My grocery bill went in one month from 6 million to 14 million bolivares. My pay check only up 50%. I can eat because I am selling Euros on the black market.
There is that treatment for the S.O. Last week it was 22 million. Friday I had to pay 30. His insurance is already dead, maxed out. I am selling euros to keep him alive. I have some but they are dwindling.
Over all I am not complaining, I am in the few that still maintain a decent standard of living.
And Maduro will cruise to victory. But his end is near too.
I was made privy of this true story for which I must hide names. Important pharmaceutical group A sold supplies for several months to Venezuela for illness B, directly to the government health ministry. Yet within weeks of the arrival of that medicine the CEO of A notes that the press keeps reporting shortages and what not. That people are near death. So A calls the health ministry to inquire whether they need more, whether they made a mistake in their estimates. They were told to shut up and not speak about it or else.
Translation: the regime appropriated the medicine and is doing with it what it should not be doing. Saving it only for its supporters? Sending it to Cuba? Bluntly reselling it?
And this is all what the Maduro campaign is all about. A few more weeks to loot whatever can be still looted.
Anarchy is in the country side. Crops, cattle are simply stolen by hordes of thieves who claim to be hungry, but in fact they are looting to resell. Producers have even stopped asking for protection to the army or the police as they discovered that these ones actually organize the looting in exchange of their share. Now workers organize themselves to defend the boss because they know that if they do not do that they will lose their lone source of income in whatever village they are living. I can vouch for many of those similar stories where even irrigation tubes are stolen with the nails fixing them on the ground.
At the end I have my latest Instagram on the amount of trash you see in Caracas streets and how people keep scavenging in garbage. Caracas is anarchy.
Paradoxically stores are fuller these days: people cannot afford. Saturday I looked at the price of honey for my home made yogur since I cannot afford anymore the one for sale. I put the bottle back, too expensive for me, way too expensive. There was a full shelf of honey, but there was no rice. Priorities.
Meanwhile Maduro has plastered the country with his billboards, half of them with Chavez picture.
There is plenty of money to blanket the country with these commie inspired billboards. But nothing for the victims in that harrowing story of the @nytimesworld— daniel duquenal (@danielduquenal) May 7, 2018
AIDS Runs Rampant in Venezuela, Putting an Ancient Culture at Risk https://t.co/kTQvyVerdp pic.twitter.com/Le5tEfkp5I
All empty promises, pretending that he needs a massive victory so he will be able finally to take the economic measures that need to be taken. There is no self awareness, even by mistake, that he has been in office for 5 years already. The TV ads break with any abuse we may have ever seen during Chavez years. Daily the regime reminds the people that if Maduro loses they will lose everything. Also induced that at any rate, for all practical purposes, they will know who did not vote for Maduro. The "bring in the vote" machinery has reached new heights as public employees are asked to submit lists of al the relatives that they will bring to vote next Sunday and that the list will be checked afterwards. Friday the army chief of staff made the least institutional speech ever made by any of his predecessors, demanding people to vote, etc, etc, to save the fatherland. The only two words missing was "for Maduro".
There is no doubt that Maduro will win. Never I thought that I would see an election so blatantly manipulated. Even without cheating, which he will do, the blackmail is terrifying enough to bring in 4/5 million scared voters. The opposition is apparently more divided than ever but look closer than it would seem. Anyone that has a real political career inside the opposition will not go to vote. And there is Henri Falcon who claims to be the opposition candidate since no one else wanted to run. But he has failed to attract any heavy wight, only has-been, agonizing political parties, and crumbs of the sort. But he has the chutzpah to already announce who are the members of his cabinet even though he would not be sworn in before January 2019 were him to win. One wonders if he does that to make sure he loses the election. There is no other explanation that makes sense, he wants Maduro to win but he is serving an obscurer purpose. He has reneged his promise to drop out of the race if electoral conditions are not met.
And yet, May 21 the real problems will start for Maduro. "reelected" in a sham that is so crazily obvious that lot of countries will not recognize him. That he has not taken a single realistic economic measure because he focused on the campaign and did not want any troublesome additional grumbling will only make the coming change even more painful than what we live already. It will be too late to bring in seeds for the new crops. Not that they could plant much considering the insecurity in the country side. And thus next year we will need to import yet more food. And yet we will have less money.
PDVSA, that state oil giant is not only a zombie but it has lost major arbitration, and more to come. This week Conoco has been seizing legally PDVSA assets in the Caribbean that could impair as much as a quarter of Venezuela's oil exports. Not that it matters much as production keeps falling at an alarming rate. Maduro's latest moves arresting without reason, just as a political stunt, executives of Chevron and Banesco will make sure that even Russia will think it twice before lending any fresh cash. And more.
On May 21 Maduro will be reelected without any legitimate support to take the measures that need to be taken. "el pueblo" will have been forced to vote for him and will not take to the streets to defend him when the open revolt comes. The opposition, purged of all its scabs that will go down in flame next Sunday will reunite with possibly new leadership silently under work now, I am certain.
Unless the army decides to go for the blood bath, Maduro days are numbered. And even a narco corrupt army has its limits.