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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: Good News/Bad News Starts The Monkey Leap Year

By Beatrice E. Rangel

Over 2000 years ago, Julius Caesar introduced Leap Years to the Roman empire’s calendar.

The Julian calendar, however, had one leap year too many, as all those evenly divided by four would be a leap year.

The Gregorian Calendar corrected this by tagging leap years every four so as to reflect the time gap in the earths circumvallation around the sun which takes 365 days plus 12 and 1/2 hours.

According to astrological traditions, in leap years the unexpected reigns.

And 2016 is a leap year.

Sudden changes are to be the rule in all domains of life. Weather could not only continue to be extreme but could change from day to day, thereby subjecting mortals to a process of pasteurization that might not fly well on everyone, particularly those that are not in the Millennial age group.

Politics and markets are bound to remain volatile and game changing inventions will rule the day in electronics, consumer products and transportation.

This pattern of continuing alterations will be compounded by the fact that 2016 also is the year of the Monkey according to Chinese tradition.

In such years anything can happen, as the monkey is ingenious, unpredictable and target driven. Monkey years have so far been theaters of change everywhere in the world. And perhaps this would work in the America’s favor, as change is what is needed in significant latitudes of the hemisphere.

The leap-cum-monkey pattern seems to be working with zest.

In a true and definite break with the past, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro jumped into the decomposing Venezuelan situation to alert the government not to resort to institutional gimmicks in order to“distort the voice of the people and its most genuine expression – which is the election results.“

The OAS Secretary General further described the current decision of Venezuela’s Supreme Court as “..schemes of dubious legality.. springing from “..bodies reconstituted ad hoc.”

This sets the stage for two scenarios:

First, the InterAmerican community could demand application of the Democratic Charter to Venezuela.

Second, the government could be deemed as illegitimate, thus not having authority to manage Venezuela’s assets abroad.

Both results could not have been predicted six months ago.

The bad news is that perspectives for Venezuelan government compliance with anything deviating from the Jungle Law look quite dim at this stage.

But perhaps this could change as the economic situation worsens and incumbents realize that a rising tide of popular wrath could wipe them all away faster than Mount Vesuvius’ eruption engulfed Pompeii. Then they could perhaps see the OAS as a life saving device.

In another totally unexpected turn of events, the Venezuelan government announced that it would impose a 35% additional income tax on “the very rich.” This news would be welcomed and elicit world support should the measure encompass the truly very rich, of which the government has made many!

Indeed, statistics by law enforcing agencies in the world including U.S. based FinCen estimate that over the last decade, graft in Venezuela has represented approximately $250 BILLION -- 35% of such amount could surely resolve several current predicaments including imports of foods and medicines and foreign debt payments.

And considering that these “very rich” are all card carrying members of the Bolivarian government to levy and collect such taxation should be rather simple.

Long gone are the days where the task could have been fraught with complexities, as about 5% of the population would represent such fortune.

Sadly, the government will most probably take another path. Stay tuned for news about yet another massive exodus of Venezuelans to any destination in the hemisphere aiming at protecting their life long savings, as the government hides yet another massive wave of expropriations under the cover of tax collection.

Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.

Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet series

Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities

Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?

Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion

Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear

Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor

Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis

Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen

Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70

Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders

Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters

Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies

Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus

Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash

Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air

Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice

Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome

Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World

Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?

Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit

Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World

Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity

Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox

Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care

Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves

Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters

Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???

Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks

Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls

Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE

Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!

Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!

Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way

Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?

Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths

Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil

Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace


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