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To recap, United States declares Majority leader of Venezuela's legislative branch Guaido as interim president. Guaido is in opposition to Maduro,  he announces new election. Maduro does the wild naw bruv and tells the United States to fuck off in 2 days, like you gotta find another place to stay this isnt your house. America says naw b, we stayin and all your fucking homies have our backs, and advised the military of Venezuela to respect American diplomats in what was now an outright coup d etat. Maduro responded with saying he is shutting their whole block down, hunting for Guaido and said he's closing  the US embassy and the military and Russia both said bounce. Crazy. That website is  part of the price fixing of Bolivars to dollars on the black market, people buy bolivars with Colombian or American dollars at an exchange rate much higher than set by Venezuela's federal bank, and then exchange it in Colombia for dollars with a great return. This is legal in Venezuela since 2015, illegal in Colombia since forever. Another thing that changed around the same time was that it became legal for corporations operating in Colombia to purchase gasoline from what they call 3rd party sources, leading mad smugglers to steal gas from the nationalized stations and sell it in Colombia leaving regular degular Venezuelan citizens mostly without gas.......Meanwhile Guaido is in hiding rn still talking shit like "amnesty is still on the table!" Crazy.

 

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Edited by where

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Only the latest in a long drama.  Once in forever someone from Venezuela would post in Brick Slayers, hope they do again one day so we can ask them about it.

Until then, Caracas sounds like a dirty word.  I like it.  That is all.

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From what I remember Caracas had a very dope scene/thread when 12oz was in it's prime.

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Revolution is not a solution in and of itself. 

 

There's a ways to go before things hit the bottom in Ven yet. 

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it's like 2002 all over again.

 

 

just incase you guys havent seen it check out the Documentary "The Revolution will not be televised"

 

 

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Venezuela is a near perfect example of Austrian Economic principals at work, watching the course of socialism meet it's inevitable conclusion in less than a decade.

 

After seizing a massive amount of oil company assets 2007, Chaves was able to make good on many of his bold Socialist promises of handouts and "free" government services. Creating the initial "golden age" after the revolution theft by the Socialists in power.

 

The immediate result was a loss of important human capitol. "Human capitol" in Austrian Economics terms are non-transferable individual assets and skill people have, and develop through things like professional experience, education, talent, and other skills. The leadership of the entire oil industry vanished, and while the new state run oil company was able to basically fund government at that point, it wasn't as profitable. Other companies were seized, other companies took note,  investment stopped, and the wealthy that were smart enough began moving their assets into the safest places possible, basically anywhere outside of Venezuela.

 

The initial megatheft (consisting of billions) of oil company assets lead to a domino effect of other external economic consequences. Large amounts of Venezuelan assets were seized abroad, and international sanctions were put into place. Thankfully the sanctions weren't 100% effective at first, and the government could still fund it's handouts, solidifying it's popularity with the masses, and a stronghold on power. This lead to them agreeing to international arbitration over the seizure to ease some of the backlash, which allowed some legal trade to take place, but eventually ended like this

 

Then the slow socialist destruction of the economy cascaded, and spread all the way down to the the local level. Government policies made it near impossible for many business sectors/businesses to operate at a profit. Fixing the prices artificially low was a popular move with voters, but destroyed businesses, which began shutting down one by one. The supply chain for many goods started to break down, some would be supplemented by seized oil money, which was experiencing unusually high prices at the time.

 

Once the oil prices dropped, the entire economy collapsed under the strain. As with any kleptocratic government, it's last resort was the same repeat of every failed state. The government prints massive amounts of money to make good on it's debts, basically robbing the value out of all the last bit of money it can't physically seize by using inflation. What was left was a country with virtually no means to operate economically, no money, no businesses, and an exodus of the human skills needed to operate an economy.

 

Inflation always starts before the mass printing, things like rolls toilet paper were eventually going for tens of thousands of bolivars. There were just too many missing pieces essential to the economic supply chain for toilet paper, like toilet paper manufacturers were gone, so were the importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers etc. The black market wasn't able to immediately replace the entire economy, making some things like toilet paper rare, and hard to find. Because of supply and demand alone, the prices there have skyrocketed for many goods in this way before hyperinflation set in.

 

The funny thing is when faced with this damning clear evidence of socialist policy shortcomings, Socialists ignore Venezuela. Either stating it's "not real Socialism" or that it's somehow the fault of the capitalists countries, and companies now refusing to do business with these thieves.

 

 

 

 

Exerpt From the NY Times Article:  (fuck paywalls)

Quote

Venezuela Agrees to Pay $2 Billion Over Seizure of Oil Projects

 
An oil-field worker for Petróleos de Venezuela. Nearly bankrupt, the company agreed to pay a $2 billion judgment to compensate ConocoPhillips over the 2007 seizure of properties in Venezuela.CreditCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters.
 
Imagemerlin_139603899_be2f0288-2053-4c18-acb3
An oil-field worker for Petróleos de Venezuela. Nearly bankrupt, the company agreed to pay a $2 billion judgment to compensate ConocoPhillips over the 2007 seizure of properties in Venezuela.CreditCreditCarlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
  • Aug. 20, 2018
    • HOUSTON — More than a decade ago, Venezuela seized several oil projects from the American oil company ConocoPhillips without compensation. Now, under pressure after ConocoPhillips carried out its own seizures, the Venezuelans are going to make amends.

ConocoPhillips announced on Monday that the state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, or Pdvsa, had agreed to a $2 billion judgmenthanded down by an International Chamber of Commerce tribunal that arbitrated the dispute. Pdvsa will be allowed to pay over nearly five years, but as it is nearly bankrupt, even those terms may be hard to meet.

After winning the arbitration ruling in April, ConocoPhillips seized Pdvsa oil inventories, cargoes and terminals on several Dutch Caribbean islands. The move seriously hampered Venezuela’s efforts to export oil to the United States and Asia, and emboldened other creditors to seek financial retribution.

“What they did was choke the exports and made it clear to Pdvsa that the cost of not coming to an agreement would be higher than actually settling on a payment schedule,” said Francisco J. Monaldi, a Venezuelan oil expert at Rice University.

 

As its oil production has plummeted to the lowest levels in decades, Venezuela has fallen behind on more than $6 billion in bond payments. Pdvsa has already defaulted on more than $2 billion in bonds after failing to make interest payments over the last year, and owes billions of dollars more to service companies.

Adding to Venezuela’s woes, the Trump administration has imposed sanctions that prohibit the purchase and sale of Venezuelan government debt, including bonds issued by the state oil company.

Mr. Monaldi said Pdvsa would be forced to pay ConocoPhillips with money it would have paid other creditors and would probably delay some oil shipments to China it owes in separate loan agreements. He added that “there is not a negligible probability” that at some point it will discontinue payments for lack of money.

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Hyperinflation, corruption and growing starvation have crippled the Venezuelan economy, as the socialist government is forced to choose between buying food and medicine and satisfying the demands of creditors. Over the last few days, the government has scrambled to deal with its economic crisis by sharply devaluing its currency, raising wages and promising to shave energy subsidies.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. Its crisis has tightened global oil markets at a time when threatened United States oil sanctions against Iran could drive up prices.

 

The settlement with ConocoPhillips over the 2007 seizure resolves a drawn-out legal struggle, at least for the time being.

“As a result of the settlement, ConocoPhillips has agreed to suspend its legal enforcement actions of the I.C.C. award, including in the Dutch Caribbean,” ConocoPhillips said in a statement.

Pdvsa, which did not comment on the agreement, is to pay the first $500 million within 90 days.

ConocoPhillips is pursuing a separate arbitration case over the same seizure against the government of Venezuela before the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, which could result in another large settlement award, perhaps as high as $6 billion.

That amount would probably be unpayable, experts say, but it could put ConocoPhillips in a strong position to obtain access to Venezuelan oil fields in the future if the current government eventually falls.

Pdvsa’s problems with creditors are far-reaching, putting its American Citgo assets, including three large refineries and a pipeline network, in jeopardy. A federal judge in Delaware recently ruled that Crystallex, a Canadian gold mining company, could seize over $1 billion in shares of Citgo as compensation for a 2008 nationalization of a mining operation in Venezuela.

Citgo is appealing. If it loses, that may open the way for more claims on Citgo assets by companies whose investments have been expropriated in Venezuela, including Exxon Mobil.

Edited by Mercer
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Have tbh, did not read in its entirety.  Hearing any oil company, maybe even utility, complain about anything earns 0 fucks from me, maybe creates a black hole into -0 fucks?

Did not ignore your point, just fuck utility companies.

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3 minutes ago, where said:

why?

Could give multiple reasons and don't want to rant right now.  Over the cliff notes- they make excessive amounts of profit compared to the harm they cause in multiple manners.  There's no one in the top tier of the electric/oil/gas/water company that gives a fuck about you as an individual while they live astronomically above their means.  Or miss 2 payments and home school yourself.

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You'd be surprised, the margin on public utility profits isn't much better than in most other large sectors. I think that sentiment is common, here you have a company you have to deal with because by default, your public utility most likely has a monopoly of location. Customer service is usually the worst since that's not a concern because of their business model.

 

With all that said, theft is bad, and dealing with a shitty public utility is orders of magnitude better than dealing with a government agency. 

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9 hours ago, Mercer said:

You'd be surprised, the margin on public utility profits isn't much better than in most other large sectors. I think that sentiment is common, here you have a company you have to deal with because by default, your public utility most likely has a monopoly of location. Customer service is usually the worst since that's not a concern because of their business model.

 

With all that said, theft is bad, and dealing with a shitty public utility is orders of magnitude better than dealing with a government agency. 

Around 08 there was an oil spill, Mobil maybe?  Think we were having rising gas prices at the time too.  Either way, sent an email letter to which ever company was responsible at the time expressing some of my views on these things and received a basic form letter in response that sounds a lot like your response.  I'm sure 2/3 of the gas/oil/utilitiy employees make shit compared to the top 1/3 or so, but that's still taking in a lot of $ beyond their means while shit tons of people struggle to keep the lights on, or don't keep them on.  Again, did not want to rant, there's plenty of other wrongs they do in the name of $.

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Not sure I understand your reasoning here... You’re upset that more senior positions are compensated more than others in a private organization that people not only work at willingly, but go through all sorts of hurdles and filtering before given that opportunity they’ve seeked out?

 

Don’t mind the rants if you don’t mind explaining your position. 

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Personally my gripes regarding utility is that you rarely have the freedom of choice. My cable tv was generally shit, despite a cost of $100+ per month. Granted I have little idea about the true cost to bring that service to market, but when it’s not working I expect it to be resolved expediently and with professional courtesy. Be awesome if the UI on the channel guide, menus and remote weren’t shit, but I digress...

 

Typically when I needed a cable tv tech, it would be scheduled up to two weeks out. Frequently they wouldn’t show up within the window I was promised, despite the changes required in my own schedule to make that appointment. Often they’d claim no one answered which was an outright lie. So much a lie, that expecting it, I’d tape a note to the door with my cell phone number to call if - mysteriously - the buzzer ceased to function suddenly. 

 

Anyhow, now I manage to get all the content I’m interested in watching via AppleTV at a fraction of the cost. I get to choose between Hulu, Netflix, Prime and many more and can pay a few dollars extra through several providers to also get premium channels like HBO, Showtime and a bunch of others. Basically the only TV missing are the 500 channels I never watched, but that I had to pay for as part of the cable tv bundle. Only time it doesn’t work, ironically (or maybe not), is when the internet goes down and unfortunately, I don’t have the freedom of choice as there’s only 1 provider for that in most areas. 

 

 

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Was trying to avoid all that, not in a position to put out a wall of text right now either.  My issue is not with corporate structure, it's probably closer to corporate greed, negligence, irresponsibility, and outright criminal behavior, at your expense.  Touches multiple aspects of life- politics, environment, military action in countries we otherwise don't care about.  Had not even considered that in most areas you are required to be connected to certain utilities but won't touch that here.  Luckily none of us need cable, but electric, gas, oil, water, for right now people need that for basic survival.  A lot, maybe all, of these utilities have pretty shitty track records for what they do/are supposed to do if you do some simple searching.   Think what I was referring to in 08 was a rise in gas prices as well as an oil spill.  Since there's maybe 7 or so different gas stations around it got me looking them up so I could try to make an informed choice and buy my gas from the one that appeared the least scummy.  So to bring this slightly back on track, when I see a country tell some oil company this is our land/our resources, we're taking it back for ourselves fuck you very much, I just laugh. Fuck those companies.

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17 hours ago, Mercer said:

Venezuela is a near perfect example of Austrian Economic principals at work, ...,,.,.,,..,,,

 

It's funny, and it may point towards our personal experiences but I see similar failings but in power, politics and survival rather than economics. 

 

Chavez was straight out of Animal Farm, a dumb myopic pig and Maduro is just a vulture. We just gotta bope that the coming instability in Venezuela doesn't radiate too far across Latin America. 

 

Military involvement is inevitable in a crisis situation as there are many US nationals that will need to be evacuated. In regards to political outcomes, that involvement is highly unlikely to be a military endeavor. 

.

Edited by Hua Guofang

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I don't see how our military can help an economic crisis, but wouldn't be surprised if we got really creative, and think of a way. I'd rather just let them sort it out. Worse case they continue to strangle their economy, and it stays fucked. As long as we're not down there with guns contributing to the madness. We could just sit back, try to help out without interfering with their sovereignty, or enabling corrupt leadership, all the while capitalizing on the productive people there, looking for a new place to be productive.

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EU just said if Maduro doesnt schgeeeee elections in 8 days their hands are tied, and they want to fucks with the boy hes the plug. This is happening partially cause of low oil prices, this has to do with China's build ban/real estate freeze. Its about to popelton. 

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2 hours ago, Mercer said:

I don't see how our military can help an economic crisis, but wouldn't be surprised if we got really creative, and think of a way.

 

5C53636A-098F-4A23-B4EA-DF3B65827000.jpeg

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21 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

 

It's funny, and it may point towards our personal experiences but I see similar failings but in power, politics and survival rather than economics. 

 

Chavez was straight out of Animal Farm, a dumb myopic pig and Maduro is just a vulture. We just gotta bope that the coming instability in Venezuela doesn't radiate too far across Latin America. 

 

Military involvement is inevitable in a crisis situation as there are many US nationals that will need to be evacuated. In regards to political outcomes, that involvement is highly unlikely to be a military endeavor. 

.

Regardless of either of our perceived causes, the real crisis in their situation are the unfavorable economic conditions faced by their citizens. People are starving,  literally, because there are missing parts to the mechanisms allowing them to buy food. Granted, it's government action responsible for that breakdown, but removing Maduro won't mean shit, if their economy isn't able to start recovering afterwards.

 

The political values held by a large portion of the people in power (and citizens in general) seek vengeance on anyone deemed "too successful" for a multitude of valid, and invalid purely psychological factors. Without the right political affiliations vengeance through theft is exactly what happens to anyone who's deemed too well off (and not politically connected) there, regardless of if their success is a net gain to everyone else or not.

 

Employers/employees find difficulty being employed, or employing people on the books. Entrepreneurs lucky enough to find innovative ways to meet supply/demand through sound investments are penalized. The politically connected, and the black markets are the only ones able to sustain, and prosper under these conditions. This applies to both the big business, and local Mom & Pop shop levels.

 

It's going to take a lot more than a change in 0.01 of the country's political leadership before Venezuela becomes economically viable for investment, outside of any foreign aid programs. That sucks because I'm basically saying Venezuela is fucked for the time being, with, or without Maduro in power. A strong economy is like a house of cards, made strong enough to withstand small collapses by good planning, and sound investment. Without a viable currency as a foundation, and the right skills sticking around to build those cards properly, improvement in these situations are at best incremental.

 

In my eyes this is a separate issue from the individual personalities, and likenesses to animals of Chaves, and Maduro. Would the protestors, or any of us for that matter even be talking about Venezuela if it was still economically functional?

Edited by Mercer

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Yes, I think we would. We discuss rich countries in the Mid East because of corruption, brutality and other reasons. 

 

I dont think the the economy is the only thing that matters enough to rally people. The Arab Spring saw uprisings in wealthy countries by people that were oppressed and dissatisfied. 

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There's zero logical consistency behind the argument for invasion. To get your qualifier out of the way here 1st I'll say we shouldn't be invading, or talking about middle east countries.  2nd, is there some sort of human rights threshold Venezuela has crossed? There's way more brutal dictatorships on the globe, how is Venezuela any worse than say North Korea? Should we invade all countries we find weak enough for us to get away with it. What's the qualifications?

 

Imagine, a foreign military invading your country because you had demonstrations/protests.

 

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Not sure if you're responding to me, but I'm not talking about invasion in my posts (sorry if I Wasn't clear). I only mentioned the military issue up the page in response to Casek. I agree, the only reason there would be a mil response is to evacuate US citizens should the country fall to absolute shit. Other than that, I can't see any reason a mil intervention would be considered. Sure, the US would like a friendly Venezuela that's not pals with Russia and China, but they're not going to intervene militarily to make that happen. 

 

 

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Sorry man, reading back now I'm a bit confused myself with the flow of the conversation.

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