Sunday, November 10, 2013

Not so random thoughts on Electrodomesticonacht

At 24 hours from the start of the festivities, we can put together a few thoughts.

It does not matter who the looted store owner were

El Nacional economy journalist Blanca Vera Azaf is strikingly wrong when she so lightly points out in a string of tweets that the

The psychological damage is there to stay, be it a store owner chavista or not. I can vouch myself from by errands yesterday that escualido store owners in Las Americas mall knew that Daka was regime associated which did not stop them from being outraged. Even a woman working at a small cart stand selling waffles was near hysterical at what she considered a plain robbery.  This was an attack to private property and people who work truly for a living understood that perfectly.

See, shop owners know that whether you inherit, create or steal the money to open your shop, it takes hard work to keep it afloat. Maybe the owners of Daka were from middle eastern origin, maybe they got started with sweet exchange deals with the regime, but their stores were well kept, they had supplies, they created jobs, etc....  Shop owners of Venezuela understand at gut level that the way to punish the owners of Daka is not by stealing their goods, but by sending tax auditors and levy the necessary fines and taxes.  Besides, the price argument is not a good one: nobody forces you to buy in a store. It is up to the customer to do the leg work and compare stores and prices. Only particularly dumb chavistas can content themselves with one product, one quality, one store, one price.

Blanca Vera Azaf should know better than stress such distinctions which play straight into the hands of the regime......

The bolibourgeois (and Cabello) are on the defensive

But since the stores most hit at first were the bolibourgeois ones (the less linked ones were hit yesterday late, as an afterthought of the regime it seems) we must also accept that a large part of the play was done by one chavista sector hitting on another one.  What is remarkable in the strategy chosen is that it has NOTHING to do with socialism but all with mafia wars.  Had the seizure been "socialist" we would have seen an expropriation, a militarization from the start, etc...  more legalism in short, more "el pueblo" organization. What we saw was a crass destruction of the economic might of one group that displeased the other with a whole bunch of opportunists picking the remains.

Maduro and whomever pushed him (Giordani) are true ignorant

We can argue that ignoring the consequences of yesterday may be willful (I want to end capitalism) or the product of ignorance (but I only wanted to punish the bad guys). What we cannot argue is that there will be huge negative consequences that apparently they cannot see, and even less understand if they could see.

When Maduro announces that it wants the Internet providers of Venezuela to censor pages that publish the black market rate of the US dollar we can only be astounded at the stupidity of the man. In no particular order:
- Maduro ignores how Internet works, that all eventually gets to be known sooner or later, even inside China.
- Maduro thinks that the "overpricing" of Daka et al., is due at the owners being directly influenced by reading such pages.  The same idiotic argument that pushes some people to want to censor comics because it induces kids to commit crimes.
- Maduro and Giordani truly think that they are doing great and that if the currency has gone from 1 to 0,01 in 15 years it is not because of their lousy policies but because they have been sabotaged all along. Never does it cross their minds that if it were so easy to sabotage an economy Al Qaeda would have bankrupted the USA long ago.
- Maduro and Giordani apparently do not know that all regimes that pretended to control all NEVER could avoid the existence of some form of black market, not even the efficient Germans in occupied Europe during WW2.

What matters the most in Venezuela is the economy

Yesterday Daka seizure covered more expectations than the regime could hope for. The timing of the measure which certainly had a relation with covering electoral bad numbers, Capriles received by the Pope and the march convoked by the opposition yesterday has blown in their face. Indeed, all other news were shut up, EVEN that a Miss Venezuela did get yet another International beauty pageant. Everybody from tweeter to store owners in Las Americas talked about the looting and only the expected chavistas tried to put a good spin on it. I am willing to go on record that overall the result is bad for the regime, that it will not gain them much votes if any, because people that loot probably cannot be bothered to vote to begin with and know very well that whether Maduro remains in office or Capriles wins, they are more likely to preserve their loot under Capriles than a Maduro than cannot control the terrible crime wave that could tomorrow steal their loot. As for "el pueblo" what it really wants to know is whether there is somewhere milk to loot.

Added tonight

The electoral campaign numbers are bad

What Maduro et al. tried this week end is a clear reflection of their polling numbers.  Barely a month before an election that you claim you will win you do not need to pull such a stunt (and only one of the many stunts pulled such as declaring December 8 the day of Chavez remembrance).  Such a reckless call to "clean up the shelves" by Maduro only proves that he is indeed afraid of losing the majority vote IN SPITE of all the electoral cheating coming our way.  Which can only mean one thing: in chavista polls the opposition must be leading by more than 5% which is in my past estimation what the electoral cheating bonus is worth.

From my political contacts this week, and I did not visit them for poll numbers as I know how fickle and imprecise these are this time around, the Metro Caracas numbers look very good, even in the Libertador district, the jewel in the crown for chavismo that even a divided opposition may take, if barely.  But I was told of some surprising numbers in the hinterlands that may confirm that next December 9 a large majority of the Venezuelan population will be ruled by opposition mayors. Chavismo can still take comfort that the way districts are organized in the country they are still significantly ahead in the total number of mayors but these ones will have a novelty: the overwhelming majority in the local councils they enjoyed before will not exist anymore.  In short chavismo is going to lose its main patronage tool after the central administration, a large majority of town-halls.  In fact, a solid showing in those councils could make it very difficult to activate the plan B, to develop "comunas" to weaken mayors elected for the opposition.

The worse may actually come to pass for chavismo: the local elections may turn out to be a plebiscite on Maduro and this creep is helping them to become so!  He may regret Daka in a few weeks.

Even the campaign finances are bad

Another thing that we can get confirmation of with the Daka looting is that the regime does not have the means to buy votes the way it used to do under Chavez. Usually at month of any election under chavismo the regime had already occupied all the main public locations to plaster its propaganda. This time around they are rather late when they should have been earlier than usual.  Also the ubiquitous "fairs" where chavismo will distribute goods are much rarer and, I was told, less provided than in the past.  That Maduro decided to loot Daka for electoral purpose can only mean that indeed, they do not have all the money they would love to have.


  1. Island Canuck5:32 PM

    A video being posted everywhere this morning is showing 2 groups.
    The thieves & those that were waiting to buy.
    The second group is really angry with the first group with lots of name calling & destroying of stolen merchandise.

    1. Javier Here
      You are right, many people, I guess some waiting in line to buy, thought of these grabbers not looters but robbers, which is a good thing. I wish there was a way to start putting names on that video that captured all these robbers so their friends and family would know

  2. The regime's actions went further than affronting private businesses, even if it was a staged action in concert with Daka owners et al. Masburro and his clan wanted to A. send a message: Electrodomésticos trump autoconvocatoria. and B. show how the population runs, bends to the government's will. If in the process, the government manages to break down social morals, then all the better for it; the society will be weaker because of it.

    For me, it all smacks of pre-planning on a larger scale, the likes of which the opposition forces, be they grass roots or not, are incapable of overcoming. Por ahora.

    The next few weeks will reveal more.

  3. Could teh Daka legalise dlooting have been an intentional ploy to defuse the #9N?

  4. Anonymous7:26 PM

    All of the happenings of the past days have made me review the history of kristalnacht and the development of the Nazi justice system leading to the ultimate horror of the January 20, 1942 Wannsee conference which formulated the final solution. Is history repeating itself? The similarities are frightening. All that is needed now is the development of "people's courts" ......

    On 20 August 1942, Hitler promoted Otto Georg Thierack to Reich Justice Minister, replacing the retiring Schlegelberger, and named Freisler to succeed Thierack as president of the People's Court (Volksgerichtshof). This court, set up outside the frame of law, had jurisdiction over a rather broad array of "political offences", including black marketeering, work slowdowns, and defeatism. These actions were viewed by Freisler's court as Wehrkraftzersetzung (undermining defensive capability) and were accordingly punished severely, the death penalty being meted out in numerous cases. The People's Court almost always sided with the prosecution, to the point that being brought before it was tantamount to a death sentence. Not surprisingly, it was viewed as a kangaroo court.

    Where is Venezuela on this path????

    Caracas Canadian

    1. But people courts have already been proposed!!!!!!!

  5. kernel_panic7:28 PM

    I think we can safely say that without a question we're now zimbabwe with oil (which in fact is sadder because even though we have lots of oil we're on the same path).

    Unlike zimbabwe, we do not have an "inflation police" (yet), but the speeches and actions of the last 48 hours seem to work along that direction. Its like our implicit libreta de racionamiento, we don't have one as cuba, and yet we're limited to how many items one can buy on a store

    Now, new targets have been announced, JVG, IMGEVE, Direct Import, Dorsay, if I recall correctly, those were announced by INDEPABIS, and Maduro told yesteday on cadena that "not only electric appliances businesses are on this, food businesses too", add to that the statements (I think also from maduro) that "this is just the tip of the iceberg" and voila!

    I see the potential beneficial effects for chavismo/madurismo of this tactic as follows:

    - pressure release valve: instead of having a full blown caracazo, they rather be the ones that start it in order to avoid being consumed, and they are the ones guiding the movement to the next targets, chosen for tht purpose

    - improving the "sensacion de bienestar" (wellbeing) of the people, by having a brand new 50" tv on your house, or the big bucks made by selling the loot, should diminish even a tiny bit the pressure on the government related to the peoples discomfort, pan y circo at is best

    - smoke curtain: waiting for the next target and thinking what to loot or what to do with the loot makes people distracted from the true problems, although not that this really matters because this has been a government's favorite tactic since forever

    - if the looting goes out of control, they can always size the opportunity to suspend elections, and worse, suspension de garantias, and they will do as they please, specially against whatever they perceive as opposition.

    May this situation turn against the government? certainly

    - let's assume that the looting having place now is against non-enchufado owned stores, what will happen if the looting gets spontaneous and enchufado-owned stores are looted as well? then it'll be a free-for-all, caracazo style.

    - what if food supplying businesses are targeted? then a severe shortage of food might be created and the black market for food will soar even more, when people's food stock is gone and getting new one is close to impossible, then the situation will blow like it has never been seen before in venezuela.

    - let's say the looting continues and the operation is miscalculated, then the sensacion de bienestar may fade too quick for the government to take advantage of it on the 8D elections (but every day it passes it seems that the government cares less and less about that outcome)

    - if indeed this is a mafia war between factions of chavismo, then it's only a matter of time until someone gets really really mad for getting served and a literal mafia war may occur.

    In conclusion, this seems as an all-or-nothing strategy, just like igniting the Saturn V, if it works, it'll take you to the moon (succesfull cubanization of venezuela), if it doesn't, it'll be a blowup only second to an actual nuclear blast.

  6. Island Canuck7:41 PM

    This morning I went to our local supermarket in El Tirano and low & behold vodka that was Bs.480 on Thursday was Bs.266 this morning with a limit of 2 per person.
    Obviously old stock that they had marked up & were afraid that INDEPABIS would catch them.
    Looks good on them.

  7. charly9:47 PM

    Didn't I comment in a previous post that the cucuteño is a thief? Poofs are accumulating by the day. As an aside, I would really be surprised that sharia law could be declared one day in Venezuela, too many people would be unable to do the military salute anymore.

  8. Anonymous12:21 AM

    With no electricity, those stolen electronics will make better paperweights. Oh, I forgot there is no paper either. As we lose power daily, and have been without today for about 4 hours and counting, I lean more to these events over the last two days as being more for diversions and distractions than any real attack at speculators...whatever that means. Desperate tactics from desperate people. May the end come quickly.


  9. Boludo Tejano12:41 AM

    Maduro and Giordani truly think that they are doing great and that if the currency has gone from 1 to 0,01 in 15 years it is not because of their lousy policies but because they have been sabotaged all along.Never does it cross their minds that if it where [were] so easy to sabotage an economy Al Qaeda would have bankrupted the USA long ago.

    Zinger! You tell your tales - not "otro cuento de vaqueros" - with a rapier wit.

    1. Well, after ten years of blogging one develops certain skills. Though spelling and grammar may not be the ones.....

  10. Is it true that prices at the state-owned stores were comparable to Daka?

    1. I don't know, I would never go to a state owned store. Also they sell chinese junk, I rather go for the Japanese, Korean or US stuff.

      Again, it is irrelevant whether Daka was expensive: nobody forced anyone to go there to shop. But in chavismo they want to protect you against yourself....

    2. Quite some products are as expensive or more expensive at the state shops. Miguel (Devilsexcrement) was talking about them...obviously, there is a huge mafia there then.

  11. Anonymous10:35 AM

    And now Maduro announces that if the Enabling law is passed he will set minimum and maximum profit margins.

    Seems like the Giordani faction has the upper hand, por ahora...........

    Roberto N

    1. They do not need an enabling law for that, just to create enough tax brackets......

  12. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Having a home in Venezuela, but living in the U.S. and reading most of the news media lately, it appears that the media would like us all to believe that a revolution isn't far a way. What do the other readers here on this blog site think...the people (the great folks of Venezuela) think is going to happen within the boarders of your beautiful country? Also, need I be concerned with owning property there, but not currently living there?

  13. 1979 Boat People7:41 PM

    The line will get much longer in the front doors of Venezuela's STATE STORES after all the PRIVATE OWNED STORES dissappeared. These thieves will no longer be able to steal but BEG for the stuffs.

  14. Excellent post. I am glad I came across your blog in researching the events with Daka this weekend. Definitely going to add you to my reading list.

  15. "But in chavismo they want to protect you against yourself"...please replace chavismo with socialism/communism/or any other "ism" from the left...that is the left call in life to protect you from yourself...and to do it with somebody else's money...


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