Thursday, July 23, 2009

Zelaya and used cars

"¡agarrenme que lo mato!" stop me before I kill him.

I was thinking about this old mockery of fake macho courage as I was watching tonight the news that Arias proposal was rejected by the Zelaya camp. The proposal granted him amnesty for all constitutional violations he did before he was sent away. And it allowed him to complete his term of office even as a figure head of sorts. I mean, not a bad deal when you think of it.

But no, Zelaya gave a rather mumbling explanation about why he was not accepting the proposal, an explanation that explained nothing, except confirming painfully that he is not the one directing his show anymore. I suspect that this will be equally apparent to Hondurans.

So, for the Nth time, as the little boy that cries "wolf", he threatens to go back to Honduras in triumph , carried on the shoulders of the people waiting for him at the border. So, why has he not done it yet if he is so sure of his support? Why is he instead threatening to start a civil war (him outside?) supported by Chavez?

And thus I come to the title of the post as Zelaya, tacky cow boy hat on head and drug cartel lord mustache, looks more and more like a used car salesman; you know the one that swears you can cross the 48 with it but who is unwilling to let you test drive it around the block.

Yes, the country that supports this used car salescreep is discussing a new law to tell folks how they can buy and sell cars. Yes, you read this correctly, not only car prices will be fixed but used car prices will also be fixed, as well as the time of sale. I suppose picking up your nose while you drive will also be regulated. The law is not out yet so I do not want to discuss rumors that will probably sink that law when chavista with luxury cars read the fine line. Instead let me explain to you why there are no cars for sale.

See, Venezuela is probably the ONLY country in the world where you car GAINS value as soon as it leaves the concessionaire's parking lot!!! Yes, buying a car is actually an investment as long as you sell it within a few days. How come?

The reason is that cars are entitled to fixed currency exchanged rate of 2.15 for the dollar when all experts think the exchange rate should be between 5 and 6 to the USD. Since the government has no USD for importing cars it tried to limit imports through a licensing system. But since it still did not give currency for lesser imports, and not enough USD to import for local manufacturing, then it created artificially a low offer, high demand, inflation nightmare.

Doing the sensible thing would be to allow import of cars at a free exchange rates and have people pay for the car they want. But NOOOOOO.... that would be admitting that the economic policies of the government failed and that devaluation is a must. So, in perfect bureaucratic logic, they are going to forbid people to buy used cars and to accept been wait listed for years if needed. Voila! And do not bitch because in Cuba they do not even have wait lists!!!! And you do not want to buy their used car unless you are a museum owner.

I do not know about Zelaya, but looking at how his supporters are running their local show, I would consider seriously the Oscar Arias offer. At least Arias does not look like a used car salesman.....

PS: no links because 1) I am on a rush, no time to post and 2) all as seen on TV.

PS2: amusing detail, BOTH the USD and the Venezuelan Bolivar felt today in the Colombian market....

-The end-

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