Monday, June 15, 2020

Iran gasoline in Venezuela: tragedy or bad joke

This nice PDVSA worker, all dressed in red of course, cheers and waves the flag as Iranian tankers reach Venezuela to deliver gasoline.

What is wrong with this picture?

To begin with, the worker is a fraud, he represents a state oil company which once upon a time was a world class company and that the chavista revolution has run to the ground. It went exporting oil and gasoline eons ago to now being unable to supply the Venezuelan market, resorting to the lone country willing to sell gas to Venezuela: sanctioned Iran.

Let's continue. The bolivarian revolution, liberator of minds and spirit has sunk so low that it now glorifies a theocracy which among other things holds the death penalty, separates genders, prosecutes minorities and and tramples varied human rights. All is ABSOLUTELY against the original purposes of chavismo.  But then again, the "revolution" is long been gone, whatever that was. 

But they all wear masks and gloves, which I hear are missing in public hospitals. But I digress.

What matters beyond this cheap show of avowed failure is that the Iranian gasoline has been a failed show: nobody really cared.  No tanker was pirated or sunk in high seas. No problem. The US was coherent with its sanctions: food, medicine and stuff like gas can pass. period. End of propaganda.

In Venezuela the regime hoped for a confrontation, and so did part of the opposition desperate for the Marines to land. But on May 22 I was tweeting, in Spanish, sorry, that nothing would happen, no matter the cheap escort show the Venezuelan army planned and did when the tankers reached Venezuelan waters. Nobody apparently thought that if the US of A was going to sink a tanker it would have done so in high seas. But I digress again.

So gasoline from Iran made it.  Nobody knows how it will be paid for, though we all suspect it will be from the scarce gold reserves left and the Blood Gold from the devastated Bolivar state.

The opposition could not do a thing but at least it announced that were they in charge, the would find the credits to buy 40+  tankers a month, regularize gas supply within two weeks and fix in a short time whatever can be fixed of the Venezuelan refineries.  

Of course, this way the opposition did score a point indicating that 5 Iranian tankers are not enough to cover the needs, which we can see from day one of the tankers arrival. Corruption and extended gas lines were kept. The price of gas was jacked up from 0,00000... USD to 50 a cents a liter, little bit less than 2 $ a gallon. Plus of course what you pay the Nazional Guard to let you access the gas station and other miscellaneous expenses.

Because yes, without a doubt, the gas distribution scheme was designed to favor corruption, directed mostly to the army that can get pretty much what it wants and resell it at any price it wants (I was told by some friends that they paid as much as 4$ a liter at the peak crisis time).

When we will be able to write real history books, t4his Iran gas thing will mark one of the low points. But a high point in corruption, certainl.