Thursday, April 27, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Cat's Cradle - A Tangled Web Hillary Tried to Warn Us About #WatchThisSpace

Ten days into the new administration, a Russian military push in the Arctic was the subject of concern and a post here. At the time, both Russian appropriation of Arctic waters for drilling and Russian control of Arctic sea routes as those waters thaw (guess why) were the issues. Days later, on Thursday February 2 came this post: Throwback Thursday: I TOLD You to #WatchThisSpace!!!  The issue there was disclosure of oil company funds going to foreign governments.

Here we are 13 weeks later, and oh what a tangled web we see described by Dr. Vanessa Neumann in The Daily Beast today.  Dr. Neumann, Daily Beast points out, is "a Venezuelan-American and president of the trade integrity and political risk consultancy Asymmetrica."

Russia Gave to Citgo, Then Citgo Gave to Trump

Many big oil companies funded Trump’s inauguration. Only one is deeply in debt to the Kremlin.

Dr. Vanessa Neumann


The oil company’s half-million donation to Donald Trump’s Inaugural Committee wasn’t illegal. But it certainly wasn’t moral. And the cash may have come from the Kremlin, at least indirectly.
Recently released Federal Election Commission filings show that Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (known as PDVSA) gave Trump more money than Shell or Walmart. The donation is unusual for PDVSA: Citgo had not donated to previous presidential inaugural committees.
Citgo’s donation to the Trump Inaugural Committee and the horrifying images emerging from Venezuela’s weeks of brutally repressed protests (26 killed, 437 injured, and 1,289 arrested—according to Venezuela’s attorney general; Venezuelan prisoner rights NGO Foro Penal says 1,536 have been “detained” as of April 25) are connected: Russian money and influence is behind both of them. Some of those detained are tortured in Venezuela’s equivalent of CIA headquarters, known as “The Tomb,” for its subterranean torture chambers. The Inaugural Committee donation came days after Citgo (a Delaware-incorporated company with operational headquarters in Houston) mortgaged 49.9 percent of its holdings to Rosneft, an oil company controlled by the Kremlin. That enabled Citgo’s parent company PDVSA to make its bond payments. Rosneft is sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. So is its CEO, Igor Sechin, “Russia’s Darth Vader.” One of the most feared men in Russia, Sechin is close to Vladimir Putin and is one of Putin’s key instruments of geopolitical power. Net net: If Venezuela defaults on its bond payments, Rosneft (i.e., Putin & Co.) could own several refineries, nine pipelines, and distribution terminals all across the Eastern U.S., from Texas to Maine, without any government oversight. If the Russians end up owning Citgo, they will be using American consumers to fund their autocracy and Assad’s brutality in Syria.
Yes, you read that correctly.  No, your eyes do not deceive you.  Holy moly!  Sechin's name comes up as does, in a very disturbing way, Rosneft.  Where did we see those names before?  Oh, right!  The Christopher Steele memos!  Those documents were highlighted in a second, then seemingly unrelated, post here also on February 2:  Throwback Thursday Part II: The Russians, the Memos, the Sanctions – The Art of the Steal.

Dr. Neumann has pulled the whole cat's cradle into a coherent web that reaches, now, from the Arctic to the Caribbean to the Middle East and remains about Russia, oil, money, Syria, and elections, and threatens a new refugee crisis.

As we approach the 100th day, remember this from 13 weeks ago?  We still do not know who bought those shares. It's a good guess that Carter Page knows.

The deal on the sale of a 19.5 percent stake in Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft will bring Moscow some $11.1 billion in revenues, the company announced Saturday.

Hillary Clinton and her team tried to warn us. But, you know, emails, wikileaks, ‘flawed,’ ‘ill,’ and ‘shrill.’ Not the perfect (female) candidate – which is the enemy of not just the good, but of the best yet.
Keep watching this space!  Here's a pretty picture for #ThrowbackThursday.