a gem, a sublime piece that evidences the talents of those who will carry out this mission.

On electoral advantages

Nicolás decided to wipe his mustache with the agreement of electoral guarantees and appear yesterday all day long, even using a mandatory broadcast on radio and television, showing that he can cross the roles of president and candidate whenever he wants, because that’s why chavismo destroyed the Rule of Law. Then, in the morning he headed the reopening of Hotel Humboldt (“Humbol” in his argot,) which will be managed by the chain of hotels JW Marriott, announcing that the services will be charged in petros, that it will have a exchange house for which he asked for many tourists with lots of dollars. Later, his bots disseminated pictures of his meeting with the representatives of Public Powers, in which he says that they’ve established a plan to fight corruption and another to guarantee peace. This joke surpassed the effect of Timoteo Zambrano claiming that former Spanish president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero will recognize May 20 results. Delcy Rodríguez said that they’re ready to decree changes in the country’s judicial order. Nicolás didn’t fare well in Propatria, he had more audience in the Hotel Humboldt. He danced a terrible joropo predicting his victory and asked his micro-crowd of followers to give him 10 million votes and in return, he’d imprison all the economy’s mafias. “We’ve imprisoned 250 oligarchs for extracting Venezuela’s money and more are coming. We had to intervene Banesco (…) the bank that was taking Venezuela’s money,” said Nicolás, establishing the sentence of a trial that hasn’t even begun, showing the depths of his politicization.

The others

While CNE vice-president Sandra Oblitas claimed that the May 20 process will take place despite the calls for abstention and ignored, as usual, each reward Nicolás has promised to his supporters for voting, candidate Javier Bertucci claimed that he won’t drop out of the campaign, adding that Henri Falcón’s voters don’t truly support him. Bertucci says that he has 80% of his team of electoral witnesses ready to defend the vote, so “the wisest decision is for other candidates to support me,” and that intervening a bank is a serious mistake. Meanwhile, Falcón said he got the support of independents from the National Community and Cuasa R’s leadership, also welcoming the grassroots of Acción Democrática, Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia and claiming that he’ll revert Banesco’s expropriation. Causa R representative Andrés Velásquez denied that this party had expressed its support for Falcón. Additionally, the opposition called for a protest on May 16 “to establish what May 20 presidential elections truly mean, that they’re a fraudulent process,” said lawmaker Juan Andrés Mejía on behalf of the Broad Front.

We, migrants

The International Organization of Migration (IOM) revealed that number of Venezuelan immigrants in Latin America increased by 900% between 2015 and 2017, when the figure went from 89,000 to 900,000 people, which is why they deem this as “one of the most important migration crises that we’ve lived in recent years.” The IOM has managed the second batch of relocations from Roraima state (where the intense levels of vulnerability of thousands of Venezuelans have been denounced) to other Brazilian states in order to clear the border. The Vatican’s division in charge of migrants will reveal this Monday, May 7, a plan to host, protect and integrate migrating Venezuelans. The program’s called “Bridges of Solidarity” and it was created at the behest of Pope Francis and Episcopal Conferences of the eight countries involved in the initiative, as an attempt to handle of the phases of the displacement. Yesterday, Colombia confirmed seven measles cases in Venezuelans.

The Swedish Academy announced that the Nobel Literature Prize 2018 won’t be granted this year, due to the scandal of rapes and sexual harassments involving the husband of one of its members, Jean-Claude Arnault. The Academy’s statement point out that “On five (…) occasions, the prize was delayed then awarded at the same time as the following year’s prize.”

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22 COMMENTS

  1. This Friday, Antonio Morales, representative of the Bureau of Banking Sector Institutions (SUDEBAN), confirmed Banesco’s takeover of 90 days (extendable) and, although he remarked that “the entire financial sector is under preventive investigations,” mentioning exchange house Italcambio as an example, he asked citizens to keep calm, because “there are many rumors of financial runs and other things.” Morales claimed that the intervention is an action that “the people demanded” and explained that Banesco executives “were developing illegal foreign exchange transactions activating a speculative and fraudulent market, which is the origin of this induced economic war.” If this is what the Superintendent thinks, we shouldn’t be surprised that later, the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) sent agents outfitted as OLP operatives to Banco Occidental de Descuento (BOD) headquarters in La Castellana, who swept through all their offices. However, Nicolás claimed: “If you vote, I swear to you that I’ll bring the prosperity and economic development that this country needs,” right in the middle of a raid against one bank and with another one intervened. Surely, investors are eager to bathe the country with their resources.”

    Wow…………………

    Worth re-quoting the entire paragraph. This is simply a nervous dictatorship pulling the final punches to establish itself in power forever, Cuban style. The military was first, now the entire Finance and Banking system must be under control. Bribed or expelled. Or both.

    The final phase of the Complete and Permanent Cubanization of Kleptozuela.

    What else can I say. If it ain’t clear to many that the only way out is by FORCE, militarily, and that would only be thanks to the USA and other civilized nations IF it’s really in our interest to help them out.. I think it is, or I’d be bitching about my freaking taxes. Otherwise, it’s Cuba II. For decades and decades more. Even worse than that. African style. No doubt. So start praying and start begging Pompeo and the USA to briefly intervene, or Kleptozuela could become Zimbabwe, and worse by 2030.

  2. BTW, the only reason I still believe a brief, well planned, coordinated with locals, imminent military strike will happen after the elections fraud.. it’s because of MONEY, of course. Or “national interests” Trump, Pompeo and the DEA, the CIA don’t really care for another big shithole, drug-dealing communist nation so close to our back yard. Chavistas friends with Cuba, Russia, China, Iran.. forget about it. To save Trillions of US$, the US will have to intervene in Kleptozuela. Strategic move. All about our money. And our interest in the freaking region.
    Forget about the humanitarian crap. We might send a few choppers and marines, briefly, ’cause we like our good life here in the USA and Europe. And yeah, we might feel a little bit sorry for the remaining kleptozuelans, not all of them culpable.. but hey, there’s dozens of similar shitholes worldwide.. we might do something special for Cubazuela, only because it’s too big of a neck pain for us. Ain’t no little island without resources. Or Bolivia.. And because we’ll make shitloads of money after that with the freaking MUD’s to come, as opposed to Chavistas’ crap. It’s all about OUR money and political/geo-economic interests, plus a bit of pity for the 5th world true victims. Sure, we’re Catholics, Protestants, Agnostics and all of that too. But our money comes first. We like the good life here. So count your blessings. Sleep tight. We might show up one day, since you certainly can’t help yourselves. Mike Pompeo.

  3. What a coincidence it’s all about big international banks, as of late. After there’s not much left to steal locally in Kleptozuela, no oil, not produce, nothing. It’s about Finance.. Klepto-Petros.. Gold. Remesas. Bank accounts.
    When there’s nothing else to dismantle, private property, Empresas Polar?, you go for the jugular, when you’re desperate to stay in power forever and avoid jail. And be rich as hell. Food? Covered. Not enough. Drugs? Yeah! getting bigger and bigger by the minute. But there’s a limit to that too. So beware, Banescos of the world, either you play our game. or it’s war. Just watch. MONEY. That’s what it’s all about in Kleptozuela. Guess what, in the USA and Europe we also care about out money, so we might send a few Marines to take care of that shithole for a while. Consider it “humanitarian”.

    • Poeta,
      All it would take is one U.S. Special Forces sharpshooter to start the changeover to a new government. Anymore than one soldier is a waste of taxpayer money.

    • Poeta,
      As much as I would enjoy Maduro and company swinging from ropes in a public square, a US military intervention is not yet in the cards.
      When the regional leaders that condemned Trump are screaming for help because their countries are overflowing with Venezuelan refugees and the US media finally gives this humanitarian crisis the attention it deserves, you may see more overt intervention.
      As long as the vast majority of Americans are completely ignorant of the conditions in Venezuela, military intervention is not going to occur.
      The media drives public sentiment. Public sentiment drives politicians.
      The vast majority of Americans don’t read the NY Times or Washington Post. Many that do read it have the same liberal ideologies of the people that refuse to condemn this murderous regime.
      When the Venezuelan men decide that human rights, dignity and freedom are worth dying for and act on their decisions, things will change. The very first decision will be for the soldiers to decide if Maduro and company are worth dying for.
      It will be much easier for President Trump to make the decision to intervene if the US is supporting the National Assembly’s request for assistance to restore the democratic process. This changes the “Yankee Imperialism” argument and makes the US an assisting rather than an invading force.
      I do not believe that Maduro’s criminal regime will be ousted without the commitment of the Venezuelan people to oppose this illegal rule.

        • Waltz,
          Thank you for the link. I’m sure the Independent has better sources than we can find. This reinforces my opinion that PDVSA isn’t producing any cash flow for the regime.
          I haven’t found anything that says China has extended terms on the debt owed them. There were articles mentioning that the interest only debt repayment extension was expiring. No news that it has been renewed.
          The general that spoke for PDVSA stated that $60 allowed them to cover costs.
          The collapsing economy reduced domestic demands and allowed exports to remain constant even as production deteriorated. Those days are over.
          I believe the last number I saw for production was 1.42 million per day.
          The $35 million per day in income for exports, would be roughly 600,000 barrels @ $60. I can’t see where that is reality without China extending repayment terms.
          The US Energy Information Agency shows the Feb. 208 numbers @ 472,000 barrels per day imported into the US. With 200,000 barrels per day being imported into Venezuela, the net is only 272,000 per day. Like you said the diluents are much more expensive. It isn’t a simple deduction. The diluents are costing around 17 million per day. Deduct that from roughly $30 million and the final number is around $17 million. Half of the $35 million that is frequently cited as the gross income from oil exports. This allows for lift costs in the $12 per barrel range to break even. No report shows lift costs that low.
          https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=pet&s=mttimusve2&f=m
          Venezuelan heavy crude used to sell about $10 per barrel less than WTI. With the deteriorating quality of the exports and some loads being refused at the refineries, that differential may have become larger.
          The regime is looking for joint venture partners. Jailing the Chevron execs for refusing to cooperate with a kickback scheme, isn’t the best way to attract new investment.
          I think we agree that PDVSA isn’t making any money for the regime.
          No worry though, this weeks focus for the regime is BitCoin mining now that the oil infrastructure is destroyed.
          If this situation wasn’t so tragic, it would be hilarious. Every stereotypical comedy ever written about Banana Republics and their leaders is embodied in the utter incompetence, ignorance, corruption and immorality of the regime.

  4. This is simply a nervous dictatorship pulling the final punches to establish itself in power forever, Cuban style. The military was first, now the entire Finance and Banking system must be under control. Bribed or expelled. Or both
    Interestingly….word on street is ….there was alot of money laundering from FARC..Cuba…Chavez Chavista…Odebrecht…….and the evedence still exists……that the Regime cannot afford the exposure……

  5. Let’s start a prediction thread, and as we all know, the wilder the better!

    I predict Maduro gets prostate cancer…blames it on U.S. poisoning…
    and stops dancing.

    Live as an ass, die by the ass.

  6. I predict the world will eventually see video of a marine pulling Maduro out of his hidey hole by his hair…the same way that Saddam was pulled out of his hidey hole! Oh Lord let it be!!

  7. Falcon wins the election, President Maduro gracefully concedes that a better man can run the country, he sobs openly on live TV over the dubious future of the revolution, and of the Patria Venezuela. Together with a select entourage of a few hundred he boards a plane and lands in Cuba where he has stashed a billion dollars, builds a resort enclave complete with an Olympic sized infinity swimming pool by the ocean on prime Cuban real estate outside the city, and he and his entourage retire. BUT … the Cuban people catch wind of how luxuriously the Venezuelans are living, importing exotic foods from all over the world, get angry, get the support of the Castristas who have become unspeakably jealous, and the resort community is overrun and everyone in it put to work with the obreros in the sugarcane fields. The luxurious houses are distributed to the people, several families for each one, the walk-in closets are converted to chicken coops, the Olympic pool is converted into a fish hatchery, and everyone lives happily ever after until the Russians decide they made a mistake with Cuba to begin with and … stay tuned for the prediction thread on what the Russians do.

    Oh … Venezuela …. Falcon turns out to be a former Goldman Sachs employee who has been stealthily working undercover to guard the bond investment, starts a head-hunt for a Venezuelan Pinochet, finds one in the south of China, puts him in charge, and within five years Venezuela is entirely a capitalist free-market economy, PDVSA reverts to Exxon and Shell and Chevron, production skyrockets to an astounding 12 mbd, Iran and a reconstructed Iraq get really ticked off at OPEC quota violations, unite and declares war on Venezuela, Xi Ay Pfixit (the Chinese Pinochet) refloats the Petro, agricultural land has been auctioned on 99 year leases to a bunch of cowboys from Texas who think the remains of the GNB are fun to chase around through the bushes, per capita GDP rises above Chile’s, and those who fled Venezuela are now charged an exorbitant amount of money as re-entry fee to relocate back to Venezuela. Hollywood, believing in the majority that Maduro has succeeded, also relocate to Venezuela, and chose a lakeside studio city in Maracaibo. The air-conditioning never works on their property, though, mysteriously. Bernie Sanders joins them and lands a part in the senior citizen cheer-leading team in a new movie “Miracle in Miraflores”. He does not know what that means, and continues to believe arepas are fried Japanese rice-cakes.

    • So what happens when PDVSA runs out net oil sales $? Cocaine trade? Not nearly enough production on Venny soil, and so at most they get a cut of transportation, but I don’t see any of that $$ being used to buy Clap boxes or electricity or clean water or public transportation or healthcare or anything else. So much for free gas to smuggle, too.

      I keep expecting the economic war Aporreans to figure out that the Imperialist Colonialist Zionist Racist Misogynist Capitalist Hertosexualist Only-2-Genderist Gringos are not after their oil, after all; but are actually conducting the economic war on the salt of the earth Venezuelan people in order to stop PDVSA oil production altogether.

      It’s at least as plausible as GW Bush being behind the 911 attacks.

    • Juan,
      Do you (or anyone else) know if the ruling from the International Chamber of Commerce is enforceable in the courts? I assume it is a binding contractual agreement for settling disputes and the company may be required to go to arbitration first.
      I am unfamiliar with disputes being brought before the ICC.

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