As expected it was pandemonium today. Banks were closed Monday as per legal banking holiday several Mondays a year. So we had to wait for this morning to appreciate fully the effect of the crazy measure of last Sunday when Maduro annulled the 100 Bs, banknote, the highest denomination of a country deep in inflation. Let me put it this way: the bank next to our office had a long line outside all day long, and that line was almost as long as the line for toilet paper that happened to arrive at the grocery store next door.
Let's not get into the minutiae. The regime already backpedaled some by extending the time at which people will be able to deposit their bills, though not wanting to put Maduro into further ridicule the fiction of the 72 hours validity of the bill was kept. Yet many as of yesterday refuses to accept 100 bills. Though I suspect that at least some will keep accepting bills until Thursday now that they know they will be able to deposit these next week without having to trek downtown Caracas to the Central Bank offices.
What has not happened is a coherent explanation for the measure. If you take individually any of the excuses presented by the intense propaganda machine, each and everyone can be taken down with ease. At this point my initial supposition written last Sunday is that this craziness originates into some intra-chavista gang dispute. Since they are all narko-crooks, they have no qualm in taking down the country with them if they can get their loot back, or avenge themselves, or ruin the guys that conned them. This is the way mafia wars work out.
If you need proof you just need to observe that in spite of the calamitous situation of the country the high Court TSJ managed once again today to flout the constitution by naming the new Electoral Board above the will of the National Assembly. This story would deserve a full post so let's not get bogged down in that issue. My point here is that the country is falling appart, literally, and these people can only think about political treachery to keep their hold on power. That is their lone obsession. This example illustrates the issue the more so that elections are not even a solution to the problem anymore. Who truly cares who leads the CNE at this point?
That deconnexion of the regime with the country reality is becoming an embarrassing gap for a regime that was born out of their alleged love of the lumpen. A deconnexion that is shared, by the way, with many of the opposition elites. One of the things I wrote Sunday night was the impact of the measure on the large portion of Venezuelan society that lives on cash, the lower economic classes that will suffer the most from the withdrawal of the 100 bills. But you had to wait for Monday to have this considered by opposition writers, most focusing first on money loads, reserves, amount of banknotes and other brainy issues that do not make an arepa appear on your plate this week. In that way bizarrely rejoining the regime equally disconnected claims of economic agression and contraband of paper notes to Switzerland.......
At least the regime today started realizing its gross political mistake among its followers, For example they have decided to force banks to open accounts with a mere ID card so people can deposit. And they of course decided to extend the exchange period though not doing the real measure that would have helped them the most with their natural electorate, to disown Maduro 72 days death certificate of the 100 bill. But the regime has a bigger problem on its hand. Among the news and videos circulating today on twitter we saw the looting downtown Caracas of a corn flour truck. From Barquisimeto we saw a furious crowd in line at a bank forcing the Nazional Guard to withdraw the protection they offered to some people trying to bring inside for deposit boxes of bills, and of course trying to pass in front of the line under the cover of the Guard. They had to retreat. These are sure signs of the chaos ahead. And the regime, I am afraid, may not be able to control it to its advantage this time around.
Bank protest of the day
The Nazional Guard tries to exchange its own boxes of banknotes (how come they have such?). The people block access to the bank! https://t.co/k1Qb67t6RF— daniel duquenal (@danielduquenal) 13 de diciembre de 2016
Truck looting of the day
Meanwhile back at the 100 Downtown Plaza Venezuela Ranch, let's loot a truck just in case my banknotes are worthless https://t.co/bdEPXU0YuE— daniel duquenal (@danielduquenal) 13 de diciembre de 2016