Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thugocracy in crisis: mystery disease and cancelled summits for Chavez

Whatever is going on with Hugo Chavez, it is not going very well.  The latest installment of the saga is the cancellation of the Latin American summit in Margarita Island which was to be the crowing achievement of the bicentennial celebration of Venezuela next July 5th, to the glory of our local caudillo, of course.  In fact, although most people assume that one way or the other Chavez will appear for the July 5th celebrations, if partially only, the delicate situation and dangerous implications are now unavoidable for all: the regime is in crisis.

On a day to day basis nothing changes, with or without Chavez at home: food scarcity, electric blackouts, crime, unemployment, infrastructure degradation, health care worker strikes, etc, keep their steady progression.  This is what happens in a thugocracy, this novel variant of autocracy that is been revealed to us this June.  Indeed, for all the adjectives we were applying to describe the Chavez regime the one that fitted it best was the government of thugs, by thugs, for thugs, or thugocracy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chavez's lumpen show from Havana

Eventually the regime released a video of a Chavez chatting amiably with Castro, in some garden of Havana, kids included, mentioning the "fresh" Havana morning.  Abscess has turned the man bucolic...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Should we make anything out of the threats from Chavez older brother?

Adan Chavez is the oldest brother of  Hugo Chavez.  He has been put in places where he could keep an eye on the "famiglia" business, such as the embassy in Havana when the Chavez can was building its fortune.  Adan Chavez was also the "more" educated sibling, the one that made it to teach at low levels in some campus, and the one that was a communist early in life, allegedly one of the main forces in turning Chavez to "passé" ideologies.

Maria Anastasia O'Grady sees it as I do

Well, thanks to a reader, I got the English version of the WSJ today where Maria Anastasia O'Grady either intuits as I do, or reads my blog :) Since it is subscription I am posting her words below. (H.T.: A.E.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chavez sickness for Canadian readers

Here, resuming my regular writing for Troy Media (without pay, heard that Eva?).  This is where I stand right now as to the whole mess, but who knows what should I write tomorrow.....

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chavez croaking? Well, maybe.....

UPDATED (twice).   Yesterday I was dismissing the situation of Chavez extended absence as at least part showmanship; but today I am forced, courtesy of a post from Gustavo, to rethink that things might be much, much worse than I thought.  I do not know how trustworthy is Gustavo's source, but the thing is that his "conspiracy theory" matches so many things so well that, that as Italians would say, si non e vero, e ben trovato.  And thus, even if this blogger is always reticent on reporting rumors, for once he will make an exception.

In short, Chavez would be suffering from a prostate cancer that has metastasized.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chavez croaking? For the record I think not

With the lengthening Chavez absence all sorts of rumors are starting to fly.  So for the record I wish to state that I do not believe that Chavez is about to go to the great beyond, that there is no way Cuba is working at replacing him, etc, etc, etc...  So, take a deep breath, do not succumb to hysterical fits, and try to think about other more realistic scenarios: Chavez has been the perfect Manchurian candidate for too long to make much of a difference whether he stays in Cuba a few more weeks.

This being said, of course it is possible that Chavez is croaking but considering the current state of the country it is dicey to guess as to what outcome from Cuba would be best for us.  The more the reason to focus on what might actually be taking place.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Historia de una canción" para "Privados de inteligencia"

Las dos últimas semanas nos han mostrado cuán bajo hemos caído como país. Suponiendo que todavía sigamos siendo un país, una idea de una dureza que me ha dejado deprimido como no lo había estado en bastante tiempo. No tiene sentido discutir los detalles de los acontecimientos recientes: la red está llena de ellos para los que tenían su mente distraída por otros asuntos. Tal vez sea más útil pensar en qué significa todo esto.

Ya no estas mas a mi lado, corazón.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The past two weeks have shown us how low we have fallen as a country.  Assuming that there is still a country, the reality of an idea that has left me despondent as I have not been for a while. There is no point discussing the details of recent events: the web is full of them for those who had their mind elsewhere.  Perhaps it might be more helpful to think hard about what this all means.

Ya no estas mas a mi lado, corazón.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Un tufillo colonial: el Virrey en La Habana

No sé ustedes, pero nunca me he sentido estar viviendo en una colonia cubana tanto como me siento esta semana. No sólo ahora nuestras órdenes vienen directamente de Cuba, donde Chávez prefiere recibir un tratamiento que podría perfectamente recibir en casa, y que, probablemente, seria de mejor calidad, pero sus últimas decisiones nos dejan con el tufillo rancio del colonialismo.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

That colonial feel from Viceroy Chavez

I do not know about you but never have I felt as much a Cuban colony as I am feeling this week, and it is only Tuesday.  Not only now our orders come directly from Cuba where Chavez prefers receive treatment that he could perfectly receive at home, and probably of a much better quality, but his latest decisions reek of old style colonialism.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chavez to us on the electricity crisis: you pay! (bonus: electrical engineers you would never hire)

Big Brother is in Cuba
And thus we return to the past.  This week end Zulia state reached very high temperatures and suffered a major blackout, long enough (a day in some areas) that even your ice cubes in the fridge melted.

I supposed in a way it was the last straw for a government that decided to punish the customer for the blackouts: we consume too much electricity, it is not the government's fault, never was, and of course, never will be.  Before Chavez, blackouts were occasional, under Chavez they are regular but that part of the much hated 4th republic is never brought forward by the regime.

Thus today new harsh sanctions have been approved for those who are not able to bring their electricity usage 10% below their 2009 level.  Observe also on the picture that Chavez is bigbrotherly present at the announcement even though he is, supposedly, recovering in Cuba.  One wonders if Jaua and Rodriguez subconscious did not betray them, trying to link the new sanctions to Chavez and not to their incompetence in solving the electricity crisis for which they have been in charge for a bout a year now.

The reverse Midas effect: all that Chavez touches turns into s**t

I remember long ago reading that the visible head of the Mothers de la Plaza de Mayo, Hebe de Bonafini, was very suspicious of Chavez, smelling the most ahted military behind the redeeming lamb.  Well, she should have stuck to her original gut feeling because now her foundation is dragged into a nasty scandal of corruption and nasty political manipulation.  See, "la Bonafini" decided that Chavez was OK, and that it was even more OK to accept his cash, in exchange of making sure that his apparitions in Buenos Aires would be well stocked with "spontaneous" participants.  Now, the kids she put in charge of the foundation have become nice little chavistas, using gifts to the foundation to purchase themsleves luxury cars, yachts, and what not...

Idiots in the net, putting all of us at risk: MacMaster and his fake "Gay girl in Damascus"

This week grievous damage was done against all of those who have put their life at risk by blogging against any form of oppression.  I am not talking of people like Yoani Sanchez who is now a star in her own right, or even to modest activists like yours truly who signs with a "non de plume" but who has revealed his true identity and face to many of the people that interviewed him over the years (there are many reasons to use a pen name and not necessarily to hide, simply to separate public from private life).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Para los chavistas que lloran la ausencia de su micomandantepresidente

Gustavo Coronel hoy, de una manera descarnada, les va a explicar lo ridículo y cursi en el que esta cayendo el régimen autista al cual ustedes por alguna que otra razón todavía apoyan.  Ahora bien, no se vayan a creer que Gustavo trata de ridiculizar solo a su micomendantepresidente.  ¡No, no!  Los dos comunicados que el analiza no fueron escritos por Hugo I, aunque si firmados por el.  Lo extraordinario es que la corte de su micomandantepresidente haya llegado a un nivel de idolatría para parir ese tipo de literatura y que el susodicho lo encuentre hoy en día normal y necesario, y digno de su firma.  Aquí los ridículos son los que participan en ese sistema y, por ende, los que lo apoyan.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The world of Chavez

One has to wonder in what type of world does Chavez live in.  But we can certainly surmise that he is not in a very nice one, no matter how much he might enjoy his power for mischief.

The Economist has the article of the week

If you ask me, the article that has more significance for the future of the West is the musings of "Charlemagne" at the Economist.  Do yourself a favor and read it.  And then wonder for a few minutes what the fate of the Western world is in front of Islam fundamentalist terrorist or narco states like Venezuela.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Para los chavistas gafos que creen que se la están comiendo con eso de apoyar a genocidas como Gadafi o Asad

Ustedes siguen con esa conseja de que lo único que alienta las revueltas de la primavera árabe son las conspiraciones yankis para agarrarse el petroleo.  Y sin embargo día treas día deberian de darse cuenta que esa visión se estrella con la realidad, y que la única razon por la cual el cínico mayor, el micomandantepresidente apoya a asesinos como Gadafi y Asad es porque le tiene culillo que algún día se la apliquen a el por transformar a Venezuela en un narco estado.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

In Venezuela, many of us don't buy the new and improved Humala

That "alien" cartoon of Weil today says it all.  Even the editorial of Petkoff limits itself at wondering whether Ollanta Humala will chose the Lula line of send Peru into chaos, Chavez style.  Which is an elegant admission by Petkoff about his serious doubts about Ollanta Humala, doubts that were certainly discarded way too fast by Vargas Llosa.

For Peruvian friends new to this blog and Weil, the cartoonist represents Chavez as a military boot talking.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Panic at Ayacucho Ranch

Well, as expected the Peruvian stock market crashed.  When it dropped by 8 points, they had to close it.  They reopened it and it went down further to 11 points.  I stopped following after that as some rebound surely must have come, one is a dirty capitalist speculator or one is not....  Sell at 100, buy at 89, resell at 92.....

Venezuelan immigration to Colombia

The immigration of Venezuelan to Miami is a known phenomenon.  Mostly, it is for retiring, for menial service jobs or those who already do business with the US and prefer to do it from Miami than from Caracas even if it requires flying to Caracas on a regular basis.  But this article in Semana from Colombia details how the hard working, productive class of Venezuela is starting to migrate en masse to Colombia, to Venezuela's great loss of course.

Two elections the same day give two visions of the world

Not only Peru was voting today, but also Portugal and in a way, for each continent, each election was as crucial.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Lula is still at it, screwing up Venezuelans

What is one to think about the recent trip of Brazil's ex president Lula da Silva to Venezuela and Cuba?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Really, it has become a no brainer: Keiko for Peru's president

[UPDATED] The Peruvian second round tomorrow has drawn so much ink (and even some blood) that one would expect a distant observer to pull his hairs in agony at how come a country has reached such lows.  But if indeed the lows have been reached, surprisingly at the end the choice of lesser evil has turned out to be simpler than expected.

Why I am not blogging much lately: the "gimme!" culture of Venezuela

I am not inclined to blog lately because the uselessness of it all on occasion is too much to bear.  Not that I think that my blogging would do much good, but I am reaching a point of getting too embarrassed about "la veulerie" (spinelessness?- 1) of the Venezuelan electorate to write more about it.  The fact of the matter is that in spite of 12 years of mismanagement Chavez has been able to bounce back to parity and up with the opposition in the polls by the mere launching of a "mision vivienda" which cannot be executed properly (a brief calculation of the promise yields that result that the country needs to build, DAILY, 900 housing units for the next 6 years when I know personally that I get into all sorts of trouble to get a couple of cement bags to fix the driveway at work).

Fortunately for us this week Weil at Tal Cual has drawn a BRILLIANT series of cartoons illustrating fabulously well how the largest chunk of the Venezuelan electorate works.

The political culture within chavismo (red berets) and opportunists: DAME = GIVE ME.  With a long nosed Pinocchio doll bait Chavez has no problem fishing for votes.  Extraordinary way, if you ask me, to make the point that even if they know that Chavez is lying once again, well, they still will extend their open hand to receive whatever falls for free.  That cartoon made me sick at heart...

This one in the same vein let's you know that the housing mirage of Chavez is going to work at getting votes even if the result of "mision vivienda" is more than predictable, and disappointment is certain.  But after 2012 when Chavez will be so entrenched in his castle that we are looking at a Libya/Iran/Yemen scenario.

This one is a simple take on the mirage of that latest mision: we all know it is impossible, and even those who ask here know that, as they sense that few will get a cheap to free home.  But they do not care, it is like the lottery, they think all that they will be the lucky winner as long as the regime remains in place.

But why have we become such a "gimme!" culture?  The next cartoon give us the answer: 12 years of "red" discourse, symbolized by that red mosquito.
Observe the nice allusion to the famous say "teach a man to fish...."

For Weil there is no doubt that chavismo has been a cancer on our spirits and he is blunt about it.

"Pancreas Cancer"; "Lung Cancer"; "Conscience Cancer" (with the allusion to chavista "Uh!Ah!, Chavez no se va" as something that will remain in our country psyche long after Chavez is gone).
And finally a clear allusion at how inept and maybe impotent the opposition is at countering such a discourse   But for more on that you will need to wait for a future post :)

"Justice!  Values!  Work!" against the Chavez promises of everything and the sink.

And you want me to keep posting?  What for?

1) I cannot find a good word for the French "veule" which means at the same time weakness of spirit but also the willingness to be weak, spineless, almost amoral.