Past Deeds Catch Up with Venezuela

Monday, August 27th, 2018

The news is full these days of the disaster that is happening in Venezuela, basically a collapse of the economy and massive emigration. These people’s lot was not helped in any sense by last week’s 7.3-Richter earthquake – that’s pretty damn strong, it made buildings in Caracas sway. You’d imagine there were extensive casualties, although I have yet to see reports about that: perhaps, even as they were hit by those shifting tectonics, the Venezuelans realized they still have bigger ongoing problems and just quickly moved on.

That derelict economy is a complicated issue, but it is at least clear that it is due to disastrous past decisions made by the national government. Some additional after-effects of those recently popped up which you have likely not heard about. For Curaçao and a couple of its five other associated islands (Aruba, Bonaire) lie rather too close offshore from Venezuela, pretty much a stone’s-throw from the chaos prevailing there. So, for example, these islands regularly encounter their own boat-loads of refugees coming from the south, desperate for sustenance.

Curaçao and its five associated islands are in fact still in a loose political relationship with the original colonizer, the Dutch state, so the Dutch press is always interested in what is going on there. Lately there was this:

“Curaçao relieved: Confiscation of Venezuelan national oil company [property] lifted.” That property on the island is basically the refinery there and associated ships at anchor, which oil company ConocoPhillips had succeeded in having impounded – via judicial means, of course – as a means to gain compensation for the seizure of its own oil refining property in Venezuela proper by the government there around ten years ago.


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