Our friends the Turks: Hiding Venezuela’s gold for Maduro?

American Thinker

By Monica Showalter

 

What is it about Turkey?

Yes, we expect places such as Russia and Iran to stick up for Venezuela’s hellhole regime, along with its fellow Latin socialist hellholes Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua.  But Bloomberg is reporting that U.S. NATO ally Turkey seems to be all in for helping Nicolás Maduro spirit the nation’s gold out of the country for his potentially comfortable retirement.  The picture emerges of a dictator about to make off with the light bulbs on the way out.

Back around when Maduro was eating that big steak dinner in Istanbul in front of Venezuelans for an Instagram post, here’s what had been really going on, as Bloomberg reported:

Two months after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, a mysterious company called Sardes sprang into existence.

The firm started business with a bang in January of 2018, when it imported about $41 million worth of gold from Venezuela, the first such transaction between the two countries in records that go back 50 years.  The next month its volume more than doubled, with Sardes transporting almost $100 million worth to Turkey.

The country has a history of helping embattled dictatorships, such as Iran’s, evade sanctions through the use of its financial system.  Iran uses gold transactions to evade Western sanctions and continue its business-as-usual dictatorship.  So, at a minimum, Maduro is likely using the gold transactions in Turkey to evade U.S. sanctions.

But now there’s a lot of talk of Maduro and his creepy drug-dealing cronies fleeing the country, and not surprisingly, Turkey’s name is coming up.

According to a separate Bloomberg report:

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Maduro last month to assure him of his support, addressing him as “my brother!”  The destination for tons of Venezuelan gold, Turkey has offered to take in Maduro, although only as a last recourse, according to a person familiar with the discussions.  Any decision would be taken by Erdogan directly, and right now the priority is on backing him at home, a senior Turkish official said.

What we are looking at is potential thievery, potential sanctions evasion, and potential exile plans with this strange series of gold transactions with the Turks.  Bottom line: Turkey’s crazy president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who’s made himself Turkey’s strongman and probably has a lot of democrats there out to get him alongside the Kurds, is risking Turkey’s own interests with the West to aid Maduro, someone he seems to think is important to support.

What kind of an ally is this?  Why the heck is it in NATO?  And why isn’t the U.S. warning Turkey it’s going to be sanctioned as hard as Iran and Venezuela if it doesn’t get its act together?  That and throwing this bogus ally out of NATO would be suitable consequences.

Venezuela’s gun ban is working out perfectly for the socialist agenda

Hot Air

Jazz Shaw

 

While it may seem hard to believe, there was a time when the citizens of Venezuela were allowed to keep and bear arms. This wasn’t the distant past we’re talking about either. It was only in 2012 that the socialist government of Hugo Chavez enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law.” When it was passed, the authors of the legislation pulled no punches, saying that the explicit purpose of the law was to “disarm all citizens.”

That bill was spectacularly successful, massively reducing the volume of privately owned firearms. Then, when the new tyrant, Nicolas Maduro took power and sent his swarms of federal troops and government “militias” out into the streets to crush any opposition to his regime, the unarmed populace had little recourse in the face of government guns. This fact is highlighted by a Venezuelan educator now living in exile in Ecuador. (Fox News, emphasis added)

As Venezuela continues to crumble under the socialist dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro, some are expressing words of warning – and resentment – against a six-year-old gun control bill that stripped citizens of their weapons.

Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, 28, a Venezuelan teacher of English now exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”

The unarmed population in question probably couldn’t afford to purchase any replacement firearms at this point even if it were legal. Keep in mind that most of Venezuela is so starving and impoverished at this point that families are renting caskets to display at funerals for their deceased loved ones and then burying them in plastic bags.

The effectiveness of the Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law was regularly highlighted by the government on state-run television. Here are a few of the items they featured.

  • A program allowing citizens to voluntarily trade in their arms for electrical goods
  • A tally of only 37 recorded voluntary gun surrenders
  • Meanwhile, more than 12,500 gun confiscations were conducted by force
  • Broadcasted displays of public weapons demolitions in the town square

Any of this sounding familiar to you yet? Government offers of gun “buybacks” (even if it’s in trade for goods)… mandatory gun confiscations… the destruction of weapons rather than having them go back into circulation? In case you don’t feel like clicking through, all of those linked stories in this paragraph come from events here in the United States, not in some foreign ****hole country.

If you’re watching what’s happening under expanding gun control programs in Democrat/socialist run blue states these days, consider the end game. And to do so, look no further than Venezuela. It’s really working out gangbusters for them, isn’t it?