Residents in Tumeremo—some 500 miles east of Caracas—reported early Saturday that the men had been killed. Mr. Rangel initially dismissed those allegations as “false information” spread by “irresponsible politicians.”
Relatives of the miners, saying the men were targeted by a gang intent on stealing their gold, on Monday blocked the only highway that cuts through Venezuela’s mineral-rich area. Blocking the highway with tree branches and tires, the residents demanded that authorities locate their loved ones.
The situation is dramatically different from The 33 Chilean miners that were rescued from a copper mine in 2010.
In the case of the Venezuelan miners, families and people who said they witnessed the attack accused law enforcement agents of participating in the killings (emphasis added).
Elsewhere in the country, Daniel was mugged, not just by anyone, but by a guy in a motorcycle wearing kevlar and a helmet,
First he said that he was “un funcionario” which in the context means that he was some kind of guy working in state security. Then he said that he could shoot me if he wanted and asked me if I knew that, if I was truly aware of that……….
Three times during the conversation, for lack of a better word, he would remind me that he could shoot me at will, implying clearly that this would not affect him in anyway.
He tried to figure out who I was and what I did but I choked on words so afraid that he could kidnap me of threaten my loved ones.
Then he said, “you know what, give me your ring”. All always with a monotone cool voice, with a good choice of words. The guy had some education, he was not just a “malandro” or a “colectivo“. In fact, as I thought later, part of his terror tactic was actually to speak to me with respect as he threatened me.
He could have asked for my cell phone, a major source of robbery these days. Or taken the three packs of dearly bought powder milk that I had on the seat and was taking to my SO. Or he could have called a pal to steal my car.
There is virtually no chance of either of these crimes ever being solved, whether it involved 28 men or one man.
Regarding the economy, Russ Dallen writes,
Venezuela is withdrawing money and selling gold from the country’s Central Bank reserves at an incredible speed to pay its debts, especially bond interest payments and maturities. On the day before the maturity of the $1.5 billion Venezuela 5.75% of 26 February 2016 was due, the country withdrew exactly $1.543 billion from its reserves to pay it. The country’s reserves are now below $13.5 billion.
. . .
In back of the envelope terms, in the best case, Venezuela made just $193 million in January and February or in the abbreviated worse case, lost $403 million over the two months — and don’t forget that that is BEFORE debt payments.
This is what 21st Century Socialism looks like today.