Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Chutzpah award of the week

To Jesse "James" Chacon, Venezuela Interior (Homeland US equivalent) minister.

In some declarations published in El Nacional Monday, he simply states that the delays in the works for Vargas were due to the April "coup" and the general strike. Let's look at numbers a little bit closer and expose this liar.

Vargas 1: first two weeks of December 1999

Rescue efforts and basic communication with the shore reestablished by January 15 2000.

"First" useful recovery period of Vargas: From January 15 2000 until February 2002 when the currency is devaluated. Then we would give a couple of month for the government to readjust the budget EVEN THOUGH the monies for Vargas were already allocated. That gives TWO FULL years of work.

Allow me to remind the reader that for example Chavez had "promised" to build 5 000 subsidized housing in TWO YEARS. No more than 500 of these seem to have been built to date.

"First" suspension of works for Vargas: From February 2002 to June 1 2002. OK, so April was not a good time to restart the works of Vargas, even though the government HAD THE FULL MONTH OF MARCH 2002 to re-budget everything and give the order to restart the works even if more limited in scope. But by May 1 2002 the administration was functioning again, the country was in a relative peace and there was no excuse not to restart the Vargas works by June 1.

Restarting Vargas: From June 1 2002 until December 1 2002. For obvious reason, the start of the strike certainly would stop any Vargas work. Still this gives SIX more months of normal paced public works. Not to mention that oil prices were climbing by then.

"Second" suspension of works for Vargas: from December 1 2002 until, say, June 1 2003. OK, so the strike and its sequels certainly affected the ability of the government to continue the works in Vargas. So, why do I chose June 1 as a dead line to restart work? (I could have chosen as well May 1 or August 1, same difference)

1: oil money was again pouring in, at higher prices, compensating any lack of oil production. By June 1, as to the own government admission international reserves were up and THERE WAS THE MONEY to work again in Vargas, even at a lower speed.

2: the government certainly was willing and able to work. Those were days then the misiones went full speed, demonstrating without any ambiguity that there was the money and the capacity to work for anything that the government set its mind on.

Vargas 2: February 2005. Since work could have restarted as early as June 1 2003, and at full speed no later than January 1 2004, we can safely assume that 7 slow months of work could have been completed, with 13 more months of normal work following.

The grand total of time allocated for public works and subsidized housing in for Vargas is thus:

24 + 6 + 7/2 + 13 = 46 months (rounded down) which is:

3.8 years to rebuild Vargas

without ANY excuse.

3.8 years is enough to clean up, do a real highway along the shore, control more than half the streams, build 5 000 subsidized housing, restore utilities. The rest could have been taken care by the private sector AS IT DID wherever it could considering the slow pace of the Vargas recovery share allocted to the state.

But instead I will bet that part of the monies were allocated to the electoral effort of El Supremo, not to mention that the workers of Corpovargas had probably to go to marches or set up the campaign billboards instead of doing their job.

Yes, Jesse, it does not matter what spin you put, Vargas IS the symbol of how little your side really cares about the people, besides buying their votes.

=== === === ===

Since I have less chutzpah as the "personeros" of the regime, I must worte that I owe a thank you note to Jorge and Mora, a note coming shortly. But today's outrage had to come out first :-)

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