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  • Wednesday Evening.

    The lady has gone to an evening swimming class.
    The boy is playing lego island on the pc.
    I have been watching the moon while smoking a fag.

    It is so quiet - and cold brr.
    Summer has finally left - boo.

    All is well and it feels...good.

  • Ukraine And Its Energy Resources.

    US companies and politicians have staked major claims
     

    Competition for energy resources is the unspoken story behind the Ukrainian conflict. 

    With Ukraine having Europe’s third largest shale gas reserves this factor is being underestimated.

    US and western energy companies have been heavily involved in Ukrainian energy and shale gas developments. 

    So are some Americans with big political ties.  Hunter Biden, son of US Vice President Biden, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian private oil and gas company Burisma. Burisma holds the rights to develop shale gas fields in Ukraine.  Biden is not the only American with political ties to have been appointed to Burisma’s board. David Leiter, former Senate chief of staff to Secretary of State John Kerry, and Devon Archer, former adviser to John’s Kerry 2004 presidential campaign, have both been signed on.  

    In January of last year, Royal Dutch Shell signed a 50 years tripartite production agreement with the Ukrainian state-owned company NAK Nadra-Yuzivska and the private SPK Geosrvis. According to the agreement Shell will invest up to $50 billion to start up industrial-scale shale gas extraction in eastern Ukraine by 2017.

    In November of last year, US oil and gas company Chevron signed a 50 year agreement to develop oil and gas fields in Western Ukraine.

    And ExxonMobil has chosen to explore for offshore gas in the Black Sea.

    With Ukraine having Europe’s third-largest shale gas reserves (1.2 trillion cubic meters according to the US Energy Information Administration) the stakes could not be higher.

    The fact that most of the energy resources are located in those regions that have recently experienced unrest could be a factor in the conflict. The Dnieper Donets Basin, the region where unrest has been strongest, is Ukraine’s major oil and gas-producing region accounting for approximately 90% of production.  An important gas field is Yuzivska located in Donetsk and Kharkiv regions, the site of major unrest.  Slovyansk, where fighting in the period April to July was fiercest, lies at the heart of the Yuzivska field. 

    In an interview given to a Russian newspaper, retired Ukrainian General Valery Melevanii explained his view that popular opposition to shale gas exploitation in the region is what motivates Kiev’s military action there.

    By emphasizing the political sources of the conflict the media has understated the extent to which it is a straightforward natural resources grab as US backed energy firms look to expand their footprint in Europe.

  • Up And Down The Country.

    WOMEN are turning to prostitution to feed their children as welfare reforms hit the poorest and most vulnerable families in Hull.

    Staff at the Lighthouse Project, a charity supporting street workers in Hull, have seen a increase in women turning to prostitution as unemployment rates soar and benefit cuts take hold.

    Humberside Police is about to launch a new campaign to help the women after recognising the problem, Anne Dannerolle, chair of trustees at the charity, revealed they are now giving out food parcels to the women selling their bodies for sex.

    She said: "We have started to see women who are literally starving and they are out there to feed themselves.

    #Kickoutthetories
    #Changethesystem

    Read more: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Mums-selling-sex-feed-children-benefit-cuts-hit/story-19650230-detail/story.html#ixzz3EjTsXLyo

  • Attacks On Iraq And Syria - State Sponsored Terrorism.

    by Scott Creighton

    “3-84. At the core of IW are insurgency and COIN. The purpose of insurgency is to overthrow and replace an established government or societal structure.Terrorism and CT are activities conducted as part of IW and are frequently subactivities of insurgency and COIN . However, terrorism may also stand alone when its purpose is to coerce or intimidate governments or societies without overthrowing them” Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare

    As is the case in most of our unconventional warfare destabilization campaigns, the one taking place in Syria right now is targeting civilian and industrial infrastructure in an attempt to decimate the cohesiveness of the Syrian society, making it painful in so many ways for the indigenous population to continue their support of their elected government. Obama justifies this with the fictitious ISIS™ Crisis.

    “U.S.-led coalition warplanes bombed Islamic State group positions overnight across four provinces in northern and eastern Syria, hitting a grain silo as well as the country’s largest gas plant… and oil installations

    ‘… reported the strike on the grain silo in Manbij, northeast of Aleppo city. It said the attack ignited a fire at the facility.”

    “… raids hit an abandoned military base and an empty school, sending pillars of smoke and dust into the air. He said Islamic State fighters cleared out of the military about three or four months ago.”

     

    “The Observatory says at least 19 civilians have been killed so far in coalition airstrikes

    “Human Rights Watch said that it had confirmed the deaths of at least seven civilians — two women and five children — from apparent U.S. missile strikes on Sept. 23” AP

    The targets President Obama’s military and Special Operations planners are choosing are indicative of this type of state sponsored terrorism we have integrated into our standard operating procedures.

    Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare written in Sept. of 2008:

    compare

    “In some operations, IW (irregular warfare) may contrast with SSTR operations, such as supporting an insurgency or conducting UW where the goal is not to support the host government but rather to undermine stability and security to erode an adversary’s control over its territory or population.”

    “3-54. The U.S. military will fight an uncertain and unpredictable enemy or, even more demanding, multiple enemy forces simultaneously in widely dispersed joint operations areas (JOAs). The future environment will be characterized by— 1.  Globalization” 3-12

    “However, since adversaries employ terrorism and transnational criminal activities against the interests of the United States and its partners, these activities are included below as examples of the range of operations andactivities that can be conducted as part of IW: Transnational criminal activities, including narc o-trafficking, illicit arms dealing, and illegal financial transactions, that support or sustain IW.” 3-18

    “The classic conception of UW employment is SF (Special Forces) Soldiers advising and assisting guerrilla forces to raid, ambush, sabotage, and otherwise interdict the adversary in ways designed to drain that hostile power’s morale and resources through military activities up to and including combat.”

    “As in the past, today the United States must lay the foundations and build the institutions that the country needs to meet these challenges. Therefore, the United States must… Ignite a new era of global economic growth through free markets and free trade… Develop agendas for cooperative action with other main centers of global power.. Engage the opportunities and confront the challenges of globalization”  3-1

    You can go here to read an early CIA training manual produced for the terrorist forces Reagan used in Nicaragua to try to unseat the democratically elected Sandinista government because they weren’t good for American business interests. Here’s an example of a little comic book they published and distributed:

    Xcia14

    True, cruise missiles, daisy cutters and drone warfare are certainly a step up from kidnappings, fire bombs and narcotics trafficking (ever wonder why US military resources are being used to protect Afghanistan’s heroin fields?) but you have to remember, that crap hasn’t been working in Syria for the past three years. The Syrian government in conjunction with the vast majority of the Syrian people, have been steadily repelling our irregular warfare forces (a.k.a. “terrorists”) in the country, so President Peace Prize needed to take it up a notch and thus “ISIS” was born.

    But you’ll notice the military strikes are still centered on doing damage to the infrastructure of the nation which will in turn have a detrimental effect on the lives of the population in general.

    It’s state sponsored terrorism folks all in the name of free market, free trade globalization. It is sanctioned transnational criminal activity as published policy and established procedure. And that is an undeniable fact. 

    http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/obama-bombing-syrian-oil-refineries-lng-plants-grain-silos-and-children-state-sponsored-terrorism/

  • Vatican City.

  • Dividing The Arab World.

    The development of the modern nation states throughout the Arab world is a fascinating and heartbreaking process. 100 years ago, most Arabs were part of the Ottoman Empire/Caliphate, a large multi-ethnic state based in Istanbul. Today, a political map of the Arab world looks like a very complex jigsaw puzzle. A complex and intricate course of events in the 1910s brought about the end of the Ottomans and the rise of these new nations with borders running across the Middle East, diving Muslims from each other. While there are many different factors leading to this, the role that the British played in this was far greater than any other player in the region. Three separate agreements made conflicting promises that the British had to stand by. The result was a political mess that divided up a large part of the Muslim world.

     

    The Outbreak of World War I

    In the summer of 1914, war broke out in Europe. A complex system of alliances, a militaristic arms race, colonial ambitions, and general mismanagement at the highest government levels led to this devastating war that would claim the lives of 12 million people from 1914 to 1918. On the “Allied” side stood the empires of Britain, France, and Russia. The “Central” powers consisted of Germany and Austria-Hungary.

    The Ottoman Empire in 1914 at the start of the war

    The Ottoman Empire in 1914 at the start of the war

    At first, the Ottoman Empire decided to remain neutral. They were not nearly as strong as any of the other nations fighting in the war, and were wracked by internal and external threats. The Ottoman sultan/caliph was nothing more than a figurehead at this point, with the last powerful sultan, Abdulhamid II, having been overthrown in 1908 and replaced with a military government led by the “Three Pashas”. They were from the secular Westernized group, the Young Turks. Financially, the Ottomans were in a serious bind, owing huge debts to the European powers that they were not able to pay. After trying to join the Allied side and being rejected, the Ottomans sided with the Central Powers in October of 1914.

    The British immediately began to conceive of plans to dissolve the Ottoman Empire and expand their Middle Eastern empire. They had already had control of Egypt since 1888 and India since 1857. The Ottoman Middle East lay right in the middle of these two important colonies, and the British were determined to exterminate it as part of the world war.

    The Arab Revolt

    One of the British strategies was to turn the Ottoman Empire’s Arab subjects against the government. They found a ready and willing helper in the Hejaz, the western region of the Arabian Peninsula. Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the amir (governor) of Makkah entered into an agreement with the British government to revolt against the Ottomans. His reasons for allying with the foreign British against other Muslims remains uncertain. Possible reasons for his revolt were: disapproval with the Turkish nationalist objectives of the Three Pashas, a personal feud with the Ottoman government, or simply a desire for his own kingdom.

    Whatever his reasons were, Sharif Hussein decided to revolt against the Ottoman government in alliance with the British. In return, the British promised to provide money and weapons to the rebels to help them fight the much more organized Ottoman army. Also, the British promised him that after the war, he would be given his own Arab kingdom that would cover the entire Arabian Peninsula, including Syria and Iraq. The letters in which the two sides negotiated and discussed revolt were known as the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, as Sharif Hussein was communicating with the British High Commissioner in Egypt, Sir Henry McMahon.

    Arab rebels with the British-designed Flag of the Arab Revolt

    Arab rebels with the British-designed Flag of the Arab Revolt

    In June of 1916 Sharif Hussein led his group of armed Bedouin warriors from the Hejaz in an armed campaign against the Ottomans. Within a few months, the Arab rebels managed to capture numerous cities in the Hejaz (including Jeddah and Makkah) with help from the British army and navy. The British provided support in the form of soldiers, weapons, money, advisors (including the “legendary” Lawrence of Arabia), and a flag. The British in Egypt drew up a flag for the Arabs to use in battle, which was known as the “Flag of the Arab Revolt”. This flag would later become the model for other Arab flags of countries such as Jordan, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and Kuwait.

    As World War One progressed through 1917 and 1918, the Arab rebels managed to capture some major cities from the Ottomans. As the British advanced into Palestine and Iraq, capturing cities such as Jerusalem and Baghdad, the Arabs aided them by capturing Amman and Aqaba. It is important to note that the Arab Revolt did not have the backing of a large majority of the Arab population. It was a minority movement of a couple thousand tribesmen led by a few leaders who sought to increase their own powers. The vast majority of the Arab people stayed away from the conflict and did not support the rebels or the Ottoman government. Sharif Hussein’s plan to create his own Arab kingdom was succeeding so far, if it were not for other promises the British would make.

    The Sykes-Picot Agreement

    British and French control according to the Sykes-Picot Agreement

    British and French control according to the Sykes-Picot Agreement

    Before the Arab Revolt could even begin and before Sharif Hussein could create his Arab kingdom, the British and French had other plans. In the winter of 1915-1916, two diplomats, Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and François Georges-Picot of France secretly met to decide the fate of the post-Ottoman Arab world.

    According to what would become known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British and French agreed to divide up the Arab world between themselves. The British were to take control of what is now Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan. The French were given modern Syria,Lebanon, and southern Turkey. The status of Palestine was to be determined later, with Zionist ambitions to be taken into account. The zones of control that the British and French were given allowed for some amount of Arab self-rule in some areas, albeit with European control over such Arab kingdoms. In other areas, the British and French were promised total control.

    Although it was meant to be a secret agreement for a post-WWI Middle East, the agreement became known publicly in 1917 when the Russian Bolshevik government exposed it. The Sykes-Picot Agreement directly contradicted the promises the British made to Sherif Hussein and caused a considerable amount of tension between the British and Arabs. However, this would not be the last of the conflicting agreements the British would make.

    The Balfour Declaration

    Another group that wanted a say in the political landscape of the Middle East were the Zionists. Zionism is a political movement that calls for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Holy Land of Palestine. It began in the 1800s as a movement that sought to find a homeland away from Europe for Jews (most of which lived in Germany, Poland, and Russia).

    Arthur Balfour and the original Balfour Declaration

    Arthur Balfour and the original Balfour Declaration

    Eventually the Zionists decided to pressure the British government during WWI into allowing them to settle in Palestine after the war was over. Within the British government, there were many who were sympathetic to this political movement. One of those was Arthur Balfour, the Foreign Secretary for Britain. On November 2nd, 1917, he sent a letter to Baron Rothschild, a leader in the Zionist community. The letter declared the British government’s official support for the Zionist movement’s goals to establish a Jewish state in Palestine:

    “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

    Three Conflicting Agreements

    By 1917, the British had made three different agreements with three different groups promising three different political futures for the Arab world. The Arabs insisted they still get their Arab kingdom that was promised to them through Sharif Hussein. The French (and British themselves) expected to divide up that same land among themselves. And the Zionists expected to be given Palestine as promised by Balfour.

    In 1918 the war ended with the victory of the Allies and the complete destruction of the Ottoman Empire. Although the Ottomans existed in name until 1922 (and the caliphate existed in name until 1924), all the former Ottoman land was now under European occupation. The war was over, but the Middle East’s future was still in dispute between three different sides.

    The mandates that the League of Nations created after WWI

    The mandates that the League of Nations created after WWI

    Which side won? None fully got what they wanted. In the aftermath of WWI, the League of Nations (a forerunner to the United Nations) was established. One of its jobs was to divide up the conquered Ottoman lands. It drew up “mandates” for the Arab world. Each mandate was supposed to be ruled by the British or French “until such time as they are able to stand alone.” The League was the one to draw up the borders we see on modern political maps of the Middle East. The borders were drawn without regard for the wishes of the people living there, or along ethnic, geographic, or religious boundaries – they were truly arbitrary. It is important to note that even today, political borders in the Middle East do not indicate different groups of people. The differences between Iraqis, Syrians, Jordanians, etc. were entirely created by the European colonizers as a method of dividing the Arabs against each other. 

    Through the mandate system, the British and the French were able to get the control they wanted over the Middle East. For Sharif Hussein, his sons were allowed to rule over these mandates under British “protection”. Prince Faisal was made king of Iraq and Syria and Prince Abdullah was made king of Jordan. In practice, however, the British and French had real authority over these areas.

    For the Zionists, they were allowed by the British government to settle in Palestine, although with limitations. The British did not want to anger the Arabs already living in Palestine, so they tried to limit the number of Jews allowed to migrate to Palestine. This angered the Zionists, who looked for illegal ways to immigrate throughout the 1920s-1940s, as well as the Arabs, who saw the immigration as encroachment on land that had been theirs since Salah al-Din liberated it in 1187.

    The political mess that Britain created in the aftermath of WWI remains today. The competing agreements and the subsequent countries that were created to disunite Muslims from each other led to political instability throughout the Middle East. The rise of Zionism coupled with the disunity of the Muslims in that region has led to corrupt governments and economic decline for the Middle East as a whole. The divisions that the British instituted in the Muslim world remain strong today, despite being wholly created within the past 100 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire#mediaviewer/File:OttomanEmpireIn1683.png

  • The Biggest Threat To The UK.

    Is the #Lies and bullshit coming from the UK Parliament and politicians.

    My prime minister is a #Liar
    The mainstream media repeat the #Lies

    There is NO such thing as a just war.

    It is all about the oil and #RegimeChange - again.

  • The Money Men Behind The Terror Gangs.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now threatening Baghdad, was funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three U.S. allies that have dual agendas in the war on terror.
    The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built and grown for years with the help of elite donors from American supposed allies in the Persian Gulf region. There, the threat of Iran, Assad, and the Sunni-Shiite sectarian war trumps the U.S. goal of stability and moderation in the region.
    It’s an ironic twist, especially for donors in Kuwait (who, to be fair, back a wide variety of militias). ISIS has aligned itself with remnants of the Baathist regime once led by Saddam Hussein. Back in 1990, the U.S. attacked Iraq in order to liberate Kuwait from Hussein’s clutches. Now Kuwait is helping the rise of his successors.
     As ISIS takes over town after town in Iraq, they are acquiring money and supplies including American made vehicles, arms, and ammunition. The group reportedly scored $430 million this week when they looted the main bank in Mosul. They reportedly now have a stream of steady income sources, including from selling oil in the Northern Syrian regions they control, sometimes directly to the Assad regime.
    But in the years they were getting started, a key component of ISIS’s support came from wealthy individuals in the Arab Gulf States of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Sometimes the support came with the tacit nod of approval from those regimes; often, it took advantage of poor money laundering protections in those states, according to officials, experts, and leaders of the Syrian opposition, which is fighting ISIS as well as the regime.
    “Everybody knows the money is going through Kuwait and that it’s coming from the Arab Gulf,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Kuwait’s banking system and its money changers have long been a huge problem because they are a major conduit for money to extremist groups in Syria and now Iraq.”
    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been publicly accusing Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS for months. Several reports have detailed how private Gulf funding to various Syrian rebel groups has splintered the Syrian opposition and paved the way for the rise of groups like ISIS and others.
    “The U.S. has made the case as strongly as they can to regional countries, including Kuwait. But ultimately when you take a hands off, leading from behind approach to things, people don’t take you seriously and they take matters into their own hands.”
    Gulf donors support ISIS, the Syrian branch of al Qaeda called the al Nusrah Front, and other Islamic groups fighting on the ground in Syria because they feel an obligation to protect Sunnis suffering under the atrocities of the Assad regime. Many of these backers don’t trust or like the American backed moderate opposition, which the West has refused to provide significant arms to.
    Under significant U.S. pressure, the Arab Gulf governments have belatedly been cracking down on funding to Sunni extremist groups, but Gulf regimes are also under domestic pressure to fight in what many Sunnis see as an unavoidable Shiite-Sunni regional war that is only getting worse by the day.
    “ISIS is part of the Sunni forces that are fighting Shia forces in this regional sectarian conflict. They are in an existential battle with both the (Iranian aligned) Maliki government and the Assad regime,” said Tabler. “The U.S. has made the case as strongly as they can to regional countries, including Kuwait. But ultimately when you take a hands off, leading from behind approach to things, people don’t take you seriously and they take matters into their own hands.”
    Donors in Kuwait, the Sunni majority Kingdom on Iraq’s border, have taken advantage of Kuwait’s weak financial rules to channel hundreds of millions of dollars to a host of Syrian rebel brigades, according to a December 2013 report by The Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank that receives some funding from the Qatari government.
    “Over the last two and a half years, Kuwait has emerged as a financing and organizational hub for charities and individuals supporting Syria’s myriad rebel groups,” the report said. “Today, there is evidence that Kuwaiti donors have backed rebels who have committed atrocities and who are either directly linked to al-Qa’ida or cooperate with its affiliated brigades on the ground.”
     
    Kuwaiti donors collect funds from donors in other Arab Gulf countries and the money often travels through Turkey or Jordan before reaching its Syrian destination, the report said. The governments of Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have passed laws to curb the flow of illicit funds, but many donors still operate out in the open. The Brookings paper argues the U.S. government needs to do more.
    “The U.S. Treasury is aware of this activity and has expressed concern about this flow of private financing. But Western diplomats’ and officials’ general response has been a collective shrug,” the report states.
    When confronted with the problem, Gulf leaders often justify allowing their Salafi constituents to fund Syrian extremist groups by pointing back to what they see as a failed U.S. policy in Syria and a loss of credibility after President Obama reneged on his pledge to strike Assad after the regime used chemical weapons.
    That’s what Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of Saudi intelligence since 2012 and former Saudi ambassador in Washington, reportedly told Secretary of State John Kerry when Kerry pressed him on Saudi financing of extremist groups earlier this year. Saudi Arabia has retaken a leadership role in past months guiding help to the Syrian armed rebels, displacing Qatar, which was seen as supporting some of the worst of the worst organizations on the ground.
    The rise of ISIS, a group that officially broke with al Qaeda core last year, is devastating for the moderate Syrian opposition, which is now fighting a war on two fronts, severely outmanned and outgunned by both extremist groups and the regime. There is increasing evidence that Assad is working with ISIS to squash the Free Syrian Army.
    But the Syrian moderate opposition is also wary of confronting the Arab Gulf states about their support for extremist groups. The rebels are still competing for those governments’ favor and they are dependent on other types of support from Arab Gulf countries. So instead, they blame others—the regimes in Tehran and Damascus, for examples—for ISIS’ rise.
     
     
    THE NEW IRAQ WAR
     

    WAR DRUMS
    THE BREWING BATTLE FOR BAGHDAD
     

    SINFUL
    ISIS SET TO DESTROY BIBLICAL HISTORY
     

    MISSED SIGNS
    WHY THE WHITE HOUSE BLEW IT ON ISIS
     
     
    “The Iraqi State of Iraq and the [Sham] received support from Iran and the Syrian intelligence,” said Hassan Hachimi, Head of Political Affairs for the United States and Canada for Syrian National Coalition, at the Brookings U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha this week.
    “There are private individuals in the Gulf that do support extremist groups there,” along with other funding sources, countered Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a Syrian-American organization that supports the opposition “[The extremist groups] are the most well-resourced on the ground… If the United States and the international community better resourced [moderate] battalions… then many of the people will take that option instead of the other one.”
  • Now The Fight For Venezuelan Gold.

    In August 2011, the Venezuelan government surprised the gold market when it announced that it would seek to repatriate, at short notice, 160 tonnes of its foreign held gold reserves back to Venezuela for safekeeping.
    The government also revealed at that time where its gold was located and in what form it was held.

    The Venezuelan significant repatriation request, in the summer of 2011 may have been a contributing factor to gold’s strong price appreciation at that time, as market participants were forced to find 160 tonnes of physical gold bullion at short notice.
    The 160 tonnes of gold was transported back to Caracas with much fanfare in a series of flights from late 2011 to early 2012, with the last flight carrying 14 tonnes of gold from Paris.
    Fast forward 3 years, and with Hugo Chavez out of the picture (rumored to have been poisoned by advanced Western weaponry), the banksters unsurprisingly appear to be attempting to get their hands back on the 160 tonnes of phyzz currently residing in an underground vault in Caracas. 

     

    Heidi Wastweet 

    Submitted by Goldcore :

    Where is Venezuela’s 366 tonnes of gold?
    ▶ Does Venezuela still control and own unencumbered it’s own gold reserves?

     
    Former President Hugo Chavez and a London Good Delivery Gold Bar (400 oz)

    ▶ Bank of America economist on visit to Venezuelan central bank last week was allowed to view the bank’s gold vault and the gold repatriated by President Hugo Chavez

    ▶ Is any of the country’s gold encumbered, loaned or leased to Goldman Sachs or other banks?
    ▶ Is there a possibility of this given the Venezuelan economy’s weak position?

    ▶ An arbitration court of the World Bank ruled that Venezuela needs to immediately repay $740 million to US mining company ‘Gold Reserve’.

    ▶ Repayment is connected to Venezuela having terminated Gold Reserve’s gold and copper mining project in 2009 as part of Chavez’s nationalisation of energy and mining projects

    ▶ This ruling could set a precedent for other companies to seek compensation from Venezuelan government during a time in which Venezuelan economy is weak and heavily indebted
    ▶Venezuela’s international credit ratings will now be in an even worse state, as will its international bond servicing situation

    ▶Chinese have also lent to Venezuela in return for ongoing deliveries of oil. Could Venezuela now need to mobilise more of its gold again to help finance its debts? Will China seek to use its considerable financial and economic power to build a stronger economic and political relationship with Venezuela?

    ▶ The confiscation also highlights the risks to precious metals mining companies operating in politically unstable countries and the stock specific risk of investing in mining shares

    Venezuela’s gold reserves are back in focus after Francisco Rodríguez, a Bank of America economist, revealed in a client note yesterday that while on a visit to the Central Bank of Venezuela last week, his party was given a tour of the central bank’s underground gold vault in Caracas and allowed to view the bank’s considerable gold holdings.

    This includes the sizeable quantities of Venezuela’s gold reserves that were very publically repatriated back to Caracas by President Chavez in 2011 and 2012.

     
    Former President Hugo Chavez and a London Good Delivery Gold Bar (400 oz)

    Rodríguez covers the economies of Venezuela, Columbia and Peru on behalf of Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), and is a native of Venezuela, having also previously been head of Venezuela’s Congressional Budget Office.
    Rodríguez was in Caracas last week for meetings with government and central bank officials including Nelson Merentes, the president of the country’s central bank, the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV).

    According to the latest figures published by the World Gold Council (WGC), Venezuela holds 367.6 tonnes of gold in its reserves, representing 70.6% of its official reserves of foreign exchange and gold.

    At current market prices, the official gold holdings are worth nearly $14.5 billion. Venezuela is one of the few large holders of gold whose gold holdings represent such a high percentage of total foreign exchange and gold reserves, the other countries being the US, Germany, Italy, France and Portugal.

    Unlike the US, Germany and Italy, and possibly Portugal, Venezuela actually has the majority of its gold in its own vaults and not stored abroad. As to whether any of Venezuela’s gold reserves are leased, loaned, collateralised or otherwise encumbered is another question.

    In August 2011, the Venezuelan government surprised the gold market when it announced that it would seek to repatriate, at short notice, 160 tonnes of its foreign held gold reserves back to Venezuela for safekeeping. The government also revealed at that time where its gold was located and in what form it was held.
     

    Celebrations as Venezuela’s gold is repatriated to Caracas in 2011

    Of the 366 tonnes held at that time, 154 tonnes was already stored in Venezuela, 99 tonnes were in custody at the Bank of England, 12 tonnes in custody with the Bank of International Settlements, and 17 tonnes in custody with JP Morgan. Another 82 tonnes of gold was held in term deposits with a group of bullion banks consisting of HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, the Bank of Nova Scotia and BNP Paribas.

    Gold on term deposit earns interest for the central bank but the bullion banks that either accepted the original deposit or took over an existing term deposit would likely have sold or lent the gold in the market. Yet, they would be  obliged to return the same amount of gold when the Venezuelans requested that it be repatriated.

    The Venezuelan significant repatriation request, in the summer of 2011 may have been a contributing factor to gold’s strong price appreciation at that time, as market participants were forced to find 160 tonnes of physical gold bullion at short notice.
    The 160 tonnes of gold was transported back to Caracas with much fanfare in a series of flights from late 2011 to early 2012, with the last flight carrying 14 tonnes of gold from Paris. The fact that this gold was sourced in Paris suggests the possibility that it was sourced from the Banque de France, meaning that the Banque de France may also have been involved in helping to secure the necessary physical to transfer to Venezuela.

    Wherever the repatriated  gold came from, it is now residing in a vault in Caracas.
    Before the 2011/2012 repatriation, Venezuela held 211 tonnes of its gold reserves abroad. After bringing back 160 tonnes, this still leaves 51 tonnes outside the country. This remaining foreign stored gold is, according to Bank of America’s Francisco Rodríguez now held at the Bank of England.

    Rodríguez also revealed that the gold held in Banco Central de Venezuela vault is in approximately 5 smallish compartments, and that in his view, all the gold that would be expected to be in the vault is in fact in the vault.
    This would be about 316 tonnes of gold, which is just over 25,000 good delivery gold bars. With 5 compartments, that would be about 5,000 bars per compartment.

    In November 2013, Bloomberg revealed that both Goldman Sachs and Bank of America had proposed loan deals to Venezuela. Bank of America’s proposal was said to involve the bank acting as an intermediary to facilitate up to $3 billion in payments for Venezuelan companies seeking US dollars.

    Goldman Sach’s proposal was said by Bloomberg to involve a loan or swap of $1.68 billion in US dollars but collateralised by $1.85 billion of the Venezuelan central bank’s gold. That would have been about 47 tonnes of gold at the time.

    Banco Central de Venezuela denied that it was considering the Goldman Sachs deal, but its unclear if this swap was ever implemented.
    If it was, then part of the Banco Central de Venezuela’s gold is currently spoken for. This would more likely be gold stored at the Bank of England than in Caracas.

    With the Venezuelan economy remaining weak and Venezuelan bonds dropping sharply in value, it may be just a matter of time before Venezuela needs to use some of its gold for borrowing purposes.

    Last week, S&P cut Venezuela’s credit rating from B – to CCC+. S&P said that they “assign CCC+ ratings in instances where we assess that issuers face at least a one-in-two likelihood of default over the next two years.”
    Hedge funds are said to have started looking at Venezuela’s debt with a view to possible default.

    On Monday in other gold developments in Venezuela, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), an arbitration court of the World Bank for investment disputes, ruled that Venezuela needs to immediately repay $740 million to a US mining company called ‘Gold Reserve’. This repayment is connected to Venezuela having terminated Gold Reserve’s Las Brisas gold concession project in 2009 as part of the then President Hugo Chavez’s nationalisation of Venezuelan energy and mining projects.

    This ICSID ruling could now set a precedent for other companies to seek compensation from the Venezuelan government during a time in which Venezuelan economy remains weak and heavily indebted. The ruling and earlier confiscation also highlights the stock specific risk inherent in precious metals mining stocks and the risks that these companies face when operating in politically unstable countries.

    As the Venezuelan currency and bond market lurches into another possible crisis, it looks like the large international investment banks are waiting to provide increased financing or restructuring while the hedge funds look to profit on the sovereign debt.

    The Chinese also supply financing to Venezuela on the understanding of getting continuous oil deliveries in return. Just last weekend the Joint Chinese – Venezuela Fund got an inflow of $2 billion from China to help with Venezuelan infrastructure and housing spending.

    With China on one side and US banks on the other, it will be interesting to see who ends up financing the lions share of any needed Venezuelan sovereign financing packages.
    Venezuela’s gold reserves may then come into play in some way or another.

    MARKET UPDATE
    Today’s AM fix was USD 1,224.00, EUR 952.87 and GBP 746.11 per ounce.
    Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,225.00, EUR 951.01 and GBP 748.09 per ounce.

    Gold climbed $7.60 or 0.63% to $1,222.90 per ounce and silver fell $0.01 or 0.06% to $17.80 per ounce yesterday.


    Gold in USD – 5 Years (Thomson Reuters)

    Singapore gold  fell 0.1% to $1,221.04 an ounce. Gold bullion had climbed 1.5% yesterday, but trimmed gains to finish near 0.7%.  Surprisingly, even the heightened geopolitical risk did not spur safe haven demand for the yellow metal.

    Gold sentiment was weak yesterday despite price gains overnight. The largest Gold ETF, SPDR Gold Trust, saw a dip in its holdings Tuesday (1.2 tonnes to 773.45 tonnes), its lowest since 2008.

    A strong dollar has been a contributing factor to gold’s lack lustre demand, coupled with strong U.S. economic data such as manufacturing activity at a 4 1/2 month high has increased speculation for an earlier than expected rate hike.

    The U.S. Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting is October 28 & 29th.

    http://www.silverdoctors.com/banksters-trying-to-get-their-dirty-claws-back-on-venezuelas-repatriated-gold-reserves/

  • Not Wearing A Seat Belt In America.

    American cops do like shooting black people, dont they ?

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