Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Back to the XIX century

Regular readers may remember that often I wrote that chavismo was a mere reactionary movement, harking back to an ideal time of macho caudillos and independence wars. That violence and poverty ruled over Venezuela from 1805 until Gomez established the first stable regime of our history is apparently not an historical fact that chavistas can be bothered with: all that is wrong in Venezuela comes exclusively from the 1958-98 period and the evil empire up North.

Well, chavismo should be delighted because we are getting back to these halcyon days of robber barons (cheap ones, not rich ones as in the US) and grinding poverty. Four items to frighten you.

No tests

My brother went to get his normal blood work before his annual date with his cardiologue. What was his surprise that this huge private clinic, very well known, could not test for hemoglobin (nor three other items of the 20 that include that test).

My SO, also this week, needs a test for the marker of his disease. I had to spend three hours to find finally a lab that could still perform that test.

I suppose that if there are no tests for diseases then there will be no disease and like in the XIX century we shall rely some herbal stuff for pretty much any ailment. I watched in horror the other day as a show on public TV had a kid vaunting herbal medicine saying it was a way for us to "free ourselves from the negative influence of the traditional scientific capitalist medicine".  There you go: got cancer, get a plaster of gamelote on your ulcer. Traditional science, whatever that moronic oxymoron may mean, is bogus, what our ancestors did more than a century ago is the way to go.

Robbing animal feed

As I have reported before the situation in battery raised livestock, representing 80% of the protein consumed of Venezuela is going down hill because the regime monopole on grain import and distribution is not working. Note: organic food is the privilege of the very, very rich in Venezuela. Well, now this scarcity is made worse by the increasing robberies in animal feed plants. A customer told me that there are gangs now that break in the storage aras of animal feed plants to steal vitamins, amino acids, antiobiotics, etc...  They can steal trucks of stuff and curiously, in spite of the multiple check points held by the Nazional Guard on all Venezuelan rodas, these trucks never seem to be inspected, and even less stopped. Imagine that!?

Thus we are back tot he XIX except that cattle stealing has been replaced by feed stealing, with the same impunity as before when the local caudillo helped himself to whatever it needed and that was that. The caudillos have been replaced by caudillos in military uniform as this type of robbery can only take place with support from the people inside the army, be it drug traffic or feed traffic. Needless to say that such robberies may cause feed plants to be stopped for days.  Too bad for the animals counting on that. And further scarcity on markets.

Squatters rights

Apparently now consejos comunales, that ersatz local power soviet invented by Chavez for political control and patronage, have the right to seize any property that they deem under occupied.

A friend of mine has a small week end farm in Carabobo. For a variety of reasons, insecurity being one, he has stopped visiting it with the frequency he used to. Still, he or a relative or someone goes at least once a month to aerate the house, pick up the garbage, etc so the place does not look abandoned. That is not enough, he has to sell it now because he has been informed that the local consejo comunal has an eye on it even though his neighbors are defending him, that he has all property rights, all taxes paid, etc. never mind that the neighbors are scared about what lumpen would the consejo install there, probably the real reason why they defend my friend against the consejo... Note that the existence of a consejo in an area by itself make property lose up to half its value in the area as a consejo can butt in on anything they want.

We are just back to the XIX century when a torn down village during one of our numerous civil wars was simply occupied by a group of people because, well, it was abandoned. That was no expropriation or agrarian reform, it was just a "look, there is no one there, let's move in" moment.

I would like to note that if the regime was indeed building ALL THE HOUSING it claims to be inaugurating, why would any consejo comunal have the need to steal somebody else property? But I suppose that I am digressing, that I do not understand that such things are done for the good of el pueblo.

Your local pig

When I was a child, and we went on the adventure tourism that Venezuela was then in the 60ies and 70ies, small villages had pigs used as garbage disposal units. That is right, villagers would bring their garbage to a dump at the outskirts and a couple of pigs would come regularly to forage. Eventually those pigs were killed and eaten or sold on the road side surrounded by a significant amount of flies. That was, well, the only source of meat sometimes. Fortunately by the 80ies animal farms and sanitary controls and distribution chains and refrigerated facilites had set and thus Venezuelans could buy fresh or frozen meats prepared with all the desired hygienic standards.

This is over. With food scarcity and creeping poverty not only backyard chickens are back but your foraging pig is making a return. Well, not quite as the pig can now be stolen so you better lock it up....  So in the country side some are now having a pig or two in their back yards.

Why would that be wrong, you may ask? Well, the veterinarian and health official support for such activity does not exist anymore in Venezuela. That is, the pigs raised this way will have no veterinary supervision even if the owner could afford it anyway. And there is very little medicine available for livestock, by the way.

That new backyard livestock activity increases dramatically the probability to revive parasitic diseases due to the proximity of animals, without counting on well known plagues like the flu associated with apartment raising chickens in China.

There also we are enjoying a return of the halcyon unsanitary days of yesteryear.

That is chavista progress for you.


  1. Daniel might want to fix this: Gomez established the fist stable regime...should be Gomez established the first stable regime

    1. Interesting subconscious take over of my typing. ­čśë

  2. You don't need to return to the 19th century to see a horrible situation. Just have Venezuela go back to the 1950s. I posted this (see below) in CaracasChronicles because I feel Venezuela should announce a moratorium on paying its foreign debt to buy medicine, otherwise tens of thousands of people could die.

    In the US in the 1950s health related mortality (including infant, TB, cancer, cardio & pneumo/influ) in the US was 1297 per 100K. In 2011 it was 680 per 100K. That was an improvement of 552 per 100K.
    Let us for the moment imagine that Venezuela experienced a similar improvement between 1950 and 2011.
    And now, let us imagine that this improvement disappears for lack of medicines etc.
    How many people die in one year given a population of 32M? 176,896
    The current death rate in Venezuela is 531 per 100K, equivalent to 169,920 per year, so perhaps Venezuela's progress between 1950 and 2011 was a fraction of that in the US. But even if it was 50% we are talking about 88,448 people dying as a result of lack of medicines.

    That’s genocide, no matter how you put it and paying the debt would be immoral.

    Here are my sources:

    1. Anonymous1:45 PM

      Your Math is a bit fuzzy.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. True,thanks. I must have swapped some numbers when I wrote the figures in excel (minor dyslexia). But I checked again and the correct figures are quite close to the ones I gave. The correct "improvement" is actually larger: 617, meaning the number of people at risk in Venezuela if the "improvement" disappears is 19,7440 (or assuming 50% "improvement" only 98,720.) From Boludo Tejano's comment, I see that the "improvement" in Venezuela was probably more than 50% of the US "improvement", but we cannot know for sure as we lack the % of deaths due to disease vs. crime & accidents in Venezuela at the time and today.

  3. If your friend needs a caretaker for his farm I can suggest a young unemployed lady who has a law degree and cares for a boy abandoned by his mother. However, I'm not sure if she would take it if security is a problem.

  4. "the evil empire up North" does not care about VZ.
    You are on your own.

    1. Anonymous5:14 PM

      Until Venezuela's poor start rushing the US borders....

    2. Not even then as 99% of the USA will think they are Mexicans.
      You have no idea how ignorant people living in the USA are about the rest of the world.

    3. That is no problem: Trump will build a wall at Miami airport

    4. Wonder who will pay for it? Cuba? Not likely..

    5. I am sure Dios Dado can pay for it. ­čś▓

    6. Excellent point! Thanks!

  5. Anonymous6:34 PM

    If the lab can't test hemoglobin it means their hematology went about 50 years back, and are down to using microscopes. That's labor intensive to a ridicolous degree, a small analyzer can do in an hour what two people can do in a day.

    1. errhh.... the anaylizer is out of reagents for the test. We DO have analyzers and modern equipment, though many of them are our of service because the regime does not allow dollars for the spare parts.

    2. Anonymous12:13 PM

      An analyzer out of reagents is a big, expensive box with no use for the first couple of weeks, and a big, expensive piece of junk afterwards. You can do most of the stuff under the microscope fine, but not hemoglobin and those calculated from hemoglobin. The results are less accurate, and it takes about ten times as much manpower to do the job though.

  6. If the people of Venezuela are not at the point yet of marching on the Regime then what will it take? There is already no medicine, little food, little electricity, no security, poor education and no hope for it to improve (only get worse) under this regime. If the people will not march on this regime now they will only weaken over time.

  7. Boludo Tejano9:25 PM

    Let us for the moment imagine that Venezuela experienced a similar improvement [as the US] between 1950 and 2011.
    Crude death rate per 1,000 people

    Venezuela 10.017
    United States 9.5

    Venezuela 5.488
    United States 8.2

    World Development Indicators Databank (World Bank)

    1. Meaningless number as far as I can determine. Finland is 10.

    2. How would anyone know Venezuela's death rate, most of their dead people are still voting?

    3. Anonymous1:58 PM

      Death rate of 10,017 per 1000 people??????
      Geez, what's going on with you people?
      I know, I know you meant 100,000 people, or did you?

  8. Boludo Tejano2:22 AM

    I know, I know you meant 100,000 people, or did you?

    Do the math.

  9. The "death rate" for all species in all nations is 100%. There are however political and natural factors contributing to the postponement of the event in regions blessed with non collectivist government models.

  10. I find it absolutely amazing that the people in VZ are absolutely content with the current situation. Nobody gives a damn because they are too busy standing on lines and complaining.

    The Chavistas in charge are a bunch of dumb fat goons totaling maybe 50-100 idiots. If any of you had some balls you'd follow the ISIL strategyor even Casto's in 1958. The Chavistas are a bunch of cowards and would run off to Cuba after the first incident.

    Rather than tweeting your complaints, lock and load and make a change.


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