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A Variety Show from Hell

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Bloomberg: US in Talks With Venezuela Over Sanctions Relief in Return for Fair Elections

Folks at Bloomberg report that Jorge Rodriguez is in talks with someone at the Biden administration discussing a deal involving temporary sanction relief for better electoral conditions. Interesting.

Things to look at from our POV:

  • It’s expected that by next Thursday a new electoral board will be appointed. While the board will be likely led by a chavista big wig, its composition will say a lot about the possible deal.
  • Also, once the board is appointed, it is likely that we’ll see a date for the presidential election. Forget about the last quarter of 2024, but there’s a big difference between April/May 2024 and December 2023.

What sanctions could be on the table?

  • Perhaps those involving entities that already have a presence in Venezuela, including the U.S. service companies that aren’t currently allowed to operate.

Talk Show Nation

If you weren’t watching, Maduro went out with a full rebranding of his talk show (which may include or may not include a gastric by-pass for himself).

As these spectacles usually are, last night’s Maduro broadcast had an insane range of ramblings. He went from making a call to arms to the militias to announcing the inauguration of a skate park in Caracas.

While Maduro may resemble a modern day Don Francisco, the essence of the autocrat variety show remains the same from the days of Chávez: displaying absolute power in the silliest way possible.

During the weekend, Antonio Ledezma made a clumsy statement during an interview, after it was suggested that MCM was talking to the military to force Maduro out. It is highly unlikely that Ledezma has any information on who MCM is or isn’t talking to, but still the clip was taken out of context and made viral by the good, the bad and the freakin’ ugly. Consequence: Maduro’s General Prosecutor ordered for the arrest of the exiled politician and this was at the center of Maduro’s call to arms of the Bolivarian forces.

While stupid is as stupid does, we should never forget that this is a dictatorship problem. Don’t switch the sofa.

Venezuela on the web

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) slammed the Supreme Tribunal’s recent decision to intervene the Red Cross and the PCV (Venezuela’s Communist party).

This is what we call a salute to the flag. It’s great that the IACHR called for the defense of the right of association, a basic civil liberty, but a press release doesn’t really amoun t to much these days.

A sneak peek of last week’s PRR:

“While government intelligence agencies consider the decision (to hold an early election) to be delicate, our sources indicate that they have recommended moving the date forward, since sticking to the originally planned date next year is potentially more risky; with an economy unlikely to improve, and problems with oil production and exports that will further reduce Maduro’s already slim popular support in the coming months.”

Chances are we’re getting an early election

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