Monday, 28 December 2015

Murder and censorship in Venezuela (I)

Throughout the years I have written a lot about the murder problem in Venezuela. I published regularly statistics about murder, in particular in the central state of Carabobo. There has been a lot of discussion about what the real figures are: the NGO OVV says something, Dorothy Kronick says something else and the regime still another.

The numbers I have seen seem to indicate the murder rate stabilized a bit after 2009 but there hasn't been much of a drop. Venezuela's murder rate more than tripled since Chavismo came to power and the rate is just lingering around 65 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. We have by far the highest murder rate in South America and one of the highest in the world.

And now the higher powers in Carabobo have ordered not to give the information to journalists.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

¡Feliz Navidad!

I want to wish you all a very happy Christmas, a moment of peace and reunion.

Madonna della Seggiola

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Politische Gefangene in Venezuela: Ledezma

Seit Februar 2015 ist der Bürgermeister von Caracas, der Oppositionelle Antonio Ledezma, ein politischer Gefangener der Regierung Maduros.

Die erste Anhörung beim Gericht ist schon neunmal verschoben worden. Das ist gang und gäbe im "Sozialismus des 21. Jahrhunderts".

Amnesty International kritisiert das ganze Verfahren.

Die deutsche extremlinke Partei Die Linke unterstützt das chavistische Regime weiterhin.

Politischer Gefangener - einer unter vielen - in Venezuela

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Cuando la oposición se convierte en una amplia mayoría

Ratio opositor por chavista para algunos estados venezolanos en las elecciones de abril del 2012, abril del 2013 y diciembre del 2015
Si Ud. camina ahora por San Cristóbal, en la Venezuela andina, al menos dos de cada tres personas que vea y que hayan votado en diciembre serán opositoras al régimen. En los estados centrales de Miranda o Carabobo, tres de cada cinco votantes son opositores. La proporción de opositores es algo mayor en el estado noroccidental de Zulia. Actualmente son muy pocos los estados donde aun hay algo más de chavistas que opositores y estos tienen poca población. El desarrollo se viene perfilando desde hace mucho tiempo: la oposición se expande desde zonas urbanas...y Venezuela es un país altamente urbanizado.

Esperábamos una mayoría para la oposición en Venezuela. Aun así, nos costaba creer que podíamos obtener una mayoría absoluta. La principal razón de esta timidez se debía a la absoluta parcialidad del Consejo Nacional Electoral, dominado por chavistas, y al uso de recursos de Estado por parte del grupo que gobierna Venezuela desde 1999.

Realmente el desarrollo que tuvimos no es sorprendente. No solo la crisis económica se hace cada vez más dolorosa e impulsa a los chavistas a abandonar el barco de la mal llamada revolución. El creciente número de opositores hace más fácil ejercer presión para que los grupos armados que apoyan al gobierno no cometan fraude. Hemos alcanzado la masa crítica.

Entre las elecciones presidenciales de 2012 y 2013 transcurrieron apenas 6 meses. Las elecciones regionales de 2014 difícilmente pueden compararse con elecciones presidenciales o con las de la Asamblea Nacional, que se asemejan más a un plebiscito presidencial. Entre las elecciones de 2013 y 2015 hay más de 3 veces el tiempo transcurrido entre las elecciones del 2012 y del 2013. Si calculásemos las pendientes que resultan de la proporción de opositores entre los dos períodos de 2012 a 2013 y del 2013 al 2015 y tenemos en cuenta la cantidad de meses pasados, veríamos que en realidad la "deschavetización" de la sociedad transcurre a un nivel menos acelerado. Podemos ver, incluso, que en estados como Miranda o Lara el número de opositores creció ahora a un ritmo mucho menor. Valdría la pena investigar porqué no han caído aun más los números de chavistas. Hay varias causas posibles.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Russian interests in Venezuela

It is funny that today, of all days, Russian newspaper Kommersant decided to publish a little article about Russian economic interests in Venezuela.
I wonder if the parents of those kids voted now for the opposition

They say Venezuela takes position 5 when it comes to Russian weapons (6% of all sales). My country spent $3.2b only in 2012-2015 (much more between 2004 and 2012 - my comment-). There are outstanding credits for around $6 billion.

Where did my underdeveloped country spend the money? It went for 30 Sukhoi, 34 helicopters Mi-17V-5, 10 helicopters Mi-35M, 3 Mi-26T, 3 Mi-172 and 2 Mi-172VIP, defence systems PVO TOr-M1 and Pechora-2M, 100000 Kalashnikovs, PZRK Igla, 92 tanks T-72 and some other similar soldiers' toys.

There is now  a company for producing AK-103 called CEMAREH. Those are the AKs you will see in the next robberies in Venezuela.

The Russians also have 40% of Petromiranda. There is a bank created in 2009. There are a few other projects as well - just go to the page and if you don't speak Russian, use machine translation or ask your nearest Russian friend- and last but definitely least, there is the Empresa Mita Ruso-Venezolana Orquídea S.A. to sell orchids in Moscow. I wonder if Miguel likes that one. Perhaps not.

Carabobo, provisional results

The map you see here is based on the preliminary results (at this very moment no longer accessible) for Carabobo according to the National Electoral Council. Things are bound to change. So far, about 58.61% of votes went to the opposition and 39.87% to Chavismo in this state.

I think we have to clarify something: traditionally people have had a very simplistic view of what urban versus rural is in Venezuela. The extreme case is those who see anything but Caracas as rural. There are others who consider urban Venezuela is made up of cities with a population higher than one million people or the like. In other countries there are also lots of definitions about what is rural or urban but generally, places with high population density and city-style land use are considered urban. 

Carabobo is one of the most densely populated areas of Venezuela. Most of what is not populated is to be found on the mountain range in the North and West, but there is also a fringe of thinly populated regions in the South and in the low mountains in the South-East.

The opposition won in almost all urban areas but for some shanty towns of Puerto Cabello in the Democracia parish and in semi-rural Borburata, where we have a very strong African American component. It still lost in the mostly rural Juan José Mora, including the very poor city of  Morón, which also has a relatively high percentage of people with black ancestors. It lost in the semi-rural areas of Diego Ibarra, in the shanty towns of Tacarigua and in the more rural areas of Libertador, Negro Primero (part of the Valencia Municipality but very thinly populated) and very rural Güigüe and Belén.

Most areas where there are shanty towns went to the opposition now, including most of Valencia's slums, those of very poor Los Guayos, where I went to school, rural areas of San Joaquín and rural areas of Guacara (and, of course, the city of Guacara).

Bear in mind there were still areas where we hardly had any witness...and they happen to be the areas where Chavismo scored the best.

Now let's take a moment to enjoy this tweet of military strongman Diosdado a little bit less strong:

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Venezuelas Opposition gewinnt zumindest 99 Sitze gegen 46

Die ersten Ergebnisse kommen...langsam aber sicher: wir haben einen Sieg gegen das Regime erreicht. Es gibt noch 22 Sitze zu verteilen.

Und hier einiges auf Deutsch:

Süddeutsche Zeitung
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The Chavista strategy

It's now past 6pm and by law all voting centres where no one is queuing up should be closed. The puppet National Electoral Council decided to break the law and extend the time for voting. They said there are people queuing up but they say that time after time when it is plain for all to see no one is waiting to vote. Why does the government do this?

Because it becomes very dark after 6 pm and a lot of people, particularly the great majority without cars, is scared to death to stay in centres where the military and Chavista thugs can threaten them. Now even some "motorizados" are demanding the closure of centres to prevent fraud.

That is what is happening right now in Venezuela.

And now in Greater Valencia (II)

Different sources - including friends of mine - are reporting many red buses that were supposed to be used for general public transport are being used right now to bring committed Chavistas to vote in Greater Valencia. The government had imported over 200 of those buses at the beginning of this year and they were mostly stored without being used. People were protesting about that. Well: now Chavistas can use them to vote.

Public, for the extreme left, like for the extreme right, are only they. The others are Untermenschen or, as the late caudillo Chávez used to call us, escuálidos.

Venezuela's elections, another look

This is a Russian BTR-80 APC in front of Telesur, the propaganda TV for international consumption. Russians started using such vehicles in places such as Afghanistan. They are not for riots, they are for war - to transport soldiers- or for intimidation, as in Venezuela's elections.

Wikipedia says "by convention, they are not intended to take part in direct-fire battle, but are armed for self-defence and armoured to provide protection from shrapnel and small arms fire."

Still, they are an overkill. Not even during the highest terror alarm level in Brussels were there such combact vehicles. The Belgians put some Dingos in front of a few governmental offices and the central station, not in front of state TV stations.
Here you can watch how Adan Chávez, the late caudillo's eldest brother, is booed in the very school Chávez attended as a child.

In almost every single voting centre - except a few where a couple of useful idiots are taken - you see posters like this, just in case you forgot for whom to vote:

The Mood in Greater Valencia

Let's remember: the opposition needs to get as many votes as possible even if 1) the regime is going to cheat and 2) the regime will emasculate the new National Assembly. This is about showing the military they are only favouring an utterly corrupt, incompetent minority.

For the first time in more than a decade people in Northern Valencia - traditionally opposition area- but also in many places such as Los Guayos - formerly Chavista areas- do not seem to have heard any "toque de diana", the noise generated by radical Chavistas to wake up everyone on election day. The toque de diana was heard in parts of Caracas, though. There is talk Chavistas want to take their people to vote at the very end.They might probably want to "use" the vote of those who haven't gone to vote yet. How could they do that? Admittedly, it won't be possible as long as there are oppo witnesses in the rooms. That's the thing.

There are reports from Guacara that at 9:30, 3 and a half hours after official start, the voting hasn't taken place due to "Internet problems".

In another part of Guacara, opposition witnesses are not allowed to get to the voting centre, only PSUV members:

I will be updating this post.

To be continued...

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Venezuelas Wahlen 2015 (1)

In mehreren venezolanischen Bundesstaaten gibt es seit einigen Stunden Internetausfall. Man fragt sich, ob das eine Übung ist.

Venezolaner kaufen die Lebensmitteln, die sie finden können...für den Notfall im Notfall.

Der Nationale Wahlrat erklärt, dass die Stimmen für MIN Unidad der Regierungspartei gelten. MIN Unidad ist eine Partei, die von den Chavistas errichtet wurde, um Stimmen der MUD Unidad wegzunehmen. Die Logos sind sehr ähnlich und die MIN  Unidad hat seinen Platz neben dem der Opposition. Bis jetzt hatte die MIN Unidad behauptet, sie sei ein Teil der Opposition.

Revolutions and coups are not so much about freedom but about money

This chart shows the GDP growth of five Latin American countries and Norway since 1962. Notice a couple of things:

  • Costa Rica and Norway seem to be the countries that have a steadier growth and no big drops
  • Venezuela has the most dramatic rises and drops
  • Argentina follows with regards to variation

Now let's consider political turmoil.

Chile: Pinochet carried out his coup in 1973, when the GDP growth of Chile was of less than -4.

Argentina: there were coups in 66 and 76. The GDP growth of 66 was -0.66 and that of 76 -2.02.

Venezuela: there were two coups in 1992 and the coupster arrived to power in late 1998. There was a short-lived coup against him in 2002.

We don't have real figures about Venezuela's GDP growth for this year, only conjectures as the government stopped publishing most economic data since last year. Last year's GDP rate was -4% or worse and the one of this year is bound to be much worse than that. We don't know exactly how much but we know how desperate people are.

Will there be a coup? Unlikely. The military echelons have gone through several purges since 2002. A lot of the military personnel now, not only at the very top, are deeply involved in gangster activities. There can't be a coup as coups used to come. Still: the Chavista regime is aflutter. Tomorrow Venezuela has elections. The National Electoral Council has done and will continue doing anything it can to help the government and reduce the number of votes and, above all, of seats, the opposition can get. Still...