Nov 14

- Venezuelan Bonds Are Collapsing, FinMin Denies Devaluation Looming (ZeroHedge, Nov 13, 2014):

While talking heads proclaim – incorrectly – that low oil prices are unequivocally good for the US economy, it is very much not the case for oil producers around the world. Most notably, Venezuela – which ‘needs’ oil prices above $100 to maintain its socialist utopia – and currently ranks at a lowly 100th on the world’s prosperity index, is in grave trouble if this trend continues. Venezuelan bonds plunged to new record lows today as oil prices hit fresh cycle lows, strongly suggesting default or currency devaluation is imminent. However, as is usual (think Mexico) Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres ruled out devaluation even as oil price drop exacerbates country’s finances. As one analyst noted, “there’s broad understanding that in the absence of any corrective policy measures that these guys are going to be in serious trouble.” It appears they already are. The Maduro government desperately needs a rise in oil prices, but Saudi Arabia has so far rebuffed calls for an emergency meeting as it pursues a strategy of waiting out higher cost competitors. OPEC does not plan on meeting until Nov. 27. That is still an eternity for a country that is beginning to unravel.

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Oct 22

- What ‘Democracy’ Really Means in U.S. and New York Times Jargon: Latin America Edition (The Intercept, Oct 17, 2014):

One of the most accidentally revealing media accounts highlighting the real meaning of “democracy” in U.S. discourse is a still-remarkable 2002 New York Times Editorial on the U.S.-backed military coup in Venezuela, which temporarily removed that country’s democratically elected (and very popular) president, Hugo Chávez. Rather than describe that coup as what it was by definition – a direct attack on democracy by a foreign power and domestic military which disliked the popularly elected president – the Times, in the most Orwellian fashion imaginable, literally celebrated the coup as a victory for democracy:

With yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona.

Thankfully, said the NYT, democracy in Venezuela was no longer in danger . . . because the democratically-elected leader was forcibly removed by the military and replaced by an unelected, pro-U.S. “business leader.” The Champions of Democracy at the NYT then demanded a ruler more to their liking: “Venezuela urgently needs a leader with a strong democratic mandate to clean up the mess, encourage entrepreneurial freedom and slim down and professionalize the bureaucracy.” Continue reading »

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Oct 07

- Picturing Venezuela’s Surreal Prices (ZeroHedge, Oct 6, 2014):

Venezuela’s economic crisis has led to some shocking and surreal price distortions that hit people’s buying power dramatically. While the government of President Nicolas Maduro calls the country’s minimum wage of Bs. 4,252 the highest in the region when converted to $675 using the official exchange rate, the galloping black market for currency considers it as just $42.50 when converted at the street rate of Bs. 100 per US dollar, the rate which many importers and retail outlets must use to acquire hard currency. From Coke to crayons and carrots and from Tires to TVs, Venezuelan prices offer a glimpse of a modern-day hyperinflation.

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Sep 13

In Venezuela First They Came For The Toilet Paper; Then They Came For The News Paper… (ZeroHedge, Sep 11, 2014):

Bidet sales across Venezuela are set to soar as just months after running out of toilet paper, AP reports that Venezuela’s oldest newspaper is shutting down due to falling advertising, mounting inflation and a lack of basic materials. In addition, at least nine Venezuelan regional newspapers have stopped circulation because of the shortages. Of course, this is likely great news for President Maduro who can now manage his people’s minds direct from his Twitter feed… welcome to socialist utopia.

As AP reports, Continue reading »

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Aug 31

- Venezuelan government announces mandatory biometric cards to control supermarket shoppers (Natural News, Aug 28, 2014):

Venezuela’s continuing experiment with Marxist socialism continues to be an abject failure — as much as every other country’s experimentation with Marxist socialism — as evidenced by the country’s shrinking productivity, tanking economy and shortages of basic goods.

So bad have things gotten in the South American nation that its leader, President Nicolas Maduro, has announced that every citizen will soon be required to carry a “biometric card” that limits food purchases through the use of electronic scanners and government databases.

As reported by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper: Continue reading »

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Aug 24

- Israeli F-16 Missile Attacks Venezuelan Humanitarian Aid Mission in Gaza (Global Research, Aug 21, 2014):

Venezuelan ambassador to Egypt, Juan Antonio Hernandez, said Wednesday that an Israeli aircraft attacked the Venezuelan humanitarian delegation in Rafah along the border post between Egypt and Palestine. The delegation was delivering twelve tons of aid to the Palestinian people. No one was injured during the attack.

The F-16 airplane dropped a missile very close to the humanitarian site, though it did not explode. The ambassador confirmed that the missile fell approximately 50 to 70 meters from the site. Continue reading »

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Jul 23

- Venezuela’s Transformation To Socialist Utopia Is Nearly Complete As Its Factories Grind To A Halt (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014):

Venezuela’s transformation to a socialist utopia has been well-documented on these pages. Recall:

In retrospect, one can only hope the same “socialist paradise” fate isn’t headed to the other “fairness doctrine” members such as the US and France, because with socialist utopias like these who needs capitalist hell? Continue reading »

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Jul 16

perri-air_0

- Breathing The Air In Venezuela? Prepare To Pay (ZeroHedge; July 15, 2014):

There is something to be said about every socialist paradise in the history of socialist paradises: they always run out of other people’s money. And when they do, stuff like this happens: the biggest international airport in Venezuela is charging a fee for the right to inhale clean air.

As BBC correctly notes, we’re used to a seemingly endless range of taxes and surcharges when we fly – passenger taxes, departure taxes, fuel levies. But Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas has taken this a step further – passengers flying out now have to pay 127 bolivars tax ($20) for the air they breathe. Continue reading »

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Jun 10

No Drinking Water In Venezuela Until Bankers Get Paid Back (ZeroHedge, June 9, 2014):

2013 was a good year for Goldman Sachs investments in Emerging Markets, most notably Venezuelan bonds (as they bet on socialism and won). A year later and Goldman’s EM debt portfolio is still loaded with Venezuelan bonds… and the arrears are mounting. As Bloomberg reports, at a time when Venezuela’s record $25 billion in arrears to importers has its citizens waiting hours in line to buy drinking water and crossing borders in search of medicine, President Nicolas Maduro is using the nation’s dwindling supply of dollars to enrich bondholders.

Continue reading »

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Apr 03

FYI.

See also:

- Venezuela Bolivar Devalues 89% in Start of New FX Market

- Venezuela Devalues Bolivar By Another 44% For Some, Still 600% Higher Than Black Market Due To 50% Inflation

- Venezuela Launches First Nuke In Currency Wars, Devalues Currency By 46%!


- Venezuela: A Call for Peace (New York Times, April 1, 2014):

By Nicolas Maduro

CARACAS, Venezuela — THE recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.

Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people.

According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region. We have reduced poverty enormously — to 25.4 percent in 2012, on the World Bank’s data, from 49 percent in 1998; in the same period, according to government statistics, extreme poverty diminished to 6 percent from 21 percent.

We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil.

Continue reading »

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Mar 25

- Venezuela’s Maduro Averts Military Coup, Arrests Three Air Force Generals (ZeroHedge, March 25, 2014):

A day after Venezuela formally devalued its currency by way of the new and improved FX central planning system SICAD II, which sent the official value of the Bolivar 89% lower, the government desperately needed a distraction. It got just that when earlier today Socialist par excellence Nicolas Maduro announced that he had narrowly avoided a coup after he arrested three air force generals suspected of plotting an uprising against the leftist government.

The AFP reports:

Maduro told a meeting of South American foreign ministers that the three generals, who were not identified, had been in contact with the opposition and “were trying to rise up against the legitimately constituted government.”

Continue reading »

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Mar 24

- Venezuela Bolivar Devalues 89% in Start of New FX Market (ZeroHedge, March 24, 2014):

Venezuela’s exchange rate is a Gordian Knot of rules and regulations meant to baffle onlookers with bullshit and, we suspect, hide the hyperinflation from prying eyes just a little longer.Today’s launch of SICAD II, a new currency market which allows the free-market to bid for USD (in Bolivars), appears to be an effort to provide liquidity to a black-market for dollars. SICAD II priced at 55 Bolivars today – an 88% devaluation from the official rate of 6.29 (and another auction-based rate SICAD I – applicable to some firms – of 10.8).

20140324_C+VEF

This new SICAD II rate will replace SICAD I as the official tourist rate.

Confused? You should be – the bottom line is that Maduro and his cronies continue to suppress the reality of a hyperinflating currency as student marches grow ever more popular and outspoken. Continue reading »

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Mar 15

Venezuela_Regime_Change

- Obama Administration Targets Venezuela for ‘Regime Change’ (American Free Press, March 14, 2014)

• Ousted U.S. consular officials caught conspiring with protest groups

Continuing unrest in Venezuela can be traced to an ongoing plot by the Obama administration to topple the country’s democratically elected government and replace it with a regime run by rich families and corporations allied with Washington.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded the late Hugo Chavez, a Washington nemesis, recently expelled three United States consular officials, accusing them of conspiring for months with protest groups funded by Washington.

Continue reading »

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Feb 23

Paratroopers sent into San Cristobal in the border state of Tachira and an internet blackout imposed, as residents say they are living in a ‘war zone’

Venezuela orders troops into border city amid fierce clashes
Objects placed by opposition protesters block a road in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela

- Venezuela orders troops into border city amid fierce clashes (Telegraph, Feb 21, 2014):

President Nicolas Maduro has ordered paratroopers into the restive Venezuelan border city of San Cristobal amid fierce clashes between government forces and opposition protesters, as the leftist leader warned the US to stay out of the country’s growing unrest.

The battalion was rushed in on Thursday night to “restore order” in San Cristobal, where Mr Maduro has threatened to impose martial law to quell the protests that began in the city two weeks ago and have since spread nationwide, claiming the lives of at least six people.

Continue reading »

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Feb 21

- Venezuela Revokes CNN Journalist Credentials Amid “War Propaganda” (ZeroHedge, Feb 21, 2014):

“The CNN team was informed that their correspondent credentials were revoked,” Venezuela’s Information Ministry vice-president Francisco Perez stated. Ironically, for CNN, the decision was announced vis Perez’ Twitter account, following Maduro’s proclamations last night that “Enough! I won’t accept war propaganda against Venezuela.” Interestingly, given the opposition’s need to raise the awareness among the ‘poor’ in Venezuela if they are to succeed, local television networks have provided almost no live coverage of the protests against Maduro. While just one “journalist” has his credentials revoked, Maduro has threatened, to expel the whole network from the country if it did not “rectify” the way it has covered deadly political protests. Continue reading »

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Feb 17

- What’s Going On In Venezuela (In A Nutshell) (ZeroHedge, Feb 16, 2014)

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Feb 15

20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire

- 20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire (Economic Collapse, Feb 14, 2014):

If you have been waiting for the “global economic crisis” to begin, just open up your eyes and look around.  I know that most Americans tend to ignore what happens in the rest of the world because they consider it to be “irrelevant” to their daily lives, but the truth is that the massive economic problems that are currently sweeping across Europe, Asia and South America are going to be affecting all of us here in the U.S. very soon.  Sadly, most of the big news organizations in this country seem to be more concerned about the fate of Justin Bieber’s wax statue in Times Square than about the horrible financial nightmare that is gripping emerging markets all over the planet.  After a brief period of relative calm, we are beginning to see signs of global financial instability that are unlike anything that we have witnessed since the financial crisis of 2008.  As you will see below, the problems are not just isolated to a few countries.  This is truly a global phenomenon.

Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve and other global central banks have inflated an unprecedented financial bubble with their reckless money printing.  Much of this “hot money” poured into emerging markets all over the world.  But now that the Federal Reserve has begun “tapering” quantitative easing, investors are taking this as a sign that the party is ending.  Money is being pulled out of emerging markets all over the globe at a staggering pace and this is creating a tremendous amount of financial instability.  In addition, the economic problems that have been steadily growing over the past few years in established economies throughout Europe and Asia just continue to escalate.

The following are 20 signs that the global economic crisis is starting to catch fire: Continue reading »

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Jan 23

- Venezuela Devalues Bolivar By Another 44% For Some, Still 600% Higher Than Black Market Due To 50% Inflation (ZeroHedge, Jan 22, 2014):

Less than a year ago, Venezuela shocked the world when it launched the “first nuke” in the ongoing currency wars (which despite having dropped off the front pages, have certainly not ended), by devaluing its currency, the Bolivar from 4.30 to the USD to 6.30, in the process crushing the profits of many companies that operate(d) in the TP-deprived socialist paradise (which as we reported earlier is about to experience food shortages).

20130208_VEF

Earlier today, Venezuela Oil Minister and Economy Vice President Rafael Ramirez announced on state television that the country just devalued the official Bolivar exchange rate again by another whopping 45%, for some.

Specifically, Venezuelans traveling abroad and airlines will use Sicad FX rate which was last 11.36 bolivars per dollar. Those spared from the most recent devaluation, for now, are students abroad, pensioners, retirees, consular and diplomatic services who will continue using 6.3 bolivars/USD rate. This follows comparable steps taken in late December, when the Bolivar was devalued by the same amount for any non-residents and tourists entering the nation, as the nation unrolled its centrally-planned currency regime in which the Bolivar is offered through a dollar-auction system called Sicad.

The WSJ reported at the time:

Continue reading »

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Jan 22

- Venezuela About To Run Out Of Food Despite Fresh All Time High In Its Stock Market (ZeroHedge, Jan 22, 2014)

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Jan 16

Related info:

- Former Royal Navy Microwave Weapons Expert And UK Intelligence Services Agent Dr. Barrie Trower: Dangers And Lethality Of Microwave Technology (Video – 2:19:36)

- Former Royal Navy Microwave Weapons Expert: NWO TECHNOLOGY UPDATE – Deadly Mobile Phones & The Worst Genocide Ever Committed – The Dangers Of Wi-Fi To Women And Children (Video)

Here’s what happens to foreign leaders who could not be bought with $200 million:

@Amazon.com:

- The Extended Confessions Of Economic Hit Man John Perkins (Video)

- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

- The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World


- Did the NSA Kill Hugo Chavez? (Global Research, Jan 14, 2014):

During 2013, Venezuela experienced one of the most difficult times in its history with the death of President Hugo Chavez on March 5. Chavez, a major leader whose policies transformed the country, was the victim of an aggressive cancer that killed him in less than two years. The charismatic Venezuelan president faced large and powerful enemies during his 14 years in power ever democratically elected majorities and strong. Coups, economic sabotage, electoral interventions, psychological warfare, U.S. billionaire from his opponents and attempts on his life funding agencies were some of the tactics and strategies of destabilization that Chavez had to fight during his tenure.

He headed the lists of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon as the main target of their attacks, and the United States significantly expanded its military presence open and clandestine-around Venezuela during his administration. So his sudden and unexpected death caused much suspicion among his followers and those scholars of his socio-political vision. Chavez defied the most powerful interests in the world, and in turn, controlled the largest oil reserves on the planet. Could it have been a political assassination Chavez’s death?

Continue reading »

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Nov 30

- Inflation, Shortages, and Social Democracy in Venezuela (Ludwig von Mises Institute, Nov 29, 2013):

The economic turmoil in Venezuela has received increasing international media attention over the past few months. In September, the toilet paper shortage (which followed food shortages and electricity blackouts) resulted in the “temporary occupation” of the Paper Manufacturing Company, as armed troops were sent to ensure the “fair distribution” of available stocks. Similar action occurred a few days ago against electronics stores: President Nicolás Maduro accused electronics vendors of price-gouging, and jailed them with the warning that “this is just the start of what I’m going to do to protect the Venezuelan people.”

Earlier this month, in another attempt to ensure “happiness for all people,” Maduro began to hand out Christmas bonuses, in preparation for the coming elections in December. But political campaigning is not the only reason for the government’s open-handedness. The annual inflation rate in Venezuela has been rapidly rising in recent months, and has now reached a staggering 54 percent (not accounting for possible under-estimations). Although not yet officially in hyperinflation, monetary expansion is pushing Venezuela toward the brink.

In such an environment, paychecks need to be distributed quickly, before prices have time to rise; hence, early bonuses. This kind of policy is nothing new in economic history: Venezuela’s hyperinflationary episode is unfolding in much the same way Germany’s did nearly a century ago.

Continue reading »

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Nov 21

- Is Venezuela Selling Gold to Goldman Sachs? (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Nov 20, 2013):

The following article was published in the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional, and it appears to imply that the struggling South American nation has agreed to sell or swap the gold it still holds overseas at the Bank of England to Goldman Sachs.

This is one of the major problems with gold. Despite what some may say, it is probably the most manipulated asset on the planet. Given the fact that so much of the gold is in the hands of sovereign nations and Central Banks that can be pressured by the U.S. empire, this is what happens. In fact, as I have said on many occasions, many of the Central Bank purchases we hear about do not consist of countries actually moving gold to within their borders, but rather just paper purchases. This does nothing to tighten supply/demand for gold. The main countries who’s Central Banks actually appear to buy and deliver gold within their borders are China, Russia, Iran, and well, Venezuela. Until that changes, gold will be relatively easily manipulated, which is exactly why I support Bitcoin and why is taking off as it has.

From a sentiment perspective I think gold is buy, but personally I am waiting to see if we get one more major flush.

Here are excepts from the article courtesy of GATA. I believe it is a google translation and the actual sourced article in Spanish can be found here.

Continue reading »

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Oct 27

- To Boldly Go Where No Socialist Has Gone Before: Venezuela Creates Ministry Of Supreme Happiness (ZeroHedge, Oct 26, 2013):

If one (such as everyone at the Federal Reserve) thought that the world’s greatest artificial “wealth effect” would also generate the world’s happiest people, one would be dead wrong.

Take Venezuela – Hugo Chavez’ socialist paradise, which was recently inherited by Nicolas Maduro, when he proceeded to not only completely devalue the local currency but to engineer, through such exquisite central-planning that even the Politburo at the Marriner Eccles building is green with envy, the highest returning stock market on earth in 2013. Alas, either the locals are not quite as impressed with the Caracas’ “stock market” YTD return of over 300% (which doesn’t quite cover the loss in purchasing power for what things one can actually purchase in Venezuela)…

… or the chronic toilet paper shortages remind them that the phrase socialist utopia is the world’s greatest oxymoron.

As a result, president Maduro has decided to boldly go where no socialist has gone before and has unveiled a new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness, whose primary purposes will be to enforce “happiness.” In other words,  something along the lines of the beatings will continue until happiness returns…

From AP:

Americans may have the constitutional right to pursue happiness, but Venezuela now has a formal government agency in charge of enforcing it. President Nicolas Maduro says the new Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness will coordinate all the “mission” programs created by the late President Hugo Chavez to alleviate poverty.

Continue reading »

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Oct 23


Venezuela’s Anti-Drugs Agency said the plane was given due warning

- Venezuela shoots down two ‘hostile’ planes (BBC News, Oct 22, 2013):

Venezuela says two light aircraft have been shot down after entering the country’s airspace over the weekend.

These were the first mid-air attacks by fighter jets since a bill authorising such action against illegal planes was approved earlier this month, the Bolivarian Armed Forces said.

The aircraft were allegedly smuggling drugs from Central America and refused to follow the military pilots’ orders.

Another 11 unauthorised planes have been disabled on the ground this year.

Venezuelan security forces say more than 35 tonnes of drugs have been found this year.

Continue reading »

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Oct 04

Flashback:


- U.S. drug agents smuggling cocaine, Venezuelan president alleges (Video) (Examiner. Oct 2, 2013):

The president of Venezuela on Wednesday cast suspicion on an American law enforcement agency saying his nation is probing the American drug enforcement officers to learn whether or not they are involved in narcotics trafficking in his country.

President Nicolas Maduro announced that his own law enforcement officials are investigating whether the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was involved in a recent criminal case involving a multi-million dollar cocaine smuggling operation, according to Jerry Langher, a former narcotics detective and director of corporate security.

Continue reading »

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Jul 21

- Kerry vows to put the screws to Venezuela over Snowden (RT, July 19/20, 2013)

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Jul 16

- US hacked top Bolivian officials’ emails: President Morales (PressTV, July 14, 2013):

Bolivian President Evo Morales says US intelligence has hacked into the email accounts of senior Bolivian officials amid growing concerns about Washington’s secret surveillance programs.

“Those US intelligence agents have accessed the emails of our most senior authorities in Bolivia,” Morales said in a Saturday speech.

“It was recommended to me that I not use email, and I’ve followed suit and shut it down,” the Bolivian president added.

Continue reading »

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Jul 14

- Latin American Countries Recall Ambassadors From Spain, France, Italy And Portugal Over Snowden “Neo-Colonial” Flap (ZeroHedge, July 13, 2013)

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Jul 09

- Russian official: Venezuela is Snowden’s “last chance” (CBC News, July 7, 2013):

An influential Russian parliament member who often speaks for the Kremlin encouraged NSA leaker Edward Snowden on Sunday to accept Venezuela’s offer of asylum.

Alexei Pushkov, who heads the international affairs committee in Russia’s parliament, posted a message on Twitter saying: “Venezuela is waiting for an answer from Snowden. This, perhaps, is his last chance to receive political asylum.”

Continue reading »

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Jul 06

Update:


- Nicaragua Offers Edward Snowden Asylum, Venezuela Promptly Follows (ZeroHedge, July 6, 2013):

Update: First Nicaragua, now Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday he had decided to offer asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has petitioned several countries to avoid capture by Washington.

“I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American, Edward Snowden, so that in the fatherland of (Simon) Bolivar and (Hugo) Chavez, he can come and live away from the imperial North American persecution,”

Maduro told a televised parade marking Venezuela’s independence day. Snowden is believed to be holed up in the transit area of a Moscow international airport.

And so the “lead investor” principle comes to the asylum world. Now everyone wants a piece of the pie. Continue reading »

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