Sunday, 14 September 2014

Venezuela, September 2014

Things have continued to deteriorate, there is nothing new there. Still, let's try to see what can come next. Before that, we can recapitulate a little bit.

  • The government has to pay a lot of money it got for its bonds in October. There is a lot of discussion about whether it will default but most consider it won't default on foreign banks' obligations, it will "only" default on Venezuela's population.
  • The government is desperately trying to sell CITCO, one of its chicken of the golden eggs, one that is more dear than its share on Ruhr Öl it sold some years back. That money will go to pay what is due in September
  • Repression goes on unabated: small student protests in Caracas and Barquisimeto were met with detentions. In poor areas were opposition people distribute flyers, they are being detained even if distributing flyers as they are doing is something allowed by law. 
  • Nationalized companies keep deteriorating. The article you see here in Spanish is just a tiny example of one single problem at one single company, Venvidrios (formerly Owens-Illinois of Venezuela). The same company has many other problems and the same goes for every single company that was taken over by Chavismo.
Oil prices have kept more or less around the $100 barrel level since 2011. In fact, they are lower than at the maximum of 2012. Even if the current OPEC price is just 4.6% lower than two years back, that's already ominous news for an incredibly corrupt and utterly incompetent regime as that of Maduro.


  • repression will increase for every opposition action
  • opposition actions will be harder to organise as a lot of highly skilled young people who were taking part in these actions are emigrating
  • the security agencies will infiltrate in a much more thorough way the opposition groups, planting anything, provoking the most stupid
  • more tension will increase among the military at the border because some part of the smuggling business has to be "controlled". Still, the main change here will be a shift from non-military smugglers to military ones and higher prices of petrol and other products on the Colombian/Guyana/Brazilian/Trinidad side because the Venezuelan military need more money
  • At the end of this year, some time in November or beginning of December, mayors Scarano and Ceballos are supposed to be set free. This will be a new moment of tension and Maduristas will try to throw them in jail as soon as possible or neutralize them by going fully against their private businesses (Scarano is a construction company owner) or against their relatives.
  • Governments of neighbouring countries will remain silent as long as they see they can keep the positive trade balance with Venezuela and/or get their money back from debts Venezuela has with them.

All in all, this looks very bleak for the opposition. And yet: the government's popularity, already rather low, is deteriorating further. The regime is running on borrowed time.

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