Blog Sections

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Understanding the political moment

I have been back for two weeks now and events are just unfolding too fast for me to write about them, considering the depression that arises from coming back to what has become a hell hole. Let's just order our thoughts together, shall we?
L'air du temps:
Borges getting his nose broken

One way is to look at the main hard data and its effects. The reader on its own will be able to draw the general picture after the fact.

Jail for you

The driving force in this mega crisis is that under the concept of world justice and transparency a few dozens of the higher up in the regime know they will never be able to find peace and solace once out of office. Their fate for them is jail, tomorrow, in a decade, it does not matter. If they do not die first they will end up in jail. They know that.

See, they have stolen too much money, abused too many human rights, played too much on the drug traffic front. They are doomed and thus under no circumstance they can surrender power. Period. They will do what it takes to remain in office. Whatever. Second period.

I am not asking you to understand this, I am asking you to get this. If you do not get the implications of the above you cannot make sense of what is going on in Venezuela these days. Might as well stop reading now.

No food while we wait for oil price to rise

The awful economic crisis that is now open comment world wide has not its origin in the low oil prices. After all Venezuela has had downfalls in oil price before and we managed. For that matter the first two years of Chavez rule had oil price way lower than they are today and yet shelves were full of food and he did not need to create food distribution systems like those of today which reek of corruption and political apartheid while being ineffective, even in their political goals.

The real, the only reason for the food and medicine shortages today has been a more than dismal management of the economy over the last 17 years, not to mention its willful destruction to the profit of the new corrupt oligarchies of military origin. The productive apparatus of the country has been destroyed through a system of price controls, political harassment to business and corrupt importations to sabotage local production. Today, even if magically all restrictions were lifted, if security was magically restored to producers and workers, it would take at least 5 years for Venezuela to be able to insure food for its people at subsistance level. Period.

There is a clear understanding now that this situation can only be solved with a removal from office of the current leadership. The proposed means may differ from the opposition to radical left of Marea Socialisa, but all agree that as long as Maduro is in office he is unable/unwilling to take any real measure to face down the crisis. In fact, Maduro's political faction is trying to use the crisis as a way to control  the country by deciding who gets food. The social explosion risks are worrying the army while at the same time they risk to wipe out the remnants of the private sector that will be needed to rebuild.

The saddest thing is that the regime puts its salvation on a return to high oil prices, which are at best for late 2017 when it would be too late for the country. But see if they care.

International paralysis

What is complicating the crisis is the inability of the rest of the world to come together to put adequate pressure on the regime. Or to support it for that matter.

During his tenure with a deep oil check book that Chavez had no problem using cash for corruption and waste on political patronage overseas, Thus we have, for example, small shitty island nations of the Caribbean which have no problem letting Venezuelans starve for their petty gains (note that neither Europe of the US have the will to help and put pressure on these islands, hypocrisy everywhere).

But countries that should know better are mired in contradictions. Let's start with the US which amazingly think that helping a Castro transition is less costly in the long run that to put pressure on the Venezuelan regime. Why? Because the US hopes that Venezuela will foot the bill for Cuba's regeneration. That this, a now turned idiotic policy may create two problems for the US where it had only one. This seems not to flicker in the outgoing administration who seems now resigned to let whoever is sworn in in January 2017 deal with it.

That or the US business hopes to pick clean the bones of Venezuela after the debacle. All is possible.

Another pathetic case is the fast unraveling of Argentin's Mauricio Macri support for the Venezuelan cause. 6 months ago Macri was dancing on his election victory stage with Leopoldo Lopez wife Lilian Tintori. Now for reasons that are not clear to any one, and probably not even to Macri, it is Argentina who seems to sabotage any bite in possible OAS resolutions/sanctions against the regime. Whatever reasons Macri may have, they are so far failing him badly and he is looking like a fool. Heck, even Susana Malcorra were his mistress in addition to his foreign secretary could not explain the blunders.

Where the voters are

All of this is enough to create a potent crisis brew. But the debacle of the pre-recall election maneuvers was a wake up call for a regime that has grossly overestimated its real support. Actually, make that a dramatic wake up call for a regime that has lost its political flair. Apparently the regime truly thought that in the country of Tascon extortion records, official blackmail and indentured social programs the opposition would have all the trouble of the world to gather 1% of the electorate to sign up for a recall election. It got 8 %. In three days. And could have gotten 20% with a couple more of days and advance notice.

This has been the trigger for the current paranoia. Since early May the regime has realized that they are electorally doomed, for the time being at the very least. No elections whatsoever can be held in what was under Chavez a plebiscitary system. In fact, as far as Maduro is concerned, we probably cannot even have elections for dog-catcher, ever.

All the regime maneuvers since mid May are designed to avoid an election until next year, in particular a Recall Election. In fact the regional elections are probably going to be annulled any time soon as the regime is certain to loose way more than half of the state houses. The Army certainly cannot accept that so many ex-military now turned corrupt governors may be democratically unseated. But I digress.

While the regime finds a way to ease our transition into fully developed election free dictatorship it needs to avoid a Recall Election on Maduro this year. All excuses are valid, even the stupidest ones. I am not going to narrate what the electoral board CNE is doing in detail. Suffice to mention the latest incident where the CNE has voided the signature of 600.000 folks on absurd technicalities. The perversity and outright provocation was clearly underscored by the discovery that many opposition politicians who signed on camera had their signature annulled. Capriles, for one, the main promoter of the recall election, had his form annulled because it was not clear whether the form spelled Maduro or Madoro. You cannot make up things like that. And to add insult to injury Capriles cannot fix the "mistake" while the regime got yet another week prolongation for those who wished to have their signature taken away. And with the Tascon method of blackmail you can be sure that a few are going to blink and revert their name while those who want to add theirs cannot do so.


I personally hope, for charity, that the CNE intention was provocation rather than sloppiness. But it may well carry a steep dose of sloppiness in the methods chosen to void a recall election. The regime feels so cornered, so weak, that it is acting on reflex, on survival instinct. Thus the legality, or even basic common sense of its measures do not matter anymore. We are past the time of fig leaves.

The fact of the matter is that the economic depression has been getting worse and this week we saw major riot trouble in Petare and Catia, two zones which should be, on paper, chavista strongholds. But people are hungry. And I mean, hungry. And no matter what Argentina as a fool, or the shitty Caribbean island states may try, the OAS may be about to apply the Democratic Charter. That or Venezuela being booted out of Mercosur. Whichever comes first, for starters.

The truly big question here is whether the army will accept to pay the price of political repression, the last remaining option for the regime.

Some, like general Zavarce seem ready. He deliberately had his men push Representative Borges toward a crowd of colectivos on the pay roll of Caracas mayor Jorge Rodriguez. They did not kill Borges but they did break his nose, probably for lack of time. All is now in the open on the Thursday assault.

Others like Cliver Alcala are not on board anymore even if his name is linked to narco traffic.

The decision on a recall election rests there, in what the army will decide. And for that matter the decision whether Maduro remains president. See, the problem is not how to remove Maduro, this is actually quite easy once a political agreement is reached and he is made to resign. No election needed. Maduro is not ruling anymore, he is the front man. Thus the problem is truly not how to get rid of Maduro but who to put in his place.

That is the Gordian knot.

Additional material

Observe the goonery look of the colectivos on chavista payroll. Again, such things cannot be made up. Do not accuse me of profiling!


  1. Why would there ever even be a recall referendum? If the CNE does not make it unsuccessful the supreme court certainly will nullify it. The whole recall is just a big joke let by Caprilles designed to waste a year.
    Now as far as kicking Venezuela out of the OAS or sanctioning Venezuela the USA has no desired to disrupt oil trade with Venezuela. Lets face it no country in the world really cares about another beyond political positioning.
    Castros plan was always to destroy all industry and make what is left of the people 100 percent dependent on food handouts from the government. If you dont like them starve to death or leave the country. Mean while the original theives of the 300 to 400 billion continue to hide their fortunes. As near as I can tell the people dont have enough left in them to rise up in mass and toss out the regime and will not when the leader of the oposition is proposing a peaceful way as viable when any intelligebt person knows it is not.

    1. Venezuela's oil exports are irrelevant in the world market. The future oil exports will be mostly heavy oil blends most refineries can't process. And if the USA wants to free itself from dependence on that heavy oil it can simply approve construction of one or two pipelines from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico refineries.

      Obama's policies in this area are incredibly stupid, he focuses on pandering to "greens" who focus on shutting down imports from Canada while allowing imports by oil tankers sailing from Venezuela. Sometimes I wonder if these "greens" aren't financed by Venezuela the same way they finance political parties in Argentina, Spain, and the Caribbean.

    2. I think the reason Obama did not approve a pipeline was simply Obama's billion friend and financial adviser is a massive railroad share holder. He was just forcing most to move by rail.

  2. Boludo Tejano3:52 PM

    (note that neither Europe of the US have the will to help and put pressure on these islands, hypocrisy everywhere).

    The US is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't.

    1. Note that I included Europe's historical responsibility over these shitty islands. In particular Britain as France had at least the courage to man up and make its islands part of its welfare state.

      The thing is that it would be cheaper for the US to develop these islands a little bit better than to pay for its emigration to the US and other assorted political costs.

      Heck, if anything for the sake of Founding Father Hamilton.

    2. Boludo Tejano,

      I am sick to death of people and their scapegoating , using the whipping boy.Most of us cower when they here it and this is part of the problem.I don't however cower...i throw it back in their faces, and most are quite shocked.We are not to blame for other people's problems but we are partially to blame for letting them talk to us like that.I don't even care of a million gang up on me at once.This is a plague that has to stop, and we are the only ones who can stop it.


  3. If this was anywhere else in the world, think Ukraine, Libya, France or America 200 years ago, the issue would be settled a long time ago. The VZ people are a bunch of cowards that would prefer to run off to Doralzuela than reclaim the country as Simon Bolivar did. 203 years ago this week, he issue the Decree of War to rid the country of the oppressive Spanairds. It is time to revisit this Degree and get rid of the Chavistas!

  4. "If they do not die first they will end up in jail. They know that."

    Most of the Chavista crooks will neither die, nor go to jail. (Not under a "conciliatory" MUD government. Some of them will flee the country, or change their identities. Some will just blend back into the MUD.

    A few of the top Chavistoide thieves could end up in jail, true, as in Brazil. And the USA's justice system is slow, but relentless. We've seen a couple of examples already. (Rincon, back in December 2015) But very few.

    Mostly, what these mega-thieves risk are frozen assests, confiscated cars and apartments. In Vzla and overseas. They risk loss of their luxurious life-styles, and massive bank accounts. A comer caraota con atun de lata, como mucha gente. They do know that. So yes, they will never just leave peacefully. But mainly for those reasons. History will show that very few will actually end up in jail, but many will loose their stolen fortunes.

  5. 1. The USA is wrapped up in its long-running election campaign. No interest by anyone in anything outside the USA.
    2. We (in the USA) just don't care about Venezuela. Hell, we don't even care about Brasil.
    3. The cost to the USA to "fixing" Cuba is mouse nuts.

    1. You're entitled to your opinion, but never think you can speak for all Americans. True, it is a small minority of Americans who have any interest in events in Venezuela, or the plight of its people, or even find it on a map for that matter, but those who do care very deeply.

    2. Anonymous5:50 PM

      Venezuela has been a breeding ground for anti-U.S. leftist leaders since 2002. Fix Venezuela and the others will be easier to fix.

      Obama's Cuba policy is wrong wrong wrong. His charisma, smile, and Nobel prize has not changed the policies of any foreign countries. The Castros could never imagine their good fortune with Obama.

    3. If the US succeeded in helping the Venezuelan people, you can bet that in a few years Venezuelans would be shouting "Yanqui Go Home".

      This video was taken just 4 years ago....

  6. This is a very thorough, good informative post. Yet I must disagree again with another part. People keep talking about "mismanagement", "incompetence" before mentioning the corruption.

    "The real, the only reason for the food and medicine shortages today has been a more than dismal management of the economy over the last 17 years, not to mention its willful destruction to the profit of the new corrupt oligarchies of military origin."

    Well, the real origin of all of Venezuela's disasters is massive corruption everywhere, at all levels, not just the government. Why did Chavismo set us retarded exchange controls and price controls to begin with? To be able to Steal more and faster. That's the root of all evil in Vzla, (besides lamentable levels in popular education).

    Since there's total impunity, no crook goes to jail, much less white-collar thieves, almost everybody steals everything they can, every chance they get.

    The "dismal management of the economy" was designed on purpose to rob as much as possible. Even dumb Chavistas know what economic measures should be taken to start rectifying the economy. They do not take them for 2 main reasons: They would be able to Steal less; and the "pueblo" people would get really pissed off, because these are tough, austerity measures. (Raise gas prices, free economy, no more "precio justo" or canasta basica crap, pay astronomical international debts, etc)

    I reiterate that the only way Vzla can dig itself out of this abyss, is with a strong, derechista type of dictatorship. Yes. A Perez Jimenez or a Pinochet type of strong regime. With an implacable Justice system. So that crooks go to jail, and people get educated. To fix the economy. To start producing.

    Any little "MUD" government will not fix much in decades to come. The debt will not go away, nor popular ignorance, local production will not magically flourish, and corruption will not stop (remember the 4 decades of AD/Copey? Mostly crooks too).

    Thus, Kleptozuela is doomed for a long time, and it will only get worse the next couple decades. With or without Chavismo. Crime? Sure, you can improve on that, but the guardia and police and the military are all thieves and crroks too. Without a strong right-wing regime, expect more of the same for a long time.

    1. Anonymous9:47 PM

      Gotta concur with the Sledge. No one wants a Pinochet, but when you need one, you need one. Pinochet left his nation a first world country. That's one hell of a legacy, given the unspeakable shambles he began with.

    2. Boludo Tejano6:03 PM

      Gotta concur with the Sledge. No one wants a Pinochet, but when you need one, you need one.

      But it ain't happening in Venezuela. Courtesy of Kepler's Venezuela-Europa Blogspot: More dictatorship for Venezuela.

      The head of the Venezuela Air force just declared the military personnel who signed the petition for the recall referendum should "verify their signature" on a voluntary basis - code for remove their signatures from the petition - . He added: "It is important to know with whom we count and on whom we should keep an eye...independence and socialist fatherland"......

      If you have any doubt about where the military top is right now in Venezuela, take a look at the tweets of the minister of Defence, Vladimir Padrino (yes, his father was a commie, not a Russian). Those tweets are a mix of Chauvinistic trash, Bolivarian-Chavista religion and threats against the others.

      From the "Godfather" of the Venezuelan Armed Forces: Vladimir Padrino tweets.

      As a military man and also as an unsuccessful coupster, Chavez knew the importance of having the support of the Armed Forces. Chavez used promotions and retirements to make sure that only Chavistas were in the upper reaches of the hierarchies of the Armed Forces.

      Wishing for a Pinochet? You may as well wish for Lake Maracaibo to freeze over.

  7. For the most part, the US is apathetic about Venezuela. We are far more concerned about the decay of some US cities than what is happening in Venezuela. Also, the current US president had thought for years that 21st century socialism in Venezuela would work. Now that it isn't, he would rather not think about it.

    Can US businesses "pick the bones" of Venezuela after the debacle of the Chavez and Maduro and 21st Century socialism ends? I doubt very much that many are thinking that will happen. Venezuela has oil but for foreign companies to be able to make money on it, there has to be some kind of rule of law. Venezuela will also have to change the tax structure with respect to oil especially with the security situation that will exist in the future.

    I would say that my comments apply to all onlookers not just people from the USA. Companies in China, Canada and Europe will be in the same boat as investors from the USA in the future should business conditions improve.

    1. "Also, the current US president had thought for years that 21st century socialism in Venezuela would work." You're going to have to back that up with some actual facts. You right wingers who have tried to paint Mr. Obama as some kind of socialist are thoroughly reprehensible. He's about as centrist of a President as the county has had in 100 years.

    2. some true but bullshit, corporations many don't care about there employees if the insurance covers it, and if I was a General, I would have Venezuelan oil untapped, cause planes, tanks, ships need oil, a strategic reserve! a pata de mingo!

    3. the bullshit on what rules or rule's of law! what law, law's?

    4. "Also, the current US president had thought for years that 21st century socialism in Venezuela would work" how can anyone blame Obama for the Venezuela mess. It was under Bush that Venezuela's current state was created and came close to taking over most of S America.

    5. Boludo Tejano10:32 PM

      You right wingers who have tried to paint Mr. Obama as some kind of socialist are thoroughly reprehensible.

      Yes, it is "thoroughly reprehensible" to have read his memoir. From page 58 of Dreams From My Father about his time at Occidental.

      To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.

      Or are you going to inform me that it is SO CENTRIST to seek out Marxist professors? Obama never indicated in his memoir that he sought out libertarian or conservative professors.

      There is plenty more, for those who want to be informed. I am not going to add any more information, because this is a blog about Venezuela, not about US politics.

      Please answer my question: Do CENTRISTS seek out Marxist professors, but not libertarian or conservative professors? Inquiring minds want to know.

    6. Mile High Ben6:50 AM

      BT O's biography spells it out, but just to round out the background:

      Obama's father was an american hating marxist.
      Obama's mother was an american hating marxist.
      Obama's mentor after his father died, Frank Marshall Davis.
      Obama's pastor for twenty years in Chicago, Rev. Wright, who married Obama as well as baptized both his daughters, is an america hating communist.
      Obama's friends and neighbors in Chicago are the america hating communists and former terrorists Bill Ayer and Bernardine Dohrn.

      Of course Obama will deny being a communist or socialist, in typical leftist fashion he mocks those who call him one. As President of the US he can't acknowledge it even after winning the election, unlike the Chavez or Castros who denied it before but confirmed it after.
      Did you see how comfortable he was watching a beseball game with Raul?
      Did you see how he watched with adoring eyes at the parents of the traitor soldier Bergdahl as they spoke spoke pashtun and praised allah in the grounds of the White House? In Obama's eyes an american soldier that betrays his uniform serves with "honor and distinction".
      The guy is a POS.

    7. Anonymous7:25 AM

      Is this obscene or what? Obama took his wife and kids to enjoy a day of baseball with a mass murdering oppressive U.S. hating dictator. One weed after taking power, Raul lined up 70 oponents by a ditch and killed them. He has killed at least 20,000 Cubans to stay in power. Moreover, his policies led to the deaths of at least 70,000 Cubans on rafts trying to leave Cuba. Is this the guy you bring your wife and kids to meet? Obama is out of his head.

  8. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Are you saying that Obama has ever supported Chavez? During the 2008 campaign, Obama was clearly opposed. There were complaints about that by chavistas in the USA.

    1. Obama couldnt afford to support Chavez publicly before, but he has always supported socialism of the sort Chavez practised .

    2. If you believe that you are a sadly deluded person. I pity your lack of intelligence and honesty.

    3. Capaz Obama diluendo el embargo, es tan, como convertir el dolar o peso cubano al gringo! turista paga en pesos y no dolares y ahí esta el pendejo turista!

    4. What policy are some of you hoping for from Obama versus Venezuela please explain it, how Bush was using it, how it was working so well for Bush, and why Obama who stopped it should start Bush's policy that so many on here seem to think existed.

    5. Boludo Tejano10:10 PM

      how can anyone blame Obama for the Venezuela mess.
      I would agree that neither Obama nor any US President is to blame for the current mess in Venezuela. Venezuela voted in a golpista in 1998, and continued to vote for him. Venezuela is now paying the price.
      Regarding what Obama should or shouldn't do this year to help get Venezuela out of this mess is another issue.

      It was under Bush that Venezuela's current state was created and came close to taking over most of S America.
      That is a correction of fact that is not correct. Chavez took office when Clinton was President. The new Constitution was passed in 1999, when Clinton was President. Aprenda algo de historia, pue'. [Learn some history]

    6. Wtf, yes he took office but we are not talking about when he took office. People like you seem to believe Obama should put some pixie dust on the situation and make it all better, that because he is a democrat this is all his fault, that if a Republican was in all would be better. The Constitution has been changed many times and ignored daily. Please show me where in my statement I claim it was changed under Bush and not Clinton. So don't give me your ignorance about learn history! Bush had all 8 of his years as leader and in all 8 Venezuela grew in power and abuse of the Constitution and abuse of human rights and corporate rights and Bush did nothing while USA companies were taken and abused. You need to learn some history. I could care less if Obama, Bush or Trump is in power, none have a magic pixie dust, so crawl out of your dream world.

  9. Thank you again for your fearless, first-hand reportage. Keep writing and educating us about the scope of the tragedy in Venezuela. The world needs your honest voice.

  10. Daniel, thanks for updating the blog. Keep up the good work and hang in there.

  11. Boludo Tejano1:10 AM

    Canadian Looking in
    People like you seem to believe Obama should put some pixie dust on the situation and make it all better, that because he is a democrat this is all his fault, that if a Republican was in all would be better.

    Let us review what I wrote:

    The US is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't.
    [comment replying to Daniel, not to you.] Since President Obama is the main impetus behind US foreign policy, the previous statement could be written as "President Obama is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't [with regard to Venezuela]."

    I made a similar point when I replied to your "When you wrote "how can anyone blame Obama for the Venezuela mess." I replied,"I would agree [with Canadian Looking in] that neither Obama nor any US President is to blame for the current mess in Venezuela."

    Perhaps you should read more carefully before you inform us what "people like you seem to believe."

    It was under Bush that Venezuela's current state was created and came close to taking over most of S America.

    My point of view is that the creation of the current Chavista state began when Chavismo rewrote the Constitution- when Clinton was President. The new Constitution was also concurrent with renaming the country as The Bolivarian State of Venezuela. You consider this trivial. You correctly point out that Constitution-changing is common in Latin America. In addition, Chavismo rarely follows its own Constitution. But this doesn't make Constitution changing trivial. This is a rebranding, as it were, of the country. This gave documentary proof that Chavismo was Not Your Fourth Republic. It also showed Chavez that if he played his cards right he could have carte blanche. And say what you will about Chavez, he was pretty good about playing his cards.

    I doubt that Daniel considers the new Constitution trivial, either.

    My final statement. Ciao.

    1. Boludo Tejano you have a bad habbit of sticking meanings into peoples posts that are not there. Now you take a run at whether I feel the constition change is trivial or not. Again a blatant statement about nothing I said or implied. Your desire to try and look like a know it all makes you offensive.

    2. Boludo Tejano6:01 AM

      Ash Skinner/Canadian Looking in:
      It was under Bush that Venezuela's current state was created and came close to taking over most of S America.

      Chavez took office when Clinton was President. The new Constitution was passed in 1999, when Clinton was President....My point of view is that the creation of the current Chavista state began when Chavismo rewrote the Constitution- when Clinton was President.

      Do you agree with my above statement or not?

      From your statement @ 6:10, I take it that you do not agree with me.

      Either the new Constitution was an important part in the creation of the Chavista state or it was not.

    3. Whether the constitution was created in 1999 or had been in 2005, the result would have been similar. I do not disagree with the statement that the constitution played a big factor and never had made a comment to it. Not real sure why you felt the need to throw it in my face as information relevant to my points as to the fact that Bush did no better then Obama.

  12. You should blame Castro, the idiot Chavez who worshipped him and generations of silly beret-wearing Che lovers who have brought Latin America to the brink for this mess. Socialists utterly refuse to acknowledge the messes they make and prefer to scapegoat others. Blaming Bush, the CIA, the USA, etc., is old, tired leftist drivel at this point. Castro betrayed Chavez when the oil money ran out and made buddies with Obama to get tourists. I wish Chavez would come back as a hungry zombie and find there is nothing to eat!

    1. david1952000 I couldn't agree more that this is not Bush fault or Obama's or any USA presidents. I am a card holding PC in Canada and serve on the board of an anti socialist MP. However I do not blindly support one party over the other as have my own beliefs rather then being a sheep who just follows an ideology. Socialism when it hurts business is always wrong, like wise when republicans or capitalists support big mega corps to the detriment of small business is equally wrong. The mess in Venezuela will happen in any country where the poor are the majority looking for handouts at the expense of anyone else. USA, Canada etc are no different. The vast majority of poor in every country vote socialism, just in most countries they dont make up the majority or do not have a flashy enough leader come along to get them out to vote. People who blame Venezuelans and say they deserve this are mental. The average IQ is below 80 and people all over the world do stupid stuff. If the world had its shit together they would not allow the abuse of business and people from any gov't, they would be international enforced rules that would have kicked Chavez and the regime out long ago.

  13. Boludo Tejano7:11 PM

    Canadian Looking in/Ash Skinner
    Not real sure why you felt the need to throw it in my face as information relevant to my points as to the fact that Bush did no better then Obama.

    Because you went overboard. I agree with you that "Bush did no better than Obama." Recall I wrote: "I would agree [with Canadian Looking In/Ash Skinner] that neither Obama nor any US President is to blame for the current mess in Venezuela." [quoting you] Repeat: I AGREED WITH YOU. Repeat: I AGREED WITH YOU.

    However, you went overboard when you wrote "It was under Bush that Venezuela's current state was created," as the initial step for creating the Chavista state after Chávez's election was the new Constitution in 1999. We both agree that the Constitution was important. Granted, most of the building blocks of the Chavista state were not in place by the time Clinton left office- such as the Misiones, Chavista quasi-monopoly of media, the destruction of PDVSA , or the stealing of hundreds of billions of the verdes -which wouldn't have been possible without taking over PDVSA. However, the creation of the Chavista state began in 1999 with the new Constitution. Had you written the following, "It was under Bush that most of Venezuela's current state was created," I wouldn't have objected. Also note that the building of the current Chavista state continued when Obama has been President, as the Chavista stranglehold on media was much less in 2008 than today.

  14. So...why not have a post about the governor elections? I was thinking that if the Democrátic unity coalition can get most governorships, it can help the opposition structure a government which bypasses Maduro and the PSUV machine to a large extent. Key will be to legislate a royalty from oil produced in Zulia, Monagas, etc, which has to go directly to state governments.

  15. But Fernando how do you suppose you would get the regime to recognize such legislation. They never do and just keep giving special emergency control over all spending to Maduro. As long as the regime controls the military and the people as a whole wont rise up then the regime will remain in 100 percent control.

  16. What has happened to Venezuela is why people in the USA will always protect the 2nd Amendment.

  17. Don't be reductionist!

    There are plenty of guns in Venezuela. The problem I the state dealing with gun, not whether people have them. The second Amendment would not have protected me, just as it did not protect those in Orlando. The second is way overrated and deserves a revision.

    1. There are 300 million guns in the USA and the American people are trained in their use and would be willing to resort to their use in order to protect their freedom. Unlike the people in Venezuela.

    2. I am not going to engage in an NRA debate in this blog.

      Suffice to say that the concept of weaponry has a rather unique quality in the US. What works (?) there does not apply like a kitchen recipe everywhere else. The second is also inside a bill of rights that has shaped for better or for worse US society. Values in the US are different than values in Europe. Not that anyone is better, just that historically the US is a nation of pioneers and Indian wars and desperados, never mind the civil war where each side was armed from the start which explains quite a lot about its horror.

  18. Just so you know, Daniel, I'm on your side. And looking at your situation from a distance, I think I have a different perspective than people actually living the nightmare in your country.

    1. Mike, I know you are on my side if not you would not be reading this blog :-)

      Actually all who read now are on my side. Sandalistas and assorted leftist vermine have stopped reading long ago when they simply could not find words to defend what had become a military regime with a social fig leaf. Note: I chose the word "vermine" on purpose as serious social democrats have long ago ditched Venezuela. Those that remained with the regime since, say 2010, are indeed parasitical vermine because already in 2010 it was clear that Venezuela was not a democracy anymore.


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the sixth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.