Of course, I could regale you with further tales of corruption and economic failure. But this blog is not that much about information these days, rather about the wonderment of being the deer in the headlights while been aware of it. My personal and my work situations are such that adequate information search is a luxurious time element I cannot afford anymore. Besides, where to look for reliable information, numbers? With El Universal gone, Tal Cual with resources too limited for investigative journalism and EL Nacional a near paperless semi shrill...
Then again Miguel has published two superb posts, one about the $$$$ magnitude of the racket of gasoline at the border which explains why so many are "against" a gasoline price increase; and another one about how the regime is unable to decide anything, not even starting to print paper money with numbers according to inflation.
Of course my dearest friend does not have to stand in line for medicine or food like I do, so he can mine for this valuable data. But what he may miss is the realization that the political personnel of the regime may be worse than what we may have thought all along. Such epiphany can only be reached when after one hour or two of line under the sun you reach the shelves only to realize that the items finally run out, no matter what was the rationing imposed by the store.
Here I am not talking about the latest luminary, a certain Mendez who has taken upon himself the task of promoting finger printing as the solution to food scarcity. He is a mere idiot used as a mouth piece, too young to have done much damage yet but with, oh, so much potential for dereliction.
No, no. Reading a piece form El Mundo on CITGO was quite an eye opener even for someone as blasé as I am. The journalist was reporting on Venezuelan officials finding it a good idea to sell CITGO before Venezuela loses lawsuits that may result in CITGO being embargoed (1). Of course, the astute readers of this blog will notice that if CITGO is an easy embargo to do in the US, there are plenty of other ways in which the winners of the law suit will be able to recover their due, if anything by blocking Venezuela's ability to raise money for further debt. Thus already you know that the people that I am going to name next are outright scum and/or idiots.
The first one to give his opinion was Jesus Faria, a true communist, that saw inside the PSUV more opportunities to express his true self than in the Venezuelan Communist party, which, believe it it or not, is more serious than the PSUV. For him, who is the vice president of the parliamentary committee on finances and economic development, the US will seek revenge by taking CITGO after the trial is decided. That is, for him, separation of powers is a non concept in the US, the tribunals will merely decide what OBAMA and Wall Street want.
Can we blame Faria to think that way? After all, it is exactly the way justice operates in Venezuela today when Maduro or Cabello announce publicly the expected judicial decisions for a given trial. Never mind that there is even legal "justification" coming from nothing less but the mother in law of Ramirez, oil minister now for years. Hildegard Rondon for all practical purposes said that it could be considered criminal for a Venezuelan lawyer to defend a US company being expropriated in Venezuela. Since that expectoration the ex justice of a democratic Venezuela has gone further to caution the regime's judicial aberrations by uttering bigoted comments about the "anglo saxon" judicial system, and that state should prevail against individual, a basic tenet of totalitarianism. Of course, she is on PDVSA payroll.
And it turns out that Ramirez was the second official quoted in El Mundo. And that quote deserves transcription: "assets outside the country are virtually hostage of other jurisdiction and pay taxes in the US". Huh? Is Ramirez saying that US assets in Venezuela should be hostage to Venezuela's system? That US assets in Venezuela should not be paying taxes in Venezuela? Please............
The next Illuminati is Roger Cordero a representative of Lara state who can only manage 251 followers in Tweeter when it is well known that all chavistas have gazillions followers as they follow and re-tweet each other all the time... rarely having an original tweet of their own... Cordero is the vice president of the committee for oil industry, arguably the more important in Venezuela. More bluntly than Faria he is certain that the US cannot wait to seize CITGO (note, they never mention the companies suing, for them it might as well be Obama). Full of chutzpah Cordero says that Citgo fate will be consulted with "el pueblo" of course, even though the regime has ruled out a referendum on the matter...
Now, I know that these people are brain washed, that they act in bad faith, that they are trying to save their ass and what have you (selling Citgo merely because the regime is flat broke). But at some level I expected that people at these positions said such stuff for the chavista lumpen they serve, albeit saving for themselves some doubts, or at the very least having a faint idea why people outside of Venezuela were pissed at them. After all, they are always upset when Venezuela is not taken seriously outside, so one would imagine that.... But I am afraid I am wrong. I trust you will concur with me when I suspect that no, these people are truly fully self righteous, that no matter how much damage they inflict on other people they feel justified in doing so. Amen of their incapacity to understand what those problems are all about. When I think about the 4 individuals named above I cannot help but to think about the words of true totalitarians when eventually they reached trial, their stunning inability to perceive the evil they did.
And this, my friends, is truly nightmarish. Not only because of the damage these people can still inflict on us, but at the daunting task that rebuilding the country will be, at the amount of people that we are going to have to bring to trial. I thought that bringing to trial a couple dozen people like Ramirez would be enough to make a point and proceed with "reconciliation" and rebuilding the country. But I am afraid that I need to revise this number way up, that our Nuremeberg version will require sitting on accused bench a dozen of hundreds.
1) Years ago Citgo was bought by the Venezuelan state oil company. The objective was to fit them to the heavy crude qualities of Venezuelan oil and thus insure a stable market for Venezuelan oil no matter what the price of oil was. Certainly Citgo is a US company on a legal point of view but any after tax benefit can be repatriated to Venezuela as needed, or invested in the US to expand its reach and thus import even more Venezuelan oil.
The fears of the regime are of course due to Chavez arrogance who decided to expropriate developing oil interests in the very heavy crude of the Orinoco belt. This has been a disaster because the regime refused to understand that the heavy investment made in the Orinoco mean these US companies had to bail out of other places on earth where they could not return as easily. As such their loss cannot be quantified merely on how much equipment was seized on the ground when the Nazional Guard took over. Hence the never ending law suits that are going to cost us a bundle, maybe the future of half a generation of Venezuelans.
But chavismo of course is not ready to admit what a piece of shit Chavez was. Yet.