Sunday, May 24, 2015

Leopoldo Lopez shows us what a selfie should be all about

Leopoldo Lopez from his jail in Ramo Verde has managed to sneak out a video where he calls for a massive protest next Saturday 30th. While himself and Ceballos start a hunger strike.  Let's watch the video first:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The 400 question

As the Venezuelan currency is in an accelerating downward spiral the real question is not why such a thing is happening; the real question is why would one sell its US dollars for a currency that is becoming more worthless as days pass. I suppose that we could ask the ancillary question of who but we already know that one: the regime, the military, the corrupt "bolibourgeois", the drug launderers and assorted criminals. People with hard earned dollars do not invest them in Venezuela, at most they use them to pay bills they cannot help but pay.

So why sell dollars/euros for bolivars, even if your return rate is 420+ bolivars for one single USD?


Official rate, for corrupt narco military only, is still at 6.3
Away from the computer for three days and I come back tonight to see that the Venezuelan black market currency has crossed the 400 line!

Since I left Venezuela the currency has lost more than 25% of its value. I am aghast!

Then again what can you expect? The black market rate crossed the 300 reddest of red lines and yet the regime was busier defending narco creep Diosdado Cabello than taking a sensible, ANY sensible economic measure, ANY.

Expect 500 any time soon. And a 4 digit inflation next year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The good news bad news silly game

Before I am accused of being once again misleading, there is no good news in Venezuela, even if Diosdado were to be taken in chains today a la Noriega. The country is far too advanced in its decomposition for such an event to be positive on the spot. Witness of that are those people that still manage to bemoan that it is a mistake, that bothering Diosdado with such "attacks" only strengthen chavismo just when finally, just now, really, this time is the one, no kidding, we were going to win elections and reverse the whole thing. It is not that some people never learn, it is that they do not want to learn...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Venezuelan Narco State is getting an international definition

The Wall Street Journal published yesterday the first comprehensive account on the multiple investigations in the USA on Venezuela's drug traffic links, and possible long term consequences of those. In Spanish here for free for those who do not have subscription in English. Short English Reuters note here. (1)
National Assembly President,
soon on the "most wanted list"?

Of course there is nothing new here for those who have been following closely Venezuela here. Already ABC in Spain has run into trouble for accusing Diosdado Cabello to be the head of the main drug cartel of Venezuela. What is noteworthy in the WSJ work of Cordoba and Forero is the compilation nature of the thing, of not unnecessarily stressing the role of Cabello. The implications are frightening: the tentacles of drug trafficking that Chavez allowed go much, much deeper than what anyone may suspect, even today.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Voluntad Popular scores

Preliminary results indicate that for all efforts of the regime to silence Voluntad Popular, for all efforts of the opposition to lower the aspirations of the "upstart", Leopoldo Lopez's vehicle may have taken up to 25% of the seats attributed yesterday. At least 10 of the 42 to be decided. Thus the good scores of the municipal elections of 2013 are confirmed. Voluntad Popular is the party that represents the "hard core" vocal opposition, and growing. Imagine if Lopez had been able to campaign or even if his supporters had not been thrown to jail or even murdered. If we add to it the support of Maria Corina Machado and Ledezma, well, the "traditional" opposition is less and less convincing. Never mind the fading star of Capriles.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Capitalism as seen from chavismo

Chavistas have an odd way to look at capitalism. On one hand they are the most savage of capitalist, looting the national treasury in a way that would make blush the worst robber barons of the XIX century. Robber barons who would, by the way, leave at least a track of material achievements behind them, or at least will endowments; something yet to be seen by our home grown barons who limit themselves to subsidize equestrian joints where they can show off their own horses. Ain't it so Andrade?  But if on one hand they have no problem white washing 2 billions in Andorra or refuse to account on how the government "lawfully" spent 12 billion through HSBC, they have no problem telling us how bad capitalism is.

None will reach the summit of Chavez saying that capitalism destroyed life on Mars (yes, the planet) but gems of idiocy keep popping up. Maduro is a particularly well talented student for whom I have high hopes that he will come up with something even worse than the Mars idiocy. His latest account on how capitalism changed Venezuela in the last 100 years is for the annals. You will find out the following:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Youtube campaign: those are the candidates you need to vote for inside Venezuela

Not that it makes any difference at this point. Not that I wrote yesterday that I was standing this election out for many reasons.  However I also wrote that the candidates I wanted were either in jail, or trying to get those in jail out while waiting their turn inside jail. Well, there is such a candidate. Those are the ones you need to vote for if you want Venezuela to have any hope to change for the better. The rest is, well, bullshit.

PS: for full disclosure sake, this is not my district, henceforth not a direct endorsement. And I am out of the country so I could not vote anyway for a primary assuming that my district had a primary which is not the case. But in Yaracuy the opposition has done an excellent job at disqualifying itself long ago. Had I found a convenient registration center I probably would have moved my registered center to Caracas...

Friday, May 15, 2015

VN&V will not cover the coming legislative elections in Venezuela

Now that I may have gotten your attention, this is not entirely true. But what is true is that it is not worth my time covering elections which are a fraud on so many levels, from so many sides. And yet vote we must.

First, to make things clear, it is not that I am not up to task, 5 years ago my predictions went quite close to the mark, to two seats from the actual result.  The prediction gathered out of the regime gerrymandering huge advantage and assorted bonus was on the mark. We know the consequences of that vote.

But then I had material to work on. If previous electoral results were not reliable they still could be used to establish trends. If pollsters were weak and underfunded, and even questionable, they still could be used for trends. There were independent papers so you could sense the mood. Regional papers in particular were useful for those who were not Caracas navel gazers.  I even had some contacts.

All of this is gone.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I am not referring to the title of a rather trashy movie purposely showing enhanced muscular bodies fighting it out with alleged Persians in dreadful drag. I am referring to a trashy banana republic that is unable to keep its economy inside the mere decency bounds where its citizens can hope to keep some of the value of their work. If they have any.

The US dollar has finally reached in the parallel/black market the 300 mile post {official rate is still the unbelievable 6.3 but nobody but the corrupt military can have access to it, of course}. Since I am out of the country in a place of bounty and mental partial recovery (because worrying sick that nothing happens to the S.O., to work, to relatives and to what not in no particular order as peace cannot be found even away) I have no time to go into the minutiae. I will just remind you that on February 25 I was writing about the bicentennial bolivar so on your own you can assess by yourself the effectiveness of Maduro's economic policies through March and April to restore trust and confidence in the economy of Venezuela.

But was amazes me further, even this far away, is the stupidity of the regime in admitting almost unwillingly that their policies have failed truly miserably. That is they have announced this week that the official dollarization of the economy has started. Since the regime is bankrupt and since they cannot even buy cars for their public administration routine, well, they decided to allow Ford motor corporation to start operating again selling cars in US dollars INSIDE Venezuela. How people are going to get highly expensive dollars to buy them I cannot figure out nor I am in a mind set to figure out from afar. And it ain't the point. The point is that the regime has started allowing for the sale of big ticket items in currency of the most reviled empire, the one for which a month ago they were still trying to collect gazillions of fraudulent signatures to bring to Panama to shame Obama.

The point is that the regime is accepting that they have reached the end of the road.

And the unraveling may be faster than expected. Already the Ford Trade Union wants to get paid in USD...  Note that trade unions in Venezuela are particularly corrupt, but again, I digress...