Friday, August 31, 2012


Well, I watched 5 minutes of Rubio (thumbs down) and the second half of Romney, inserting in between whatever sitcom was on WTV.

As expected, there is no way I would vote Republican (the last time I thought voting GOP was an option was 1980). However from Romney's speech I think that the reelection of Obama is far from a sure thing. Romney's talking points are much more in tune with US citizens preoccupations after what seems an endless crisis, just as Capriles here seems so much more in tune than Chavez (you should have seen Capriles last Tuesday with union workers of Guayana!).

Regardless, whoever wins in the US is almost irrelevant for Venezuela. And I dare say to the world. Times have changed and the US is not the superpower it used to be. Obama's fault may be to understand it more than he should but Romney will be in for a rude awakening if he wins. However there was one promise of Romney that should be of major concern for Venezuela: to make the US energy independent by 2020. Even if reaches half that goal, we are screwed as we would have wasted the last huge oil bonanza of our history.  The first thing Capriles will need to prove is that Venezuela will be a reliable ally and provider. Can he?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This is post 3,500; and hopefully counting

Just to underline that, without forgetting to underline also that even if not all posts are from me, more than 3,000 are, over ten years. That is, almost a post a day, for soon ten years.

Winds of change?

You know that things are changing in Venezuela when a new site like appears.

They came up this month and among other things have the widely circulated pictures of the charred bodies of Amuay, carried like dead cattle; or detailed reports about how the bolibourgeois are trying to cleanse their image by supporting the Capriles campaign.  With names and all. But of course, they are anonymous, with an overlong explanation as to why so.  Interesting....

Calvin Coolidge

Cleaning up some drafts for posts that were never completed I run across this one in 2008 that deserves to be completed because today, from Cúpira to Amuay, ending in a desperate cadena last night where Chavez pretended to make a "borron y cuenta nueva" (passing the buck in gringo talk) we need to think again at the notion of the State.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nonplussed by US election

I have to admit that I am watching with little interest the US election this time around, even though it would be more momentous in its consequences than any in the last couple of decades.  The thing is that watching it from Venezuela we must conclude that the US really does not care about what happens here.  True, they should, they lost what should have been their main ally South of the Border.  But no one ever accused the US policy makers of actually caring about what happens south of the border as long as the help is cheap and docile.  there were some heartfelt attempts, by Democratic presidents mostly.  But where are the traces today as Brazil and China have no problems growing their influence in the area?  Let's look at the recent record with Venezuela, with pre-apologies on gross simplifications.

Random notes on Amuay

Corazon del infierno

The New York Times is having a field day.  Not only we have a second major article highlighting the deficient governmental response but also a striking photo gallery of Amuay's ruins.

The chavista National Assembly leadership does not think it is important to discuss the Amuay accident.  Indeed, any fault, ANY, can be blamed on Chavez historical decision to transform PDVSA in 2003 into his electoral cash cow.  Recognizing that mistake today is exactly as saying that the emperor is not only stark naked, but with a duster up his keester.  And it gets better; we should all show solidarity with Ramirez while he digs the ruble instead of calling for his immediate removal.  The chutzpah of Diosdado, really....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dictatorship on fire at Amuay

Many people criticize some of us when we use the term dictatorship to characterize the Chavez regime (I personally started using it in all propriety since the enabling law of 2010).  Of course, people are still in the mind frame of XX century dictatorships.  Times have changed.  With clever abuse of the media and understanding on how to make things "legal" dictatorships have assumed a new facet.  Now their objective is not controlling the daily life of people and killing scores of opponents.  Now they satisfy themselves by making sure a small "elite" stays in office through manipulated but still sort of real elections.  These "elites" are then allowed to plunder the state coffers, which was the point all along.  Let's say that absolute power has been replaced by absolute plunder.

The Amuay refinery is still burning this morning as I type this note.  But that is not the news.  What are the news today is really Chavez visit yesterday.  In that visit he bragged that he wanted to get closer to the fire, where even experts did not dare to go. We never got those images.  He declared that the explosion was not due to a leak or lack of maintenance. Even though the going on fire did not allow for any examination of the wreckage yet. He said that it was impossible that folks smelled gas on Friday even though the reports to that effect are too many to count and found their way even in the New York Times today. He warned the media on "speculation" and took plenty of time to try to humiliate publicly a Colombian journalist that dared to contradict his words.  He said that the show must go on, a tremendously telling subconscious betrayal. Etc...

In short, he behaved like a banana republic dictator, of the XIX century no less.

PDVSA blast and post Chavez leadership

There is a new site"" that has come up for the election and is trying to pull together all internet resources to inform about the truth inside Venezuela at the eve of the vote.  Believe it or not, I have been asked to be one of the correspondents because they needed some folks from the social democratic side to come and balance more right wing opinions.  A web MUD if you like.  I said yes for a dozen posts until October 7 and I will reproduce them in my blog AFTER they come up in  Please, encourage their initiative by passing around the link to your acquaintances, even those moderately interested in Venezuela.

The first post was on the leaders to come after Chavez.

The second one on PDVSA blast yesterday, with a title which idea  I shamefully picked up from the web "Gotterdamerung".  It was from someone that wished to remain nameless so if by any chance you read it, write to me so I can thank you personally for such a great idea.  The post is reproduced after the jump.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dos preguntas sencillas a Hugo Chávez

Después de la contaminación del Lago de Maracaibo, después de la contaminación en Monagas que dejo sin agua a Maturín por un mes, después de la gandola que se incendio en la Panamericana matando a los pasajeros de una buseta, después de la destrucción del puente de Cúpira por una grúa de PDVSA, después de la explosión de Amuay este sábado en la madrugada, después de no sé cuantos más "incidentes" de los cuales no me acuerdo ahora...

¿Por qué coño no está destituido y enjuiciado Rafael Ramirez?

¿Será que él te tiene chantajeado porque él sí sabe toda la plata que le hiciste robar al país?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Venezuela's electoral numbers 2012: 3- time to call it for Capriles?

Yes, I think I am ready to call it for Capriles. Remember, that his winning does not assure that he will take office as the thugs in Miraflores palace may have other plans. Also, there is still a month and a half of campaign left and all is possible, even the unthinkable that would plunge the country in chaos. But based on my trend studies, based on the obvious organization and enthusiasm in Capriles campaign, based on the obvious mess in the Chavez camp, I think that right now, today, if elections were held, Capriles would win by at least 100.000, with a potential to grow 300,000 by the end of the month.

Before you read the tables below, a few things to keep in mind.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Are chavistas akin GOP far right?

OK, once you get past this provocation, watch the video below and think about how different are in real life fundamentalist, be they from left or right....  Courtesy of The Economist.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Finally! A cadena that ends well! (for us, not Chavez!)

Last night we witness yet more damning evidence that the days of Chavez regime may be indeed numbered.  It is really not a matter of merely losing the election in October, it is the what happens next.  And after last night I am starting to feel that there is such a desire to change our political pattern that maybe the transition may not be as traumatic as I am afraid it will be.

El assangismo como forma de idiotez politica

Mi segundo intento en Codigo Venezuela :-) Lo del blog de ayer, editado y mejorado por un escritor de verdad.

Caucagüita en español

Los numeritos de Caucagüita en una version en español para Reporte Confidencial.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Yare, brought to you since 2005 (at least)

A few minutes ago I was checking my Google Analytics on the blog and an old post of mine was receiving quite a few hits. Yes, I know, I like to check what posts a read more often even though I will still write about what I think is important.  It is my blog, you know....  Well, yesterday yet another jail in Venezuela burst in arms, at least 20 people killed, and once again the now chavista age old question: how come so many weapons find their way into Venezuelan jails and how come after so many of such incidents nothing seems to be done about it by the regime?

I am tired, I do not want to write again on Venezuelan jails, so I leave you with a 2005 post to remind readers that I have been writing about Venezuelan jails for quite a while, even before Chavez was reeelcted. And the creep wants yet another 6 years term.....  The old post, incidentally, about Yare, yesterday's murder scene, to prove to you that nothing has been done to solve this issue since at least 2005.  Why is Iris still a minister?

Assange y la idiotez hipócrita del chavismo

Cortesía The Economist
No quiero perder mucho tiempo sobre Assange.  Es un enfermizo por la fama, que mas o menos sabe manipular con la ayuda de los medios de comunicación. Aquí en Venezuela tenemos uno así en Miraflores.  Sus Wikileaks fueron un fracaso en eso de que revelaron que, ¡dios mio!, la diplomacia norteamericana (o imperial como es conocida dentro del chavismo) se comportaba mucho mejor de lo que la gente creía.  Que yo sepa nadie fue a parar a cárcel alguna por las revelaciones. Esas incriminan mucho mas a personajes pintorescos y defectuosos como la señora K, para nombrar a una del continente, que los diplomáticos imperiales. Han caído gobiernos por Wikileaks, pero el de EE.UU. sigue allí.

Cúpira: Chavez ultimate symbol of utter failure

It is fitting that during the heat of his reelection campaign the Cúpira bridge collapsed, illustrating in that simple event all the multiple failures of the Chavez regime in creating a functional country.

I am not going to go into the details and the specifics of the trauma: suffice to say that one of the 10 most important bridges of Venezuela fell because of neglect, lack of prevision, etc, etc...  There is a saying that the human is the Homo genus is the only animal that stumbles twice on the same stone.  Well, the chavista beast has mastered the art of repeatedly stumbling over the same stone. No wonder in Venezuela we use the term chabestia more and more.

Chavismo has been so wrong, so misguided in so many issues that keeping count is now impossible.  Let's just resume some of the dramatic items that the Cúpira bridge summarizes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Venezuela's electoral numbers 2012: 2- the three key states

The contours of the October vote are getting clearer as we advance in the campaign.  Still, as it is always the case in any election, there is what one calls "battleground" or "key states" which are the ones to watch.  I think that this time around the ones to watch are Anzoategui, Bolivar and Lara.  Let's start with Anzoategui and Bolivar, in the Eastern part of the country, where I think that not only the election will be decided but also the margin of victory (1). I am not considering Miranda or Zulia which are a given for Capriles.  If he loses there, there is no point about worrying how he does elsewhere.  Also Aragua should remain Chavez while Carabobo will go opposition, each one with comparable margins thus cancelling each other.  Hence my choices below.

All the graphs are designed from the same CNE, electoral board, data: presidential result of 2006, governor result of 2008 and legislative result of 2010, as the most motivating elections so as to have the lowest abstention number (which as you will see varies widely).  When the opposition goes divided I add it all up (Lara and Bolivar 2008, Lara 2010).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Venezuela's electoral numbers 2012: 1- Caucagüita or why Capriles should win

If we look at the evolution of voting pattern in Caucagüita, Capriles should win in October.

One of the unheralded bellwether districts of Venezuela is a Caracas semi slum area, Caucagüita, East of the Sucre district of Petare.  I have already written about it and for this entry removed the 2004 local election number so as to make it more about Chavez, in case you compare with previous graphs.  After all, in October 2004, fresh after the recall election, the local vote was an anticlimax, not only the opposition staying home but also a lot of chavistas.

Friday, August 10, 2012

"Big Brother" vive en el SENIAT

Anoche tuve una experiencia espeluznante.

¿Cambiamos fecha a 2012?
Fui a cenar con un amigo y pagué con mi tarjeta de débito.  Nunca había estado en ese restaurante. Como ya nos acostumbramos di mi numero de cédula para poder pagar. ¡Cual es la sorpresa mía cuando el cajero me verifica mi nombre!  O sea, que a pesar de nunca haber estado en este restaurante, de no haber entregado mi cédula, solo el número, el cajero sabia mi nombre...

Al instante me dije "debe ser una franquicia, algun sistema vinculado con otro restaurante al cual fui alguna vez".  Pregunté. La respuesta me heló: la computadora de la caja estaba directamente vinculada con el SENIAT y era el SENIAT que le dio la información de mi nombre al cajero.

En otras palabras, el SENIAT está ya en capacidad de saber que consumo, donde consumo, a que hora consumo, que cantidad consumo.  Si todavía no entienden la implicación, en un futuro muy cercano, a medida que las cajas de restaurantes y tiendas se conecten a Internet, el SENIAT sabrá en tiempo real que coño es lo que hacemos con nuestro dinero.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Mythomania in Chavez bird brain

Chavez was doing yet another cadena. Surfing the waves I stumbled on him as he was "replying" to Capriles who promised that Venezuela would stop giving oil for free anymore. Instead of shutting up Chavez had to open his big mouth and look guilty, whether he did not intend it. If that was not bad enough he went to his old tired argument that when he reached office oil was at 10 a barrel and that he managed to rise it ten times.

Of course it is all baloney. You and I know that oil price increase is BRICS growth, speculation, less strikes, more expensive fields, etc...  Maybe Chavez knows/knew that too. What scared me tonight was that his body language, his voice, indicated to me that Chavez believes now that if it were not for him oil would still be a 10 usd a barrel.

Memo to Hugo: 1) stop replying to Capriles: you have no idea how to reply in an argument, and 2) consider changing your medication.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Chavez keeps piling up mistakes: idiotically he calls Capriles Nazi

Chavez' s verbal incontinence and lack of cultural education is playing tricks on him now that he feels electorally cornered.  In his desperation to bring Capriles down the gutter (Chavez can only "argue" in the gutter) he claimed that Capriles was a skinhead with all the implications and connections. And he has proof of it.

In the past Chavez could get away with such unfounded outrages which many apologists charged on his folksy ways. But this time around it is yet another major campaign blunder.  In the heat of the campaign his followers are going to demand that Chavez publishes the evidence, an evidence which could doom Capriles. This is not a circus occurrence at Alo Presidente, this is a real campaign where Chavez supporters for the first time feel contrary winds.

Not only Chavez cannot deliver (if the evidence existed it would have been published years ago by Capriles rivals within the opposition) but Capriles dignified reply is going to double Chavez political cost.  He simply said that as a descendant of Holocaust victims he did not play with such words, that Chavez had no idea what nazism and fascism were, and may he please respect his family because Capriles himself is not attacking Chavez family.  Which has of course the added bonus to remind folks that the Chavez family would be a fair target if he wanted to do so, due to the ample evidence of sudden rags to riches, corruption and assorted power abuses.....

Is Hugo becoming the main strategist of Capriles campaign?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Even the New York Times features the Kenya sex and drug scandal!

OK, so it is just the "condensed" version of an AP dispatch but the NYT felt it worth a tweet...

If you want details go to an African release which will tell you how sordid Venezuela's "diplomacy" has become. In Kenya's embassy we had an ambassador dismissed for gay sexual harassment, a replacing ambassador murdered within days of her arrival and an embassy secretary charged with the murder, linked to drug traffic through his use of diplomatic privilege and his local friend/lover on the run. It cannot get any better than that for scandal. Unless you want to add to it the ease in which Venezuela relinquished the diplomatic immunity of the arrested secretary in a country where death penalty exists.....

But then again what can you expect? Venezuelan old experienced diplomatic personnel has been ditched and replaced by a chorus of people whose main to lone function is to promote Chavez and not Venezuela.  It has been years that there is no such a thing as Venezuelan foreign policy and now we see the consequences.

By the way, why on hell do we need an embassy in Kenya?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Sean Penn backs Chavez who backs Ameliach: how to lose an election

Woman breaking CNE rules, Sean boy, Chavez and booed Ameliach
The Chavez campaign is not doing very well.  And it keeps adding errors. One does not need to read polls to sense that the ship is adrift, unable to land anywhere.  Even BBC's new man in Caracas (a woman this election, Sarah Grainger) senses it as opposed to the now discredited cheerleaders of, say, Reuters who have bought Chavez putative victory bait, hook and sink; and today once again! Proving that Reuters is the lone species to trip over and over the same fake polls.  A brief analysis of what happened in Carabobo state today will illustrate my point.

We are now in the middle of the campaign and Chavez has all the trouble in the world to make a couple of outings a week when Capriles is hitting the roads daily, for miles and miles.  Not only that, but Chavez is isolated from the scant masses on top of a float of sorts which makes him look sillily distant. Bad enough as it is, his cross current initiatives make things worse, while without any logical explanation Sean Penn is watching as if he were a big star bringing votes in Carabobo....