Sunday, 11 December 2016

Making the impossible in Venezuela

Lots of Venezuelans have been trying to get rid of a damaging regime since at least 1999. Time after time efforts failed.  Lots of opportunities were lost because the democratic forces let corrupt or undemocratic people take the lead or because there was no union or planning. Sometimes we were let down by countries we helped in the past. The longest oil price boom we saw in the last few decades enabled Chavismo to consolidate power until division of powers was completely over and the judiciary and electoral authorities became complete tools of the regime.

Now people are desperate but they are also tired. Probably up to two million Venezuelans have emigrated in the last decade...many were among the best qualified the country has. And yet we cannot stop. We need to make sure Venezuela does not turn into another Cuba, Somalia or worse.

It won't be easy. It won't be easy because even among those who have always realise what an aberration the Chavista ideas were, even those who saw the criminal or psychotic record of Chavista leaders and the psychological games played do not often recognise some key socioeconomic realities...things like the fact Venezuela was never really wealthy, not in a sustainable way. Most Venezuelans do not have an inkling of what political debates actually are...the closest they have seen are US debates, which are a particular thing.

Let's start. And let's see how some of those ideas can go into the Spanish Venezuelan sphere.

Chavista honchos have a lot to lose. They will do anything even if that involves all kinds of criminal acts in order to remain in power. A lot of people have discussed about the need to pardon these criminals like democratic forces did in South Africa or Chile. The thing is whether we are dealing with people that reason like the autocrats of South Africa and Chile or those of Zimbabwe and Cuba.

We also keep hearing about Chavista criminals who call US intelligence agencies and cut a deal in order to run away before total collapse, confess in the US and leave a life of obscure safety and no more tension. We have seen already dozens of these characters. Leaving the main criminals alone hasn't done so much much to change the game.

I won't go into the "what to do with the criminals" just yet. I am not sure, I have to own up. I do think we need to talk about what we must do now to get them out of power whether there is some "amnesty for criminals" or a stronger stance towards them.

Rodrigo Linares is one of those Venezuelan bloggers who try to be constructive and discuss peaceful resistance. He analysis in his last post the exaggerated optimism of a specific Venezuelan commentator and he briefly mentions at the end we need to target 2018's elections from now on. I do hope he goes into more detail about that...from now on and we are able to get the debate going in our language, Spanish.

Chavista honchos think ahead and have a plan B, C, D up to Z. The Venezuelan opposition leaders have been mostly thinking very short term or, in any case, in a not very clever way.

I believe we need to openly discuss - and explain to the whole world - how Chavistas will block anything, how exactly they will do. We need to be creative and think what Chavistas will produce...and then openly - just as openly as possible - say how those actions can be averted no matter what.

I will go into that in a post this week.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Comeremos Kalashnikov y los rusos manejarán toda nuestra información

El vicepresidente de Rusia y ante todo jefe de la industria militar, Dmitri Rogozin, declaró al diario ruso Kommersant que la fábrica de Kalashnikovs AK-103 en Venezuela, que tanto se había demorado, estará lista para 2019: las máquinas rusas están preparadas, todo está vigilado (sí, vigilado). Lo único que falta es que los venezolanos terminen de construir el edificio. Ya los rusos han elegido cuál será el contructor venezolano. Estas declaraciones se produjern en un encuentro con  Delcy Rodríguez, la ministra chavista para relaciones exteriores, hermana de Jorge Rodríguez, el comunista que controló el Consejo Nacional Electoral por tanto tiempo.

Rogozin también mencionó que Rusia terminará la construcción de dos centros para helicópteros rusos en Venezuela. Uno servirá para el entrenamiento de pilotos y el otro para el mantenimiento. Supongo que con esto tratarán de que no se caigan tantos.

Ahora viene lo mejor: el hombre declaró que Rusia está dispuesta a proporcionar chips para tarjetas bancarias y tarjetas de SIM y para colaborar "en la programación para la defensa contra ciberataques". Repitió la versión del chavismo: los bancos venezuela habrían sido víctimas hace poco de un ataque de hackers y - esto lo dice en primera persona del plural- "lo enfrentamos y vencimos". Por supuesto que esos supuestos ataques solo son una explicación chavista para ocultar que la infraestructura no sirve...y no sirve, entre otras cosas, porque en Venezuela nadie tiene idea de qué cuesta producir algo.

Ahora Rusia está "ofreciendo apoyo informático". Ya sabemos a dónde va a parar eso del software y programadores de Rusia.

Un par de detalles sobre este hombre: hace un tiempo declaró que la venta de Alaska a Estados Unidos no fue realizada de manera limpia y que Rusia tiene derecho a reclamar ese territorio. Rogozin también ha estado permanentemente involucrado en "ayudas" a Transnitria, un satélite ruso en la dividida Moldavia.

Otra de las cositas que dijo: que querría conducir de casa a su trabajo en un tanque GAZ-2975 Tigr para promover la industria rusa. Rogozin es uno de los hombres de Putin que no tiene permitido entrar en Estados Unidos o la Unión Europea. Algunas de las acciones o declaraciones de Rogozin serían clasificadas en un país normal como ultranacionalistas o sencillamente racistas.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

The old pseudo-revolutionary caudillo died. What now?

I do not celebrate or mourn Fidel Castro's death. The Castro dictatorship is still in place and so is the Castro-supported dictatorship in my home country.

I dislike personality cults. All of them. From any orientation. Even for people that impress me. I dislike particularly when people repeat falsehoods without checking out facts.

Even some who admitted that Castro was a dictator would say things like

- well, before Cuba was the US's brothel (and apparently now things are better seems to be the message)
- well, Cuba had big advances in education...look how it compares with the rest of the Caribbean and Central America! Even with the rest of Latin America.

A more nuanced, impartial view of Cuba before the caudillo can be read here.

Let's see what will happen with Cuba now, a nation that stopped being the US's brothel to become the EU's brothel and in the process of becoming an EU-USA brothel. Will Cubans finally be able to gain some dignity and take their country on the road to sustainable development?

The military castes everywhere will be against that.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Why the BBC World Service reports so clumsily about Venezuela?

This is not about "right versus left journalism". This is about basic journalism in the XXI century.

BBC wants to be seen as objective, so when there is a conflict somewhere in the world its journalists very ostensibly report that one side said this and the other said that. The thing is: that might be enough for primary school journalism but it takes more if you want to do proper analysis of what is happening in the world. At this moment the World Service is often acting exactly like the German tabloid magazine Focus, which many years ago wanted to compete against weekly Spiegel claiming to be "about facts, letting the reader make his or her own mind". 

You have to do more than give a summary of quotations for each side. You need to have a basic understanding of economics. You need to know about the country's history. If you keep reporting about countries without some understanding of how inflation happens, if you do not understand what money supply is, if you cannot explain what factors influence productivity and if you do not take the time to find out about how the trade balance of that country has evolved throughout decades, you should really focus on reporting about sports or fashion.

Let's first go to some examples of how BBC World fails when it comes to reporting about Venezuela.

Take this article from January 2016 and this one from yesterday, 28 October 2016. In both texts BBC states the opposition is a "centre-right movement".

If you do some basic homework you will find the main parties representing the opposition are:
1- Primero Justicia, a centre-right indeed...even if economically speaking it might as well be a Catholic "social democrat" because Venezuelans are used to that for decades
2- Acción Democrática, a centre-left party member of the Socialist International
3- UNT, a centre-left party member of the Socialist International
4- Voluntad Popular, a centre-left party member of the Socialist International
5- Causa Radical, a centre-left-left party - one I have voted for

And then there are a few other tiny groups, both social democrats and rather "liberal to centre right".

All in all it is a coalition of parties from left to right and if you make the effort and count the deputies representing each you will see no one group prevails.

What is so difficult to understand?

The BBC journalist who wrote the last article did not mention the government-friendly National Electoral Council has constantly changed the rules for the referendum. He does not mention the very public threats by government officials against anyone who would sign the petition for the referendum. He does not mention oil production in Venezuela has been dropping for years and that the opposition has been demanding an investigation of the main guy in charge of oil production because of the disappearance of 11 billion dollars, among other things.

The BBC journalist does not discuss the fact the government has kept several exchange rates in place with a highly overvalued local currency. He or she does not mention governors' elections have been postponed without any explanation and against what the constitution says. He or she does not say the government threatened to expropriate those shops that joined the strike.

The BBC journalist did not care to find out what social programmes were in place in Venezuela in the seventies, in the eighties, in the nineties. When you read BBC World Service you get the impression it was Chávez who introduced social programmes in Venezuela or that his programmes were more effective than previous ones.

The BBC World Service might be a bit better than FOX News or CNN...but not much, really. Sometimes it does a bad journalistic job because it is, after all, an extension of the Foreign Office. That has been the case when it misreported as it did during the Biafra war or during the Iraq War. Misreporting is part of their job sometimes - as with Biafra-. Sometimes it is just sloppiness. I think that is the case for Venezuela and some other countries in Latin America: BBC just keeps a bunch of journalists with a weak command of the Spanish language and who are not very keen on looking at charts - too much mathematics for them.

If you want to read new about Venezuela in English you'd better go to Reuters or Bloomberg or even lefty The Guardian.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Cómo se avanzará con el milagroso diálogo en Venezuela

Hoy parte de la oposición acordó con el astuto jefe de los Colectivos Chavistas, Rodríguez, un diálogo auspiciado por los pro-chavistas de UNASUR.

Hoy es 24 de octubre de 2016.

Veamos cómo progresará ese diálogo:

  • Se realiza el segundo encuentro entre la oposición y el gobierno (14 de abril de 2014)
  • Los demás encuentros se realizaron bajo puertas cerradas
Hay un proverbio escrito por primera vez hace más de 2500 años que dice: "como perro que vuelve a su vómito, así es el necio que vuelve a su necedad".

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Venezuela in Europe, Europe in Venezuela

Human rights in Venezuela are discussed right now here.

Maduro's ambassador was invited but didn't go.

A woman representative of the so-called "Víctimas de las Guarimbas", a pro-regime organisation, was able to speak, something the great majority of Venezuelans could not do in the media of the Venezuelan state.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Venezuelas Streit gegen die Militärdiktatur: September 2016

Der Nationalrat hat vor kurzem erklärt, dass die Opposition Unterschriften von 20% aller Wahlbeteiligten in jedem Bundesstaat sammeln muss, um ein Referendum zu beantragen. Das ist absolut verfassungswidrig: man braucht lediglich Unterschriften von 20% aller Wähler im Lande. So war es beim Referendum gegen Chávez im Jahr 2004. Das Regime aber ändert die Regeln und pfeifft auf die Verfassung. Sie weiss, dass in mehreren kleinen Regionen viele Menschen viel mehr Angst haben, zu unterschreiben. Die Regierenden haben immer wieder ganz unverschämt erklärt, dass Arbeiter bei öffentlichen Institutionen ihren Job verlieren werden, wenn sie für das Referendum unterzeichnen. Der Nationalrat hat auch schon gesagt, dass das Referendum erst im nächsten Jahr stattfinden kann, wodurch Maduro lediglich durch den Vizepräsidenten, einen anderen Chavista, ersetzt werden würde.

Eine der Vorsitzenden des Wahlrates hat darüber hinaus gesagt, man denke noch nicht an die Gouverneurwahlen, weil "das Land in einer Wirtschaftskrise steckt". Diese Gouverneurwahlen müssten eigentlich im Dezember dieses Jahres stattfinden.

Die Oppositionsparteien haben nun angekündigt, dass sie diese neue Regelung von 20% der Unterschriften pro Bundesstaat nicht akzeptieren werden und dass sie ab jetzt und bis zum 12.10 demonstrieren werden, damit die Regierung das Referendum dieses Jahr erlaubt.

Sie können mit Repression von den Militärs  und den anderen Schurken des Chavismus rechnen.

Hier die Daten:

Dezember: Gouverneurwahlen müssten stattfinden. Die Regierung sagt nichts davon.
10. Januar: Ab diesem Tag wird ein Referendum gegen Maduro zu nichts nutzen.
Ende des Jahres: Gemeindewahlen müssten stattfinden.
Dezember: Präsidentenwahlen finden spätestens dann statt.
2019: Januar. Maduros Regierung geht spätestens dann zu Ende.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Venezuela, Rusia, armas y más corrupción

Lenta informa sobre el juicio en Moscú al ex-senador ruso Sergey Popelnyujovym por fraude en el proyecto de la fábrica de kalashnikovs en Venezuela.

El caudillo Chávez había  firmado un contrato con los rusos en 2001 para que se construyera una fábrica de kalashnikovs en Venezuela que produjera unas 25000 armas anualmente. Popelnyujovym tenía amigos en la empresa estatal Rosoboronexport, de la que he escrito anteriormente, y consiguió a través de estos una participación en el proyecto.

Popelnyojovym, dicen ingenieros, trabajadores y contratistas, no les pagó durante meses. Estos trataron de reclamar las deudas, pero este los evitó. Al parecer, el diario Lenta escribió a la embajada rusa en Caracas y tampoco recibió respuesta de lo que pasaba. Los ingenieros finalmente se dirigieron al gobierno ruso. En 2015 miembros de Rosoboronexport decían que la culpa de los retrasos era de los venezolanos.

Finalmente, el juzgado de Tver detuvo a Popelnyujovin el 4 de junio de 2015. Desde aquel entonces este ha mantenido que la culpa de los retrasos es de los venezolanos y de Rosoboronexport y que se ha logrado construir casi toda la fábrica.

Entre los elementos que se discuten en el juicio es el papel de CAVIM, que habría recibido mil millones de rublos o más de 16 millones de euros en aquel entonces.

Pueden encontrar algo en castellano sobre este asunto aquí (de 2015) y aquí (marzo de 2016).

Sería interesante si la oposición venezolana distribuyese volantes a las personas que hacen filas para comprar comida con preguntas sobre el papel de CAVIM y de los militares en general en todos estos negocios.

Sería también interesante si nuestros diputados exigen de manera pública a los militares chavistas que expliquen qué es lo que está pasando en ese juicio y qué hay de las aseveraciones de Rosoboronexport y de Popelnyujovin.

Mientras este juicio prosigue y el hambre aumenta en Venezuela, el régimen chavista planifica nuevas compras de armas. Lenta cita al experto de armas Frolov, quien dice que pronto Venezuela comprará al menos una decena de Sujoy 30MK.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Switzerland and Chavismo's corruption

If you read French, you should take a look at this article summing up some of the corruption scandals related to Chavistas and Swiss banks.

Hats off to Swiss journalist Alexandra Ulmer.

One of the thugs holding power in Venezuela loves Swiss watches... ohter Chavistas love Swiss banking secrecy

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Venezuelans for Democracy: the Days

Here you see where Venezuelans all over the world will meet to demand the end of autocracy and thuggery and the return of democracy, with all it needs: rule of law, pluralism, accountability, human rights.

Ps. there are actually many more places. Brussels and several German cities will see marches. If you know of more details, send them to me.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

1 September: Looking for democracy against looking for a crackdown

1 September the opposition in Venezuela is organising a massive demonstration to demand the realisation of the recall referendum this year, as the law establishes.

The Venezuelan regime is against it. It will send troops to block all access to Caracas, it will produce scenes of violence to justify further repression. It keeps announcing the demonstration is an attempt to provoke a coup as in early 2002.

Venezuelans in many cities around the world will protest on 1, 2 and 3 September.

Here you have a link with some information about the marches in Europe.

If you have good links indicating where those Venezuelans will be organising their marches, send them to us.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Über Bohnengenerale und Entlassung aller Andersdenkenden

In diesen Tagen kündigen sowohl Nicolás Maduro wie mehrere seiner engsten Mitarbeiter - wie der Panerai-Uhr liebende Kommunist Rodríguez und der Putschist Diosdado Cabello -, dass Regierungsmitarbeiter, die Petition für das Referendum unterschrieben haben, entlassen werden sollen.
Jetzt werden wir einen Bohnengeneral haben, nicht aber einen Bananengeneral, denn Banannengeneral ist jeder General in Venezuela

Ja. Das ist die Regierung, die Wagenknecht so sehr verteidigt, macht das. Das ist die Wagenknecht, die uns ständig sagt, sie sei nicht Kommunistin im Sinne der SED und der Mauer - böse, böse, böse-, sondern im Sinne diese äußerst schwammige, nie richtig erklärte Utopie von einem Marx im roten Himmel.

Der Verteidigungsminister Vladimir Padrino, der seit einigen Monaten schon mit Maduro ein Duumvirat bildet, erklärt, dass es einen General für jedes der "18 wichtigten Lebensmittelsprodukte" geben wird, die zur Zeit kaum zu finden sind. 

"Ich habe befohlen, einen General mit einem militär-zivilen Team für jedes Lebensmittel zu bestimmen. Das heisst: ein General oder Admiral wird Leiter [der Verwaltung von] Reis und wird auf einer Karte (sic) alles zeigen, von der Produktion oder Einfuhr bis zur Kommerzialisierung".

Meine Familie, wie fast alle Venezolaner, die nicht Teil des Regiimes sind, muss jede Woche viele Stunden Schlange stehen, um zumindest ein Teil der Produkte zu kaufen...oft gehen sie nach Hause mit leeren Händen. Das soll Teil eines Wirtschaftskrieges sein. Ich will, dass Frau Wagenknecht bei der ZDF oder ARD und zwar vor einem Volkswirt erklärt, wie genau das in Venezuela passiert.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Moving colours

And to finish off this Sunday, here you have a very nice interview with Cruz Diez:

A Venezuelan architect in the USA

María Ponce de León is a Venezuelan architect and Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. It is nice to finally read an article about her in a Venezuelan newspaper. If you speak Spanish, read it here

Whether you speak Cervantes' language or not, you can also take a look at her Wikipedia in English.

And here a picture of the Helios House:

 Helios House (attr)

Monday, 8 August 2016

Das bescheuerte Land - Kapitel MCCCVIII

Venezuela hat einen Minister für Fischerei und Landwirtschaft und dieser Minister heißt zur Zeit Ángel Belisario Martínez. Er ist da, weil er Militär ist und ein Freund vom Caudillo Chávez war.

Er sagt uns jetzt, dass 900 Tonnen Thunfisch importiert worden und sich im Hafen von Sucre, im Osten Venezuelas, befinden. Als Referenz: Kolumbianische Firmen fangen etwa 43000 Tonnen Thunfisch pro Jahr. Eins muss aber gesagt werden: die Karibik verfügt über weniger Fischressourcen als die Pazifik.

Die Militärs Venezuelas sind Parasiten und sie wollen für immer an der Macht bleiben. Dass sie damit das Land zerstören, ist ihnen völlig egal. Manche von ihnen werden wahrscheinlich wirklich glauben, dass sie die Lösung sind.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Crimes, Chavismo and predictability

Sometimes the Chavista regime can be more predictable than other times. For instance, when the United States of America announces one of the Chavista honchos will be prosecuted for serious crimes, the Venezuelan regime feels the need to promote the accused.

That is what happened in January 2012: USA announced Henry Rangel Silva, among other Chavista military strongmen, was involved in drug trafficking. Lo and behold: Chávez named him minister of Defence.

Another military, Gustavo González, was among those the States decided to sanction for their responsibility in human rights violantions during the 2014 protests. Maduro made him minister of Interior.

Now the USA, after a long investigation, declared Néstor Reverol was a drug dealer and Maduro announced Reverol will be the next minister of Interior. There is a certain modus operandi.

And while Maduro is giving awards to criminals, you can read a very good but extremely sad article Alexandra Ulmer wrote about how women in Venezuela now seek sterilization in order to avoid child-rearing. 

Only the First Lady's cousins won't be able to become ministers in a US prison

Sunday, 31 July 2016

All of us helping to bring the end of Chavismo

Oil tanker in the Lake of Venezuela

Alexandra Ullmer and Girish Gupta produced a great little article based on good investigative work. Their research shows how a well-known Colombian supporter of Chavismo, Alex Saab, can be linked to a company that was trying to pocket a huge contract with PDVSA, Venezuela's once solid and now crumbling state oil company.

Venezuelan blogger Alex Boyd had written about Saab before. You can read him in Spanish here and in English more recently here.

Now: why do I bring up that title? Because I want to ask you - yes you - to use a tiny bit of your free time some day to expand the Wikipedia articles related to corruption in Venezuela

You can write in Spanish here, in English here and in German here. Remember: be more kosher than the rabbi and more Catholic than the Pope when it comes to objectivity. It's Wikipedia. Avoid using blogs as direct references - yes, as painful as it is for a blogger- and prefer the most respected references from well-known news agencies and from books. Remember: there are a lot of Chavismo apologists out there who would remove anything from Wikipedia that may be critical of the regime unless the sources are very well selected and the wording is spotless for Wikipedia standards.

Chavismo will collapse only when the thugs in power realize jail for them is unavoidable if they keep a single minute there. Each one of us can accelerate that moment by painstakingly documenting Chavistas' crimes. Wikipedia is just one of many means but one that should not be underestimated.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Venezuela auf Russisch, Spanisch usw

Ich bin sehr beschäftigt gewesen und konnte dadurch nicht bloggen. Jetzt habe ich etwas kurzes in meinem spanisch-sprachigen Blog geschrieben.

Vor kurzem war ich in Deutschland und ich war baff, als ich feststellte, wie viele Leute endlich etwas über die Elend in meinem Land gehört bzw gelesen haben.

Hier habt Ihr einen Artikel von der NZZ. Leider ist die Analyse da eher oberflächlich. Die Senkung der Erdölpreise hat der Zusammenbruch der venezolanischen Wirtschaft zwar beschleunigt. Die Leute, die sich aber mit den technischen Daten Venezuelas beschäftigen, die, die die Strukturen des Landes  richtig kennen wissen aber schon: der Verfall hatte schon viel früher, selbst während des Gipfels des längsten Erdölbooms unserer Geschichte, begonnen.

Es gibt mehrere Posts anderer Bloggers, die darüber erzählen. Hier nur ein Beispiel.

Wenn wir eine gewisse Distanz zu diesen Zeiten erreicht haben, werden die Wirtschaftshistoriker die Chávez-Zeit als die zerstörischste unserer ganzen Geschichte erkennen.

Friday, 17 June 2016

More dictatorship for Venezuela

The head of the Venezuela Air force just declared the military personnel who signed the petition for the recall referendum should "verify their signature" on a voluntary basis - code for remove their signatures from the petition - . He added: "It is important to know with whom we count and on whom we should keep an eye...independence and socialist fatherland".

Former Spanish president Zapatero is now flirting with Iglesias, the Podemos leader financed by the Chavista regime. That is why Iglesias is praising Zapatero now and why the Venezuelan regime is using him for a show at OAS.

If you have any doubt about where the military top is right now in Venezuela, take a look at the tweets of the minister of Defence, Vladimir Padrino (yes, his father was a commie, not a Russian). Those tweets are a mix of Chauvinistic trash, Bolivarian-Chavista religion and threats against the others.

Venezuelans have been let down by virtually most countries.

Venezuelans can only count on themselves to end Chavismo.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Die venezolanische Opposition im Spiegel

Endlich hat Der Spiegel ein Interview mit einem Oppositionspolitiker Venezuelas verö war ein kurzer Text, man konnte aber zumindest direkter die Position der Mehrheit Venezuelas auf Deutsch lesen, als es der Fall war. Hier eine Referenz auf Spanisch.

Bis jetzt waren vor allem die NZZ, die eine befriedigende bis gute Analyse über die venezolanische Lage geliefert hatte.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Si eres hombre y quieres morir joven en Suramérica: Venezuela

Expectativa de vida en años desde 1990 en algunos países de Suramérica
Hay muchas conclusiones que se pueden sacar de analizar de manera correcta los datos de la Organización Mundial de la Salud relativos a la expectativa de vida en el mundo. Aun así, lo primero que me llamó la atención fue  el hecho de que actualmente Venezuela posee las segundas peores expectativas de vida de Sudamérica si uno es un hombre. Solo en Bolivia los hombres tienden a morir antes. El desarrollo de la expectativa de vida para las mujeres también se está rezagando, pero la situación es particularmente mala para los hombres venezolanos. La causa principal es evidente: violencia.

Aquí pueden ver cómo Paraguay y Colombia superaron a Venezuela en 2004 y 2008 respectivamente, en pleno período de Hugo Chávez. Eso fue algo que los tontos útiles que otrora aplaudieron al chavismo no percibieron.

Espero volver pronto con un post que ponga en perspectiva el desarrollo de la mujer en Venezuela en comparación con el resto de Suramérica.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

More on food and sustainability

As you probably know if you follow Venezuelan news, people can't even find maize flour - cornmeal-, which is staple food. The government forces companies to sell one kilogram for 20 Bs, which is way under production costs.

Shortages in Caracas are bad, but other cities fare worse. Most Venezuelans live in those cities. The situation is a little bit better in semi-rural or rural areas...but even there it is bad and it is getting worse as urban people go to those areas to get some of the  food.

The picture below shows a stand where a street vendor in a village close to Valencia sells maize dough, which is the way maize was prepared in the times of my grandparents, before industrialized cornmeal appeared. You can make up to 7 arepas with one of those 1 kg dough bags. For comparison you can produce about 16 arepas out of a kilogram of industrial cornmeal. The price for those dough bags is right now about Bs 400. That means: one arepa costs you around Bs 57.1. If you could get a cornmeal package at the official price - those Bs 20 I mentioned earlier - you could cook 1 arepa for Bs 1.25. As I said, there is a huge shortage of industrial cornmeal. Right now you have to pay 1000 bs or more for one kilogram at the black market. That means if you want to cook arepas and have only access to the blac market, you have to pay Bs 62.5 in cornmeal per arepa. That is how the maize dough market came to be.

Of course, this alternative is not very scalable: firstly, the method is work intensive. Then there is the land: Venezuelans have transformed in the last few decades most of the most productive agricultural areas around the major cities into badly designed urbanizations or slums. Most of the agricultural areas in the highly fertile Tuy and the Victoria-Valencia Valleys and in a lot of areas around the coast is gone. Most of this production is coming from the  little gardens of people who have no property rights for their pieces of land close to the more mountainous areas of Guacara or places like Miranda.

That is why people in many poor urban areas like La Isabelica, in Valencia, are looting.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Venezuela på norsk

The Norwegian TV has a little documentary about the mess in Venezuela.

Og her kan du også lese om Venezuela.

Hats off to S.

Monday, 16 May 2016

My poor Venezuelan people under Chavismo

Venezuelans used to eat maize flour. Production is collapsing because of the whole price controls, the currency control with several exchange rates favoring more corruption, the massive stealing from military and state functionaries and general mismanagement of the economy.

Now Venezuelans are eating cassava. That is a plant that can be easily planted. There are several problems with its use, though. Firstly, people need to cook it very well because otherwise cassava can be highly poisonous. There is the issue of scalability: there is only so much land, cassava has never been produced on an industrial scale in Venezuela and anyway, trying to make cassava production scalable is pointless if we haven't addressed the collapse of maize production in the first pace...but then you would need to change the essence of corrupt Chavismo.

This is what my relatives in poor areas of Venezuela are telling me right now: A kilo of fresh cassava costs Bs. 600. With a minimum wage you can buy 19 kilos every month...and nothing else.

A full minimum wage would give you otherwise 13.5 kg of beans, 11.57 kg of carrots or 3 kg of chicken. Yes: your minimum wage salary gives you three kilograms of chicken.

My relatives and friends are spending more and more time queuing up. It would be interesting - although a full challenge - if someone could come up with a way to gauge the increase in hours spent on those queues.

The government as well as some deluded people from the extreme left claim it's all because of some economic war. Shortages were not just part of the end of socialist or pseudo-socialist regimes with price controls and no independent powers. Shortages were present throughout the existence of those regimes - since Lenin times through Stalin - and later on.

Repression will scale up. Venezuelans need more support from the outside world.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Der Spiegel und Venezuela

Hier können Sie einen neuen Artikel des Spiegels über Venezuela lesen. Die meisten Texte, die dort über mein Land verfasst werden, sind in Eile aus verschiedenen Agenturen zusammengefügte Nachrichten oder Texte des Herrn Klaus Ehringfelds - auch ohne viel Kontext. Der verlinkte Text gehört zur Ehringefeld-Kategorie. Irgendwie hat der Spiegel Schwierigkeiten damit, venezolanische Oppositionspolitiker zu interviewen oder die Meinungen unterschiedlicher lateinamerikanischen Experten aus Lateinamerika, nicht aus Bielefeld, darzustellen. Das ist seltsam, denn sonst lese ich in der Zeitschrift Interviews mit allen möglichen Akteuren aus Syrien, Saudiarabien, China, Uzbekistan und so weiter. Ist Venezuela zu entfernt, so dass nur die von ehringfeldartigen Journalisten zufällig getroffenen Venezolaner zu Wort kommen, wenn überhaupt? Ich weiss es nicht. Auf jeden Fall finde ich es schade, dass Venezuela generell in den deutschen Medien vor allem von anderen, vor allem durch deutsche "Experten" erklärt wird.

Man sieht schon, dass Ehringfeld - wie Heinz Dieterich- das Scheitern des Chavismus erkennt. Man sieht aber auch, dass er über die ganze Opposition, die jetzt ganz deutlich die Mehrheit der Wähler bildet, eine sehr verallgemeinernde, negative Meinung hat. Und man sieht, dass er das Land immer noch nicht versteht.
Das von manchen Deutsche immer noch bewahrte alte-neue Bild Lateinamerikas

Und hier einige Zitage dieses Herren:
"die schlechte (Nachricht) ist, dass der  Ton vor allem bei der  Opposition schärfer wird."

Anscheinend hat Ehringfeld den Ton des Maduros und seiner Bonzen gar nicht verstanden.
Da sagt der frühere Putschist Mota und jetzige Gouverneur von Nueva Esparta, dass die Namen aller Menschen, die für das Referendum unterschrieben, bekannt gemacht werden und dass diese Leute mit Folgen zu rechnen haben. Andere Chavistas, wie der ebenso Militär Diosdado Cabello, haben klipp und klar gesagt, dass jeder Beamte, der für das Referendum unterschrieben hat, seinen Job verlieren wird. Das ist natürlich nichts Neues: wir haben das schon mit der Lista Tascón im Jahr 2004 gesehen und das war nicht schön.

"Auslöser des aktuellen Zorns der Opposition ist die angebliche Untätigkeit des Wahlrates CNE".

Nein, nein und nein. Es ist nicht angeblich. Es ist sehr tatsächlich. Wenn man im Gesetzt sagt, dass ein Schritt des Referendums in 5 Tagen durchgeführt werden muss, ein anderer in 20 und so weiter, ist das nicht angeblich. Die Liste der Gesetze, die der Wahlrat verletzt hat, ist sehr gross. Die Liste der Verfassungsabsätze, die das von der Exekutive völlig kontrollierte Obergericht, ist fast so gross wie die Zahl aller Absätze. Die Anzahl der Venezolaner, der politische Gefangene sind, wächst weiterhin. Die Mangelwirtschaft, die schon zu Zeiten des Caudillos Chávez Schwierigkeiten bereitete, verschärft sich sehr schnell.

In einem anderen Artikel spricht der Spiegel über vereinzelte Plünderungen. Was versteht man unter "vereinzelt" auf Mediendeutsch? In 3 Monaten 10? 20? 100? 200? So was und so was und so viel mehr?

OPEC-Fass: Erdölpreise

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Venezuelan politicians do not want to be in congress, they want to be caciques

Venezuelan deputies don't want to spend much time at the National Assembly. We have seen this before: most prefer to be mayors of a small city in a poor area than a deputy in Caracas. The reason is simple: they have more power, more money and more possibilities to give employment to their people.

We saw that with the PSUV deputies and we see it now with the opposition deputies.


Deputy Larissa González now wants to be the governor of Delta Amacuro.
Deputy Carlos Ramos wants to be deputy of Mérida.

Mind: these people were elected as deputies just 5 months ago!

We should have an open discussion before National Assembly elections: do you want to be deputy just to use the position as a platform?

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Venezuela now and what to do (I)

average yearly price for an OPEC oil barrel
Above you see Venezuela's Alpha and's the average oil price as dollars per barrel for each year. Actually: the data reflects OPEC average barrel whereas Venezuela's oil is somewhat cheaper. Prices have started to increase since February. As usual, some so-called specialists say there is a clear trend now and some other so-called specialists there is none. Their guess is almost as good as your or my grandfather's.

Even if prices were to keep increasing, anything under 100 dollars a barrel won't be enough to keep Venezuela's economy afloat.

And yet: we have seen Chavismo is able to  keep power even if Venezuela is in it has been for several years now. Beyond Caracas, Valencia and Maracaibo and some surrounding areas, the regime firmly controls what people can watch and read. Your average Russian Ivan Popov in Nizhny Novgorod or even a village around Kemerovo is more likely to be able to surf at high speed on the Internet than my José González or María Rodríguez in Guacara, Calabozo or Quíbor, the kind of urban centres where more than half of Venezuela's population live. Even though the vast majority of Venezuelans are spending many hours every week queuing up to be able to buy a few basic products and find only a fraction of them, even if murder rates are among the highest in the world, even if the inflation is the highest at all, there is still a 30% of the population that keeps supporting the regime. Why? Because for them a turning back is just too painful, because they know nothing else, because they fear to lose the state jobs they now have. 

Don't fool yourself: Chavismo is led by gangsters who have a lot of skeletons in their closets. Chances they leave power willingly are less than of bank robbers of turning themselves to the police unless they are completely cornered.

What is going to come? 

We might find some support from the new government in Argentina, but Macri is very busy now trying to fix an economy plundered by the Kirchner family. Peru's future is still to be decided. Brazil is in a mess of its own. Other Latin American countries are getting into recession mode as well.

Venezuelans of good faith are again left to their own. Still, there is a lot they can do.

Let's start with this: Venezuelan expats need to organise demos in front of the embassies of Latin American countries in Latin America and all of the Americas to 

1- denounce how the Supreme Court in Venezuela is constantly violating the Venezuelan constitution
2- force the renewal of the Judiciary 
3- make the Venezuelan regime accept independent observers who will prevent abuses of power during the recall process.

Venezuelans in Brazil need to talk about these things in front of the embassies of Peru and Colombia, Venezuelans in Germany need to do that in front of the embassies of Colombia and Mexico, Venezuelans in Washington need to do the same in front of the embassies  of Chile and Costa Rica and so on. The whole world needs to know Venezuelan democrats are asking their Latin American neighbours to support democracy the same way Venezuelans supported democracy in Latin America when most countries were living under military dictatorships.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Venezuelas Untergang - Kapitel CCCLXXXVIII

Wie kann ich über den fortschreitenden Untergang meines Landes sprechen und etwas Positives bewirken?

Die Regierung Venezuelas hat viele Schulden und unter ihnen befinden sich Schulden in Höhe von $1 Milliard für die Kosten der Benutzung von Schifffahrtscontainern. Der Grund für diese Summe ist, dass die Container, die für die Einfuhr so vieler Waren benutzt werden, mit viel Verspätung an die Transportfirmen zurückgegeben werden. Dies ist wiederum mit der sehr hohen Ineffizienz und Korruption im Land der Chavistas.

Die Opposition hat über 1.5 Millionen Unterschriften gesammelt, um ein Referendum zu veranlassen. Der Wahlrat, der völlig der Regierung untertänig ist, wird das Verfahren so weit es geht erschweren. Viele denken, dass das Referendum erst im Jahr 2017 stattfinden wird. Das würde bedeuten, dass auch wenn Maduro weggehen muss, Venezuela keine neue Wahlen haben würde, denn dann würde Maduro lediglich vom Vizepräsident ersetzt werden und der ist ein Chavista.

Die Mangelwirtschaft verschärft sich. Menschen müssen immer länger Schlange stehen und finden immer weniger. Selbst der sehr bekannte Musiker Yordano twittert mittlerweile, um zu fragen, ob man irgendwo bestimmte Medizinen findet, die er seit seiner Krebserkrankung nötig hat.

Die Politiker der deutschen Linksextremisten sagen aber immer noch, dass die ganze Katastrophe in Venezuela Folge eines Wirtschaftskrieges ist.

Francisco denkt, dass Maduro nicht so plump als Politike sein kann, wenn noch 30% der Bevölkerung eine positive Meinung über seine Regierung hat, während Roussef in Brasilien über nur ein Drittel dieser Popularität verfügt. Diese Zahlen so zu interpretieren wäre aber falsch. Die meisten Venezolaner, vor allem ausserhalb Caracas, Valencia und Maracaibo, können kaum regierungskritische Fernsehsender sehen und viel weniger lesen Zeitungen.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

¿Qué nos dice CEPAL ahora del 2016?

Estas son las proyecciones del crecimiento del PIB que tiene la CEPAL para Suramérica en 2016. Como pueden ver, Venezuela es clase aparte una vez más. Los de la extrema izquierda en Europa hablan de una guerra económica...hay que tener morros para decir esto.

Según estos datos, el PIB de Venezuela caerá en un 6,9% en 2016.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

A day in the life of a good engineer in Venezuela

Prices of most important household products are regulated in Venezuela of the "21 Century Socialism". The government does this at the same time as it keeps three currency exchange rates and currency controls that generate much more corruption and at the same time it keeps printing bank notes as if no one in the government knew anything about basic economics.

The horrible shortages product of these stupid economic policies have led the government to force citizens to buy controlled products only two days a week according to the last digit of their ID.

This is the account I got from a couple in Valencia. These friends are two formerly middle-class engineers who now can be classified simply as poor.

My time for shopping according to my ID was on Monday. I didn't find sugar, maize or wheat flour, rice, pasta, milk, butter, soap, tooth paste or shampoo in the main supermarkets. My husband went to queue up in front of the drugstore at 4 am. He got position 80. I got there at 7 am, shortly before the shop opened. When there were only 30 persons before me, the drugstore didn't have any more products with regulated prices.

I decided then to go to the Chinese shop as I had heard a lorry with pasta had arrived. I waited there from 10 to 1pm but I couldn't get anything when black market vendors tried to jump the queue and fighting broke out.

I gave up as I had to pick up our daughter from school.

Most of the people I see in the shops are actually from Southern Valencia, from towns of Güigüe, Miranda, Puerto Cabello, etc [a region with over 2 million people] because they do not find anything where they live.

She is one of the many who lost her job last year and she does little jobs here and there. There is no jobseeker allowance in Venezuela. Still, we  have 33% of the population that is still Chavista, just like 2, 3 years ago. They even believe things are worse in Spain.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Chicken and mathematics or how Chavismo's destroying my country

A friend of mine went shopping in Caracas. He was looking for some discount in the small poultry case of the local supermarket and while sifting through things he discovered, between a few chicken legs, an improvised ad:

"Maths specialist. Home lessons. Guaranteed comprehension and success.
Any day. Any time (Name and mobile number)"

Let's go to the chicken wings, though: the price is 1070 Bs a kilo. Instead of translating that into euros or dollars - very few Venezuelans earn either of them -, I'll translate that into a university professor's salary: that is equivalent to 1/19 to 1/39 of what she or he earns in a month. A school teacher earns less, of course.

Mind: you need more than a professor's full monthly salary to be able to rent a tiny flat in a working class area in any major city of Venezuela now.

My parents were a teacher and a professor in public - i.e. free- institutions before Chávez came to power and their salaries gave them a purchasing power that was much higher than anything teachers have in Venezuela of the "XXI Century Socialism".

I forgot to mention: my friend is also a professor. He was one of the very best at university. He would easily have a top job in Europe or in the USA. In Venezuela, though, he has to give maths lessons after his normal work at university in order to buy discount chicken wings.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Schon wieder verschwindet eine regimekritische Zeitung in Venezuela

Ab heute wird die venezolanische Zeitung El Carabobeño aufhören, als Druckausgabe zu erscheinen. Der Grund ist nicht, dass die Leute sie nicht mehr kaufen wollen. Die Druckausgabe wird es jetzt nicht mehr geben, weil die chavistische Regierung keine Dollars für die Einfuhr von Druckmaterial an diese unabhängige Zeitung geben will. In Venezuela entscheidet die Regierung wer wie viele Dollars und zu welchem Preis bekommt. In Venezuela, wo Internet so langsam und Internetzahlungen so beschränkt sind, bedeutet dies praktisch, dass diese Zeitung kaum Einfluss haben wird.

El Carabobeño war zwar eine Regionalzeitung, sie war aber die wichtigste in der Region zwischen Yaracuy und Aragua, mit Mittelpunkt in Valencia, meiner Stadt. Sagen wir das mal so: das war die wichtigste Zeitung in einem Gebiet, wo über 3 Millionen Venezolaner leben.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Chavismo jailing journalists

The publisher of one of the few remaining critical newspapers in Venezuela, Correo del Caroní, has been sentenced to prison for defamation after his newspaper denounced a very real corruption case at a state company.

Here you have (in Spanish) the position of Correo del Caroní.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

My founding fathers and mothers

Yesterday I read this post about the Bolívar cult by Mónica Correa. I liked it a lot, although I disagree with the details about when the cult started. Correa, like many other Venezuelans, consinders the personality cult around Bolívar started really when Guzmán Blanco came to power. As German historian Norbert Rehrmann and others indicated, it was rather Bolívar himself who initiated the mental cult.

Then it was Antonio José Páez who re-started the cult in the early forties of the XIX century, when the world price for coffee - Venezuela's main export back then- plummeted and popular unrest threatened Venezuela's stability. Páez needed a big event to gain popularity.

You should read this decree by Páez to understand how he initiated the cult to this figure.

Many Venezuelans now would find it hard to believe Antonio José Páez would have been the actual promoter of the Bolívar cult. Venezuelans were taught from early on about the very real conflicts that separated Bolívar and Páez once Bolivar focused on his idea of governing the Gran Colombia. The thing is that what happened between Bolívar and Páez didn't prevent the latter to use the myth of the former in order to gain popularity. That is how he brought Bolívar's bones to Caracas from Colombia, how he tried to call Caracas Bolivar (at the end people would rename Angostura Bolívar, but that happened a bit later), how he organised Bolivar cult ceremonies in every Plaza Mayor of Venezuela then - those Plazas Mayores are now called Plazas Bolivar. Páez was also the one who reverted a law that had been introduced in order to stop the cult of the caudillo in congress. Páez was the one who started bringing marble statues of Bolívar from Europe.

The post's comments ended up revolving around the idea of "founding fathers". I thought about that as well and I wondered why it was that I never had such a fixation with the military men that ruled my country. The reason, I realised was that my founding fathers - and mothers - were very different from what I got at school.

My founding fathers and mothers were Spanish settlers from the XVI to the XIX century fleeing poverty in Spain. My founding fathers and mothers were the native Americans who lived for so long before around the then beautiful Valencia Lake, people who produced those petroglyphs and who cooked those arepas and wove those cotton clothes we hardly know about. My founding fathers and mothers were the black slaves who came from Western Africa with nothing but chains and humour and music and energy and probably many other things in their minds that we are no longer aware of because that is how history works.

My founding fathers and mothers were my great-grandparents and grandparents who worked very hard in their humble conucos,  their small land plots, to grow corn, beans, tomatoes and cotton, to raise chickens and pigs to feed their family and others.

My founding fathers and mothers were those who taught so many children to read and write, to count, who helped young adults to think analytically about economic issues, who introduced modern health practices in Venezuelan villages that until then were in conditions similar to those of Europe's Middle Ages.

If there was the need for any other kind of "founding fathers", my father and mother brought me to public talks of scientists Fernández Morán and Jacinto Convit and showed me - I was so lucky - the theatre work of poet Aquiles Nazoa. My sisters even took part in Nazoa's children theatre group.

My own founding father and mother taught me the magic of producing food and making something technical work.

My founding parents were actual doers, not military men.

I am convinced we can reshape what kind of myths and role models we need. Other countries have done so.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Im Süden nichts Neues

Ich habe schon lange nicht mehr über Venezuela geschrieben. Zum einem bin ich sehr beschäftigt. Zum anderen bleibt die Lage in Venezuela gleich: es geht den Bach weiter runter.

Die Opposition mag die Mehrheit in der Nationalversammlung haben. Damit kann sie kaum etwas bewirken: die Regierung pfeift auf ihre Beschlüsse und die Justiz ist nur ein Organ der Exekutive. Die Militärs und andere staatlichen Sicherheitsagenten sind nur eine Waffe des Chavismus.

Viele Lebensmittel, Medizinen und absolut alle Ersatzteile für Autos sind Mangelware. Das war die Lage vor einem Jahr, nun ist der Notfall akuter.

Die Chavistas wollen im Laufe der nächsten 100 Tage Gemüsen in einem Gebiet von etwa 1200 Hektar anbauen. Für die Laien: 1200 Hektar sind 12 Km2. Das ist ihre Antwort für die katastrophale Versorgungslage im 17. Jahr der "Revolution".
Luxus pur in Venezuela

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Cocaine and Chavismo, a Country in Decomposition

Everyone I know across Venezuela tells me the same: they are having a lot of trouble trying to make ends meet. Chicken? Onions? Beans? Meat? Flour? Hard to find and incredibly expensive for someone who earns in Venezuela's currency. We have heard for years now about the shortages in medicine supplies but now we have reached levels unheard of. We are entering hyper-inflation mode and the regime keeps talking about "economic war". Other bloggers have written a lot about this even if Chávez initiated the destruction of Venezuela's already weak economic structure, Maduro has accelerated the process. Maduro has allowed the shameless kleptocrats to prevail over all other interest groups of Chavismo. Desperation is increasing by the day. Still, most Venezuelans in Venezuela find it hard to understand things are going to get worse. When you suffer an inflation of over 150%, you haven't got much time to grasp it will keep increasing. You just try to survive yet another week.

On Friday we read of a major detained at the Colombian-Venezuelan border trying to smuggle cocaine. He had about 503 kg of cocaine in his lorry. This is nothing new but this major, Juan José Sorja Ojeda, turns out to be a permanent assistant to Hugo Chávez's father. The Chávez Family treats Barinas, their home state, as their fiefdom and there they have their haciendas, a lot of relatives have high ranking state positions. This major was a sergeant with nurse training who suddenly became a major. That is quite a jump in the Venezuelan military system.

Here you can see a picture of him next to Walter Martínez, the "star of international news" at the national - Chavista - state channel Venezolana de Televisión.
Juan José was very active on Facebook and he was a very vocal supporter of Chavismo. The fact that he was caught while trafficking cocaine doesn't say anything about independence of powers but everything about lack of coordination among the different groups in power now. It also might show at least some of the low-key soldiers controlling our roads do mean business and want to do the right thing. The minister of defence, Vladimir Padrino, rushed to explain the guy was "no real military". The reasoning? "A coward, someone lacking dignity, honour, someone scorning his arms, cannot be a military". I suppose most Chavista militaries, once discovered by others in some crime, stopped being military.

Venezuelans are getting more and more isolated and neighbours do not seem to care. If you speak Spanish, you can read Krauze's article about that in El País.

Friday, 29 January 2016

The Zika virus in a failed state called Venezuela

I am just getting news from friend doctors about people who have caught the Zica virus in Venezuela.
Actually: one of my closest relatives got it already. I am deeply worried: the country is falling apart, it is ruled by a bunch of criminals and ideological wackos and medicine is in very scarce supply. Most people just feel sick, get rotten eyes, some fever and that is it. But then there is the microcephalia: apparently women in pregnancy who get that virus have a higher probability of having a baby suffering from this.

How the Zica virus was spreading in early January (Wikipedia)

Here Reuter's journalist Alexandra Ulmer presents a very clear picture of what is happening. For months physicians have been putting pressure on the regime to publish statistics about the spread of this virus. Finally Health minister Luisana Melo admitted 4700 potential cases of persons with the infection. Those of us who know Venezuela under Chavismo have learnt to interpret this as a fraction of a fraction of what might be true. 

Venezuelans lack repellents, paracetamol and many other basic products. My relatives and friends tell me about how hard it is even to buy garlic, milk, chicken and so much more.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Venezuela am 4. Januar 2016

Heute trifft sich Maduro mit den neuen Abgeordneten seiner Partei. Diese sind trozt Schikanen der Regierung, trotz der Staatsresourcen, die die Regierung für die Wahlen ausgegeben hat nur eine Minderheit in der Nationalversammlung. Darum hat er ein Dekret erlassen, wonach die Nationalversammlung nicht mehr die Vorsitzenden der Zentralbank ernennen kann. Er wird es fortan tun.

Morgen sollen die Abgeordneten der Opposition ihr Mandat antreten, der von der Regierung völlig beherrschten Obergerichtshof will mehrere der Abgeordneten aber gleich absetzen, weil sie angeblich Stimmen gekauft haben sollen.

Die Regierung hat auch eine Volksversammlung aufgerufen, die aus lauter Schurken besteht und von keinem Volk gewählt wurde, die aber die neue Nationalversammlung ersetzen soll. 

Maduro hatte kurz nach den Wahlen gesagt, dass alle seine Minister abtreten werden, damit er eine neue Regierung bilden kann. Er sagte ferner, die Militärs in seiner Regierung müssten zurück "zu ihren Kasernen" gehen. Die Minister sind aber immer noch da, auch die Militärs unter ihnen. Was ist geschehen? Meiner Meinung nach wollte Maduro ihnen nur damit drohen: wenn ich nicht alles machen darf, was ich will, werdet Ihr auch die Macht verlieren!

Der Vorname dieses Verteidigungsministers lautet "Vladimir". Er ist kein Russe.