This isn’t another release of Pirates of the Caribbean (although it is in the Caribbean), or another remake of Blackbeard’s Ghost, we’re talking real life piracy borne out of sheer desperation.
Yet another example of the utter failure of socialism.
Luxury yacht owners have been warned of a surge in piracy in the southern Caribbean, as Venezuela’s economic collapse spurs its penniless fishermen into banditry.
According to a new global survey of global maritime security, 71 piracy incidents took place in the region last year, compared to just 21 the year before.
Researchers for the charity Oceans Beyond Piracy, which compiled the survey, said that a majority of the attacks had been off the coast of Venezuela, which is currently engulfed by political turmoil and hyperinflation.
The local fishing industry, which used to operate in the Caribbean waters off Venezuela’s northern coast, has been decimated in recent years, causing many to turn to drug trafficking and – increasingly – sea robbery.
The trend has direct echoes of the Somali piracy crisis, where impoverished fishermen likewise turned to hijacking passing vessels after the country’s collapse into lawlessness in the 1990s.
“The incidents we’ve logged have been concentrated mainly in Venezuelan waters,” the report’s lead author, Maisie Pigeon, told the The Telegraph. “As in Somalia, insecure areas on land can breed wider insecurity at sea.”
The warning comes as Venezuela continues to lurch towards all-out collapse, following new international sanctions imposed on Caracas after Sunday’s disputed election that returned socialist president Nicolas Maduro to power. Mr Maduro, who denies claims that the election was rigged, responded to the sanctions by expelling two top US diplomats on Tuesday.
Hyperinflation caused by Mr Maduro’s continuation of his predecessor Hugo Chavez’s command-economy nationalisation policies has hit particularly hard in poor Venezuelan coastal states like Sucre, where fishing was once of the sole livelihood.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to speed the demise of Maduro’s brutal socialist regime, President Trump has signed new economic sanctions against Venezuela a day after the country’s socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, won elections that have been widely condemned as fraudulent.
The U.S. order would clamp down on the South American country’s ability to liquidate assets, but the Trump administration fell short of imposing threatened new oil sanctions, NPR reports.
Trump said the executive order would prevent Venezuela’s government from conducting “fire sales” of its assets.
“[This] money belongs to the Venezuelan people,” he said.
Also on Monday, 14 nations from throughout the Americas, including heavyweights such as Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, pledged to scale back diplomatic relations with Venezuela following elections over the weekend that renewed Maduro’s grip on power with a comfortable margin of victory, even though the country’s most popular leaders have been barred from running and the opposition boycotted the vote.
“We call for the Maduro regime to restore democracy, hold free and fair elections, release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally, and end the repression and economic deprivation of the Venezuelan people,” Trump said in a statement.
Maduro, 55, replaced long-time socialist ruler Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in 2013. Since then, Maduro has presided over an economy in freefall, which has spawned hyperinflation, widespread hunger and an exodus of economic refugees.
Trump also called for Venezuela to release all political prisoners, a likely reference to the case of Joshua Holt, 26-year-old Utah man who has been imprisoned without charge since he was arrested in Caracas two years ago.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
May 24th, 2018