Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review: the year we could not ignore anymore their "plan"

This year was quite rich in hints that not only the regime has no intention to ever leave office, but that it has a dark place in mind where it wants to take Venezuelan society. Even this blogger who thought that these guys were simply too incompetent to establish a "XXI century socialism", a.k.a. revamped communism, has to concede that they do not care about that because their real goal is clear and precise in their mind, though rather discrete in its public expression.

2013 in review: the year statistics became meaningless

As I have been writing this series of 2013 posts it seems that the gods are with me and that everyday I am getting a fresh new evidence to strengthen my point. Today the Central Bank, BCV, finally released November inflation number, almost a month late, AND December inflation, a day EARLY!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 in review: the year we knew that thug chavismo would do anything, ANYTHING, to stay in office

This is going to be the easiest entry of this series to write, I think.  Through 2013 we saw many astounding things that we never thought possible in a country that pretends to have a constitution and rule of law. But when a group of corrupt thugs and criminals are in charge it is obvious that they are not going to relinquish power the easy way and thus constitutions become good enough to supply the lack of sanitary paper.

In short order.

2013 in review: the year we also lost freedom of information

The paradox for the casual observer of Venezuela is that people like me can write in blogs or in twitter the darndest things without anything happening to us. Yet. But it is a very misleading appreciation.

2013 in review: the year we realized that the Venezuelan electorate is wretched and vile

To open this entry allow me to mention a fabulous article of Javier Brassesco in El Universal today. Venezuela celebrates on December 28th its equivalent of April's fool in the rest of the world. What Brassesco shows us today is that Caracas has felt at least 18 times for the false promises the regime made to improve the city. Since 1999 he enumerates 18 major instances that may have gotten as far as the first stone and pretty much nothing else since.  For good measure one of the 18 he mentions is pre-Chavez, but he also tells us that Chavez made sure that "Paseo Vargas" can never be fulfilled because it is now blocked by Soviet style buildings he disposed in its way because of Mision Vivienda, one of the greatest stains on urban design ever.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 in review: the year they rubbed in our faces that this is a military dictatorship

We have to grant something to Chavez: he was political enough to be careful to pretend to hide that we were a military dictatorship. For example in very visible posts he put a lot of women that were mere errand boys (chief "justice", attorney general, minister for elections). Real power always rested in his hands and a counted machos, often working in the shadows. And most of them were military with a sprinkling of Cuban attachés like Maduro.  But we knew, the more so if you needed to deal a lot with the high administration, that real power was always behind the desk of some military "on leave".  Without looking further, 12 governors today, 50%, are military or military related. To which you can add the chair of the Nazional Assembly and a few ministers. Nothing major happens in Venezuela without the army knowledge and approval.

2013 in review: the year Leopoldo Lopez was man of the year

If I am going to indulge in "end of year" reviews I might go ahead and commit the biggest sin of all, decide who was man of the year in Venezuela.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 in review: the year we learned we were bankrupt

I have never really quite indulged in "end of year reviews". But even if this blog is written to be read all through the year, 2013 has been momentous enough that for once it may be worth our time to rethink a little bit about some of the past events. Also, this time of year is when the blog gets least visitors for the year, and probably the hits come from the most hard core lot. I suppose it is a homage to you guys to write some short and to the point posts as to the salient events of the year about to end. We can comment those among ourselves.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The 2014 Christmas post

Let's forget for a couple of days our daily labors. And this year has plenty of things I would very much like to forget, from the public to the private sphere.  But so goes life.

Wishing you all a happy holiday, even if you could not find Harina PAN to make your hallacas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Getting ready for 2014 (6): 2014 in Venezuela

So, now that I have dressed a dismal portrait of the country's perspectives for 2014 what else can I add?

Getting ready for 2014 (5): short term options

There are only short term options for all the players, they cannot plan beyond June, truly. Chavismo has a little bit more leeway as it holds all the money levers and thus can afford to imagine plans B and C and D for the after June when plan A fails. However the opposition risks strongly to be trapped in a reactive position. The weakening of Capriles leadership deprives it from its only credible proactive spokesperson. Then again there is at least 4 opposition leaders that can take the initiative if need be.

Chavismo short term options

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Getting ready for 2014 (4): a lose lose game for the opposition?

As I was starting this series, events kept unfolding and what I was going to write as to the opposition perspectives is going to be nicely supplemented.  The thing is that against all odds, and even against political wisdom, Maduro gathered Wednesday with the newly elected opposition mayors at Miraflores palace.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Getting ready for 2014 (3): there are two electoral problems

The knowledgeable reader may wonder how come I chose as a third forecast entry to talk about the electoral system since technically there are no elections before December 2015. Don't we have more pressing problems to solve like the economic crisis ahead, the leadership of the opposition, or more pragmatically, ways to resist for two years the dictatorship and force this one to go again to elections, even if rigged?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Getting ready for 2014 (2): chavismo today and its options

Describing chavismo today is a little bit like trying to describe a secretive dictatorship which has a lot in the open.  It is that schizophrenia of sorts that makes it difficult to see what is really going on since we can never tell what is real from the fluff sent to confuse us.  If we keep it simple we can still try get a picture of the group, essential if we want to understand its motive and guess its options for 2014.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Getting ready for 2014 (1): the baseline starting point, a tanking economy

So now that we have completed an election cycle, that the last election day of that cycle is just behind us, that there is no scheduled election until December 2015, it is time to start wondering what is in store next for us.  What is going to be the overriding factor next year, well, it is already, is the economy of Venezuela. Thus let's start describing briefly in which conditions Venezuela is finishing the year. The least and kindest we can say is that the situation is grim.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

That nasty tendency to settle scores, or the truth about Sunday 8

In politics even the best friends at some point feel compelled to settle scores.  Thus we should not be surprised when followers ask for blood, as it is happening now from the press, through Twitter, to my competing blogs, who are all only too happy it seems to accuse the MUD of sugar coating the truth and what not. Me, a long time critic of Capriles, find myself in the need to add a post scriptum to defend him (sort of)  to my conclusion entry of last Friday.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy shoppers who voted for Maduro

[MAJOR UPDATE]
This week like most business in Venezuela we finished up our years work and closed down until mid January. So I was shopping around these past two days to set up our farewell little Christmas gathering at work and it was a nightmare.  I do not know what happened between Thursday and Friday but San Felipe suffered a nervous break down. There were humongous lines everywhere as finally toilet paper, corn flour, chicken and what not arrived, all together at the same time.  So I have this little photo reportage to show you ONLY part of what I saw Thursday and Friday.
Central Madeirense back stage entrance......

The 2013 mayoral election results (7 and last): loose ends and psychological conclusions

After reviewing a few aspects of the results of last Sunday it is time to write down a preliminary conclusion. Preliminary is an appropriate choice of words since the election is still going full swing as I type: the regime is refusing to acknowledge the results and in the city halls it is forced to abandon or failed to take many measures are taken, from looting of the city property to appoint "protectors". We assume that these "protectors", a poor colonial term by the way, are for those chavista voters that are not a majority in that opposition ruled district, as if the incoming mayors had any desire to install a ferocious dictatorship even if they had the means to do so.  With these actions the regime does not prove it that it is not anymore democratic, that ship has long sailed. No, what the regime is proving to those who care to see is that it may not have suffered a major defeat last Sunday but it has suffered a major psychological one. In  public opinion it is transforming this election into a major defeat. Victorious regimes do not need to loot city hall, to appoint protectors, to explain why they won. They just win and move on.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The 2013 mayoral election results (6): three telling races, Guasdualito, Valencia and Barquisimeto

With 300 + races to watch and without computing power, not even reasonable Internet speed, there is little that I can do for an extensive interpretation.  However, again, with merely describing three noteworthy results we can have a picture of the situation and how the regime did "win" this election.  Barquisimeto is for me the most symbolical loss of the regime, and the best example of the treachery this one displays to win at all cost. Valencia is an example on how messy the opposition is in its organization sometimes. And Guasdualito the bright spot where reality eventually hits the regime.

Barquisimeto

Yaracuy governor first meeting with "his" mayors

The 14 of them, duly red shirted, duly 4F baseball capped. I do not know about you but this looks so undemocratic, that elected mayors must do as first activity to recognize the overlordship of the governor. Not to mention that some of them have, how can I put that nicely?, thug faces?  Note that this is not a working meeting, almost none has a pen and paper.  This is a staged photo op for the glory of the governor who does not even bother facing us (though I suppose in the official press releases we will see his face, this is a mere tweet from the assistant but how so more telling...)



Our governor with the 14 red reddish [?] mayors #YaracuyKeptItsPromiseComandante

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The 2013 mayoral election results (5): creating codependency on the state yields gains

We are left to wonder how come a country that is so badly ruled, with so much insecurity, with soon a triple digit inflation,  with double digit scarcity index, can still manage to give around 50% of its votes to the people that are spreading misery around.  True, there is an absolute obscene electoral fraud that explains why they actually reach 50%, but the fraud would not work if the regime were not guaranteed, say, at least a 40% of the votes. And 40% of the votes in current conditions is already too much for this blogger to understand. There have been this year countries with less problems than ours that went rioting in the streets (Thailand, Ukraine, Brazil...). And yet Venezuela sees many protests but only from people wanting to solve their own issues, not caring anything about the collective issues.  For all our problems there has not being anything significant in 2013 as a large scale protest across the country. Not that it will not come, even the Soviet Union eventually fell. But that is another story.

The 2013 mayoral election results (4): overall count for the opposition

This one is going to be short. I am just going to list what I was given as the results in town halls depending on parties.  You need to remember that the CNE is not quite done yet, that appeals may come and that many parties are trying to drive the winners to their side.  Those winners, even if they belong to a given party, are quite aware that they got elected with other party votes and do not mind at all to pretend that their links are not that strong, that in fact they are switch hitters of sort.  A concrete example is Baruta in Caracas. Gerardo Blyde may be from UNT (the Zulia local franchise) but he is very aware that in Baruta half of the votes at least are PJ and that UNT only has a share within the other half.  He will kiss and make nice with  PJ whenever it is required.

This is the list, so far, to the best of my knowledge, with my comments.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Carta abierta a los chavistas que se la echan de democratas

Hay muchos chavistas que están claros, que lo que quieren es comunismo o cobrar parejo.  Pero hay algunos de esos que ademas se la echan de demócratas pero no entienden la contradicción inherente entre comunista/corrupto y demócrata a carta cabal.  Muchos chavistas, y mientras mas encumbrados mas propensos a eso, se permiten insultar al que no esté de acuerdo con ellos, llegando a quitarle el sentido propio a palabras tan cargadas como fascista. A través de sus bocas marico, fascista, vende patria, etc. son meros adjetivos banalizados que describen a quien quiera que sea que no les da el paso en la calle o no los deja colearse en la taquilla. Esa banalización no es accidental, es adrede, es parte del proceso, se desea ningunear al recipiente, matar el espíritu democrático invocando a la violencia. Es propiamente fascista.

Esta semana Nicolás Maduro nos ofrece mas ejemplos de esa aberrante confusión entre democracia y la magnesia.

Three post mortems

The webpress carries three interesting post postmortems on the Sunday result. What unites them is that they are those appropriate to the closing of an electoral cycle that started in 2010, even if that was not clear at the moment.  I suspect that already when Chavez was running the 2010 legislative campaign he knew that he was sick, or that his economic model was going to run aground at some point soon, eaten by the corruption that he could neither control nor do without since it was the main support beam of his political control apparatus.

Monday, December 09, 2013

The 2013 mayoral election results (3): Voluntad Popular shows its bite

Since in the second entry of this series I dealt with Primero Justicia, arguably the main voting group inside the opposition, I should go to the one that has become yesterday the second biggest force inside the opposition umbrella organization, MUD.  As the CNE slowly releases its last results, hoping that people will not notice that the victory claimed by Maduro is not so, we learn that the opposition has increased its share of mayors to 68 (+3 MAS dissidents, thus for a total so far of 71). The quantity may still seem low but that quality is quite something else. But that is for another entry.

Today in a press communique Voluntad Popular, the party led by Leopoldo Lopez, has announced that 18 new mayors are issued from its ranks. That is, 18 out of 71 which gives 25%. Not bad for a brand new party that had 0% last Saturday. Even Hinterlaces, the now chavista pollster called them "batacazo", surprise winner. And four of these town halls are big prizes. Well, not the biggest prizes but certainly fair ones.

The 2013 mayoral election results (2): a bad day for Primero Justicia and Capriles

To start looking into the different results and making interpretations it is important to keep in mind a few things. For example, there are no legal elections scheduled for a couple of years, the National Assembly being the next ones for December 2015. Certainly with a regime as it is we can always expect a referendum, a recall something, etc. But it is clear that even a constitutional assembly is a long reach for an opposition that cannot keep its voters motivated. It requires A LOT of motivation to go to a constitutional assembly and not only Capriles failed to make this election a referendum on Maduro, a lousy president if any, but he lost about 2 million voters that went to the mall, watched TV, etc. That chavismo has as many refusing to show up is no consolation.  Thus we are going to have to live with what we have now: 3 governors, not even a quarter of mayors, and no TV. It is going to be a long two years in which the regime will make sure that the opposition does not get the means to finance an election, any election, even one for condominium chair if possible. This way the dictatorship can pretend to pass as a democracy knowing that it cannot lose elections.

The 2013 mayoral election results (1): general considerations

For many reasons this blog did not cover in depth the campaign for this municipal elections, which for simplicity in the title of this series I will call "mayoral" even though there is a need to look into some interesting local councilor results.  However, analyzing the results can be done with more leisure, relying in part on past knowledge. Before starting with the details, a brief and general evaluation, starting with my own "predictions".

Sunday, December 08, 2013

December 2013 election day post

10:27 PM

I think that I need to close this election day post now. All is quiet and analysis start. However I will leave you with food for thought:

Tibisay's lecture even for those who boycotted it like I did, reeks of massaging the corpse. That is, the CNE seems, to me anyway, to have picked up the most favorable results to chavismo and presented only those, leaving for us to add it up later the less favorable and truly evaluate what happened today.  When all is said and done, we can also observe that the obscene advantage of the regime and its lack of scruples in breaking commerce and shop owners for electoral purposes has paid off in part, in particular in Caracas where Ledezma victory seems weaker than what it was a month ago.

10:16 PM

Details:

Opposition takes back Valencia (no surprise) but fails in Maracay (not unsurprising since the natural candidate Mardo was barred).
Barquisimeto to MUD, great victory.
Barinas, of Chavezlandia goes opposition, major insult!!!!!
Maracaibo and Caracas at large are retained (as it should have been).

More later.

My personal take on today's vote and results

From previous post it is clear that today's results are going to be a surprise to all. The only thing we can truly measure is how rotten may be the Venezuelan elector which only votes for its own benefit, regardless of what a lousy living condition s/he is subjected to.  The value added for chavismo is resentment which makes for a desire to punish those that have more than what they do, even if themselves have grown fat in the last decade. The added value for the opposition is to start steeling itself for the hard fighting days ahead. How these two opposite values will play is only going to be sensed tonight: they will truly come to be the major factors only when hunger starts hitting people sometime next year when it will force them to either question a system that does not provide, or an indolence to fight back and unjust system.

Interactive feature for Sunday results

Since I will not be able to start an election day post until late in the afternoon, and since many readers look forward to such post (they are the most visited posts of the blog) I have come up quickly with a pseudo interactive feature to entertain yourselves until I come back in line.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Do they really want to vote for that?

I am sorry, but the more the time passes the less I understand why people, even if blackmailed, still vote for this fascist farce that chavismo has become. Today I was doing some errands to try to set up a new TV for my S.O. who has a full month of medical rest at home before he is fit to work again.  So I went to a Compumall store to find some connectors, something that until early November I could always find. This is what I found this time around.


This the way to reach "el pueblo"

Voluntad Popular is, as far as I am concerned, the one with the best political videos in that they go to the point and reach the jugular.   The one below may be in Spanish but the tone on popular baseball Venezuelan talk leaves no doubt that all the regime top team is foul, just a bunch of broken woods.  Enjoy and pass along before the regime blocks it.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Electoral coverage by VN&V

This time around it is going to be very limited, if any. Here is why.

Last day electoral considerations for Venezuela Sunday vote

It is kind of a little bit petty to write on a tacky election in Venezuela the day the world mourns Nelson Mandela, a man who for all his possible faults is universally admired, and deservedly so.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

El egoismo del abstencionista opositor

Se lee que uno tiene que respetar al elector de oposición que decide abstenerse, que tenemos derecho a disentir, que cada quien tiene su opinión, que eso es lo que nos hace diferentes de los chavistas, etc.  Difiero en gran parte. Pero estos días he descubierto una manera diferente de ver el problema: en las circunstancias actuales del país, el opositor que decide abstenerse deliberadamente el próximo domingo es un egoísta. Permítame explicar el por que.

Maduro el dialogante

Este fin de semana el presidente de la legitimidad cuestionable se dio el lujo en una entrevista que le concedió al hagiógrafo José Vicente Rangel de decir que iba a llamar al diálogo el 9 de diciembre.  Mas allá del hecho que Maduro tiene potestad de llamar al diálogo desde hace ya un año, la pregunta es saber si el hombre tiene credibilidad alguna sobre este asunto. No que la tenga en otros asuntos, pero eso es otro tema. Veamos pues si Maduro tiene credencial alguna para esos de diálogos.

De lo poco que sabemos de su vida, porque ni siquiera sabemos donde nació, el hombre fue formado, es un decir, en la Cuba de los hermanos Castro. Lo único de lo cual estamos seguros es que en Cuba no le enseñaron diálogo. Esa materia no existe en los currículos de la isla desde 1958.

Monday, December 02, 2013

La oferta electoral engañosa del chavismo

Hay que decirlo, el mensaje chavista para la elección del domingo es mas mas fraudulento que nunca. Aunque pareciese que eso no fuese posible. Nota: no soy soy un caído de la mata en eso de mentiras electorales pero la campaña del chavismo es una inaudita mezcla de lo vulgar y lo ruin.

Empecemos por el saqueo y la distorsión de precios y otros etc.  Sintiendo que el pueblo esta preocupado y con razón que las tiendas van a quedar vacías al no hacer reposición de mercancía a menos que el estado pague por el desvarío, el régimen este fin de semana montó un show en la tienda DAKA de Boleita. Juzguen ustedes.

¿Antigüedades o lote frío de secadores?

The fraudulent chavista electoral message

I need to say it: the chavista message for the next election is more fraudulent than ever, if it were possible.... Note: I am not an electoral prude but chavismo electoral propaganda and actions are quite a mix of the tacky and the mean.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Venezuela voting in December 8 is much more than a mere election

Last weekend I wrote the only substantive post on the December election I will write. Besides a passing comment here and there (like chavista thugs burning down the stage in Maracay where Capriles was about to make a supporting speech for the local candidate or a MUD council candidate murdered in Zulia by hired guns), this is no time to indulge in a leisurely tour of Venezuelan local peculiarities that influence local outcomes like I did extensively in 2008 or 2010. There is no point even in looking at my now traditional Caucaguita tracking post which last installment may suggest that Ocariz could cross the 50% line.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The official 2013 VNV municipal election post

I suppose I should not break a long and on occasion distinguished electoral number crunching tradition. Even though elections have become a test of will rather than any democratic exercise it still matters that we look at the electoral considerations and perspectives. Even if diffidently.   Thus this general and as brief as possible unique electoral post about what are not necessarily the main races to watch but rather those that should confirm the trend as to the waning of chavismo. Outside, of course, the ever present crass electoral fraud.

Those regrettable moments

I know that Maxima is an habituée of hard core repressive regimes, but this....
The Netherlands King visits the naked emperor of chavismo

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Just a day in the life of a dictatorship: Maduro starts applying the enabling law

I never cease to be impressed by the deep denial that still exists in some people as to Venezuela being a military dictatorship.  Sure enough, there are "elections", a civilian "president" is the one "ruling", you can travel if you can find an airplane ticket, you still can read this blog though more and more the regime practices blocking certain pages, there are "so few" political prisoners, the hundred of thousand people that emigrated out are simply not genuine patriots, etc.

Fortunately for those that still do not understand that dictatorships in the XXI century are of a very different species than the earlier ones, Maduro first day with his new toy should be the beginning of enlightenment.  Even among the opposition: this Saturday finally Capriles has called for protests all around the country. About time.....

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Errores de la MUD: algunos se pueden corregir, otros no

Siempre trato de evitar escribir en español sobre política interna de la MUD. Solo lo hago en inglés, para la gente a quien le cuesta entender sus procesos bizantinos. El asunto es que en español no importa lo que escriba sobre tal o cual partido, siempre voy a ofender a alguien. No es objetivo de este blog apoyar o acusar a nadie en la MUD ya que estoy en perfecto conocimiento que la única arma que tenemos frente al totalitarismo cubano-chavista es la unidad. No a cualquier costo, pero unidad al fin y al cabo aunque nos deje de vez en cuando algo de amargura.  Pero ayer he visto dos fracasos gravísimos sobre las candidaturas a alcaldías que me obligan a escribir sobre el asunto.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The next few months for Venezuela

Let's go beyond what qualifies as the "mundane" for the regime. Let's not focus on the organized looting, or the spontaneous one.  Let's not delve on the idiocies of the regime which claims that looting and forcing to sell at a loss will encourage production and lower unemployment. Let's just say that what started with the Daka looting over ten days ago is a mere politico-electoral ploy from the regime, that they never quite meant it the way it turned out.

Yet there will be consequences. Which ones?


I am not going to write as a pontificating economist. Firstly, I am not one. Secondly, you do not need to be a graduate from Ivy League School of Business to guess that the odds for Venezuela to enter a deep recession next year are in the 99%+.  The Maduro regime has made a massive blunder by destroying the commercial sector which is what holds together the financial and productive sectors.  Without commerce to distribute the goods around the country there is diminished receipts for the manufacturing sector, and there are no commercial benefits that go to the banks so they cannot invest in production ventures. If you do not understand this generality, if you do not agree with this, then do not waste your time reading further.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Carta abierta a Nicolás Maburro Maduro

¿Y ahora que Nicolás?
Bosch tiene tu ficha

Te escribo esta carta tuteándote porque quiero apostar a que si algún día la leas, la entiendas. Me parece que en tus años de canciller no has entendido el uso correcto del 'Usted', y menos el respeto que se le debe a la gente. Por ahí decían que tu eras de trato amable y dialogante pero yo nunca me lo creí. Siempre fuiste un flojo y como se sabe la flojera es la madre de todos los vicios. Tus meses en Miraflores nos han confirmado esto, la ira, la soberbia, la envidia, la avaricia, la gula y hasta la lujuria.

Claro está que no creo que este texto llegue a tus manos. No importa, yo escribo para que quede constancia, para que sea una argumento mas en contra de los que pagarán el desastre que estas dejando, que no puedan usar la excusa del "Yo no sabia. Yo solo cumplía ordenes". Por lo menos alguno que otro chaburro chavista lo leerá y me mentará, demostrando que en algún clavo le dí.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Why I am not covering the "enabling law"

Yesterday the regime managed to boot out enough opposition representatives or blackmail/buy enough to its side that it got the magical 99 number to vote the enabling law.  Such a momentous moment (redundancy intended) should be covered duly. But I'll pass for a few reasons:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

From rabipelao courts to public lynching: a day of contradictions in the regime

A regime on overdrive to survive has no qualms exploring interesting ways to reach results and contradict itself as it goes, as often as needed.  If you needed evidence that Maduro is grasping for straws, you get them in the last couple of days.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Maduro promises us kangaroo courts (or is that rabipela'o courts?)

Bolivarian special court and jury
The regime knows it has blundered and that the organized looting it has recklessly promoted could boomerang badly. So appropriately Maduro announced yesterday that there will be "special courts" created to prosecute those that "speculated" on prices. Considering that anything above 1% is considered speculation by chavismo that means that we are all a target.  For good measure, since clearly the Nazional Guard and the Police are often either helping the looters or unwilling to confront them he asked the chavista militia to ensure the security of the threatened stores. In fact, he wants to make sure the militia gets its share of the loot.

Of course, these kangaroo courts are unconstitutional although for chavismo they will be made legal. Maybe we shall call them rabipelado courts since the Common Possum is the lone, I think, Marsupial of our continent.  Militia is equally unconstitutional, but who's counting?

We even had a military jerk bitching in cadena that the opposition was mocking the people in line at Daka. They cannot even get that one right, we are condemning them for taking advantage of the misfortune of someone to make a gain.

Forging on with faascism....

País de mierda

Monday, November 11, 2013

From Electrodomesticonacht to electrodomesticowoche?

The country is in shock. Well, part of it anyway, the decent one to which I am sure I belong to. The other one, the chavista one and the "I cannot care less, dame lo mio", which is the stuff that electoral chavista majorities are made of, kept looting stores here and there, from Puerto La Cruz to Cabimas. For all the Maduro protest that he has nothing to do with the disaster he has started a stream of low burn looting here and there that he has only himself to blame. Furthermore, it is not that the regime seems unable to control the situation, it seems that the regime is unwilling to do so. Regarding the degeneration in values of the countries, well, we have Chavez to blame for it, turning the horror of the 1989 Caracazo into an acceptable chavista family values in 2013.

The Electrodomesticonacht plot thickens

Gustavo Coronel publishes this morning (but without links, only his sources) that the owners of Daka are not in jail, that they were in Panama where they enjoy the benefits of a diplomatic passport. There they opened with the money earned in Venezuela a mega store of appliances and as such, well, they do not need to come back to Venezuela, ever.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Not so random thoughts on Electrodomesticonacht

UPDATED
At 24 hours from the start of the festivities, we can put together a few thoughts.

Electrodomestico-nacht, the banana republic version of Kristallnacht

She supports Maduro. The good life!
Thieves of the world unite!
It is kind of eerie that tonight we commemorate the 75 anniversary of Kristallnacht when Hitler made his first large scale pogrom based on a rather minor political event in Paris.  But those are other times, in bolibanana pseudo revolution which has only in common with the Nazi of those days to be a band of thugs that turned to fascism to reach and retain power for as long as they could, to death if need be in order to avoid the punishment they so richly deserved.

And yet today may be a turning point of equal importance for the Caracas regime. Today it has crossed the line where it is now OK to loot stores to satisfy the appetites of its followers. Today it made OK to brand enemies whoever needs to be branded an enemy even if a few weeks ago it was benefiting from the association with power, a mutual benefit if I may dare say.  Today it has become clear that the regime will destroy anything it needs to destroy to remain in office. Today formalities have become unnecessary. Today the regime has demonstrated that it has no friends or foes, just moving targets.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Desperation News and Views

Daka pictures on newspapers and Twitter
UPDATED FOR LOOTING
So what is a regime that got handed the news of 5% inflation for a single month, whose main "evil" opposition leader is received by the Pope, when a "spontaneous" multigathering protest is convoked for today, that cannot hide the increasing low key riots for food, to do? It decides to sack a major electronic store chain.

Maduro ordered yesterday to seize the 5 stores of Daka, an overpriced, but then they all are, electronic/appliance chain. Allegedly the stores will be forced to recalculate their "costs" and sell all their appliances at "just price".  We assume of course that the militia and Nazional Guard in charge of the organized semi looting will be served first.  Maybe even for free. Which does not stop a country of "lambucios", from the regime or the opposition, to rush to the store to take a turn in the line and be the first ones to shop when they open again. Maduro conoce su ganado we would say in Venezuela, Maduro knows his cattle.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Maduro/Giordani idiotic "measures" seen from ground zero: more corruption to come

Capriles and the Pope, the real
news of Wednesday
Wednesday Maduro made a cadena to announce "economic measures" that were mere administrative measures. Nothing is changed, the country's economy is tanking and the regime finds nothing better but to increase further the controls which have proven to be fail sure since 2005 at the very least, not to say ever in Venezuela.

I am not going to go into the official announcements which were in reality of a political nature, timed to hide from view that Capriles
has been received by the Pope yesterday. Instead I am going to go into what it means for me, a small businessman.  I will pick up a some of  them to dissect and you will be able on your own to infer that things are going to get worse, faster.  Besides the opposition has a detailed answer on the expected failure and experts like Santos are on it.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Voluntad Popular is ready for the major poltical leagues

Today's press conference at Voluntad Popular
Long time readers of the blog remember that I have been following the growth of Voluntad Popular, Leopoldo Lopez vehicle, since almost its birth. I covered the official launch in Valencia, very soon 4 years ago.  Since then we have kept in touch and monitored its progress. I am happy to report today that Voluntad Popular has graduated to the major league.  Disclaimer: even though I have voted for them or supported their formula I would never be an unconditional for them or anyone else (I did vote Machado for the 2012 primaries even though Lopez rallied Capriles).

These past 4 years I have written about their growth, their initiatives, at least when these could be of interest for people living overseas such as the Venezuelans trying to vote in embassies and the help VP tried to bring them. Never mind writing often on the epic battle of Lopez against the regime attempt to block his political career, a battle he won in international courts even though the regime keeps playing a deaf ear to its international obligations. Then again, when has fascism paid heed to legality?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Milagros Socorro lo dice diafanamente

Hace mucho tiempo que dejé de publicar artículos apareciendo en periódicos o otros blogs. Ya la gente fuera de Venezuela, y por lo menos algunos aquí, saben de que se trata la farsa que padecemos desde que el "gigante eterno" estafó al país una primera vez en 1998. Los que ayudaba a promocionar antes con mi modesto esfuerzo de blog ahora son estrellas fuera, dejando a la gente pasmada por la idea de un país que produzca gente del calibre de Milagros Socorro también produzca a Maduros y los ponga a mandar al desmadre la patria.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How to hold an electoral campaign under Venezuela neo-fascism?

For long time readers of this blog the title should not come as a surprise. It has been long that I have rejected the democratic pretense of the regime as well as the one coming from those that still pretend to comment "objectively" on Venezuela. That is those who try to find a fig leaf of democracy, be they foreign journalists, bloggers or actual Venezuelan journos. As far as I am concerned we are in a military regime since at least late 2010, a regime which is turning openly fascist since late 2012.  If you do not agree at least in part with me, then you have been wasting your time reading this blog.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Eduardo Samán hay que responder, aunque sea inútil

Eduardo Samán, auto-proclamado radical en la defensas de los consumidores y la robolución revolución, no se le contesta como se debe. Claro, sus palabras son burradas que la mayoría de la gente entiende como tal, pero eso no impide que su repetición continua tenga mella en el ánimo de muchos, agregando consecuencias negativas para un futuro cada vez mas cercano. Es que cuando un tipo del talante de Samán dice cosas como “Los asalariados y los capitalistas, que se roban el trabajo de los primeros” se puede esperar cualquier cosa. ¿Se dará cuenta el pobre hombre como nos revela su pensamiento arcaico con esas palabras? Y ni hablemos de la confesión de partes que a pesar de 15 años en el poder sus amiguitos no han podido parar dicho robo (que sea dicho parece que ocurre en peores circunstancias en las empresas donde el estado es el "capitalista", el patrono, que roba más que cualquier empresario se atrevería a robar).

Lo que hay que contestar hoy en especifico es su entrevista en YVKE como esta reseña breve por El Universal (no conseguí el enlace YVKE).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Chávez siempre fue un reaccionario

Siempre pensé que la seudo revolución bolivariana era en el fondo un movimiento reaccionario. No me esperaba encontrar en el aeropuerto de Valencia una prueba clara y sencilla.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Waiting for your bags in Valencia

I am back home and I wanted to finish my little chronicles of a holiday that was not.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To understand how degraded Venezuela is, travel by plane....

Registration under Chavez
I left for a short holiday to Margarita and truly, it is an awesome experience. Not for the adventure, good food, beautiful scenery, but for the lousy service, the degraded infrastructure, the lack of basic items such as milk....  So there, a little summary.

It all started with the difficulty in finding a plane ticket. In Venezuela now, if you want to have a choice of travel dates, you need to buy a month ahead, even in low season, which is my case. By trying to get my ticket with barely three weeks notice, I could not find the adequate dates and I lost one day of my "package" while having to pay the full price anyway.  Not to mention the aggravation of useless web pages of Venezuelan airline companies which forced me in the end to go to an agency....
Proof that Chavez was a reactionary

But I got my ticket and on the set day I went to Valencia to take my flight.  To decorate this entry I have a collection of the airport political propaganda that I had to endure while at the airport: I had to be there two hours earlier to make sure I would not be bumped for a "waiting list" and my flight was 1 hour and a half late without any explanation. Click the pictures to enlarge for details.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A month and a half to play it out in Venezuela

For some, the local elections of December 8 are the last horizon. Crossing it successfully will mean the end of chavismo, at least as we have known it. For others all will be played as soon as the Enabling Law is published. Some think that a popular uprising is around the corner. Some think that it is all over. All are wrong, on these and other suppositions. That does not make me right because, well, I actually have no position. So, instead of trying to figure out a way out of this mess I should limit myself to try to evaluate the current situation. May the reader think whatever s/he pleases.
The almost daily morning line at Makro San Felipe. It is under the sun, people now carry umbrellas rain or shine.
This a short one. Sometimes it is 4X longer, reaching the main avenue downhill.
It is not the only line in San Felipe, but it is probably the most recurrent because Makro always get some item.

Whatever one thinks, one thing is certain, the next couple of months are decisive. Even if you think all has been played out, the coming weeks will decide the extent of the economic crisis and the extent of the repression we must suffer through 2014.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A disabling enabling law

Certainly, that the Maduro's enabling law was presented yesterday officially does not mean that it will be approved and that even if it is approved a predictable Armageddon will follow. The outrage yesterday is that when a regime decides to roll the dice with such a law it means that we are in dire straits, that its ability to run the country is on the skids.
Will that change this week?

There is a difference between this enabling law and the ones passed before, or even the attempt at constitutional change sought in 2007. These previous attempts were at least supported by the clear preference of the country for Chavez, for whatever misguided love his voters had for him. Also their scope was less ambitious in that Chavez sought to control specifics (or all in 2007 but at least it was through a constitutional reform submitted to popular vote).  What we got yesterday was the declared intention of the regime to control all of the economic aspects of the country and, through them, our private lives. Fascism or Communism, your choice, there are both of these elements in the brief proposal submitted yesterday.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The repressive, dictatorship consecrating, enabling law is out

Original
So, after much, much hot air the regime had to show the enabling law it wants for Maduro to become a full time dictator. It does not matter whether the unconstitutional project is to silence the opposition or to purge the ranks of chavismo of its undesirable elements (they are all undesirable but apparently there are gradations within chavismo). The fact of the matter is that chavismo does not want its bankrupt regime to be discussed either on the air waves, or the newspapers and even less at the Nazional Assembly (yes, I am retaking the "Nazional Assembly" moniker because after this re-edition of Ermächtigungsgesetz the next step is our own version of Nuremberg Laws which the projected enabling law contemplates as an extension of our very own Tascon list).


The excuse the government offered is that there is a need to fight corruption and to face down a severe economic crisis. But the solution offered by this enabling law is to silence the opposition, find corruption there and among some token chavistas for good measure, more to make room for other corrupt chavista officials rather than any good intention.  The economic measures are fake ones as a regime whose currency went from 500 to a dollar to 50,000 to a dollar in 14 years has no credibility anymore on this respect. Amen of an inflation currently at 50% annual. As long as the perpetrators of this economic disaster remain in office no enabling law of any type will solve the problems. This is not a matter of laws, it is a matter of personnel.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Carta abierta al cobarde de Diosdado Cabello

El dedo del odio
Diosdado Cabello, lo trato de usted porque quiero que me extienda la misma cortesía en caso de que se atreva a contestar esta carta. Lo que dudo porque los cobardes raras veces contestan argumentos. Observe también que no voy a usar ningún otro calificativo en esta carta ya que con cobarde basta y sobra para describirlo.

Le escribo hoy porque termino de leer, asombrado, que usted no va a permitir que nadie de la oposición participe en la comisión parlamentaria que estudiará la propuesta de ley habilitante que presentó Nicolas Maduro; presidente sin legitimidad para solicitar tal ley, sea dicho de paso.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Maria Corina Machado to the front line?

It has been a good weekend for Maria Corina Machado, if you call notoriety good in times of crisis and repression. Suddenly she is top billing above Capriles in Maduro's paranoia, and she gets two major interviews, one in El Universal but one also in La Nacion of Argentina. And she got two top journalists for that, Roberto Giusti and Hugo Alconada respectively, this last one having become an expert on Venezuelan and Argentinean corruption since the Antonini case of the 800K bucks in a suitcase.

Of course, MCM has never been too far away from the front pages, miscellaneously having her nose broken in the Venezuelan National Assembly while more serious parliaments go out of their way to receive her with all the respect she deserves. Yet we must be surprised that Maduro went out of his way this weekend to suggest that she is the one chosen by the US to replace him by leading an upcoming transition.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Enabling law as intra chavista power play of radicals in the ascent

UPDATED There two major news today, one just breaking with the "promotion" of Ramirez to the vice presidency of Economic area while the fate of the previous holder, Merentes, is still unknown (he may retain his seat of finance minister but we have no confirmation at this typing). The second news is the expected formal petition for an enabling law for Maduro. Let's start with this later one although the first one is the more revealing news as to what is truly happening.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Edifying read of the day: the WaPo about our implosion

This is your must read for the day, an editorial of the Washington Post, aptly coming out while the chavistas assholes celebrate the Chavez near-corpse victory of October 7 2012, 'cause they have nothing else to celebrate since.

Los Gafos del 7

En estos días cual agobio nos hace escapar las portadas de los periódicos todavía nos llegan rumores, rumores de que otra vez el gobierno tomará las calles caraqueñas en día de trabajo para celebrar algo. Sin contemplaciones, condenándonos a colas, atracos por motorizados en colas, trabajo productivo perdido y más. Hoy, van a celebrar la elección de Hugo Chávez el 7 de octubre pasado. ¡Bien gafos son!

Van a celebrar el resultado de una elección amañada, fraudulenta a todo nivel, y que además fue una estafa a la nación porque presentaron, a sabiendas, un “candidato” que tenía sus semanas contadas. Hoy en día sabemos que si los votos de Chávez aquel 7 fueron posiblemente suficientes para ganar, se mejoró el resultado ya que también hasta los muertos votaron por ese que los iba a visitar muy pronto. Los que hoy se acercarán a tal o cual tarima celebratoria no solamente van a conmemorar el éxito del muerto, pero también todos los fraudes que este hizo para conseguir ese éxito, desde el obsceno ventajismo estatal hasta la ayuda poderosa de las alcahuetas del CNE. ¡Bien gafos son!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Hard blues to shake off

Explanation in text
I have to admit that I have a hard time to recover from the news of the last two weeks. And my deep blues comes in part from that Cassandra syndrome that affects me on occasion. People minimize what I say or feel and I am, unfortunately, proven right later, but too late for any good or any comfort. There is always a Clytemnestra to put our kind out of our misery.

The two news that bear heavily on me are the 1.3 tons of coke through a regular Air France flight, and the looting of a truck over the dead body of the driver. I think that these news were covered barely adequately but I fail to sense a feel of outrage, even among readers of this blog. I read here and there stuff that can be summarized as follows: "there has always been looting in Venezuela" or "Air France, Water Spain, Truck Mexico, same difference". It is not. I see those two events as seminal examples on how bad, and doomed?, Venezuela may be.

Keller polls on Maduro's illegitimacy

There are many ways to conduct an electoral poll. In general you ask folks for whom they plan to vote and apply the acknowledged corrections to predict who is going to win. This works more or less but it tends to at least predict the winner, the margins of victory being the major problem. Or you can ask voters who did they vote for. After the fact and totally useless for us, but good for a pollsters as a way to control their polling methods when the vote is still fresh in mind.

This is what Keller did, who used to be my favorite pollster before I decided to send all of the them to the dumpsters. At least Keller still has the saving grace that on long term trends he is one of the best, only lacking when he wants to apply them to tomorrow's result. But that is another story.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chavez News and Views

Chavez ghost spoketh? Spooketh?
A little bit away of things I find out that this week end excitement has been a recording from Chavez still alive, or speaking from the nether world, or a fake, or something. To be fair I use an Argentinean link, INFOBAE, to report on the news (?) and the sound track.  Least I am accused to be a supporter @jjrendon who probably saw his Twitter numbers improve this weekend as the regime in full force attacked him on that voice over.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The society Chavez has left us: barbarians inside the gate

Women and men both trying to loot the truck. See all
the open boxes already spread around. They did not
come from a spray through the truck cabin....
For those idiotic enough to think that Chavez opened a new era and ushered in a new man: you are right but you are not going to like it.

This morning a truck broke the security barrier in a Caracas highway exchange and got stuck in the middle of the highway. The truck carried packs of frozen meat. It was 6 AM. Within minutes there were already people trying to loot the truck instead than trying to save the driver, who ended up dead later. The cops came and stopped for a while the actions. But since the Caracas main highway was paralyzed, motorbikes came from all around and started trying to rob all the unhappy drivers stuck in traffic.

At 9 AM about 300 bikers arrived and tried to overpower the police security people who had to call for reinforcement. Of course, the idea was to loot the truck...

The disaster blocked the whole city all the way until downtown (photo included in the link)

From a breeze to a storm for Maduro

UPDATED. The pace of events against Maduro has sped up through the week. From being annoyed by his preparation trip to the UN assembly and China it has become a badly reviewed trip top China, a dismal fiasco at the UN and now the questions about his birth have been whipped into a froth. There is open comment around that Maduro days are numbered as the army may be asking him to resign, not as a coup but because he was illegally elected president of Venezuela. And he has only his own idiocy to blame though the trigger may have been the narco activities of the Venezuelan state.

Let's recap some.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Maduro: you stole my coke? I get a free Airbus from you!

Always in the shop.....
After writing my post this afternoon on chavismo divisions events precipitated a little and I am back at the key board. The question to resolve tonight is why did Maduro not attend the UN general assembly? This is not an idle question because a few days ago the man made a temper tantrum as to the US allegedly not allowing him to fly over Puerto Rico, or denying visas to his entourage, things proven wrong since.

The official version came in tonight in a cadena where Maduro surprised us with two things. First, he did not go to the UN because "they" were preparing offenses against him (that he will reveal when convenient). They being Otto Reich, Roger Noriega and Luis Posada Carriles, two passé out of jobs US operators and a near dead anti Castro warrior, none of them, if you ask me, able to do much against Maduro while in New York. The best way to establish that is that the new Iranian president had no problem going around town to make his speech today and he is a way bigger threat to the Western World than Maduro is. Then again that he is not taken as a threat may be what truly obfuscated Maduro.....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nowhere to go for chavismo

It is always sobering when you read that even a firebrand like Marianella Salazar writes in a major paper about the possibility of a coup, naturally,  as if she were talking about what to do next Sunday after the family BBQ.  I do not know about her sources to take this eventuality such matter-of-factly, but one thing is certain: major governmental paralysis is only too often the surest sign of a regime/government change. Hit your history books.

The fact of the matter is that since Chavez left for Cuba the country has been basically on standby. For all the electoral pandering the lone economic decision of importance taken was the devaluation in February which has turned out to be a mere robbery as most private debt of 2012 at 4.3 to the dollar has been paid, if paid, at 6.3 to the dollar. A 40%+ robbery. True, there has been an attempt at reducing expenses though with misguided targets, and probably all efforts voided by the latest loan from China which is for electoral purposes, and once again, leaving us into yet more national debt (I have read 60% of PIB which is terrible for a country that produces nothing of value for export).

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Venezuelan narco-state caught pants down in Paris: a price to pay

I need to come back to this 1.3 tons of cocaine seized in Paris airport because I think it is as clear an example for all to see on how deep into narco-statism we have descended, and how the rest of the world knows it and deals accordingly.

The electoral future of chavismo as seen in East Germany

So we had a smashing victory for Merkel yesterday in Germany though it will be rather difficult for her to establish a solid coalition since she blithely disposed of her FDP allies. But that is her problem. What is more interesting for this electoral maps freak are the gorgeous voting maps results published all around.  In Speigel I found this one that made me think a lot: the percentile results for Die Linke.

See, Die Linke is the freak far left party founded by those who never digested the end of commie East Germany. True, they did try to improve their brand with a few SPD dissidents but the result is that contrary to what happens in France with Front de Gauche, no one wants to be caught dead with Linke leadership. Not the SPD, not the Greens and less the CDU of the FDP.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Airplanes ferrying drugs and pseudo presidents out of Venezuela

Valls, French Interior Minister, receiving
Venezuelan exports to Paris
This week the post Chavez regime has made it into aeronautical news big time. On one hand it tried to make up an international scandal upon a presumed US denial of air space overflight, and on the other an Air France flight coming from Caracas was carrying over 1 ton of high grade cocaine estimated at 200 million euros street value. In both cases the heirs of Chavez look their worst.

Let's start with the aerial flyby that was not.

Apparently Maduro would have us believe that the nasty US did not want him to fly over Puerto Rico. But now that some of the dust settled it looks that the maneuver was a clumsy one to try to paint the US as evil, a maneuver that has all the looks of conspiracy judging how fast the friends of Maduro supported him: Evo and Correa. Neuman at the New York Times gives the full details, including the unnecessary detour over Puerto Rico when seasoned travelers to Paris from Caracas know they fly over either Guadeloupe or Martinique, according to the winds. The AP also echoes the doubt about how much of the "incident" was messy Venezuelan organization or deliberate entrapment to score an easy point. Interestingly the scene also revealed once again that Venezuelan presidents travel though Cuban planes, perpetuating the mystery as to whatever happened to the two presidential airplanes of the country, the inherited one from pre Chavez and the custom made airbus that costed gazillions and yet flew only a very few years with Chavez on board.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The louder the Maduro's regime shouts, the weaker it reveals itself

The offensive these past few days by Maduro is a sight to behold.  He is all out to destroy the opposition, either through his own threats or other means announced by his associates. But all of this ruckus cannot hide the crude reality: the legitimacy of the regime is falling, fast.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A post not about Venezuela

I really, really do not want to write about our mess. Fortunately putting up this great cartoon from the Economist will allow us to see the importance of next week end German elections. Even for Venezuela which could use well a dose of Merkelmedicine.  And will require one anyway, anytime soon.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Maduro's main problem, is not necessarily Cabello

The guessing game these days, featured today even on Zeta front page, is whether "president" Maduro will finish off his real rival, Diosdado Cabello. I am of the school of those that think that Maduro has somewhat comforted his hold inside chavismo but that this is mostly circumstantial, in view of the December vote. The reckoning starts the day after.  But the main problem in Maduro complex situation is probably a very simple one: "it's the economy, stupid!"; except that it has a very, very different meaning in Venezuela than what Clinton implied 20 years ago.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monday, September 09, 2013

Can Maduro last long?

For the last few days I was mulling a post on how long the chavista regime could survive. (Note: that it survives a week or ten years is not the real point, what we are discussing here are the means it uses for its survival).  But Miguel sort of hopped ahead even though his post is lacking addressing the motivation of these people "[they have] no scruples". Really.....  Still, Miguel covers quite well how the regime can muddle his way through financially for quite a few more months or years, and thus there is really nothing I can add on this respect. However, on other aspects there is a whole lot more that can be added as to reasons why the regime may survive longer than logic would dictate.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Fascist "journalists" inside the Nazional Assembly of Venezuela

Sometimes there are little items that truly freeze you blood. A certain Dayra Manuela Rivas is a "journalist" at the National Assembly and its TV network, ANTV which is supposed to be our local version of C-span but that is nothing less than a propaganda outlet where opposition representatives not only cannot participate but are now excoriated. You just need to look at the front page to see that ANTV is nothing else but crap, and at tax payer expense.


Just to make sure that you can
see by yourselves that it comes
from the web page of the
Nazional Assembly of VNZL
Today La Patilla revealed an OpEd (yeah, right...) dedicated to trash in the vilest terms Maria Corina Machado. Of course, MCM has been trashed for years along anyone that criticizes the regime. What is novel here is that she is blasted, without evidence, without proof, already sentenced in the web site of the Nazional Assembly of Venezuela by that little shit of Dayra Rivas. The article is not even original, it has all the cliches in use by the regime, all the "reminders" of past crimes that are STILL without trial, without evidence, charges repeated endlessly in the hope that it will make them true.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Venezuela's Dog Days of August, as in barking

This summer has been nothing of the quiet vacation time, the regime pushing up its attacks while the country is supposedly anesthetized by the summer break. Well, it is always summer here, let's call it the school break. And yet for all its effort the regime is not reaching its goals. Not that the opposition is reaching theirs, mind you. What is at work here is the relentless crisis that seems to be reshuffling the deck constantly. Thus maybe it is time to do a short summary at where we stand at.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Venezuelan dictatorship in action

Having made the case that Venezuela is now under a novel dictatorship form of government, there is nothing left for this blog but to illustrate our hypothesis with probationary evidence. In a single day, we got three to discuss.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Globovision-less evenings, information-less TV

I am back in San Felipe after a few days in Caracas, when we learned the end of Globovision. And thus I had to face my first evening without Leopoldo Castillo, a.k.a. El Ciudadano. It is not that I was a slave of that show, never watching it when I am away from home, but in San Felipe it was part of my routine, the essential routine considering that I got ideas for many a post by listening to the discussions of the talk show.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A XXIst century dictatorship primer

Even though for informed people the Venezuelan regime has become a symbol of utter corruption, immeasurable incompetence, sublime contempt for the rule of law and plasticity for human rights, you read here and there that we are a democracy. We cannot possibly be a dictatorship because people are happy and keep reëlecting the same folks letting hysterics dominate Twitter. What these people fail to notice is that the concept of dictatorship has evolved with the times. Now, in the earlier part of the XXI century, in an age of mass media and massive social media, the tools of dictatorship have had to evolve, even if old means are yet to be out of fashion as we see in Egypt these days.

To understand that "adaptation of dictatorship to new realities" let's start by remembering what are the core concepts of democracy and, as a consequence, what trumps a democracy and can thus represent the basic tools to sustain a dictatorship.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Maduro's confession that he is a totalitarian; and yet controls shit

PSUV flowchart?
Sometimes the glorious bolibanana revolution comes up with snippets that one does not know whether to cry or laugh one's head off.  Maduro delivered such a revealing doozie yesterday that the mind reels. In short he went to justify that the PSUV Chavez party did not hold primaries for the following reasons [with my comments included]:

Exit Globovision

I was at a small social gathering when through twitter we learned that Leopoldo Castillo, the anchor for 12 years of Alo Ciudadano, was quitting. Thus ended the party. Thus died the last independent talk show on Venezuelan TV, and I dare say Globovision. As of tonight there is no TV network in Venezuela that has a critical view of the regime: all are either outright propaganda or neutered journalism that passes as little as possible unfavorable news for the regime. If any. Now, to get a more complete view of the news in Venezuela, the real news, the real problems, you need to read more than one newspaper, you need to scour through Internet, and if you are lucky you live in a town that has still some semi independent radio stations (independent radio stations seem to be rare these days, and only in major centers). But TV is out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Homophobia as a chavista weapon to destroy the opposition

Besides that I am particularly sensitive on the topic, what was most disgraceful tonight was the deliberate use of insult and homophobia to taint the opposition. Chavismo must have reached real lows that it is left with the language of the lowest life thug as political argument against its political adversaries.  Let me try to summarize briefly, if I can, if my mind clears up some after the homophobic onslaught to which we were subject today, live on TV.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Now what?

Yesterday's High Court, TSJ, decision was not earth shattering, by far, but it was momentous nevertheless. Though its effect has to be sought in the psyche of the players rather than any direct consequences.  For the opposition, it makes little difference except that the intention of putting Capriles behind bars is truly obvious. Strategy adjustments will have to be made accordingly. For chavismo the consequences are more complex.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

A heavy fine for El Nacional to attack freedom of expression

We have just learned that El Nacional, the most anti Chavez paper of the country, and with El Universal the most venerable, has received a breaking fine of 1% of its 2010 revenue. The reason was the front page publication of a morgue picture with the bodies piled up in an utter mess as the morgue simply could not deal with the crime rates. I have already covered these issues in 2010 and I send you back to the entries of the time: this, this one and that one with the picture. El Nacional of course carries a complete historical here. Thus there is nothing for me to say in addition, just the need to point out that the repression is going full swing in Venezuela.

Millonas de Gladys Gutiérrez

Mas allá de la noticia siempre tenemos que estar pendiente de lo que representa en verdad. Por ejemplo, la multa que el Tribunal Supremo le impuso a Henrique Capriles en si es un escándalo, un irrespeto a los derechos humanos, y hasta un error ya que es fácil de pagar y le renueva su aura de mártir, dándole por lo menos un par de punto extras en las encuestas. Entonces, ¿Por qué lo hicieron?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

What happened today: the post-Chavez regime digs in and scales up repression

Certainly today's headline is the Venezuelan High Court, TSJ, emitting one of its most shameful decisions ever (and the competition is stiff). But three other events today are equally telling and all put together are true reasons to worry.
Gladys Gutierrez,
the new chavismo head bitch, dye job and all...

Let's start with the headline. The TSJ had to make a decision on the challenge to the election of last April. The problem it faced is that any decision that would imply an actual revision of voting conditions for last April would without a doubt open a can of worms. There were already two clearly established electoral irregularities that did not require lengthy study: people accompanied forcibly to vote, on video, and the lists of people "dead" that did vote. Those two, by themselves, were enough to erase the "vote advantage" of Maduro in April and examination of the other claims would reveal that Maduro lost. The TSJ, formed by regime's place holders who simply sign decisions written by political agents, were in an impossible situation: accepting to review the challenges was opening the door for proving the illegitimacy of Maduro; refusing to review the challenges was tantamount to recognize that fraud had taken place. They chose a variation of the second, which is that the 10 electoral challenges were ill written and groundless, thus inadmissible for examination. The 10 challenges! As if all lawyers of the opposition were equally incompetent! As if the videos and death roll did not exist! As if what international observers reported on April 14 was misguided!

Guía indispensable para discutir cualquier cosa con un chavista

Con la nueva burrada que hizo el TSJ hoy se hace imprescindible ayudar a los lectores con una guía a presentar a cualquier chavista que quiera discutir con nosotros que ellos tienen la razón y nosotros estamos errados.

As expected, the Venezuelan high court, TSJ, confirms that Venezuela is officially a dictatorship

UPDATED. We just learned that the high court of Venezuela, TSJ, has decided UNANIMOUSLY that the electoral challenges that the opposition sent are not receivable.

There is no surprise there, though I would have expected that at least one justice would have dissented, you know, to save appearances. But the regime is now in full dictatorship mode and the time for such subtleties is past. Long past if you ask me.  Also the reasons for the TSJ to discard the arguments are of no interest. It is proven already that people who were dead voted and that that many had to vote under supervision. This is public knowledge, does not require any court verdict besides the one annulling the vote in, at the very least, those centers where such fraud took place. What the TSJ will write are mere manipulations of the law, which they have been doing at a hectic pace since Chavez got sick to ensure that the regime retains power.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Is Venezuelan opposition dragged into a coherent strategy?

The end result of this week may be unexpected. Both sides accumulated failure after failure and yet, the opposition may have come on top significantly with the real tool it needs most: a strategy.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Chavez's heirs in full psychotic dissociation

The most remarkable thing about the events scheduled tomorrow is that the chavista government is calling for a public support to force the chavista government to fight corruption.  That is right, the people that are supposed to fight corruption are the ones calling for a "protest" against corruption.

There is simply no way to make sense of it unless we consider two hypothesis. The first one is that chavismo and its supporters are entering psychotic dissociation. The second one is that the chavista brain is wired outside the parameters of logic.

Though, now that I think of it, both hypothesis overlap severely...

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Nicolás: ¿quieres luchar contra la corrupción y la inflación? ¡Cierra el SADA!

Nicolás Maduro, déjate de bolserías y empieza a arreglar esta vaina. Es mas fácil de lo que crees. Empieza con el SADA, ese mamotreto que esta paralizando el país aunque no estés al tanto. Como no creo que sepas déjame recordarte lo que es el SADA y su brazo armado, el SICA.

El SADA fue diseñado por un cerebrito de tu Papá que le pareció una idea genial de saber en tiempo real donde esta toda la comida de Venezuela. La cosa era joder a todos los especuladores para que no puedan esconder nada ya que cualquier camión que cargue comida tenia que recibir una guía del SADA. Esa guía se hace casi en tiempo real y hay que reportar todo, la cantidad de producción, adonde vá, el color del camión y hasta la partida de nacimiento de la abuela del chófer. Claro, la idea era fregar a la Polar mas que otra cosa ya que son los que mas movilizan comida en el país.

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