So this is the situation:
- You have had to devaluate your currency 100%
- You cannot reliably provide electricity to your country
- Your first two plans to ration electricity have failed miserably, and covered you in ridicule
- For the first time in years your poll numbers have crossed the 50% mark, down
- You preside an administration that fudges data and applies freely price controls and yet you had to admit a 27% inflation
- Since now more than half of your imports will be at 100% more Bolivares you can expect inflation to reach 50%
- Your country is described as a dead beat as repeated requests for payment remain without reply
- The crime in your country is so bad that now folks are robbed by gangs that take over a whole car in Caracas subway in between stops
- Every where you read that matters are going to get worse, that your henchmen are incompetent vicious nincompoops
- You need to go to give your state of the union address
What to do, oh what to do!?!?
- You raise the minimum wage, and earlier than the normal May 1st date
- You blame the electricity crisis solely on El Niño, and accuse the media to betray the interests of the country
- You have a minute of silence for Haiti
- You reshuffle your cabinet
- You threaten with the nationalization of supermarkets if they increase prices
- You declare yourself a Marxist
Unfortunately it will not work:
- The minimum wage increase is of a ridiculous amount that inflation will eat away long before that minimum wage is increased. Workers will not be fooled.
- You can blame the Niño all you want but detractors will point out that Colombia, and Brazil, our neighbors that also suffer from El Niño effects, are not rationing electricity. And anyway, once we are all in the dark it really will not matter: you will be the guilty party.
- Reshuffling the cabinet to put into the hands of Giordani even more power than he had will only make things worse. When are you going to realize that it has been the policies of Giordani that put you in this tight spot.
- Go ahead and nationalize Central Madeirense (or any other private food distribution chain). Don't you know that people know that Mercal has failed? Do you think that in San Felipe they will cheer up as they know you will leave them without the only reliable supplies of food and household items we have? Take a walk in front of the main Mercal of San Felipe and tell us why there line sin front, why it is so run down, why it is closed half of the time.
- And what about that minute for Haiti when you have yet to finish to fix Vargas from the 1999 disaster? I bet you anything that Haiti will recover faster than Vargas! Are you ever going to apologize for the help you refused and for the supplies that rot in Venezuelan harbors because of customs incompetence and early corruption? Check out how much relief is gathered by independent and opposition relief centers versus the relief gathered in chavista centers. You might be surprised....
- As for the Marxist closet coming out. Notice how little of an impact it made. With the string of corrupt financiers that surround you and that you pretend to slap on their hands nobody believes any word from you.
But of course, you always have an option: make your final coup and let's get over with this charade.
For a more complete account of the "state of the union" show Globovision has one in Spanish. All the other links of this post are in English, for a change.
Hat tip Gustavo Coronel from a Seattle newspaper-