Thursday, August 24, 2006

Time to leave the Barreto thing: unfinished hospitals, deficient subways and high sugar price

A comment from Katy made me think that we had discussed enough the Barreto case. Indeed, what else could we bring on this study of human depravity and perversion that Barreto has turned out to be? He is a psychopath and those people are not discussed, they are contained. He is a bigger problem for chavismo than he is for the opposition.

Chavismo is a manipulating instrument. If the Barreto outburst was embarrassing for them, they soon will realize that the opposition will love trashing Barreto rather than trash Chavez. Same strategy as for the CNE: create a bugaboo that every one loves to hate while the real culprit runs around free giving Venezuelan money away for his own glory. If their first reflex might have been to consider demanding that Barreto at least apologizes, they might soon realize that he might as well not do it. Last night one of the reports coming of that reunion was of Barreto “demanding” to see the Globovision video, insinuating in his own inimitable way that it was all a fake of course… Perfectly in style with him because one of the gems he dropped Monday night was that if Capriles and Lopez continued with their Fascism he would fight back with Stalinism. I suppose that for certain sick people Stalinism is better than Fascism.

No, instead we should discuss other issues. For example how come Chavez is selling oil to China at discount when he could sell full price to Europe or the US. Any logical a logically financial explanation for this? And do not B.S. me with “expanding markets” when we have the biggest captive market, that pays cash, across from our local pond. What was the point from stopping discount to our best clients to give them to a new client?

But perhaps you might want to discuss the new Cardiological Hospitals for children. For all LatAm children at that. We could discuss why was the hospital inaugurated in great fanfare when most of its services are still not working. We could discuss the strange admission priority that will be given for this hospital, and how this will play when foreign children sign up. I would like very much to know whether ALL VENEZUELAN children will be served before a single foreign kid is attended. I have nothing against Peruvian heart sick kids, but I want all my Venezuelan kids helped first. After all, it is Venezuelan money alone as far as I know.

Or we could discuss how the new subway line is still not working properly, how the work has all but stopped in the installation of the missing escalators and station furnishings, how line 1 is collapsing forcing a restriction in the number of trains. And add on top of this that a majority of the cars now have no AC. In the subway of tropical Caracas, well, this is a major problem when the car is over packed.

Under Chavez Venezuela seems everyday more and more like a Potemkine Village where useful idiots like Barreto are sent to distract the crowds from gazing up close a the ill fitted props that serve as backdrop.

But it gets worst. The wonderful agrarian policies of the government are depriving the Venezuelan of their most precious food item: over sweetened coffee, the only thing we have that allows us to gather with our friends at the “panaderia” to commiserate on the ills of the country. Coffee has been on an off the endangered products list. Add now to this sugar that Venezuela must import from Brazil. That would not be too bad, except that Brazil sells its sugar at international price and that in Venezuela the present economic team has no better idea to control inflation than to block prices. Thus the imported sugar will sold at controlled price, in Mercal only and the government will pick up the huge tab (which could be spent, for example, finishing fitting the new children hospital). Of course, people like me will have to go to the “buhoneros” in the streets to buy sugar at 3 times the official price or be forced to go to Mercal and buy sugar ONLY if you buy a certain numbers of other items. Yes, in many Mercals sugar can only be bought in “bolsas” de comida as it is a recurring policy of Mercal to force people to buy certain items if they want to have access to other. And chavistas say that capitalism and feudalism are bad… anyway, good thing that being such a bitter blogger it has been decades since I have stopped putting sugar in my coffee or tea.

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