Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chavismo promoting CITGO sale tells us more than what we care to know

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.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gas smuggling to Colombia. Contrabando de gasolina a Colombia

For those who are still not aware of the smuggling business of gasoline to Colombia



Even if one is aware of the traffic, even if one does not understand Spanish, you cannot fail to be impressed by the visuals. Clearly, smuggling to such an extent is only possible because the Venezuelan authorities have allowed it because they benefit from it. And the cancer of corruption spreads evenly everywhere as the local Colombian authorities have found it safer to join in than trying to stop it. In short, the gains from getting gas for free in Venezuela and selling it at international prices in Colombia is so profitable that everyone along the way cashes in, from the natives whose lands are crossed and who demand a toll, to the guerrilla groups that work hand in hand with the Venezuelan guard. (hat tip Charly, video from Caracol TV Colombia, impossible to pass on TV in Venezuela today).

Viva Chavez, carajo!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The bolivarian revolutionary army goes to war!

In a feat unseen since the first two decades of the XIX century the Venezuelan Bolivarian Chavista Army has gone on the offensive and decided to dispose of this major threat to our nation: smugglers. No expense should be spared as these people have been able to smuggle away 40% of our food without no one noticing for months of "economic war". But guided by Maduro and Fidel, the glorious revolutionary army has opened its eyes and from the twitter of the commander in chief himself we get accounts from the glorious battles fought. Next, choice tweets from Vladimir Padrino account with my most admiring appreciation.

Of course, we need to start from the field command, on top of a hill as it should. Apparently from this exquisitely chosen strategic position many smugglers path are visible and are being destroyed under the keen supervision of the fat robust generals, a wonder to all. You may appreciate the latest fashion in bullet proof jackets which I am sure were an urgent necessity on top of that hill as we can see from the very anxious facial expressions.



And what are they catching?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nuevo récord de Maduro en burradas por discurso

Lo de Maduro hoy fue todo un récord de burradas, digno del más maburro de todos. Antes, permítanme hacer una acotación. Maduro es un ignorante. Lo único que hace es repetir sin entender lo que le preparan, desde la Habana lo mas seguro. No es que el sea estúpido, no. El es vivo e intrigante si no como llegaba hasta donde llegó. Pero viveza no es inteligencia ni raciocinio. Viveza es un agudo instinto de supervivencia ligado a ambición, falta de escrúpulos e ignorancia de lo básico. Pero, repito, inteligencia no es. Es por eso que un bruto puede ser vivo.

No se si fue en cadena o en discurso, pero lo que Maduro dijo hoy fue de lo último. (1). Sin mayor orden de importancia porque en verdad, como escoger dentro de lo peor... (2)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Maduro in Cuba, mutual ass kissing with Fidel Castro, orders clearly implied

It is kind of impressive that as I was writing on the start of rationing in Venezuela Maduro had a surprise quick trip to Cuba, our colonial master. So many messages...  Let's start with the picture.

What is wrong here?

Could it be the first lady a.k.a. the "first fighter" sitting attentively demure in front whereas we would have expected either Fidel or Nicolas?

Could it be that all attendants are wearing the de rigueur white shirt of Cuban higher ranking officials?

Could it be that the house of a "revolutionary" seems rather well appointed, in the style of cozy Latin Bourgeoisie? And with modern finishes to boot.

Let's look now at the information available.

Maduro's regime announces official rationing for Venezuela

The economic news keep getting worse. The regime cranks up propaganda.

WORK SHOP: Maximum Socialist Efficacy (New economic Order)
Nice workshop but the results are against any efficiency: rationing is announced. And we can announce fearlessly right now that the unavoidable black market will come with it.

Things must be really bad, and prospects for improvement almost nil for the regime to make it finally official that by the end of the year all supermarkets and food stores will have a finger print system to restrict what you can purchase. In short, if we are to believe the regime, if I buy 2 pounds of corn flour at store X, any other store will know about it and I will not be allowed to buy more corn flour for that week.

That from the view over here the logistics seem unworkable is irrelevant. I do not even know where the regime is going to get the currency to buy all the material it needs to equip all the stores it wishes to control.

No, what truly natters here is that the regime has taken finally an economic decision: controls will not be eased on the economy, real long term market solutions will not take place. As a consequence utmost centralization and control will proceed, with the poverty spread that comes along. Forget about devaluation, increase the price of gas, release some exchange controls to improve at least production of food. Here, we are going to use the few dollars available to buy a subsistence food system for all. After all if you cannot buy a car why should you worry about the price of gas? If you cannot afford travel, why should you care about which airlines fly to Venezuela?  If you cannot afford Foie Gras and Salmon, why worry about corn flour being rationed to you?

And if you have any doubts about my words look at other bits of news.

The health sector is demanding a humanitarian emergency because medical supplies are not arriving and stocks are now depleted. The regime merely replies that they are overreacting even though you only need to visit the nearest pharmacy and listen to attendants tell a third of patrons "we do not have this one". But of course, one thing is to ration food, another thing is to ration medicine...

If food scarcity is a problem, other items are also missing. Toilet paper may be back, but look for shampoo or deodorant. Tooth paste is also back but gone is soap.

But even if you do not look at "material" issues as the ones described above, you will also observe that services are decreasing fast across the country. The main responsibility for this is the labor law decreed to help Chavez reelection in 2012. The law already nonviable in times of normally dysfunctional economy is now simply inapplicable in service sectors. As such a lot of business are reducing hours, reducing services and thus making our already hard lives more miserable.

Addendum 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I cannot possibly care less about Ferguson

I would not have heard about Ferguson if it were not for the 24/24 CNN coverage after the 24/24 coverage of the Malaysia plane shot down.  CNN needs such stuff to free itself regularly from coverage that ensnares it and makes it sound ridiculous.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Citgo se va a convertir en mierda

Me van a tener que disculpar la intensa vulgaridad de este escrito pero es que no creo que haya otra manera de que la gente entienda.

Si el gobierno logra vender Citgo esto es lo que pasará.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why is the Venezuelan regime so intent in making the trial of Leopoldo Lopez such a travesty?

It is common knowledge in Venezuela AND now overseas that the judicial system of Venezuela is a farce, a mere tool of the executive to get away with whatever it needs to get done. In Venezuela all political cases and all cases against the state are decided at the convenience of the executive branch which will allow only an extremely rare "victory" of third parties when that one may serve a given side within the regime apparatus against other factions.

In short, when you fall into the hands of the regime judicial machinery you know that the final verdict, if it ever comes, will be a political decision. We are ALL potential political prisoners to be disposed of at will. This is the most powerful tool chavismo has to try to control opposition: those who do not have the nerve flee the country; those who dare to resist end up like Judge Afiuni or Leopoldo Lopez, poster victims to scare away potential protesters.

And yet, in spite of the gloomy assessment written above, the Lopez "show trial" is reaching new and unnecessary levels. Why?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Positions

Since I have a hard time discussing Venezuelan stuff, I might as well take the opportunity to discuss current world issues so I can get into way more trouble than I am already in.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Maduro, the self proclaimed "worker workers's president" represses harshly workers

Chalk a new point for the repression of the regime. Today it took its gloves off to repress the steel workers of SIDOR in Puerto Ordaz who are getting tired of the government delaying tactics for a labor pact. So the Nazional Guard, well trained from its repression against civilians and students attacked the steel workers, injured a couple, destroyed several of their cars, etc...  Just to prove who is the head honcho here. Nowhere better to go for details but Aporrea, the chavista portal, the last place where the radical left has still a voice and where Marea Socialista criticizes the event better than what I could possibly do.

This being said, I have no sympathy for the steel workers though I condemn the repression they were subjected to. Why? You may ask. In short:

Carta económica a Nicolás Maburro Maduro (segunda)

Hola Nicolás

Soy yo otra vez. Como la ultima vez fui duro contigo esta vez te escribo para ayudarte porque lo necesitas. Es que mira, no logras decidir un carajo, sea aumentar el precio de la gasolina, sea ajustar el cambio, y entonces amenazas empresas y para rematar cierras la frontera con Colombia disque para parar el contrabando. Mira esos dos Tweets abajo:

Carta económica a Nicolás Maburro Maduro (primera)

Hola Nicolás

Yo nunca te escribo porque es perder tiempo. Pero a veces tus rebuznos discursos son tan, pero tan fuera de tus propios cabales que tengo que hacerlo hoy, aunque sea para que nunca puedas decir en los juicios que te llegarán "no estaba escrito en ninguna parte".  Y escusa no tendrás porque se sabe muy bien que en la sala situacional se la pasan leyendo todo lo que la gente dice de ti. Es más, te voy a tuitear esta carta para que no digan que tiro la piedra y escondo la mano.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Venezuelan weather vanes

I suppose that I should start with an apology: a lot of important stuff has been happening in the political country and I have not covered it. The only excuse is that things are changing so fast, and so nowhere, that I was vainly hoping for a weather lull to try to figure out the direction things were taking.  Alas, it'aint not happening.

The heavy sense of being adrift is permanent. Both sides of the political spectrum are at a loss as to what to do with themselves. And this is aggravated for the regime as it needs to find a way to keep ruling the country while maintaining it viable enough so that looting can go unabated. All measures, from both sides, are piece meal, expedient, often amoral, improvised, even politically rudimentary as the country is regressing not only in technology but also in political language and ideas. A home made weather vane would be more effective to give us direction.

This being said, let me take a shot at writing a rather long piece that some of you may find entertaining to read this week end if you are bored.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Open letter to Senator Mary Landrieu, of Louisiana

Dear Senator Landrieu

I am writing to you in respect of you accepting lobbying money to defend CITGO refineries in Louisiana. You have in an ill advised way blocked a US Senate bill that only aimed at putting some personal sanctions over some of the main culprits of human rights violations and drug traffic in Venezuela. Allow me to straighten you up.

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