Sunday, June 08, 2014

All is dissolving, slowly but surely

For reasons that will be elaborated in another post, I have been silent for two weeks. Not that it seems to have mattered much. I do not think Venezuela matters much anymore, there is protest fatigue just as there was protest fatigue after Ahmadinejad stole his reelection from Moussavi. The world tires fast, even though inside Venezuela protest and repression keep apace while in Iran they died eventually.

The fact of the matter is that I have nothing to add. What I wrote since last year is constantly proven right. Anything new is a mere rehash of a situation in full decomposition. The causes are the same, the outcome is to be feared. The only variables are those that affect the speed of the proceedings.

True, I could entertain the readers with deep analysis on why the car production in Venezuela is now near zero, on why inflation has forced the regime to double the circulation of the highest banknote (barely worth 2 USD today), on the latest presidential assassination attempt (and counting, as Tal Cual lists it as the 13th on Maduro alone), an attempt based on obviously forged E-mails that the attorney office takes seriously. Would those articles bring anything new?

All is the same.

On one side there is thug regime, whose factions are fighting between each other for the shrinking marks of power and the "peau de chagrin" that the national income has become. As the crisis aggravate, as it is becoming more and more difficult for the mobsters at Miraflores to agree amongst themselves on any issue except survival, the repression can only become worse.

The latest show must be understood at the subliminal level, not at the ridiculous attempt to fabricate charges to jail a few more opposition politicians. That show was dedicated to the lumpenest of the chavista lumpen, those that cannot perceive any issue in their lives outside of serving the regime, those that can kill for that and thus need no rational reason to do so. They just need a reason and the regime obliged.

On the other side there is an opposition that still cannot make its mind up even though the mayoral election of San Cristobal and San Diego showed the way: stern protest until the regime knuckles down. The more repressive it gets, the more it loses support. Even chavistas in these cities for the first time crossed the line directly, without an "abstention" phase first.

Stern protest do not mean rioting aimlessly in safe areas. Stern protests mean making no concession on the regime, means stopping any negotiation farce until the regime proves its good will, means calling a spade a spade, and a dictatorship a dictatorship. Stern protests mean making the regime thoroughly responsible for the mess we are in, and ever expanding one.

After a month in Caracas I came back to San Felipe last Monday. I had to stop several times until I found a small bottled water. There are no munchies besides "Cocosette" or the chemical tasting "Samba". One place had also awful Nestle milk chocolate. Salty snacks limited to tostones, when available. The last Burger King on the road closed. Areperas were low on choices to fill up your arepas. The only soda still abundant seemed to be Pepsi. Even though I dared travel on a Monday, the worse traffic day on roads, I encountered no significant problem. It has been years that I made Caracas San Felipe on a Monday in less than 6 hours. This time it took me 4.5 hours.

Can anyone think that anything I may add to this post will make it more enlightening?


  1. Boludo Tejano10:56 PM

    After a month in Caracas I came back to San Felipe last Monday. I had to stop several times until I found a small bottled water. There are no munchies besides "Cocosette" or the chemical tasting "Samba". One place had also awful Nestle milk chocolate. Salty snacks limited to tostones, when available. The last Burger King on the road closed. Areperas were low on choices to fill up your arepas. The only soda still abundant seemed to be Pepsi.

    That does a pretty good job of describing the collapse of the economy, as does the reduction in travel time.

    1. But the usual apologists would say that there is nothing on the shelves because the increasing purchasing power allows people to finally eat at ease and empty shelves, that the lack of bottled water is due to a better quality of faucet water, that less traffic is because "endogenous" production makes it less necessary to ship goods across the country and what not.

    2. And my favorite: That the lack of toilet paper is because Venezuelans are using more of it due to the happy increase in food consumption. Then again, those would be the "positive" apologists. The negative ones would just say it's all an evil foreign conspiracy and that there is a secret, unknown dimension where "they" stash all the toilet paper, cars, toothpaste, flour, milk, medicines, ...

    3. Boludo Tejano1:38 AM

      that the lack of bottled water is due to a better quality of faucet water

      Which would be a howler, given the recent articles on water quality in Venezuela. But you're right, the Chavistas/PSF will say anything.

    4. Apologists Unlimited: Schemel

      Alberto Ravell ‏@AlbertoRavell
      View translation
      Schemel, el de Hinterlaces, dice que hay mucha gente en cola porque tienen dinero para comprar Â Â

      Nelson Bocaranda S. ‏@NelsonBocaranda
      View translation
      RT @Ewalds6: Según Schemel, en Venezuela no hay crisis económica. Solo desajustes entre la oferta y la demanda.

      Nelson Bocaranda S. ‏@NelsonBocaranda
      View translation
      RT @Ewalds6: Oscar Schemel dice que el desabastecimiento está "sobrestimado".

  2. And as usual,Venezuelans don't care.Nobody does.

    We must flee from this place,there is nothing for us here.

  3. Less traffic? I thought it was only me. I sporadically use the panamerican road to go to Caracas from Miranda´s heights. Now i don´t find those gridlock traffic jams of before. Even with traffic i can safely assume to be in Caracas within the hour.
    That is a clear sign of crisis since we are not in school holidays or the beginnig of the year when many business are closed. Errmm then again..

  4. Anonymous3:09 AM

    Well some good news, some hardcore Chavistas open theire eyes now.
    We had one, a friend of my wife, for 6 weeks over here in Germany. She is quite a number in the Government and her Dad since years Secretary to one or the other of all those Vice Praesidents.
    Yesterday, she´s back to Vzla for 2 weeks now, was the first time she told my wife how bad it is over there and - because when she was here she still said the government is fucking phantastic - its the government. For me a big WOW. Maybe it was over here in Germany so normal to go shopping or to go out in the night without fear what has made her mind change. I will try to find out what her dad thinks...

  5. Ronaldo3:21 AM

    Your posts matter. I hope your S.O. is improving.

    The government is cornered and will do anything. They fear a massive uprising and will forget human rights and laws to stay in power.

    I heard big protests are coming about Maduro arresting opposition members over phony assassination attempts. Get ready.

  6. Charly4:27 AM

    When the dust settles eventually (it always does at the end), I hope the blame for the whole mess will be put squarely where it belongs, on the laps of the armed forces, the most pampered, parasitic, useless, corrupt, repressive institution of Venezuela, not any redeeming feature in that bunch of uniformed hooligans. Imagine the motto some of these leeches use: "El honor es su divisa". As we say back home "le toupet!".

  7. Anonymous5:04 AM

    Daniel is right. Maduro doesn't care. The opposition only pretends to care. The world definitely does not care.

    Venezuelans are waiting for a catalyst that is never going to happen. In 20 years people will ask how Venezuela became a mirror image of Cuba. Disgusting.

  8. Anonymous6:16 AM

    Traffic is good thermometer. If you leave your home for work at same hour everyday, and notie lower traffic, that is a sure sign of failing economy.... Another indicator, many traffic twitter accounts now are used for showing were obstacles are, followed by "shut up messages", political messages, etc. and are not banned as before. Most traffic accounts follow you automatically when you follow them so if you mention them, your post will be seen by thousands of followers ...

  9. Anonymous6:23 AM

    Daniel, so glad to hear from you. I check daily for your notices. I was getting ready to email you to check on you. I am as concerned about you and your partner as I am about this country.
    El Gringo

    1. Anonymous10:21 AM


    2. Anonymous8:17 PM

      This gringo sends thoughts and prayers to you and your SO, Daniel. You matter. A lot. And we send our best wishes for you and your SO. Sincerely,

  10. Losing a few snack choices, and less traffic somehow don't give the impression of real suffering, at least not in light of my own personal set of values.If there were NO snacks at all I could care less.

    "Stern protests mean making the regime thoroughly responsible for the mess we are in, and ever expanding one."

    Exactly how would that work and what do you mean by stern protests?


    1. Yes, when you endure several hours of congested roads a nice snack, a bottle of ice tea, a bottle of sparkling Minalba, the ability to fill up your arepa with your preferred item, are welcome breaks, are a sign of quality of life.

      Don't confuse the issues here, what I am pointing out is a thermometer to judge the general degradation, not the suffering index. You sound like a chavista PSF.

    2. Fine if I sound like a psf, I am what I am.

      I am an opposition who thinks quite differently from not all but many in the opposition....and thought isn't a crime.

      Could you tell us what kinds of protests you would agree on, and think would do some good ?I don't know what you mean by 'stern'....can you give examples?

      "Stern protest do not mean rioting aimlessly in safe areas."

      I haven't seen any aimless riots in safe areas.....Could you report on that?



    3. Pigette,

      It's not about a few snack choices,it's about losing snack choices TOO.
      Samba,Cocosette,Miramar,Bolero,Chocolate con Leche.... we grew up on those (1988), Venezuela is supposes to have the most delightful and rich cocoa in south america, the world maybe? Our beans are,or used to be exported to Switzerland for god's sake....My mother found Chocolate made of venezuelan beans at some german festival in Philadelphia. I can't find a chocolate at any of my nearest 6 supermarkets.

      I can't also find Panela to make Papelon con limon or mandocas or even a beautiful Lomo Negro.....Our cheeses...Semiduro,queso de mano,mozzarella...they're all extremely expensive when and if you find them. Gastronomy has taken a huge hit as well,another broken dream,specially if you don't have the money to pay for national,common and very generic ingredients at exotic prices like I do.

      Now add that to the dirty water,corruption,high crime,the everyday blackouts that are back.... It's yet ANOTHER thing that we lost.

    4. By the way, I meant for it to say that i CAN NOT pay them,and so I don't...

  11. adding: To me suffering will be the indicator of change .firepigette

  12. Hey Daniel. Glad to see you are still ¨en la lucha¨ I agree it is difficult to write anything of substance any longer. It has all been said, and the lies and failures of the government have been exposed. The country and the rest of the world now know the real nature of the Chavistas. There is no possibility of any sort of democratic transition. That ship has sailed. Now, the pieces of game are in motion, and there is little that we can do about it. What will be, will be. Those of us still in Venezuela, can only turn our efforts to personal survival.

  13. One must always have hope. And then, there are the upcoming World Cup Games. If there are successful protests in Brazil then maybe, possibly they could spill into Venezuela and re-ignite the fight for freedom.


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