Thursday, May 09, 2013

Catastrophic news for the regime: Inflation at 4.3% and RCTV revenge

The regime got two major knockdowns today.

It had to admit, confess, after a week delay, that inflation for April was 4.3%.  Think about this: how many countries in the world have an ANNUAL inflation BELOW 4.3%?  To make things worse, the central bank also confessed to a scarcity index of almost 30%, which roughly means that when you go to a grocery store one out of three basic food staples you are looking for will be missing.

JUST FOR FOOD, for El Pueblo, inflation was 6,4%..........

The second blow comes from 2007. The Inter-american Commission for Human Rights got tired to wait for a response from the Venezuelan government for its arbitrary closing of RCTV in 2007 (link to the many posts I wrote on that topic, for those new here). The regime refused to attend the recommendations, gracious one by the way since they accepted that Tves was displaced as long as new bands were made available for an RCTV revival. In fact, apparently the regime did not even bother replying.... So the Commission has decided to sue the regime in the Inter-American Court where the the regime will be forced to defend its arguments for the closing on RCTV in public.

This is big, my friends. And the timing is perfect as the regime shows that it has become a dictatorship  A reminder that full freedom of expression has been denied to Venezuelans since 2007 is a major plus for us.

Excerpts of today's communique by the IACHR: (my emphasis and my comments)

"In its Merits Report, the Commission concluded that this decision violated the right to freedom of expression, the right to equality and non-discrimination, and the administrative due process. Although the formal objective declared by the State to support diversity and pluralism was indeed a legitimate public interest, the evidence of the case showed that the decision was based on the editorial line of the station. In this way, the decision was a clear act of deviation of power and an indirect restriction incompatible with the right to freedom of expression."

"In addition, RCTV was treated differently in comparison with other TV operators whose circumstances related to the concession were identical. The IACHR submitted the difference of treatment to strict scrutiny and concluded that the State could not justify its acts and, therefore, it also incurred in a violation of the rights to equal protection under the law and non-discrimination. The Commission also concluded that the process that led to the confiscation of property of RCTV violated the administrative due process."

In short, ALL of the actions in 2007 were condemned by the IACHR. ALL....

"... the Inter-American Commission recommended the State of Venezuela to initiate proceedings to allocate a free-to-air nationwide television frequency in which RCTV is able to participate, at a minimum, under conditions of equality. The process should be open, independent and transparent, apply clear, objective and reasonable criteria, and avoid any political consideration that discriminates on the basis of a media outlet’s editorial stance, in keeping with the standards set forth in this report; to make reparations to the victims for the damages they sustained as a direct result of the due process violations; and to adopt the measures necessary to guarantee that the process whereby radio and television frequencies are granted and renewed comports with the Venezuelan State’s international obligations vis-à-vis freedom of expression."

See, it was not so bad.  The IACHR only asked that all be treated equal, and not differently. Remember that Venevision who accepted to remove all of its talk shows was granted its renewal of license while its news hour became absolutely worthless as far as news were concerned.

"This case will allow the IA Court to analyze for the first time the effects on the right to freedom of expression, in its individual and social dimensions, as a consequence of the actions of the State related to the assignment of radio and television licenses. When deciding this case, the Court will have to establish which are the substantive and procedural guarantees necessary to assure that this procedures do not become a mean to indirectly restrict the right to freedom of expression which, although having a legality veil, seek to pressure or punish as well as reward journalists and media outlets based on their editorial lines."

And once again, as it was for the case of Leopoldo Lopez won, the abuse of Chavez regime gives an opportunity to the Court to define broadly rights for the continent. Idiot chavistas!
Really a bad day for the regime as Maduro is outside trying to salvage what can be salvaged....  And by the way, when the electoral challenge will reach the IACHR as it is prone to be, this trial will play in our favor as a precedent on why political campaigns cannot be fair in Venezuela.


  1. Milonga9:56 PM

    Bad news in Brasil also for Maduro!! I heard that Itamaraty found out of his visit to Brazil through Televisa!! That's why the ENORMOUS silence over there: I looked this morning at the major newspapers in Brazil and none had Maduro´s visit in the front page, not even a footnote! Dilma didn´t offer him even lunch... This is what El Pais informs And Marco Aurelio Garcia, a kind of major councellor of Lula and Dilma and even Fidel, has said in a sunday interview of Página 12, a very K newspaper in Argentina, that Maduro has to talk with the opposition or else...

    1. and we all thought that Maduro as a foreign minister was doing more than carrying papers to sign for Chavez.... he learned NOTHING in the 6 years he served....

  2. Island Canuck11:16 PM

    This % of increase for April is a heavily massaged number.

    The only thing that is keeping it a 4.3% is the price controlled items which are very scarce. If you actually find them the price is much higher but, of course, it's not reported at the higher price.

    Milk is up 100%. Chicken, which is priced controlled, is never available at the controlled price - always about 100% more. Same with most cuts of meat.

    In May all the companies have raised prices based on the wage increase & new work hours which will affect the bottom line. We were in Sigo Sambil today around 11 AM (on a Thursday, normally quiet) & there were huge line-ups at the cashiers. I can only assume that it was because of a lack of employees due to the new hours. Many people just walked out & left their full carts. It took about an hour for us to check out. Very unusual at Sigo.

    The country is slowly unraveling. Everybody be patient. The end is close.

  3. Boludo Tejano12:37 AM

    From the press release:
    Although the formal objective declared by the State to support diversity and pluralism was indeed a legitimate public interest.

    Which reminds me of a cartoon in The Economist during the time when RCTV's license was not renewed, where Chavez says "I want to ensure Venezuelans enjoy a rich variety of television programming," while standing in front of an array of TVs that exhibit such shows as ChavezVision, Tele-Mundo-Hugo, etc.

    As the saying goes, the wheels of justice grind slowly. Six years later.

  4. I hear that "the end is near", but I have to ask... how do 'fascists' give up control?

    1. Jakester, I don't know, but I ran into this interesting article.It is always interesting to read what the other side has to say.


  5. Island Canuck2:24 AM

    They are forced to.
    It won't be the first time in Venezuela or South America.

    Patience is a virtue.

  6. Anonymous5:01 AM

    Vean la cara y escuchen por favor lo que dice la gente cuando sale de un mercado o de una farmacia, vale la pena no se necesitan encuestas, ni cadenas para dormirnos, hay una sola voz Que caro esta todo! ó Ya no alcanza!
    La Maga Lee

  7. NorskeDiv6:40 AM

    Holy shit, that is a 65% yearly inflation. Great to see the chickens are coming home to roost now, there goes the lie about Chavez reducing inflation compared to the 90s, no one will buy that lie after this year.

  8. Can't wait to see how Mark Weisbrot spins this.

  9. "... if the past few years are any indication, the government will do what it needs to do in order to keep inflation and shortages from getting out of hand." -- Mark Weisbrot, Sunday 3 March 2013


  10. I know that many of us hope that the situation is building up to a point where is unsustainable and that will lead to maduro/regime collapse.
    I lived somethig similar in the 70s, the country economy started to collapse, we started with the ration cards, it looked pretty much how you guys describe where Vzla is heading. But that did not collapse the regime...if anything the regime became more radical. What collapsed our socialist regime was a military take over. But Vzla military is no longer independent enough for that option.
    My guess is the regime will become more radical to meet the internal and external pressure. I see Vzla future looking more like Cuba than Chile.
    I would like to think like you, that all the lies, the fascism, the abuse, the crimes, the economic collapse, the isolation, etc will lead to the unravelling of the regime; but, nothing that I have seen in the last 14 years in Vzla supports that. The big obstacle I see is that cuba has managed to survive all that and worst and they are running Vzla today.
    I see a Vzla that looks like this: finally shut down any means of free media including internet based ones, erase any and all dissenting voices in the NA, slowly take over the states goverments, deploy military around the country to enforce, jail. exile or worse any dissenting public voice, finally become cuba II.

    please tell me I am wrong,

    1. There are several factors that are different than Cuba.

      1- A strong and very united opposition under a determined leader that connects with people of all classes and backgrounds.

      2- The castrista regime came to power through arms, so it was much more easier for them to retain it though force. The fact is that chavistas aren't really prepared to take arms, I've actually faced armed "motorizado" chavistas and they are only fierce when they're "guapos y apoyados" when they're actually confronted with force they run away like chicken, they're also very dumb so they're easy to kill. I recently watched a CICPC officer face five of them alone and he killed two of them and the others ran away, of course after they have cowardly killed an innocent bystander.

      3- The Government tends to overstate the control of violence they have, the fact there is many malandros, mafias and violent groups that hate the chavista regime. The fact is that is much more convenient for illicit groups to stay in the shadows, the only reason the government ones are much louder is well because of the government support.

      4- Venezuela's military may not be independent enough but the fact is that a great majority of the military will only support the government as long they stay in a comfortable position, when they have to begin to kill too many people or risk getting killed themselves, their "unconditional" support will change quickly. In fact despite the extend of the government (and cubans) oppression, still more than 30% of the military voted for Capriles.

      5- The chaverment is extremely incompetent, for example my father is openly opposition (he has voted and campaigned against Chávez in every election) and they know it, despite that the he has been working for the government for years, he currently works directly under a vice-minister. In fact the even used to work for the military directly, he only moved from there because the General he worked under was promoted to a new post in oriente, and despite moving to oriente with the General would have been much more lucrative, he didn't want to move so far away; he also didn't want to work for the new General in the job he had them.

      Well, that went much longer that I expected, what I'm trying to say is that the regime can't afford to radicalize socialism really no matter how much the hard-chavistas and communist want it or they will cripple themselves to the ground.

    2. In fact now that it comes to my mind, there is even once worse example than my father in my family because even though my father have always been in opposition, he has never been a radical and he was against the coup d'état in 2002, but an uncle (my father's cousin) who was a manager of PDVSA and a prominent part of Gente del Petróleo has been working since recently for the chavernment. And this is not a sole incident.

      That's the same reason they haven't nationalized Polar, because they know 6 months after they nationalize it 80% of the population will die of starvation.

      What most people don't realize is that as terrible as communism tends to be, the chaverment is in another ballgame completely, they know no limit to their corruption and incompetence. After $1.500.000.000.000 and the only thing they have to show for it is their propaganda and electoral machine and even that is failing miserably lately.

      All in all the truth is that no one can really knows what will happen, because really anything can happen especially if things turn for the worse, that's why the opposition leadership and Capriles specifically are trying to avoid the turn for violence. For all we know it won't be Maduro, Cabello or Capriles who will end power, it could very well be the radical-opposition that's extremely bloodthirsty after 15 years of repression, and that would very dangerous for everyone.

      The reason the chavismo leadership if provoking trying to stir the violence it's not because they have the upper hand in that scenario, it's because that's their only option, they will end in prison, in exile in a not very pleasant place or dead, at least in the violence scenario they have a chance to stay in power. The problem for them is that their base is not responding and the opposition hasn't fallen for their trap.

    3. Dr. Faustus4:40 PM

      An excellent post! Thanks for sharing that. This point, however, struck me:

      "That's the same reason they haven't nationalized Polar, because they know 6 months after they nationalize it 80% of the population will die of starvation."

      With the lack of PAN products in the grocery stores, and these shortages forcing thousands of people to wait in long lines, one wonders whether or not the government is about to seize Polar. They could quickly blame all the shortages on 'them.' What happens then?

    4. reality-rooted comments, Imnus. Thank you.

    5. The chaverment attacks are just for show to try to rally their (everyday diminishing) base, of course you never know when things could get out of hand and the most radical of chavista take control and finally nationalize Polar.

      But I think that when this happens the government days are numbered because I don't see any other scenario other than them driving Polar into the ground.

    6. Anonymous6:21 PM

      Fidel has used economic and food insecurity as a weapon against the Cuban People for more than fifty years. The change was too rapid, one third of his population, nearly all educated and trained professionals went into diaspora, and now work for his downfall. His and Raoul's intent is to radicalize Venezuela one millimeter at a time. When people struggle to just get the absolute essentials of life, they are too busy to dwell on the inadequacies, incompetencies, and insufficiencies of their government, let alone make any plans for change.

      If they ever really talk, what will Maduro tell Capriles? "Dohhh," or "bembar?" Maduro is already on the road with his begging bowl for the country's food...never underestimate the capacity of sociopathic neurotics to shiled their egos from inconvenient reality and to do wrong when doing that!

  11. Anonymous8:11 PM

    The spirit of the Venezuelan people has not been broken. Chavistas are starting to acknowledge that the government has changed to being much worse without Chavez. The free handouts are disappearing.

    You did not mention elections. If fair elections are held then the Chavistas will be gone. The question is whether free and fair elections will ever be possible.

    Chavismo can also break up from within due to internal competition. Maduro is only a placeholder without true leadership. Other Chavista thieves are waiting to take Maduro's place.

  12. Island Canuck8:21 PM

    "What collapsed our socialist regime was a military take over"

    "please tell me I am wrong"
    Can't say you are wrong but from what I'm hearing there is a very good chance that a solution is being worked on.

    As HCR says - patience.

  13. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Let me submit to you images of how Communism fell in Russia, circa 1991

    Some may object, criticizing capitalism as well. What's key is that in the end, the people prevailed.

    Very eerie that the flag has the same colors as Venezuela's

    1. One:
      Venezuela does not have communism. Venezuela is a feudal country with a state controlling all. That is not quite the same, even if it might be for HBO. You don't have the wild feudal relationships you have as in Venezuela in a "state socialist" country.
      You need to read a couple of books on world history, preferably on economic and political theories to see the difference.
      In "communism" you don't have a significant amount of the population going to private hospitals and such an open difference in standards of living between the population (there were big differences in the Soviet Union but not as dramatic and as pervasive as there have been in Venezuela). In communism you don't have shopping centres offering luxuries for whoever has the dosh. In communism you don't have half the population selling Chinese, Peruvian panties on the streets.
      Things in Venezuela are bad, but they are quite different.

      Finally: the colours of the Soviet flag were yellow and red. Venezuela's flags colours are yellow, blue and red. Flag colours are completely irrelevant. Cuba has the same colours as the USA.

    2. I think Anonymous 2:30 is comparing the Russian flag to the Vz flag. S/he does not realize that the lighter band of colour in the Russian flag is white, not yellow like the Vz flag, nor does s/he realize that the latter has a semi-circle of 7 (scratch that) 8 white stars in the centre blue band, and officially, a complicated emblem in the upper left-hand corner.


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