Saturday, 24 January 2015

Murder in Chavista Venezuela

Here you can see the murders reported in the Central Venezuelan state of Carabobo from January 2006 up to December 2014. The data comes from Notitarde. As this newspaper has just been sold out under governmental pressure, you can expect those numbers to drop or completely disappear. The Chavista government said it wanted an "impartial press".

The murder rate in Carabobo, like in all of Venezuela, rose dramatically from 1999 up to 2008. Since then numbers seem to have stabilize, although there is quite some discussion about what is really going on, as you can see here. I have discussed this issue with Dorothy Kronick in a couple of emails. My impression, based on projections from the Electoral Council data on voters is that if murder has reached its peak it is because of the demographic evolution: the amount of men in the most likely age range to be involved in murders also peaked about that time. Still, it might be too early to tell whether the murder epidemic has reached its maximum.

In any case, Venezuela now is just a shadow of what it was in 1998...and back then it was already in bad shape.

Time for a change?

Thursday, 22 January 2015

¿Qué libros, en español, crees que puedan beneficiar a niños...

Necesito tu ayuda.

¿Qué libros, en español, crees que puedan beneficiar a niños de una escuela en un sector pobre de Venezuela?

Si tienes algunas ideas, puedes escribirlas en los comentarios o hacérmelas llegar a desarrollo.sostenible.venezuela arroba gmail punto com.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Venezuela, Januar 2015

Auf dieser Grafik können Sie die Exporte Venezuelas in US-Dollars seit 1998 sehen. Rot steht für die Ausfuhr erdölbezogener Güter. Blau steht für die Ausfuhr von Waren und Diensten, die nicht mit Erdöl zu tun haben. Die Angaben sind in Milliarden Dollar des jeweiligen Jahres: ich habe die Inflation hier nicht berücksichtigt, sondern lediglich die Angaben der venezolanischen Zentralbank übernommen habe.  

Man muss dies bedenken: im Jahr 1998 lebten in Venezuela 23 Millionen Menschen. Heute sind es fast 30 Millionen. Der Caudillo Chávez träumte darüber, so bald wie möglich die Zahl von 50 Millionen Menschen zu erreichen, denn dann wäre Venezuela - dem Militär zufolge - eine Macht.

Im Jahr 2015 wird Venezuela wahrscheinlich nur die Hälfte davon erwirtschaften, was es letztes Jahr bekommen hat - bei mehr Menschen und mehr Ausgaben. Den Venezolanern stehen sehr harte Zeiten entgegen. Das Lebensniveau der Venezolaner steht in vielen Hinsichten so schlecht oder schlechter als im Jahr 1998, obwohl der Erdölpreis immer noch -inflationsbereinigt - höher steht als damals. Und der Untergang hat nur begonnen. Die Lage wird sich in den nächsten Monaten weiter verschlechtern.

Und das ist das Modell, dass Frau Wagenknecht, von der Linke-Partei, als Beispiel für Deutschland haben wollte. Und sie soll im Fach Volkswirtschaftslehre promoviert haben.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Fish smuggling in Venezuela

The German newspaper Die Zeit has an interesting article with pictures Reuter's journalist Carlos García Rawlins took in Apure shwing how the smuggling of fish to neighboring Colombia takes place.

Think about how preposterous the idea of smuggling fish within neighbouring countries in Europe or even North America would be. In Venezuela it makes economic sense. That is consequence of the idiotic economic policies and general corruption as promoted by Chavismo.

Venezuelans are not stupid BUT

Venezuelans are not stupid, but their leaders keep thinking Venezuelans are the most stupid people on Earth and all kinds of beliefs are linked to "their genes" or, somehow, inevitably attached to them.

Is that true? I do not think so. The facts are these: Venezuelans have a poor education level, even for Latin American standard and, what is worse, they have been grown up in an environment of very pernicious myths and habits.

And they don't realise that.

If we want to make a change, if we even want to have the opportunity to get power to make a change for good, we need to inform on a massive scale about how

1- Political parties in Venezuela have so far been just a platform for caudillismo but this does not need to be like that
2- Venezuela is not a rich country because of its natural resources: the wealth of every single nation is based on the average use of the brains of its citizens and it's up to Venezuelans to show how they use their neural hardware.

 There are several other topics we need to create awareness about, of course. Now: who is going to take up the challenge of starting the discussion, beginning the educational campaign?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Even as Venezuela is falling to pieces: what can we do to improve its chances?

Venezuela is falling apart and we and other bloggers have been documenting that for years now. The economic meltdown and the general social decomposition are progressing at a higher speed. And yet I ask myself: what can we do now to turn the direction towards progress?

A lot of people will say the country needs to touch rock bottom for things to improve. Even I have hinted at that on several occasions. 

Still, I think we can do better.

How is that possible when Venezuela is controlled by thugs armed to their teeth? How is it possible when the country has been left down by neighbours keen on preserving their commercial interests?

That's what we will be discussing in the coming weeks. Of course, there won't be a magic formula, a new, brilliant proposal. But there are a combination of actions we can take that can have positive consequences for Venezuela.

Let's start with the way Venezuela's opposition carries out propaganda under the current repressive conditions...are there better ways to inform the public?

To be continued...

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Venezuela in Norwegian

A Norwegian friend sent me the following article from Aftenposten about Venezuela. It is about how Maduro is desperately looking for money abroad. The title couldn't be more to the point: Venezuela on a beggar trip to China. If you don't speak Norwegian, you can probably use a machine translation engine to get the gist.

Economic paralysis

The Venezuelan government is desperate: a barrel of Venezuelan oil costs right now only - only? - about 48 dollars. When the military coup monger Chávez came to power, the price was $12. If we take into account inflation, that is like $17 of today's money. Thus: the government is only earning more than two and a half times what it got in 1998...and yet Venezuelan standards of living have collapsed probably to what they were at that time. I say probably when I should say surely. The problem is that the government has been massaging statistics in the most blatant way and it is hard to prove it until we actually start to do the maths about how much food a Venezuelan worker could buy in 1998 as opposed to now or what chances he had then to afford a house, even to pay the rent for a small flat.

The government is so scared that Maduro decided to travel on an emergency trip to China just a couple of days ago. He is right now in Asia trying to get some money to survive. He had been announcing new monetary policies back in December and he kept announcing them time after time. Today, we hear the minister of finance saying "the new monetary system will be announced when Maduro comes back from China".

As a little but meaningful detail: the finance minister is no economist but Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torre, a military who took part in the bloody coup attempt carried out by Chávez.