Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Empty hospitals, empty airports

While Capriles and the MUD keep gazing at their navel and while chavismo tries to find a novel idea, the country keeps sinking at a steady pace. Today we had two gems that speak volumes about what await us.

Tonight I was watching CNNE "dinero" which is becoming the best newscast about Venezuela economy, since here, well, you know....The topic tonight was the disaster of Venezuelan public hospitals where in addition of being murdered during surgery by a gang, there is a dramatic lack of supplies. Summary here.  What was more striking here is that Xabier Serbia insisted over and over again that the problem was not only currency exchange control and lack of USD, but that corruption in hospitals was to blame. A lot. That is right, the implications here is that hospital directors in Venezuela, free from any control, with all sort of paramilitary chavista groups having free access to hospitals to "supervise" "ensure security" etc. are simply unable to control what is going on, if not becoming themselves active participants tot he looting.

What am I supposed to conclude? That corruption has reached such ramifications that there is nothing we can do about it anymore? That the deep roots of corruption, even at the expense of the lives of el pueblo, are the best guarantee of regime survival?

Earlier on today we learned that Delta airlines is also suspending its services to Venezuela. From 7 fights a week to Atlanta we will go down to a single round trip on Sundays starting August. People who had a ticket scheduled for a return after July 31 will see their travel plans canceled outright and their ticket refunded. Too bad for their vacation, business trip, what not. Those who by chance had a return on Sunday are OK. Delta dose not even try to put its passengers on other airlines: there are none with the US as american went down from 48 a week to 10 a few weeks ago and probably has not been able to reroute all of its own passengers.

This Delta thing affect me in particular as it was my way to the US, avoiding at all costs transit through Miami. Delta was informally THE airlines of those of us in Venezuela who saw no charm in Miami, who spoke English well enough to be able to shop on our own in South Dakota if needed. Delta was the airline of those who actually like to go to the US, not to Miami. And sure enough, today one of my relatives had its long planed family vacation (tickets bought almost a year ago) wrecked...

But these inconveniences are only a curio note. The real problem here is that Delta is one of the last airlines that cut its services. Most of them have already dropped their frequency or started sending smaller airplanes. The meaning is clear: airlines are starting to come to grips with the fact that the regime IS NOT going to pay the 4 something billion dollars it owes to the airlines. It will not. Period. In fact, even the meager palliative offers that have been under painful discussions for months are not even respected by the regime. The regime has decided to isolate Venezuela. Period, again.

The first consequence is that in a socialist paradise only the rich, those who have dollars outside of the country, will be able to travel in an out as the airlines are starting to sell plane tickets only for dollars. The VBE is not accepted anymore.

The second consequence is worse: in time of crisis, Venezuela isolates itself further from humanity, from technological help, from help.

Truly, with an isolation that is going to breed even more desperate corruption, I see no way out of our crisis.


  1. Few people get to experience this hopelesness Daniel. This shit feeling i can't even name, where you don't care about anything,where nothing matters. And now isolation.I'm leaving for Panama this december, it was supposed to be a trip to see the place for future plans, but the ticket that was 12.000 is now around 30.000 and possibly going to 50.000 by December.

    See,if we come back i'm not sure we'd be able to afford a second trip, last time we traveled was to Aruba on 2012 and it was the cheapest ticket we could afford,and we had $1000 for the entire week(2 people). So we either stay in Panama this time or we stay in Venezuela for...ever? Things are not gonna get prettier, specially for us young people with low resources and no contacts,no marañas and no Aplus students.

    I was thinking, what if the country is hit again by a disaster like Vargas in 99?
    It'd be interesting to see how the non-goverment manages the situation.

    1. Juan, what you are experiencing isn't as bad as what we went through in Cuba. The key is to get out, and make sure you have as many legal documents as you can manage. Scan everything you can, take photographs, eat an arepa, and go. And never look back. You are being socially cleansed, and unfortunately nobody on the outside cares. Once you are outside, don't forget the Cuban dictatorship has had a big hand in the destruction of Venezuela. Neither Chavez nor the other Chavistas had what it took to do this to Venezuela. The Cubans are the main player in the pile of garbage they call the "Bolivarian Revolution".

    2. Juan Crespo,

      I don't quite understand what you are saying.It sounds like you are saying you don't care about anything , but at the same time you sound angry, and depressed.I ask because it confuses me and I have heard others express something similar.Firepigette

    3. Mr.Leanme: I'll keep that in mind, in fact i don't even plan on telling people i'm venezuelan,i'm colombian or something. Not in the mood to explain people why Chavez isn't the hero they see on tv.


      I invite you to read my comment again, it's very clear i'm sad because every day spent here is a day i'll never get back, and angry because i hate wasting time.

      half an hour of water in 24 hours for a house of 5 people. Thank god most of us were out today, otherwise the smell of the toilets would be unbearable. Also,i'm in maracaibo on dry season and today was a particulary hot day,but there's no water to drink and bottled water is scarce so i don't feel like hopping from market to market to find an overpriced bottle of 100ml of water. I'd rather wait till the water comes back.

      Daniel: sorry for whining on your blog.

  2. As soon as your helpmate is strong enough
    get out
    by car if necessary

  3. The massive plundering in hospitals has been an issue for many years now, since Chavismo took power and started to appoint all those thieves as hospital directors. Only a few doctors-heroes remain. They denounce things and nothing happens. Some of them still stay because they feel they are badly needed there but it is really a terrible situation.

    1. Charly1:46 AM

      When I came first to Venezuela, I heard that hospitals were superb until Viernes Negro (1983) when doctors and lesser health professional looted those same hospitals to start their own practice. So my rhetorical question is: is it chavismo or is it in the culture?

    2. Charly

      As Lusinchi would say, Chavismo es como tu.....

  4. Anonymous11:50 AM

    Tickets can be found into US for $350-$450 USD. But you need to be flexible on your day of week departure. If you aren't they are usually 1k+. You can't blame the airlines here.

    1. Anonymous, how do you find such cheap tickets? Thnx

  5. Unfortunately, Hospital in shambles and an abysmal Healthcare crisis is not enough to overthrow this pesky thievery regime.

    Nor is a widespread Transportation crisis, from the decrepit "vialidad" for cars, to the airports.

    Not even crime and lack of security, these are not Major factors in undermining Vzla’s disguised neo-dictatorship:

    People are already used to bad hospital conditions, terrible streets and highways or lack thereof. It's just getting worse, but you'd be amazed how much El Pueblo can handle. Just ask the Cubans or the Chinese..
    Airports? Those who must fly, still do. Most people left in Vzla don't fly much, anyway, or alreday left for good.

    Those who still favor Chavismo, mainly the uneducated lower to middle class, or the thousands of enchufaos in positions of power, those people are used to crime, or can live with it. Of the 25 murders a day, or whatever, how many are in the poor barrios? Atracos, robbery and all that, well they deal with it if they have something to be stolen. Most of us in danger of being kidnapped for ransoms or killed for a good watch or car, left the country a long time ago.

    Sadly, what will eventually overthrow this corrupt regime is la Escasez, not healthcare or transportation woes, much less airports.. even crime..not enough to REALLY piss people off.

    A worsening Economic situation, la Inflacion, not violence or the dead. Lack of Harina pan y papel toile”, not the fact that people can’t even go out to the movies anymore..

    Or let's pray with Caprilito en sus caserios, and many in that MUD, that one day there will be fair democratic elections,, sigue creyendo..

    1. Well we can always play loud salsa, that's what Caprilito said we should do.
      I love how chavismo keeps humiliating the "opposition" figures in public although they're all in bed together in one big orgy with $100 bills.

      Rotten to the core this country is.

    2. This, of course, is rather easy for me to say, although I still have many life-long friends in risking their lives and suffering the real consequences in Caracas.

      But when I read about hospitals, airports, or even crime.. it's just terrible. However, when I hear about more inflation, mas escasez, mas colas, mas devaluacion, worse poder adquisitivo del pueblo, that gives me hope. THAT is what's gonna voltear la tostada.. no more circus, no more bread.. hit the streets, even the Romans knew that.

    3. Exactly Juan, it all comes down to Thievery and $$$, a simple equation:

      Oil/Riches + uneducated pueblo in power = HUGE corruption = Disaster, totalitarianism = what's left of Vzla.

    4. The problem is there are too many "opposition" members who are surviving quite nicely with special deals, making more money than they could elsewhere and they know it.Then there are other oppos who believe that coup d'etats mean you are evil and not Democratic so they have to keep voting in rigged elections , creating even great fig leafs...Also we find many middle class folks who think that they have to be like their own mistaken idea of who Gandhi was " Anger is a no -no", " We have to tolerate everything and turn the other cheek to the violence from the government but never show any violence ourselves" etc etc...Capriles seems to be a leader for this type of passive personality....and then there are those who could care less about those who have made great sacrifices...some even call LL stupid...what a cocktail! I have been told by quite a few that the expensive restaurants are always full and many clients are oppos ( that says it all) fpigette

  6. Well there's always rafts as alternatives to airlines, considering that you're swimming in the same sea of happiness and all.

  7. Anonymous2:51 PM

    This chaos, deprivation, desperation is not accidental or simply the result of having incompetents run the show, so to say. That is true, but someone put them in their positions. And those persons truly know the intended result is to proletarianize the middle class, and as many of the upper class as they can catch. After that comes the cleansing in the killing fields. This drama of horror and murder has played itself out in endless repetition from Russia to Cambodia, from Vietnam to the socialist republic of Serbia. They always deny the consequences of their depraved acts. Venezuela is not unique in being a society in which citizens too frequently feel it is ok to throw garbage in the street since the mayor's people will clean it up, "they" the government, the connected will always fix things for the indifferent or irresponsible majority who are busy at the country club or the beach. This is almost everywhere. It is unique in just how the people do all of this, the style. The students know this, and know their futures are being bargained away by the new enchufados to be.

  8. Anonymous11:34 PM

    The government spin to blame ALL of this collapse on the wicked gringos who buy oil with dolares goes on unabated and is unfortunately believed by many. The reality is that communism (Marxism) has ruined another country and all you can do is get the hell out and try to stop it from spreading elsewhere. It is the ivory tower leftist idiots who live in western democracies who support this insanity that are the most perplexing as they set about to destroy their own societies as well.


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