Category Archives: drug trade analysis

Ganja Decriminalization and the Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2019, Trinidad and Tobago

Ganja decriminalization T&T style

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2019 is laid in the Parliament of T&T and its clauses reveal the politics of decriminalization from the perspective of the present government. Already on the local government 2019 campaign trail this bill has been cited as the magic n bullet to wrest control of the ganja market from gangland T&T. In keeping with the politics of the day in the west, these claims are being made devoid of context, with no reference to reality on the ground, simply delusional pie in the sky.

The Reality

T&T has the largest volume of imports of ganja in the Caribbean island chain imported solely for local consumption. T&T has the largest import based ganja local consumption market in the Caribbean. T&T has the most lucrative import based ganja market in the Caribbean island chain which shows all the symptoms of Dutch disease. This ganja market where demand outstrips supply is under the control of transnational organised crime as ganja from multiple sources are sucked into this traffickers market where they set prices because of the intense demand/supply imbalance. Transnational organised crime deliberately under-supplies the market which supports outrageous prices for imported product of questionable purity and efficacy. This grave imbalance of demand and supply heightened by the deliberate restriction of supply to drive up prices spawned and drives the ganja wars of the 21st century which are not abating. One result of these market forces is the price for a pound of local, high potency, organic non-compressed ganja at TTD 10,000. A commodity worth killing and to die for. Product is today sourced from Colombia via Venezuela, St Vincent, Guyana, Jamaica, the USA and Canada such is the potency of demand on the local ganja market. Prohibition in T&T has then failed miserably to curb demand for ganja across generational lines where the level of acceptance of ganja today as necessary to personal wellness amongst the digital generation outstrips that of the previous generation and dwarfs that of the generations of the 1960s and 1970s which were supposed to be our ganja head generations. The prohibition discourse therefore has no hegemony over the digital generation and its proponents will not go quietly hence the punitive punishment emphasis of the amendment bill.

The volume and value of illicit ganja imports that continuously and sustainably enter T&T and sold on the local ganja market potently indicate the failure of the State to police its borders and stem the corruption of State agencies by transnational organized rime to purchase impunity for their illicit trade. The State and its politicians then resort to policing the end users in their bid to maintain the grand mansion of prohibition for it is the basis of social control. The move to decriminalize the possession of 30 grams and less of ganja whilst buttressing the grand mansion of prohibition attests to the operative political imperative of the moment. The pressing need to illustrate that we deliver to our voter base in an environment of hard times, hand to mouth survival in the midst of gangland on a roll is just one operational reality. What you give with one hand you take with the next as we can only grow four male ganja plants per cycle. This condemns us to become ganja farmers overnight as the rearing of a single female ganja tree is probable cause to bust down on us whilst we reap ganja crops of less than potent and efficacious ganja we need for our personal use. The product of a male ganja tree is pure junk, of no use especially to those using ganja as medicine. The State is now policing four ganja plants to ensure we are growing the allowed type by sex, opening our four plants to policing and criminalisation by denying us access to the female plant which is the premier producer of quality ganja. The message from the politicians is then clear that we must remain consumers never evolve into producers so we either go on the ganja block or access medical marijuana sold at outrageous prices as a result of the monopoly guaranteed by the politicians to the less than 1 per centers waiting in the wings or both. Prohibition on steroids for the masses and for the oligarchs a new licit, high demand industry to bleed us by.

Transnational organised crime, gangland and decriminalization

The amendments will not defuse the ganja wars only intensify them as: demand will move out of the shadows and make itself apparent, palpable. The subsequent scramble for supply will intensify the wars and transnational organised crime will complete its assault to exert hegemony over the ganja supply side of T&T which includes producing and selling legal medical ganja. With the application of the protocols developed by transnational organised crime for retailing in a decriminalized market, ganja blocks that presently operate with purchased impunity will now operate with de facto legalization. The cost of purchased impunity from State agencies will drop whilst gangland attached to transnational organised crime maximizes its profits from the ganja trade. The single most important instrument to impact the ganja wars i.e. the number of plants a person can plant, rear and reap has been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Four male plants is then worse than none at all when what we need are seven plants per person. But seven plants per person places the medical marijuana hustle in jeopardy. In order to justify its intervention vehicle the State refuses to recognize and act upon the ganja wars, the blood letting simply does not matter exposing the worldview of a prohibitionist.

The salient reality is the powerlessness of the State and its politicians to prevent transnational organised crime from exerting hegemony over the legal ganja business in T&T. Wherever the MTTOs are operational in a decriminalized or legalized ganja market they fully exploit these markets just look at the State of California, USA. In the case of T&T demand is not going away no matter what the prohibitionists say and transnational crime dominates the supply side of the market best poised to dominate the present intervention to ensure sustainable hegemony coupled with profit maximization. The present bill is then a boon, a free ride to transnational organised crime and its affiliates in gangland T&T because of the refusal of the politicians to recognize that prohibition has failed and is the cause of the blood letting of the ganja wars. If you don’t have the testicular fortitude to legalize ganja then accept that your only worthwhile intervention in this market is to give persons the right to plant a quantum of ganja plants that will change the supply side dynamics of the market but you cannot do this as it is does not flow with your political DNA.

The creation of retail outlets selling licit ganja termed medical ganja will heighten the present level of criminal violence in T&T as these outlets will be mobbed, robbed and looted to seize their cash and ganja stock in trade as in decriminalized ganja markets this is the new criminal growth enterprise. This will be especially so in T&T given the acute imbalance between demand and supply. Cash earned from the sale of licit ganja in T&T will be banked where? Banks in T&T connected to SWIFT via correspondent banks under the control of the New York Fed face expulsion as in the USA this is drug money, dirty money subject to interdiction and sanction of the correspondent banks. Prohibition for the masses but putting the financial system at existential risk for the oligarchs.

The decriminalization of possession of 30 grams and less of ganja is h not the end of prohibition. In the great mansion of prohibition decriminalization is a very small room and this will expressed via the backlash that will be unleashed whenever the bill becomes law. Expect urine analysis tests when you apply for a job and no job when you test positive, expect more and more drug testing on the job putting the Industrial Court in play given its jurisprudence of treating with a permanent employee with an addiction problem. For due to no lack of trying there is no data to-date that proves ganja use alters the chemistry of the brain to render the brain dependent on the substance. That is what is an addiction. Ganja is not rum, tobacco, crack, meth, Ex etc. Whilst you are policing the end users transnational organised crime trafficks tonnes of ganja at will with impunity. This bill is then faulty legislation which is worst than none at all because it refuses to deal with the specific and unique features of the local ganja market of T&T and when enacted as law the ganja wars, the violence that results will escalate in T&T with no effective rise in economic activity in the licit economy. It is then a boon, a windfall for transnational organised crime. Pax Mexicana!

Now Published Online as e-books!

Massa’s White Supremacist Discourse of West Indian Negro Slavery Deconstructed Volume 2 has been published online as an e-book. This work is a deconstruction of the works of four white supremacists who wrote on the nature of slave societies of Jamaica and the British colonies of the Eastern Caribbean from the late eighteenth century to the 1830s, the threats posed to white hegemony and the strategy to deal with said threats. These authors are: Bryan Edwards foremost discursive agent of white supremacy in the British West Indies who formulated a hegemonic discourse of white supremacy in the British West Indies and led an assault on the abolitionists in the House of Commons of Britain noted for its potency by the abolitionists. Bryan Edwards’ discourse of West Indian white supremacy is potently instructive of the discursive basis of this white discourse revealing the congenital failure especially since independence to deconstruct this discourse thereby silencing the neo-colonial versions that now circulate as fact. Frederic William Naylor Bayley is steeped in Edwards’ discourse of West Indian white supremacy and his work is devoted to proving that the enslaved Africans are not fit for freedom. There must then be a prolonged period of enslavement which will prepare the enslaved for freedom as there is now in the British Eastern Caribbean colonies an ameliorated slavery, an evolved slavery under the rule of law and progressive, modern massas which will prepare the enslaved for freedom at some point in time in the future. Benjamin McMahon is a white supremacist abolitionist who destroys the myth that there was an ameliorated slavery in Jamaica from the abolition of the slave trade to the abolition of slavery. McMahon presents in graphic detail the daily, barbaric operational reality of African enslavement in Jamaica in the early nineteenth century and insights into the evolution of white supremacy in Jamaica. The final author is Mary Nugent wife of the Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica who was resident in Jamaica from 1801 to 1805. Nugent’s discourse of the blackies presents a Christian discourse of the necessity of African enslavement whilst she gives potent insights into British colonial rule and the nature of the social order. Nugent rails against the threat posed by the Haitian Revolution to white supremacy in Jamaica placing this epochal event of African liberation in the context of the reaction by a female white supremacist. The abiding lesson of this text is the potent failure of neo-colonial discourse to grapple with and articulate the reality of West Indian white supremacist discourse as the discourse is servile in the 21st century to massa ‘s discourse of white supremacy seen in the myths and lies it peddles as fact and history.

Frantz Fanon for the 21st century volume 3 is now published online as e-book. This is a deconstruction of the writings of Fanon on the Algerian Revolution in a search for insights into the failure and collapse of this revolution in spite of all that Fanon wrote. What is revealed is Fanon’s discourse of revolution being in a state of transition at the time of his death where he was questioning the concepts of revolution he borrowed from western discourse in a search for insights to create a new discourse of revolution applicable to the colonial and neo-colonial world. The grave stress revealed in Fanon’s discourse of revolution in Algeria is the place and position of Islamic discourse in the mechanics of this revolution and Fanon grappling with this reality reveals all the contradictions of being non-white and revolutionary yet defining your world through white discourse. The collapse of the Algerian revolution indicates potently that white ideas of revolution inevitable lead to neo-colonial domination premised on oligarchic rule over the revolution. Did Fanon see flashes of this collapse before the expulsion of the French colonizer was finalized?

Pax Mexicana is in the 4th quarter 2019 Hegemonic over T&T

The MTTOs’ order is now Hegemonic in T&T

I wrote The Myths and Reality of Gangland” on a new order in the process of establish its hegemony over the illicit trades and gangland of T&T. In the final quarter of 2019 the signs on the ground now potently indicate that this hegemony has been attained and is being actively policed and enforced. The wars of Enterprise/Crown Trace are no more, persons spoken of on the ground with fear and awe are dead and their organisations dismantled but there has been no disruption to supply, in fact supply has exploded but only for those affiliated to the MTTOs. The new order of the MTTOs is rapidly changing gangland T&T where those who are now affiliates of the MTTOs are the new haves turned into local and international traffickers with product to play with. The small body of independents who supplied specific sections of gangland and the local market now absorbed by the MTTOs are making the most rapid evolutionary jump as suppliers to the local drug market and international drug traffickers. The ranks of the new haves created by the MTTOs are then the product of a new structure introduced by the business model of the MTTOs to the illicit trafficking order of T&T. This new order of haves has already impacted the social order and will deepen its impact with time as formerly marginalized functionaries of the illicit order of T&T are now players. The quest to earn is now paramount and in order to earn you must abide by the order and discipline of the MTTOs business model. The rationale for the old wars of gangland T&T no longer hold as crews, cliques and sets drawn from supposedly warring factions of gangland T&T now find themselves under the order of the MTTOs. The change in the power relations of gangland T&T on the ground is now apparent for those with the eyes to see as it is now apparent that there is a new order exerting power over the old gangland order.

The strategic discourse and its instruments of power of the apex transnational illicit trafficking organization of all times applied to the illicit order of T&T has created this change which destroyed the old balance of power with those on the receiving end incapable of matching the power of the MTTOs. Indicators of the application of MTTOs power and the strategy driving this action are: the giving up/dropping of dimes/informing on the armories of the those targeted especially collections of AR 15s, illicit enterprises and on perpetrators. This strategy is also applied to international trafficking operations to the US and Europe in those locales. The cleansing of threats posed to the order of the MTTOs and those bent on mindless violence who pose a threat to the business climate of spaces under the control of the MTTOs.. Hegemony is now being policed and enforced towards a disciplined environment conducive to business, to earning.

The flood of product entering T&T for export/transshipment and local consumption is the most important indicator of the hegemony of the new order, whilst interdiction levels no way reflect the volume of product entering and leaving T&T. This flood of imports/exports will be ratcheted up to the point where the national security apparatus is inundated with a tsunami of trafficked product. The marketing of molly is part of this strategy to create a synthetic drug market in T&T as crack cocaine is a sunset market creating a product mix of ganja, cocaine and synthetic drugs for the internal drug market. Cocaine and heroin remains the dominant illicit drugs exported/transshipped with fentanyl added to the product mix. The rising sales of molly, ex and zesser pills indicate the denial that pervades the response of the state and media premised on ignorance. Descriptions of the impact of the use of these synthetic drugs available locally point to the impact of methamphetamine on the user not ex or Molly mixed with cocaine delivered as pills. MTTOs’ industrial grade meth has the purity and potency to deliver the reported impact on the human user when consumed as pills. To mix Molly and cocaine as pills and to deliver such impact to the human user is not in keeping with the pharmacology of both drugs and the cocaine has to be high purity to impact the body when consumed as a pill. Why then do all of that when you have high grade, high potency industrial meth that keeps you zessing for days with all the bad trips that come with this potent crank?

This condition of hegemony of the MTTOs will exert potent pressure on the state of T&T as all state agencies that are charged with engaging with the MTTOs will be the recipient of the onslaught unleashed by the strategy to coerce the state through its corruption by the MTTOs. Organised crime groups already existing in these agencies will be co-opted and exposed to the MTTOs model where they are turned into traffickers in their own right. The end sought is coercion of the state through corrupting especially its armed agencies not state capture, forcing an accommodation between the state and the illicit order under the hegemony of the MTTOs. T&T is now ripe for the picking. Pax Mexicana!

In a very short time from now there will no longer be any need to write on this reality only about the realities that arise from the hegemony of the MTTOs.

Trinidad and Tobago: the Illicit Drug Trade, Gangland and the Cleansing 2013-2019

The Cleansing of the Old Order of Illicit Trafficking in T&T 2013-2019

In the fourth quarter 2013 the process of cleansing the gate-keepers and middle managers of the old order of illicit trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) commenced. This cleansing commenced in the South-Western peninsula of Trinidad, moved to the lower Western coast of the Gulf of Paria, then to the East coast of Trinidad. During this period of cleansing the impact of the cleansing boosted the murder toll especially in the ganja trade as voids created when actors fell by the wayside became objects to die for in a bid to fill these voids. But the salient issue with this cleansing was supply as a new order of supply was discernible on the ground and filling the void did not guarantee supply. There were new rules governing supply which were creating the haves and the have nots, characterized by a huge disparity in the ability to earn, to generate and amass wealth and to display the firepower that is acquired with wealth. This was now the era of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in T&T.

In 2018 the cleansing shifted gears, moving higher up the food chain as a key middle manager and his organization with ties to gangland as their source of supply were removed leaving a void in supply located in Central Trinidad with extensive contacts in the South and in the East-West corridor. In 2019 the same was repeated where another middle manager with extensive ties to gangland as a source of supply was removed leaving Northern Trinidad void. There is no short fall in supply, in fact supply of a menu of products has increased in volume, the issue today is access to this tsunami of supply as access is restricted.

This cleansing has accelerated up the food chain simultaneously with the flood of illicit drugs imported into T&T for export to the Caribbean island chain, Britain, the EU, Canada and the US. All signs point to the creation of an illicit trafficking infrastructure to switch T&T on as a major trafficking point of the Caribbean island chain. The last attempt made to do this was in the decade of the 1990’s by T&T traffickers which failed. Today this assault is being mounted by Mexican Transnational Trafficking Organisations (MTTOs). This cleansing is ongoing simultaneously with the explosion of production of ganja in Colombia for export to the Caribbean through Venezuela. Venezuela today is inundated with a tsunami of Colombian ganja especially Colombian Kush which is the premier export product to the Caribbean. For the first time in its illicit drug history Venezuela is now evolving into a major consumer of ganja whilst being the premier export point to the Caribbean island chain. Utilizing the constant, persistent, velocity drip method of trafficking ganja is moved from the Western states of Venezuela to states of Eastern Venezuela from Nueva Esparta eastwards for trafficking to the Caribbean island chain where demand outstrips supply. In T&T one ounce of Colombian Kush retail sells for between TT$500-600. The cleansing is taking place simultaneously with a squeeze on the supply side of the illicit drug trade as the MTTOs’ business model is antagonistic to the old Colombian model created by the Valle Norte federation which is now history. The old Colombian model sold kilo bricks to buyers who were responsible for trafficking what they purchased from the supplier. Caribbean citizens resident in the Caribbean islands in the decade of the 1990s were now allowed to get into the Game as traffickers by purchasing the services of brokers who supplied the cocaine and transported the loads to Europe and the USA for an agreed upon price per load. These Caribbean traffickers became filthy rich within one generation and dominate the civil societies of the Caribbean. The MTTOs exerted hegemony over the trade from the late 1990s to early 21st century rolling out their business model on the ground where they sold their product to no one, whilst forming partnerships and affiliations with transnational organised crime where together they control their product from production to retail sales on the streets of the North Atlantic. Fully integrated illicit enterprises with forward and backward linkages.

In T&T, the MTTOs have applied the supply sanctions, reformulated gangland by taking affiliations with factions, cliques and sets creating the haves and the have nots which drives violence. The gate-keepers and the middle managers being removed were all the creation of the Colombian business model, have all been refused affiliated status hence expendable in the order of the MTTOs. Those who depended on supply from those removed are now in dire straits seeking supply, for without supply they cannot earn and when a clique, set or faction cannot earn it embraces mindless violence as the solution. T&T is now today, on the road to the Jamaican reality as the MTTOs unleashed their model first in Jamaica in the Caribbean island chain where the have nots have rolled out predatory violence in a last gasp measure to survive, on the wider populace. The MTTOs will continue moving up the food chain and will soon enter the realm of the apex Caribbean traffickers as in other parts of the Caribbean basin they have purged these traffickers, literally erasing them from the landscape of trafficking in Guatemala and Honduras. The MTTOs use a variety of methods of cleansing including giving up these traffickers to the US federal government. The most potent blow to Caribbean traffickers is the ongoing purge of the structure of brokers utilized by Caribbean traffickers to acquire and traffick cocaine especially to Europe. The MTTOs formed a partnership with the Ndrangheta to unleash a tsunami of cocaine on Europe and in so doing they destroyed the system of brokers thereby clearing the market of the competition. What is noteworthy in this cleansing is the willingness of the Ndrangheta to give up brokers who served their organization, to attain the strategic goals of the federation with the MTTOs. Apex T&T traffickers in 2019 now find themselves in dire straits, starved of supply and faced with the prospect of a US extradition warrant and much worse. In the event of this action unfurled the oligarchs of the social order of T&T will be rocked to its core and the tattered legitimacy of the licit order will be consumed illustrated by the political fallout that will envelop us as a nation threatening to transform us into another banana republic.

A potent indicator of the fall out from the business model of the MTTOs is the present shakeout in the fuel smuggling trade of T&T. With the closure of the local refinery, the fuel smuggling trade now has a supply side problem which is driving a shakeout as the have nots fall by the wayside and are driven by the urgency to secure supply to earn. The squeeze on the supply side for other illicit products has heightened this dislocation which is spurring various acts of graphic violence in a desperate quest to earn. The present scenario will push the have nots to attack the haves in a bid to seize their supply which will intensify the cleansing.

In 2019 the strategy of the MTTOs for Trinidad and Tobago is now clearly apparent on the ground. This strategy is: dominate the supply of ganja to the market whilst increasing the dominance of their affiliates of the retail market, increase the volume of illicit drugs transshipped from T&T towards turning T&T into a major export point of the southern Caribbean. T&T will become a major transit point of the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECTP) and a noted contributor to the trans Atlantic flow to Europe and Africa, expand the local market for a range of illicit drugs, fully exploit all other opportunities available in the T&T market as fake/counterfeit goods, smuggled goods, human smuggling, foreign exchange sales and investment, money laundering and exploitation of T&T’s energy resources and products. This strategy intends to increase the earning potential and the maximization of profits of the MTTOs, their partners, affiliates and affiliates of their affiliates. The transformation of the illicit trades presently ongoing in T&T will deepen. thereby changing forever the nature and operational basis of the illicit trades and gangland T&T forever.

Now Published! “Massa’s White Supremacist Discourse of West Indian Negro Slavery Deconstructed Vol. 1”

In memory of the Resistance of our enslaved ancestors to massa’s enslavement in the West Indies. This work is a deconstruction of a diary/letters and a journal of two white owners of plantations rooted in enslaved labour in the West Indies. These are : the diary and letters of Pierre Dessalles, a white, French planter of Martinique from 1808-1856 and the journal of Matthew Gregory Lewis, an absentee owner of two plantations in Jamaica resident in England from 1815-16 and 1817. These original documents in the hands of Dessalles and Lewis expose the nature of white supremacist discourse as the driving force of non-white enslavement in the West Indies and colonial domination. This white supremacist discourse formulated in the  slave colonies of the West Indies deeply impacted the evolution of white supremacist discourse in the North Atlantic enabling its quest for North Atlantic hegemony which it attained and still exerts in the 21st century. The daily resistance of the enslaved to the power of massa of life and death is especially noted in this work being a constant theme of Dessalles and Lewis. In the face of the spectrum of trauma generated by the white power of life and death of massa, the enslaved resisted to the point of taking their own lives, denying massa’s power of life and death. In the neo-colonial condition we constantly refuse to accept, understand and embrace the resistance of our enslaved ancestors for fear of rejecting the neo-colonial condition we embrace premised on white supremacy. We also refuse to understand the nature of white supremacist discourse formulated in the West Indies and unleashed on non-white races because we refuse to look in the mirror and finally see what a being plagued with hallucinatory whiteness looks like. To understand white supremacist discourse invalidates all  what the neo-colonial condition insists we must be, fit and able for massa’s modernity and progress. Our enslaved ancestors by their their resistance continue to convict us for being willing participants in our genocide.

 

The Myth and Reality of Venezuelan Migration to Trinidad and Tobago in the 21st century

The Myth and Reality of the Venezuelan migration to Trinidad and Tobago

The migrant flow to T&T in the 21st century started in the post failed April 2002 coup against Chavez, the assault on PDVSA and the rebellion displayed in Altamira thereafter. Hard core anti-Chavistas came with their skills to T&T, found employment and continue to seek to be the face and voice of the Venezuelan migrant community in the 21st century. But their reality is not the reality of those now entering T&T since 2013 and especially since 2018 as an entirely different demographic is now flooding our shores. The T&T media continues to peddle the rhetoric of this group as “the reality” and in so doing are willingly evading presenting the other realities which and will continue to impact our national security.

Before the coming of the anti-Chavista group, T&T as a result of the drug trade was always visited by organised crime from Venezuela and select individuals established families in T&T and took up residence in T&T. This organised crime group established deep operational linkages in T&T with T&T groups and was well placed to exploit any and all developments in Venezuela that allows them to earn, to generate wealth. They are silent, faceless and wield great power over the entire Venezuelan migrant community of T&T.

In the period 2012 the flow started where Venezuelan women came to Trinidad and were purchased with a bride price of TTD 20,000 to 30,000 and the man paying the bride price must marry her legally under the laws of T&T. With marriage and her legal residence in T&T the process commenced of importing her family, friends etc. At this same time the children of families with a T&T citizen as a parent or grandparent started the process of returning home. They are bilingual and easily found jobs and integrated themselves into the social order of part of their ancestry. The demand to enter T&T was now rising in Venezuela but specifically in the eastern zone of Venezuela namely Sucre, Delta Amacuro and Monagas states and amongst those in the rest of Venezuela who knew of T&T as in Valencia. This zone is critically underdeveloped compared to the oil zone and Caracas and is the eastern drug trafficking zone of Venezuela. Changes in the order of the drug trade in the 21st century deeply impacted this zone as the nature of the supply of product changed and more tonnage was shifted to Brazil for export. This dislocation flowed with the severe neo-liberal austerity Maduro applied in response to the fall in oil prices intensifying the dislocation and suffering in this zone. One response to this economic malaise was migration to T&T.

This rising demand created the provision of the supply of services by organised crime in Venezuela working with those in T&T. Packages of services were formulated with cost attached in US dollars and those with no linkages to , no resources in T&T to utilise bought those packages. Those who cannot afford those packages then found themselves in the hands of the bottom feeders. The fundamental rule is that to travel to T&T you must pay the transporter and the tax levied by the agents of the state. You choose a transporter who refuses to pay the tax then anything is possible. You choose a transporter who is underselling organised crime then anything can happen.

What is obvious is that the client is willingly taking part in a criminal enterprise to enter T&T and they abide by the rules of the game set out by the transporters. The commitment by the client to criminality is hierarchical as the apex is to be transported to T&T evading immigration and customs, picked up on landing in T&T, transported to a safe house and provided with employment. This package starts at USD 3,000 with the most expensive package being entry into T&T via an airline, a no problem exit via immigration, pick up at the airport and transportation to the safe house and employment starting at USD 5,000. The run of the mill route was via the ferries out of Guiria, passage through immigration and customs, pick up and transport etc USD 3,500 minimum. With the closure of the ferry for runs into T&T you now must pay for an illicit entry which is the barest minimum dropped off on T&T soil, no transportation internally, no safe house, no job: USD 500 per head. This is not a charity you must pay one way or the other. You pay cash US dollars or you sell yourself and your children if they are with you into slavery. Those with family in T&T who are paying where are they generating the income to pay this price per head? This is a price that many of us in T&T, citizens of T&T cannot afford! If they are paying from Venezuela understand the reality of this. In Venezuela today the minimum wage is about USD 8 per month which means that to earn USD 500 will take 62.5 months which means that you and your family have resources whether licit or illicit or both. The discourse is that you are suffering, poor and indigent which meant that you sold yourself and your children where applicable into slavery. Why then enter T&T fully outfitted in keeping with the manual of the human smugglers: no Venezuelan passport nor cedula which means that you are stateless and cannot be easily deported. A passport today in Venezuela officially costs SB 160,000 and a renewal SB 80,000 and you can purchase one unofficially for much less then the minimum package in USD to be illicitly inserted in T&T. Whilst a cedula is obtained unofficially for way much less so you are a genuine migrant and you don’t even have a cedula? Try that on the regime change media of T&T not a T&T panyol as myself. Next smuggling play, every Venezuelan interdicted in a brothel was trafficked and is a sex slave because you are taught that you are an illegal migrant working in an illegal industry so when caught cry a lot and give the story of being forced into sexual slavery as it buys you sympathy. The overwhelming reality in T&T and the rest of the Caribbean especially the Dominican Republic is that the demand for transportation for sexual work by Venezuelans outstrips supply. You then have to be a very small minority to have fallen into the hands of those who have to hold women in bondage to be sex workers when the overwhelming majority are willing. Contrary to the myth of Hollywood hard core human smugglers don’t view bondage sex workers as being earners and viable as they as they pose potent risks to the sustainability of the criminal enterprise. In T&T today the human smugglers are now faced with earning from those who cannot pay for their services and they intend to collect their debt which has resulted in handing them off to others who will exploit their labour and service the debt to the smugglers. We now have flesh markets with the most valuable being the markets for the children owned by the smugglers for services rendered attracting the pedophile rings that trawl the Caribbean moving in. Child pedo porn made in T&T anyone!

This flow of Venezuelan women into the sex trade in the T&T market has now resulted in a surplus of Spanish favours on the market which has destroyed the previous situation of demand outstripping supply to one of oversupply which has collapsed the price of Spanish favours. Venezuelan crime groups have moved in and established residences selling favours throughout T&T which has negatively impacted the market position of the powerful, traditional brothels that dominated the supply of Spanish favours. The collapse in the price of Spanish favours has impacted the demand for and the price of favours from non-Spanish women thereby dislocating the market for sexual favours in T&T. This trend is now operational in Tobago. This is a trend noted in the Dominican Republic where in a country that supplies the highest per capita number of its citizens to sex work in the world, the Venezuelans have now flooded into the industry in such numbers seeking to displace the citizens of the Dominican Republic in the industry in the Dominican Republic.

Before the flow of Venezuelan migrants to T&T became a wave Venezuelan organised crime in T&T was undergoing a change that commenced in the fourth quarter of 2013 that is now changing the landscape of supply and gangland in T&T. The new order of the Mexican transnational trafficking organisations impacted Venezuela and by extension T&T generating problems of supply for those who found themselves excluded from the Mexican supply chain. The migrant flow and then the wave brought Venezuelan organised crime and gangland into T&T who had no presence in T&T previously. These new entrants from street gang members on the run from FAES in Venezuela because they lost a war over supply and turf to members of trafficking organisations in Zulia and Tachira states they are now here and the terms of endearment with the occupiers of the turf with their allies in gangland have to be worked out. Both the original and the newly arrived control the smuggling into and intra T&T of the migrants and wield power over the migrant community who have all taken a vow of umerto. The central issue for T&T is the relationship with gangland T&T that will be worked out by the new entrants as they are disruptors in an already unstable terrain in transition under the hegemony of the Mexicans. Already the signs are that the new arrivals are promising those displaced by the new order, supply of what they are looking for ganja and guns but as to their ability to supply and their potential to trigger a gangland war if they can does not bode well for T&T. Another reality that must be understood and monitored is the arrival of Venezuelans with military and law enforcement training and experience within the migrant flow seeking employment. These are assets organised crime and gangland will not fail to exploit to their benefit especially if they are indebted to the transporters. Whilst the migrant flow is the best way to import foot soldiers from Venezuela. Finally, the members of organised crime groups and Venezuelan gangland present in T&T will not register with the government as they must remain nameless, faceless with no trace of them in the system. The challenge is come and find me and deport me! The terrain of criminality in T&T has now changed markedly with this wave of migrants from Venezuela.

April 30, 2019, Venezuela and the geo-political gambit

Venezuela: May 30, 2019 what was that! An attempted coup d’etat, a cessation of usurpation or where Guaido and Maduro merged

Whatever that action was on May 30, 2019 in Venezuela all it proved is that there is no difference between Maduro and Guaido as they both live on the glory of others. Maduro on that of Chavez and Guaido on the implied power of the US on their own, singly, personally they are farts in a gale of wind. Maduro now finds that he must now make room in his pantheon of those whose legacy he feeds off for Putin and Xi Jinping in order to survive politically in Venezuela. Whilst Guaido must forever be the lapdog of the Washington oligarchy of the US. Both Maduro and Guaido have then single handedly destroyed the independence of Venezuela where a simple internal political struggle has now ballooned into a turf war between Trump vs China and Russia who have clearly drawn a line in the sand using the actions of Trump against Iran and Venezuela. Maduro and Guaido are doing every thing and anything in their power to bring this internal conflict to a conflict on the world stage for they are nothing without the intervention of transnational conflict. Maduro and Guaido need each other: they both want no new elections which will open up the field to candidates previously barred from entering for both of them will lose, they both desire to rule Venezuela for ad infinitum using poverty as the weapon of social control, They both share the same neo-liberal financial market austere crony, brigand capitalist worldview and they are both Afro-mestizo with a deep grave, inferiority complex in favour of the blancos of the North Atlantic.

In the presidential elections of 2013 when it was potently illustrated that Maduro was not the heir of the Chavez revolution, he set about the task of purging the Chavistas paying no mind to the grave weaknesses of the economy in light of US regime change agendas made manifest long before Trump. Maduro’s agenda was to apply a dose of neo-liberal austerity whilst intensifying all the endemic weak points of the national infrastructure and economy. Rather than sell CITGO and exit the US he held on to it, rather than defaulting on the debt he squeezed Venezuelans with the Maduro diet to service the debt rather than fixing the national electricity grid he and his gang looted the nation. The result was hyperinflation that is now here to stay and has impoverished Venezuelans. Maduro’s strategy enabled the Trump assault on Venezuela rather that adopting counter measures in advance.

Guaido and his blanco overlord Lopez did everything in their power to make Venezuela ungovernable and in doing so made Maduro relevant for they never had intentions to participate in the process as they are convinced they cannot defeat Chavez’s ghost. Maduro is then their greatest asset and the unearned gift Chavez handed them. Now the question arises of what is Guaido doing with the access to sanctioned funds of Venezuela Trump has given access to? For the masses are certainly not reaping the benefits of these funds whilst the bondholders of Venezuela are. Since April 30, the masses have voted with their feet on Guaido seen in the collapse of the crowds he now draws in his public campaign to end the usurpation. Whilst all of these games are ongoing in Venezuela the future will be decided by the power relations between now two opposed groups of world power: China and Russia staring down Trump. This is what is important for there is stalemate in Venezuela which will be broken by the actions of these two groups and the terrain of this action must be understood for Maduro, Guaido, the Fanb and the masses are reacting to these power relations for both Maduro and Guaido are politically irrelevant without this power relation. In 2019 Maduro was slated for removal by the Chavista movement many insist that his replacement was slated to be Diosdado. Trump saved Maduro to have him face off with Guaido rather than a new Chavista face. The question now arises of the continued survival of Maduro given his dismal leadership record, at this time time when the global battle for Venezuela has now arrived at the cusp of invasion and war. Does China and Russia want and need Maduro in Miraflores at this critical juncture in the world power engagement?

For this analysis three articles on the role of Russia in Venezuela by the Jamestown Foundation of the US will be deconstructed to reveal a discourse of the world power game in Venezuela and how it impacts power relations between China, Russia and the US with Venezuela as a proxy for direct engagement between these powers.

Article 1:Behind the scenes of Russia’s military detachment to Venezuela (April 2, 2019
https://jamestown.org/program/behind-the-scenes-of-russias-military-detachment-to-venezuela/

On March 23, 2019 it was reported that 99 Russian military specialists arrived in Venezuela and are still there. On March 28, 2019 it was reported that 28 of the 99 Russian military specialists who are cyber experts were posted at Cuidad Guayana at the heart of the Venezuelan hydro-electric generation system supposedly to hardened the electrical system from further cyber attacks. Which points to a double pronged mission aim for the 99 Russian military specialists and their commander on the ground in Venezuela. These are: 1. to harden key strategic national infrastructure against cyber attacks and 2, to quickly establish a national command and control system with its infrastructure over the mainly Russian built and supplied anti-aircraft and anti-missile assets of Venezuela. Key to this task is the commissioning and deployment of the S 300 anti-aircraft and anti- missile batteries which are still in their shipping containers. On March 28, 2019 Cuban media reported that it was Diosdado Cabello who negotiated the stationing of the Russian military contingent in Venezuela, its mission scope and terms of engagement. On March 30, Cuban media reported that Venezuela received 65 tons of aid from China which signals China’s commitment to engaging the US and its stated aim of regime change. Issues then arise if Diosdado will soon replace Maduro as the leader of the government and what is the allocation of roles between China and Russia in this joint effort to stymie Trump’s strategy for regime change. What is obvious is that Russia and China have drawn the line in the sand for Trump over Venezuela and this throwing down of the gauntlet has much more to do than the billions of USD both countries have pumped into Venezuela. Trump’s white supremacist foreign policy in action has earned and generated this push back. Venezuela is now a proxy war between world powers.

Article 2: Russia steps deeper into the Venezuelan battleground (May 2, 2019)

https://jamestown.org/program/russia-steps-deeper-into-the-venezuelan-battleground/

This article alleges that a deal was made between Moscow, Beijing and Washington with the high command of the FANB to remove Maduro install Guaido who will then call elections. On April 30, 2019 the FANB refused to comply with the deal allegedly as a result of actions taken by Guaido on the morning of April 30, 2019 and squashed the deal. The article details the Venezuelan military’s potential to do grave harm to any invasion force with a commissioned and operational anti-aircraft and and anti-missile system consisting of Russian hardware under Russian oversight in Venezuela. For the collapse oi the deal to remove Maduro with a palace coup means that war is now the only means to regime change. The article lists the hardware Venezuela possesses on the ground as: S-300VM (Antey-2500) long range interceptors, Buk-M2 and S-125 Pechora short range anti-aircraft missiles. If Russia has now decided that it will now play a game of chicken with Trump as it is willing to engage militarily with the US and its proxies bordering Venezuela then this is a whole new ball game. A ball game that dwarfs the game Russia plays in Syria the effects of which will wash over all of us in the Caribbean. The white supremacist bully boy on the block just got a throw down in his backyard. How many wars can you fight simultaneously Venezuela, Iran, North Korea plus a trade war that is growing cold with China and a cold war with Russia?

Article 3: Putin and Lavrov rebuff Pompeo’s overtures in Sochi

https://jamestown.org/program/putin-and-lavrov-rebuff-pompeos-overtures-in-sochi/

This article deals with the strategic need for a deal with Moscow if Trump is to attain his foreign policy agenda involving Iran and Venezuela. Trump simply cannot fight two wars simultaneously limiting the political fall out on his re-election bid without Russia giving up one of the two or both. It is as simple as that! Hence Trump’s phone call to Putin and Pompeo’s visit to Russia to speak to Putin. But Putin is calling the shots as Trump needs Russian acquiescence not Putin therefore Putin chose to play coy in Sochi. The central issue Trump must now face is credibility and trust or what have you ever done for me? You simply cannot trust a deal breaker and now the chickens are coming home to roost. The article insists that Russia has three strategic aims: to resist all efforts for regime change in Venezuela, to resist all attempts to strangle Iran by sanctions or military means and to stymie all US efforts to divide China and Russia. Trump has handed Putin the means to effect his strategy to limit US geo-political power whilst boosting Russia’s military power towards bargaining with the US from a position of strength. What happens in Venezuela will be decided in Washington, Moscow and Beijing not in Venezuela and in this brawl of the elephants, all of us, the grass of the Third World will be trampled. Now is the time that we put T&T’s interest and our national security first. Let the elephants who are fighting over the carcass of Venezuela deal with the blow-back from their actions. We in T&T had no hand in the debacle of Venezuela why must we now pay the price?