Who is Nicolas Maduro?: A Look At Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro

Nicolás Maduro Moros is the current President of Venezuela. Born in 1962, Maduro became the President of Venezuela in 2013 when his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, died from cancer. In 2018, Maduro was reelected to the office by a with 67.8% of the vote. The legitimacy of the election was in question and deemed as fraudulent by neighboring countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, the United States, and Canada.

Previous to serving as the President, Maduro was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and served as Vice President to Hugo Chavez from 2012 to 2013.

Controversy

Currently, Venezuela is undergoing an extreme socioeconomic crisis. Many blame Maduro for his governmental policies, referring to him as a dictator. At present, the country is experiencing hyperinflation, the Venezuelan exchange rate is plummeting, and there is mass emigration to neighboring South American countries and the U.S. Over 3 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015, citing starvation. The IMF predicts that the Venezuela’s inflation rate will reach 1 million percent by the end of 2018, the highest rate seen since the beginning of the 20th century.

The huge reduction in oil production, Venezuela’s main source of income, has caused severe decreases in resources including food and medicine. Maduro has recently put a plan in place to revitalize the country’s wealth by mining for gold in the Orinoco Arc. The plan may be sound in theory, but to date poor treatment of workers, environmental crimes, and murder have been the only outcome of Maduro’s mission.

Citizens believe that Maduro’s form of socialism is what will be the downfall of the country, not the lack of oil.

There are other controversies surrounding the President, including his place of birth. By law, a citizen must be born in Venezuela to serve as the country’s president. In the past it has been stated that Maduro was born in Colombia, not in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. No proof has been brought forward to substantiate the claim though.

Background

Maduro attended Liceo José Ávalos, a public high school. He allegedly became interested in politics during high school, but never graduated.

In 1979, Maduro was named as a person of interest in the kidnapping of American, William Niehous.

Maduro began his professional career as a bus driver for the Caracas Metro company. He ventured into formal politics in the 1980s, when he became an unofficial trade unionist representing fellow bus drivers.

At age 24 , Maduro lived in Cuba with other South American leftist militants. He attended a one-year course at the Escuela Nacional de Cuadros Julio Antonio Mella. Reportedly Maduro studied under Pedro Miret Prieto. Prieto was a close associate to Fidel Castro and senior member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Maduro’s introduction to Hugo Chavez is unclear. The Cuban government allegedly assigned Maduro to work as a mole for Cuba’s Dirección de Inteligencia, with the aim of approaching Chávez.

In the early 1990s, he joined The Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 (MBR-200), a political and social movement founded by Hugo Chávez in 1982. In the 1990s, Maduro also co-founded the Movement of the Fifth Republic, the main supporter for Chávez’s presidential election in 1998.

Maduro rose quickly through the political ranks:

  • 1998 – The Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies
  • 1999 – The National Constituent Assembly
  • 2000 – The NationalAssembly
  • 2005 – Assembly elected Maduro to the position of Speaker
  • 2006 – Appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs

In 2012, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appointed Maduro as Vice President. Shortly after Chavez’s victory and Maduro’s appointment, Chavez announced that he would have to return to Cuba for cancer surgery. Chavez secured Maduro’s position as President by naming the VP as his successor.

Sanctions

In 2017, the United States sanctioned Maduro following his election. The U.S. labels him as a “dictator,” which prevents him from entering the United States. In 2018, Donald Trump placed more sanctions against Venezuela regarding their gold mining operation, forbidding any U.S. entities from participating in the process or from buying any of the gold mined in the country.

Collectors List of Best Places to Buy Antique Guns

Antique Revolver

Collectors are always looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They want the rarest of the rare, the one gun that they can’t live without. We’ve all heard the story about that Picasso in the attic. Does that happen with guns? The answer: it just might.

The Search

When you’re looking for the ultimate collectible, anything can happen. The best deals can pop up in the unlikeliest places. Unless you are a seasoned collector, be sure about the items you buy. Not everyone is out to cheat you, but know the basics. Knowing what’s authentic can save tens of thousands of dollars. Newbie collectors should be educated. Know which maker’s marks are pertinent to your weapon. Examine the provenance. Check to see if there have been modifications. If buying from a private seller, know state and federal laws. No one wants to buy a gun only to turn it over to law enforcement. Investing time in research can be the difference between going home with a Mercedes or a Yugo.

Auctions

Places to Buy

Fellow Collectors

Gun collectors have their own community. Becoming a serious collector is made easier if you can find that community. Developing relationships within the group can be extremely beneficial. You can gain knowledge and get rare opportunities to buy guns before they go on the open market. Good friendships can form over common interests, but don’t be foolhardy. Even if you’re about to realize your lifelong dream of becoming the next Sgt. York, don’t buy that vintage Colt 1911 without an appraisal or before checking the provenance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Live Auctions

A tried and true way to buy collectibles is to attend a live auction. Each auction publishes a catalogue available to the public. It allows you to be able to browse the offerings beforehand. Each listing gives info on items for sale and makes it easier to decide what to buy. Reputable companies like Christie’s have been holding specialty auctions for more than a hundred years. Rare items may be easier to find, but can cost you. Auctions may be more expensive than buying privately, depending on the item being sold and the amount of interest. Don’t get caught up in auction fever and spend more than your bank account allows.

You may examine the merchandise if you attend the auction. That’s when knowledge is most important. If you have any questions, ask. There are sure to be experts everywhere that will help out.

Firearms auctions are usually advertised nationwide. Catalogues may be posted on the internet, giving you time to peruse before the event. If unable to attend the auction in person, you can bid as an absentee buyer. You may also be able to bid through an online service. An absentee bidder must have complete faith in the auctioneer, the process and the gun’s value. Due diligence can determine the reputation of the auctioneer and auction house before bidding.

Specialty Dealers

Looking for one specific item? A reputable specialty dealer may be your best bet. It also saves time if you don’t want to traverse gun shows or spend hours at auctions. A good dealer will have access to items gun shops may not. They also tend to be at the top of the list when a vintage piece or collection goes up for sale. Choose dealers with experience and a longstanding reputation. They tend to have the best connections and aren’t willing to risk their business by hoodwinking a potential customer.

Online

Buying online can be a blessing or a curse. Experienced collectors have been buying online for years. Some find it the easiest way to track down hard to find gems or rare collectibles. Buyers should be savvy to state and federal laws regarding the sale and purchase of firearms. A boon to the industry is that eBay prohibits the sale of firearms. That policy made way for several top sites to create their mark – GunsAmerica.com, GunAuction.com, and GunBroker.com to name a few.

Sadly, there are more disreputable dealers that reputable ones. Before buying, have direct contact with the gun owner. Do not work through a third party. Check references and ratings. Know the seller’s return policy and check out their ratings and references before laying down any money.

Online classified sites may offer opportunities to buy weapons. Seasoned collectors tend to avoid them or proceed with extreme caution.

Gun Shows

Collector shows aren’t as common as commercial shows, but they do exist. It’s a great way to meet like-minded individuals. You can see what other collectors and sellers have to offer. Chances are that you’ll get to see things you’ve never imagined. While you may not be able to buy, you’ll likely go home with a very long wish list.

Yard Sales

Yard sales often offer more than baby strollers and chipped dishes. People saddled with a garage full of boxes often put them out for sale. High end locations may offer valuable surprises.

Storage Lockers

Think buying a storage locker is a sure way to find treasure? Think again. Chances are you’ll end up with a pile of junk. Also, guns found in a storage locker must be turned over to authorities. Save your money and your time.

Estate Sales

Estate sales can be gold mines. Check published listings of items to be sold. Listings aren’t often too specific, but rare gems can be found. Stay until the end and  you could walk away a winner.

No matter which path you choose, be smart. Learn to do your own appraisals to save time, money and heartache. If that’s not an option, develop a relationship with an antique rifle appraiser. You’ll always have someone that can be trusted to steer you in the right direction.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Gun Collecting

So, you want to start gun collecting. You’ve outgrown your rock collection and stamps don’t excite you, so guns seem to be a good choice. There are many types of collectors out there, from the marksman to the history buff. Each with their own tastes and budgets. No matter what the reason, gun collecting is a noble and interesting way to increase your knowledge, make a few dollars, and decorate your man (or woman) cave.

Some experts will tell you to start with the basics such as a .22 LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, 30-06, and the like but it comes down to your taste and if you are collecting the guns to use, sell or display. Following are some of the types of collectors you’re likely to run across at your local gun show.

Heirloom

Gun collecting often starts with a gun inherited from a family member or perhaps a first hunting rifle. Heirloom guns may also include antiques purchased by the collector or specialty sport shooting models. Typically, these guns are kept for private use or for show although some, if valuable, may sold. Top choices for heirloom guns may include models that are antique or rare such as the Colt 1911 or nearly anything manufactured between 1900-1930.

Military/Historical

Military and history enthusiasts are often rabid about their collections and know their guns down to the finest detail and the name of the artist that incorporated the scroll work. These people are serious collectors. As with any kind of collection, it’s important to verify the history and provenance of the weapon as it directly affects the gun’s value. Whether it’s an antique dueling pistol or military surplus from Desert Storm, know your maker’s marks and get proof of authenticity before laying down your money.

Eclectic

Much to the chagrin of the hard-core collector, some people just like guns and collect them with no discernible rhyme or reason. It may make them more difficult to categorize, but no less valid. Eclectic gun owners tend to start with a gun they have owned and build upon that collection. Usually with something that is handed down or bought second hand. Although the owner of the eclectic gun collection is less likely to sell his collection, it is still important to know the history and use of each piece, if only for personal reference.

Investment

Guns make great investments. They aren’t based on the daily market and rarely does the value significantly decrease. Perhaps more than any other category, condition is key when collecting for investment purposes. As a rule of thumb, the older and more unique a gun is, the more it will be worth if it is well preserved, not refinished, and, of course, authentic. The worst guns for investments tend to be modern weapons such as the AR and AK-platform guns. Want to make the most money? Collect a particular style or guns from a specific manufacturer, e.g., Smith & Wesson to get the biggest bang for your buck.

 

Feds to Release Surplus M1911s

Plans are finally falling into place for the government release of surplus M1911s. On December 5, 2017, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), the non-profit organization that holds control over responsibility selling surplus military firearms and surplus ammunition, released information regarding how it will handle the handguns.

Thousands of Surplus M1911s

Per the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, the US Army is to release 8,000 to 10,000 surplus M1911s to CMP for resale in both 2018 and 2019. If all goes well, the organization may receive up to 100,000 M1911s throughout the following years.

CMP states it needs at least 150 days to price and evaluate the pistols, which includes inspecting, grading, test-firing, and cataloging the guns.

Eligibility to Purchase M1911s

CMP also released the eligibility requirements for civilians to purchase these authentic military guns. To be considered, you must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Join a CMP-affiliated club or association
  • Demonstrate marksmanship activity, via concealed carry permit, military record, or participation in a shooting competition

Beyond these eligibility requirements, two NICS background checks need completed, the first at the time of purchase and the second upon receiving the M1911 at your local licensed gun dealer. Unlike other military firearms, the surplus M1911s are only available via mail order and must be received through a local gun broker.

Sales of Surplus M1911s

Once sales open, CMP will begin to accept applications for purchase, along with all requested documents. After the organization receives 10,000 requests, CMP will put the information into a random number generator and, in the order randomly determined, give applicants the option to buy one of the M1911s available based on their prices and grade.

Due to the expected demand, CMP is regulating sales to one M1911 per person, per year. Although not officially announced, the marketing manager of CMP North, Steve Cooper, told Sarasota Herald-Tribune that they anticipate most shootable guns ranging from $800 to $1,000.

Value to the Collector

 

the surplus M1911 .45ACP pistols that the government is releasing have been in storage since the 1980s when they were replaced with the Beretta 92F, but they’re must older than those thirty-some years. Most government contracts for the production of M1911s ended by 1945, which makes many of these pistols more than military-grade handguns, it makes them collectable antiques.

Although these guns haven’t been categorized yet, many of the M1911s used by the Army were manufactured by:

DIY Gun Appraisal: Tips on How to Do It Yourself

It doesn’t matter if you own one gun or more than 40 (if that’s the case, let’s be friends), it’s good to know what their value is. Even if you don’t plan on selling your firearm, it’s important to understand its worth. Although the idea of doing a DIY gun appraisal can seem overwhelming, the first one’s always the hardest. The more you do, the easier they become.

Consider What’s Your Gun Worth to You

A gun’s value doesn’t always lay in what someone’s willing to pay for it.

It could be the Colt 1911 that you’ve shot over a 1,000 times and no matter how many other guns you try, nothing feels as good as it does in your hand. Or maybe you have a snubnose S&W Bodyguard that may not bring in top dollar, but your dad gave it to you when you moved out of the house and it holds sentimental value. That’s fine. Never underestimate the personal value of a gun. The first time you sell one that you really don’t want to sell, you may regret it for the rest of your life.

Do a DIY Gun Appraisal to Determine Your Gun’s Worth

While you may feel like there could never be a price associated with your gun, the fact is there is. Every gun has a specific value that’s determined using a variety of things. Some of the most influential factors that impact your gun’s value include:

  • AGE: In most cases, the older a gun is, the more it’s worth.
  • TYPE: The type of gun influences its value, and some of the most sought after gun types include 1911s and military firearms.
  • CONDITION: Perhaps one of the most important factors during a self appraisal, gun conditions can range from brand new and never shot to so old and rusty you can’t fire it
  • MAKE AND MODEL: When it comes to gun value, the make and model of your firearm makes a difference, with Luger pistols and pre-1964 Winchester Model 70 rifles both having high values.
  • RARITY: Generally, the harder it is to find a gun, the more valuable it’s going to be.

To complete your DIY gun appraisal, write down all of this information about your firearm and start researching. Check out your local gun shop, go to gun shows, hit some (decent) online forums, or maybe even purchase a Book Book of Gun Values to get the best idea of your gun’s worth.

3 Tips for the Novice Gun Collector

If you’re thinking of collecting guns, there’s a lot of information out there, from the most valuable pieces to add to your firearm collection to guns that are most likely to increase in value. But to the novice gun collector, it becomes overwhelming.

To make things a little easier, and take some of the pressure off, here are three tips to get your collection started, regardless if you’re spending $200 or $2,000.

Novice Gun Collector Tip 1:

Every gun collection must start somewhere, so don’t worry too much about that necessary first piece. While some people collect any and all firearms they can, most have some sort of theme to their gun collections. Some common themes include:

  • Historical periods, such as World War II era or guns from the wild West
  • Gun styles, like historic 1911s or flintlock rifles
  • Manufactures, including Ruger or Glock
  • Application, such as hunting rifles or self defense pistols

Other times, the collection may have a more general theme, like old guns or guns from movies. And remember, it’s okay for your collection’s theme to simply be “guns I like to shoot.”

Novice Gun Collector Tip 2:

If you don’t know what gun to buy, but want to start your  collection with a bang, choose a gun that’s either no longer manufactured or one that’s imported. Be sure it’s in good working condition and of a decent quality. Imported, high-quality guns almost always hold their value and those that are no longer available are only going to become harder to find, increasing their worth.

Novice Gun Collector Tip 3:

When you can, buy the best. That doesn’t mean you should cash out your 401(k) to buy a gun you can’t afford, it means when given a choice between an okay gun and a good gun, opt for the good gun if it’s in your budget. Again, don’t break the bank. Every gun in your collection should be two things: a gun you like and a gun you can afford.

Why the 45 ACP Ammunition Is Still a Firm Favorite

Although gun lovers purchase all types of guns, almost all of them own a pistol. Many people love the pistol because it is small and therefore easy to conceal. They also like the fact that it is lighter to carry around. When faced with a situation where you have to fire in a hurry, the pistol comes in handy.

This ease of use is the reason it’s used by everyone from law enforcement to people using it for self-defense. If you have the automatic Colt pistol, you need to use the right ammunition which happens to be 45 ACP ammunition.

This type of ammunition was first developed by John Browning in 1905. It has a colorful history and was later made popular by John Browning Classic Colt 1911 pistol. It has been in regular use by the police, civilians and the military since then. Many people confuse the 45 ACP with the .45 Colt although they are different. The latter is slightly longer and delivers a more powerful round.

Why Is 45 ACP Ammunition Popular?

If you love a cartridge that us simple to reload, this is the ammo for you. It is a low-pressure cartridge that usually produces a full powder burn once it is fired. If you use the Colt pistol for self-defense purposes, it is an extremely effective gun in an emergency. The interesting thing about this type of ammo is that although there is far superior ammo out there, it still has a huge fanatical base. Many people who own handguns aren’t happy unless they have a Colt gun that can work with the 45 ammo. Their reasons range from historical while some of them own the pistol because it was handed down by their parents.

Many handgun owners also say that having the Colt pistol makes them feel safe because it has a reputation of being able to stop someone coming at you far much better than many other types of guns. This can be attributed to the power of the ammo. While this ammo is not the cheapest in the market, it does not deter people from keeping their pistols. In terms of accuracy, it is not the most accurate and only delivers the best results when the target is close.

Although many other types of far more superior ammo exist, it has not in any way convinced the true lovers of the 45 ammo to change their mind.

 

How to Start Gun Collecting

Gun collecting is a lot of fun, especially if you’re the kind of person who has worked really hard to enjoy traditional hunting and gun shooting. The problem for most people is not knowing how to get started, along with where to put the guns. In this article, you’ll get some great tips to be able to start gun collecting correctly.

Licensing

Though you might not plan on using the guns daily or hunting with them, it’s important to license the guns in your collection. You must get a license to make sure that you don’t get in trouble with the law. All kinds of licenses are needed depending on the state you live in. Licensing can be easy to get, and it will help you avoid problems with the law.

Gun Collection Types

There are certain people who will only buy rifles, shotguns, and other specific guns. You want to make sure that you are collecting a specific type of gun. It’s so much fun when you can see multiple versions of a rifle. It’s definitely vital that you are very aware of the kind of gun you want to collect.

Buying Via Specialized Holders

Buying an old classic gun via eBay may not be as great of an investment than buying from a specialized dealer. Different gun shops will have a gun collectors option where there are guns that can be sold for a high price because of how popular that gun may be. It could be that the gun was owned by somebody famous in the past, or the gun was used back in the early 1900’s. Different people collect these guns for different reasons, but the goal should always be to find a specialized dealer. Making sure to get a professional certificate for old gun collectibles are vital to get.

Of course, you can’t collect guns without collecting the bullets and the ammo. The AR-15 ammo in bulk is a very popular option since you can buy a ton in bulk. Gun collecting is definitely exciting once you get started and gain a liking towards guns.

Get Accurate Shots With .223 Remington Ammunition

If you love rifles, you must know quite a bit about ammunition. You must have tried different types of guns and bullets before settling on your current rifle. If you are a keen hunter you are likely to have gone through the whole cycle before settling for the .223 Remington ammunition. Introduced in 1964, this ammo has become a favorite for many gun lovers due to its precise shooting capability.

Apart from being used by civilians, the .223 ammo has also been adapted for use by the military. The military version however has been adapted for use as the 5.56mm ball cartridge. If you are using a commercial rifle, it’s not a good idea to use the 5.56mm cartridge. Using it usually causes high pressure and may not be entirely safe for you.

Why Use the .223 Remington Ammunition?

Depending on your level of experience with guns, this ammo can serve different purposes. If you are a confident user, you can use the .223 on a rifle for your home protection. Unlike the pistol, this type of firearm can counter most types of weapons that an intruder is likely to have.

Bearing in mind you are familiar with the layout of your house, you can stand against one or two intruders with your superior firepower. The .223 is loved by many because it shoots fast, far and flat. These are the qualities that endear this type of ammunition to many people.

If you are learning how to shoot, the .223 is the best type of ammunition to use. It has a precise shot so you will be able to learn a lot about how bullets travel to their targets. You will be able to learn about a bullet drop, useful marksmanship skills as well as how the wind drift affects your shot.

Another good reason to use this ammo is because you are able to shoot with minimal recoil which is a huge advantage for a learner. Compared to other types of bullets, this one also has a mild report. This feature will allow you to get used to its effects before you move on to bigger and louder guns.

Due to its popularity the .223 from Remington is widely available and comes at an affordable cost in this era of increased ammunition costs. If you want to have fun while hunting, this is the best ammo to shoot game such as deer, antelopes and even predators such as the coyote.

If you are looking for ammunition for a variety of uses, the .223 from Remington is a solid choice.

 

Thinking of Wholesale Ammo?

Choosing the right ammunition is not as easy as a stroll on the beach. This is caused by several factors. One, there are many ammo dealers in the market. Two, there are quite a number of good brands. Three, there is too much information in the internet as well as offline which confuses shoppers. To make the task less daunting, it is always advisable to deal with a credible dealer. We’ll go over how to find a good wholesale ammo dealer.

Broad Assortment

In the modern world, there are quite a number of guns and rifles. Each type will come with specific requirements and in order to get the best service, it is necessary to have the right ammunition. Online ammunition sellers stock a wide range of ammunitions for different applications. The dealer has been selling ammunition for a considerable period of time and only stocks quality products from well-known manufacturers. This guarantees a user of effective service.

Top Brands

The ammo market has become quite versatile. This is attributed to increased competition in the market, wide array of firearms, increased demand from customers and much more. In order to satisfy the needs, online wholesalers not only sell a wide range of ammo but only top brands. Some of the most notable brands include Prvi Partizan, Tula ammo, armscor, Federal, PMC, Russian Surplus, Wolf, Silver bear and Sellier & Bellot among others. The manufacturers make the ammo from quality materials which include brass, steel, and more.

Same Day Delivery

The ammo dealer understands that customer is king. To ensure that customers feel appreciated, some sites guarantee customers of same day delivery. When a customer makes an order before 3pm, the shipment is executed almost immediately. This applies to orders done within the week and not over the weekends or holidays. In addition, the service is undertaken in a discreet and confidential manner. In so doing, a customer not only gets quality product but exceptional customer service as well.

Shopping for the ideal ammo should not be a big challenge. All that is needed is finding a good site that will not only stock a wide range of ammo but also offer helpful information about different kinds of ammunition. This is more reason to engage reputable ammo dealers. Any shopper looking for wholesale ammo and related accessories will find online ammo stores quite resourceful. This is probably why more and more people are turning to the site as their main resource.