Monday, May 31, 2010

Santos seems to pull it off

[UPDATE-S, and better writing] The first round of Colombia presidential election is over and we do get quite a few surprises.  Let's see by times in no particular order.

Colombia results

The electoral commission over there closed voting stations at 4 PM.  At 5:05 PM on my lap top I could read the results as of communique #14, tabulating 79,86% of the votes cast.  All in Colombia was manual voting.  All.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The naked Emperor: when a leftist icon is abandoned by the working class

Richard Prieto, head of a major Polar Union
Last night I kept reading the rather fascinating tale of Domingo Alberto Rangel.  The very aged leftist, subversive of the 50ies and 60ies, one of the founder of the Venezuelan MIR, is now settling accounts by doing among other things a short book in the form of a lengthy interview by Ramon Hernandez.  I am not going into the details of this book which deserves a full post when I am done with it.  Suffice to say that for Rangel Chavez has been a fraud and that in his opinion he represents the fascist wing of the army.

The point is that this morning El Nacional right on cue brings us the fascinating interview with the president of the Ceveceria Polar Union, that is, the main beer maker of Venezuela and as such one of the main Unions within the Polar group, which has the largest Unions of the Venezuelan private sector.  In this interview we can see how far has progressed the waking up of the working class of Venezuela as to the fraud that chavismo has been all along.  Better late than never we could add.

Losing 20,000 tons of food: what does that say about Venezuela?

I am still flabbergasted about the news that at the very least 20,000 tons of imported food went to waste in Puerto Cabello because no one cared enough to remove them from the container storage area to deliver them to their righteous owner/handler/beneficiaries/whatever.  At this point it is impossible to structure a narrative about such an incredibly shameful operation though we can already predict in all confidence that no one will go to jail, or even receive a public sanction for such a disaster.  After all, let's not forget that in 2000 Venezuela received a lot of help for the Vargas disaster and a lot of that help found its way in some lot at Puerto Cabello where it went to waste, waiting for its discovery years later. No one was prosecuted or even fired for such an attempt against Human Rights, the Human Rights of the victims of the Vargas disaster to which that generous international help was destined.

However I can list a  few things about this latest disaster that speaks volumes about what kind of country we have become after 11 years of Chavez.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dizzy with news, and by the stench of rotten food

I am reading that my retreat option, Europe, is going down hill fast since the Greece bankruptcy happened.  I was reading about the strong measures taken already by some countries, including Greece closing down 2/3 of its  town-halls, admittedly small affairs of little use created to provide public jobs sector to remote areas.

In Venezuela I read of no such things, just Chavez gloating that it is the end of capitalism, that the Venezuelan collapse is not affecting its followers, only the opposition that is happy with it.  No measures, nothing, not even firing a responsible party for show.  Instead attacks to Polar, just as we learn horrified that food imported last year for Mercal and PDVAL was never taken out of Puerto Cabello, and went to waste.  It would be 1300 containers, of about 20 to 30 metric tons each.  That is at the very least 26,000 tons of FOOD!  And Polar was accused of hoarding 114 tons of food while the corruption and incompetence of the government allowed to go to waste 228 times that amount.  Is there going to be an investigation?  Will someone go to jail for that?  Will we have at least a minister fired?

Why I do not like Facebook

In Facebook you can join the "Save Riley" group (3.590 folks) and give money for a dog with a sad story.

Or you can join the "No al Desalojo de Polar de Barquisimeto" (4.960 folks) who is not asking you for money.

In Caracas you can ignore farmer Brito locked up at a government hospital where they are trying to pass him for crazy for sticking to his hunger strike.

Or you can stand in line at a fancy private clinic to sign a banner for Cerati.

When I think of it, we are actually getting what we deserve .......

The Keller poll: trouble ahead for Chavez, and for us...

Unless of course he changes policies but good luck with that...

Keller, my favorite pollster in spite of some electoral mistakes in the past has published his trimestral survey of what he does best: evaluate trends.  Even though I do not dwell much on polls this one deserves a report.

UPDATED: I got a better PDF of the Keller poll.  Now the post is complete.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Podcast with Fausta

An impromptu Podcast with Fausta, for those of you with time on their hands :)

Workers defending the private enterprise, workers criticizing state ones

It is quite obvious from his latest speeches that Chavez is deeply upset that even the Bolivarian Trade Unions within Polar are not supporting his attempted takeover.  Just as the workers that welcomed the state in Guayana or Zulia last year are now all up in arms as they discovered how dead beat, corrupt and incompetent is the new management.  What kind of socialist revolution is that when the workers are taking their distances?  This Weil cartoons says it all about the inner world of Chavez who has decided to believe that sycophancy is a genuine sentiment.
We must feel sorry about these workers defending their companies (Chavez supporters barking like lap dogs).

Jackson Diehl sums it up on Chavez growing debacle

Jackson Diehl wrote quickly today on the WaPo blog a summary post that saves me trouble in that it is a complete enough summary to allow me to write my own one later :)  Mr. Diehl has been a long time critic of Chavez in the WaPo and today he enjoys reminding the leftist folks that harass him all the time that he has been right all along.  Of course, they do not like it, read the comments.  You will wonder at some of the comments whether people actually read the Diehl post.  They sound much more like paid off Venezuelan embassy staffers in charge of bringing down Diehl, text unread. (hat tip PMB)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

All is crumbling and what is Chavez doing?

He is in Argentina visiting his partners in crime the Kirchners.  There he accuses the press of Latin America to be right wing and supporting the interests of the Empire, and he accuses Antonini to be a CIA spy.  No evidence whatsoever is offered but we know the jackasses that support him need no evidence whatsoever.  The press is reporting bad news on Venezuela?  They are liars who do the USA bidding!  What happened to the investigation of Antonini and the 800,000 in cash he carried in his suitcase?  He was an agent of the CIA so we need not worry about him! Voilà!

We can even speculate on a future exchange: What about the 5.8% first quarter drop?  Good! It takes us away from capitalism!  ( Am I really speculating on this last one?  Eljuri of the INE state statistics said on TV that the 5.8% drop was a consequence of the naughty world crisis, without bothering mentioning that Venezuela is THE ONLY country still sinking in LatAm as all the others are breaking even or growing again.  He also accused the stockbrokers without pondering the effect of a devaluation and electricity shortages.  People like Eljuri cannot be invented, they just happen!).

About Felix Osorio saying that food cannot be merchandise

Yesterday I reported about the inanity of Ministro de la Alimentacion Felix Osorio saying that food cannot be a merchandise.  Tal Cual's Weil gives the perfect perspective of these words.

Chavez: This cannot be used as a merchandise... [holding an arepa in his hand, the basic food item of Venezuelans]
The poor huddled masses:  Uh-Ah- [chavista cheers!, before they receive the arepa]
Chavez: ...but as blackmail

The Central Bank of Venezuela FINALLY publishes the first quarter results

The economy shrunk by an official 5.8% in the first quarter of 2010FIVE POINT EIGHT PER CENT.

You want to know why?  Read the two preceding posts and you will have a good hint.

But agricultrue is not the main culprit since it went South long ago.  This time is manufacturing (-9.9%) and commerce (-11.8%).  that is right, there is less to shop for but there is less people to shop for too, something that chavistas will probably find positive.  And with the inflation of 5.6 in April, well, I do not need to explain to you what this all means. Oh, heck!  I will explain it to you: Chavez economic ship is sinking faster than expected.

Ah!  I forgot, Giordani IS STILL in charge!!!!

And if you think that maybe they will start getting the hint that they might just need to correct something, forget it!  Today Felix Osorio the Food minister stated that they will go against any retail chain that considers food a merchandise (mercancia).  Yes, that is right, I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!  Nor the title "ministro de la alimentacion".  You can read it here in English or the original in Spanish here.  I suppose soon we will be told to produce food for free becasue you know, it is for El Pueblo!

Who are you going to believe: the Faculty of Agronomy or Loyo, the INTI thug?

More on La Carolina.  The agronomy faculty of the UCV, the most reputed one in Venezuela, has sent a letter to La Carolina (ex?)owner Diego Arria a letter where they state that the farm was good enough, technical enough, productive enough that they will be sorry they will not be able to send their students anymore to finish their training courses before graduation.  You can find the full text of the picture on the right in the blog Notas Agropecuarias Venezuela which carries interesting reports such as the destruction of the country side in Yaracuy, or the lack of control in animal sanitation in Venezuela today when for the sake of expediency in looking for what we are not allowed to produce anymore we import anything from anywhere.  The letter is signed by all the main directors of the Agronomy School of the UCV who appreciates fully the havoc Chavez has brought to the country side in the name of politics.

Now, you can chose to believe the people that signed that letter or you can believe the guy at the head of the La Carolina take over by the INTI, a certain Juan Carlos Loyo whose  recent tweeter account is quite revealing and whose Google search shows his distinguished career at stealing producing properties and turn them into agricultural graveyards.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alimentos Polar replies to the lies of Chavez

The failed government of Chavez which has reached a pathological degree of chronic lies keeps attacking the Polar group. This one replies in an official communique which uses some of the points that I had mentioned earlier, obvious points for anyone in the field in Venezuela. Thus I thought that it would be worth translating it so people do understand better the unfounded attacks against the Polar Group, Alimentos Polar. I have included in brackets or notes some comments for readers to understand better. You can read the original here in Spanish.

With the support of all employees (1)

Alimentos Polar rejects allegations and reaffirms that it will continue producing at maximum capacity and quality as always for all Venezuelans

Monday, May 24, 2010

Workers against Chavez: neo-liberalism on the rise?

Polar workers do not want to become bureaucrats!
UPDATE: for those of you in Facebook you can join a support group. After all the beers you got from them in warm sunny days, it is the least you can do!

Alo Presidente is indeed the TV show that sets the agenda for the week.  Either because of the reactions to the ludicrous announcements that are now routine there, or because Chavez actually announces what will happen.

Yesterday Chavez attacked Polar, ordered the justice system to investigate Polar for hoarding corn flour (that is right, Chavez orders what is supposedly an independent power, one where you send a written request, not a a vulgar order through a talk show).  He also attacked the workers of Polar for siding with Polar and defend their jobs.  Video here. Article summary in English here.

Terrorist training camps around Caracas?

Antena 3 in Spain reports on that.  Believe at your own risk.  I, for one, will wait a little bit more before I make up my mind.  It will not matter much anyway as the camps are probably gone by now, if they existed, and Chavez will scream "manipulacion mediatica", while no investigation will take place.  Then again, a Zapatero in deep trouble in Spain might chose to make something out of it to distract his own public opinion.

Chavez can rip you off but not your stockbroker even if you are consenting

I have been following in awe how suddenly the stockbrokers that the regime created have become the bad guys of the currency exchange flick. I am not a financial expert like Miguel, but I do try to understand his blog and I have learned a little bit about what the Government does and what the swap market does.

Some people really have no shame: Chavez wants to close breweries

With all the negative imaging of last week Chavez decided to become a puritan stalinist. In the video you will see below you will hear how Chavez puts the blame for the ills of the country on Polar beer (apparently Brazilian beer Brama and the Cisneros Regional brand have no part in the alcoholism of the country) . He also attacks the workers of Polar for defending their jobs and not rallying to his proposal of take over.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gustavo Dudamel finishes his first tour with the L.A. Philharmonic

Dedicated to Gustavo Coronel

Gustavo Dudamel, the Venezuelan wunderkind that made it to director of the LA Philharmonic before he reached 30 years of age has just finished his first tour of the US.  The critics are not bad but not that good.  Unfortunately I am not surprised.

Dudamel is a product of the very successful youth orchestral system in Venezuela, a country who has always taken its musicians seriously, though demanding entertainment rather than weight.  In fact it is rather a paradox that a country where the infamous reggaeton is king today that such a cultural gem manages to survive, a perfect example of parallel countries if any.  Indeed, the youth orchestra system (also extended to jails) is one of the very few things that Chavez has not dared tamper with, yet.  The international reputation it gives Venezuela in the cultural spheres and the talent of its creator Jose Antonio Abreu to pass for chavista when needed has preserved the movement for the time being even if it is not as vigorous as it used to be before the Huns arrived in 1999.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SADA, SICA and more ways to rob a hard working corporation: Cargill and Polar the latest victims

Yesterday the Chavez government stole 120 tons of food stuff from Polar (in English here).  Today it stole 173,000 liters of cooking oil from Cargill.  Both robberies were perpetrated by the same Nazional Guard General, Bohorquez, who lamely says that the seized items will be sold in Barquisimeto through the recently nationalized EXITO hypermarkets, and of course the Mercal/PDVAL system.  That these unjustified seizures will benefit the Barquisimeto people while bringing food shortages to those living around who depend on the Barquisimeto warehouses for their supply does not seem to perturb Bohorquez.  He simply says:
"Presumo que hay acaparamiento, que hay boicot a fin de evitar que éstos productos llegue a la familia venezolana" [I] presume that there is hoarding, that there is boycott to prevent these products items to reach the Venezuelan table.  [that guy does not even know the difference between boycott and hoarding, another example of chavismo general willful ignorance of word meaning]
Then again this is a country where the Caracas people are spared the electricity shortages which mean more severe shortages of light outside of Caracas than what they should be called for; but i digress.

How was this possible and why?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rocio San Miguel is threatened

Bohorquez Soto,  San Miguel's warden?
Rocio San Miguel, our current hero for denouncing proof in hand the politicization of the army, has told us that she is been threatened by the military "justice" and suspicious goons following her around.  To confirm that Luis Alfonso Bohórquez Soto is a mere thug, not only he refuses to acknowledge that he is registered in the PSUV against the evidence, but yesterday he bluntly stole the Polar company 120 tons of food by "confiscating because of hoarding" the Barquisimeto food stores of Polar (more on that later).

Sacred cows

The hypocrisy of Chavez is once again rendered by Weil.  Chavez has been screaming that no one is sacred (property, Polar, the stockbrokers he created, etc...), that the time of sacred cows is over.  And yet if there is one sacred cow in Venezuela that is beyond the reach of law (right hand) or justice (left hand) is Chavez.  All the money of the country from the oil revenue to the private property of its citizens is now under Chavez control.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chavez, ETA, FARC and other assorted terrorism

Juan Forero at the WaPo is late but thorough about all the evidence floating around Chavez and his minions helping terrorist groups around the world.

The sect chavismo has become, Giordani at the helm

Of course, long ago I have decided that chavismo was a religion.  Then I started seeing it as becoming a sect and I think that it is about to become a cult.  But I did a mistake in thinking that the the cult leader was Chavez.  It might well be Giordani who is the cult leader and Chavez merely a prophet of sorts.

Giordani has been in charge of the Venezuelan economy roughly since the start of Chavez era inventing all sorts of "development plans" that went nowhere fast, but at great cost.  He presided over devaluations, recessions, spending fueled consumption posing as economic boom, and now over a deep recession.  Under his tenure the Venezuelan currency went from about 500 a dollar to 8,000+ a dollar.  Inflation control which was his original battle cry is now among the very highest of the world.  He tolerated/sponsored a currency control system who gave rise to the biggest corruption scheme that we ever saw in  our history as chavista businessmen opened all sorts of brokerage houses to manipulate the PDVSA dollars that normally should have been spent through the budgetary process.  To top it off he criminally neglected public infrastructure leaving us with a wrecked highway system and an electricity crisis that will last at least until 2012.

And now, with all the damning evidence against him, in absolute proof of his incompetence, he wins the internal political battle, gets to close down the stockbrokers he promoted to manage the parallel dollar market which will bear in chavista public opinion the blame that he should receive alone, and gets to be the lone person in Venezuela fixing the currency value against the reality of the markets.  In doing so he basically shuts down the economy for the next few weeks, possibly triggering an inflation tidal wave that might wreck the remains of the private sector without doing anything to shore up the public one.  History blesses us with few examples of people who having fulfilled the Peter's Principle get to fulfill it again and again.

I was wrong all along, Giordani is the real Guru of chavismo and Chavez merely his gifted disciple.  I cannot come up with any other explanation for this divine mystery, which comes complete with sacred texts.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Of the limits of intellectuality

The translation of the Moises Naim interview in El Nacional has raised some questions in my esteemed colleague Juan Cristobal at Caracas Chronicles.  Serious enough in fact that for once I must break a golden rule, never open this blog to private issues except the ones I have against Chavez.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Economist evaluates Venezuela

Two major articles from the Economist paint a pretty realist, and thus grim, picture of Venezuela. A must read.
The wrecking of Venezuela.
Feeling the heat (with historical perspective included).

Weil on La Carolina

This is so good, so revealing of the hypocrisy behind chavismo leadership.

Chavez, doing a TV pass to La Carolina during his last Sunday show Alo Presidente:
"We are going now to La Carolina"
The kid wet from the pool:
"We are very happy.  When do we get to expropriate your farm?
(with the adequate familiarity and accent)

To understand this fully you need to realize that the Chavez clan properties in Barinas are way, way larger than the farm of Diego Arria whose land was occupied mostly by mountain side of no agricultural value except for some coffee grove.  In other words, if the law justifies the robbery of the Diego Arria farm it should then have already taken away the much larger estates of the Chavez clan in Barinas. 

Need we say more?

Moises Naim explains today's Venezuela for dummies

This is a joint post between yours truly and Miguel Octavio because we think that this interview of Moises Naim in El Nacional is an excellent vision of what has happened and is happening in Venezuela.  Nothing really that Miguel or myself have not written in one way or another, but Mr. Naim says it as clear as it is possible.  You can read the Spanish Original here (by subscription) or here.
 Naím: "Chavez suffers from ideological necrophilia. He is in love with dead ideas"

The current situation in Venezuela is as complex as the words of Moisés Naím are clear and strong . His unmistakable style has always been lucid during his long career in international political economy. Today, he talks about the consequences of the policies implemented in the country, rather than recommendations for their solution because he is convinced that the President will maintain his devastating policies. "Chavez will not hear anything different from what he believes, even though reality sends him strong signals that he is wrong."

- What is the economic diagnosis of the country? -
The same as that of all Venezuelans. What more needs to be said of a country that has simultaneously extraordinary oil revenues and the highest inflation in the world? Not even African countries without governments and devastated by war have higher inflation than Venezuela. What can we say about the management of a country that has the largest energy resources in the hemisphere but that forces its people to live in a constant nightmare of blackouts and electricity rationing? A country whose policies have the effect of driving massive amounts of capital overseas and the its best trained people, and whose government gives to other countries and without anyone's' permission the  nation's wealth while the vast majority live in misery? The cruelest irony of all this is that the President who claims to be the best at understanding the situation and the suffering of the poor is the one that has imposed the most devastating policies for those same poor. There is no "mision", grants, gifts, subsidies or other handouts that he can give to poor Venezuelans, that can offset the impact of the combination of inflation, unemployment and murders in which he has condemned them to live.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The week oil offshore search and bolivar value hit rock bottom

The bolivar coin  to the platform: "Welcome!"
This week we missed a few important news in this blog.  Fortunately Weil summarizes in a single cartoon what would take me pages to narrate: the importance of the sinking of a Venezuelan off shore platform and the sinking of the bolivar value as the government simply forbade the swap market or parallel dollar trade once the psychological barrier of 8 to the USD was crossed (it will go much higher now that the Dollar has been thrown to the black market, but that is another story).

Rocio San Miguel: how heroes renew themselves

It seems that chavismo is going too far and more and more people are willing to take a stand and try to stare down the beast.  We had Oswaldo Alvarez Paz who was not afraid to go and spend 52 days in jail until finally last week the regime relented and figured out that it was better for now to have in out of jail than in from an opinion crime.  And we have more.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

La Carolina as a chavista summer camp?

One thing is certain: the resistance of Diego Arria at being robbed blind is hurting chavismo.  For the first time really, in a long chain of state sponsored thuggery that started with emblematic farms like Hato Piñero, the government is met with effective criticism exposing bluntly the uselessness of its policies and the robbery component of the whole charade (1).  And thus the INTI guy at La Carolina circulates these pictures posted on the right of the pool at La Carolina.  He even posted a picture on how the horses at La Carolina are now used for rides for "el pueblo".

Juan Carlos Loyo, @jcloyo has opened a Twitter account which has been duly picked up by Chavez at his @chavezcandanga.  Now, let's play the game and accept the premise that indeed Chavez is the one finding enough time to manage his twitter account.  What is wrong with these pictures?


RNV News and Views

Tonight I am out of electricity, one of these allegedly regular outages that we must endure in the Venezuelan provinces several times a week so the folks (read: chavista hoi polloi) of Caracas do not have to endure. Since my lap top has enough battery left, then why not write up a little post about the RNV, Radio Nacional de Venezuela, the government radio empire that reaches every single corner of the country. At tax payer expense of course.

When you leave Caracas your choice of radio stations drops very fast. Not that Caracas choice is any good, but in the provinces sometimes the only thing you can listen to is either chavista propaganda through one of the multiple RNV outlets, or neutered stations that prefer simply not to broadcast any real news or talk shows. Not to mention that sometimes the choices of music become quite limited as provincial taste can be, shall we say, provincial.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sort of away for a while

I am on some major business activities and posting will be light if at all for the next 10 days or so.  In Venezuela today wireless internet is very unstable, which does not help.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

La Carolina, 5 days after Chavez stole it

Workers of La Carolina defending their former job

Today I drove to Caracas for a week of work and in spite of my better judgment I decided to drive through Nirgua and thus drive in front of La Carolina. To tell you that it was a heart breaking moment would not be half of the story.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

5.2 % represent 11.3%

Yesterday I gave you some numbers.  Today came the official ones that are worse than anyone expected: the inflation for April has been 5.2%!  as recognized by the state which means that the real numbers might be a point or two above that 5.2.  The accumulated for the 4 first months of the year is 11.3%.

Draw you own conclusions.

(bonus: now you know why Chavez in a hurry sped up to May 1 the September 1 minimal wage adjustment of 10%)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

8, 5.8%, 900% and K

The mind reels easily today.  Four items.

Update on La Carolina take over / looting

Plain old looting is the word that comes to mind when one reads this note from Tal Cual.  We read that they sent a helicopter, that is right, a helicopter, to load it with the stored cheeses, jams, hot sauces, etc...  that were for sale to the tourists stopping by.  Some fat military or chavista creep is going to dine well tonight, free of charge since of course he will not even have paid for the helicopter gas.

We also learn that the INTI has not been able to milk the cows because the employees refuse to work for the INTI.  Has not the INTI been able to bring milkmen from anywhere around? No wonder!  There is no other major milk farm around and all the other milk farms that the INTI has taken over have long stopped producing milk, and thus probably out of available milkmen or milkmaid, to be P.C.

And apparently they have already started distributing equipment, livestock and what not.  Even though no talks about even a token indemnification have started.

La Carolina take over is thus becoming fast the posterboy of the bullshit "social agrarian policies" of Chavez.  These are nothing more than the deliberate elimination of a productive agricultural class to be replaced by an unproductive one.  Exactly what happened to the Russian Kulaks except that it is spread over time and without significant bloodshed so far.  But the result will be the same: a country chronically unable to feed itself.

PS: to illustrate how political the whole charade is, a mere retaliation on Arria, Elias Jaua, currently the radical vice president of Chavez, went personally to announce that La Carolina will be transformed in a socialist clap trap.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Is Mockus the best thing since sliced bread? (UPDATED)

I think not.  I have been an early supporter of Mockus in the blogosphere but, as I was afraid, the enthusiasm he has generated make the crowds forgive him too many mistakes so far.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Chávez Decaffeinates Venezuela

This is no joke, Maria Anastasia O'Grady tells us how XXI century socialism (a.k.a. as recycled plain ole commie stuff) is destroying the economy. Do not miss it!

For those that have no access to this WSJ article I have reprinted it below, courtesy of Miguel who fetched it for me. Thus it is kind of a joint post until he comes back and resumes regular posting.

Results of the PSUV primaries

El Chiguïre has them!  World scoop!

Our starvation will be on Twitter: La Carolina is stolen by the INTI

When you drive from Barquisimeto or San Felipe to Caracas there is really only one nice place where to stop: La Bodeguita at Hacienda La Carolina. It is the only original place, where real creole food is cooked and served to you under a clean "caney" with view over a pond where some birds frolic, the whole thing surrounded by meticulously manicured grass.  A lot of what is served to you is produced from the surrounding land, and La Bodeguita is also a store set in a country decor where what is for sale is 90% grown and prepared in situ, from the delicious confit orange peels to the coffee grown in the wooded hills you admired while you had your lunch.  Amen of the assortment of cheeses and desserts baked there, and one of the most extensive collections of spicy sauces you will find in Venezuela.

This very soon will be no more, and La Bodeguita, if it retains its name, might start serving "carne en vara" or, gasp, "chicharron" if it can serve anything.  If you want something green or vegetably or merely well cooked and presented, you might have to wait, hold tight for that, for the Mac Donald after Valencia. 

Sunday, May 02, 2010

PSUV: towards the Leninist model (with pictures)

The Chavez party,  PSUV is holding its primaries today.  Should we consider it a sign of internal democracy and hope for a better future for us?  Think again. As a matter of fact this weekend we get two evidences that the PSUV is surely aligning itself with these totalitarian regimes central party where participation and democracy was announced all over the board but where instead reigned coercion and the single will of the top leader.  And thus such central parties/PSUV became/become slowly but surely tools of segregation.  The two examples are the primary elections today and the May first parade yesterday.  Let's start with the easy one to dispatch, the PSUV primary election.