Thursday, February 28, 2013

Back to court: multiple jeopardy for Leopoldo Lopez

Always courageously swimming against the tide
Leopoldo Lopez was back in court this morning, to be accused for the nth time for the same offense that holds no ground, no matter which legal angle the regime uses. I have covered Leopoldo Lopez legal problems long enough, often enough,deep enough to have to restart it all over again. That Lopez even won at the ICHR is not impediment for the regime to try once again to try Lopez for a minor offense occurred in 1998 when the regime has dwarfed during its tenure any offense that happened before February 2 1999. Offenses which files by the way keep gathering dust like the ones of Diosdado Cabello.

That they want Lopez  to be tried again should not surprise anyone: this is the country where double jeopardy is applied to individuals (Capriles) and media (Globovision), and where we see even cases of triple jeopardy (Pilieri). In neo-totalitarian systems what matters is not a final judicial decision; what matters is a never ending judicial character assassination which allows for all sorts of propaganda posturing and a scare tactics for others that would dare to follow in the steps and speak up.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The devaluation is retroactive: the great chavista robbery

There is all sorts of economists pontificating about the devaluation and all sorts of politicians talking of "paquetazo rojo" and how minimum wage has lost X% of its purchasing power.  But I do not hear many talking on how the regime is actively bankrupting the private sector of the country by making the devaluation retroactive. And certainly no one in the MUD would be caught dead defending these filthy capitalists which are going to go belly up in a few weeks if the regime does not change its post devaluation robbery scheme. To bad for the workers about to be laid off I suppose....

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Diego Arria or the 47%?

I was watching with interest Diego Arria participation in the Globovison opinion talk show "Alo Ciudadano" (1).  He may be infuriating or be considered a Delphic oracle, the point is that he stirs up stuff and gets into necessary controversy within the opposition. Tonight Mr. Arria pointed his guns towards the opposition mistakes in last year campaign, or more exactly on how poor was the reaction of the MUD after the defeat of October and the disaster of December. I am not going to disagree on principle with him since these pages have bemoaned quite often how wimpy Capriles has turned out to be, or worse, lackluster in his creativity. It is not that we are expecting Capriles to take a gun and storm Miraflores, but we could have expected from someone that aspires to become president of Venezuela to possess a better sense of political timing, a more forceful line when confronting the regime. In all honesty he has made progress this year but the damage is done, I am afraid.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ecuador Correa's success?

I have mixed feelings (surprise!) about Rafael Correa expected reelection in Ecuador. Of course  chavistas call it a success on their side while the Venezuelan opposition, well, it stays silent. Neither one is right.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

WTF News and Views?

Segue to my last night post.

Jaua (foreign "minister"): Chavez respiratory deficiency has increased [sic in Spanish, believe it or not].

Maduro ("Vice president"): we have had a 5 hours meeting with Chavez.

Same newspaper, almost same time publications. You tell me.

And it this was not enough, we get from another paper (for a change so you do not think that El Universal is the only one drinking KoolAid) that Maduro was ordered to fight back the economic war. What economic war? They call self inflicted wounds economic war? Maybe Chavez should watch out for Maduro stealing some of his anti pain medication..... Apparently we learned also that Chavez is fit enough to get gossip about what plane Capriles flies to where but he still cannot get sworn in.

As I have often written, it is a good thing that ridicule is not an mass extermination weapon......

Will they dare to swear in Chavez in the dark?

Venezuela is now beyond a joke. The president apparently came back in the wee hours of Monday to Tuesday night. And yet nobody knows for sure. Let me put it this way: by now, Friday early evening, there is no plausible excuse not to have someone credible to witness Chavez presence; there is no excuse not to have a current picture or something.

More importantly, there is no excuse for Chavez not to be sworn in by now.

One can understand that the president may have needed a couple of days to settle in his new quarters. But now it has been three solid days. If it is true that Chavez has enough capacity to take decisions, to sign decrees, then there is no excuse not to perform a sick bed ceremony, private, where Chavez needs only to pronounce a "lo juro", or write it down. The ceremony is simple and can be held in a sick room where we need a daughter holding the Constitution, a delegation of, say, three TSJ judges, a couple of medics, the president of the National Assembly. I am sure that whatever room Chavez is in, it is big enough to contain safely, germ free, that small crowd.

Only two explanations hold.

Chavez is a zombie, clinically dead or something. The photoshops of a week ago would point that way. The regime and it's Cuban pupetteers have not decided yet how to handle that.

The other option is that Chavez is alive but the regime is playing a dastardly sick game towards some undemocratic conclusion. It does not matter whether Chavez is recovering or awaiting the priest, he is allowing himself to be played that way, and the country along. There will be no forgiveness for those who played this dirty.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The organized chaos of Venezuela

For the casual observer visiting Venezuela these days two things must be striking: the chaos surrounding almost everything and the feeling to live in a magic realism novel that not even Garcia Marquez could put on paper. Unfortunately for those of us who live here it is all but too real as well the realization that it was all planned, at least at some point.

We can start by the magical part: the president is/is not back in Venezuela. He is/is not at the armed forces hospital. But he may be/maybe not in a secret compound of Fuerte Tiuna. He is smiling and well with his daughters but Evo Morales, his close ally cannot see him when he visits,  not even through a window, not even through a computer screen. His vice-president has spoken of his forceful voice but the regime spokesperson, ever so proven wrong/or right, says he cannot talk because of a tracheotomy. And more of such contradictions which make it impossible to reach a grand unified field theory on what the heck is going on.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Digital TV in Venezuela: safely pro regime (Globovision to be executed)

How late we are.....
URGENTE UPDATE (including modified title)

So today I read there was a cadena (I am at work, no broadband, no TV). The reason (any reason is good to promote the hair, Maduro) was to inaugurate the first relays of digital TV. According to the official state TV, VTV, we will start with 11 channels.

Since I am accused of being always a critic I will start by the good part. The regime insists that digital TV will be free (on open broadcast, cable remains pay, of course). Also, they claim that they have done enough investment to bring very soon 50% of the population within coverage (they claim installations in 13 cities already). That is it, that is all the positive I can manage to find.

French Idiot of the month: Gerard Depardieu (á la Sean Penn)

For those who understand Spanish there is a clear and concise explanation of Depardieu latest spat over taxes in France which led him to become Russian. Moises Naim, a leading opinion maker in Latin America and now an anchor for Colombia's international network, tells us how Depardieu went from being one of the most prestigious actors in France to a support of "democracy in Russia", without forgetting "all the joy that Castro has brought to Cuba". I mean, this is worse than Sean Penn who at least admits his "progressive" bent  while cashing in whereas Depardieu is your average right wing who earned with hard work his money and does not think he should pay through the nose. Never mind that the French Constitutional Council struck down the tax rise (provisionally while it is rewritten).

The point is that one must be impressed by the pathological admiration that so many artists have for showmen with power, be it some orchestral directors with Hitler (or Dudamel with Chavez) or Nobel writers and actors with Castro (and Depardieu with Putin). I suppose that in a sick and perverse way Castro, Putin or Chavez are perceived by them as brilliant colleagues......

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Idiot of the month: Ricardo Sanguino, chair of finance committee...

We thought it would be Girodani in justifying the devaluation. But no, representative Sanguino made a run for the title.  First in Spanish then my translation.

La fea cara del fascismo Castro-chavista: atacando a Yoani Sanchez

Pues bien, por fin, después de años de lucha, a Yoani Sánchez se le permitió salir de Cuba para una gira internacional. Pues bien, apenas llegó al aeropuerto de Recife en Brasil salió una patota tarifada a agredirla. Ella muy valientemente dijo que le gustó porque en Cuba nadie tiene derecho a protestar libremente como ellos lo hicieron en Recife.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chavez: "I am baaaack..."

Except that he cannot have said that since he cannot talk.

Poltergeist: "the return" episode has started, and adequately, in the middle of night, straight to a military hospital, no pictures, nothing. Oh! I forgot, his tweeter is back but if you ask me Tweeter is as close to a Poltergeist experience the web 2.0 offers...... But I digress.

Believe it or not, but I just learned about Chavez return. Well, a couple of hours ago but I did not rush to the computer as I am sure the news is everywhere, and this is a commentary blog, not a news service. I have to confess that for the last year or so I have stopped hitting the news in the morning, or the Net part of my blogging life, preferring to watch sitcom reruns or taped Direct TV shows while I sip my tea. It greatly improves my mental health for the day as bad news will always be there, whether you read them at 6 AM or 6 PM (which is when I read the morning paper). Not that I mean Chavez return is bad news, it is, IMVMO, good news.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Telling details of a rotting regime: orders from Cuba

I cannot pass on two things that tell you what a decomposed (rotten already?) country we live in.

Photoshopping photofails

Oh well [sigh]...
The cover of Tal Cual today tells you what a dismal failure the photoshopped/staged pictures of Chavez were in the general public opinion.

Friday, February 15, 2013

When a thousand words may be better than a picture: Chavez in bed

UPDATED 1 and 2
What to do with the proof of life the regime offered today?

Smiling reading Granma?  Must be the comics page.....
So apparently Chavez is alive. The husband of one of the two girls above, also minister of science and technology for which he has, as far as I know no qualifications other than talk show host on state TV, brought them back from Havana. The Granma is of Thursday 14 February, according to Spain's ABC (I could not open the Granma page to check out myself).

So many things are wrong with that picture and the announcement of Arreaza today in cadena that it inspired me for the title: maybe they would have been better off not showing these pictures.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Time is running for March elections

According a February 7 post if elections are to be celebrated March 17 for a new president the end of the Chavez era must be announced this week, say, tomorrow at the latest....  Announcement next week almost pushes elections to sometime in April with a cumbersome Easter Week holiday in between  not propitious for campaigning for the regime who needs all on duty to distribute the stuff to buy votes. In other words, May 5.  Stay tuned for the next 48 HOURS!!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Devaluating the devaluation

arithmetical error?
I am no economist. Though it seems that my scientific background allows me to understand a devaluation more than most, I am afraid to have to say in all modesty.

The thing is that through the Carnival holiday people have been screaming at the devaluation but for all the wrong reasons. Well, not all, mercifully there were enough people left at home to make some sense, but the fact of the matter is that the reaction of most people is indeed thatthey are worrying about their CADIVI bonus to go on vacation. Idiots! It plays straight into the hands of the regime, who wants to project the image of spoiled rich escualidos bitching because their vacations are going to be a tad more expensive, 31,74% more expensive to be exact. And still dirt cheap as I explained before.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ex-Republica versus La République

En Francia cuando se dice "La République" es mucho más que decir que Francia tiene una forma republicana de gobierno. Significa también que estamos orgullosos de que sea así y que estamos dispuestos a renunciar a una parte de nuestros intereses personales por el bien de La République . Eso sí, no para la mayoría o para el colectivo, para la "La République". Hoy, la Asamblea Nacional francesa aprobó por 329 contra 229 una nueva definición del matrimonio, que ahora incluye a dos adultos que expresan su deseo de casarse. Como tal, todos los matrimonios pronto recibirán el mismo trato ante la ley, desde el seguro de salud hasta la herencia, incluida la adopción. Los mismos criterios para todos.

La République

In French stating "La République" is much more than saying that France has a republican form of government  It means also that we are proud of it being so and that we are willing to give up some of our personal interests for the sake of La République. Mind you, not for the majority or for the collective, for "La République".  Today the French National Assembly approved by 329 against 229 a new definition of marriage which now includes any two adults that express their desire to get married. As such, all marriages will soon be treated equally in front of the law, from health care to inheritance, including adoption. Same criteria for all.

The Natives are restless: military abuse against Native Americans Pemon

Prisoner of the Pemon!!!!!
I had to wait to be ready to discuss the latest scandal of bolivarianism. And it is a big one. Imagine that: machete and small gun wielding Native Pemon of Bolivar state were able to take prisoner 43 Venezuelan soldiers of that powerful force designed to resit the onslaught of the Evil Empire through the use of sophisticated Russian weaponry.

It is a good thing that ridicule does not kill, otherwise we would have dozens of cadavers to pick up today, starting by a main ally of Chavez in the army, Cliver Alcala Cordones, a top brass in charge of the Southern Venezuela military area and also in the DEA list for links to drug traffic.  In fact initial reports said that Alcala Cordones was in the captive group. Whether he was does not seem to have mattered much on his mood as the picture circulating through Twitter shows us. The guy has been humiliated by the natives, and shows all the signs of the racist arrogance of too many Venezuelans towards natives, even inside the fraudulent revolution.

Monday, February 11, 2013

So, where are we at?

The president has not been heard of in now more than 60 days.

The president missed his swearing him obligation and the High Court drew a lame excuse which violates the Constitution WHEN there was an acceptable way, that did not violate too much the Constitution and that counted with the blessing of the opposition while allowing chavismo to retain all levers of power for at least 180 days.

There is no clear leadership at the top of the government  Main chavismo personalities keep going back an forth to Havana and yet there is no evidence, solid evidence, that they discuss things with Chavez.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Spain's ABC announces the end of Chavez

Oh well....
(hat tip "anonymous")

Introducing a new devaluation modality: the political devaluation

A good explanation too...

The good thing about today's devaluation is that you do not need to be a PhD economist from S.U. to understand or to explain it. The regime has not done a devaluation for economic reasons or to solve macro problems that weigh heavily on the population. The regime today did simply a currency exchange measure to get some cash quickly to pay for the electoral campaign coming. That is all. All the problems that forced the regime into today's rate change loss of 32% remain and will carry on, forcing yet a new devaluation in, I guess, 6 months at the latest.

Let's see what is this novel form of devaluation: the political devaluation.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Devaluation today: 4,3 to 6,3 for 1 USD

Just announced. (more updates tonight)

It seems that the situation is so bad that they could not wait until after the oncoming presidential vote. Thus it could push the vote AFTER March 17, just a few hours after I say it would be March 17...  Sometimes this regime makes me feel like a weather vane.

Cadenas under the Madubello

Since Maduro and Cabello have been slugging out the Chavez inheritance cadenas have evolved some. They are shorter, nastier and more idiotic, if possible. The one from last night was a doozie. Fortunately La Patilla put it up on You tube. Short and sweet, do not miss it even if you speak not a word of Spanish. After the jump with briefs comments.

In the "shit is about to hit the fan" section: January inflation at 3.3%

I was musing yesterday about possible election dates. Today's announcement of a January inflation of 3,3% indicates that elections in March 17 are becoming a higher probability. Let's see.

First, you need to understand that the 3,3% number IS LOW. The Venezuelan Central Bank, BCV, has stopped emitting real numbers and uses the trick of controlled prices to diminish the real inflation number. That is, whatever good at controlled price is sold above that price is simply not recognized. As such the real inflation number for January could be as high as 5%, if real street value was recognized.

The election approaches: the new calendar

With what has been going on in the last two weeks we must deduct the following: Chavez is not coming back to office and elections are coming anytime soon. Very soon. After all it has been now 60, SIXTY, days that we have not heard or seen Chavez and if he is in in recovery by now something would have been seen from him, heard from. For that we know he may actually be dead. Add to this the hysteria of Maduro/Cabello and their despair at ruining the opposition by any means and you know that elections cannot be that far in the future.

Del Carmonazo al Descabellomiento

Sinceramente, cada día cuesta más escribir sobre la locura en Venezuela.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Matrimonio para todos en Francia

Mientras estaba de viaje algo ocurrió en Francia que me gustaría compartir con los lectores de este blog aunque sé que algunos pueden sentirse ofendidos.

Marriage for all in France

While I was away something happened in France that I would like to share with readers of this blog even though I know some may be offended.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The MUD replies to Cabello: the F word is said

After the jump my translation of the strongly worded communique of the Unidad/MUD group.  This is a "no return" communique, if you ask me.

The Fascist National Assembly of Venezuela

The mind reels.  What happened at the National Assembly today defies all reason, all rationale, or logic.  That is, if you think like a normal person who has a minimum of understanding about what is right and what is wrong.

However if you are a thug, today's show makes perfect sense.

Where is Waldoniel? 2013 edition

OK, at least two people asked for it so there we go.

If you do not know where this famous restaurant is, there is a hint after the jump.