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to understand what the Venezuelan exchange rates area mean, you can check out this article by Bloomberg, which is an outdated version of what is happening now: the black market dollar is currently at over 700 Bolívars.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.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Rationing in the Venezuelan region of Táchira

The government refuses to call it rationing but that is what it is: from now on if you want to buy food or hygiene products and you live in Táchira, in the most densely populated state bordering Colombia, you can only do it two days a week. The days when you can buy those products depend on the last digit of your ID. This is worse than the rationing for specific (admittedly, many) products in place in the rest of Venezuela.

So, now if your ID ends in 1 or 2, you can buy stuff on Mondays and Saturdays.
If your ID ends in 3 or 4, you can buy on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
If your ID ends in 5, you can buy on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
If your ID ends in 6, you can buy on Wednesdays and Sundays.
If your ID ends in 7 or 8, you can buy on Thursdays and Sundays.
If it ends in 9 or 0, you can buy on Thursday and Sundays.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Schon wieder stürzen Militärflugzeuge in Venezuela ab

Zwei Sukhoiflugzeuge der venezolanischen Militärs sind gestern in Apure, Westvenezuela, abgestürzt. Die Regierungserklärung, wie erwartet: sie haben gegen die "narcotraficantes" gekämpft.
Die Flugzeuge wären abgestürzt, nachdem ein fremdes Flugzeug in den venezolanischen Luftraum eingedrungen sei. 

Beweise? Danke schön. Seit Wochen protestiert die kolumbianische Regierung, weil venezolanische Militärs die Grenze überquert haben sollen.

Heute demonstrieren Tausende Venezolaner in der ganzen Welt für Menschenrechte in Venezuela und insbesondere für die Befreiung des Oppositionsführers López.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Alexander von Humboldt and the environment

Alexander von Humboldt was born one day like today in 1769.

Here you have an interesting article - in Spanish - about global warming and Humboldt.

I wish scientists could carry out the same kind of experiments in Venezuela as they did in Ecuador now and see what level of environment destruction has taken place in what he visited 215 years ago. Unfortunately, Venezuela is now a complete failed  state so that it is almost impossible to carry out scientific work without getting mugged or worse. 

Oh, Alexander! If you saw how much Venezuelans have managed to destroy their environment!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

How do we teach Venezuelans about basic economics and sustainable development?

This is not a rhetoric or sarcastic question. Venezuelans have been repeating for decades now - about 7 - that the country needs to diversify its economy. Still, Venezuela is worse off now than it was back in 1937 when it comes to diversification. The standard of living rose a lot during several decades, but it is now falling down once more below the levels of the nineties of the XX century.

Venezuelans think theirs is a rich country and there only needs to be "redistribution". Some think Venezuela had or has capitalism or socialism while the country is still a primarily petro-feudal nation.

How do we educate Venezuelans if even opposition politicians with a degree in economics - much less the leaders of the autocratic government- do not want or cannot teach our citizens about the basics for sustainable (economic) development?

How do we prevent Venezuela's projects to always end up here?

Friday, 4 September 2015

How miserable can a "Socialist" regime be?

Imagine a country like Hungary or Poland or Portugal asking the whole world for money as "compensation for the refugees it accepted". Some countries ask for support within an actual union they are in, like in the case of Hungary or Greece. Some declare they are not prepared to accept more than a certain amount of refugees or that they are full, like in the case of Chávez's spiritual brother in Central Europe, Hungarian right-winged prime minister Viktor Orbán.

Declaring the country needs money as compensation for the refugees and other immigrants it received for decades would be considered completely cheap.

That is what the Chavista regime is demanding now. Delcy Rodríguez, Venezuela's minister of Foreign Affairs, declared, she will go to international organisations to ask for "indemnification to the Venezuelan state for the Colombians who fled from violence and who are currently living in Venezuela and for the exodus of Colombians to Venezuela. How cheap can Chavistas get? How Chauvinistic? How populist? Will it pay?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Chavismo, xenophobia and the world

Former coup monger Diosdado Cabello, current president of the National Assembly and one of the key Chavista strongmen, announced today the state of emergency has been extended to further municipalities of Táchira, the most densely populated Venezuelan state bordering Colombia. He said the border could be also closed along the states of Zulia and Apure. On the side: Cabello's brother is minister of Industry and Cabello's wife is minister of Tourism. His daughter often appears in flashy videos sponsored by the government singing for the "revolution" and the late caudillo Chávez.

The ombudsman of the people, Tarek William Saab, a man who is supposed to represent all Venezuelans but who is best known for writing poems to Chávez, said Colombia should ask the world to pay homage to Venezuela because Venezuela has accepted six million Colombian immigrants. He was referring to the millions of Colombians who have arrived to my country not just since Chavismo is in power but for many decades now. We don't really know how many they are as the Venezuelan registries are an absolute mess.

Imagine some big public official in Germany or the USA - not Trump but someone already elected- would say the same thing about Turkey or Mexico.


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Venezuela under Chavismo, 1 September 2015

Few blogs get into some of the details of the shortage economy generated by the Chavista madness in Venezuela. Here foreigners will get some of those little facts.

If you are living in Venezuela and you have an ID ending in 0 or 1, you can buy products with controlled prices on Mondays and Saturdays. We are talking about a lot of products, from sugar, rice, coffee, soap, tooth paste and nappies to chicken, meat and cooking oil.

If your ID ends in 2 or 3, you can buy them on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
If your ID ends in 4 or 5, you can buy them on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
If your ID ends in 6 or 7, you can buy them on Thursdays and Sundays.
If your ID ends in 8 or 9, you can buy them on Fridays and Sundays.

People who have a real job will have difficulty reaching the supermarket on a working day. Those who can buy regulated products on Sundays and not on Saturdays are the ones more screwed up because supermarkets are usually empty late on Saturdays...and it is not like the products under price control are often available during the other days.

In some supermarkets, particularly in Caracas, which suffers less severe shortages than most other areas of Venezuela, you might have to let your finger prints be checked.

Tampons? You can buy them on Thursday and Sunday if your ID ends in 7...if you are lucky