Saturday, April 03, 2010

A particularly idiotic revolutionary week

The mind reels watching the idiocy displayed from the bolivarian revolution beloved leader and the sycophants surrounding him, literally it seems....

I already let you know that Venezuela would be giving MORE USD dollars to Haiti than Europe or the US....

But Putin visit today added more to it: Chavez wants to collaborate in the space race with Russia, presumably offering even land for a space station as long as Russia helps Venezuela develop space technology.  I mean, we already have the red shirted bolivarian space cadets, don't we?  The US had no problem poking fun of that through Philip Crowley, State Spokesperson.  He said "We would note that the government of Venezuela was largely closed this week due to energy shortages" implying that no one had much to fear from a country who cannot provide its citizens with electricity.  Probably Putin did not care as we was too busy signing 31 agreements with Venezuela meaning more weapon sales.  Hopefully they will not require an electric outlet.

But it gets better in the idiocy field.  Chavez before Easter week emitted a decree to close down the country Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to "save electricity".  See, traditionally we close on Thursday and the following Good Friday, for our longest holiday of the year so Chavez thought off his ass that he could add three days and make the hoi poloi happy with him for a full week of vacation.

The scheme nearly collapsed on the spot.  First, that implied that the SENIAT our repressive tax collection agency would have to close down to in the last three days of our tax return session.  Second, the state as the biggest employer would have to pay DOUBLE paycheck for these days and other benefits.  Third, within hours the vice presidency was inundated with notes from the food manufacturing and distribution system that the country would run out of food by the end of the week if it was forced to shut down.  We do shut down in Christmas for at least a week but the sector has weeks and months to prepare and make stocks and do the deliveries in advance.  Chavez was giving them 2 days only....

Thus in a rush the government came out with a lengthy list of exceptions to the work break, so long in fact that one wonders really how much electricity would be saved.  And also that those who worked would be paid the normal wage which is illegal as the law is clear on that: any worker having to work on a holiday must be paid 1,5 times more.  So we are bracing ourselves with legal challenges next week because Chavez might be above the law but when it comes to their pockets workers might not agree......

I am in Caracas this week for the holiday (we close the Easer week anyway, Chavez or no Chavez).  Thus I watched front row the application of Chavez decree.  For example on Wednesday I was expelled from a mall at 3 PM where I was shopping for my dog food and medical supplies.  Why?  Was I  looting?  No!  It was the Nazional Guard accompanying the Labor ministry representatives that were closing the mall, everyone out! out!  These damaging scenes for Chavez image were reported from all around the country as the Labor ministry wanted to show that Chavez was the real boss here, the macho one whose orders, regardless on how idiotic and improvised , had to be followed (fitting before a ex Soviet neo Soviet leader visit ,no?)

And now comes the ridiculous part: on Thursday, yesterday, which is a normal holiday, malls opened as if nothing, on their reduced schedule.  I know that because I was having lunch and shopping for some computer supply at another one...  Yes, that is right, a normal working day was made a full shut down affair just before the normal holiday were business run as usual!  I mean, they did not even had the intelligence of saying that malls should open at reduced schedule early in the week, and forcing employees to be paid double and thus inciting at least a few shops to close down....  Unbelievable!

Is there anyone in the Chavez administration that is able to speak up to Chavez and stop him from committing such an idiocy?  Because you can get sure of one thing, this extra "holiday" will upset almost everyone, from the workers forced to work without being paid double, to those who were notified too late to make vacation plans, to those who planned to stay on Caracas and had to stay put at home without shopping malls where to go.  And more, such as the jobless who perceive that many people could be getting a benefit but not they.

Our descent into banana republic status keeps its hardy pace.


  1. torres2:38 PM

    I would not dismiss the space exploration and nuclear power agreements too quickly as idiocy. I see these as chavez inching forward in his crazy war against USA. The "space exploration" may be the excuse for handling huge missiles and constructing launching facilities, while the "nuclear power" may be the excuse for handling nuclear materials and constructing nuclear related facilities.


  2. torres

    let's not confuse the intention and the ability to carry it. chavez does not have the capacity for any of the above. however it is true that he is willing to let himself be used by whomever is seen as promoting his revolutionary glory. so yes, russians or iranians or cubans would be welcome to set up bases for some kind of destruction.

    chavez is unable to attract real venezuelan talent, the biggest of his failures. our best and brightest are leaving the country as fast as they can. i do not see within his team, highly noted for their efficiency at putting up a thermal generator, building a nuclear one.

    putin, castro, ahmadinejerk, lukashit and others are simply using venezuela for their own goals. which can be dangerous, admittedly, but not worrisome yet. the only worrisome danger from chavez is his demagogic talk.

  3. It would make a nice spot for a launch pad.... pretty close to the equator..... there could be dough to make from that when times change.

  4. Dear Dano:

    I am sorry to break the news but what you so eloquently explain is way below "banana republic" status.

    Regards and take care.

  5. Daniel (and torres), let's not confuse stated intention with true intention, either. (I think you both hit on that difference, just didn't say it that way.) There's three things in play here: what Chavez says, how much of what he says will happen, and what he really wants anyway and is obfuscating with his speeches. Whether things don't happen because the Ven govt is incapable/incompetent or because they never intended for it to happen is somewhat moot.


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