Venezuela, Post-Chavez

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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#451

Post by Addie » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:57 pm

Reuters
Pence announces $16 million for Venezuelan migrants

LIMA (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced in Peru on Friday that Washington was giving $16 million to help Venezuelans who have fled the country’s economic crisis, some of which would go to host communities in Colombia and Brazil.

Pence was in Lima to attend the Summit of the Americas that gathers regional heads of state on Friday and Saturday. Trump canceled his scheduled visit to the summit to focus on the crisis in Syria.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#452

Post by Volkonski » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:32 pm

Addie wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:57 pm
Reuters
Pence announces $16 million for Venezuelan migrants

LIMA (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced in Peru on Friday that Washington was giving $16 million to help Venezuelans who have fled the country’s economic crisis, some of which would go to host communities in Colombia and Brazil.

Pence was in Lima to attend the Summit of the Americas that gathers regional heads of state on Friday and Saturday. Trump canceled his scheduled visit to the summit to focus on the crisis in Syria.
Pence certainly doesn't want those refugees heading to the USA.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#453

Post by Addie » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:16 pm

Reuters
Under military rule, Venezuela oil workers quit in a stampede

CARACAS (Reuters) - Chauffeured around in a sleek black pick-up, the head of Venezuela’s oil industry, Major General Manuel Quevedo, last month toured a joint venture with U.S. major Chevron.

Flanked by other trucks carrying security guards, Quevedo passed a handful of workers waiting by an oil well cluster. They wanted a word with the OPEC nation’s oil minister and president of its state-run oil firm, PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], about the sorry state of the company. ...

“He didn’t get out to ask workers about what is going on,” said Jesus Tabata, a union leader who works on a rig in the oil-rich Orinoco Belt. “That way it’s easier to keep saying everything is fine - and at the same time keeping us on like slaves on miserable wages.”

What’s going on is that thousands of oil workers are fleeing the state-run oil firm under the watch of its new military commander, who has quickly alienated the firm’s embattled upper echelon and its rank-and-file, according to union leaders, a half-dozen current PDVSA workers, a dozen former PDVSA workers and a half-dozen executives at foreign companies operating in Venezuela.

Some PDVSA offices now have lines outside with dozens of workers waiting to quit. In at least one administrative office in Zulia state, human resources staff quit processing out the quitters, hanging a sign, “we do not accept resignations,” an oil worker there told Reuters.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#454

Post by Addie » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:49 pm

Reuters
Chevron evacuates Venezuela executives following staff arrests

(Reuters) - U.S. oil major Chevron Corp has evacuated executives from Venezuela after two of its workers were imprisoned over a contract dispute with state-owned oil company PDVSA, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

Chevron asked other employees to avoid the facilities of its joint venture with the OPEC nation’s oil firm, the sources said.

The arrests, in a raid by national intelligence officers, were the first at a foreign oil firm since Venezuela’s government launched a purge last fall that has resulted in detentions of more than 80 executives at PDVSA and business partners accused of corruption.

The Chevron workers may face charges of treason for refusing to sign a supply contract for furnace parts drawn up by PDVSA executives, Reuters reported earlier this week. The workers balked at the high costs of the parts and a lack of competitive bids.
Also:
Reuters: PDVSA ordered to pay Conoco $2 billion after Venezuela oil nationalization: arbitration


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#455

Post by Addie » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:14 pm

Bloomberg
Venezuela's Inflation Is So Extreme It's Broken the Stock Market

Venezuela’s currency devaluation is so out of control the stock market is about to bust.

Regulators say they have to lop three zeros off the price of equities on the exchange after determining its computers could no longer handle the swelling values for local shares as the bolivar has tumbled more than 99 percent versus the dollar in the past few years. The change takes effect May 2.

The Caracas index has surged 1,584 percent this year alone -- following a 3,884 percent gain in 2016 -- but it has nothing to do with confidence in the country’s companies. Instead, local businesses and individuals are piling into equities in a desperate bid to protect their savings from a plunging currency and quadruple-digit inflation. The government had already announced plans to redenominate the bolivar by a factor of 1,000 in June, but stock-exchange officials had to act sooner to avoid coming up against technical limitations.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#456

Post by Addie » Fri May 11, 2018 10:00 am

Reuters
Venezuela suggests ready to pay after Conoco moves on its Caribbean assets

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela on Thursday rejected ConocoPhillips’s moves to seize the country’s Caribbean assets to collect on a $2 billion arbitration award, but in a sign the U.S. oil company’s pressure might be working, Caracas also suggested it was ready to pay.

In its first official comments since Reuters revealed Conoco’s actions over the weekend, Venezuela’s cash-squeezed leftist government said PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] wanted to solve the dispute through legal means. The dispute stems from Venezuela’s nationalization of Conoco’s assets a decade ago under late leader Hugo Chavez.

PDVSA “is committed to honoring the decisions stemming from the arbitration award,” the Oil Ministry said in a series of tweets.

The tweets disappeared about an hour later. Venezuela’s Oil Ministry and PDVSA did not respond to a request for comment. ...

In the most aggressive move to date, ConocoPhillips last week moved to temporarily seize PDVSA’s assets on Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and St. Eustatius.

That threw Venezuela’s oil export chain into a tailspin just as Venezuela’s crude production has crumbled to an over 30-year low due to underinvestment, theft, a brain drain and mismanagement.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#457

Post by Addie » Mon May 14, 2018 12:08 pm

Associated Press
Russia bank helps Venezuela defy US cryptocurrency sanctions

CARACAS, Venezuela — Investors looking to buy Venezuela’s new cryptocurrency may want to head to a little-known Moscow bank whose biggest shareholders are President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government and two state-controlled Russian companies under U.S. sanctions.

Evrofinance Mosnarbank has emerged as the only international financial institution so far willing to defy a U.S. campaign to derail the world’s first state-backed digital currency, called the petro, even before it begins to function.

Early would-be investors who registered with Venezuela’s government and downloaded the petro’s wallet software — available in Spanish, English and Russian — were then invited to buy the cryptocurrency by wiring a minimum of 1,000 euros to a Venezuelan government account at Evrofinance.

The bank’s place in the rollout of the petro is further evidence of Russia’s role in the creation of a cryptocurrency that much of the digital world has shunned but that Maduro hopes will allow Venezuela to circumvent U.S. financial sanctions imposed last year.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#458

Post by RTH10260 » Mon May 14, 2018 8:45 pm




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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#459

Post by Addie » Mon May 21, 2018 1:53 pm

Bloomberg
Venezuela in Crosshairs of U.S. After Maduro Wins Shunned Election

Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela is bidding to join the ranks of presidents for life. His biggest obstacle is the grinding economic crisis that he created.

He coasted to victory Sunday in an election that defied international authorities, a desultory vote boycotted by the opposition and the most obvious evidence so far that the nation’s socialist experiment enjoys scant popular support. Maduro may join strongmen like Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev, controlling an outcast nation for decades.

But Maduro, a protege of the late Hugo Chavez, rules over a populace infuriated and enervated by hunger and want. Already, the regime has been punished and isolated, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said Sunday that sanctions on the all-important oil industry would be under “active review” -- a move that would worsen shortages of food, medicine, electricity and even water.

Venezuela’s electoral authority said Sunday night that Maduro won almost 68 percent of the vote, while former governor Henri Falcon, his closest rival, took about 21 percent. The most telling number was turnout: Only 48 percent, the weakest for a presidential election since Chavez took over in 1999. That figure seemed optimistic.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#460

Post by Addie » Tue May 22, 2018 3:03 pm

Associated Press
Venezuelan president expels top US diplomat

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday said he was expelling the top U.S. diplomat in Venezuela and his deputy for allegedly conspiring against his government and trying to sabotage the country’s recent presidential election.

“The empire doesn’t dominate us here,” Maduro said in a televised address, giving charge d’affaires Todd Robinson and his deputy Brian Naranjo 48 hours to leave the country. “We’ve had enough of your conspiring.”

Tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela have mounted following Maduro’s victory in presidential elections on Sunday, a vote the White House has branded a “sham.”

Maduro said in his speech that Robinson and Naranjo, whom he referred to as the head of the CIA in Venezuela, both personally pressured several anti-government presidential aspirants not to compete in the race. Most opposition parties decided to boycott after officials blocked their most popular leaders from competing.

Maduro also accused the Trump administration, which slapped new sanctions on his government Monday, of seeking to escalate “aggressions” against the Venezuelan people.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#461

Post by Addie » Wed May 23, 2018 8:11 am

Economist - May 10 2018
How chavismo makes the taps run dry in Venezuela

IT IS the rainy season in Caracas and the reservoirs are full. But most of the 5.3m people who live in and near the city have not had regular running water for at least a month. Venezuela is an oil-rich country that cannot pay for food and medicines. Now its autocratic regime is showing that it can create shortages even when nature provides abundance. “I’ve forgotten what it is like to bathe in running water,” says Soledad Rodríguez, a graphic designer.

Supplying Caracas with water is not easy. The city is 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) above sea level. The nearest big river, the Tuy, flows on the other side of a mountain range. Earlier governments had cracked these problems. Marcos Pérez Jiménez, a dictator in the 1950s, oversaw construction of a system of pumps and reservoirs that kept up with the city’s fast growth.

Hugo Chávez, whose election as president began Venezuela’s “Bolivarian revolution” in 1999, improved water supply to poor areas but did not upgrade infrastructure. By 2005 shortages were a problem. Chávez, who died in 2013, responded, characteristically, with lots of cash and publicity and little supervision. He and Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded him as president, spent $10bn to little effect.

Now the city is getting less water than it did in 1999, says José de Viana, who in pre-Chávez days was president of Hidrocapital, a state-owned water utility. The main job requirement for workers is loyalty to the leftist regime. This has led to its “de-professionalisation”, says Mr de Viana.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#462

Post by Addie » Mon May 28, 2018 8:08 pm

Reuters
Venezuelan generals among military officials recently jailed: rights group

CARACAS (Reuters) - Two active generals with Venezuela’s National Guard were part of a group of 15 military officials arrested around the time of the socialist-run nation’s widely criticized May 20 presidential election, a local rights group said on Monday.

Generals Pedro Naranjo and Nelson Morales appeared on Sunday before a military tribunal at the Defense Ministry, according to Gonzalo Himiob of the Penal Forum group, who said the men were the highest-ranking recent detainees from the armed forces.

Scores of soldiers have been detained on accusations of conspiring against the leftist government of Nicolas Maduro or deserting. Penal Forum said there were now 355 “political prisoners” in total in Venezuela.

The Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the Maduro government, which rejects use of the term “political prisoner,” has said all politicians and members of the security forces in detention face legitimate criminal charges, including coup-plotting.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#463

Post by Addie » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:32 am

Reuters
Venezuela: teargas explosion at club in Caracas kills 17 people

The device went off during a fight between several people, causing a stampede


At least 17 people died at a Caracas nightclub early on Saturday morning when a person activated a teargas grenade inside, Venezuela’s interior minister Néstor Reverol said.

Over 500 people were at a party at the Los Cotorros club in the El Paraiso neighbourhood when the device went off at about 3am during a fight between several people, causing a stampede towards the exits, Reverol said.

Eleven people suffocated to death when the gas filled the club’s confined space, said Noris Villanueva, an autopsy assistant at the local Perez Carreno hospital, who examined their bodies. It was not clear how the other six died.

Eight of those who died were under 18, Reverol said, and five people were injured.

Reverol said authorities had arrested seven people and the investigation was ongoing.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#464

Post by Addie » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:13 am

Associated Press
U.S. official: Trump pressed aides about Venezuela invasion

As a meeting in August 2017 in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, President Donald Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can't the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?

The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both of whom have since left the administration. This account of the previously undisclosed conversation comes from a senior administration official familiar with what was said.

In an exchange that lasted around five minutes, McMaster and others took turns explaining to Trump how military action could backfire and risk losing hard-won support among Latin American governments to punish President Nicolas Maduro for taking Venezuela down the path of dictatorship, according to the official. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

But Trump pushed back. Although he gave no indication he was about to order up military plans, he pointed to what he considered past cases of successful gunboat diplomacy in the region, according to the official, like the invasions of Panama and Grenada in the 1980s.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#465

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:37 pm

Addie wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:13 am
Associated Press
U.S. official: Trump pressed aides about Venezuela invasion

:snippity:
:brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall:

And now that this goes public, how much chances will General BoneSpurs have to get Kim to the table to de-nuke N.Korea :?:



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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#466

Post by MN-Skeptic » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:07 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:37 pm
And now that this goes public, how much chances will General BoneSpurs have to get Kim to the table to de-nuke N.Korea :?:
For Trump it was always the photo op. For Kim it was always an opportunity to appear as important as the President of the United States. At this point Trump and Kim will just say that underlings are working out the details. Time to move on. Problem solved.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#467

Post by Addie » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:48 am

WaPo
As it slides toward authoritarianism, Venezuela targets one of its last independent newspapers

CARACAS, Venezuela — By running stories of official brutality and corruption, this nation’s largest independent newspaper — El Nacional — threatened Venezuela’s mighty and defended its meek. Now the paper has found itself covering perhaps its most crucial story.

A judicial case against the 75-year-old outlet — lodged by one of President Nicolás Maduro’s top lieutenants — coupled with the blocking of its website is threatening the paper’s future. At a time when traditional media is under fire from autocrats around the globe, the intensifying effort against El Nacional illustrates how some governments are going to new lengths to silence dissent.

In Venezuela, the pressure against the paper, experts say, is a sign that the government is ready to effectively shutter what is left of the free press.

“If El Nacional is closed, it would have a grave impact in Venezuelan media,” said Carlos Correa, a university professor and the executive director of Public Space, a Caracas-based nonprofit that tracks press freedoms. “It would signal an escalation of censure and would definitely have a chilling effect on other outlets fearful to go through the same fate.”

Since the rise of leftist firebrand Hugo Chávez, who became president in 1999 and ruled until his death in 2013, press freedoms in Venezuela have been under threat. The state TV channel started airing hours-long presidential speeches and news propaganda. In 2004, Chávez passed a law allowing the official censure of outlets by a state watchdog, CONATEL. A host of television station and newspaper owners were pressured to sell to friends of the government or close their doors.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chav

#468

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:21 pm

Trump's' attitudes and actions against the Maduro government have nothing to do with the plight of the people. They seek to enrich the fortunes of ConocoPhillips (to which Venezuela owes $2 Billion) and other rich companies' pockets and individuals, particularly high military officers.

There have been other socialist governments in Latin America. I do not recall many having much interest in the people. One of Brazil's governments did try to help the poor. The governments' clients were themselves -- the rulers -- and their rich supporters. Visitors to Castro's Cuba were impressed with both the quality of preventive medical care and the sight of high Cuban officials stuffing their pockets with food from state banquets. Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías may have had a different and better purpose.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chav

#469

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:38 pm

Trump's' attitudes and actions against the Maduro government have nothing to do with the sad plight of the people. There is nothing humanitarian in Trump. His actions seek to enrich the fortunes of ConocoPhillips (to which Venezuela owes $2 Billion) and other rich companies' pockets and rich individuals' pockets, particularly those of high military officers. Maduro has, in effect, bought off the military. The rebellion of the military will be his downfall.

There have been other socialist governments in Latin America. I do not recall many having much interest in the people. Authoritarian socialist governments were common. One of Brazil's governments did try to help the poor. The governments' clients were themselves -- the rulers -- and their rich supporters, especially military leaders. It was a selfish -- not socialist -- system.

Visitors to Castro's Cuba were impressed with both the quality of preventive medical care and the sight of high Cuban officials stuffing their pockets with food from state banquets. Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías may have had a different and better purpose. Maduro has ruined mosr of that. He seems to be holding on for personal safety and economic gain.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#470

Post by Addie » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:03 am

Miami Herald
Venezuela’s Maduro under investigation in $1.2 billion U.S. money-laundering case

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is under investigation as part of a U.S. probe into a massive scheme that authorities say has pilfered more than $1 billion from the state-owned oil company, PDVSA, the Miami Herald has learned.

Maduro has not been named or charged in a criminal complaint filed in Miami federal court this week that detailed the international money-laundering conspiracy. But sources familiar with the investigation say he and other government officials and associates — including his three stepsons — are being investigated for any links to a network that prosecutors believe has plundered Venezuela’s national oil company and funneled vast amounts of cash into European and U.S. banks as well as South Florida real estate and other assets.

“Everything runs through him,” said one person familiar with the investigation, describing Maduro as a principal suspect of the U.S. investigation.

Even if Maduro, who became president after Hugo Chávez’s death in 2013, is ultimately charged, it’s unlikely he would be brought to the U.S. for prosecution. But the probe could add to the political challenges already facing the embattled president. Maduro has been the focus of months of protests over his country’s failing economy. The once oil-rich nation has been wracked by hyperinflation, widespread hunger and violence. Thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country.

Though Maduro is not mentioned by name in the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Wednesday, there are references to him as “Venezuelan Official 2” and to his stepsons, according to multiple sources familiar with the probe. His stepsons — Yosser Gavidia Flores, Walter Gavidia Flores and Yoswal Gavidia Flores — though also unnamed are described by the sources as receiving an estimated $200 million in funds stolen from the nation’s national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, that were wired to a European bank in late 2014 and early 2015.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#471

Post by Addie » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:40 am

AFP
Venezuela's president admits economy has failed

Caracas (AFP) - Under-fire Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro admitted his economic model has "failed" in the wake of food and medicine shortages and public service paralysis, such as Tuesday's power failure that affected 80 percent of Caracas.

"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, as Venezuela looks to tackle chronic inflation the International Monetary Fund predicted would reach one million percent this year.

"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," he added late Monday, with the country grappling with a four-year long recession.

"No more whining, I want solutions comrades!"


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#472

Post by Addie » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:31 pm

Reuters
Speech by Venezuela's Maduro cut off, soldiers seen running

CARACAS (Reuters) - A broadcast by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was cut short during an outdoor speech at a military event on Saturday and soldiers were seen running before the televised transmission was cut off. While Maduro was speaking about Venezuela’s economy, the audio suddenly went. He and others on the podium suddenly looked up, looking startled.

The camera then panned to scores of soldiers who started running, before the transmission was cut.

It was not clear why the broadcast ended suddenly and the Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#473

Post by Addie » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:10 pm

The Guardian
Venezuela's Maduro survives drone assassination attempt

"The Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, has survived an apparent assassination attempt involving drones that exploded close to him while he was speaking at an event in Caracas.

State television showed Maduro abruptly cutting short his speech during a celebration of the National Guard’s 81st anniversary.

The hundreds of soldiers present were shown breaking ranks and scattering.
The Venezuelan information minister, Jorge Rodríguez, said there had been an “attack” against the president involving drones loaded with explosives.

Maduro was “fine” and continuing to work, he said. Rodríguez said seven National Guard soldiers were injured in the apparent attack.

“At exactly 5.41pm in the afternoon several explosions were heard,” Rodríguez said in a live address minutes after the incident. “The investigation clearly reveals they came from drone-like devices that carried explosives.”

A rebel Twitter feed claimed that two drones packed with C4 explosives had been detonated near the president before being shot down by snipers."


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#474

Post by Foggy » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:16 pm

Either they detonated or they were shot by snipers - not both. :roll:


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Re: Venezuela, Post-Chavez

#475

Post by RTH10260 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:52 pm

Foggy wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:16 pm
Either they detonated or they were shot by snipers - not both. :roll:
Looking at the warfare in Syria, the drones drop packets of explosives heigh above the target and film the result. In Maduros case they possibly dropped the explosives from a low height for better acuracy and were then intercepted by snipers. You get both results ;)



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