Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 round up: chavismo has not changed, and can't

It is necessary to repeat this over and over: the current Venezuelan regime CANNOT yield to a democratic transition. Its leadership is way too compromised in particularly obscene corruption to which you add drug trafficking big scale.  If they lose power these people will end up in jail, in Venezuela or outside.  Even if some sort of amnesty is pronounced as they know only too well that amnesties only last so long: see Pinochet, the Argentine army, etc...

Monday, December 25, 2017

2017 roundup: intro

It seems that this year I will have more time for myself than usual.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Christmas from hell

I know, I know, I should be wishing all of you a merry Christmas...  Good for you if you can, my heartfelt wishes. But here, it is hell.

I am not going to bother you with summaries from around the country. Just among one of many I received, one from the Washington Post awful enough to spoil your eggnog, about how even Caracas Santa is skinny.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hoy no voté

Hoy por primera vez en mi vida decidí deliberadamente, sin consigna de nadie, no ir a votar.  Si tienen paciencia me permitirán explicarles.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy T-day USofA

To US readers still haunting this page I wish them a happy, loving Thanksgiving,

I have been out of Venezuela for urgent major family matters and blogging on what I cannot properly follow seemed pointless. That the dollar is worth ten times more today than 6 months ago summarized it all perfectly.

So, I will not have turkey today but where I am staying they are starting to try out that "black friday" thing. Except that it is an all week event, where everyday there are deals of the day. I am not complaining, I got an S6 for less than 300. With still an extra 10% when I return to Venezuela and go through customs. That duty free thing, you know....

Do not overeat, no food to waste, think about those Venezuelans who have no thanks to give as they cannot properly feed their families. Otherwise enjoy for me my favorite of T-day, caramelized sweet potatoes and corn bread.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

I do not want to want to restructure the debt

This is pretty much what Maduro has in mind when he talks of restructuring the huge Venezuelan debt, huge enough that a default would at the very least send shudders through the markets (though it has been previsible enough that I am sure many have taken their precautions long ago).

I'll be as brief as possible.

Monday, October 30, 2017

"esos son los que se quedaron"

On the evening of Chavez 2006 reelection I did write a wistful note that somehow made it to the Wall Street Journal.  Then this blog was in the news as the other news were not yet on all of Chavez horrors.  Years went by, the news caught up and thus I could become again an amateur blog, more a stream of consciousness than a true need to inform the world.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Live! The implosion of the opposition alliance

Well, that was faster than expected.

The day Ramos Allup drove the stake at the heart of the MUD

The July 16th vote, annulled today
Today's events remind me a little bit of that type of horror movie which starts with some bloody body(ies) and a mysterious shadow drifting away. Heck, sometime the alleged assassin is shown knife in hand. No matter, after this initial screen you read something like "2 weeks/days/hours earlier" over a background of happy cheerful people that you cannot warn about what is to befall on them. Thus you need to wait until the end of the movie to figure out who was the shadow or if the alleged assassin was just set up to look so.

Today Accion Democratica (AD) secretary Henry Ramos Allup (HRA) decided to have his 4 elected governors swear in front of the unconstitutional constitutional assembly (AC) and thus within a single hour he 1) legitimizes the AC 2) voids years of opposition (MUD) efforts 3) wrecks its unity and 4) creates an image overseas that there is no need to worry about Venezuela anymore, either it is a democracy after all, or the opposition is not worthy of rescue so let them deal with their own mess.

How did we come upon that political horror scene?

Back to early July 2017.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

El error de regañar a Almagro

Ha circulado con amplitud por Internet un articulo de Milagros Socorro donde se queja del regaño que el secretario de la OEA, Luis Almagro, le ha dado a la dirigencia de la MUD.  Pues a pesar de que este blog ha expresado su admiración por la acuidad de Milagros Socorro, esta vez no solamente difiero de su opinión, pero me siento obligado a responder.

Brevemente el argumento de Milagros se refiere a que toma de una manera algo personal la declaración de Almagro, como si este hubiese incriminado al elector venezolano por haber ido a votar. No lo entiendo así.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Meanwhile, back at the burning ranch

Thus we are reeling from another election that the regime "won" using any public money it could scarp to gain advantage.  But in this era of low oil prices, and low production, reality is catching up fast. No honeymoon break.

First this news that PDVSA will not be able to use a termina oil, the one in the island of St. Eustatius.  Why? They owe 26 million dollars. When a major oil company cannot pay 26 million dollars of docking fees you know that something is deeply wrong.

Of course, the election has boosted confidence in investors. Not!  There is the quote today:

Note that the DICOM for travel has risen to 11,000, 3 times the "implicit" dollar which the ration between "declared" reserves and money liquidity. That is the printed money. So the regime is recognizing that it is a liar about either the reserves or the liquidity, or both since in theory the regime managed DICOM should be around the implicit dollar.  Then again the regime has all but stopped DICOM...

The one a Friday ago was 29,173, but who cares if the drop in one week was around 30% of its value. No?

So there you are, the real victors of the regime elections: economic collapse and misery. But the regime could not possibly care less, let them it cake and cure themselves with wild herbs infusions. If they can find cooking gas....

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to legally cheat

The most surprising thing about Sunday's election fraud is how unprepared the MUD opposition was. I admit that it was difficult to prepare for the out of norms regime onslaught, but still...

And yet the electoral machinery of the regime was so powerful that it may well have "won" the election.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Numeral inconsistencies


While the opposition logistic mess (so far this is what we see) may or may not prove electoral fraud (that fraud exists from before election day, so there is electoral fraud no matter what) we can only look at some glaring inconsistencies.

Voter participation

Carta a Ramos Allup

Señor Ramos Allup

Ya es tiempo que usted se retire y le deje el puesto a otro. Si bien en el primer año de la nueva Asamblea Nacional usted pegó algunos éxitos de taquilla resulta al final que usted no logró nada concreto y, peor, manejó muy mal la renovación de dos rectoras del CNE. Ayer hemos pagado eso muy caro.

Pero la razón verdadera por la cual usted debe retirarse es que por tercera vez usted un culpable importante, sino principal, de una debacle de la oposición.

A grotesque electoral fraud

I knew that the regime would forge results, would commit electoral fraud, but what happened tonight is grotesque.

Venezuela has to be the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD where food scarcity, severe lack of health care, near hyperinflation levels, major street violence, living under curfew, no hope in hell for whatsoever, and the government GAINS votes. No kidding, researchers from the entire world should flock to Venezuela in the next days to study that miracle of politics. Books will be written about on how to win elections by screwing up people.

This is enough to claim electoral fraud.

Since September 14 I did write only 3 posts about today’s elections, in a rather diffident mood I would say. I was careful not to bring hopes into anyone, but also articulating a case that not taking part in these elections would be worse than boycotting them. Thus I am proven right. More right than I thought actually since the introductory paragraph of the last post explains tonight perfectly. The regime has simply decided to act nakedly as a dictatorship, even if many countries warned the regime that they knew it would commit fraud.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Random notes on what the hell is going on, TSJ included

I suppose that when I try to make sense out of today's Venezuela I should always start with the following opening statement:

Extraordinary corruption has eventually turned Venezuela into a narco-state. Those in charge, for lack of a better word, are so compromised that there is no way they can surrender power through elections or any other action because they know that jail, or worse, is in their future as soon as the dozens of body guards paid by the state are removed from around them.  This is a camarilla that cannot leave the country anymore, so entrenching at all costs is the word.  

If you do not understand the text above, then you understand nothing about Venezuela.

This being said let's try a few comments on the current situation.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A useless political post for your entertainement

So there we are, a new vote next Sunday. And yours truly has no interest in it, no desire to speculate on results, no clear idea of what would constitute a victory for either camp.  So, during this lunch break I gather the courage to follow the tradition of this blog and write a political post for the governor elections next Sunday. Read at your own risk.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Negotiation, not dialogue (or negation)

This past week has been eventful. It started with a new attempt at dialogue that nobody but the regime wants, to the strong words against Venezuela dictatorship from Trump, Macron, Santos, Michetti, and more, taking place at the UN general assembly.

That diner table was certainly better supplied than those of Caracas.

Friday, September 15, 2017

A few comments on governor's primaries

The good thing is that the opposition held primaries whereas the dictatorship named its candidates outright.  Using dictatorship and election in the same sentence may appear weird to the reader but this is Venezuela, a dictatorship of a new type, adapted to the XXI century international realities.

The bad thing is that these primaries may not benefit the opposition as much as they would like to pretend.  Follows a quick blow by blow, trying to demythify the opposition MUD brouhaha.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Fortunately for Lilian Tintori, her enemies are mean but stupid

As a follow up of Friday's entry.

Saturday Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, tried to leave the country on a well announced and scheduled tour that included meetings with Macron, May, Merkel, and Rajoy, that I know of. So, instead of letting her go and within the hour announce that she fled the country, they confiscated her passport and forbade her to leave the country.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Fait divers: Lilian Tintori is parted from her cash

The talk of this end of week is not the Law against Hate, or the Stalinist tribunal that the constituent assembly has become, or that the regime celebrates has a major achievement the arrival of a wheat ship from Russia with wheat for, what?, 5 days? or more important matters.

The talk is of the millions of bolivares found in Lilian Tintori car, in cash.

Friday, September 01, 2017

It is unanimous

I am not talking much about the fraudulent constitutional assembly because, to begin with, I do not recognize it (1). Not that it matters, just to make it clear that it is a waste of time to discuss its activities since it is there merely to give cover for any dictatorial abuse.

But a little summary here and there may be useful, if anything for people to have a sense of what it is like to live under a one party dictatorship.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


It is very hard to avoid those major labels that sear History.  When I started using the word "dictatorship" I was criticized; yet, proven right in the end. Fascism came in slowly, almost behind totalitarian even though it should precede it in the processes. But Fascism is a tainted label whereas totalitarianism is a generic drug.  Nazi I refuse to use it to qualify the Venezuelan  regime because, well, that horror goes beyond all horrors and thus it is to be expected today that no one could try to pull such a stint again. Though I indulged into the term Nazional Guard because that guard has clear thuggish attitudes and actions that are deserving of the brown shirts.

Communism is also a word that is used freely although now that the crimes of Stalin and Mao are well established Communism should be as taboo as Nazism.  But the intellectual appeal of Communism has been too strong and the petering of the USSR too long to effect this wished for change. Thus we have plenty of intellectuals still defending the Castro murderous regime under the flimsiest of excuses.

Genocide I drew a line, until today.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Arming the unarmed, and unarmable

This weekend the dictatorship decided to perform "military exercises" to scare the US away from an intervention.  Not that it matters since the US will not waste a drop of Marine blood on a Venezuelan beach, but let's not go there now. The point here is that if Marines do not kill folks while landing at Patanemo, ridicule may finally be able to kill people.....

Certainly these week end activities are a circus show, this one segment even includes a midget at the end of the video.  Why, oh, why?

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Today's new sanctions on Venezuela by the Trump administration are a good excuse to write a long overdue update on Venezuelan politics.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Luisa Ortega lavish life style

One dichotomy when you analyze the current regime of Venezuela is to decide if it is communist or fascist. In the grand scheme of things it does not matter much since they are both totalitarian in nature and end point. But the road chosen does have different collateral damage. I, for one, think that its narco-criminal nature makes it more of a fascist system that uses a populist/commie rhetoric to justify its means. But in the end, it is a smallish group of fascists strictly holding to their privileges.

Today we are going to comment the search at Luisa Ortega home. Please, let us know whether the lynching method is fascist, or communist.

Monday, August 21, 2017

In praise of "escrache"

There are so many things to write about that as usual I freeze. That is, until I come across something that summarizes the situation so well that it goes beyond belief.

It was Jorge Rodriguez turn to get insulted in public while in Mexico city.  Let me see if I can have the non-Venezuelan reader understand how momentous that silly video is. And it is momentous, trust me.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Mirada descarnada a la invasión gringa

Esto lo escribo en cristiano porque los gringos saben muy bien que Trump es un bocón. No que en un futuro más bien lejano no nos suelten 4 drones encima, pero simplemente ellos tienen otros asuntos más urgentes que atender en este momento. Aquí les estoy escribiendo a unos cuantos venezolanos que se retuercen en agonía y jolgorio (de ambos bandos) ante un putativo desembarco de Marines.

Antes que todo, cualesquiera sean los fundamentos de una invasión a mi patria, eso significa guerra, poder arbitrario para los dos ejércitos, daños materiales y psicológicos inconmensurables. Siendo profundamente anti-militarista no puedo suscribir a cualquier guerra aunque desafortunadamente hay que aceptar que en ciertos casos no hay opción. Ejemplo, contra ISIS.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Trashed at Lima: Maduro goes from PR fail to PR fail

This is so whirlwind that I am going to write fast.

That is democracy for you

In the middle of the night the nazional guard and the constituent assembly chair took over the old senate chamber of Venezuelan Congress which had been transformed into a ceremonial room. The problem is that the hall is not big enough for the 550 constituents as it can hold barely 450.  But the point here is to piss off the National Assembly and slowly but surely edge them out of existence.

For good measure the National Assembly was barred to enter its chambers for its scheduled session, least the couple of dozens that did make it into congress house would attack the 500+ constitutionals.  Nice to see the nazional guard deployed in a legislative room. Nothing militaristic or repressive in the regime. No serreee...

Monday, August 07, 2017

Regime caused floods

The supreme idiocy cum absolute incompetence of the regime is on display again today in Bolivar state, and with tragic consequences. The ill management of the Caroni river dams is causing floods in the lower course with perhaps thousands of people losing their homes. ALL caused by ideology and incompetence. I know, it is redundant but I write it on purpose.

This La Llovizna park in Puerto Ordaz today. I hope it is closed to the public.

This is La Llovizna on a normal day, which should be 365 days a year considering all the regulating reservoirs upstream.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

A military uprising?

So, instead of writing about substantial things like the fraud constituent assembly deciding that it will be in office for the next two years, taking as its first "measure" the removal from office of the general prosecutor Luisa Ortega and announcing that next week they will set up the inquisition truth commission I have to discuss what was either a failed coup or a stunt show. Your choice, not mine because under no circumstance will I support the Venezuelan corrupt army. Or anything that comes out of it.

What happened this morning in Valencia was suspicious from the start. I learned about it sipping my first cup of coffee and within minutes I was posting that; and assuring the dear reader that under no moment did I got the little bit nervous. It takes me more than that now to get nervous in Venezuela.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Venezuela is installing a constituent assembly

And I am not going to talk about that.  Except for one comment: that assembly is illegitimate because it was convoked using a REGRESSION of human and civil rights respective to the constitutional assembly convocation of 1999. That is, you cannot convoke a constitutional assembly under less rights than the constitution you want to replace. Period. Anything else is discussing what is the sex of angels when they live under a dictatorship.
Tintinophiles need no translation

This being said, today the question is what is the opposition going to do about running on regional elections in December. The decision must be, like, today because by Monday it will not be possible to register candidates anymore (note that chavismo has not registered anyone but they usually wait to the last minute anyway).

The problem is that electoral board CNE has been shown to commit a major fraud last Sunday, a fraud that could cover up to 50% of the votes allegedly cast.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Idiots in the mist

So today we had a political atomic bomb with the revelation of the electoral fraud of last Sunday. On the face of it we may not see any major change: after all this is a dictatorship so who cares about how many votes the dictator got?  And yet, if we do not know where the bomb truly hit we are seeing debris falling all around us. In fact, a mist so thick in dust that many are losing their way.

Chavismo gave the extremely predictable answer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

There was a fraud? You don't say!

Procrastination pays. I was seeking my words for an intellectually powerful analysis of the electoral results of last Sunday "vote". But lack of Internet (it came back last night, after 6 days out!) made postpone the enlightenment you guys deserved so richly.

Well, what do you know!? There is no need to discuss those "results" of "8+ millions votes" that nobody saw on the streets Sunday!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

El Senador Marco Rubio le lee la cartilla a Maduro

Hace tiempo que no escribo en cristiano pero la declaración del Senador de Florida, Marco Rubio, merece toda la difusión que sea posible.

Veamos lo que dice Rubio, desmontando todos los mitos del chavismo. El chavismo tiene que empezar a entender que lo que dice Rubio NO ES un antojo, es el reflejo de una política, cada dia mas mundial, para cercenar la existencia de un estado forajido, un narco estado que envenenará a todo si se le deja hacer.

The fraud

Since I am writing late and you certainly read all major papers in the world and blogs and tweets…  I will be short and sweet and didactic if possible.

What happened in Venezuela was an historical electoral fraud of major proportions. So blatant, so nakedly obvious is the fraud that within hours more than a dozen countries have announced they would not recognize the result. And more to come.  Only outlaw regimes like Cuba, or commies disguised as lefties in Europe like Iglesias or Melanchon can recognize the result.

Let’s go by part.

July 30th, a day of infamy

It is rather terrible to be without Internet in a time of trouble, the more so when Twitter is the only source of information if you know who to follow. My internetless plight continues and will last for who knows how long as the internet company of Venezuela is not even answering calls. Meanwhile my cel phone company allows me to do Twitter but at an expense that I pretend does not exist.
What Sunday means will be for another post. I am just going to tell you my day, for those who care about an on the ground experience from someone trapped in the more fervent opposition strongholds of Caracas.

Of course, I did not go out to vote. So I was trying to figure out whom to go with to the scheduled rally late morning to take the main Caracas highway. This was not going to happen. Already around 9 PM I was hearing loud explosions from Caurimare through where I was supposed to pass to reach the highway. Eventually the rally was cancelled due to the intense repression of the regime that would not even let embryos of rallies take place. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Communication disaster

I have been victim of two power outages that lasted for a total of 14 hours over the two days of strike. As such not only internet was out, but it never came back. The one from my smartphone is weak and barely allows me to read twitter, if it is in a good mood. So I cannot use it as an internet source for my laptop and thus cannot post or do more than very basic e-mail.  I am briefly at the office getting ready to leave before noon if I want to have a chance to get back home for the terrible coming weekend.

I will try to cover what I can in the next crucial days from twitter and instagram and try to post whatever I can post.  But to keep you abreast of the situation, here in brief:

  • general strike has worked in opposition areas. It did not work so well in regime areas becasue, at least in Caracas, colectivos acted to force stores to remain open. But they could not hide that most bus transport system was out. Thus the strike was a regime defeat.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

To sanction, or not

So the talk is on sanctions again since the US/Trump have announced that they are considering strong sanctions if Maduro insists on electing a constitutional assembly next Sunday.

What I am dismayed for is to read that some people that should know better do not want sanctions. One example is Moises Naím who is usually so right on things but who is not quite this time around (1). The argument advanced by those who oppose sanctions are that 1) they do not work 2) they hurt the population more than the regime and 3) they can boost the regime if this one can wrap itself in the flag of nationalism.

Yes and no, and the more so in the case of Venezuela.  Let's try to clarify ideas as I did for the electoral fraud of next Sunday.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The constituent assembly electoral fraud

After finishing a series of posts to explain how we have reached the current situation I thought that it may be good to have targeted entries as we get ready for July 30.  Let's start with the constitutional assembly to be elected on July 30th, if the regime has its way.

Regardless of the legality and scope of that assembly the very electoral system to be used makes it totally unacceptable and forces the opposition to a confrontation. Here is an incomplete laundry list of all that is wrong with the constitutional assembly voting system:

A: the electoral body

*Not all votes are equal. If you vote in Baruta district (235.000 electors) you need at least thirteen of you to compensate for a single vote from, say, Buroz district (17.000 electors).   That is right, one vote of a Buroz denizen is equal to 13 votes of a Baruta denizen and they are both in the SAME state. No need even for an inter state comparison. Why? Because the election to the assembly is one representative per district, regardless of population.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Paro civico 2017

I have not gone into the details of what the opposition plans to do. Then again it is not quite clear, the people are upset anyway and act like crazies and thus the MUD leadership sorts of goes with the wind instead of leading it as it should. Then gain, can anyone lead the country today? Certainly not chavismo for that matter. But I digress from today's sole objective, to let you know how was this beautiful day.

Stopping a country...........

Monday, July 17, 2017

La hora cero: measuring Sunday 16 vote

A little while ago the president of the National Assembly announced the Zero Hour. That means, the hour at which the opposition will start its march for the final overthrow of the regime.

The opposition really has no choice but to confront once and for all the regime.

The denial of chavismo today is spectacular. Then again what else could you expect from people that face jail terms any time soon, people that have stolen much, much more than Lula or Humala who are now ex presidents getting acquainted with jail cells even though they have stolen a fraction of what any asshole minister under chavismo has stolen.  The latest example, last week, is the Swiss tax folks blocking 42 million dollars from the account of Haiman El Troudi mother in law.  Apparently the wife accounts may be next.

Then again you must understand that yesterday event was no mere peanuts. It was, arguably, one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience in history. To find bigger you need to look at Gandhi in India, for example. In the Americas it is possible that the 7 million votes of yesterday are the biggest civilian act ever. The magnitude of the result, the visual images of huge lines in Barcelona, Madrid, Miami, Bogota etc have convinced the world that yesterday was indeed A VOTE, not a consultation anymore. Period.

So we will see what the opposition announces in the coming hours. Get ready, the ride is about to get rougher as the regime is pushed to either compromise or repress as never before, meaning not 100 deaths, but thousands. There is no other way for the regime that yesterday lost any legitimacy it may still had.

And note that the crisis would have been solved easily long ago had the regime wanted to solve it. A mere vote for governors in December 2016 could have done the trick and allow Maduro to serve his full term. Had even 100% of governors been elected for the opposition.

With 95% counted it is 7.186.170 against the regime

Last night I was writing that with a 5 million votes the opposition in Venezuela would have scored a magnificent success.  It will be more than 7 which is an absolute trashing of the regime.

The success was seen early, watching the regime figures who went as far as using old pictures of their marches, one with someone dead since 2014, pretending that their own "test" was the best test ever done on earth, that they have a video of someone voting 17 times (how can such video be made befuddles me) and more that surely I missed.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

From official terror to article 350 - 7) civil disobedience, this Sunday big time

So this is the situation. You have on one side the bad guys, who hold all fire power and are increasingly more willing to use it; the bad guys that have turned into shreds the constitution and are now about to rewrite a constitution that fits better their thug regime; and not only that but they are calling for a constituent assembly (CA) through a rigged electoral system, without any limit on what that assembly could do; and if that is not enough, if partisan voters of the regime can vote  twice is not enough, the regime is now on record of threatening those who do plan to abstain. And more.

So, what are to do the good guys, those who merely want the rule of law and free and fair elections?

Well, after months of protest, month of increasing international support, there are left with two constitutional articles; the 333 and 350.  Their translation below.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

From official terror to article 350 - 6) Luisa and Leopoldo are nothing

On rare occasions in spite of all my daily turmoils I do sense a certain elation. As an history buff I am keenly aware that I am in the middle of History, with a capital H.  Be it when I listen to grenade explosions in Caracas from my patio, or whether I am gassed directly, be it Leopoldo being "freed" or whether Diosdado (and others) announcing that they are about to take arms to defend the revolution, there is no need to have extrasensorial powers to gather that something big is taking place.

How have we reached such a point?

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Leopoldo and Occam

The stunning news this morning is that we woke up learning that in the middle of the night Leopoldo Lopez had been freed from his military prison jail cell at Ramo Verde.  Well, not quite free, as for "medical reasons" that are yet totally unexplained a rather buff Lopez has to remain at his home in Caracas. With the implied threat that if he does not behave well he will get back to the slammer.  But that is more braggadocio of an agonizing regime than any show of strength.
He is baaaack.........
with grey hair........

We also got a deluge of conspiracy theories. So many that I refused to keep reading my Tweets during my normal travails of Saturday.  The one that made me stop early was that the high court, TSJ, was doing that to screw the nations general attorney, Luisa Ortega, by blaming her with bad admisnitrative moves during Lopez trial.

As if the regime needed any excuse to send to jail Luisa Ortega when it choses so....

Thursday, July 06, 2017

France mourns one of her greatest

Sometimes we are not aware that we live in the times of heroes. And they die and we remember.

When she faced a 95% male audience
to regulate abortion in France
Simone Veil was probably the lone France hero alive.  She died last week and the outpouring came from all fronts, except as expected from the far right Front National who could not forgive her among other things that Simone Veil was one of the 2.500 survivors of the 75.000 French Jews sent to Nazi concentration camps. Or rather, that she answered only too well to what Le Pen and daughter are all about.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

From official terror to article 350 - 5) taking off Ortega before 350

Writing this series of articles with long delays in between actually helped me a lot, proving that procrastination pays: the events of today establish beyond doubt that civil rebellion is the lone thing left for the Venezuelan population at large. I say "at large" in all confidence as there is no serious pollsters, even among those who predicted Chavez victories years ago, that gives the regime and Maduro much more that 20%.  And this assuming that they can correct for the fear factor in their polling. The evidence is clear: even in a bad day the opposition drags quickly to the streets, in almost any Venezuelan city, more people to protest than the regime as a whole can do just in Caracas for support, after days of preparation.

July 4 meet July 5

I was reading the US Declaration of Independence again, this most formidable piece of literature, to begin with. Without changing a word this section can apply EXACTLY as is as to the opposition revolt against a colonial regime directed from Cuba. I shuddered!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. 

We should use it tomorrow for the much needed second independence of Venezuela.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

From official terror to article 350 - 4) that hamletian moment

The opposition MUD is subjected to tremendous challenges, all coming from the fact that they need to face off a criminal narco-state without any help from the outside police.

Why the world is not acting on Venezuela knowing very well that it risks receiving a refugee wave of millions is the subject of another text. Never mind that if the regime manages to hold power at the cost of a dictatorial communist "constitution" and thousands of deaths this will set a bad precedent for regimes dreaming of such a perpetuation outcome, like Bolivia, the FARC in Colombia, Nicaragua, to name a few of the rogue systems in Latin America.  The fact of the matter is that the latest failure of the OAS to even come up with a mild declaration is the confession of a world that has lost the notions of good and evil, navel gazing, worried about how to sustain a welfare state that will reward them politically. Times have changed.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

From official terror to article 350 - 3) the country chavismo wants

If chavismo is divided it remains nevertheless that they all share a common vision of the country: we will never be out of office; we will create an opposition we like; we will share only a few things with that likeable opposition; we will erase it as needed and start anew; 90% of power and money at the very least will always be for us.  Then again, when you look at the pictures from this week end military ceremony you do realize that "Caracas, we have a problem".

In here I have pointed out a few details on that picture. Maduro went to an army base, isolated from the general public as the crowd was selected (long gone are those Chavez ceremonies at the Carabobo battle field on June 24 when "el pueblo" was welcome with open arms).

Saturday, June 24, 2017

From official terror to article 350 - 2) state terrorism reflects chavismo division

The murder yesterday of David Vallenilla hit a new low, and hit a rawer nerve in the population. Murder, yes, point blank shooting murder, as seen in video but not on TV that the regime censors.

Friday, June 23, 2017

From official terror to article 350 - 1) life in Caracas

Two and a half months of nearly continuous protests have passed. The only thing we can say for certain is that internal divisions of chavismo are being exposed, and that the country is falling apart.

Mix and shake

Living in Caracas is now an ordeal. You need to try to do your business either early in the morning or on Tuesdays and Thursdays, days with, in general, lower intensity protest. After all, you need to get food, work enough to make sure your business does not go under, take your SO to his weekly treatments, etc. It does not matter how much you would like to protest and beat up a Nazional Guard, you still need to attend some of the basic life needs.

Taking care of these needs have taken a nasty downward turn in these months.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

O marcho o me marcho

The title in Spanish cannot be translated with proper appreciation of its brilliant conciseness. The best I can do is "Either I walk in protest or I walk out of the country". What I experienced yesterday brings close that point.

Before I narrate and comment my experience let me remind the reader that what I went through is nothing when considering what happened to the front line or to those unfortunate that end up in chavist dungeon for fighting for their freedom. My point here is that if a plain citizen on foot is already subjected to such scenes, well...  you get my point.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Luisa Ortega and Vladimir Padrino

What has happened this week with Defense minister Padrino and the nation's general prosecutor Luisa Ortega shows how far advanced is the decomposition of the regime. And it is starting to smell really bad.

Let's start with the ultimate question: who is really in charge in Venezuela?

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Cassandra's narco-curse

It is hard not to be despondent in Venezuela these days. Even if the paradox is that the despondency of some translate into renewed energy. I suppose that when everything has been stolen from you, that is, your future, you may react strongly, if anything to see how many you can bring down with you.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Electoral mish-mash, or how to win when you lose an election

Today was a day rich in electoral content but woefully poor in electoral solutions.

From chavismo side, at another failed rally of forced supporters, Maduro went ahead and announced how the constitutional assembly will be elected. Well, half of it anyway. The part corresponding to the corporative members is still unclear but that is not a problem for chavismo since these members elected through "organizations" will go at least 80% for them, courtesy of all the political controls and apartheid like access of the non chavista population.

Monday, May 22, 2017

50 days of street protest, and then this

Vastness, and depth 

Saturday 20 it was the 50th day protests started. And far from people getting tired, or scared because of increased repression, the opposition did a massive show of force that overwhelms any attempt the regime could do to counter.  The street now belongs to the opposition, the world saw that yesterday, unless you report for Telesur or some paid for propaganda channel.

Someone managed to fly briefly a drone, something forbidden by the regime on opposition marching days so that no documentation can be done on the extent of the rally, or the repression. But I suppose that if you limit your drone to go up, take a shot, and go down fast you can escape any tracing of your device. Whatever they did, this is the biggest on record pic of any march/rally ever held in Venezuela. If there is a bigger one from the regime surely the pic would have been released long ago.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Speeding up to the grand finale

I was working on a text about how hard it has become to live in Caracas in the last month but today's news make me realize that it is going to get much worse fast.
Highlighting Gladys because
it makes me so happy

The Miami Herald gives you all. And it would be very difficult to exaggerate what they write or overstate the importance of it. Let's start with a sound bite from General Torrealba, the one who three weeks ago (I think) had his HQ filmed as a horde of paramilitary colectivo motorbikers were leaving it, breaking any law that used to exist in Venezuela. That video was frightening by itself and promptly the buildings from were it was taken were searched (I think, memory fails me, and if not those buildings Barquisimeto has had several nights of building searches and looting and abuse and violence anyway).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Repression facts

Next, without any order of importance, a few facts on repression after one month and a half.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Words have failed me

I have been absent for too long but the fact is that it has been difficult for me to write anything. The brutal escalade in terror, the many cross current events, my exhaustion at trying to keep providing health care to my SO in between marches and barricades are taking their toll. At least, if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you know I try to keep up.

It is difficult to imagine overseas what we are going though in Venezuela these days. Sure enough it is not Syria, but sure enough the regime would not mind it becoming Syria, with the Russians helping them and Cuba keep a hold on the situation. More than ever the problem is the same: how can you expect a group of corrupt narco-terrorists to surrender power peacefully through elections? It cannot be done and luckily I am starting to see in the press and media what this blog has been explaining for too long already. Unfortunately it is reaching a point were stern international action is required before this become a major scale refugee crisis.

But since I have been away for so long, I will settle here with highlighting a few of the crucial points in the last couple fo weeks. Later, I am going to try to write about what life has become here.

A constitutional change that nobody wants

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Marching on May 1st, Labor Day in Venezuela

As usual the following pictures are just to offer the readers the personal emotions of a protester like yours truly. Far better images and videos can be now found about Venezuela since its repression has become so noteworthy. Below, just my day.

Maduro constituent assembly for dummies

So many things today!  But before I address them in a following entry, it is urgent to explain what the constituent assembly called by Maduro truly means. About 2 hours ago in his speech at a pauperly attended chavista rally on Bolivar avenue Maduro announced that the only way to stop the coup against him was to call for a new constituent assembly, killing the jewel in the crown of the Chavez years, his so called legacy. Ending once and for all the Chavez years and entering into a brave new world. But I digress.

Why is Maduro holding such a catastrophic action when there is no food nor medicine nor jobs in Venezuela?

1) It is an excuse to annul any election until the new Constitution is voted, besides, of course, the votes necessary for the constitutional assembly and ratification. That is, the overdue governor election, the ones for mayor and municipal councils in December, and the president one for late 2018 will all have to wait for a new constitution to take hold. IN SHORT; MADURO´S REGIME GIVES ITSELF AT THE VERY LEAST TWO MORE YEARS IN OFFICE.

2) We do not know exactly how the scheme will be set but the details are already irrelevant. It is announced that at least half the constituents will be elected by "groups" and thus most likely without secret suffrage. Thus the regime grants itself, say, 45% of the seats from the start since these groups are the ones that it already controls (consejos comunales, colectivos, regime trade unions and the like). Surely, allowing for the fraudulent electoral board actions, enough of the elected seats to be elected will add to that 45% so that the regime can control the constitutional assembly proceedings. Even if fair elections would have been a rout for the regime.

3) As of 1) and 2) it is obvious that elected chavista officials will be in place, even with their term more than expired, to help controlling and manipulating the constitutional assembly elections.

4) Of course, if such an assembly is elected there will be no further control on the regime by current "institutions" so that the regime will have free rein to root out dissent and secure final approval of what will be, without a doubt, a constitution of corporativism principles, in the grand tradition of fascist states.

All of this is of course illegal in the current 1999 constitution but there is no point discussing the details now until we know for certain how will the convocation decree reads.


Just for you to see what a poor attendance Maduro rallies enjoy

Monday, April 24, 2017

Update on French elections

Yesterday I went to vote at the Caracas French embassy. I smelled tear gases wafting around us.  On one side democracy, on the other democracy's assassins.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

And the next stop is....

OK, a lot has been going on. I cannot catch up with everything. So here follows a summary of sorts mixed with my conclusions. Sort it out if you can, I can't.

The recent crude facts

Friday, April 21, 2017

My April 19

I know, this is almost two days late but this was such a personal experience that I can indulge this post.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Terror in Caracas

What we have experienced today in Caracas is terror. Even yours truly got gassed, not much but truly. But I am not the one who suffered the most, by far. So I will start this entry with pictures that show clearly the terror the regime deliberately forced upon us, at an enormous risk of lives lost. Four pictures to say it all.

This picture truly represents terror. On the right what are goons of the worst kind. On the left kids, teenagers 20 something, girls, hiding for dear life away from these goons, trying not to fall in the river. Look at the picture, look at the details!!!

Unfortunately some of them had to go down and wade through one of the most contaminated streams of the world, the rive Guaire that crosses Caracas, an open air sewer. I let you imagine the consequences...

How did that happen? The repression deliberately set a trap that could have caused hundreds of death.

The main highway through Caracas was taken by the march. That highway, Autopista Francisco Fajardo, AFF, splits at the level of Chacaito in an upper road West-East and a lower road East-West. Since the march was so huge (in a post later) the two decks were densely packed. Then the regime decided to strike. In the first picture you will see the upper deck and how packed it was. Had the wind gone East West, or had there being no breeze, the suffocation would have created a stampede and people would have been trampled upon, or maybe even jumped! I suppose the regime bet on the wind so that the smell would not be so bad to avoid a stampede. But the risk was enormous, ENORMOUS!

The next picture is the view West East where you can appreciate more what I just wrote. You can also see the amount of tear/pepper gas used and that the breeze was not that strong. You can also see that the lower deck battle was strong and that the crush forced people to jump into the sewer. The crossing shown above is further down river and not seen in this picture in particular, or at least it had not started yet as people may not have been aware yet of what was happening.

Now you understand better the terror in the first picture above.

All of these are worthy of Crime Against Humanity pursuits...

For the record, while I prepare the next post with my own personal experience of the day.

About ten minutes before the gassing started I was where the cell phone add was (white, black sash), at the end of the curve. That is where we decided to go back as it was becoming impossible to go further and people were already going back. Within minutes the police was bombing the area and and a few minutes after we had to take refuge in the street on the right in an eatery that shall remain nameless because they have already been in trouble.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The dictator's hour

So we are in a dictatorship. And this one has made new progress these past days to prove to the world it is so.  We had Sunday a totally infamous presentation by the president Nicolas Maduro where live on TV he decided who is guilty of what and how.  This based on torture.  Yesterday he went further on that path convoking the militia to Caracas to stop the massive opposition protest planned for tomorrow and forcing the army to repeat once again their indefectible oath to the revolution and its heir, the dictator.  As a bonus he promised to arm the militia, which one needs to be recalled , is not constitutional. But details are not the regime's forte.

The army today is controlling all the streets it can and all the entries to Caracas to make sure protesters do not come to fill in Caracas protests. Useless as the opposition is convoking protests in all major cities of Venezuela. You need not go to Caracas to state that Maduro is a piece of shit: you can do it in the comfort of your own city where repression awaits for you all the same than in Caracas. Decentralization at its best.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Maundy Thursday to remember

What is remarkable today, more than the actual events, some horrific enough, is that they actually took place. For those not familiar with Venezuelan holiday habits, the Holy Week, from the Friday before Palm Sunday (viernes de concilio) until Easter is the biggest vacation time of the year. Whoever can get the week off leaves Caracas (or any provincial capital) to visit relatives, go to the beach, etc. When I was a kid there was not even a bakery open on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Not even movies!  TV only showed old biblical cheesy movies. Things have changed since but Good Friday still remains mostly closed. And the rest of the week still is in slow motion, but effervescent on any Venezuelan beach.

This year the regime tried to revive these habits out of political expediency: public employees got the week off. The idea was to have as many people leave Caracas as protests kept mounting. It has not worked.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Week 2 of the dictatorship: assorted pelting

The sensation yesterday was Maduro in San Felix receiving egg on his face, literally. Though I doubt it was egg considering their price and the lack of food.  Make that rotten eggs and stones and dog shit as the more likely projectiles.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The 2017 French ElectionS

We make a welcome pause in the covering of the Venezuelan protest to discuss the coming French elections where yours truly has a very hard time to decide who he is going to vote for.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week 2 of the dictatorship: notching up the repression

I will be brief tonight. It will be all about how repression increases.

That is right, watch the video, now the regime drops over protesters tear gas cans, which may kill someone if hit directly. Think about that for a second. This is material for The Hague, of the best quality.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 2 of the dictatorship: Elections now? That ship has sailed!

Yesterday show of strength by the opposition, in numbers and determination, has shaken the regime, and in particular Maduro who does not have the intellectual heft to understand what is truly going on in the country. His evilness and street smarts can only go so far, no matter how much the Cubans are trying to direct him. And they took him way farther than anyone expected! I am not saying that he is done with, one should never underestimate people who think along mafia lines or feel like cornered dogs. What I am saying is that when people have as their lone strategy violence, cynicism and bald faced lies, then they are at their wit's end.

Today Maduro did his Sunday show and announced that he could not wait for elections so as to trounce the opposition and radicalize the revolution. Oh my! Where do I start?

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Week 2 of the dictatorship: tensing more and more

The protest was huge today. HUUGE...  Chacao filled up like in its best days.

An air of "Venezuelan Spring"

And thus was the reaction of the regime, repression more brutal tan before, a rain of tear gas but also direct shots with tear gas canisters which I understand is forbidden internationally.  Whatever it is, the regime has sent its troops not only to repress but also in too many cases to rob the people they catch taking away their cellular phones, at least.

In the evening when all was supposedly done, the regime managed to slip in a tear gas bomb in the offices of Capriles in Caracas, setting them on fire. At midnight the army with heavy weaponry presented itself at the site "for inquiry". Scare tactics everywhere, whenever.  The worry is what will we do with all those corrupt security personnel when this is over. From denazification to dechavistation.

But perhaps the main message of the day, besides the radicalization of the protest and repression, is that the opposition, without newspapers and without TV or radio is managing to pass its message very successfully. Internet will have to go.  And there is another message: outside of Caracas protest are also crescendo. And rallies in support of the regime are weak and in Caracas only.

Only repression is left for Maduro. The only questions are how far and how long.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

On to week 2 of dictatorship: getting rid of nuisances

Today was calm compared to yesterday but equally important.

The news of course is the annulation of political rights for Capriles. When his term as governor of Miranda ends, then for 15 years he will not be able to run for any office, not even for dog catcher. Inasmuch as this is the flashy headline, that Capriles is barred from future office is not quite the main news of the day: this one we will have to piece it together.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Week 1 of dictatorship: article 333 and 350 against 337 and 338

What happened today?  Much more than a simple protest march.

Chavismo was unable to put up a counter march worth its name. Apparently a mere couple of blocks sort of filled up, a salsa band and some very dangerous speeches. Today's words of Aristobulo Isturiz, Freddy Bernal and Diosdado Cabello are enough to be added as definitive evidence on their dossier for The Hague. And furthermore, if the opposition had a huge march in Caracas, it also had many significant marches in the provinces. None that I know of from chavismo. And the opposition did all that in 24 hour notice.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Week 1 of the dictatorship: protests are mounting in spite of brutal repression



Today the opposition is taken the streets again, and this time around there is national move for that. The regime replies in the only way it knows, unable to update its modus operandi. For example they blocked early all access to Caracas, and closed 16 subway stations for good measure. That way protest marchers will not be able to make it to Caracas or to the rallying points. That workers cannot do so is of no concern, even though Caracas will look like a dead city today.

But the regime is cornered so here anything is good to stop the opposition.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Day 6 of the dictatorship: back to the streets

I  will be brief because today I could not follow events and only learned about the mess driving around El Recreo/Av. Libertador mid afternoon. The show was over but I crossed many an attempt at barricade, burning trash bags, rocks strewn over the streets...  It clearly had been rough and back at a computer at 5 PM I could watch some of the videos that were a hit, so to speak, today.

And yet this morning I should have got the warning. The regime not only monitored and blocked access to Caracas as much as it could, but the subway stations that could carry opposition marchers to the meeting point were closed "to protect the integrity of the stations and its workers" as if Caracas subway had ever been a battle field. What the regime was afraid is that the opposition would show the world it was back in the streets like in September when the regime felt on the edge of the cliff. Anything was good enough to lower attendance.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Day 2 of the dictatorship: an evening of NO

The bomb of Luisa Ortega stating that the high court decisions are unconstitutional has gone around the world. Really, even French TV talked about it tonight. This means that the world KNOWS perfectly well that in Venezuela there is no separation of power, that all are mere employees of the executive branch. What would have been a mere judicial dissenting opinion in a normal country, making it or not to the nightly local news, becomes in Venezuela world news.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Day 2 of dictatorship: just the morning and a bang

This is moving folks.

Day first of dictatorship: the local fate

Well, folks, I never thought in my already long life that I would live in a country that has been officially declared a dictatorship.

And those are not my words, there those of many newspapers, countries and foreign dignitaries. As far as the civilized world is concerned Venezuela is now a dictatorship. Only creeps like Bolivia pretend it to be otherwise. But then again Bolivia is about to annul the referendum that Morales lost, so what would one expect...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What can the opposition do now?

As an appendix to the preceding blog entry this short post. Short because there is not much the opposition can do.

And thus it came to pass: Venezuela's high court ends National Assembly's functions

Of course, this is not a surprise. The regime has been diligently eroding all functions of the Venezuelan National Assembly (NA). For this it has used the packing of the Venezuelan High Court (TSJ) in December 2015, just in the days between the election of a 2/3 dominated opposition NA, and its swearing in of January 2016. Since then a bevy of decisions without a single dissenting vote have been pronounced that ended up this Wednesday when a final decision declared that the TSJ will from now on assume all the duties of the NA while they refuse to obey the TSJ dictates.  This thus adds a new shade of meaning to "Damned if you do and dammed if you don´t".

For good measure last Tuesday the TSJ voided the parliamentary immunity of the NA, allowing the the regime to send representatives to military courts under accusation of high treason for supporting the OAS latest moves.

So that is that. What is next?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Actually, is a split in Venezuelan opposition unavoidable?

I was musing about the opposition divisions becoming more intractable. And they are.

What makes me think the opposition alliance, MUD, will divide is paradoxically, in a way, an editorial of Rafael Poleo in his magazine Zeta where he attacks Diego Arria (not available on line). Whether Poleo is right in his assessment is irrelevant to our discussion. What is relevant is his vehemence against Diego Arria and what he supposedly represents.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

In praise of the two MUD solution: 2- Solutions? Really?

Let's see.

What a difference a "revolution"
makes! Maikel from truant to boss.
The president of Venezuela, his excellency Nicolas Maduro Moros, has two of his nephews in jail in the US of A because they were found guilty of drug trafficking. This after a trial where the defense lawyers used were the best money can buy.

The vice president of Venezuela, albeit a by-appointment office but second in charge nevertheless, his worthiness Tareck El Aissami, was put a few weeks ago on the OFAC list by the Treasury Department of the US of A for drug trafficking, capital laundering, terrorism abetting through fake passports or what not. I cannot keep up.

The newly sworn head of the TSJ, the high cum supreme court of Venezuela, Maikel Moreno has a police mug shot from previous criminal offenses for which he was declared guilty. I mean, one may believe in second chances but there are limits.

So, what can a democratic opposition do when it has in front of it a publicly recognized criminal state? A state that has no intention whatsoever of relinquishing the faintest parcel of the power it accumulated? A state that does not blanch at the sight of the extensive misery it has created? A state which now wallows in gratuitous cruelty, by the way.

Friday, February 24, 2017

In praise of the two MUD solution: 1- a new realitity

Let's be frank about it: when Obama and the Pope imposed a dialogue on the Venezuelan opposition MUD alliance they screwed us bad. But at least there is a tiny silver lining: the contradictions inside the MUD are now apparent and must be dealt with.

The recap is simple and at this point in this blog seems redundant. Obama did not want any trouble in the Caribbean while he was trying to bring out of the cold the Cuban dictatorship. In the failed hope that it would favor Hillary electoral prospects when the political situation in Venezuela became tense last summer State sent Thomas Shannon several times to Venezuela to promote a "dialogue". To add weight to the pressure the Vatican was recklessly brought in; a Vatican, need I say, led by a Pope with what we could call more socially liberal ideas, rarely adapted to real politic when you deal with dictatorships.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tareck does the New York Times

Everyday brings a new outrage with the Bolibanana revolution.  Today it was Venezuela’s vice-president the Tareck El Aissami publishing an open letter in the New York Times. Before I get into the outrage let's look briefly at said letter.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

La terrible semana de Nicolas Maduro

Hay momentos politicos que son explícitos en cuanto a la descomposición de un regimen. Si bien no vemos la fecha de expiración sabemos por el olor que el producto esta venciéndose. Esta semana a sido una de esas, donde se agregan mas letras a lo escrito en la pared.

Friday, February 17, 2017

In praise of the Trump-Tintori meeting

The meeting between Leopoldo Lopez wife, Lilian Tintori and the US president Donald Trump has not found favor among many people, many of them that should have known better. Thus the need for this brief post that I am sure will please no one.

Let's start with an artistic comment of the shot.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tarecking CNN

This week has been a spinning nausea and we are only Wednesday evening. As of today we have a vice president accused of drug trafficking and fake passport emission, resulting not in an investigation but in closing CNN Spanish version.

Let me start with the obvious: when the Department of the Treasury of the United States indicates that your vice president is under investigation for MANY acts of drug trafficking there are only two options left for the president (of Venezuela or any other country). For Option one you fire, or at the very least suspend, your vice-president/prime-minister while investigations are undertaken. In Option two you break relations with the US, close the embassy of the US, call back all your staff in the US because obviously the US are liars and you cannot tolerate such a slandering of your principal politician.

Neither one took place. Instead the messenger was shot and the Spanish version of CNN was forced out of its cable broadcasts in Venezuela.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Becoming a failed state (3): reversible?

We seem to agree that Venezuela is either already a failed state, or about to become one. It has a rather wretched populace. It has loss of institutions. It is unable to agree on anything. It is pretty much bankrupt, bankrupt as in getting out of the hole will take a generation or more.

The question is thus the way out of a failed state. From the reasons discussed before it seems unlikely that there is an easy way out of the dire straits we are in. And the prospect for things to get worse is not a prospect, it is a reality. Why?

Friday, February 03, 2017

Becoming a failed state (2): the people

Excruciating cattle line for a white plastic rectangle
Last week end the regime was organization a census of sorts for people to sign up for “carnet de la patria”. The operation was on many Bolivar Squares of cities and villages, which are 90% of the time in areas of lower income status. That is, on Eastern Caracas, to give you an example, one would not see those lines. The objective is to codify under a single object all the now defunct social Misiones of Chavez. Defunct because there is no money and/or, they failed. But did the people signing up for the latest avatar knew what they were signing up for?

I was listening to an interview made to several people in the lines. One thought that it was some kind of census and people were required to sign up regardless. Another one did not know either but had heard that it would bring some material advantages “beneficios” so he had to sign up just in case. There was the one that wondered whether it was a new social program. Not forgetting the naïve one stating that the new card would stop abuse and corruption. Etc… Nobody knew exactly what the thing was about. All had an interpretation according to their need or wishes. And there had to be of course the chavista to the bone that said that this was the very last line that el pueblo had to stand in for, that thanks to the revolution and Maduro this was the final solution to all our woes. Or something of the kind, I am trying very hard to forget that after 17 there are still people like that.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Becoming a failed state (1): the parameters

There is actually the concern that Venezuela may become a failed state, if it has not become one already. After all, there is no way to get real numbers and thus for all that we know we may be already bankrupt with no way out as long until there is a sudden rise in oil price. Like to 90USD per barrel.
Being failed

So, are we becoming a failed state? Is there a way to avoid it? Do we have the people for that? Before going into the last point, a highly un-PC examination of the populace, let’s set the parameters that would qualify us as a failed state to be.

Let’s start with Wikipedia, as reliable a source as any other on this one since it is a relatively subjective notion.

Monday, January 23, 2017

An unacceptable proposal

Comments to the mediators' proposal has been included. I also include an additional conclusion next.

Commenting the proposal makes it even worse than what I thought it was at first. One wonders whether the regime wants any dialogue, of any type. It all seems to point to the regime looking for an excuse to dissolve the National Assembly since this one cannot stay in a dialogue under such conditions. One is left to consider how come the Vatican was drafted into such a scam. Or even if international pressure actually wants Maduro a couple of year more in office because other problems are more important. The money part of the proposal would indicate that, a goal to reach any sort of agreement so that the National Assembly votes the funds to pay Venezuela's commercial debts without it supervising the corruption of many of those. Truly a gross and amoral proposal.

The mediators of the Venezuelan crisis, appointed basically by the regime, have been accused with just reason of taking the regime side. That the late comer Vatican has been embroiled in the mess comes from Obama's decision to avoid any trouble in Venezuela until the November election. Little good it did to him, and lots of damage for Venezuela. Meanwhile the Vatican is in deep doodoo losing its credibility for nothing to the point of threatening to withdraw. One wonders what pushed the Vatican to get involved so easily in such a mess, apparently against the own opinion of the local clergy authorities (we do have two cardinals now, you know).

Medical assistance required

Last October I posted a plea for help. The basic idea was to find medicine for my S.O. cancer, medicine that is not available in Venezuela anymore and that will not be available for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The maelstrom is forming

For readers of this blog it should not be a surprise that the regime has chosen naked repression. The nomination of Tareck El Aissami as vice president was a clear indication of that. The man is a born killer, in search of a vengeance as early as his days in college.

It is not that Tareck IS the man, he is just the willing agent, the front of the "civilian" radical wing of chavismo, the one closely tied to Cuban interests to which Maduro, Jaua and some other belong. They may or may not be die hard communists, some do not have the intellectual baggage to know what Marxism is truly about. But they all have a mean anti system streak and if they have joined totalitarian regimes from the left side it is strictly a matter of historical moment.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

2017 perspectives

Certainly it is a fool's errand to make any predictions for 2017, even if it is this time of the year when pundits dust off their crystal balls. Yet, this week has seen enough action that we can confidently describe the engines that will drive the political year. With a 97,63% odds for the country to crash in a wall.

The regime is cornered. So Maduro, trying to rise above chavismo divisions and his fears that the military may not be fully behind him, did his ultimate provocation: to name a radical cabinet where the intentions are clear. Those are to break anything that is not already fully controlled by the regime. The short list is the opposition leadership, the rump private sector still existing (least they would fund a political campaign for dog catcher), universities and private education. That is all I think, there is nothing else left.

Friday, January 06, 2017

And the year starts with a bang

Today the National Assembly sessions for 2017 started, without the regime dissolving it. Actually chavismo representatives attended though they denounced that the Assembly was illegal, and that they would not even bother naming their whip. The chair for this year sessions is Julio Borges, replacing Ramos Allup. In his inaugural speech he took no gloves. He said that the objective of the Assembly was to find a way to get rid of the terrible government of Nicolas Maduro. And he demanded that the army faced up to its responsibilities: either support Maduro and its narco state, going down with him in infamy, or force him to accept elections and restore constitutional rule. Borges could have not been any clearer, and challenged the regime just as this one named the most leftist, castroite, communist narko cabinet since 1998.

So let's see what this all means.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Maduro names the cabinet from hell

The news came as a surprise. Not that a new cabinet was unexpected: around January 10 everyone expected Maduro to name a new Vice President, the one that would succeed him as president if he resigns, or is resigned. But no one expected Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah to become that vice-president. This is truly awful. And if you look at who is being named along to some key portfolios it gets worse.

So let's start with our Tareck boy.

Monday, January 02, 2017

A vision of 2017

While Diosdado Cabello was scheming to dismiss once and for all the National Assembly, on January 3 while on a flight to Punto Fijo a plane mechanical problem forced him into emergency landing in Curaçao. During the protocolar routine registry of the plane weapons and money were found, forcing Curaçao gouvernement to hold Cabello in the island and giving time to the US to officially demand extradition on January 5, with a duly request to the Netherlands. On December 6 the Venezuelan Navy decided to blockade Curaçao but as the first ship arrived in view of Willemstad a US fighter dropped a charge a few hundred meters ahead showing that they were determined to get their man this time around. This coupled, of course, with the US Navy receiving orders to protect the shipping lanes to and from Curaçao. On December 10 Cabello was flown to the US as relations were totally severed between Venezuela and Canada, USA and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile in Caracas the MUD opposition broke over supporting Diosdado Cabello since the US had released evidence against Cabello and by a one vote majority installed as a new chair to the National Assembly that refused to support Cabello. The regime declared the National Assembly in treason to the fatherland and on December 19 the TSJ high court dissolved it while the army seized the National Assembly at night.