Category Archives: Venezuela

Venezuelan Gold Business

(Orlando Wilson) After the United States and the Venezuelan oppositions failed coup attempt on the Government of Nicolas Maduro on April 30th, 2019, life went back to normal in the chaos of Venezuela. Not only has life gone back to normal, but for many in the world of organized crime and trafficking, things are booming. The Narcos and the traffickers also know that as long as they pay their dues and cooperate with the Maduro Government, they are untouchable by law enforcement be it from the United States or Western Europe.

The trafficking routes established between the coastal towns – and organized crime hubs – of Guiria and Macuro in Sucre State, Venezuela and the coastal towns of Chaguaramas and Woodbrook in Trinidad & Tobago is a blatant example of how unconcealed the trafficking is. Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago are on 6.8 miles apart at their closest point!

The kidnapping of women aged between 14 years to 25 years is on the rise all over Venezuela, and in Trinidad & Tobago they pay up to 1.000 USD$ per woman. The human trafficking business in Venezuela is controlled by the Bolivarian Intelligence and Bolivarian National Guard. They have found that controlling human trafficking is an easy and profitable way of making money.

The Venezuelan drug trafficking business is booming between the coastal towns in Sucre State and Trinidad & Tobago. Venezuelan Coast Guard, Bolivarian National Guard, Bolivarian Intelligence and Military Intelligence are all profiting as are members of the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard and political figures.

It’s understood the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard is not well equipped, it lacks manpower but is corrupt. They intercept boats with illegal immigrants coming from Venezuela but do not touch or chase the ones carrying drugs and women that will be working or sold as prostitutes.

The Venezuelan Narco traffickers are also opening up routes farther south with the city of Nieuw Nickerie in Suriname becoming a hub for traffickers from Sucre State and Delta Amacuro state.

Gold Trafficking

Venezuela’s third-largest export is gold, and the country’s gold production is controlled by the military. Reuters reported that officially 20 tons of national reserve gold and 23 tons of mined gold were taken to Istanbul, Turkey in 2018. In November 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to “ban U.S. persons from dealing with entities and individuals involved with ‘corrupt or deceptive’ gold sales from Venezuela.”

Since the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela and due to the dilapidated state of the oil industry, the Venezuelan government, with the help of organized crime groups, have found the gold business a nice and quick way of making money.

Gold miners killed by rivals in Bolívar state… SEBIN Commandos were the first on the scene after the killings…

Click to view slideshow.

In 2016 the Venezuelan government foreseeing economic and political problems in the future created the Arco Minero del Orinoco that covers the states of BolívarAmazonas and Delta Amacuro. The area covered by the Arco Minero del Orinoco is rich in mineral resources; experts estimate 7,000 tons of gold, copper, diamonds, uranium, coltan, iron, bauxite and other mineral reserves. Environmental and human rights groups immediately raised concerns about the potential destruction and pollution of the environment and the exploitation of those who would be working in and supporting the mining operations.

At the moment the main areas of activity are El CallaoTumeremo and Las Cristinas in Bolívar State and the main commodity is gold. The area covered by Arco Minero del Orinoco can be classed as one of the most lawless, dangerous and corrupt places on earth. Nothing that happens there is clean, life is cheap, the money is dirty, and business is booming.

The Venezuelan soldier in the below photos was caught stealing gold by the criminal gang “Pranes’. The took out his eyes and chopped his hands off.

Click to view slideshow.

The main players overseeing the Venezuelan gold business are the usual suspects… President Nicolas Maduro, his son Nicolás Maduro Guerra and his wife Cilia Flores. Two of Cilia Flores’ nephews were arrested in Haiti in 2015 by the U.S. DEA, on drug trafficking charges and sentenced to 18 years in U.S. prison. There is Tareck El Aissami who is wanted by the US authorities, a serving Venezuelan politician, the Minister of Industries and National Production, and also reportedly a Hezbollah liaison. And then, of course, there is the GNB (Bolivarian National Guard)FANB (Bolivarian army and Bolivarian navy) and SEBIN (National Intelligence Service).

Other players and foot soldiers in the Venezuelan gold business include:

  • Colombian guerrillas: They operate will the full support from the Venezuelan regime; it’s believed that there are more than 2.000 well-armed and well-equipped guerrilla members performing security activities and gold extraction in Bolívar state. The direct order (coming from President Maduro) to the Bolivarian Armed Forces, is to support and help them in everything, weapons, ammunition, uniforms, vehicles and even transporting them on helicopters that belong to the Air Force or Army. Every single military base in Bolívar state has the order to assist and shelter guerrilla group members.
  • Venezuelan gang members: Gang members form such groups as Pranes are into almost every dirty way of making money; extortion, killing, kidnapping, drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc. And now they are into the gold business with the blessing from high-up officials from the Venezuelan regime. They’re responsible for at least 1.000 murders just in Bolívar state. Since last year, the Colombian guerrillas have been taking over their territory, which is turning the situation into a medium scale war.
  • Local gold mafia: The gold business in Bolívar state is old and established. Most of the businessmen from Bolívar state trade in gold, they’re well-armed, but they prefer to stay low profile. You can see them and their people at their gold shops in almost every single town and Puerto Ordaz city.
  • Syrian nationals: Recently, many people from Syria have been moving to Venezuela and establishing themselves in Bolívar state and the gold business; they come will full support from Tareck El Aissami.
  • Hezbollah: Hezbollah is performing activities related to gold extraction and trafficking. The terrorist group has a large international network and is making a lot of money in Venezuela; the gold ends up in Turkey, UAE, and even Syria.

Syrian gold dealers in Bolívar state, Venezuela

Mixed in with these groups are the Chinese, Turks, and Russians who are operating in the Venezuelan gold business and trying to stay clean and out of the turf wars. The Venezuelan gold is being trafficked regionally by air or river into Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, and Suriname where it can be mixed in and marked as locally produced and then moved internationally to Turkey, Tanzania, and UAE, etc. Russians are also a common sight in certain Caracas neighborhoods.

Most of Bolívar and the neighboring States are covered in jungle, and thick forest and the only way of getting into many towns is by air. The bush pilots in the area the best-paid pilots in Venezuela, all they do is fly logistics, food, weapons, gold, prostitutes, medicines and anything else needed.

Venezuelan gold business brings with it chaos, crime, kidnapping, murder, well-armed gang members and guerrillas but it’s booming because of the vast amount of money that is being made by those involved. The profits from the Venezuelan gold business go to sustain the affluent lifestyles of those in the upper echelons but also to corrupt officials and influential people in the region and internationally that can help facilitate criminal industry which these days is Venezuela’s main export.

Source: by Orlando Wilson | Truth Only Has A Few Friends

Lindsey Graham Asks Trump To Invade Venezuela: ‘Do It Like Reagan Did’ In Grenada

Likely frustrated over the fact that the crisis in Venezuela has by and large retreated from the headlines over the past weeks following the failed US-backed coup attempt against Maduro at the end of April, Sen. Lindsey Graham went on one of his characteristic jingoistic rants during a Fox News Sunday appearance.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/invasion%20of%20Grenada.jpg?itok=yTxm2mc7

Historical file photo of Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada invasion, 1983

The well-known hawk from South Carolina directly appealed to Trump to initiate a US invasion akin to the one executed by Ronald Reagan in Grenada back in 1983.

Continue reading

Simon Bolivar Bridge On The Colombian-Venezuelan Border: People fleeing the economic crises, desperate to find food & medication

The UN population disruption and replacement program rages on. Incredible video clip…

Venezuela’s Maduro Admits Socialist Model Has Failed

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro admitted that his socialist economic model has “failed” amid food and medicine shortages as well as a failing infrastructure highlighted by Tuesday’s power failure to 80% of Caracas.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/maduro%20pointing.jpg?itok=HtzNiVHdThe goal of Socialism is Communism

Compounding matters is the IMF’s Weimar-topping hyperinflation forecast of 1,000,000% by year end, and a GDP set to plummet 18% this year, as the government continues to simply print money to in hopes of filling the void of what was once the country’s economy.

“The production models we’ve tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours,” Maduro told his ruling PSUV party congress. “Enough with the whining… we need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power.

“No more whining, I want solutions comrades!”

No word on whether he took a bite of an empanada during his speech while his country starves on the “Maduro diet” – a phrase coined after Venezuela’s notorious food shortages gave rise to mass starvation across the country. Not even the donkeys are safe. 

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/food%20line%20vene.jpg?itok=_O39NjSV

Meanwhile:

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/maduro%20eating%20banana.jpg?itok=ICn7t-73

Venezuela’s socialist government has nationalized a wide swath of industries across the country over the past several years, such as steel and cement plants, food processing, distribution and more. In order to try and control inflation, the country has fixed prices on various goods while imposing tight regulations surrounding foreign exchange. 

I estimate it will take about two years to reach a high level of stability and see the first symptoms of new and economic prosperity, without for one second affecting social security and protection,” added the president.

Maduro plans to increase oil production to “six million barrels a day by 2025 or before,” amid a crash in output from a high of 3.2 million barrels a day in 2008 to just 1.5 million this year, a 30-year low. Venezuela’s crude oil sales comprise approximately 96% of the country’s revenue. 

The economic crisis has hit so hard that the public transport system has almost ground to a halt, with the government and local councils offering free rides in unsafe and uncomfortable pick-up trucks — branded “kennels” by users — after many bus service providers couldn’t afford to keep their vehicles on the road.

Maduro, who blames Venezuela’s woes on an “economic war” waged by the United States, called on PSUV supporters to help kick-start production and resist US “aggression.” –France24

Washington, meanwhile, has imposed financial sanctions against Maduro’s government, along with state-owned oil company PDVSA.  

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s industrial sector is operating at just 30% capacity, as illustrated by the farming sector, which now provides just a quarter of national consumption, after providing 75% just a few years ago according to the National Farmers Federation. 

This should all make for some interesting debate questions during the next US elections, as Democratic Socialists have become the “new face” of the left. Just don’t ask any questions about economics or logistics…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/ocasio%20face.jpg?itok=kHIGKScs

Source: ZeroHedge

We Loot Or We Die Of Hunger In Venezuela

As the country’s economic problems mount, towns and cities have been hit by an outbreak of looting and violence.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/c5aba941bf9af117e12040acc0ae91a58dfa2112/0_117_3500_2100/master/3500.jpg?w=620&q=20&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&dpr=2&s=4e2685bd5b614954bf9a3886f4885638Amid desperate food shortages Venezuelans are picking up new survival skills.

 

Venezuelan Soldier Kills Pregnant Woman Waiting For Her Christmas Food Ration

https://i2.wp.com/static3.businessinsider.com/image/5310c92decad04be055385c2-1200-924/food-line-in-venezuela-san-cristobal.jpg

Venezuelans have been experiencing high inflation, mass shortages of food and other goods at the hands of government for years, with no end in sight.

A Venezuelan soldier who shot dead a pregnant woman on Christmas Eve has been arrested.

Alexandra Conopoi, 18, was killed as she waited for subsidized pork that the government had promised to millions for a traditional Christmas dinner.

It happened as protests broke out when people realized there would not be enough meat for everyone in line.

President Nicolás Maduro accused foreign countries of blocking food exports in order to create discontent, despite the fact the Venezuela Government is chronically behind on paying for imported food.

The soldier has been identified as David José Rebolledo Cortez.

Source: BBC News

Petrodollar Demise Is Reshaping The Geopolitical World


In the early 1970s President Richard Nixon instigated two changes that had profound effects. The first of these was taking United States off the gold standard; i.e. henceforth US dollars would no longer be convertible to Gold. Ordinarily this might have been expected to have significant ramifications for the value of the US dollar.

Deleterious effects however, were avoided by another equally profound change. Nixon’s National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger negotiated an agreement with Saudi Arabia that henceforth all oil (initially from Saudi Arabia but rapidly extended to all OPEC countries) would be traded only in US dollars, the birth of the so called petrodollar.

https://i0.wp.com/www.activistpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/petrodollar.jpg?zoom=2

It was a classic mafia style arrangement. In exchange for Saudi Arabia’s agreement to the sole use of the dollar for oil transactions, the US underwrote Saudi Arabia’s security thereby ensuring the continuity of one of the world’s most corrupt and repressive regimes.

Also unknown at the time, the US and Saudi Arabia entered an arrangement whereby Islamist terrorist groups (as long as they were Sunni) would be financed by Saudi Arabia and armed by the Americans and then used in pursuit of US geopolitical goals. Operation Cyclone, begun under the Carter administration in the 1970s was an early forerunner of this tactic, but it has been refined and utilized in different formats in a wide number of countries ever since.

https://whiskeytangotexas.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/08fe6-king-isis.jpg

The objective was always fundamentally the same: to undermine and if necessary replace governments that were insufficiently compliant with US geopolitical aims. As and when necessary, US troops and their “coalition” allies would be inserted into the target countries. The destruction of Afghanistan (2001 and continuing) Iraq (2003 and continuing) Libya (2011 and continuing) are only three of the better-known examples.

The huge financial cost of these military and geopolitical ventures did not impose a proper price upon the US because of the hegemonic role of the US dollar. The US, in effect, had their multiple wars of choice paid for by other countries as the dollar’s role in world trade created a constant demand for US Treasury bonds.

The role of the US dollar also permitted the US to impose sanctions on recalcitrant countries. The selective nature of the sanctions, always directed toward a US geopolitical or commercial advantage, were clearly an instrument of repressive power. Notwithstanding claims that they were to “punish” the alleged misconduct of the specified country, their actually use betrayed their geopolitical purpose.

https://whiskeytangotexas.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/e25f0-hqdefault.jpg

Sanctions against Russia for its” invasion” of Ukraine “annexation” of Crimea, and against Iran for its “nuclear program” are two of the better known illustrations of sanctions being justified on spurious grounds..

The use and abuse of the dollar’s power is clearly unacceptable, but the capacity to invoke countermeasures was until quite recently severely limited. The single most important countervailing force is the rise of China as the economic powerhouse of the world, and importantly, the creation of alternative structures in trade, finance and security, that translate China’s economic power into a force for major change.

That change is assisted by the number of collateral developments. In 1990, the G7 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and UK) had a combined GDP approximately six times greater then the seven economically most important emerging nations (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and South Korea).

By 2013 the “emerging seven” had surpassed the G7’s GDP total and according to the IMF’s estimates for 2017, the GDP of the two groups will be $47 .5 trillion and $37.8 trillion for the emerging seven and the G7 respectively. Turkey, which is growing at 5% per annum, has replaced Mexico in the top emerging seven.

BRICS, which contains four of the emerging seven nations and the Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO), which includes China, India and Russia, are working together on the architecture of a monetary alternative to the dollar. The SCO alone contains 42% of the world’s population.

India’s role in BRICS and the SCO is one reason it is being assiduously cultivated by Australia, Japan and the United States in an attempt to set up a “quadrilateral four” to slow and undermine the role of China and Russia in creating an alternative to longstanding western domination and exploitation.

It was in this context that Russia’s President Putin at the recent BRICS meeting in Xiamen, China said that

“Russia shares the BRICS countries concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies.”

This speech developed a theme that Putin had developed in an article published prior to the BRICS meeting. Putin bluntly vowed to destroy the US led financial system, aiming to reform a system that gives excessive domination to a limited number of reserve (i.e. predominantly western) currencies.

China has developed a new Cross Border Interbank Payments System (CIPS) to replace the US dominated SWIFT system, itself used as a tool for financial bullying by the US. Russia has also taken steps to insulate itself from the ill effects of being excluded from SWIFT.

Other major changes are also occurring. Venezuela, with the world’s largest known oil reserves, has ceased accepting payment in US dollars. In the past US retaliation through regime change would have been immediate as happened to Libya’s Gaddafi (confirmed by Clinton’s leaked emails) and the Iraq’s Saddam Hussein who had announced that he would henceforth accept payment in euros and not dollars.

China and Qatar recently concluded a $50 billion deal denominated in Yuan. There were immediate threats and absurd demands from Saudi Arabia, undoubtedly acting as the voice of the US administration, but nothing more serious. The lack of military intervention or attempted regime change was probably attributable to Turkey’s military intervention, a series of agreements with Iran, and the probable implied threat of Chinese intervention should the Saudis further demonstrate their military incompetence (as in Yemen) by anything as rash as direct military moves against Qatar.

Saudi Arabia is rapidly reaching a crunch point in its relationship with China, a huge purchaser of Saudi Arabia’s oil. It is widely known that China wants future oil contracts denominated in Yuan. The attraction for Saudi Arabia is that the Chinese guarantee their Yuan with gold traded on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges. Ironically, this puts China in the same position as the United States prior to Nixon’s withdrawal from the gold backed dollar.

The dilemma for the Saudis is that if they comply with the Chinese demands they risk losing the Americans underwriting their security. US instigated regime change in Saudi Arabia is a very real possibility and the recent maneuverings by Mohammad bin Salman to consolidate his power can be interpreted as a response to that possibility.

Typically, the western media focused on relative trivialities, such as women being able to drive motor vehicles from 2018 (in limited circumstances), rather than examining the underlying geopolitical power struggle.

The other major development worth mentioning in this context is the rapid increase in the number of countries doing deals with China using the Yuan or their own national currencies as the medium of exchange. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, currently involving 65 nations, will undoubtedly accelerate this trend. Russia and China are already each other’s critically important trading partners and all agreements between them are being denominated in either Yuan or Rubles.

It would be naïve to assume that this is all going to occur without a massive rear guard action by the Americans who know full well that their ability to defy economic logic is only possible because of the dollar’s unique role, allowing in turn military interventions to prop up their now rapidly declining power.

The United States’ aggressive and provocative actions in the South China Sea, North Korea, Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere our best interpreted as the flailing’s of a declining empire. The real question is will the United States accept the disappearance of the unique power that it has wielded since the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944 and adjust its policies accordingly, or destroy us all in their attempts to recapture a lost world.

By James Oneill | New Eastern Outlook