Monday, December 31, 2018


To tell you that 2018 has been the worse year of my life sounds almost like an understatement. Things can always get worse, and in Venezuela it certainly seems so, but 19 years of love, my moderate belongings, my hopes for a stable future, all that went down the drain.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The "10 de enero" myth

Chavismo has a way to turn things into myth even though they have not happened yet. They even do so unaware.  The latest is what will happen on January 10.

Technically, and constitutionally, it is very simple. Maduro "reelection" last May not having been made according to form is not legal. In addition he must be sworn in by the National Assembly on that date for his next term to be legal. Let's pass on all the past technicalities that make Maduro an illegal president all the way to the death of Chavez. Let's just focus on that January 10 dead line.

Monday, December 10, 2018

A new life

Never has it been so long between two posts. More than a month!  Who knows whether I have readers left.

Writing about Venezuela is sort of senseless anyway.

But really, a recurrent mention in this blog will be no more. My S.O. has passed last week after a long and painful cancer. November was awful.

The search for a new meaning has started.

Maybe getting back to blogging may bring some solace. We'll see.

Goodbye Ivan, thanks for 19 wonderful years, and the most happiness I had in my life. Until the very end we still managed to laugh a little bit, the secret of long lasting relationships.

And thank you for all the meaningful details you found for us in this blog over the years.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The widows of the left crying over Bolsonaro

I was weighing whether I would leave Venezuela for a post. But that election in Brazil had so much of Venezuela in it that I shall not diverge.

Most of the "democratic" left, and of course the whole undemocratic one are in tears tonight. The awful Bolsonaro has been elected.  He did not get the 60% he was threatening to get but with 55% he has, well, a mandate. However, I do not read much self criticism within the left in the rise of Bolsonaro.  I will take for button its lack of condemnation to the Maduro regime. The  losing Haddad never got to condemn as far as I know, costing him a couple of points at least. Bolsonaro did not lose those points.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Logarithmic hyperinflation

So I got my latest condominium bill.  Needless to say that I was flabbergasted.  I ran a graph of this year payments.

In blue, the amount paid monthly over the year on base 100 as of September.
The red square was an extra payment for some stuff that broke down.
To lighten up the graph I decided to consider as 100 this September payment and thus the other months are a percentage of what I paid this month.

But of course this is not clear. Since I am a scientist I immediately saw the logarithmic scale representation potential on what is an exponential hyperinflation.  Here below.

Now you can see by yourself how fast inflation goes. You can see better than the previous graph the real payment for February (reddish square) which was the normal condo plus an extra payment for elevator water pump repair (I think it was). Not that it changes anything, just for full disclosure.

And yet the monthly fold increase is not quite clear from this graph. So I added an exponential trend line.

So there you see it, condo is multiplied 10 fold every 3 to 4 months. Though that rate was lower early in the year (4 month) and is speeding up now (every month and a half). I tremble as to what will await me for the 3 months end of the year.

So now you can feel my pain, at ground zero of hyperinflation.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Venezuelan opposition reaches the deep end (2): the Albán effect

Note: I was going to write a brainy post of unrequested advice as to what the opposition should do in the coming weeks. But fortunately I procrastinated some and then there was a whirlwind of events that would have made that projected post nearly useless. The part 1 is still valid. Let's see how long does part 2 stands the test of time.

The events that have shaken the political table these last two weeks are the following:

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Venezuelan opposition reaches the deep end: part 1

There is a new crisis of "to vote or not to vote". And the opposition is falling into the same self destructive behaviors, opening the way for the final political push of chavismo. Which does not mean that Maduro will last, the economy is tanking. What I am talking about is a new self destruction episode of the opposition leaving no other option than a chavista replacing Maduro. Maybe.

Yet this time around the reasons are not the same, nor are the stakes as they happened in the last three elections.  The worse of the current mess is that we are already tearing each other over an election that not only has not been convoked but may never be.  Let's review the situation in this first installment, letting for the next one a possible opposition strategy that shall not happen.

Monday, October 01, 2018

The downfall of Maduro can only come from outside

And by that I do not mean the marines landing in La Guaira tomorrow. It will not happen. We are in the XXI century and things are done in other effective ways, as needed.

The title comes because the opposition is STILL collapsing further, in an hopeless slump that stops it from benefiting from any bonus point undeservedly thrown its way.

Monday, September 24, 2018

An empty world

The overbearing feeling these days is not quite palpable. We can suffer inflation, we can endure robberies, we can see our lights go away, we can drain the last drop of water in our pipes.  But there is one thing we cannot do anything about, that feeling of emptiness that we all live in Venezuela.

I have been wondering a lot about why I am feeling emptier as days go. Not lonely. Not quite isolated. Not lost. Not bored. Just empty.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The shoe dropeth

As I was expecting the decree about the new minimum wage was officially published today when it should have been published last week, at the latest. This way no one could make adequate preparation and many lost their jobs, many a store closed. And as I am typing it is not clear yet whether and how will the regime effectively subsidize the bulk of the new wages for 3 months.

But if you thought that going 35 times up minimal wage and hence putting the whole country on minimal wage was not bad enough, we got a few more choice items for you.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Fantasy Thursday

So we are here Thursday night and as expected the regime still has not published the decrees and their application rules. That is, people had to either fire every body and close shop, or cross themselves and wait for the worse.  In other words, severance packages as of next Monday may become as high as 35 fold more than they are today, something quite impossible to meet.

Or is it so?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Apocalypse Saturday

There is no need to go into details of the latest measures of Maduro. Their objective is simple: take over the private sector without using the N word. That is, we make them go bankrupt so they give themselves to the regime without having to go through tedious nationalizations.  Il suffisait d'y penser.

You need, truly need, to understand this clearly to avoid any confusion.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Apocalypse tomorrow

It has been almost a month I have posted last.  I think it may be the longest time ever in between posts.  I guess tweeting as taken over.  I can tweet anytime, like in some medical waiting room that I am visiting a little bit too much these days.  And trust me, in Venezuela there is nothing as
depressing, after looking for food, as looking for medical help.

But it is Sunday, the night of the "reconversion monetaria" and all is still. Caracas died a few hours ago as banks web sites went down to adjust for the "new" currency tomorrow.  By 2 PM almost everyone open a Sunday had closed. No grocery stores open after 2 PM, even the convenience stores normally open until 6 PM on Sundays. And even if some joints were to dare to risk their earnings tonight, why would you want to go out and drink? Better to pass out at home as many must have done, witness the amount of people buying booze yesterday.

Monday, July 23, 2018

What Josep Borrel really meant : a lost country

Spain had what is normal in a parliamentary system: there was a motion vote that ousted the sitting Mariano Rajoy which automatically replaced him with the "leader" of the opposition, Pedro Sanchez.  This one did not reach premiership after last elections since, well, he barely floated around a quater of the vote. But Spain is a country of instituions and Sanchez heads a ministry that is held in place in large part by the good will of very the leftist PODEMOS who is a big, bought, friend of chavismo.
The door opened again.
Borrel and Chavez son in law.

We need to understand this to interpret, in part only, the recent words of Josep Borrel, the new foreign office holder. He said during a meeting with Venezuela's foreign minister, the creep that got there because he married a Chavez daughter, that Spain will not spearhead sanctions against Venezuela anymore and that dialogue should be renewed [english].  Some in Venezuela interpret this as a success, some as a betrayal, both are wrong.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Just saying....

So AD is leaving the opposition coalition MUD.

On June 15 I was writing the following:

In this group [willing to negotiate with the regime] we have AD and the rest. AD would be stricter in its negotiations with the regime but since it has lost tremendous credibility after the errors of its leader Ramos Allup last October, it is probably facing serious doubts inside and seems paralyzed. The rest goes from nearly dead UNT to Falcon's failed bid (could it have been otherwise? Geez...). The problem with these remnants is that they actually think that they represent a large chunk of the opposition. They do not. Only AD still has support [a relative term, it means more support than the others but not necessarily a lot of it].

Thus readers of this blog should not be surprised about that rupture. At least since March 2017. Just saying...

What does this mean?

Monday, June 18, 2018

A way out for Venezuela: the post Duque election effect

The time has come to discuss what could be done about the Venezuelan narko kleptokracy. And the election of Ivan Duque in Colombia today does affect the possible outcomes.

At the Colombian border, with the symbolic barrier, from left to right: ex president Pastrana,
with hat; ex president Uribe, hat in hand;  Marta Lucia Ramirez, the new vice president of
Colombia and on the Venezuelan side Maria Corina Machado.  The A+ list
of the democratic Latin American right. Piñera of Chile is in thought on that picture. May 14.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A way out for Venezuela: a peaceful way out for a dictatorship?

Speculating how this nightmare will end is just that, speculation. The more likely exit will be a surprise, a never seen move.  Remember that this is XXI century socialism turned into XXI century dictatorship in spite of Twitter, Facebook and what not. It will be followed by either a XXI century totalitarian state, a civil war (Syria?) or XXI century new democracy (Tunisia?).

That XXI adjective is more relevant than what you think.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A way out for Venezuela: it will not be coming from the opposition

At least not as it stands right now.

The disarray of the opposition is simply breathtaking.  And if you read Twitter varied time lines, you will find out that some inside the opposition spend time attacking each other in more virulent ways than they ever attacked chavismo. Though I suspect that chavismo having long stopped reading their own incendiary Twitter replies these oppo radicals had to turn their anger elsewhere. But I digress.

Two oppositions

Sunday, June 10, 2018

A way out for Venezuela: the regime options

What can the regime do at this point?

Since its sole wish is to remain in power to avoid jail, they have clear objectives. Unfortunately for them the strategy to reach them has to change almost daily as events seem to escape any sort of control.  Thus the regime sticks to three main lines and lets circumstances dictate adjustments.

Friday, June 08, 2018

A way out for Venezuela: current conditions

The OAS resolution of yesterday is important on one point: the Venezuelan dictatorship of Maduro is finally named by its name. Only three countries out of 3 out 35 think that Venezuela is still a presentable regime.  Thus it is time to act. But how?

Thursday, June 07, 2018

It was a debacle at the OAS

No need to go much on the actual show. Arreaza performance as the regime representative was, well, ridiculous. The money line was Almagro letting him know that since the Venezuelan National Assembly had refused to exit the regime then Maduro cannot do so.  Which I am sure went down real well at Miraflores Palace. The proof is that Maduro has announced that he will announce important decision on the OAS. I am, sure the OAS is shaking.

But beyond the headline, let's look at what the OAS resolution truly means.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Debacle at the OAS?

Today in Washington the OAS started one of its big regular meetings.  You know, those where the foreign secretaries come themselves to talk and vote on resolutions. Even Mike Pompeo was in attendance, forgetting about North Korea for a short while.

Monday, June 04, 2018

The need for our criollo Nuremberg

Since I wrote last night things have not been improving.  Today the release of more political prisoners have driven home two things.

Three tweets narrate the release of Gilber Caro, a Representative of Voluntad Popular whose parliamentary immunity was trampled when he was sent for a year and a half in jails of inhumane conditions.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Crimes against humanity

Since Maduro "reelection" nothing new happened. Or rather all that happened was previsible, except that it got worse for the regime. It was all a matter of timing. There were several international judicial decisions that were published last week. One may wonder why these were not announced before Maduro went to the ballot. What for? First, the result was known well in advance. Second, with most in the country having only access to the regime's media, the news would not have reached "el pueblo", who at any rate does not give a bit about anything anymore so busy it is scavenging for food.

No, what is going on is a continuous effort designed to topple a neo-totalitarian regime with as little blood shed as possible. I find this hypocritical. Not in the per se sense, but since blood shed is to be "avoided", or in my opinion postponed, meanwhile we have thousands of Venezuelans dead every week from violence, crime, poor nutrition, desperate lack of medicine, and what not. But that is of course much easier to hide from the world than a few dozen hysterical Palestinians with clear suicidal tendencies. I am just saying, since apparently "crimes against humanity" has become a relative concept at the UN.

Sunday, May 27, 2018


A few things.

Venezuela as a permanent problem

Now that all objective observers have concluded that this is a military narco kleptocracy, what are we going to do about it? This is keeping many people awake at night, but not enough of them. Andres Oppenheimer writes today a piece that underlines that dealing in Venezuela is an urgent matter, that times works in favor of Maduro.  He makes fair points and space limit probably did not allow him to develop. But that is where blogs come in handy.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Hurriedly to illegality

One tries to take a couple days off for a "procedure" and one comes back to yet a new spectacle of the absurd.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

The results are in, the fraud is scandalous, again

So there are the official results so far:

Maduro 5,823,728
Falcon 1,820,522
Bertucci 925,042
Quijada 36,614

Participation, CNE RECOGNIZED, 46%

Participation from other sources range from a 32% for Reuters to a 17% for Meganalisis

Other data:
*the lowest electoral participation in a presidential election in 30 years, the lowest one was 56% in 2000. Note: as far as I know all previous presidential elections since 1958 have been above 56%. Venezuelan "democracy" at its worst showing.
*Falcon and Bertucci are not going to recognize the result, discovering suddenly that there was fraud.

Oh well....  Where should I start?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The electoral fraud day post

I used to have an election day post when there was some surprise to be expected, when I bothered in going around taking picture of voting centers, etc.  Now the international press covers all of that and my pen is not needed anymore.  And twitter does a good job covering everything, be it  from that German De Linke representative Simone Barrientos saying that the election today is wonderful, that people are voting with enthusiasm, to the pictures of empty voting stations.

So, how should we read the day?

We are already May 21

I was not planning on writing today. But three tweets sort of forced me to do so.  They are telling, among so many tweets these days, that we are turning a page, that Maduro with his beyond expected victory tomorrow is in fact is merely closing a cycle.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I shall not vote: the ethical thing to do

Again, not that it matters to most readers or to the regime. But I thought that I should give a reasoned account on why I am not voting.

The simple reason is that the system is so screwed up that voting or not makes no difference.  It is not that I am still registered in San Felipe though now forced to live in Caracas and too lazy to drive. Even if I were back in San Felipe I would not vote.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The ruin of Falcon Crest

What legacy will Henri Falcon's stunt leave us?  His ulterior motives at this point are of little interest. Many a speculation swirls, from him being Raul Castro choice to do the transition government, to him being an overambitious military a la Chavez.

Rather, let's look why his candidature was fraud since day one, and thus why his campaign is so flawed that even his victory will not be recognized. Next, as concise a summary as possible for those late in the game. (1)

First, his bid was born outside of the opposition electoral alliance MUD. His argument that there was no time to run a primary falls short. He could have sent an ultimatum to the MUD as to whether they decided to run and name a candidate or he would run anyway. Instead he registered discretely almost at the end of the registration period.

The Venezuelan opposition: what went wrong?

About one year ago in between tear gasses outings I thought that maybe the Maduro dictatorship was in its last throes, that the opposition in Venezuela was going to prevail. Today Maduro is coasting to reelection, fraud and all, with only the meekest of protest at home, around lack of food and medicine. The louder protest comes from overseas.

How can one explain such a stupendous change of fortunes? Hint: it is not due only to military repression.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Prendre les gens pour des cons

The title is a French expressions that loosely mean "thinking that I/they am/are idiots" but way stronger.  Sorry, but tonight I cannot find the English words to qualify the campaigns of Maduro and Falcon, both campaigns abusing of the misery of the people and thinking that we shall not notice.  In all truth, I suppose, neither one is managing to rouse passions, so they need to resort to outright distribution of whatever is at hand so at least some people will attend their rallies. Two tweets from today.

First Maduro having his henchmen throwing food at people.

And then the Falcon campaign, poorer by far but surprisingly (?) better funded than expected.  He had his own henchmen throwing banknotes at people like confetti. In truth the banknotes thrown are not worth much more than confetti, each one worth, say, 1/6.000 of a fully fledged good greenback.  Yes, that is right, the 100 banknote is forth less than 1/60th of a penny.  No wonder people gathered them but there was less enthusiasm than for the food air throwing of food.  What we are seeing flying are at best 100-200 hundred dollars.

Both only bring in me utter contempt for them, both chavista thinking so lowly of their followers. Juts herded cattle for them, just good enough to play the pantomime of an election. Well, one is an ex-chavista but the brain damage was done in him.

What shall I do next Sunday to keep busy?  Huuummm......

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Voting nowhere fast

I guess I need to write about the electoral campaign. Years ago this blog was flooded with entries on candidates, polls, statistics and predictions more accurate than wrong. But now the voting system is utterly rigged and for all that we know the percentile difference between Maduro and Falcon is already a given. Maduro will win by AT LEAST 15%. The only question is whether he will dare to have a higher percentile than Chavez top in 2006. My guess is that he will not resist the temptation.

Speaking of entries on candidates.  It is a sad spectacle to see how burned Falcon is. Oh!, not a surprise at all, but really, the guy has been found out and yet he persists in pretending that he is fooling us, that his defeat will be because of the opposition abstention, etc, etc, but never any self awareness that actually people cannot vote for him. Period.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

May betrayals

This week there are only two news worthy commenting on Venezuela. The campaign itself is not worth a comment, though the first bit is more than campaign related.

Andres Oppenheimer is a long established and respect journalist/Op-Ed writer at the Miami Herald. When he speaks about Latin America his batting average is, well, let's say 90%.  I am not measuring details here, but the general flow of politics in Latin America. One of his rare misses is chavismo in its earlier days. He was not fooled but he was among those who expected that the usages of power and administration would tame Chavez enough to avoid an utter mess and eventually have him leave power by reasonable means. He has made more than amends since that, become one of the first true coherent critics of Chavez. But today, at least on Venezuela, he hit a home run. Do read that piece which is going to explain better what is going in Venezuela right now than, well, at least 90% of the other ones you may come across. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

May first random notes

For workers days Maduro has decided to double the minimum income. Nobody is happy. With the new total income and benefits you buy 4 pounds of chicken a month.  What the story does not say is that such a brutal minimum wage increase will be propagated through pay scales and as such employer charges will reach levels unsustainable for those small business still alive.  More shops closing at your friendly nearby mall.

Monday, April 23, 2018

They also have gay Komissars

I came across this tweet today and I can hardly express my indignation in words. Every day chavismo/madurismo seems able to reach new lows of vileness.

This tweet is to bring in the gay vote for Maduro through a special social "activity" to help the LBGT community.  Not only it is a vile attempt, but it is also an insult to the intelligence. Then again it is a chavista specialty, is it not?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Venezuela is officially a basket case

It is hard to overstate the importance of the communique of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Today he made it official that the situation of Venezuela is dire, that there is no way it can get help as long as Maduro and Co. are in charge, but that there is a will to help massively if the conditions are right. Let's go by parts.

The attendees

The following countries were represented at the meeting: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Of course, those are the usual suspects but this time we have JAPAN. I mean, the potential of the Venezuelan default, of its unstoppable drop in oil production and of its potential millions of economic refugees make this a world crisis. Note that China (and even less Russia) do not participate in such kind of meetings since having so many skeletons in its closet it stays clear from any closet elsewhere. Never mind that Chinese are not known internationally for their generosity...

The reason

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Medicine for the rich, or how to postpone some genocide for a little while

So I had an event due to stress that had me hospitalized for two days and that will change a lot of my life. No details necessary, the stress under which I have been subjected for the last 4 years is the real explanation. But the damage is done and now I have to rebuild what I can from my old life with all the same problems as I had before. And even worse as my S.O. health is not doing better the more so that his support is not shipshape.

Monday, April 16, 2018


I have had a health problem. Blogging is kind of on wait but I still tweet. In fact I am even doing true microblogging in threads of 3-4 tweets.

I am doing better and will have a first account post on Venezuelan health system at this time. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ñangaras in the mist

There are no new news in Venezuela. It is all a repeat performance, each time running lower in its theatrics.  Take for example the talk of the week, that three zeroes are going to be chopped off the currency reading because, well, some web pages cannot handle anymore the full extent of digits in large financial sums.  It would be funny if it were not so sad and dépassé. After all we did that in 2008 (I think). There you have your measure of chavismo fiasco, in ten years the currency has lost 99,9% of its value...

Thus ignoring that 1 Bolivar of 1998 is equal to 1.000.000 Bolivar of June 2018 let's see if there is something else worth talking about.  Worthy of discourse are lack of food and medicine and hospitals and security and cash and...  but nobody really cares. Except those protesting that are swiftly repressed while state TV says we are in the best of all possible worlds. No point discussing that again, I guess.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

We are going somewhere

But we do not where, nor do we/I care much, to tell you the truth.

Yes, it is time for a quickie survey on how close to the abyss we stand. I shall be brief. Promise.

Chavismo is trying to make the coronation of Maduro palatable.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Idiots in NYC: or how Falcon sunk his presidencial run

Last post was hard to write, and the whirlwind of political news too hard to write about comprehensively. Thankfully procrastination does pay and today's picture from the UN plaza in NYC was worth the wait.  An epic photo-fail if ever.

From left to right, a kebab from hell:
Samuel Moncada, regime's ambassador to the UN and vice minister for foreign affairs;
Henri Falcon wanna-be Maduro successor; Felipe Mujica head of the near extinct weather vane MAS;
some hired help; and Pedro Pablo Fernandez, son of wanna-be foreign secretary to Falcon Eduardo Fernandez,
and probably aiming himself for some crumbs somewhere as no one in the MUD would be caught dead with him.
In this historic pose you can see how Henri Falcon sunk any chance he may have had to be elected president next May 20. By posing in front of the United Nations accompanied by the ambassador of Venezuela there, the much reviled and insufferable Samuel Moncada, Henri Falcon admits that his presidential candidature is wanted by the regime, and that he is in agreement with it.  That is, Henri Falcon and the scattered losers that support him are complicit with the regime in the fraudulent elections coming May 20.


These people had the chutzpah to try to get a meeting with high members of the UN so as to force this one to send an observation team to validate the election of May 20.  That a serious observation requires at the very least 3 months of observation and more before for mere preparation is not computing with them.  Then again whoever low key UN member that received them ("the UN is under obligation to help Venezuela" was said by the traveling show)  had probably already read that.

There are some damage controls that are beyond reach.  A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Monday, March 05, 2018

It is all about humiliation

The world is starting to notice how Venezuela is collapsing. What did the trick is the flow of refugees crossing the borders, travelling by bus all the way to Argentina, drowning in front of Curazao, or simply picking up their one way ticket at the airport.

There are so many reasons to leave the country and yet the one that I growing is our daily humiliations, something that is, no doubt, a welcome side effect for the regime.  Like any totalitarian system, the more so if tutored by Cuba, one way to control people is to humiliate them so they get grateful when the level of humiliation relents.  Leaving because you are hungry, or your health is threatened, or because you know that you are in the list for an upcoming middle of the night arrest is a clear decision. Leaving because you are humiliated is not a clear decision. Leaving because you are humiliated is what the dictator wants. When you leave your country because you cannot endure humiliation anymore becomes your own acknowledgement of failure. You lost, the dictator won. For the dictator it is the sweeter because the memories of your humiliation may haunt you forever and bar you from returning home, not wanting to walk where so many perceived personal failings will taunt you back.

I live daily such small failures, mine or the ones I see.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Something shifted somewhere under someone's feet

Three things happened today that tells us something is brewing inside chavismo.

My important/favorite is defense minister Padrino announcing  that he is against armed colectivos.  You know, those colectivos which are nothing else but paramilitary thugs wearing red shirts and working for the regime. Chavismo version of storm troopers.

The reason was certainly the damaging video out of this weekend maneuvers that went viral and that I tweeted below (I am more active on Twitter than on Blog, the more so that it is easier now to make micro posts in Twitter)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Falcon Crest? Millennium Falcon? The Maltese one?

Good news guys, the inscription for presidential election is over, we know all the names. They are all chavistas.  Even if the propaganda network TeleSur says without blushing that the opposition has registered ITS candidate under the name of Henri Falcon.

So many things wrong with that picture......

Monday, February 26, 2018

The worst refugee crisis in the Western Hemisphere

And if nothing is done it may turn out to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere since La Conquista.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Petrifying the turmoil

Two weeks without a post. Things have been difficult here. Never mind that by the time you feel like writing on something there is right there a new sound blast from the least expected corner.

So, a brief pick of the telling headlines will have to do. And not necessarily in chronological order as my tired mind has trouble keeping track of all that happens.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Dark options

I am writing this as I am listening to Górecki #3 "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs". You have been warned. (1)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Open letter to Marco Rubio

Dear Senator Rubio

I was directed to a string of tweets you posted earlier on today. They are below next.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Venezuela dialogue bust and its chain reaction

As expected the "dialogue" between the narco dictatorship and the civil opposition went nowhere.  Yesterday the chair, Dominican Republic president, said euphemistically that talks were adjourned for the time being, letting ooze slightly his disappointment at not having been able to help the regime get what it so sorely wanted. On the other hand the chosen mediator of the regime, former Spanish premier Zapatero, could not hide its bitterness at his failures, and revealed his profound bias by threatening the opposition for not signing down.  At least we gained something, Zapatero is now out of any negotiation after his words yesterday.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Rex Tillerson all but declares war on Maduro narco dictatorship

This video is self explanatory.

You have been put on notice.

There cannot be dialogue in the dialogue

Today we had one more episode of the painful soap: dialogue in Santo Domingo.  Apparently there was, or there was not, a draft, or a pre-draft, agreement, or an agreement to make an agreement someday.  Who knows? Probably even the people in Santo Domingo are not quite certain of what the hell they are doing there.

To make things crystal clear to readers I am just going to point out two things.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Let's buy an election

In Venezuela elections have lost any meaning.

The regime now manufactures the votes it needs to win whatever it needs to win.  And now, courtesy of hyperinflation, it can also print money at will to throw at people. That whatever it throws at them is losing half its value within a month is a mere detail.  But the beauty of it all is that people that receive those crumbs need also to be duly registered with address on voting lists. Thus, in case printing both votes and money is not enough, you can also scare them into voting for you by visiting them on election day, say, at noon with a dry knock at the door and a "you have not voted yet; come on, let's go; we are taking you there".  "Carnet de la Patria" is indeed a wonderful tool of control. Who knew it?

So today we are going to examine all what you can get from Carnet de La Patria by election time.

Monday, January 29, 2018

And check one more for Maduro: the terrible state of Venezuelan opposition

I keep postponing writing on what to do about Venezuela, the more so now that international pressure is growing in earnest. But everyday here I get new evidence that Maduro's domination (not strength, that is another matter) is at least based on half his wiles and a good portion of the opposition willingness to play bull to its matador.

The unconstitutional assembly decided that those parties that did not field candidates in December elections were cancelled and had to prove again that they did exist and had following enough to deserve a voting ballot.  Not only this was a stupid (and illegal) reason, but it betrayed how upset the regime is when it "wins" by default. There is no pleasing these psychos....

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Macron does Maduro, or how to make a big mess of your so called foreign policy

Last night I read in awe the words of French President Emmanuel Macron on Venezuela (1). Not necessary for what he said, after all he did not send the French Foreign legion to land in Venezuela. But the circumstances make them almost extraordinary, as extraordinary as the idiotic to muted reply of the regime.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Those little genocidal moments

About every 6 weeks or so I need to take the S.O. to pick up his treatments at the IVSS high cost medicine.  By law in Venezuela a whole series of medications, usually expensive, cannot be sold and must be administered by the state (from rulings BEFORE the Chavez era, mind you, least you'd think that Chavez invented each and every social programs; 1).

This notable initiative has, of course, turned into a bureaucratic nightmare which with the current crisis has tuned out to become a nightmare of genocidal proportions. Today's story.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Nothing like throwing in a little presidential election to distract folks

Today, without much a surprise besides the chutzpah temporary effect, the regime decided to call for presidential election by April 30.

I am not to go into the illegality of it all. At this point "legal" has probably been erased from the Venezuelan dictionary.  Just a comment: in Venezuela, like in the US, there is such a thing as fixed term mandate. That is, whoever is elected by April 30 (surprise, it will be Maduro!), cannot be sworn in until January 2019.

So why go into such a farce? That is what is interesting to discuss.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Best wishes for 2018

Well, for those outside of Venezuela that is. Here? "May you survive 2018" seems as reasonable request as you may utter.

I do look like a chavista. Late December I was speculating/promising that I may be able to do a round up of 2017, having in theory more time ahead. Sure enough I did nothing. Not that it mattered much for our eggnog soaked audience. Or name your poison...