Sunday, 27 September 2015

Weapons and underdevelopment in Chavista Venezuela (year 2015)

Maduro announced on Wednesday he would buy 12 more Sukhoi fighters from Russia. The Venezuelan military had recently lost two men in a crash that has not been properly investigated but that has been explained as a "fight against the paramilitary drug dealers from Colombia". Paramilitary is now Chavista code for right-winged, ergo close to the whole of Venezuela's opposition. Chávez had bought 24 Sukhoi 30 in 2006-2008 (here in Russian) and spent over 13 billion dollars in weapons until 2012. Purchases were reduced in the last couple of years but that was from an all-time record. In 2012 Venezuela was at position 13th worldwide and the first in Latin America as importer of conventional weapons (See SIPRI report for 2012). In 2013 there was a short stop, which was used by the Chavista propaganda to announce Venezuela had seen the sharpest decrease in military spending...the kind of pieces of pseudo-information useful idiots abroad hasten to publish. See here for their grasp on reality.


A university professor in Venezuela doesn't earn enough to rent a small one-room flat in a working class area. That is why universities are going on strike now. If you try to calculate salaries based on one of the official currency rates, bear in mind almost no one can get dollars at that rate in Venezuela. If you want to understand what the Venezuelan exchange rates area mean, you can check out this article by Bloomberg, which is an outdated version of what is happening now: the black market dollar is currently at over 700 Bolívars.


Russian foreign minister Lavrov was set to visit Venezuela this Saturday on a stopover before going to New York. At the last minute, he decided to skip that stopover and go to New York directly. He met foreign minister Delsy Rodríguez (she is there basically because of her brother, current mayor of Caracas) and Nicolás Maduro and they discussed, among other things, "how to coordinate foreign policies" (in Russian here). They also signed a joke of an agreement whereby Venezuela avows not to use weapons in outer space. Considering Venezuela's technological development has been abysmal and it is much worse right now, considering that Venezuela is even failing to assemble cars, you have to be cynical to announce Venezuela is renouncing the use of weapons in outer  space.


Tomorrow Venezuela will receive 630000 barrels of Russian oil that it will process in Curacao. Oil swapping has always taken place but since Chavismo has let the national oil company PDVSA crumble down, the Venezuelan government has been forced to import more and more oil...something dramatic for a country that does nothing but export oil.


  1. Lavrov did not visit Ccs. Two errors in this post.

    1. Both Russian and Venezuelan sources had announced the visit. He changed plans at the very last day and it was not clear from the news that the meetings had taken place in New York. See link

  2. Only one Su-30 Mk2 has crashed. CFIT. Pilot error.


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