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Trump Administration Has Harsh Words, New Sanctions for Venezuela Following Maduro’s Re-Election

Many critics of Venezuela’s government are urging the Trump administration to pursue the oil sanctions.

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In what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling a “sham” election, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro was re-elected on Sunday, despite an abysmally paralyzed economy, starving people, and crushing national debt.

“Sunday’s process was choreographed by a regime too unpopular and afraid of its own people to risk-free elections and open competition,” Pompeo explained, vowing “swift economic and diplomatic actions.”

As many on the world stage look to the US to end the rule of Maduro’s socialist party in Venezuela, as the population of one of the most resource-rich nations on the planet struggles to survive amid severe poverty and starvation, Trump administration slapped Venezuela with new sanctions as a response to the questionable election.

The Washington Free Beacon‘s Susan Crabtree reports that a “new executive order bars U.S. citizens from being involved in sales of the country’s accounts receivable when it comes to oil and other assets,” which would prevent Venezuela from being able to sell off their debt to the US.

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“However,” Crabtree continues, “the Trump administration stopped short of slapping tougher direct oil sanctions against the Maduro regime, a step that opposition leaders have pressed for and was widely anticipated to take place in the wake of Maduro’s orchestrated victory at the polls.”

“Targeted crude oil sanctions against Venezuela would cripple Maduro’s leftist administration, which is entirely dependent on crude sales to prop up its increasingly isolated and insolvent government,” she explains. “President Trump and top administration officials are wary of taking any action that would further hurt the Venezuelan people, who are already suffering from widespread food shortages brought on by the economic crisis.”

However, many critics of Venezuela’s government are urging the Trump administration to pursue the oil sanctions.

Enrique Altimari, an anti-Maduro activist who serves as the Latin American Studies fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, says that the Maduro regime would not be able to survive US oil sanctions.

“Oil is usually bought in advance, so the impact would be immediate, and within three months, the government would be already seriously damaged,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “The opposition would use, not only for international pressure, but internal pressure to hopefully start a true dialogue to set the terms for [Maduro’s] way out of government and out of Venezuela.”

He also added that the sanctions were unlikely to hurt the Venezuelan people further, as Maduro usually uses oil income to fund his own government and military, unsurprisingly.

The Trump administration has not taken the possibility of oil sanctions off the table, and a senior Trump official said in a conference call on Monday that the entire region has an interest in putting an end to the Maduro regime.

“Everybody is truly together on this—there is unity in the hemisphere that is almost unprecedented,” the official said of how the region will deal with this “crisis of democracy.”

“The region has never seen a kleptocracy like this—a nation as wealthy [as Venezuela is] driven into an economic death spiral so quickly by such a group of individuals determined to enrich themselves at the expense of their people,” the official added.

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Texas Vape Shops File Restraining Order Over Sudden Delta-8 Switcheroo

The rollout of the new law was severely flawed.

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Around the world, attitudes toward the marijuana plant are changing…and rapidly.

Once considered the drug of choice for lazy stoners, wannabe hippies, and professional pizza delivery drivers, recent research into the cannabis plant have shown there to be a myriad of potent compounds within.  And, with the legalization of hemp, (which shares some of these magical effects), even the squares are using CBD creams and edibles to treat everything from muscle soreness to depression and anxiety.

Now, as chemists and agriculturists have concocted a way to make hemp into a very marijuana-like substance, authorities in places where marijuana is still illegal are having trouble with the letter of law and how to apply it to not-quite-synthetic weed.

Texas CBD and vape shops are searching for answers, and some have filed temporary restraining orders against the state after they say health officials abruptly announced last week that they had added delta-8 THC products to their list of Schedule I controlled substances.

Delta-8 is a less-potent alternative to the delta-9 product known as marijuana, though it produces similar effects.

And the rollout of this reading of the law was flawed as well.

Official state documents show that for months, the Department of State Health Services has considered the product illegal.

But Ashley Flood, who owns a CBD American Shaman franchise location in Allen, and other shop owners and consumers say they were never informed of the decision that Commissioner John Hellerstedt announced more than a year ago or the move to update the state’s website.

“We didn’t find out from the state, we didn’t find out from law enforcement, we didn’t find out via letter, email — nothing. We found out from one of our suppliers,” she said after finding out about the change to the DSHS website.

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And despite Flood’s understandable frustration, she has also suggested that her conversations with customer who are in law enforcement belied that the enforcement of this delta-8 rule is not a high priority for Texas authorities.

Around the world, attitudes toward the marijuana plant are changing…and rapidly. Once considered the drug of choice for lazy stoners, wannabe hippies, and professional pizza delivery drivers, recent research into the cannabis plant have shown there to be a myriad of potent compounds within.  And, with the legalization of hemp, (which shares some of these magical effects), even the squares are using CBD creams and edibles to treat everything from muscle soreness to depression and anxiety. Now, as chemists and agriculturists have concocted a way to make hemp into a very marijuana-like substance, authorities in places where marijuana is still illegal are having trouble with the letter of law and how to apply it to not-quite-synthetic weed. Texas CBD and vape shops are searching for answers, and some have filed temporary restraining orders against the state after they say health officials abruptly announced last week that they had added delta-8 THC products to their list of Schedule I controlled substances. Delta-8 is a less-potent alternative to the delta-9 product known as marijuana, though it produces similar effects. And the rollout of this reading of the law was flawed as well. Official state documents show that for months, the Department of State Health Services has considered the product illegal. But Ashley Flood, who owns a CBD American Shaman franchise location in Allen, and other shop owners and consumers say they were never informed of the decision that Commissioner John Hellerstedt announced more than a year ago or the move to update the state’s website. “We didn’t find out from the state, we didn’t find out from law enforcement, we didn’t find out via letter, email — nothing. We found out from one of our suppliers,” she said after finding out about the change to the DSHS website. And despite Flood’s understandable frustration,…

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Int’l Observers Declare Afghanistan’s Collapse is Inevitable

The Biden legacy grows more tarnished by the minute.

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When it’s all said and done, there is little doubt that the debacle in Afghanistan will be a key point in the history of Joe Biden’s presidency.

His blunder, which was a decision to expedite the withdrawal of US forces from the nation after 20 years, allowed the Taliban terror organization to conquer Afghanistan in just 11 days, and forced our nation to abandon a great many American citizens and allies who were trying to escape.

Now, despite the administration’s insistence that this was a “kinder, gentler” Taliban than ruled back in the 1990’s, there are reports of widespread violence against women and minorities, and talk of a potential “collapse” of Afghanistan itself.

Afghanistan will shortly collapse into chaos unless the international community acts rapidly, Swedish and Pakistani ministers warned on Saturday.

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Afghanistan plunged into crisis after the hardline Islamist Taliban movement drove out the Western-backed government in August triggering the abrupt end of billions of dollars in assistance to its aid-dependent economy.

“The country is on the brink of collapse and that collapse is coming faster than we thought,” Swedish development minister Per Olsson Fridh told Reuters in Dubai.

And Fridh wasn’t the only one, either.

Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry later told Reuters that direct engagement with the Taliban was the only way to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, and called for billions of dollars of Afghan assets frozen overseas to be released.
“Are we going to push Afghanistan into chaos or are we going to try and stabilize the country?” he said in Dubai.
It was discovered through congressional testimony that President Biden had been warned of the potential for disaster in Afghanistan, but chose to continue with his expedited withdrawal anyway.

When it’s all said and done, there is little doubt that the debacle in Afghanistan will be a key point in the history of Joe Biden’s presidency. His blunder, which was a decision to expedite the withdrawal of US forces from the nation after 20 years, allowed the Taliban terror organization to conquer Afghanistan in just 11 days, and forced our nation to abandon a great many American citizens and allies who were trying to escape. Now, despite the administration’s insistence that this was a “kinder, gentler” Taliban than ruled back in the 1990’s, there are reports of widespread violence against women and minorities, and talk of a potential “collapse” of Afghanistan itself. Afghanistan will shortly collapse into chaos unless the international community acts rapidly, Swedish and Pakistani ministers warned on Saturday. Afghanistan plunged into crisis after the hardline Islamist Taliban movement drove out the Western-backed government in August triggering the abrupt end of billions of dollars in assistance to its aid-dependent economy. “The country is on the brink of collapse and that collapse is coming faster than we thought,” Swedish development minister Per Olsson Fridh told Reuters in Dubai. And Fridh wasn’t the only one, either. Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry later told Reuters that direct engagement with the Taliban was the only way to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, and called for billions of dollars of Afghan assets frozen overseas to be released. “Are we going to push Afghanistan into chaos or are we going to try and stabilize the country?” he said in Dubai. It was discovered through congressional testimony that President Biden had been warned of the potential for disaster in Afghanistan, but chose to continue with his expedited withdrawal anyway.

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