A little bit busy these days so I will be fast.
The regime tried to force through an "economic emergency decree" which was a mere diktat to make communism a reality in 60 days. You could read it all here, before most pundits tired to think about it, or worse, to pretend that there was some redeeming value somewhere. Usually pundits from brainy places like Forbes who can only think about a return on an investment that they were foolish enough to give to a country whose bloggers were active and announcing disaster since 2003. But I digress.
Since everyone knew that this was a mere propaganda ploy to try to put the blame of the crisis on the opposition (a mere trap Castro style), the Assembly majority MUD organized the only response it could do for the time being: call for hearings knowing they would be stood up. This was very simple to get because the Assembly decided that the hearings should be open to the press like it happens in EVERY democracy on earth unless it is about national security, as in ISIS about to bomb you. But apparently the state of bankruptcy of the nation is such that it cannot be revealed in public. Thus the ministers use that excuse to bail out at the last minute. Score 1 to 1 on propaganda. And I am generous to the regime.
The parliamentary commission named to inquire on the decree ruled that without economic data, that without at least announcing some the of the expected measures to be taken (the decree had no specifics) the emergency could not be approved. The following full debate today pointed out among other things that the country had been ruled by chavismo through 17 years, and that there had been enough enabling laws to emit enough decree laws for the regime to deal with whatever it needed to deal with. The emergency decree was thus duly voted down. The government was welcome to send in new and more explicit proposals and they will be speedily examined. And that is that.
I am not sure what leverage the regime got out of that wrestling match. Probably some, there were enough idiots that though the national assembly would open the gates to cheap and abundant corn flour. But me thinks that those who voted for the opposition MUD in December knew exactly why they voted for them and hot air from the regime is not going to play much if actually some stuff does not appears on the shelves soon. Period. After all, they have been used to abundant freebies for years coming from Chavez. If then, why not know? Why not for the last two years? If the "economic war" cannot be won by Maduro maybe, just maybe, he should be replaced by one that can win it. No?
The fact of the matter is elsewhere. The regime has no idea what to do and I can vouch for that. Many clients and providers have been summoned to many meetings in recent days. Hysteria grows by the day. To give you an example, one of them told me that they got an urgent mail from ministry X to send them in 24 hours a list of what they could start exporting as soon as possible so the permits could be processed fast. Without inquiring about the supplies and dollars they would need to be able to produce enough for the local market to then be able to export.......... [sigh, deep sigh.... shit like that does not appear in economic pages, just in blogs].
So the regime tries to blame the opposition and the janitor and his dog.
But no matter what, the reality is there. In my opinion default is unavoidable because there is no money to pay what needs to be paid this year EVEN if oil were to go back up to, say, 35 USD a barrel by fall. Even starving Venezuelans will not avoid default AND allow at the same time to send Cuba whatever meager allowance can still be sent. Maduro and Cabello and Padrino can refuse to visit the National Assembly, and close it, and send the MUD representatives to the execution wall, that reality is not going to change. What needs to change is the economic system but any change is impossible because the regime would unravel in weeks.
The question is not whether Venezuela is going to the IMF, but when. There is nowhere else to go at this point.
Of course there might be those who think that PODEMOS in Spain or Correa in Ecuador or Evo in Bolivia are going to come and bail us out. Bwahahahahah.....
So I feel good tonight because I read this whole week as getting us close to the end. Whatever the end is, it cannot be postponed much longer. Just go and visit a grocery store.