Monday, August 08, 2016


When everything fails, repeat it all. In particular the parts that clearly are rotten at the root.

This is what Maduro has done last week.

The paradox in covering Venezuela lately is that change is so continuous that it is enough to write about tendency. The rest are details quickly swept under the rug, no need to write about it unless you have time on your hands or are paid for that (lucky you!).

Roughly the story.

*Maduro cannot provide food.
*He names his minister of defense, Padrino, as food tsar, making him a de facto co president.
*Then, as an after thought he decides that it may have been a mistake to give such leeway to the military so he changes three of the non military cabinet position to set in three of the most radical elements he can find.
*Add to this that in the background the few ministers that have suggested change have been immediately shut down by radicals pols not inside of the current cabinet.


*In the previous entry I explained why the regime cannot get out of the currency control policy as its whole graft power based structure will fall in weeks. As such it does not matter who Maduro names as his co president, that befuddled person will not be able to bring diner to the Venezuelan table as the cupboards are empty and stores stopped deliveries until they get paid.

*Surely Padrino must have known that and he took the job for some other reason. Whatever the reasons are for him to become co-president (real president?) he needs to act fast because within two weeks of his nomination nothing has improved. Which were the reasons? One is that the regime being a military sponsored dictatorship it is just natural that the military start assuming a more public role. A novel XXI century military dictatorship if you like.  A velvet coup some have said.

*Alternatively it is possible that he military have decided to get get rid of Maduro and the ascension of Padrino is the first sign of a bona fide transition (towards democracy? open dictatorship? but maduroless for sure). Thus the reaction of Maduro to surround himself of radicals he is used to as a counterweight to Padrino. The real question would thus be how come Padrino did allow those changes.

It is important to note that one of the ministers fired was the lone "pragmatic" one who suggested that currency control had served its course. He was replaced by a communist and that is that (Carlos Faria). It is even more important to note that Ricardo Molina was brought back from the National Assembly to occupy one of the posts where money and graft opportunities abound. He was the radical firing any ministry worker that was not red enough to his taste. But do not think that he is a pure radical: nepotism is also his trade mark as it is apparently the case from Nicaragua to Maduro's wife Cilia Flores. Mouth on the left, privileges on the right, they all are.

And in case you do not get the point that Maduro has no better idea but to veer left/radical for his own protection by hiring ideologues that will be willing to take the fall for him, he also hired as interior minister Nestor Reverol, former Nazional Guard head. The problem here is that Reverol has just been indicted in the US for drug trafficking.  Clearly, Maduro knows that Reverol loyalty is assured since there is nowhere else for him to go.

Why this whole charade of pursuing policies that have failed, making them harsher if possible and have drug traffickers hired for protection?

Besides the obvious, that Miraflores Palace is a nest of scoundrels, assorted thugs and mafiosi, and thus they relate to what they already know, we need to look elsewhere.

This is a strategy to gain time, to intimidate and have people beyond the pale do whatever it takes to ensure Maduro's survival, even if it is for a previous few additional months.

The final question becomes thus who can possibly be so desperate to accept the utter ruin of Venezuela?

Blaming this on people like Diosdado Cabello is not enough, After all someone must have pointed out to him that sanguinary tyrants that die in their beds like Stalin are less frequent than those who meet less settled endings. People like Diosdado are hysterically radical as a way to force unacceptable conditions in an eventual negotiation.

So, who really pushes Maduro to such radicalization, harbinger of disaster without any historical exception? Only someone who will not be directly affected by the eventual collapse of the regime; or at least that will be far enough from ground zero when the day comes.  There is only one candidate that fits the bill and that is Cuba and the Castros. By forcing their creature Maduro to ravage the country to its last penny to support Cuba they know the regime dooms itself and any political future it may have thereafter. But they do not care, they need that extra little bit of money to bridge the gap until they finish negotiating with the US, Europe and even China.

Only a regime as vile as the Cuban one can prod Maduro into doing what he is doing these days. Then again the Castros have a long experience in starving people to death.


  1. Daniel, if you are right and I believe you are, then the logical conclusion is that these guys are traitors to their country and stooges of a foreign government. There must be a thing or two in the Venezuelan martial law about this sort of comportment.

    1. One would think so.

  2. Interesting post, lots of sharp remarks.

    "*Surely Padrino must have known that and he took the job for some other reason. Whatever the reasons are for him to become co-president (real president?)"

    Padrino took that odd job for 2 obvious reasons: Money and Power.

    When in doubt, everything in Venezuela happens for those 2 reasons, and in that order. It's about Corruption, money, and power trips.

    "This is a strategy to gain time, to intimidate and have people beyond the pale do whatever it takes to ensure Maduro's survival, even if it is for a previous few additional months"

    Indeed. Because in a few months they can steal many more millions of $. That's the idea. Additionally, these crooks may be making plans to leave the country or hide somewhere, trying to avoid future prosecution by the MUD, or international authorities. Put yourselves in their shoes: They risk jail, loss of stolen properties. So they must be looking for ways to hide, escape, while they steal as much money as possible to bribe themselves out of trouble.

  3. And the difference between thugs like Cabello and Stalin is clear:

    Stalin was one of the few true believers in Communism/Socialism who practiced what he preached. He was poor, and lived in a modest way. Giordani in Venezuela is another rare example. These 2 guys are wrong, and crazy, and lethal to people, but at least they truly believed in their 'doctrines" and lived by them.

    Thugs like Cabello and Maduro and Cilia and Tarek and Delcy, Luisa Ortega, and all the others claim to be 'anti-capitalism', 'socialists' for the 'pueblo', but it's all lies. They love money, properties, capitalism and the good life. So while people starve, they steal as much as possible, they buy as many properties as they can (through their corrupt families and friends) they bribe the TSJ and the Military to stay in power, as long as possible so they can get as rich as possible, them and their entire families.

    Their fake "socialist" "Chavista" ideology is nothing but a disguise, a farce. To fool 'el pueblo'. All they want is money. They also liked the Power that comes in those government positions, but I suspect they don't care anymore. Now it's about taking the money and run. They know their days are numbered, so the richer you get, the more means to elude justice and legal punishment in the future. And hide in the Caribbean leading a luxury life.

  4. took his teeth out and borrowed Cilias knee pads along time ago...kneel begore the castros and open wide...
    Im not so sure about failed socialist revolutionary state though..
    Seems to me ..its working out just the way they planned it

  5. Yeah I do not think the regime has any desires at all to feed the population. Plan all along was once gain control to kill, prison, starve, make mysirable the population to drive as many out of the country such that in coming years the govt can treat the few left a little better and have no resistance. Worked in Cuba and is working in Venezuela. Less people to take care of the better.

  6. The "Chavistas" or party of Chavez and now Maduro, really believed that socialism was the way to reform the economy and make sure that the poor are taken care of. In their own minds, they justify nepotism and corruption for their own gain by thinking that they are bringing such benefits to the nation that they deserve a little something back.

    Hugo Chavez never took power in order to loot Venezuela - he wanted to fix problems that he thought were very important. Along the way, in order to maintain power, which he thought was necessary to bring the needed changes to Venezuela, he made deals with the devil - the narcos.

    The problem with the Chavistas is that socialism in the long run does not work. If the country has very competent administrators, a competent bureaucracy and educated voters like Western Europe, they can become fairly socialist and even so, the nation still functions. Even in Western Europe, in order to provide all the benefits, the taxes are so high that the Middle class are drained of resources which drops the birth rate drastically of that population. The people who still have 2 or more children are those getting government welfare type benefits who get more benefits the more children they have or immigrants who find the conditions that people born to the Middle Class in Europe feel somewhat impoverished are to them paradise. The upper classes are not so much effected and have the same birth rate as they always did.

    As immigrants from third world countries replace the Western Europeans, they don't have the same ethos and belief in democracy, education and rule of law. Therefore, Western Europe will due to the socialism become more impoverished.

    Many may be thinking that Western Europe has a great lifestyle and economy. This is true but it has a declining lifestyle also for the middle class especially and are in a nonsustainable situation.

    Obviously, few want capitalism that is completely unfettered. There needs to be a strong state. The problem comes in when the state and taxes get so high that the middle class suffer or welfare benefits get such that a new immigrant can come to Western Germany and get benefits and housing that is better than what a Middle class German has after working 30 years at a factory. This actually happens sometimes in Germany but due to the vagaries of the welfare system, it happens to some and not others depending on benefits that they qualify for.

    The government needs to be strong enough to control the capitalists and regulate them but not so strong and large that the middle class gets gradually strangled.

    Of course in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez not only instituted more socialist reforms than in Western Europe but also did it in an incompetent way. Many countries have for example tried price controls. But most countries notice shortly after instituting them that they are not working and move on to some other idea. Add to the incompetence of the Hugo Chavez regime oil revenues that allowed the incompetence to be hidden from the view of many, and the incompetence could grow all encompassing which it did.

    1. What are you babbelling about. Your so far from reality. havez never cared anything about the people. Just used them to create a dictatorship. From day 1 he started destroying the country's wealth, education system and medical system. His policies go way beyond socialism ignorance. He stood on his soap box and blamed all the poors problems on wealth and USA when he knew that was not the issue. Even a dumb man would know the policies he implemented would only last until he ran out of the wealth he was stealing from industry. And if you were poor and non chavista he chastized you the same as the minority he used to rally popular support to his dictatorship.


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