Wednesday, July 31, 2013

When a president becomes certifiable: Maduro pre-loony-bin?

The Mardo thing is having deeper effects inside chavismo than inside the opposition.  After all, the apparent unity of the opposition, that no one, not even chavistas seem to buy the corruption charges against Mardo is having an unexpected tail spin. So I am pasting below the most recent tweets of @nicolasmaduro with a translation. [almost] No further comments will be needed for the reader to understand what I mean.

The dictatorship post Mardo view in Caracas

So, what are we to do with the new aggression against parliamentary democracy yesterday in Caracas?

Nothing much, unfortunately.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


¿Lo que ayude?
Me van a disculpar pero hay ciertas cosas que me impiden ponerme todo emotivo por la barbaridad que le van a hacer a Richard Mardo en la Asamblea Nacional en pocas horas. Si es que se atreven; eso está por verse. El problema es que si el chavismo está a punto de poder salirse con la suya hoy, también es culpa de los errores de la oposición.

Empecemos con los cuentos de que allanar la inmunidad parlamentaria a un diputado de la república bajo condiciones ilegales y fraudulentas como lo están planificando el corrupto de Carreño y el asesino de Cabello (¿O es al revés?, me confundo a veces) significan el fin de la democracia. Desde que el CNE diseño el fraude electoral del 2010, agravado por el auto-golpe parlamentario que hizo la asamblea saliente para anular mucho de los poderes de la nueva asamblea y meter una habilitante, se murió la democracia en Venezuela. Yo lo escribí en aquel entonces y me cansé de repetirlo. Pero parece que no, que la clase política aúlla "dictadura" pero cobra su cheque parlamentario. Todo, desde la nariz rota de Maria Corina hasta la barbaridad de hoy, es posible porque no se hicieron las diligencias necesarias para denunciar en donde sea el fraude a la Asamblea en 2010.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Vagabunderias y permanente subdesarrollo chavista en Venezuela

Este fin de semana vimos dos cosas que deberían dejar pensativo a muchos en Venezuela. De un lado nos decretan un tal Instituto de Altos Estudios del Pensamiento de Hugo Chávez y por el otro leemos que analistas piensan que Mexico es el mejor candidato para ser un líder en tecnología, un Silicon Valley Latinoamericano. Empecemos por el segundo que es mas prometedor de futuro.

The IAEPHC is born. We may finally start understanding something of the twisted mind of Chavez

Hefty, hefty.....
In the "you cannot make up such shit" section, today Maduro signed the decree to open the Instituto de Altos Estudios del Pensamiento de Hugo Chávez, or for you Spanish speaking impaired people, The Institute for Higher Studies of the Thoughts of Hugo Chavez. And no one else but his older brother could be fit enough to direct it.

Let's start by saying that the work is going to be epic. Not because Hugo Chavez left a body of work worth analyzing but because he did not leave anything written except for a few newspaper columns and some letters. What Chavez is leaving are hours and hours and yet more hours of rants. Though "rant" is not a good description of Chavez speeches, the French "déblatérer" would be better, describing abundant and violent speech against something. But I digress.

Friday, July 26, 2013

15 years of triumphant chavista Bolibanana Revolution and I only got that rancho

When I moved to San Felipe, Rafael Caldera had managed to do about half the the highway between San Felipe and Moron, with a bankrupt country. After 14 years of chavismo flush with cash, only a couple more exits have been added in what is perhaps the second most used road of Venezuela. Thus the last stretch between Moron and the highway is still about 12 Km of the two way original road, clogged with jalopy buses, trucks of all sorts carrying all the goods from Puerto Cabello to Barquisimeto and the Andes. And to enter the highway, you need to go through about half a mile of what is a dirt road, or rather of original country side lane turned into dirt by the big traffic.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Post Chavez era of propaganda

Having an arepa at my occasional hangout in San Felipe I was forced to read Ultimas Noticias as the last "national" paper still available. And I fell on this so telling regime propaganda that I could not resist to take a picture of the full page advertisement and deconstruct here for your pleasure. Click to enlarge.

Let's start by the obvious: PDVSA, the state oil company is paying for that advertisement to glorify Chavez by attaching it tot he memory of Simon Bolivar, on the week of the anniversary.  Of course, if Chavez was born late July it could nto be possibly for any other reason but to his link to Bolivar. Take that you other Leo babies! At any rate, PDVSA breaks the law but who cares at this point....

Nelson Bocaranda confirms what this blog wrote in November 2012

In his Runrunes of today Nelson Bocaranada, regime prosecuted journalist, writes about an "incident" in Calabozo, Guarico State. Apparently the Colombian guerrilla FARC has set camp there and has started even shooting down security CICPC Venezuelan personnel that are investigating local crime. Meaning of course that the FARC in Guarico is already part of the local crime scene. Bocaranda also hints that when they discovered it was not local crime but guerrilla the agents may have been pulled back....

Good Morning Molecular Biologists

Google greeted me this morning with a doodle on Rosalind Franklin, the unsung hero of the Molecular Biology Revolution that Watson and Crick "officially" started. I relate on so many levels :-)

The ghost of Chavez over the Venezuelan fleet

Today is the birthday of Bolivar, and as a happy coincidence for some parties, the victory of Maracaibo lake which was the last "battle" fought against Spain for independence. Thus it is also the navy's day. We got a never ending cadena for idiot political speech and an even more idiotic naval parade. Among other things we could verify that indeed we have more admirals, vice admirals and counter admirals than serviceable battle ships. The naval parade had to include peñeros to bulk up some...

Normally I would not watch it but I was lazy in my hammock enjoying the fee afternoon and waited to turn off TV. When suddenly I saw Chavez ghost...  Thus I grabbed my camera and made this 30sec clip for you....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Comparing Venezuela and Egypt. NOT! Musings on youth protest...

Even though this blog likes historical coincidences readers will have noticed that I have stayed clear from the latest Egyptian revolution cum coup. For one thing, my allergy to anything military, reinforced by the utter corruption and amorality of the military in charge of the Venezuelan regime. Nothing good comes from military and for a single de Gaulle or Eisenhower you have scores of creeps like Chavez or Velasco Alvarado. But apparently some are not so coy and reach the pages of the NYT OpEd.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Oh Dear! Capriles uses the F word

But can you blame him?

Towards "le dernier carré", or Maduro circling the wagons

SICAD at Waterloo
"Le dernier carré" is a known military term, particularly put in vogue at Waterloo when the last battalion of the Garde Impériale was called at the end of the battle, as much as a last ditch effort as to protect the retreat of the army. The Garde supposedly was standing in squares and the last holding square was, well, kind of like circling the wagons while knowing full well that your scalp was about to free itself from its hold no matter what.

This being said, before I digress further, I am not implying whatsoever that the regime theoretically held by Maduro is about to collapse and they are circling the wagons in a square (though they would be stupid enough to try that if you ask me). No, the regime may still have a while ahead but it is behaving as if the hour had come. But before we go into these nervous defenses of the regime, let's review why it is justified for them to feel cornered.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Carta abierta a Michele Bachelet, ex presidenta y candidata a la presidencia de Chile

Estimada (ex)-presidenta Bachelet

Me permito escribirle por que me parece que usted manejo mal el asunto de la visita intempestiva de Henrique Capriles a Chile. Entiendo muy bien que para usted él llega como pelo en la sopa, sin haber preparado debidamente su viaje. No se extrañe, desde el pasado mes de abril el ha cometido varios errores de “timing” como dicen los norteamericanos. Pero eso no la exime a usted de no comportarse como una estadista. Usted será la candidata presidencial a la reelección, pero también usted es una ex presidente y se espera que en ciertos asuntos se comporte como una estadista y no como una mera política buscando votos.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How my week started at work....

Monday AM early. Funeral for the mother of an employee that died of A1H1N1.


It is the 100th tour this year and it is all inside France. And ESPN has decided to show the live feed from France though with English speakers that stumble badly on words like Céüze. Never mind that they have little clue about the lovely landscape and chateaux that the live feed shows but that they are unable to translate (or understand?). Still, the scenery is there, the bikers are hot (mostly because of the weather) and the experience of the cameras from the scooters to the helicopters and drones is now so good that you can clearly see and understand the team strategies to protect their leaders and bring them to victory. Truly griping!
That macho feel of victory for Rui Costa today

So I have it taped in the morning (In Caracas I can watch it live in French) and since no one discusses the Tour here, at night I can easily do my elliptical, have a drink, dinner while watching the Tour with all the suspense (the more so that there is rerun season...).  And tonight when it was over and I erased it I fell on the All Star game and let me tell you that the contrast was staggering between sports. Sorry, but there is no way I can ever watch more than an inning of baseball...  And only if the Red Sox play the pseudo world series. The aesthetic difference between a fat chewing dirty looking player on the backdrop of a brand new stadium simply does not compare with lean active bikers over the Provence country side as a backdrop.....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Are the radicals winning the regime's infighting?

Chavismo has been torn apart, in secret, since Chavez death. The battle implies several factions, from rich corrupt bolibourgeois to radical idiotism pushing forward ideas that have always failed in history. It seems that the radical point of view may be getting the upper hand. That does not mean it is winning as some of the factions may have decided to cool it for a while and wait for better times. But in harsh economic climate and a legitimacy problem, they may all agree that a short stint in the radicalism parlance may do them some good. Some evidences.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The December 2013 electoral post, or lack thereof in the future

I have no intention to cover in deep the mayoral elections of December 2013. First, prediction is extremely hazardous because chavismo and opposition are, write it down, going to make major mistakes upon unexplained errors. Second, it is unbelievable that we are forgetting so easily the electoral fraud of last April. And third, that the opposition is planing on making an election with a traditional high abstention as a plebiscite on Maduro blows my mind.

Yet, since it is going to be in the news, I will try to help the reader in understanding what is at stake. Let's go by parts, starting with the last one, the easiest one to deal with.

"según el" y otras formas de minimizar la cruda realidad venezolana

Esta semana leí y oí cosas que me preocuparon mucho, cosas que indican una cierta resignación hacia el chantaje chavista de la sociedad, el "tatequieto" que se nos aplicó desde el 2003. Empezó con en el noticiero de Globovision cuando la periodista comento declaraciones de Capriles que "según el" las cosas no nadaban bien en Venezuela.

The 1000 years Reich, chavista version by Maduro

Today Maduro, believing that his trip to Mercosur was a glowing success, went to Apure where he said this:
"Qué nadie se equivoque aquí somos chavistas hasta la médula. Yo soy el primer presidente chavista de mil presidentes chavistas que habrá en la historia de Venezuela"Nobody be mistaken, here we are chavista through our bone marrow. I am the first chavista president of a thousand chavista presidents that there will be in the history of Venezuela.
I will spare you the abject history lesson, of course. I am just going to say that with almost a century between the first fascist in Italy and the current crop in Venezuela, fascist is/says as fascist does.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A piece of Venezuelan ridicule where Snowden actually played a part.

In the series "It is a good thing that people do not die from ridicule" Iris Varela gives us new evidence today. The minister for prisons, who a few days ago was proven useless once again as the "pran" of a Ciudad Bolivar prison let the world know that he was the one in charge inside, has blasted two tweets based on Snowden spying revealtions.

A Snowden free item: Globovision is forgiven by the TSJ

Imagine that!  Globovision, the mush harassed news channel, finally won one! The chavismo controlled high court decided that a fine imposed on Globovision was too high and decided to halve it.

The catch?

In Snowden less news: murder of a fireman and nationalization of Venezuelan medicine

As if the regime hadn't enough fronts open, it has decided to control the prices of the medical services offered by private clinics. And the insurance companies promptly approved saying that they will only honor the nominal prices. And yet this only hides the deep failure of the health system that the regime started to improvise for electoral purposes since 2003. The public system being such a failure, everyone tries desperately to get a private insurance so as to go to private clinics that work much better than the public sector even though much is to be criticized with them. The regime is upset and shoots the messenger, by bankrupting this one. It is that simple.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

In non Snowden news: Venezuelan inflation for June is 4.7%

That is right, good news!!!!  After a 6% in May now we are down to 4.7% inflation for June!  Expect the regime to gloat on that, they is enough stupid around for some of them to say it so.

That gives us for 2013 a 25% inflation total for the first semester and an expected +/- 40% for year's end. Keep in mind that those are "official" numbers but that in the private sector we work with an expected inflation for the year of at least 50%. Note that the food inflation alone was 5.8%, the number that matters the most for el pueblo. But they keep voting for chavismo, they must be happy. "Viva Chavez! Carajo! Ahora si tenemos patria!" They will get the expected 55% inflation for food...... for the year. Let's see what happens then when even the potential 40%  minimum wage is indeed granted as promised.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Snowden renders media idiotic

And CNN is among the top in their obsession with headlines, driving them to draw a map of Snowden options.

Chavez golden-red boys: Temir Porras as a poster case

Porras and pals
Perhaps the most interesting read this Sunday was El Nacional investigation on Temir Porras, the man Maduro seems to trust the most these days. The importance of this article is not actually in the information it gets about Temir Porras, a member of a regime becoming everyday more secretive. What makes this article important is that it describes how chavismo is creating its set of cadres, and thus this blog entry. El Nacional says that this is the first in a series of articles on this new generation formed into politics through these 14 years of chavismo. Something to look forward to.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Snowed in Caracas

I hope you will forgive me the bad pun of the title but this is a little bit the feel these days. Under the blizzard of news, most more ridiculous than the preceding one, I feel like I am trapped, unable to write about anything. Where should I start? The Evo non event? That we have no money to import grains but the regime finds money to import chicken? That the Nazional Guard made a "mistake" killing a mother, one her daughter and sending the two other daughters to the hospital? That no one seems to care about these issues, many more worried about the latest regime announcement that we may get an extra 3000 USD for our trips, albeit at a much higher value than the 6,3 current official exchange?

My level of despondency about the country seems to be reaching new marks.....

Monday, July 01, 2013

The fascist methodology in mind games: Jose Vicente Rangel

It is one thing to read the everyday fascistic acts the regime resorts to on a daily basis, it is another to live through it and to watch how the minds are affected.

Today, at my occasional week day brunch joint, they were out of the papers I read. Only Ultimas Noticias was available. So, to eat my early arepa lunch washed down with fresh squeezed OJ, I had to buy Noticias de lo Ultimo Ultimas Noticias. It is not that this paper is bad. Although indulgent with the regime we need to keep in mind that it is not written for people like me: it is a tabloid and not the NYT. The news are thus short, analysis is brief, when available, the concerns are of everyday life, dressed in man on foot vocabulary. Just reading the everyday needs of the population is, by the way, condemnation enough of the regime which explains why Ultimas Noticias has come under fire on occasion. (1)