While Caracas gets ready for tomorrow's hoe down let's check out what are the wheat and cattle yields at the ranch. The picture is grim.
It is certainly near impossible these days to get reliable figures of anything. So the devoted reader will have to take me at face value.
I can tell you that the animal protein production of the country is spiraling down, fast, as the regime is not allowing for the importation of what is required for animal feed. And since the Venezuelan crops are not too good, and must be used first for human feed (deficient amounts per se), you get the picture. For example poultry production stands at 50% of its potential and going down. Well, that is what I was told late November. I see nothing to improve that number and I suspect it is lower today.
If you want more subjective pictures hang around a supermarket. There are less lines. But because there is nothing coming in. If you are into luxury items like fresh produce, yogurt, milk, you can still sort of find. Yes, I include milk in the luxury items. The latest case of UHT milk I bought, "Mi Vaca" brand, cost me 3500 for 12 liters. That is 291 VEB per liter. In dollar it is nothing but in minimum wage percentile it is ruinous: 290/9500*100= 3.1% (rounding numbers).
That is right, the only milk available for the last three months represents 3% of the MONTHLY minimum wage for a single liter. I do not remember the last time I bought fresh milk; and powder milk at controlled price arrives, if ever, at some governmental store. For all practical purposes the regime has yielded and allows production of UHT skim milk with limited controls as the only occasional source of milk.
I can still manage because I do not eat either meat or arepas and I can afford milk, but I wonder how the hoi polloi makes it.
If you want even more subjective.... Tradition had that at midnight on Christmas eve and New Year's eve there were all sorts of private fireworks, some spectacular (people literally love to blow their money). In Caracas the smoke cloud used to be thick enough to dim the city lights. This is over. And poor pets went crazy days before as at anytime some jerk would blast out something somewhere. This is over too. Pets are happy. Christmas fireworks were sparse and lasted a few minutes. New Year's works did last a little bit longer than the ones on the 24 but the air remained clean and 15 minutes after midnight it was all over. The crisis has struck everyone, no money for fireworks this year.
And presents were scarce also. Not only the offerings were limited but the prices were out of reach. People offered food. A jar of imported marmalade was considered a nice present.
The real problem is unfortunately elsewhere. The regime is doing nothing. NOTHING structural. And the very few initiatives taken these past few weeks consisted in increasing taxes, put new controls and approve today, on the very last day of the outgoing assembly, huge special lame duck credits that basically leave the coffers empty for a while without Maduro needing to request money tot he incoming Assembly.
It is not idle to state that a lot of the last minute desperate maneuvers of the regime may be illegal since supposedly the Maduro cabinet was asked to resign a few days after 6D election. To this writing Maduro has yet to name a new cabinet and I doubt that a caretaker administration can request the funds demanded to an outgoing assembly that did not even bother to gather in full, letting such a momentous vote go to a "comision delegada", a substitute of congress strictly for control and emergency measures until the assembly can be called back out of its normal sessions.
All the recent measures, to give them a name, could have been easily accomplished through a feeble gas hike instead of increasing taxes and pushing further into the nation (the measures are special credits out of budget). The only rational explanation I can come up with is that the regime is planning an election in the next few months and is refusing to deal with the mess in the vain hope to pin it on the opposition.
Now I must stop, time to see if anything arrived at the grocery store nearby today.