Venezuelan President puts to a vote whether to invade Guyana for Oil

Venezuela-invade-Guyana

Important Takeaways:

  • Should Venezuela invade its oil-rich neighbor? Maduro will put it to a vote Sunday
  • Venezuelans going to the polls Sunday will be asked to answer an unusually provocative question:
    • Should their government be given a blank check to invade neighboring Guyana, and wrest away three-quarters of its oil-rich territory?
  • The question will be on the ballot in a five-part referendum that, among other things, would grant Maduro special powers to invade Guyana and create a new Venezuelan state encompassing 74% of English-speaking Guyana’s current landmass. The new area would be called Guayana Esequiba.
  • Some experts see the whole thing as a political ploy, though many Guyanese see the threat as real and fear, among other things, the loss of their citizenship.
  • The growing tensions became evident this week when Brazil — a close ally of both nations that shares its border with both — sent top foreign advisor Celso Amorin to mediate while announcing that it was increasing its military presence along its northern border amid fears that the long-standing dispute could turn into a war.
  • The border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela stretches back to the second half of the 19th century, and escalated after Guyana began discovering oil on its territory a few years ago. Venezuela claims ownership of about 61,600 square miles of Guyana — a chunk of land slightly smaller than the state of Florida called the Essequibo — tracing its possession to the time both countries were European colonies. Although Venezuela has unceasingly contested an 1899 ruling made by international arbitrators that established the current borders between the two countries, it had allowed the issue to remain on the back burner for decades

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Some migrants going home instead of staying in Chicago: ‘The American Dream doesn’t exist anymore. There’s nothing here for us’

Migrants-in-Chicago

Important Takeaways:

  • Chicago is so unpleasant migrants are fleeing BACK to Venezuela after being dumped in shelters and refused jobs, with 20,700 border crossers so-far bussed to Dem-run ‘sanctuary city’
  • Since August last year, 20,700 migrants have arrived in Chicago from Texas. The Lone Star State’s Governor Greg Abbott sent migrants to Chicago and other Democrat-run cities because of their proud status as ‘sanctuary cities.’ They offer enhanced protection against detention or deportation for undocumented migrants.
  • Now, Illinois’ harsh winters, lack of migrant infrastructure, and ambivalent support from locals has made many people, who undertook the harsh US-Mexico border journey, actually turn around and go back home.
  • Michael Castejon, 39, told the Chicago Tribune: ‘The American Dream doesn’t exist anymore. There’s nothing here for us.’
  • ‘We didn’t know things would be this hard. I thought the process was faster,’ he said about the job permit situation in Chicago.
  • The city is also notorious for violent crime, with migrants forced to sleep in public more vulnerable to attack than most.
  • At least 40 people in the last month have left Chicago’s 1st District station to either move back home or elsewhere in the States, with the help of Catholic Charities of Chicago.
  • While most hail from Venezuela, they come from all over the world, including Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
  • The city has allocated $4 million to help migrants find temporary housing, and the state has contributed another $38 million.

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Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua meet with Iran to confront the U.S.

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Cuba, Iran presidents meet in Havana, vow to confront ‘Yankee imperialism’
  • Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday, his last stop on a three-nation Latin American tour aimed at shoring up support among Latin American allies saddled, like Iran, by U.S. sanctions.
  • Raisi told reporters at a trade forum in Havana early on Thursday that Cuba and Iran would seek opportunities to work together in electricity generation, biotechnology, and mining, among other areas.
  • “The conditions and circumstances in which Cuba and Iran find themselves today have many things in common,” Raisi said in a conversation with Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel. “Every day our relations grow stronger.”
  • Raisi earlier this week visited with leaders of fellow oil-producer Venezuela, where he pledged to ramp up bilateral trade and expand cooperation in petrochemicals. Prior to arriving in Cuba, the Iranian president also met with Nicaragua´s Daniel Ortega in the Central American country.
  • “Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Iran are among the countries that have had to heroically confront sanctions (…) threats, blockades and interference by Yankee imperialism and its allies with a tenacious resistance,” Diaz-Canel told his Iranian counterpart.
  • Raisi´s visit comes as Cuba also moves to bolster ties with distant, but critical, allies like Russia and China, both subject to U.S. sanctions.

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Release of Two Detainees After the First White House Trip to Venezuela in Two Decades

Important Takeaways:

  • Maduro Regime Releases 2 US Captives, Key Dem Blasts Biden for Negotiating with Putin’s Top Ally in Latin America
  • Following a secret visit to Venezuela last weekend by senior Biden administration officials, captives Gustavo Cardenas and Jorge Fernandez were released by Venezuelan authorities.
  • Eight other Americans remain in captivity. Cardenas and five other executives of Houston-based Citgo, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil giant, had been detained by Venezuela since 2017. The others have been detained on allegations of embezzlement and terrorism.
  • Senior U.S. officials visited with the socialist dictatorship in Venezuela over the weekend to discuss the chance of easing oil sanctions on the major crude-exporting country.
  • Maduro, who has been indicted in New York on drug trafficking charges, is Putin’s top ally in Latin America and his country is a top oil exporter. Venezuela’s reentry into U.S. energy markets could mitigate the fallout at the pump from a possible oil embargo on Russia.
  • Tim Stewart, president of the U.S. Oil and Gas Association told Just The News since cutting off Russian imports there are now only two ways for the U.S. to get oil.
  • “You have two options,” Stewart explained. “One, you import from the Iranians and the Venezuelans, two terrorism-sponsoring states. Or you open up the U.S. domestic production.

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Sen. Rick Scott: Biden is Considering Turning from Russia to Iran, Venezuela to Save Our Economy

Important Takeaways:

  • Rick Scott: Biden Is Making Iran, Venezuela Our Partners ‘To Save our Economy’
  • Broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) criticized the Biden administration for reportedly looking to boost energy production in Iran and Venezuela and stated that doing so would make the authoritarian Maduro regime and Iran’s dangerous regime partners “to save our economy” and argued that every day America waits to boost domestic energy production
  • ”This idea that we’re going to go do business with Maduro, he’s killing his own citizen[s], or Iran, that wants to kill all the Jews and demolish Israel, we’re going to go — they’re going to be our partner to save our economy? Come on.”

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Hyperinflation in Venezuela has prices going up 80% every month

Rev 6:6 NAS And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Venezuelans Throw Worthless Money in Trash Amid Massive Inflation
  • “As Venezuela sinks deeper and deeper into the first hyperinflation the Western Hemisphere has seen in a generation, bolivar banknotes have come to be worth basically nothing,”
  • Caracas Chronicles news website said 20-bolivar bills were once worth about $2 US each but are now equal $0.0001
  • Prices on goods go up about 80 percent every month
  • “Rule No. 1 of surviving hyperinflation is simple: Get rid of your money,” The second you’re paid, you run out as fast as you can to buy something — anything — while you can still afford it. It’s better to hold almost any asset than money, because assets hold their value and money doesn’t.”
  • The country experienced an economic collapse in 2014 under its socialist government and has not rebounded. There are shortages of food, medicine, and basic necessities throughout the country.

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Russian expert says Cuba, Venezuela too far or too outdated. But there is another option to pressure the West

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • Cuba, Venezuela or both? Russia wants USA to know what it feels like to be surrounded by NATO
  • Military expert Konstantin Sivkov believes that the deployment of Russian arms in Latin America will not give Russia any military advantages. Instead, it will simply become a symmetrical response to the American threat near the borders of the Russian Federation. In accordance with the state policy in the field of nuclear deterrence, Russia still limits the conditions, in which it can be the first country to strike a nuclear blow.
  • “In the event of a nuclear conflict, most likely, it is the Americans that will be the first to attack,” the expert believes.
  • In this case, a preemptive strike makes no sense. Therefore, the expert believes, the probable deployment of Russian weapons in Latin America will have political, rather than military significance.
  • According to Kartapolov, Russia does not need to deploy military bases in either Cuba or Venezuela, since the Russian army has hypersonic missiles in service. A ship or a submarine armed with Zircons can go on combat missions from anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean and then leave, Kartapolov said.

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Possible Russian military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela warns Russia its up to U.S.

Mark 13:8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia won’t rule out military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela
  • Russia on Thursday sharply raised the stakes in its dispute with the West over Ukraine, with a top diplomat refusing to rule out a Russian military deployment to Cuba and Venezuela if tensions with the United States mount.
  • NATO-Russia meeting in Vienna failed to narrow the gap on Moscow’s security demands amid a buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine.
  • While voicing concern that NATO could potentially use Ukrainian territory for the deployment of missiles capable of reaching Moscow in just five minutes, Putin noted that Russian warships armed with the latest Zircon hypersonic cruise missile would give Russia a similar capability if deployed in neutral waters.

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Migration to U.S. empties Venezuela’s once-booming oil capital

By Mariela Nava

MARACAIBO, Venezuela (Reuters) – It took accountant Anibal Pirela six days of travel and $7,000 to reach Austin, Texas from Maracaibo, the capital of Venezuela’s once-flourishing western oil state of Zulia.

Pirela traveled with his four-year-old son Daniel, joining a flood of emigrants emptying neighborhoods in Zulia, the top departure point for Venezuelans leaving their crisis-stricken homeland.

“The people I know who have left the country are almost too many to count,” Pirela, 48, said from his new home in Austin.

The number of Venezuelans detained by U.S. authorities on the southern border soared to 47,762 in the year to September, versus just 1,262 in the year-earlier period, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Hundreds of Zulians are leaving each month, advocacy groups say, though there are no official migration figures for any of Venezuela’s 23 states.

The state has historically been more insulated from economic hardship because of the oil industry, but that has been walloped by U.S. sanctions targeting the OPEC member, cutting off much-needed income.

Reuters spoke with eight families who fled Zulia in the past two months because of lack of public services, medicines and jobs.

Abandoned houses and buildings are increasingly common in Maracaibo, home to 1.7 million inhabitants, according to current and former residents.

In 2018, half of households in Zulia already had at least one relative living abroad but since 2019 that number has risen to 70%, according to the Zulia Human Rights Commission (CODHEZ), a non-governmental organization.

“There are neighborhood areas with few people left,” said CODHEZ general coordinator Juan Berrios.

POWER CUTS, WATER SHORTAGES

Zulia, at the end of national transmission lines for water and electricity, suffers more frequent outages than other parts of Venezuela, residents say.

The collapse of Venezuela’s oil industry – due in part to a series of recent U.S. sanctions by the Trump administration and what critics say is state mismanagement – has led to high unemployment. Some analysts say the sanctions have exacerbated the country’s worsening economic crisis.

Even those with jobs are so poorly paid that living costs are prohibitive – especially for imported or smuggled food.

Carmen Ortega, 74, cares for her eight grandchildren with what she earns as a street cleaner.

“We’re in extreme poverty,” Ortega said at her dirt-floored home, constructed out of cans. “We have two of the girls begging on the street. They bring a bit of bread; people give them flour.”

The children’s mother is unemployed and their father has left for Colombia. Ortega said the family have to start the day without food or coffee.

“I cry at night,” she said.

Venezuela’s monthly minimum wage is equivalent to just $3. Inflation reached 631% from January through November, according to the central bank.

Approximately 850 people per week crossed to Colombia from Zulia before the coronavirus pandemic, with about half returning after making purchases of medical supplies or other goods, according to Juan Restrepo, president of the region’s largest transportation union.

Now some 2,000 people leave every week, Restrepo said: just 30% return.

The United States is the ultimate destination for many.

Under pressure from Washington to stem the rise in Venezuelans entering the United States illegally across the southern border, Mexico announced last week it will impose visa requirements for them to enter the country, though it is unclear when the measure will take effect.

LONG ROAD NORTH

Residents of Maracaibo’s poor Altos de Milagro Norte neighborhood say food shortages are ever-present and their city’s collapse is even affecting burials.

Jose Amaya’s family made a hole in their outdoor patio to bury his brother.

“The funeral home will do it all for $170 but we don’t have the resources,” he said.

The community had 2,200 residents pre-pandemic but just 1,500 remain, social worker Maria Carolina Leal said.

To get his family to Austin, Pirela sold his car and withdrew pension benefits. That was enough to send his wife Daniela Mendoza, 31, and 12-year-old daughter Paula by airplane from Colombia.

Next, he sold his appliances and took out all his savings to get himself and Daniel on a series of flights north to Monterrey, Mexico.

A people smuggler, charging him $4,400, took them to a small building housing some 30 other Venezuelan migrants, about a third of them from Maracaibo, Pirela said.

The next morning, the group was driven seven hours north to the border, hiking some fifteen minutes to cross the Rio Bravo on foot and enter the United States.

He was met by migration officials and the next day was enrolled in a Department of Homeland Security program that allows migrants’ release with an ankle monitor, handing over his passport and giving his fingerprints.

Pirela has so far had one check-in appointment with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the first in what he says may be a long process to legalize his status. His next appointment is in February.

“Now I’m with my family, the reunion was beautiful,” said Pirela, adding he what he wants most is a work permit.

“I have to wait because I want to do things right.”

(Reporting by Mariela Nava in Maracaibo, additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb and Oliver Griffin; Editing by Vivian Sequera and Aurora Ellis)

Exclusive-Mexico considers tighter entry rules for Venezuelans after U.S. requests -sources

By Alexandra Ulmer, Dave Graham and Matt Spetalnick

SAN FRANCISCO/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico is considering setting tougher entry requirements for Venezuelans, partly in response to U.S. requests, after a sharp rise in border arrests of Venezuelans fleeing their homeland, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Currently, Venezuelans do not need a visa to enter Mexico as tourists. But as apprehensions of Venezuelan migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border soar, Mexico is looking at making their entry subject to certain criteria, a Mexican official familiar with the government’s internal discussions said.

New entry rules could be applied soon, the official said.

A second Mexican government source said Mexico was reviewing its options, and holding discussions with Venezuela to explore alternatives to imposing visa requirements.

A third person familiar with Mexican-U.S. talks said Washington is urging Mexico to impose visa restrictions on Venezuelans, noting that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been complaining about the increase in Venezuelans.

Options under review include making Venezuelans show they are economically solvent and in employment, and have a return plane ticket when they enter in order to ensure they are not using Mexico to enter the United States, the first source said.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Washington was working with Mexico to address root causes of irregular migration in a “collaborative, regional approach” when asked by Reuters whether the Biden administration was pressing Mexico to tighten entry requirements for Venezuelans.

“The United States appreciates Mexico’s efforts that contribute to safe, orderly, and humane processes for migrants at and within its borders,” the spokesperson said.

The White House, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither Mexico’s foreign ministry nor Venezuela’s Information Ministry replied to a request for comment.

The discussions come as encounters of Venezuelans at the U.S.-Mexico border have leapt to 47,762 in the year through September from just 1,262 during the previous 12-month period, according to U.S. government data.

Total apprehensions of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border have hit record levels this year. That has put pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden ahead of congressional elections next November, with many voters in Texas border towns upset https://www.reuters.com/world/us/migrants-school-buses-texas-town-feels-caught-middle-2021-09-21 and Republicans accusing his administration of pursuing an “open border” policy.

One of the Mexican sources said Washington had lobbied Mexico to slow arrivals from Venezuela, but that Mexico also wanted to make sure people were not entering on false pretenses.

A fourth source, in U.S. government, said efforts to lobby Mexico to tighten entry requirements from OPEC member Venezuela had increased since Venezuelan arrivals jumped this summer, and that requests for cooperation had been made informally by diplomats and the DHS. The source said Washington was not leaning hard on Mexico.

Tighter entry rules could seriously affect migration plans of many Venezuelans, who pay smuggling networks to help them escape economic devastation under President Nicolas Maduro, who has presided over a severe financial meltdown amid heavy U.S. sanctions. Many of the Venezuelans depart with little money.

Venezuelans arriving from elsewhere in Latin America like Colombia or Chile, where they often work for a few years to save in hard currency before heading north, would likely be less exposed to requirements centering on their solvency.

Rights activists on Friday decried the potential move to restrict Venezuelan arrivals.

“Venezuelan migrants and refugees are fleeing a complex humanitarian emergency, lack of justice, an absence of freedom, and violence,” said David Smolansky, an exiled Venezuelan opposition leader who coordinates the Organization of American States’ response to Venezuela’s migration crisis. “In the face of such a situation, it is fundamental that they receive protection.”

Reuters reported in October that the Biden administration wanted Mexico to impose visa requirements on Brazilians to complicate their path to the U.S. border. And in September, Mexico suspended visa exemptions for Ecuadorians for six months following a steep increase in that country’s nationals trying to cross the U.S. border.

The U.S. government source said Biden’s aides could raise the Venezuelan migrant issue with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s delegation when he visits Washington next week for a U.S.-Mexico-Canada summit.

(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer in San Francisco, Dave Graham in Mexico City and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Additional reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco, Mica Rosenberg in New York, Vivian Sequera in Caracas and Ana Isabel Martinez in Mexico City; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)