It used to be said that “no man is an island” to make the point that while islands may be unconnected to the rest of the world, humans don’t have that luxury. But with globalization stitching the world together every which way it can — it’s all a global village now!! — countries are all connected!! So, it means we gotta know what’s going on (or down!!) all over the place, since we never know what ill wind might blow our way. Look at when Russia invaded Ukraine. We could’ve said, “Let them White people fight one another!!”, but since Russia and Ukraine are the biggest exporters of wheat – which gives us our daily bread and roti! – the war disrupted the said exports, and the shortage pushed wheat prices sky high. Where they’ve remained stuck.
So, we hopefully learnt something about the now ubiquitous catchphrase “global supply chains”. No one country manufactures the components of any modern product on its lonesome. We must’ve heard that Trump and Biden had cut back on China’s importation of computer chips – which is now in everything, from rockets to brooms!! Even China wobbled!! So, from this world integration has emerged a new weapon – controlling aspects of the global supply chain to squeeze one’s adversary!! For a country like ours, that imports almost all manufactured goods, we’re very vulnerable.
Let’s look at all the goings- on in the Mideast. Apart from the outrage caused by Israel’s unfolding genocide of Palestinians in its push for lebensraum – originally the Nazis’ rationale for war – we’ve been affected in numerous other ways. The Houthis of Yemen’s disrupting shipping in support of the Palestinians in the nearby waterways – where more than 30% of global shipping flows – has had a cascading effect on the prices of goods shipped, since the insurance on the ships have gone up!! And we can’t say we don’t buy much goods from that area; shipping companies like Maersk will spread their insurance increase across the board.
But back to the war in Ukraine – where the US is supporting the latter through billions and billions in aid and war materiel. They’ve also slapped sanctions on Russian oil, which has affected not only the EU, but also the US, which uses the Russian heavy crude in its Gulf refineries. So, you might ask, “What does this have to do with us??” Plenty, as it turns out!! To hedge its supply of heavy crude, the US has decided to ease its sanctions on Venezuela and Maduro, and allow Chevron to start pumping and shipping!! Thus, allowing Mad Maduro to rattle his sabre even more maniacally – thinking he’s got Uncle Sam between a rock and a hard place!!
And place us in purgatory!
Now, we might say, ‘Let Mad Maduro jump up and down like a demented fowl cock; it ain’t gonna affect us!’, plus there’s the Argyle Declaration that some see as committing Venezuela to peace with us. Now, dear readers, know that your Eyewitness doesn’t trust the 300-pound Mad Maduro further than he can throw him – which of course is zilch!! But some folks, like your Eyewitness, that don’t have skin in the game, evaluate these matters. So, what do they say?
Well, last Christmas – just weeks after the Argyle Declaration was signed, the Joint War Committee of Lloyd’s – the largest insurance market in the world – officially declared the Guyanese offshore oil sector an area of “elevated risk”!! Even…equivalent to the hot spot Red Sea targeted by the Houthis!! Now, it’s the specific business of insurance companies to evaluate risks; and from their announcements, they also don’t trust Mad Maduro an inch!!
As your Eyewitness has been stressing, Maduro’s threats are acts of war!!
…the love business
It can be truly said that capitalism commodifies everything, even love. So, this Valentine’s Day, on Wednesday, all those louts who’ve been beating up their girlfriends and wives will purchase some flowers, and all will be well this week!!