Pandemonium in Venezuela.

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While nasty, it has been yet another experiment in authoritarian central planning. Thrift and efficiencies of markets are displaced by central planning and the economy collapses. Too keep things going the government inflates credit and currency--to the point of destruction.

Venezuela was a prosperous country, as was Germany until WW1 and then the inflation of the early 1920s destroyed the economy and middle classes.

At some point a popular uprising in Venezuela will throw off the thugs and crooks.

The popular uprising in America has been remarkable successful, but it needs more support.

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Sorry to troll but it keeps coming up.

This referencing Venezuela as a relevant world economy during the early 1900's is stretching things. Gold and Crypto spinsters continually use it as some baseline to victimize Venezuela (and other nations) for the sake of pumping the anti central bank narrative which always leads to "real money" investing in Crypto and/or Gold/Silver.

Fanning the flames of frustration comes in many forms, the most dangerous are friendly and on your side.

Sometimes politicians, sometimes military, sometimes investing, always one or the other.

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No troll.

Two references to two counties in two different time periods.

Both under the influence of extreme central planning. And both destroyed prosperity and the middle classes.

In Germany's case it opened the doors to a radical political party that promised stability.

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sooner or later the army will takeover. Democracy ruined by extreme left wing economics - again

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Venezuela's Socialist Experiment Has Failed

 

By Luke BurgessWritten Sep. 03, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which country has the largest proven oil reserves in the world?

Most folks would probably guess Saudi Arabia or some other Middle Eastern nation.

Some might guess Canada or Russia, or maybe even the United States.

But few would guess that Venezuela boasts the largest oil resources in the world.

Saudi Arabia held the top position among nations with the largest oil resources. But those resources only accounted for oil from conventional sources. When the extraction of crude from unconventional sources (like oil sands) became technologically and economically feasible, Venezuela became the top holder of oil reserves.

Venezuela boasts plenty of conventional oil resources. But the country is also home to a massive oil sands district similar to the resources found in Alberta, Canada. Venezuela's Orinoco tar sands, however, require less capital for production, and extraction costs are much lower. And there's a lot more of it.

This puts Venezuela at the top of the list of nations with oil resources. Including both conventional and unconventional sources, Venezuela actually has almost double the proven oil reserves of Canada.

Countries With Highest Proven Oil Reserves

1   Venezuela — 297.6 billion barrels

2   Saudi Arabia — 267.9 billion barrels

3   Canada — 173.1 billion barrels

4   Iran — 154.4 billion barrels

5   Iraq — 141.4 billion barrels

With such a treasure trove of perhaps the most important commodity on the planet, the nation should be doing well.

Heck, with such a resource, Venezuela should be doing fantastic.

But the socialist administrations of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro have steered the country into chaos, with misguided government and central bank actions during the rise and fall of oil prices in the past two decades.

More than 95% of Venezuela's export earnings are from oil revenue. The country basically exports nothing else.

That means when oil prices are high, the money rolls in, and everyone's happy because the economy is great. And the answer to a windfall in profit in the socialist regime was to redistribute the resources via government spending on things ranging from job-producing infrastructure projects to social welfare.

That was from 2011 to mid-2014 for Venezuela, with oil prices near $100 per barrel.

But when oil prices crash, as they did later in 2014, the money begins to dry up. The economy comes to a grinding slowdown. People get laid off. And then everyone becomes unhappy.

The socialist government's answer to spurring the economy is essentially the same as the answer to dealing with windfall: redistribute the resources via government spending on things ranging from job-producing infrastructure projects to social welfare.

But the experiment has failed. And as a result, Venezuela has racked up a massive debt, devalued its currency into oblivion causing hyperinflation, and left the country in economic and social ruin with shortages of necessities like food, medicine, and water.

In an effort to curb inflation, the central bank recently cut five zeros from the bolivar. What was 100,000 bolivar became 1 bolivar. Before that, a pound of tomatoes cost more than 2 million bolivar (about US$0.76).

In what seemed like a desperate move, Maduro recently introduced a new cryptocurrency to help support the failing economic system. The cryptocurrency, called Petro, is backed by the nation's oil reserves.

At first the crypto crowd praised the Venezuelan government for taking steps to normalize cryptocurrency as a legitimate asset.

But now Maduro's administration has ordered that banks must adopt the Petro as a unit of account. And the Petro is looking more like government-mandated extortion than a cryptocurrency.

In what seems like another desperate move, the Venezuelan government now hopes to shield the country's economy from continued inflation with a plan of selling mini gold ingots.

The 1.5 g. and 2.5 g. small ingots are to be made from locally mined metal. However, purchasers will not actually receive any physical gold bullion. Instead, they will be issued certificates that represent ownership.

It's unlikely that many people will be clamoring to buy Maduro's gold paper. His administration is highly distrusted and disliked among the Venezuelan people. Heck, Maduro just survived an assassination attempt a few weeks ago.

On top of that, people are eating their pets to stay alive. If they had a bunch of cash, they'd leave the country.

Despite having the world's largest and most valuable oil resource, Venezuela is sinking into utter chaos. Misguided government and central bank actions of the socialist administrations since 1999 set Venezuela up for economic failure. And now the chicken has home to roost.

What we're seeing is one of the biggest national busts in history. We'll be on a sharp lookout for rising opportunities.

Until next time,

Luke Burgess

 

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Until there are people willing to die for their freedom, nothing will be accomplished. The existing political structure was elected by the people of Venezuela. The ballot box is no longer valid. As the people flee the country they should be fed for two weeks, Trained to aim and fire a weapon and sent back home with two weeks rations, a rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Many will die. That is the cost of freedom.

But what I hear is the refugees want to go home, keep the "stuff" Chavez promised them, and it be someone else that does it for them. I truly believe the people of Venezuela do not deserve to be rescued from the impending disaster. They voted for this. When the police commander Oscar Perez was surrounded and knew he would be killed, who rushed to his aid?

No one.

Perez was a man who believed in something larger than himself and paid the ultimate price for it. His fellow citizens did and do not believe in something larger than themselves. Even the Jews in Warsaw understood their stand in 1944 would probably result in their deaths, but they died believing in something. They only had sidearms and gas bombs but they attacked Hard to die for believing one is owed something.  

When the citizens of a country allow someone like this to be killed by the government and not rise up they deserve what is coming to them.  Weapons can be found. Until the Madero government fears its people, there will be no changes. and none deserved.

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I have learned and would share that there is an active entrepreneurial smuggling fleet of small boats running from the Eastern part of Venezuela up to Trinidad.  These are small boats of perhaps 20 feet in length, open, with two outboards on the back.  They run North to Trinidad with sacks of coal; coal is mined in Venezuela and is in demand in Trinidad, and is readily portable in 40-lb and 50-lb sacks.  The smugglers arrive, pay the proper bribe, and then go exchange that coal in the marketplace for food, cooking oil, even Colgate toothpaste, then head back home.  The ship captain charges each participating smuggler $2.50 for the trip.  the big problem is that pirates have figured out that the smugglers are carrying food and money and they go intercept the smugglers, rob them, even take off the outboard engines, leaving the boat to drift helplessly at sea, until the captain and his guests die.  Sometimes the pirates take the goods and kill the smugglers just for sport. 

Now the Venezuelan "coast guard" is in the act, patrolling the sea lanes. If you want to get past them you pay a bribe, and even then the coast guard can rob you and put you in jail.  Altogether, a risk-prone path to feeding a nation.  

There have been comments posted here on the idea that there are or should be indigenous politicians who can stand up to Maduro.  I think this is optimistic.  I have learned that Maduro has instituted "exit visas" to leave the country - which Maduro then does not issue. He learned this trick from the Cubans.  I recall being stranded in Havana for two weeks in order to secure a "Permiso de salida."  The Cubans have converted their island into a big jail, and their "intelligence agents" thugs have exported that tactic of total control to Maduro  (no surprise there).  So, if you are an Opposition Leader, you cannot flee to the USA or anywhere else, and if you stay, then Maduro's assassins will kill you.  

Does not exactly inspire much confidence in the future, now does it?

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Further background reading, 2 of the articles are current while some of them are admittedly from 1 year ago and one of them being as old as six years, but there are large political, financial, oil trading, and military facts cited which lend necessary background to where Venezuela is today:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-44698122

The next one uncovers some risk that any force landing on the coast might face in the early days.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-arms-manpads/exclusive-venezuela-holds-5000-russian-surface-to-air-manpads-missiles-idUSKBN18I0E9

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/06/venezuelas-road-to-disaster-is-littered-with-chinese-cash/

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/18/venezuelas-maduro-to-provide-guns-to-400000-loyalists-amid-peaking-tension.html

https://www.americasquarterly.org/Marcella

 

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First of all i am not propagating for capitalism or socialism but am just articulating the facts. We cannot blame socialism for the collapse of Venezuelan economy, Remember Venezuela was not the only country in South America who embraced this twenty first century socialism. In Countries like Ecuador under Rafael Correa & Bolivia under Evo Morales this socialism has done exceptional well. These two countries were fastest growing economies in the whole region of South America, they grew faster even compared to countries like Uruguay and Peru who embraced pure neoliberalism( free market capitalism). So if this socialism has worked in Ecuador and Bolivia, this shows that we cannot blame it for the failure of Venezuelan economy, hence there might be other factors that might have led to the collapse of Venezuelan economy e.g US sanctions that were imposed to Venezuela.

Unless we are lazy to think or biased we can ignore the success of socialism in Ecuador & Bolivia and come to that shallow conclusion, that socialism is the one responsible for the failure of Venezuela's economy. If Socialism is responsible for the failure of Venezuelan economy it must also be responsible for the success of the economies of Ecuador and Bolivia( no double standards). It is unfair for us to conclude that socialism is bad by only considering its failures while we ignore its achievements. Bear in mind i am not promoting Socialism or Capitalism, I believe that the world is very complex, therefore there is no single theory whether Socialism or Capitalism that can solve all problems. All theories are partially and to solve problems in this complex world we need to combine them. Below is the list of achievements of socialism in Ecuador under president Rafael Correa.     

 

  • Annual per capita GDP growth during the past decade (2006–2016) was 1.5 percent, as compared to 0.6 percent over the prior 26 years.

  • The poverty rate declined by 38 percent, and extreme poverty by 47 percent ― a reduction many times larger than that of the previous decade. This resulted from economic growth and employment, and from government programs that helped the poor, such as the cash transfer program Bono de Desarollo Humano, which more than doubled in size as a percent of GDP.

  • Inequality fell substantially, as measured by the Gini coefficient (from 0.55 to 0.47), or by the ratio of the top 10 percent to the bottom 10 percent of the income distribution (from 36 to 25, as of 2012).

  • The government doubled social spending, as a percentage of GDP, from 4.3 percent in 2006 to 8.6 percent in 2016. This included large increases in spending on education, health, and urban development and housing.

  • There were significant gains in education enrollment at various levels, as spending on higher education increased from 0.7 to 2.1 percent of GDP. This is the highest level of government spending on higher education in Latin America, and higher than the average of the OECD countries.

  • Government expenditure on health services doubled as a percentage of GDP from 2006 to 2016. 

  • Public investment increased from 4 percent of GDP in 2006 to 14.8 percent in 2013, before falling to about 10 percent of GDP in 2016.

 

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3 hours ago, Bathandwa Zini said:

We cannot blame socialism for the collapse of Venezuelan economy,

Absolutely correct. Populism, taken advantage of by corrupt politicians and folks voting fantastical promises that can't happen. 

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(edited)

6 hours ago, Curtis Stewart said:

Until there are people willing to die for their freedom, nothing will be accomplished. The existing political structure was elected by the people of Venezuela. The ballot box is no longer valid. As the people flee the country they should be fed for two weeks, Trained to aim and fire a weapon and sent back home with two weeks rations, a rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Many will die. That is the cost of freedom.

But what I hear is the refugees want to go home, keep the "stuff" Chavez promised them, and it be someone else that does it for them. I truly believe the people of Venezuela do not deserve to be rescued from the impending disaster. They voted for this. When the police commander Oscar Perez was surrounded and knew he would be killed, who rushed to his aid?

No one.

Perez was a man who believed in something larger than himself and paid the ultimate price for it. His fellow citizens did and do not believe in something larger than themselves. Even the Jews in Warsaw understood their stand in 1944 would probably result in their deaths, but they died believing in something. They only had sidearms and gas bombs but they attacked Hard to die for believing one is owed something.  

When the citizens of a country allow someone like this to be killed by the government and not rise up they deserve what is coming to them.  Weapons can be found. Until the Madero government fears its people, there will be no changes. and none deserved.

An assassination attempt on "El Presidente" via drones laden with C4 earlier in August (first weekend) during a military parade. Rounding up those responsible "the usual suspects" has kept the POLICIA & military busy.

Maduro went on State TV some hours after the attack, claiming it was a "conspired" effort of the Colombian & U.S. government interests, and financed via private interest(s) in Florida. I doubt it came from Miami's "Litttle Habana".

SOMEBODY, however had the "cojones" to make the attempt.

There are more guns in Caracas than NYC.

While I would prefer to see peaceful change, and government " by the BALLOT, not the BULLET", it remains to be seen what direction this will take.

~ "Don"t cry for me, Argentina" ~ Evita ~ ( JUAN MORE had his turn also)

~ Allende in Chile

~ GOMEZ, tyrant of the Andes

When the people of Venezuela are ready, it will all be over with, after the smoke has cleared, but the crying.

 

 

 

Edited by Glenn Ellis
SPELLING
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On 8/28/2018 at 10:32 AM, zbest1966 said:

I wonder will US become the next Venezuelans in the future example market crash etc. 

why would it be? we are not electing socialists, except on college campuses and new york city

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4 hours ago, John Foote said:

Absolutely correct. Populism, taken advantage of by corrupt politicians and folks voting fantastical promises that can't happen. 

populism did not create the venezuelan disaster, a socialist dictator and nationalizing the industries did

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On 8/30/2018 at 6:31 PM, NickW said:

I always counter the argument that 'far right' is fascist. Far right would be libertarian / minimal government activity in the economy except perhaps defence, courts, police etc.

If you look at Nazi Germany it was essentially a left wing, centrally controlled, authoritarian regime with a heavy dose of corporate socialism (large corporations patronised by the state). Pretty much the direction the EUSSR is heading towards presently.

Very interesting point: "Pretty much the direction the EUSSR is heading towards presently". Whats interesting is that there is an EU President who came from nowhere (OK a very tiny country, Luxembourg) to be "Il Presidente". The HQ of the entire ramshackle Federal State is in a tiny country which doesn't actually have a government of its own (well, the last time I looked it didn't), Belgium. The second HQ of the EU is in Strasbourg in LBF* - where?. The head of the European Commission is  a Polak (like me) and you would have thought that he would still have memories of the Soviet empire (as I do). And the puppet strings are being pulled from Berlin and Paris.

Since I come from the UK (immigrant father) I am very well aware of the use of "smoke snd mirrors" as a means of making things look OK when in fact they are rather different, sooooooo, the EU looks to me like the house that Jack built - and mainly out of playing cards.

However, back to the Venezuela debacle. Never been there, its on my list to go there. Hope a way can be found to get rid of the rot at the top and stabilise the place fast.

As an aside I went to Angola about 18 years ago. The currency then (Quanza) was in free fall, the civil war was staggering on and the country (its a stunning place with some very nice people) was bolluxed. everyone was armed, so it wasn't safe anywhere, since any polemical discussion was likely to be settled by shooting (even the receptionist at the Continental hotel had an AK).

Lets hope a way can be found to pull Venezuela out of its downward spiral.

 

*La Belle France

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21 hours ago, Curtis Stewart said:

Until there are people willing to die for their freedom, nothing will be accomplished. The existing political structure was elected by the people of Venezuela. The ballot box is no longer valid. As the people flee the country they should be fed for two weeks, Trained to aim and fire a weapon and sent back home with two weeks rations, a rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Many will die. That is the cost of freedom.

But what I hear is the refugees want to go home, keep the "stuff" Chavez promised them, and it be someone else that does it for them. I truly believe the people of Venezuela do not deserve to be rescued from the impending disaster. They voted for this. When the police commander Oscar Perez was surrounded and knew he would be killed, who rushed to his aid?

No one.

Perez was a man who believed in something larger than himself and paid the ultimate price for it. His fellow citizens did and do not believe in something larger than themselves. Even the Jews in Warsaw understood their stand in 1944 would probably result in their deaths, but they died believing in something. They only had sidearms and gas bombs but they attacked Hard to die for believing one is owed something.  

When the citizens of a country allow someone like this to be killed by the government and not rise up they deserve what is coming to them.  Weapons can be found. Until the Madero government fears its people, there will be no changes. and none deserved.

guess that depends on whos version of freedom

I dont think the USA is anywhere near free as people preach, one cant do anything without permission (permit), the taxes are stupid high, cost of living is stupid high, corporations are practically polite plantation owners and now you cant even decide what medical care is best for yourself or your family if the doctor or hospital feels like pushing things legal against your wishes

perhaps its better to deal with an event like venezuela is, as opposed to the slow poisoning in the usa atm

which makes me sad btw because I'm a supportive citizen of my home state Michigan but wont support all the subtle corruptions that too often get covered with a flag and big fake words

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On 9/1/2018 at 7:18 PM, TXPower said:

The Venezuelans must shed their own blood and treasure first and demonstrate they are all in for freedom from socialist repression and truly want our assistance in their own fight for self determination before we commit to force.

^this

because of this...

On 9/1/2018 at 8:51 PM, Rodent said:

I might be extremely irritated. In fact I might be hostile and aggressive.

Pride, If you don't have enough it's difficult, maybe impossible to succeed. 

Pride, Too much and it it prohibits good things from happening.  Do the Japanese understand it better than others, with their tradition of "saving face?"    

On 9/1/2018 at 7:18 PM, TXPower said:

self determination

Self-determination are excellent words TX, thank you.

From the time a human baby can begin to communicate, it's saying, " I want to be independent" or, "self-determination." Fight that human instinct if you want, but it is powerful and truly diminishes the chance for a successful rescue without it.

 

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11 hours ago, mcambl61 said:

why would it be? we are not electing socialists, except on college campuses and new york city

"We" almost did.  And don't forget California!

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22 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

Further background reading, 2 of the articles are current while some of them are admittedly from 1 year ago and one of them being as old as six years, but there are large political, financial, oil trading, and military facts cited which lend necessary background to where Venezuela is today:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-44698122

The next one uncovers some risk that any force landing on the coast might face in the early days.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-arms-manpads/exclusive-venezuela-holds-5000-russian-surface-to-air-manpads-missiles-idUSKBN18I0E9

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/06/venezuelas-road-to-disaster-is-littered-with-chinese-cash/

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/18/venezuelas-maduro-to-provide-guns-to-400000-loyalists-amid-peaking-tension.html

https://www.americasquarterly.org/Marcella

 

Excellent points of reference Dan, regardless of timeline.

Those whom advocate "intervention" on "humanitarian" grounds should take heed to every article.

I am living proof, they will shoot at an unarmed cargo plane, regardless of the mission. Even a "BERLIN AIRLIFT" style operation to Caracas, or other cities large and small, would have the risks of being shot down by shoulder fired missiles.

Sending medicine and food via ship, invites disaster as well.

It never fails to amaze me, that people are always quick to "jump in", the worlds trouble spots, as long as its someone else's son or daughter, doing the jumping.

 

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This is a glaring current look into the utopia called socialism.  You vote for free health care, free food, money each month for not working and living off one industry that produces only one commodity - oil.  When the government confiscated the industry and puts in their cronies to run It- Venezuela is what you get.  No medicine, no food and no money.  Congratulations, you got what you voted for.

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15 minutes ago, Glenn Ellis said:

Excellent points of reference Dan, regardless of timeline.

Those whom advocate "intervention" on "humanitarian" grounds should take heed to every article.

I am living proof, they will shoot at an unarmed cargo plane, regardless of the mission. Even a "BERLIN AIRLIFT" style operation to Caracas, or other cities large and small, would have the risks of being shot down by shoulder fired missiles.

Sending medicine and food via ship, invites disaster as well.

It never fails to amaze me, that people are always quick to "jump in", the worlds trouble spots, as long as its someone else's son or daughter, doing the jumping.

 

Hi Glenn. 

Yes, there were some eye openers in that bit of reading I did over the weekend.  Interestingly, my search started out looking for Chinese influence, and specifically trying to find an article I had read sometime back about China sending guns (which I did not find).  Any way you slice the situation, though, it is frustrating to say the least that more isn't being done.  Reality sucks sometimes.

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(edited)

13 minutes ago, Jo Mack said:

This is a glaring current look into the utopia called socialism.  You vote for free health care, free food, money each month for not working and living off one industry that produces only one commodity - oil.  When the government confiscated the industry and puts in their cronies to run It- Venezuela is what you get.  No medicine, no food and no money.  Congratulations, you got what you voted for.

Actually, Chavez & Maduro sold the people a bill of goods, then turned the tables and lined their own pockets @ the public's expense.

"Never underestimate the other guy's GREED"

"When the GREED exceeds the NEED, people are always a victim of their OWN GREED>"

The Oil Traders & Speculators should take HEED>>>>>>>>>>>.

Edited by Glenn Ellis
CAPITALIZATION
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Jose:  What in your opinion are the role of China and their agreements to pre-purchase oil from the former government?  

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28 minutes ago, Frank Wylie said:

Jose:  What in your opinion are the role of China and their agreements to pre-purchase oil from the former government?  

First of all I have to say WOW! great discussion and interest from y'all, thanks a lot for your ideas and thoughts, left or right, good or bad, all of them necessary in my view to find ways to try to give Venezuela some meaning since the whole situation is extremely chaotic, we almost close to live like the FLintstones im not kidding, and i always say this Venezuela in many ways deserved it, since we did not have much interest in politics and ideology and now we derived into this shamble, definitely we need a change of the whole social contract and political dynamics. And also our relationship with economics in the country and reform our entire system and dependency on oil. Regarding China, i will sum this up and this is if China starts charging and suing Venezuela for all its debts to Beijing and stops for good any further loans to maduro, then no need for any U.S. intervention. Period. And also Russia needs to join this strategy, but i dont think this might be for now, at the very least. 

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2 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

Hi Glenn. 

Yes, there were some eye openers in that bit of reading I did over the weekend.  Interestingly, my search started out looking for Chinese influence, and specifically trying to find an article I had read sometime back about China sending guns (which I did not find).  Any way you slice the situation, though, it is frustrating to say the least that more isn't being done.  Reality sucks sometimes.

China's influence in Venezuela has been all about oil, housing and money, tons of money and through this, it has Venezuela almost mortgaged and definitely to its knees. Beijing can do with Venezuela whatever it wants to whenever it wants to. 

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