Saturday, October 18, 2014

MariGabi does New York

Do not count me among those ones totally upset about Chavez daughter gaining a Security Council seat at the UN for two years with basically zero qualifications for the job. The problem is not her, the problem is the UN and assorted organizations which in the last decade have descended fast into a tolerated irrelevance.

The starting point in that race to nothingness could be traced to many starting blocks: I choose the decision of Bush to invade Iraq without any permit from the UN. It has all gone downhill since, sped up along by China and Russia voting strictly along their basic interests, forfeiting their global role and responsabilities whatsoever. Or have you forgotten their disgraceful performances during the Arab brief Spring? Syria?

Same thing for the OAS in the Americas already quite weak when Chavez came in. The problem is not that Chavez, guided by Fidel, reduced it to mulch, the problem is that people let him get away with it.  The near sightness of countries like Chile or Brazil in this disaster will come back soon enough to haunt them the day they will need support of international groups.

That Chavez daughter, who probaly has already a criminal record on her own, makes it to the UN, be it to be promoted as an eventual puppet successor to Chavez by her Cuban mentors, or because it was the only way to have her vacate the presidential home premises (soon two years after Chavez croaking) is a mere insult from Cuba to the UN, amazingly undetected by half of European countries, that I know. Maybe abstention is not allowed in the UN?  Whatever the reasons are, there is no beter proof that the UN has become a mere bureaucracy, a place where politicians can serve vacation time or suffer a comfy exile. 

If I were Ban, I would resign. Then again, I was named as a bureaucrat to that post, anyway.....


  1. As you pointed out, the problem starts with big power behavior. The five permanent members are cynical, violate human rights, and do whatever they please, so there´s no particular reason to keep Venezuela out if they are in.

    What´s really interesting is Latin American behavior. The fact that they allowed Venezuela to be their nominee tells me they don´t think much of the Security Council post, and are trying to appease the Cubans, waiting to see if the whole rotten edifice collapses.

    Now I want to comment on the collapse mode I´m starting to visualize. I assure you, if i can sit here and see it, then everybody else must be seeing it...and this includes the Brazilians, Colombians and everybody else who backed Venezuela´s entry:

    This morning I read Venezuela is importing Russian URALs blend to feed the Isla refinery. A week ago, we read they were importing Argelian light to blend with the Faja crude. This tells me they are having a serious problem getting the extra heavy (8 degrees API) blended so it can be marketed. Some news sources reported they were buying the Argelian crude because nafta was too expensive. I think it´s a bit more complicated. A nafta-Faja blend yields a very poor set of products (it lacks sufficient middle chain hydrocarbons).

    The Algerian crude may yield a better product slate. It´s also easier to blend the Algerian crude with the light crudes from the Maturin region they must be shipping backwards into the Faja.

    However, the blended crude they are producing hasn´t been good enough to send to Isla (it has too much nafta, way too much asfalt, and not enough of everything else a refinery needs). And if Isla can´t process that blend, then other refineries will have the same problem.

    Now we must couple the overall price drop, which is causing so much pain as it is, to the lousy marketability of the Faja blends. Let´s say the CHinese agree to take a lot of this stuff, it has to be loaded in smaller tankers at Jose, then sent to a tank farm to make a large load, and put it in a super tanker to send to China. Then it has to travel around the world to China,and the overall impact is a price loss (the seller has to eat the transport inefficiencies).

    Given Venezuela´s lack of income, its commitment to give away oil to Cuba, the inability to raise internal prices and curtail consumption, the smuggling of fuels to Colombia, the high cost of the nafta and Algerian crudes they have to buy to blend into the Faja, the overall price drop, and the economic "spin down" suffered by Venezuela as professionals and the middle class exit the country, I´d say they´ll be living like Cubans within 6 months.

    Venezuelans will learn what it is like to be controlled by the Castros (for real). No food, no electricity, no water, no real medicine, and definitely no freedom. But this doesn´t mean Venezuela will get Maduro and the Cubans off their backs. They, like Hassad in Syria, have no real way out. This means they´ll do whatever it takes to stay in power.

    And as we see this mess get worse and worse, what is Maria Gabriela Chávez going to accomplish in the UN? Nothing. She´s going to be as meaningful as the Bolivarian Satellite or the Vergatario. A prop.

  2. MariGabi does New York is an EXCELLENT ANALYSIS. The UN, though, does have some divisions that manage to accomplish great deeds. The UN's major problem, I feel, on why it hardly ever gets it right on these major issues, is because it was set up to fail.

  3. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Great technically relevant comments Fernando. Very grim future in store for Vzla.

  4. I arrived in Panama yesterday.If this is bound to happen and does indeed happen,Daniel then I am glad we left on time. We saved ourselved from the final collapse we've all been expecting where truly, as you say,Venezuelans will know what "Comer Mierda" means.

    I've always been a bit skeptical about this pending economic disaster, it has taken way too long, the oil industry has been relatively safe from Psuv-nomics,always managing to dodge blows. But this year has been different, defaults (or non-defaults) have been big,ugly and devastating. But when I read about the Algeria business a few days ago I just knew it in my heart something must be terribly wrong.

    I am actually surprised they haven taken greater measures to patch up.After all, PDVSA is the lifeblood of the revolution,without petrodollars they wouldn't be able to live like a proper(british accent) socialist.

    1. Juan, PDVSA´s culture has evolved in many senses, all for the worse. The organization reflects Chávez´autocratic nature. The few experienced professionals they had left were mixed in with political appointees and party commissars. There has been no retribution for those managers who failed to perform (including Ramirez), when Chavez asked for both financial and personnel resources Ramirez didn´t know how to say no. The Siembra Petrolera plan they unveiled back in 2005-2006 was purer planning garbage.

      PDVSA´s Faja projects are uncoordinated, amateurish, and corrupt. I don´t think Hercules himself could clean those stables. To get the Faja to produce properly they would have to rebuild PDVSA. And to rebuild PDVSA they would have to make the country attractive enough for the Venezuelan labor to return. I´m not sure it can be done. It´s beyond repair.

  5. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Whether Venezuela is impoverished or not, who will take power away from Maduro when all the people holding weapons are on his side? Maduro will have to piss-off more than a few colectivos.

  6. Anonymous1:15 AM

    This has been happening for a long time, In Bolivia, a member of the UN was caught with drugs but the government negotiated his detention in exchange of the current Bolivian UN ambassador who is responsible of a massacre to the the natives who were marching to the city of La Paz. SACHA LLORENTI is a criminal who got the blessing of the UN in exchange of José María Gonzales Galán.

    ... and now this woman?!! Dios mio hasta donde llega esta gente! y nosotros!!


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