Monday, 30 December 2013

Russia can share Venezuelan oil with China


The Russian newspaper Kommersant tells us how Lukoil is trying to sell its shares in the oil field of Junin. Lukoi is talking to the French Total, the Norwegian Statoil, the Korean KNOC, the Indian ONGC, the US American Chevron, the Russian Zarubezhneft and Bashneft and to the Chinese Sinopec and CNOOC.

Talking about Chávez having nationalised oil exploitation: officialdom told useful idiots abroad Chávez had nationalised the oil industry, which he definitely did NOT. What he did was to cancel the agreements the Venezuelan state had signed when oil prices were at the bottom. These agreements had been necessary so that Venezuela could have even some basic research going on. Chávez did that only after oil prices rose high enough for him to get financial respite. In the last few years oil prices kept increasing but even they are not enough to keep up with the research and maintenance costs of the oil industry, so the government has had to open up again and has done so getting into deals that are probably worse than anything the maligned Carlos Andrés Pérez did. In that context, the Chávez government has introduced a series of oil projects whereby foreign companies can get up to 40% of shares. In the case of Junin,  60% of that 40% went to Rosneft, led by notorious Igor Sechin, and 20% went to Lukoil and Gazprom Neft each. 

Lukoil has had problems negotiating with Gazprom and also with Rosneft, so it is trying to leave. According to the consortium laws, the companies have to decide by the end of this month - i.e. by tomorrow, what is going to happen with the shares. Sechin didn't want to give the money Lukoi expected for its 20%. Some say the Chinese are going to be the ones carrying out the deal and that Rosneft and Gazprom would agree to that.

Venezuelan companies investing in Venezuela? Not with the "revolution". 

Are the Chinese going to get yet more of our oil fields, from the Russian, that is?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Die kleinen aber zahlreichen Säuberungen in Venezuela


Die Sozialistische Einheitspartei Venezuelas (PSUV) akzeptiert  keine Dissidenz. Sie weiss: frühere Chavistas können manchmal gefährlicher als alte Oppositionellen sein. Darum werden alle Politiker, die der PSUV gehörten, später aber als Unabhängige oder als Vertreter anderer Parteien kandidieren, nicht bloß aus der Partei ausgeschlossen - was in demokratischen Ländern normal wäre, sondern strafrechtlich verfolgt.

Nun bist Du da
Venezuela ist ein sehr korruptes Land, das immer korrupter wird. Dennoch werden nur solche Politiker Ziel der von der Regierung völlig abhängigen Richtern und Polizisten, die nicht (mehr) mit der Regierung sind.

Anfang Dezember gab es Regionalwahlen. Die PSUV-Politiker, die gegen die Partei bei den Wahlen auftraten, werden seit dem 23.12 nicht nur der Korruption beschuldigt: die Richter haben ihre sofortige Festnahme angeordnet. Das ist der Fall von Numa Rojas in Maturín, Robert Ramos in El Vigía und Fidel Palma in El Tocuyo.

Nein, die venezolanische Säuberungen sind nicht so, wie man sie vor dem Internet kannte. Sie sind ganz bescheiden. Sie scheinen eher die von Putins zu sein: klein aber fein.


Nun bist Du weg!

Nepotismo bolivariano (actualizado 3)


Por favor, ayúdenme a agregar más detalles a la red de la boliburguesía y sus relaciones nepotistas. Agregué un par de casos más a la versión anterior, pero sé que hay mucho, mucho más a nivel de regiones y que el nepotismo de los clanes Maduro-Flores y Cabello apenas está cubierto por este gráfico.

¡Gracias!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

La verdadera riqueza, la inteligencia y el futuro de Venezuela

Cada día la riqueza de un país se define más y más por el nivel de productividad y de educación de sus habitantes. La innovación es un elemento crucial para el desarrollo sustentable de toda sociedad.

 Aquí pueden ver una comparación del número de patentes registradas por habitantes de 5 países latinoamericanos y sus nacionales en el extranjero. En el primer gráfico están Brasil y México. En el segundo gráfico solo muestro los otros tres países.
Dos cosas principales notamos: 1) Brasil le está sacando la delantera a México  pese a que su población es solo 54% mayor que la del mayor país de habla española y 2) Venezuela está actualmente por el piso. Recuerden algo: Chile tiene poco más de 17 millones de habitantes, mientras que Venezuela tiene unos 29 millones.

Sería interesante saber también quiénes fueron los que presentaron esas patentas relacionadas con Venezuela. ¿Chinos en Venezuela o venezolanos que huyen del desastre socioeconómico de un país que se cree rico por tener petróleo, oro y playas bonitas, aunque cada vez más contaminadas?



Thursday, 26 December 2013

Venezolanische Bildungsministerin, Gehirnwäsche und Intoleranz

Ich muss sagen: die Leute an der Macht in Venezuela werden immer unverschämter. Maryann Hanson, die jetzige Bildungsministerin in Venezuela, erklärte neulich, die Regierung hätte die Lokalwahlen in den größten Ballungszentren verloren, weil die Leute dort am meisten "entfremdet sind".

"Wir können darüber nachdenken - sagte sie - "in den größten Städten leiden die Menschen unter Entfremdung, denn sie halten weniger Beziehungen zu den Mitmenschen, sie teilen weniger, sie sind weniger solidarisch, sie arbeiten weniger zusammen, sie sind sich der sozialen Pflichten weniger bewusst, weil sie vielleicht isolierter, ja einsam leben."

Im Januar will sie einen neuen Bildungsplan vorstellen. Das Programm stand nicht öffentlich zur Debatte. Es gab nur eine Reihe Workshops, von denen die wenigsten Menschen erfuhren. Die Ministerin wollte "Empfehlungen" der verschiedenen Akteuren per E-Mail zugeschickt bekommen. Debatte? Nein, danke.

Eine Idee dieses Planes kann man hier finden. Der Text ist schlechtes Spanisch schlechthin - und ein Beispiel unverschämter Gehirnwäsche.

Unter anderen liest man:

"[die Bildung] strukturiert sich, um die Bildung der Bürger und der Schüler mit sozialistischen Werten und Einstellung zu garantieren".

Venezuela ist eins der wenigen Länder Lateinamerikas, die noch nicht an der PISA-Studie teilnehmen. Stattdessen will man in der ganzen Welt Märchen über Errungenschaften erzählen, so wie Kuba das seit Jahrzehnten tut. Manche Apologeten sagen, auf Kuba hätten die Menschen jetzt zumindest eine gute Bildung. Hier kann man feststellen, wie der 20-jährige Kubaner Elian González bei praktisch jeder Zeile, die er schreibt, Sprachfehler produziert, die ein zehnjähriger Schüler anderswo nicht mehr machen sollte. Er ist aber ein richtiger Kriecher der Castros. Dahin will die venezolanische Regierung jetzt.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Nepotism in times of Maduro


Here you can see a very selective network of nepotism in Venezuela's government. The vertices in green represent those agents who were military coup mongers. I only put there the deceased Chávez because he was the leader of them all.

The vertices in pink are those persons who are working now in a high level position in government because they are the mothers or wives of someone else in the network. You can see the relationship of others by checking the different edge labels.

This is just work in progress. There are many more to be added and I will probably have to use another representation tool to show them all. Maduro and his wife have been particularly eager to reduce unemployment or badly paid jobs among their relatives.




Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A pause

The  Masdevallia Amanda is an orchid you can find in Northern South America.

I am taking a pause and won't be blogging for a while.


Venezuela, Cuba and Santería

Los Guayos in Carabobo

Bones of human corpses from the graveyard of Los Guayos, a town very close to Valencia, are being desecrated on a daily basis. About three tombs get opened every night. The vandals take away the bones of the lower extremities. This has to do with the massive rise in Santería since Cubans control things in Venezuela.

The rising vandalism is happening everywhere in the coastal region now. Cuba was supposed to become a communist or at least a socialist country. Believers of traditional religions were persecuted and discriminated. Religious freedom has progressively returned to Cuba in the last couple of decades, but it seems what a lot of Cubans were left with was a degenerated form of the most primitive rites of Santería. Now profiteers try to sell Santería rites to many in pauperised Cuba and a rapidly degenerating Venezuela as a form of getting power, money and sex/love.

I never heard of such acts of vandalisms in Los Guayos' history. I know the town very well: part of my family came from there. There were acts of savagery there during the Independence wars and before that perhaps in the first years of the Conquista but that was it.

Even worse: every month about 10 people get murdered in Los Guayos. That's 120 in a year. Los Guayos has a population of some 149000 inhabitants. It has, thus, a murder rate of 80 murders per 100 000 inhabitants. That's over 3 times the rate it had when Chávez came to power in early 1999.

And even if Madurismo is losing votes by the hour and the opposition will conquer a lot of the most populated municipalities in December, most Los Guayos voters will still go for Madurismo in this once beautiful town.

 


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

How could the Venezuelan government be spying on People?


This document by J. Villaseñor is not about Venezuela per se, but it has information that might be relevant to Venezuela. The Chinese are namely very much involved in providing telecommunications equipment to the Venezuelan regime...they and the Cuban G2 are providing some of the tools Boligarchs need to keep track of us.

ZTE and Huawei are some of the players in Venezuela.

Doesn't matter if it's a BlackBerry, a Vergatario or else

Venezuela, Spielzeuge und die Mentalität einer Bananenrepublik

Der General Hebert García Plaza ist seit April Minister der Volksmacht für Wasser- und Luftverkehr. Dieser Mann ist nun auch Leiter des Oberorgans für die Volksverteidigung der venezolanischen Wirtschaft. Darum hat er nun einen Tweet geschickt, um dem venezolanischen Volk mitzuteilen, dass 600000 Spielzeuge im Hafen von Puerto Cabello angekommen sind. Die Spielzeuge sollen aus Panama kommen. Ob sie zum Teil dort oder nur in China hergestellt wurden, weiß man nicht. Der venezolanische Staat beschäftigt sich aber jetzt damit, diese Spielzeuge zu importieren, denn im Dezember gibt es Wahlen und Weihnachtszeit.
Wenn man dieses Spielzeug in Venezuela einführt, wird es "sozialistisch" werden

Es sind diese Nachrichten, die bezeugen, wie die Regierenden in Venezuela eine nicht-nachhaltige Wirtschaft führen und wie das Land ein echtes Cargo-Kult zum Opfer gefallen ist.

Da die Regierung diese Spielzeuge im Ausland kauft und ansonsten nur privilegierte Importeure Zugang zu vom Staat subventionierten Dollars haben, können die anderen Spielzeugsverkäufer nur Dollars auf dem Schwarzmarkt kaufen. Einheimische Spielzeuge gibt es kaum: mit einer extrem überbewerteten Währung ist es fast unmöglich gegen chinesische Waren zu konkurrieren. Die Spielzeuge, die der Staat dann in den staatlichen Läden verkaufen wird viel billiger, als das, was die anderen verkaufen können. Die Regierung wird nun von "sozialistischen Preisen" reden.

Viele Venezolaner werden nicht begreifen, dass diese Spielzeuge die nationale Industrie zerstörten und zwar viel schneller, als alles, was man in Industrieländern sieht oder in solchen, wo es keine überbewertete Währung gibt. Sie werden nicht begreifen, dass die Petrodollars, die für die staatliche Einfuhr von Spielzeugen nicht für Investition, für Bildung oder Gesundheit ausgegeben werden können. Sie werden aber höchstwahrscheinlich am 8.12 die Kandidaten der Militärs wählen.

Cargo cult and the pseudo-revolution


You only need to check out a picture in Twitter to see how screwed up the Venezuelan society is. There, a government supporter shows Venezuelan who is proud new owner of a Chinese "free-standing" cooker. The cooker was produced by the Chinese corporation Haier and the Venezuelan government probably acquired it through dollars destined to FONDEN, the Fund for Sustainable Development. The government has spent hundreds of millions in providing not just Chinese cookers but Chinese refrigerators, Chinese blenders and last but not least, Chinese TV sets, flat screens included. The pro-government Twitter user wrote: "only in revolution can we have happiness in Venezuela, with Mercal. Long live the revolutionary government". Mercal is the place where people can get cheap, heavily subsidized products, to a great part imported from all over the world. It's certainly long-term happiness for the Haier corporation, not for Venezuela's collapsing economy. If there is one example of real cargo cult in the world, it's Venezuela of the early XXI century.

Haier says "xiexie" to Venezuelan TV watchers 

On the other side, you see what is happening in Venezuela's health centres. Only one of the X ray machines of the Henrique Tejera Hospital, Valencia's only general hospital, is working right now. Patients have to queue up for hours.  The Dr. Miguel Pérez Carreño Hospital, the only public hospital for oncology in Valencia, couldn't offer radiotherapy for months because all its machines for such treatment were conked out. It's only now that it is re-opening its services.


Sunday, 20 October 2013

The King of the Netherlands kowtowing or just conniving with Maduro?


The king and queen of the Netherlands plan a visit to Venezuela on the second half of November. Willem-Alexander and Máxima are supposed to meet Nicolás Maduro 23 November. Venezuela's government is already jumping on one leg because this means legitimacy from an EU country to a regime that is rapidly falling out of favour with anyone but the least scrupulous profiteers. In the last few years Chávez and then Maduro had more and more trouble getting a picture with high ranking officials from the EU...except for people like Berlusconi and the former prime minister of cash-strapped Portugal.

It has been a long time since the Venezuelan head of state had met any high ranking government official from the EU.
She couldn't choose her father, but she could choose not to have her name associated with an autocrat
And now, even if the human rights situation in Venezuela keeps deteriorating, the symbolic head of the Dutch state wants to go to Caracas and talk to Maduro. Of course they will say something "diplomatic" about their love for all of Venezuela and such. In reality, it's all about Dutch commercial interests, which, as usual, trump any human rights issues.

It is a shame for the Netherlands that the king and queen even consider visiting a person who

1) leads one of the most corrupt regimes in the world
2) calls the whole opposition leaders "murderers" and threatens to send opposition governors to jail any time
3) rejects pluralism

In the next weeks I will be posting some stuff about Dutch-Venezuelan businesses.
I am sending this post to the embassy of the Netherlands in Venezuela. 




Saturday, 19 October 2013

Chavismo's weird numbers - election time

In the map above you can see those electoral centres where Maduro got for April 2013 more than 60 times the amount of votes Capriles got and where Maduro's votes were more than 99. Those dots in red indicate the centres where Maduro actually got 100% of the votes. If we included those centres with less than 100 votes for Maduro the number would go up a lot (a couple would also appear in Amazonas, the Southern-most state). This distribution is, at the very least, peculiar. For those of you who don't know Venezuela's geography well: all those places are, with the exception or two in Caracas, very hard to access. The two in Caracas are in some of the most dangerous areas of the country. In any case: the opposition did not have witnesses there.

Below you have the number of votes - according to the CNE - for Maduro, for Capriles, the centre, the municipality and the state.

201    0    ESCUELA PRIMARIA CHIMBORAZO    MP. ROMULO GALLEGOS    Apure
191    3    ESCUELA BASICA RIECITO    MP. ROMULO GALLEGOS    Apure
154    0    ESCUELA BASICA BARRANCO YOPAL    MP. ROMULO GALLEGOS    Apure
280    2    ESCUELA BASICA BOLIVARIANA BOCA TRONADOR    MP. ROMULO GALLEGOS    Apure
113    1    ESCUELA PRIMARIA LUIS RAMON FARFAN    MP. MU#OZ    Apure
179    0    ESCUELA PRIMARIA BOLIVARIANA INDÍGENA SANTA JOSEFINA    MP. ACHAGUAS    Apure
143    2    ESCUELA BASICA LAS PALMAS    MP. ALBERTO ARVELO T    Barinas
107    0    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA BOLIVARIANA CHAVIRIPA    MP. CEDE#O    Bolívar
307    1    SAN JOSE DE KAYAMA    MP. CEDE#O    Bolívar
104    0    ESCUELA INTEGRAL BOLIVARIANA RIMO AJE    MP. CEDE#O    Bolívar
140    0    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA BOLIVARIANA SANTA MARIA DE EREBATO    MP. SUCRE    Bolívar
119    0    CAMPAMENTO ENTRERIOS    MP. SUCRE    Bolívar
124    0    ESCUELA BASICA ESTADAL SANTA MARIA    CE. VALENCIA    Carabobo
133    1    ESCUELA BASICA CAMPO ALEGRE    MP. PAO S J BAUTISTA    Cojedes
321    3    ESCUELA UNITARIA SIN NUMERO    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
279    1    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA SIN NUMERO    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
182    0    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA SIGUANI    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
303    2    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA NUMERO 94    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
263    0    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA SIN NUMERO ARAGUABISI    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
448    2    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA NUMERO 94    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
265    1    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA SIN NUMERO ARAGUABISI    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
127    1    DESARROLLO URBANISTICO LOS JABILLOS II    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
133    2    ESCUELA BOLIVARIANA MEDIA JORNADA EL CUJIZAL NER 332    MP. MORAN    Lara
220    2    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA  ESTADAL MIRASOL    MP. MORAN    Lara
206    1    ESCUELA BOLIVARIANA MEDIA JORNADA ESCUELA NUEZAL TRISTE    MP. ANDRES E BLANCO    Lara
374    6    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA LA PEÑA    MP. MORAN    Lara
352    1    ESCUELA ESTADAL BOLIVARIANA SABANA DEL PADRE NUCLEO ESCOLAR RURAL 456    MP. ANDRES E BLANCO    Lara
121    0    CONCENTRACION ESCOLAR LOS GUAYABITOS    MP. PAZ CASTILLO    Miranda
116    1    DESARROLLO URBANISTICO LA HACIENDITA    MP. SUCRE    Miranda
166    0    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA NUMERO 383 SAN JORGE    MP. ESTELLER    Portuguesa
121    1    E.B.N. CONCENTRADA N° 281 EL MORICHAL    MP. SUCRE    Portuguesa
221    2    ESCUELA ESTADAL EL TAMARINDO    MP. PAEZ    Portuguesa
125    2    ESCUELA ESTADAL UNITARIA NUMERO 358    MP. OSPINO    Portuguesa
143    1    ESCUELA BASICA UNITARIA NUMERO 173    MP. ARAURE    Portuguesa
181    3    ESCUELA BASICA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA LAS PLAYITAS NUMERO 5NER 11    CE. GUANARE    Portuguesa
100    1    ESCUELA BASICA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA NUMERO 543    CE. GUANARE    Portuguesa
136    2    ESCUELA BÁSICA PUERTO VIEJO    MP. ARISMENDI    Sucre
110    0    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA NÚMERO 43 SIN NÚMERO LA PEÑA    MP. BOCONO    Trujillo
121    0    ESCUELA NUDE SANTA LUCIA    MP. BRUZUAL    Yaracuy
147    1    ESCUELA ANA MARIA CAMPOS    MP. JESUS M SEMPRUN    Zulia
330    0    ESCUELA BASICA BOLIVARIANA SHIRAPTA    MP. MACHIQUES DE P    Zulia
362    0    ESCUELA BASICA BOLIVARIANA SHIRAPTA    MP. MACHIQUES DE P    Zulia
105    1    ESCUELA BASICA NACIONAL SIERRA MAESTRA    MP.IDJ BLVNO GUAJIRA    Zulia
405    6    UE CHE GUEVARA    MP. JESUS E LOSSADA    Zulia
383    1    UE CHE GUEVARA    MP. JESUS E LOSSADA    Zulia
399    1    UE CHE GUEVARA    MP. JESUS E LOSSADA    Zulia


But to compare, take a look at results for Chávez's last showdown:


119    1    ESCUELA PRIMARIA BOLIVARIANA INDÍGENA SANTA JOSEFINA    MP. ACHAGUAS    Apure
147    0    ESCUELA BASICA BOLIVARIANA INDIGENA CHAPARRALITO    MP. ACHAGUAS    Apure
110    0    ESCUELA PRIMARIA LUIS RAMON FARFAN    MP. MU#OZ    Apure
122    0    ESCUELA BÁSICA BOLIVARIANA CAÑO LA GUARDIA    MP. PEDRO CAMEJO    Apure
146    0    ESCUELA BASICA BARRANCO YOPAL    MP. ROMULO GALLEGOS    Apure
138    1    ESCUELA BASICA LAS PALMAS    MP. ALBERTO ARVELO T    Barinas
114    1    CENTRO MOVIL MATA LINDA    MP. OBISPOS    Barinas
131    0    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA NACIONAL BASICA KARUM    MP. BLVNO ANGOSTURA    Bolívar
241    4    ESCUELA UNITARIA MIXTA SIN NUMERO    MP. SIFONTES    Bolívar
145    1    ESCUELA UNITARIA ESPERANZA KILOMETRO 50 FE Y ALEGRIA    MP. SIFONTES    Bolívar
142    1    CAMPAMENTO ENTRERIOS    MP. SUCRE    Bolívar
152    0    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA BOLIVARIANA SANTA MARIA DE EREBATO    MP. SUCRE    Bolívar
125    1    ESCUELA INTEGRAL BOLIVARIANA RIMO AJE    MP. CEDE#O    Bolívar
327    0    SAN JOSE DE KAYAMA    MP. CEDE#O    Bolívar
244    0    ESCUELA BASICA IRMA VIVAS DE MARIN    CE. VALENCIA    Carabobo
126    0    ESCUELA BASICA ESTADAL SANTA MARIA    CE. VALENCIA    Carabobo
126    0    ESCUELA BASICA CAMPO ALEGRE    MP. PAO S J BAUTISTA    Cojedes
310    3    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA NUMERO 26    CE. TUCUPITA    Delta Amacuro
269    0    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA SIN NUMERO    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
285    4    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA SIN NUMERO    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
203    3    ESCUELA UNITARIA SIN NUMERO    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
193    0    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA SIGUANI    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
263    2    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA SIN NUMERO ARAGUABISI    MP. ANTONIO DIAZ    Delta Amacuro
476    4    DESARROLLO URBANISTICO EL PARAISO    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
106    0    DESARROLLO URBANISTICO CIUDAD TIUNA    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
223    3    CONSEJO COMUNAL EL BOSQUE I II III IV V    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
256    3    CASA COMUNAL DE LAS CASITAS - PROYECTO ENDOGENO    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
177    2    CENTRO DE EDUCION INICIAL SIMONCITO CENAIM I    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
123    1    DESARROLLO URBANISTICO LOS JABILLOS II    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
202    2    DESARROLLO URBANISTICO LIBERTADOR I    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
305    3    ESCUELA BASICA NACIONAL BOLIVARIANA BICENTENARIA SAMUEL ROBINSON    CE. BLVNO LIBERTADOR    Dtto. Capital
252    0    ESCUELA BASICA BOLIVARIANA INES OBERTO DE REYES    MP. DABAJURO    Falcón
170    2    ESCUELA ESTADAL BOLIVARIANA LOS QUEMADOS    CE. MIRANDA    Falcón
208    1    ESCUELA BOLIVARIANA MEDIA JORNADA ESCUELA NUEZAL TRISTE    MP. ANDRES E BLANCO    Lara
257    3    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA FILA RICA    MP. ANDRES E BLANCO    Lara
351    1    ESCUELA ESTADAL BOLIVARIANA SABANA DEL PADRE NUCLEO ESCOLAR RURAL 456    MP. ANDRES E BLANCO    Lara
280    4    ESCUELA CONCENTRADA NACIONAL LOMA SANARE    MP. ANDRES E BLANCO    Lara
107    1    ESCUELA BOLIVARIANA MEDIA JORNADA CERRO MOROTURO    MP. URDANETA    Lara
371    3    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA LA PEÑA    MP. MORAN    Lara
215    1    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA BOLIVARIANA EL CAMBUR 2380    MP. SUCRE    Mérida
504    8    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA INICIAL SIMONCITO EZEQUIEL ZAMORA    MP. BARUTA    Miranda
115    1    DESARROLLO URBANISTICO LA HACIENDITA    MP. SUCRE    Miranda
121    0    CONCENTRACION ESCOLAR LOS GUAYABITOS    MP. PAZ CASTILLO    Miranda
492    8    UNIDAD EDUCATIVA NACIONAL JUANA RAMIREZ    MP. LANDER    Miranda
144    2    ESCUELA BASICA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA NUMERO 162 LA REDOMA    MP. SANTA ROSALIA    Portuguesa
119    1    ESCUELA ESTADAL UNITARIA NUMERO 504    MP.GENARO BOCONOITO    Portuguesa
229    2    ESCUELA ESTADAL EL TAMARINDO    MP. PAEZ    Portuguesa
104    0    ESCUELA ESTADAL EL TIGRE NUMERO 156    MP. OSPINO    Portuguesa
185    1    ESCUELA BASICA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA LAS PLAYITAS NUMERO 5NER 11    CE. GUANARE    Portuguesa
108    1    ESCUELA BASICA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA NUMERO 543    CE. GUANARE    Portuguesa
169    0    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA NUMERO 383 SAN JORGE    MP. ESTELLER    Portuguesa
132    2    ESCUELA BASICA UNITARIA NUMERO 173    MP. ARAURE    Portuguesa
184    3    ESCUELA BOLIVARIANA MIQUIA ABAJO    MP. CARACHE    Trujillo
271    3    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADO MESA DE CUNAVICHE    MP. BOCONO    Trujillo
182    3    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA SIN NÚMERO AGUA LINDA    MP. BOCONO    Trujillo
112    0    ESCUELA ESTADAL CONCENTRADA NÚMERO 43 SIN NÚMERO LA PEÑA    MP. BOCONO    Trujillo
253    4    DESARROLLO URBANISTICO PLAYA GRANDE - TURQUIA    CE. VARGAS    Vargas
120    1    ESCUELA NUDE SANTA LUCIA    MP. BRUZUAL    Yaracuy
151    2    ESCUELA BASICA  LAS VEGAS NER 134    MP. URACHICHE    Yaracuy
413    2    UE CHE GUEVARA    MP. JESUS E LOSSADA    Zulia
412    1    UE CHE GUEVARA    MP. JESUS E LOSSADA    Zulia
387    3    UE CHE GUEVARA    MP. JESUS E LOSSADA    Zulia
152    1    ESCUELA ANA MARIA CAMPOS    MP. JESUS M SEMPRUN    Zulia

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Maduristas and Wikipedia

Have you noticed how Maduro supporters censor the Wikipedia article on Nicolás Maduro? Nothing, absolutely nothing that could be considered negative for Maduro can be allowed there. If you read articles about well-known politicians - Obama or Putin, Pinera or Mujica - you can see a lot of information that can be constructed as unfavourable. Maduro's Wikipedia article, on the other hand, is a sanitized article that could very well be placed in the government's official sites. 

This is not what an encyclopaedia should be. The article goes completely against the spirit of Wikipedia. But then: a lot of Maduro supporters can afford to spend more time becoming administrators of the English and Spanish Wikipedia. Hugo Chávez's article was never censored as Maduro's.


The new Ermächtigungsgesetz is out


Well: the proposal for Enabling Law for Maduro is out. Some fellow bloggers wrote about that here and here. In a nutshell: there is nothing new in it, but it will be used mostly to emasculate elected local politicians from the opposition after the 8 December elections. Look at the map below. Those were the results for the 2008 elections by municipality. The blue areas where the opposition won are all the most densely populated areas with the exception of some in Lara (in the centre left) and Carabobo, in the Northern central region. We have good chances of adding several important municipalities, like Valencia and a couple of Lara. Maduro wants to use this new degree to neutralise the opposition specially in those areas.


The text for the Enabling Law is a badly written piece, with lots of commas in the wrong places, clumsy sentences and so on, but that is nothing new either.

Maduro wants to rule by decree for one year, just like Chávez did on several occasions. Maduro's excuse is that he needs special powers to fight corruption. This is in the year 14 of the self-styled revolution. Chávez ruled by decree for 4 full years of his almost 14 years of power, even though most of the time he did whatever he wanted anyway.

One thing that I find curious is that they needed to mention the finance of parties again. Opposition parties are already heavily scrutinized and the government uses anything it can to persecute dissenting voices. Parties no longer get money from the State for their votes, so they are supposed to get money from voters, but a lot of people are afraid of giving money to an opposition party unless they give cash. It's very hard to keep finances like that when the biggest bank note, the Bs 100, is worth officially just about €11 and in the black market less than €2.

Legislation on NGOs in Venezuela is already as strict as or stricter than in Russia. Media is getting to a similar level as in Russia. Newspapers such as El Universal or El Nacional are read by  the better-off in the main urban centres or on line. We are not yet at the level of Russia with Novaja Gazeta only visible in some areas of Moscow or Peter but we are not far from that. And Venezuelans read very little. Bear in mind Venezuela has one of the slowest Internet connections on Earth. You couldn't see the US ambassador to Venezuela freely talking to a Venezuelan channel like the US ambassador talked in Dozdh' a few weeks ago.

Still, Venezuela is not a dictatorship for many abroad because dictatorships...well, they are supposed to be somehow different, like with Idi Amin or Gaddafi. And most people abroad somehow can see the autocracy in Russia but not in Venezuela and they cannot explain the concrete differences.
Now we have 53 days left for the municipal elections. Maduro will try to get the law next week and carry out all kinds of actions as he can before the elections but, most importantly, he will use the decree to take away yet more powers and finances from municipalities that elect opposition candidates. There will be more now than in the past 10 years and he wants to emasculate the elected members of the opposition as soon as possible. That's all.

And the rest of the world? If a country has a positive trade balance with Venezuela or chances of getting one very soon, it will remain silent.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ein Kind in Venezuela


Die Schule fängt später in Venezuela. Und schon wieder müssen Eltern viel Geld zur Verfügung stellen, um das Lehrmaterial für ihre Kinder zu kaufen. Für ein Kind in der Grundschule müssten Eltern etwa Bs. 4900 ausgeben. Das ist mehr als der Monatslohn vieler Menschen.
Eine sehr junge Straßenverkäuferin in Maracaibo

Venezolaner glauben, dass es ihr gutes Recht ist, ein Liter Benzin für weniger als ein Eurocent zu bekommen. Sie erwarten aber nicht viel vom Staat, wenn es um echte Bildung angeht. Irgendwie muss man zur Schule gehen, vielleicht zur Uni. Was das aber eigentlich bedeuten soll, ist den meisten nicht so klar. Was sie dafür nötig haben, umso weniger.




Die Venezolaner wissen nicht mal, dass in den kapitalistischen USA oder in Kanada die Kinder Bücher, Hefte, Bleistifte und ähnliches vom Staat bekommen. Von staatlichen Medien hören sie jetzt, wie schlimm die Armut in Europa ist in diesen Zeiten der Krise.

Ab und zu erhalten Kinder in einigen Musterschulen Venezuelas Lehrbücher von der Regierung. Darüber berichten die staatlichen Medien zur Genüge. In diesen Büchern können die jungen Venezolaner jetzt lesen, wie großartig der ewige Kommandant, Hugo Chávez Frías, war oder ist.

Wir sind im 14. Jahr einer sogenannten Revolution. Wie es früher war? Es kommt drauf an. Ihr könnt in meinem Post an die Wagenknecht über Analphabetismus lesen. Im Jahr 1960, im Jahr 1970 oder im Jahr 1980 war es im allgemeinen besser gestellt mit den Mitteln, die der Staat für die Bildung bereitstellte. Darum waren Chávez' Brüder - das wissen die wenigsten Eurosozialisten- an der Uni. Dann ging es bergab. Im Jahr 1998, als der Erdölpreis auf 12 Dollar pro Fass lag, war es schlimmer als im Jahr 2008. Jetzt aber, als ein Fass Öl über 100 Dollar kostet, scheinen wir weniger Geld zu haben für die Bildung. 

Wohin geht dann das Geld unserer Erdölexporte? Ein Teil geht zur Subvention vom Benzin. Viel Geld wird für die Beibehaltung einer äußerst überbewerteten Währung ausgegeben. So können die Reichen billige Dollars kaufen, um nach Europa oder in die USA zu reisen und so können Freunde der Regierung auch Kaffee aus Nikaragua oder Reis aus den USA importieren, um es für "sozialistische Preise" in Venezuela zu verkaufen und den inneren Kapitalismus zu "bekämpfen". Die staatliche Erdölgesellschaft zahlt doppelt zu viel an gewisse Firmen. Wozu das gut ist, weiß ich nicht. Schließlich sind wir die besten Kunden Lateinamerikas für die russische Rüstungsindustrie. Da dieses Geld vor allem aus FONDEN kommt, aus dem Fond für "nachhaltige Entwicklung", steht es nicht im normalen Haushalt. Und so können die Apologeten des Chavismus sagen, dass Venezuela ein Beispiel für die Welt ist.





Sunday, 13 October 2013

Valencia's Political Mayhem


There is quite  some political shake up right now in Valencia, Venezuela's third largest city. The mayor , Edgardo Parra, has been detained. He is accused of corruption. This is no surprise to us Valencians. Parra had an awful reputation as mayor and people assumed he was particularly corrupt. 

Parra got elected in 2008 when one of the opposition clans, the utterly feudal Feo-Salas family, did not want to accept empresario Michele Cocchiola as unique opposition candidate. Cocchiola was the choice for all the other opposition parties. Cocchiola got 36.43% of the votes, Salas's candidate Padrón got 11.37% of the votes and the Chavista choice, Parra, got 38.15%. The opposition was mad at the Salas-Feo clan and it wouldn't be the last time, but that's for another post. In any case, Parra and officialdom managed to take over the city - officially as anyway the national powers are the ones that count in Venezuela.

First thing Parra did after the elections was to travel to China on an official mission with lots of relatives and friends. Shortly afterwards he went to Spain. We never heard about what those trips brought to the city. The mayor kept fighting with everybody and everyone, including those of his own state party.  The Aquarium, an attraction we were very proud of, has suffered under his control. The cultural centre Ateneo de Valencia was taken over by Chavismo. The mayor started to pour money in that institution but without any control, apparently for the only benefit of the current workers. The cultural activities taking place there are the shadow of what we had before. Venezuela's third largest city is now particularly full of dirt and its roads are a shambles.

Parra appointed his sister-in-law Elsa Guardia as head of the city's human resource department. His half-sister Ohilda Rodríguez became the head of the important department for Civil Engineering Works, Imvial. His brother-in-law, José González, became head of protocol. One of the mayor's sons, also called Edgardo Parra, became the head of finances. The step-sister of his wife became Director of the Office for Child Care. One of his god-daughters, Patricia Marcano, is head of Fundatur. A friend of his is Law Consultant, another one, Isaura Gutiérrez, is head of the City's Registries. Another of Parra's son is not working for the city but is a "businessman" in the import sector, which is a highly privileged sector in the "revolutionary times", with Venezuela having a tight currency control and a highly overvalued national currency.
 
Parra would still be mentioned in favourable terms in the state media early this year, but things were about to change. At the start of July Parra was suggesting Valencia's largest civil parish, Miguel Peña, should be renamed after Hugo Chávez. Few people were thrilled: the city was falling apart, that area is the most affected and the municipalities' elections started to appear in the horizon.

Chavismo knew Valencians were completely fed up of Parra and concluded they couldn't let him run for re-election. So when Parra publicly said last July that he wanted to run again for the position, they decided to sacrifice him. And the higher powers within Chavismo in the region opted for Miguel Flores, who is very close friend of and business partner with Carabobo's current governor and former military coup monger Francisco Ameliach.

This is my city. My native American ancestors were living close-by, my European and sub-Saharan ancestors arrived very early on. Don't mess with it!
Flores will be running against Cocchiola. This time the opposition managed to get one candidate alone. This has to do in part with the Salas-Feo election failure for the elections in the state of Carabobo in 2012. I have to own up Cocchiola would not be my first or second or third choice for the opposition. I don't see any single candidate with a lofty position in the region. Still, Cocchiola is the opposition parties agreed on for Valencia and he is likely to win easily. He is most likely going to be a better mayor than anything Chavismo has. Still, Chavismo will now try to show a whole speed trial against Parra to convince Valencians that they distance themselves from corrupt individuals.

 By the way: Parra, who considered himself a "revolutionary", was living in one of the better-off areas of Valencia (like any mayor of Valencia) in a street not accessible for anyone but the neighbours. Those streets, with electric fences and guards, are the norm for better-off neighbourhoods throughout Venezuela since the late nineties and specially since Chávez times. That is the way crime has transformed the Venezuelan landscape.

What's in the offing? Chavismo will have a two-throng approach: the national and state authorities will support the new candidate Flores on one hand and prepare for taking away further competences from the city in case the opposition wins in the December elections.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

From Russia with bigotry and racism

First edition of a very notorious publication

I was looking for some more news about Venezuela and Russia when I stumbled upon this article at a recent Internet magazine called Zvgljad.

There, Vladimir Travkin, a guy who is supposed to be a political scientist gave his view of Venezuela last March, shortly before the caudillo and former coup monger Chávez died.

When asked about the chances Capriles had, Travkin said:

"Capriles will do everything to get a rematch after his defeat in the [previous] presidential elections. But he has special treats that we cannot ignore: firstly, he is a Jew and secondly, he is gay. This might reflect negatively on his electoral chances. I don't think there is such a political correctness in Venezuela...in this confrontation there is on one side a Catholic, family man and on the other, the single gay of Jewish roots, representative of the capital."

Finally, I just want to let you see what he said on Chávez:

"Chávez is good for Russia because he trades well with us. Let's pray that his successors trade with Russia as he did. That's what's important for us."

Somehow I have the impression some Russians nowadays have a similar attitude to the one Russians had during Czarist times...with a little bit of Soviet manners on top of that.

Mr Travkin:

If you don't know, Maduro also has Jewish roots, from his father's side. And he is probably much less of a Catholic than Capriles, if that matters to you.

Venezuela has many issues but hatred towards gays and Jews is not as prevalent in Venezuela as in Russia. Capriles is of Jewish roots and he is Catholic. He says he is not gay but if he were: would you hate him? In any case, you can talk about that with Putin, who also seems to be obsessed with the sex preferences of people.








Russian airplanes for Venezuela


It seems the Venezuelan government plans to buy 50 Russian air planes An-148 and Be-200, according to Russian officials in Caracas.

I wonder if Diosdado's visit to Moscow also touched this topic. They badly need an air plane now that their Airbus is (was?) conked out.

Some people are talking about Venezuela also possibly purchasing a Superjet 100, one like this.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Die unerträgliche Leichtigkeit der Regierung in Venezuela

Anfang Dezember haben wir Regionalwahlen in Venezuela. Es handelt sich lediglich um Gemeindewahlen. Sie werden aber ihre politische Bedeutung haben, denn Maduros Popularität sinkt immer weiter. In den folgenden Abschnitten versuche ich die wichtigsten Entwicklungen der letzten Tage zu erklären.


Venezuela an der Spitze...der Korruption
*  Korruption I

Maduro hat jetzt ein Ermächtigungsgesetz beantragt. Ihm fehlt eine Stimme für die absolute Mehrheit. Chavismus hatte im Jahr 2010 48.13% der Stimmen aber 98 der 165 Sitze in der Nationalversammlung bekommen (etwa 59% der Sitze) - und das nur durch verfassungswidriges Gerrymandering und unbegrenzte Benutzung von Staatsmitteln. Es ist sehr wahrscheinlich, dass er die Stimme bekommen wird: mehrere der Oppositionsabgeordneten sind wegen Korruption untersucht und werden zur Zeit mit allen Mitteln unter Druck gesetzt.

Maduro sagt, er brauche das neue Ermächtigungsgesetz, um die Korruption - der Opposition, natürlich - zu bekämpfen. Das ist natürlich Lug und Trug. Chávez hatte schon früher Vollmachten bekommen und sie immer wieder missbraucht. Er hatte die Vollmachten zuletzt im Jahr 2009 bekommen, um angeblich effizienter Maßnahmen für die Bewältigung der Fluten von damals zu ergreifen. In Wirklichkeit hat Chávez die Vollmachten benutzt, um mehr Befugnisse für sich und seine Regierung zu bekommen. Maduro hat alles, was er braucht, um Korruption zu bekämpfen...außer Wille und ehrlichen Mitarbeitern.

* Korruption II

Vor einigen Tagen erfuhren wir, dass ein Beamter des venezolanischen Sportministeriums mit über €407000 in einem Flughafen in Bulgarien ertappt wurde. Er hatte den Besitz dieses Geldes nicht deklariert. Nun sagte der Mann, er habe das Geld bar gebracht, um Ausgaben der venezolanischen Sportteams auszugleichen, die dort in Kampfsport und Gewichtheben trainieren. Er hätte niemanden im Flughafen gefunden, dem er erklären konnte, dass er das Geld hatte, sagte der Mann. Die venezolanische Regierung bestätigte, dass das der Fall war. Ganz offensichtlich wissen die Venezolaner, die jetzt an der Macht sind, gar nicht, was ein Rechtsstaat ist.

Venezolanische Sportbeamten sollen angeblich schon seit 2010 Geld für Sportereignisse im Ausland bar mit sich bringen. Davor überwies die Regierung das Geld an die Sportvereine. Wieso das jetzt nicht mehr so ist, hat mit der Währungskontrolle zu tun, die in Venezuela herrscht. Die nationale Währung ist extrem überbewertet und alles, was die Regierung dafür unternimmt, fördert nur mehr Korruption.

* Information und Freiheit

Vor kurzem gab es eine Diskussion in Caracas Chronicles über Internetdienste in Venezuela. Es stellte sich heraus, dass das Land eine der langsamsten Internetverbindungen in der ganzen Welt hat. Ich werde bei einem neuen Post viel ausführlicher darüber berichten (danke aber schon jetzt an Rogaven). 

Natürlich ist dies wunderbar für die Regierung: Venezolaner haben es nicht gar nicht leicht, wenn es darum geht, Videos oder Radio übers Internet zu empfangen. Bei der normalen Geschwindigkeit der Verbindung ist es schon ein Gräuel, manche Zeitungen im Netz zu lesen.

* Wirtschaft und Korruption III

Merentes, der relativ moderate Finanzminister, ist nicht mehr "Vizepräsident der Wirtschaft". Der Oligarch Rafael Ramírez, Vorsitzender der staatlichen Erdölgesellschaft PDVSA, bekommt nun diese Stelle.

Ramírez' Frau, Beatrice Sansó Rondón de Rodríguez, ist eine Consultant von PDVSA. Seine Schwiegermutter, Hildegard, ist auch bei PDVSA eingestellt...und so ist auch sein Schwager, Baldo Sanso Rondón, über den Ihr einiges in einem sehr informativen Buch vom Journalist Rory Carroll lesen könnt.

* Waffen und Korruption IV

Diosdado Cabello war für ein paar Tage zu Besuch in Russland. Er wollte dort Möglichkeiten im Bereich von Verteidigung und Sicherheit erforschen - lies: mehr Waffen und Unterstützung für die Sicherheitsdienste der venezolanischen Regierung. Wahrscheinlich wollte er auch mit Igor Setschin über Gott und die Welt und das Geld sprechen. Er besuchte natürlich auch die Chávez-Straße. Laut russischem Gesetz kann ein Ort oder Institution den Namen eines Menschen erst zehn Jahren nach seinem Tod bekommen. Während Igor Setschin in Venezuela war, rief er aber die Behörden der Stadt Moskau an und bat sie darum, eine Ausnahme für Chávez zu machen, da er "so groß war" (Venezuela ist einer der wichtigsten Waffenkunden für Russland). Kurz darauf hat Setschin seinen Ölvertrag in Venezuela bekommen. Ist es Zufall, dass Setschin als Person dann ein Darlehen von Rosneft' bekam, um Aktien in  Millionenhöhe zu kaufen?





Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Abominable Eudomar Tovar and other horror stories

There is no Alice here

The big shots

Eudomar Tovar is currently the president of the Central Bank of Venezuela. He announced to a Uruguayan newspaper that there would be some changes in the currency control. The Bolívar is right now highly over-valued, something that, together with all the other wrong economic policies in place, has led to a huge black market, smuggling of state-financed imports and other purchases for resale abroad and more corruption than we ever thought possible. Venezuela's exchange control needs to be loosened but that is highly unlikely now: although a lifting of that system would massively benefit the poor on the middle and long term, it would mean that those currently profiting from the arbitrage and the black market would stop getting billions...and they are the ones calling the shots in the pseudo-revolution. We also have elections early December. I expect a new devaluation, but only after that. Then many opposition politicians would say it was bad even though though it was necessary, they won't explain the economics as they understand them and the government will say it was not a devaluation but some thing else. If and when they devalue, they won't do it in the terms that are necessary, which will mean the country will keep on bleeding.

The government will keep on trying to get loans from China, Russia and anyone else. The problem is that those countries are getting weary. As Setty shows, Venezuela is not getting less bucks now for its oil than in 2008, even if expenses keep rising.

Tovar was talking about the Sucre being used in Venezuela and being used to reduce the purchase of "foreign currency".The Sucre is basically a mechanism whereby purchases country X does in country Y are paid by having the exporters get their money from the central bank of country X. The Sucre is for the moment just a façade used by the countries profiting the most from Chavismo: Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and tiny Dominica. In reality the amounts we are talking about here are peanuts in the  general trade.

Tovar is there because he is submissive, because he does what his superior - the Executive - tells him to do. Tovar cannot even read and much less interpret a basic chart of economic parameters or even talk like a literate person. No, I don't mean he cannot use a "posh" accent or one used by a certain social class. He simply can't talk.

The Apparatchiks

Last week Ovidio Almeida, member of the state party and head of Planning at the Ministry for the Popular Power of Sports was detained in Bulgaria with $407000 in cash. He claims to be going with the money Venezuelan sportsmen needed while training there. Any grown up travelling to the EU should know you have to declare the money you have if you are carrying €10000 or more. Héctor Rodríguez, the minister of Sports from 2010 until this year, decided his functionaries would directly give the currency needed to the sportsmen and would avoid doing that through the sport federations.

Why is this? This all has to do with the currency control and the mafias around it. And any control on this will generate more mafias.

If you want to read more negative economic news about Venezuela, go to Miguel's latest post.

The State priorities

Venezuela is trading with many countries and almost all but the US show a trade surplus with Venezuela. Still, the government is brainwashing the population and telling them our nation is in some kind of economic war and an almost economic blockade a la Cuba. This works for a third of the population.
If you want to read about Maduro in Wonderland, you can read VTV's site. I will spare you the pain and just translate a couple of news titles:

"Head of State: I gamble it all with the Venezuelan patriots in the economic war"
"President of National Assembly walked the Hugo Chávez street in Moscow (pictures and videos)"

Last but not least, the very trivial

"People positions tag #IGambleItAllWithMaduroAndPeriod to fight the economic war together with head of State" (Give it all:  my attempt at translating Venezuelan XXI slang for "gamble it all")

Yes: almost half the population or perhaps less than that but still a huge minority are gambling it all with a regime that is destroying the country.







Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Venezuela's Economic Stumbling

OPEC prices, $ per barrel since 1998
The Chavista government has managed to stay in power in Venezuela primarily because of the One thing: record international oil prices during an extremely long time.

Venezuela will still receive a lot of petrodollars for many years. And yet: corruption and sheer incompetence are making every single petrodollar deliver less goods now than 5, 10, 15 years ago. The government simply has less money to pay for ever higher expenses.

Maduro went to China to plead for more money. He got some 5 billion dollars, but it won't be in cash. Venezuela is forced to buy more Chinese products and that's all. And now the government plans to pay  food to Colombia with PDVSA bonds.

The government is trying to import as much as it can in order to distribute that before 8 December's elections. As usual, sustainable development is not on the agenda.

There are shortages everywhere and the government's response has been to criminalize the reporting about those shortages.

The opposition needs to focus on grass roots work. Opposition leaders in every region should go around, talk to people and be prepared for vicious, government-sponsored attacks. Opposition teams should be ready with cameras, contacts to the international press and NGOs, with local non-political leaders.

For the next 3, 4 months, opposition leaders should abstain by all means from spending time abroad, specially in the "evil" USA. The government will only use such visits for propaganda purposes. Never mind right now Boligarch Diosdado Cabello is in Russia looking for support on intelligence and military equipment.

The regime is unlikely to devalue a third time before the elections. It will probably carry out the devaluation after 15 December, maybe in the first days of 2014.

Repression will escalate. It will be increasingly difficult for the opposition to express its views. It is already hard now. The government will pressurize the few remaining critical papers.

And yet: the government will become weaker as the economy degenerates further. All in all, power will ultimately change when a larger proportion of the population feels the general decay in their own pockets. It is basically there where the vast majority of revolutions start.


Monday, 30 September 2013

Venezuela - Land des Unglaublichen


Diosdado Cabello, ehemaliger Putschist und gegenwärtiger Vorsitzender der Nationalversammlung Venezuelas, twitterte folgendes:


"Que raro el capo político de la mafia amarilla ya salió a defender a , claro esa mafia es quien contrata al vendepatria"

Meine Übersetzung:

"Seltsam: der politische Capo der gelben Mafia verteidigt schon jetzt #JJRendonFehlgeburt klar, diese Mafia heurt den Vaterlandsverräter"

 Ich erkläre das für die Deutschen.

Primero Justicia ist die wichtigste Oppositionspartei und ihre Farbe ist gelb. Cabello bezieht sich auf Henrique Capriles, den Leiter der Opposition und Gouverneur vom Bundesstaat Miranda. J. J. Rendón ist ein politischer Consultant, der zur Zeit in den USA lebt. Chavistas behaupten, er wäre für die "Stimme Chávez'' verantwortlich: vor zwei Tagen erschien im Netz ein Audio, wo jemand mit der Stimme Chávez' spricht. Ihr könnte auf Englisch die Geschichte lesen.

Diosdado zufolge hat die Partei Primero Justicia Rendón bezahlt, um Unruhe zu stiften. Rendón soll dann dieses Audio produziert haben.

So ist die Stimmung in Venezuela. Stellt Euch vor, Norbert Lammert würde so was in Twitter schreiben.


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Darth Cabello in Russia

Boligarch supremo and head of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello is flying to Russia on Monday.


According to Chávez's putative child Nicolás Maduro, Cabello is delivering Putin a letter of "congratulation from the Chavista soul" (sic). Don't ask me to interpret that, I haven't smoked today.

But apart from that, the former coup monger Cabello will meet Russian officials and try to talk about further military and intelligence cooperation.

Readers should remember Venezuela owns Russians over 4.4 billion dollars thanks to Chávez's last wish list of arms. Russians gave Chávez a loan that will allow us - or rather the Venezuelan military - to import some extra weapons in the coming years. Since 2004 Venezuela has spent some 11 billion dollars in Russian defence hardware. If you think Russians cared for Assad, consider this: Chavista Venezuela is a much  better client.

Chavistas need to tinker further with the election system. They need better SIGINT support to spy on the opposition. Will and can they get any help from Putin's boys?





Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Maduro caravan across the world

"But we have Fatherland"

Notitarde tells us fascinating details about the Maduro trip from China to Venezuela and why Maduro really didn't show up in New York for the United Nations summit.

Maduro initially said he couldn't make it to the UN "due to an intensive agenda. He later his people had problems with visas. He also explained his life would have been in danger.

The US authorities asked for proof of the danger and explained they had given visas for over 200 people. 

Maduro, the president of a poor South American nation, was travelling with an entourage of over 120 persons to China, with intentions to visit New York. We can assume some of the visas were for the preparatory team that came directly from Venezuela to New York.

Maduro landed in Canada on his trip from China and had to wait over 5 hours in the airport because Canada didn't want to give them fuel as the  plane was Cuban. The costly presidential plane is not working any longer, so Maduro is using a Cuban one. PDVSA, the state oil company, sent two planes (2) to pick up Maduro and his team and take them to New York but Maduro had a tantrum and they returned to Venezuela instead.

Among the Maduro team there were

  •  12 Cuban security agents and physicians
  • 1 expert in explosives
  • 1 expert in food security
  • 1 epidemiologist
  • Maduro's son and bodyguards with Maduro's grandchildren
  • Maduro's wife, two of her female friends and the hairdresser
  • a lot of people from the "Health Security"
The list had to be sent to United Nations and the US State Department.

United Nations had asked the Venezuelan group to limit the presidential caravan to 4 vehicles but the Venezuelans had already sent a preparatory security group with 8 vehicles and twice as many people as expected. The Maduro tour had hired two floors in the most expensive hostels in Beijing and New York for a total of over $800000. The total trip had a cost of 2.5 million dollars.


Friday, 27 September 2013

Rory Carroll talks about Venezuela


Here you have a nice presentation by journalist Rory Carroll about Venezuela under Chavismo.


Russians, weapons and Venezuela



Do you know anything about the Russian weapons Venezuela is buying now? Do you know anything about the military who were pushing for the purchase of those weapons since 2004?

I am writing something about that and any additional tips are welcome.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Less than a banana republic



You know a country has gone below banana republic status when you see the minister "for the Popular Power of Food", going to the main port to "supervise" the arrival of 6575 tonnes of food that will be distributed to be sold by the "private sector".
When are we going to import bananas from China?

That is what the minister and military honcho Felix Osorio, brother of former minister and coup monger Carlos Osorio, did yesterday on a visit to Puerto Cabello.

The regime tells us this is to guarantee food supply in the country. How come that is necessary in the year 14 of the so-called "revolution"?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Ein Venezolaner an die Deutschen


Liebe Deutsche,

Ich beneide Euch. Ich beneide Euch im positiven Sinne. Ich kenne viele der Probleme, mit denen Ihr Euch  zur Zeit befasst. Ich weiß, wie enttäuscht und besorgt Ihr zum Wahllokal geht. Ihr habt aber eine Demokratie. Die gegenwärtige Regierung ist nicht der Staat schlechthin: sie bilden kein einheitliches Wesen. Ihr habt Gewaltenteilung. Die öffentlichen Medien, Fernsehsender wie ZDF und ARD, bringen Regierung und Opposition gleichermaßen in die Bredouille.Es gibt eine echte Debatte.

Democracy Index Map

Heute geht Ihr wählen. Es gibt keine Militärs, die Eure Wahllokale bewachen. Ihr werdet mit Papier und Bleistift wählen und dennoch die Ergebnisse kurz nach 18:00 haben. Venezuela hat dem Carter Centrum zufolge "das beste Wahlsystem der Welt" und dennoch muss man bis zu den ersten Stunden des folgenden Tages warten, um die Ergebnisse zu haben. Und es werden dennoch jede Menge Unregelmäßigkeiten geben.

Heute Abend werdet Ihr einen Kompromiss finden müssen. Kein Schwein wird sehr glücklich mit den Ergebnissen sein, Schwein werdet Ihr aber sowieso haben. Ihr werdet ein demokratisches System beibehalten. Ihr werdet weiterhin ein Land haben, wo man über nachhaltige Entwicklung diskutiert. Und Ihr werdet ein Land haben, wo man eine Mordrate von 1.4 x 100 000 Menschen hat und nicht 70 x 100 000.

Ich beneide Euch.