Take physic, pomp

“Nothing about Venezuela, Otto?”, is the cry…

…from readers of this humble corner of cyberspace. In fact we are following the rapidly deteriorating situation in South America’s finest corner of FUBAR, but the comments are for IKN Weekly subscribers. Such as this, last weekend in IKN366 (slightly edited to keep the company name in question for the eyes of subbers only, respect the hand that feeds and all that):

A 60 day State of Emergency declared

One of my “Ten Random Predictions
for 2016” back in December 2015 (17) was this:

6) Venezuela’s government
to implode.
Maduro won’t be President this time next year. It’s likely to be very
messy too. Venezuela has been the butt of annual “teetering on the
brink” type of op-eds and articles every year for the last ten years with
the right-wing press getting it wrong every time, but this time around things
are obviously deteriorating and the opposition victory in the December
elections just gone is a telling moment. Oil prices where they are could be
straw that breaks this camel’s back as China won’t be so quick to bail them out
this time. I don’t know whether the PSUV party will fall from government, but
the call is “govt implode” and “Maduro out”, that’s the

The events in Venezuela this week
suggest that I might be right. President Nicolas Maduro has declared a 60 day
State of Emergency (18) shortages for basic consumer goods have increased, the
well-documented queues to buy food etc are getting longer, crime is spiking
with inflation (estimated at 700% per annum).

All very interesting I’m sure, but
unless you have a political soapbox it’s not going to affect your life unless
you (or loved ones) live there. The reason it’s mentioned today is for the
classic “buy when blood on streets” principle, because if the Maduro left wing
government falls and Venezuela goes through a period of bigtime political
turmoil, we the mining investors may unfortunately have an opportunity to do
just that. Most people know the names Gold Reserve and Crystallex when it comes
to Venezuela exposure in mining projects, Rusoro might come to mind too. But
one I have in mind is

(section edited out)

If Venezuela falls to pieces, it may be an
alternative to (what I believe to be the untouchable and wholly crooked pairing
of) Crystallex and Gold Reserve. It’s certainly cheap enough and could be
snapped up by some smart junior looking for a quick way in to Venezuela mineral
acres. Not one to buy today, just a ticker to stick in the back of the mind
if/when Venezuela’s current government goes down the tubes.
Meanwhile, Latin America Daily Briefing had an excellent overview of the downhill path of the country and the Maduro government in its post today. Just about all the need-to-know points in one shot, both sides of the argument covered. That’s right here, well worth it.

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