Friday, January 31, 2014

I am the true oppo, you are a fake one, he has no idea what h's doing, we will all sink, aren't they lucky

This week we have Henrique Capriles bitching like a spoiled brat on Twitter contrasting with a Maria Corina Machado muscling in, while Leopoldo Lopez plucks the socialdemocrat daisy.  And yet it all makes perfect sense as Diego Arria Twittergloats.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I am a Social Democrat, you are not, he wishes, we should all be, you can dream on, no way they are

Many essential debates as to the future of the country should be held these days but as usual you can count on Venezuelan politicians to discuss on anything but... The latest one of such futile exercises are whether Leopoldo Lopez is a Social Democrat, European style I suppose.

I am not going to enter into the meat of the matter because frankly, I do not care enough when my business is about to go down because of the country's default about to happen. But then again, being in such a position allows me to state that if there were any truly social democrat party in Venezuela today things may just be a tad different. See, for me, who has declared Social Democrat tendencies, European style, German actually, being a true Social Democrat means that workers and employees stick together to make the country advance. This has NEVER happened in Venezuela nor it is happening today as people like Lopez, and in an even worse way Capriles (1), prefer to speak of anything but defend private enterprise the way they should if they were putting forwards the interests of the country before they political pipe dreams of attracting chavista voters.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

¿Amazon? ¡Exprópiese! ¿Jeff Bezos? ¡Pa’Tocorón!

El régimen por fin publicó el viernes en gaceta la nueva ley de precios justos con la fundacióndel SUNDDE (que nada tiene que ver con lo dulce de un helado sundae). Propongo que el primer negocio que se fiscalice y el primer usurero que el SUNDDE ponga preso sea Jeff Bezos, del gigante Amazon; usureros y acaparadores como ninguno. Le aconsejo a Jeff Bezos que nunca pise el suelo de Venezuela. No es que él lo haría, el tipo es lo suficientemente inteligente como para evitar visitar desastres como el nuestro.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The limits of the Big Mac Index: Venezuela with the most expensive or cheapest currency?

Venezuela has a way to test any economic indicator, and The Economist Big Mac Index is no exception. After the jump is the large picture of the world currency overvaluation or undervaluation, and some comments about Venezuela.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Will Venezuela default on its debts?

The question that has become "the question" since last Wednesday devaluation is will Venezuela go into default. The question is not idle because any half brained analyst of economical matters like yours truly can see that even though the regime has announced it does not have money to pay for the private sector debt it still has a few measures it can take to avoid default and honor that debt, even if late.  The problem here is that the regime is debating internally to go into default more as a political measure than any actual economic reality. What is discussed, in short, is a politically driven default.

To understand this better let's look at some short term options quite accessible to the regime without creating a major social upheaval.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Jeff Bezos will go to jail in Venezuela

The regime has made it official today: there is a new decree law from Maduro regulating how commerce can operate, from profit margins to price controls and the astounding sanctions to whomever does not respect them. A new bureaucracy, SUNDDE (and not as sweet as a sundae for sure) is created for the task.

To allow you a better understanding of a law that is going to result in a huge black market controlled by corrupt bureaucrats of the regime let me tell you why Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, should never set foot in Venezuela. Not that he would, the guy is smart enough to avoid rat holes.

It starts with article 2 that states the reach of the law including "foreigners" and "including transactions made through electronic means". So Jeff Bezos is subject to the law if the regime decides that Amazon is overpricing, say, Harina Pan sold through Amazon.

Amazon is speculating , and possibly hoarding, to destabilize the Venezuelan regime

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chávez era un reaccionario desde tiempos bien atrás...

...  desde los tiempos de Pangea cuando Cuba y Venezuela se tocaban.
Chavez was a reactionary since Pangea days.... when Cuba and Venezuela abutted...

Fuente: "I fucking love Science" y mapa completo aquí.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ramirez devaluates without devalauting, solving no real problem in Venezuela

Finally the regime decided to apply some measures to try to stop the crisis. They will fail, of course, because the root problem is not faced, but who seems to care... I followed the press conference through twitter since I am at work so I might as well pick a selection of El Universal tweets and comment. They come from Rafael Ramirez performance showing that he is the one now in full charge of the economy. For how long? That is another question. Covering for whom? That an even more interesting question.

On travel money

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Maduro will do nothing, part 2

Every week that passes gives us a clear example that Maduro will do nothing to solve our problems. Last week he showed his incapacity coupled to his unwillingness and his "I do not give a damn about your security problem" by blaming crime and violence issued from 15 years of erroneous policies from chavismo to the governments before Chavez. That he blithely went there is enough to prove my case. I would stand down as the witness, but yesterday Maduro also proved that in economical matters he will do nothing, even if the house is on fire.

When all are rights there are no rights

The announcement of pet rights this month in Venezuela makes obvious that nobody has rights.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Internet censorship in Venezuela: it has started

Alek Boyd this morning asked his friends to check his Infodio site where he exposes regularly with the help of a lot of people all those who under the Chavez regime have been minting money, in an illegal way not to say stealing it outright. I checked and sure enough this is what my pen drive receiver screen shot from Movistar gave me:

Illegal content? WTF?

That Movistar, a Spanish company under the directions of Spain where freedom of expression cannot be questioned, has caved in to some hacker or boligarch creep is already something to be worried about.  Apparently Intercable is also blocking it in some sectors and I shall know about it first hand tonight.

Alek Boyd has replied and as a public service after the jump you can find his whole entry. So from now on whoever the fuck is demanding to block Infodio will have also to block Blogger and more. I am thus in solidarity with Alek Boyd and I deeply hope that Movistar offers an apology or at least an explanation ASAP. We will not get silenced and if Alek cannot publish in Venezuela then just as Dollar Today did, we will find ways to expose all these creeps that have looted the country. Maybe we cannot get their money back but they will never get the social respectability they all crave so much. This is not the XIX century anymore even if chavismo and its corrupt hacks operate under that premise.

Elgar at El Cambur

Finally I went back to San Felipe today. And I drove past the murder site of Monica Spear.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Don't understand violence in Venezuela? A few pictures for you

Let's start with a fabulous cartoon (hat tip PB)

Does Maduro love animals better than people?

Wanna be my kitty?
Maduro's regime has decided today to create free veterinary clinics for street dogs and stray cats, to control the price of pet food and what not. What is wrong with that picture?

Very simple: there is not enough food for humans, public hospitals are collapsing, there is plenty of scarcity of basic medicines, etc, etc...  But Monica Spear was assassinated and that was a public opinion atomic bomb, at home and abroad. So there was the urgent need to do something, ANYTHING and Mision Nevado was launched. Included a Maduro adopting a stray cat that looks quite unhappy and that luckily for him maybe the last time it sees Maduro before being sent to some handler.

It will all come with Orewellian speech (animals in a street situation, imposible to make a good translation of animales en situación de calle) and a proposed "canineathon" on TV. No words of course of the implied Mision Vegan and the liberation of cattle of all types, amen of taking care of street rats and other pests because, you know, they are animals too.

Maybe my calendar is wrong and we are already on April's fools day? Meanwhile I will buy a few bag of dog food tomorrow for my JRT. You know, just in case.

En Venezuela el gobierno quiere tratar mejor a los animales que a los humanos

¿Quieres ser el gato de Maduro?
Después del asesinato de Monica Spear no podíamos pensar un un mejor acabose que el ridículo anuncio de hoy sobre la salud de los "animales en situación de calle". Sí, esto es el orwellianismo crónico que nos viene de Cuba y que ha penetrado profundamente la débil mente del chaburrato chavismo. Para rematar Maburro Maduro decidió fiscalizar los alimañas alimentos para perros y gatos lo que nos garantiza que serán tal vez mas baratos pero seguramente mas escamas escasos de lo que ya son.  Vemos ese fenómeno todo el tigre tiempo, la ultima vez en noviembre cuando desaparecieron los electrónicos de las tiendas.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Maduro no va a hacer nada

Mejor empiezo corrigiendo el título: Maduro no hará nada que ayude a resolver los problemas de Venezuela. Lo único que un optimista podría esperar, tal vez, como una loquetera , es que Maduro no vuelva las cosas bastante peor de lo que ya son . No me cuenten entre esos optimistas putativos.

Maduro will do nothing

Let me rephrase that: Maduro will do nothing that will help solve Venezuela's problems, one way or the other he may take. The only thing an optimist could hope for, maybe, crazily, is that Maduro does not make it much more worse than what it is is. I am not with the putative optimists.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

El asesinato de Monica Spear sobra

Hay crímenes que marcan una sociedad. El asunto comenzó temprano el martes, cuando nos enteramos de que Mónica Spear fue asesinada con su ( ex? ) Marido dentro de su coche, delante de su hija de 5 años cuyos gritos alertaron finalmente otro transeúnte.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The politics of crime in Venezuela

I am going to be brief and to the point: the current unbearable crime rate of Venezuela is in 99% the responsibility of the current regime. Nothing can be done until the regime is replaced by someone else. And even if that replacement were to come today, it will take years for us to have a more "tolerable" rate of crime. The 1% that I left out is to acknowledge that crime existed before Chavez reached power. So the seed existed. Chavez needed only to water it and fertilize it profusely, which he did.

Monica Spear is a crime too many

There are crimes that mark a society. I started wondering whether I should write this entry in Spanish. But there is enough local outrage on the web, and tomorrow on print, that English must be the vehicle. The affair started early when we learned that Monica Spear was murdered with her (ex?) husband inside her car, in front of her 5 year old daughter whose cries eventually alerted other passerby.

Monday, January 06, 2014

¿Aprendió algo Maduro cuando era canciller?

La pregunta es por supuesto retórica: Nicolás Maduro no fue canciller de la República, el era solo el mandadero de Hugo Chávez, despachado a hacer el trabajo sucio que el inmortal no tenia tiempo de hacer el mismo, por mas viajadera que hizo durante su reinado. Pero como pasó varios años en esos menesteres y tuvo que hablar con mucha gente educada, formada, hábil, uno podría esperar que, bueno, Nicolás hubiese aprendido una que otra cosita de geopolítica. O por lo menos lo suficiente para poder tapar su incapacidad de entender como funciona el mundo en verdad. Claro, el siendo un ideólogo barato formado en Cuba nadie le puede pedir que comulgue con nada que vaya en contra de los axiomas del momificado Fidel. Pero sí que entienda algo sobre lo que el se está enfrentando. En fin, sea un presidente legitimo o ilegitimo, es eso que se espera de un presidente.

Como se pelea contra el fascismo

Maria Corina Machado nos dio hoy una clase magistral de como es que se enfrenta al fascismo. En el vídeo que sigue ustedes pueden ver su intervención hace unas horas en la asamblea nacional cuando se volvió a nombrar la misma directiva abusadora del 2013, la que no tuvo reparo en romperle la cara a MCM (Cabello et al.). Si lo que dice MCM ya requiere reciedumbre e inteligencia, lo notable de este momento es que ustedes podrán ver EXACTAMENTE como reaccionan los fascistas cuando se le enrostran las verdades. Miren las tribunas (y la directiva) y observen como reaccionan y verán el chavofascismo en todo su horror. Las palabras de MCM se validaban a penas pronunciadas por esa valerosa mujer. ¡Gran momento!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Transforming a mistake into a revamped tool of repression: the Delcy Rodriguez scandal

For all my intentions (not resolutions, never) to take a soft approach to blogging the Delcy Rodriguez scandal that started the year forces me to write a second note, this time in English.  Yesterday I wrote in Spanish that Rodriguez, minister of communication which in Venezuela is a mere ministry of propaganda with an annex for censorship, posted a list on her Twitter as to opposition leaders leaving the country for the holidays. In front of the outcry the regime went in a counter attacks though it took a few hours to launch it. In short, they were surprised by the intensity of the reaction, they realized it was a blunder and thus, as fascism always does, they decided to dig the hole deeper, if anything hoping for a shock value to silence the other people. Not to mention that if they succeed, from now on it will be routine to publish lists of "undesirables" on any excuse or political need.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Delcy Rodríguez arranca el 2014 con el dialogo

Para todos los ilusos que pensaban que tal vez el gobierno de Maduro tomaba en serio, aunque sea un poquitiquitico, al dialogo, pues bien, aquí les va. La que en ningún país serio del mundo tendría calificaciones para ser tercera asistente de un viceministro arranca el 2014 con un rebuzno mayor. Un rebuzno amargado, ademas.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014, for those who can reasonably aspire to better times

I am sorry but I cannot be much cheerful this beginning of year. Not that I am usually cheerful on New Year's day. After all, decades ago I realized that on January 1st we had the same debts, the same health problems, the same emotional issues than on December 31, plus a possible hangover and maybe more debts if you hosted a party.