Monday, February 10, 2014

Protests in Venezuela

Later in past week there has been a series of student protests in Tachira and Merida mainly. I have not written on them because 1) I had no time and 2) more importantly I lack accurate information now that Globovision is gone and does not report much on such things. Or down reports on them. Outside of the pages of El Universal and El Nacional there is little you can now find, except by following the twitters of some politicians (though there is plenty of pictures going around without one being able to verify anything).

Whatever the case may be I suspect that these protest may end up being counter productive as the regime has been cracking down severely on them with the sole objective to stare down any possible protest of those tiered to stand in line for corn flour. Not that I believe they will riot, they stand for hours but they get it for nearly free so I doubt there is any political awakening coming that way just yet.  But February has always been a good month for political trouble in Venezuela and Lopez and others are calling for a first test of strength on February 12. We shall see.


  1. keep in mind, too, university students are currently on holidays. so any flare ups during this time, may not be reflective of a trend.

  2. Have you heard about the ones in Bosnia? Venezuela could use some of that.

  3. Anonymous7:30 AM

    Protests in Bosnia have been going on for a full year before anything serious came up. Student protests are not counter-productive, they may flare up, but if they don't the regime doesn't win anything by cracking down on the well educated in the long run.

  4. I do not mean to say that the protest are useless or that they may not come. I am sure that at some point "el pueblo" is going to go after Maduro. I am just saying that the timing may not be right just quite yet. There is still too much class division, too many chavista that buy the economic war idiocy because THE WANT, THE¨Y NEED to believe. But the hunger games are right around the corner.

  5. I agree with Daniel here. It's about timing.


    Shortages have scaled up again, as we know. People from the poorer sectors without a real job have been going to the better off areas for years in order to buy regulated stuff and then resell at higher prices elsewhere. This is some kind of very ineffective "redistribution" effect whereby the better off, who do not have the time to spend days queueing up, go elsewhere and pay extra for the same products or others not regulated.
    But now, it seems from the accounts I am getting and from what you get, things have worsened.
    My educated guess is:

    this is just another part of the cycle of bottlenecks due to the same old story of failing production, logistics, lack of dollars and ingredients plus some smuggling (only possible out of the whole mess: some products from Táchira go to Colombia, some from Mérida to Táchira, etc - but this is minor compared to the rest).

    Of course, as the system tends towards more and more inefficiency, shortages will - ceteris paribus - worsen in the coming months.

    The government will try to fight this with some punctual "importaciones masivas para asegurar la soberanía".

    It would be great if we had some kind of hard facts about scarcity and use that to foresee
    a major event. I do not believe the data as produced by the BCV or, even, by any economic actor now just using manual data can gauge this scarcity thing.

    I wish we could hold of whatever digital data were available showing some sense of scarcity.

  6. I get all kinds of different messages from friends and family.Some protested in Altamira last week, others have no clue about anything,and others are just waiting around hoping other people will start protesting.Many people are simply quiet. Others act like they will join in when and if they are directed to do so...mostly young people.

    My experience in Venezuela tells me that it will be hard to get people out protesting to any great degree, and stay consequent with it.....though I HOPE I AM DEAD WRONG.
    My lifetime there taught me that people are too afraid of authority and of running against the grain of the majority to take too many openly rebellious stands.

    What can change the people now that they are mostly in the dark about what is going on I don't know....some powerful underground movement? Are people waiting for part of the army to do a coup? I just don't get it.

    It's as depressing as all get out.


  7. Anonymous4:13 PM

    Lack of food may be the catalyst. It's a well known fact people need to eat.

    1. Any populace can put up with a lot of problems but having empty bellies isn't one of them

  8. Anonymous4:33 PM

    From my FB account, several of my relatives in Merida said that Saturday was really bad there, some students on jail, others in hospital. They could not sleep because of the sirens. Not that we are not used to that in Merida, where if the students of medicine decide they do not like the date of an exam they will block la Tulio Febres and then collapse the whole city, but what they wrote was on a Saturday and Sunday, and the city seemed tense

  9. Boludo Tejano10:04 PM

    FYI, Feb 12, courtesy of Fausta's Blog:Venezuela: Huge demonstrations.


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