Archive for December 7th, 2004

What Venezuela’s economy needs #2: Pension Reform

December 7, 2004

The need for pension reform is critical for the finances of the country. I already addressed this issue in part in September in a post entitled “The untouchable pensions”. But let me start at the beginning:


The Venezuelan Government employs an inordinate amount of workers. There are somewhere around 1.8 to 2 million public workers in the both the central and regional Governments and this does not include PDVSA or the universities, who are treated separately. Clearly in a country of 25 million people where half the population is under eighteen this is a remarkable number. As an indication, the central Government in Japan has 800,000 employees, a country with 125 million people and a much older profile than Venezuela’s.


 


Civil service regulations only apply to the central Government. The military, universities, the Central Bank and municipalities all have autonomy for their own regulations. If you are a civil servant, you may retire at almost full salary after age 60 or 30 years of service. Moreover, your salary receives full inflation and merit adjustment based on increases approved for active workers. This is all funded from the institutions budget. Its impact was not felt until the 90’s when many of these institutions, Ministries and the like began to have three decades in existence. The Minister can also give pensions by “grace” something which is done regularly whenever they want to get rid of someone in a position from which she or he can not be fired.


 


Then there are other institutions, all of which have separate regulations, some of which allow retirement as early as with fifteen years of service.  As an example, a General retires with full salary and his salary will be adjusted to that of a fully active General every time the military receive a salary increase. The same with positions such as the President of the Central Bank. The pension of a retired President of the Central Bank is equal to the basic salary of the current President of that Institution. Same with someone who retires as a member of the Board of the Central Bank. There are dozens of these people around since many are appointed near retirement or even afterwards and their periods are only three years. Note that this makes these positions quite to retired people as any appointment to an important position implies an increase in their pension the day they leave.


 


Another interesting case is the universities. You can retire after 25 years of service and if the University paid your graduate work, those years count too. Thus, many retire as early as 45 years of age. Moreover, if you die, your full pension is transferred over to your widow. I know of cases where someone was hired at 21 years of age, worked thirty five years for the University, died at 70 after remarrying to a younger woman who is now sixty and entitled to his pension. If she lives to be eighty years old, the University acquired a responsibility for 103 years when it hired that young professor so many years ago. In fact, this is a close relative. No country can foot the bill for such a system.


 


Remarkably, PDVSA is an exception to all of this. The system is complicated to explain in detail, but basically, it has a pension paid by the company, which is seldom adjusted up and a voluntary contribution plan. I heard recently a former President of one pf PDVSA’s affiliates who retire in 1980 that is PDVSA pension is Bs. 300,000 or $120 a month. Thus, PDVSA paid and pays well, but its pensions are actually quite crummy.


 


Recently, I saw a study that in five institutions, PDVSA, the military, the Central Bank and two others I don’t remember, pensions take up 4% of GDP, up from 1% when Chavez became President.


 


Clearly, this is unsustainable. In 1998, then Minister of Planning Teodoro Petkoff, now Editor of Tal Cual brokered an agreement between the unions, companies and the Government to start pension funds in which workers would contribute part of their income. After a transition period of ten years, in which new contributions would fund the retirement of the older workers with current rules, people, would retire later only with whatever they contributed to the fund and the investment gains it gained, a la Chile.


 


The regulations for pensions would be strict requiring either 60 years of age or 35 years of service, I would have made it stricter with 65 years of age or 35 years of service for everyone in the country. Such a fund, would not only alleviate an important funding problem the Government has with its generous pensions, but would also provide a huge pool of savings which could be used by the Government itself to finance its activities. These funds would buy Government paper, competing with banks and forcing banks to lend more than they do rather than investing in Government paper as their main source of income.


 


The pension reform was actually approved in 1998 and Chavez stopped it. Basically, the law allowed for the private or public management of the funds with workers having a choice and being able to transfer them from one to the other. Chavez and his Government objected giving it to private managers, even if heavily regulated. Chavez promised a review of the law in six months, then six more and hen the final six. This was four years ago. Nothing has been done since on such an important matter. Why? Simple, the commission appointed by Chavez was full of the same academics who would lose their easy pensions after only twenty five years at the universities. In fact, one of them even argued he was resigning from the Government to be able to complete his twenty five years. Such principles!


 


Sadly, it took nine years to approve a bill that would have been critical to the restructuring of the country, but it took only months for Chavez to stop it. The bill had almost all of the elements required. It should be revived and implemented. If not, the financial health of the country is in peril, to the detriment of the poor, since it is the  Government who is funding these excessive pensions and perks.

What Venezuela’s economy needs #2: Pension Reform

December 7, 2004

The need for pension reform is critical for the finances of the country. I already addressed this issue in part in September in a post entitled “The untouchable pensions”. But let me start at the beginning:


The Venezuelan Government employs an inordinate amount of workers. There are somewhere around 1.8 to 2 million public workers in the both the central and regional Governments and this does not include PDVSA or the universities, who are treated separately. Clearly in a country of 25 million people where half the population is under eighteen this is a remarkable number. As an indication, the central Government in Japan has 800,000 employees, a country with 125 million people and a much older profile than Venezuela’s.


 


Civil service regulations only apply to the central Government. The military, universities, the Central Bank and municipalities all have autonomy for their own regulations. If you are a civil servant, you may retire at almost full salary after age 60 or 30 years of service. Moreover, your salary receives full inflation and merit adjustment based on increases approved for active workers. This is all funded from the institutions budget. Its impact was not felt until the 90’s when many of these institutions, Ministries and the like began to have three decades in existence. The Minister can also give pensions by “grace” something which is done regularly whenever they want to get rid of someone in a position from which she or he can not be fired.


 


Then there are other institutions, all of which have separate regulations, some of which allow retirement as early as with fifteen years of service.  As an example, a General retires with full salary and his salary will be adjusted to that of a fully active General every time the military receive a salary increase. The same with positions such as the President of the Central Bank. The pension of a retired President of the Central Bank is equal to the basic salary of the current President of that Institution. Same with someone who retires as a member of the Board of the Central Bank. There are dozens of these people around since many are appointed near retirement or even afterwards and their periods are only three years. Note that this makes these positions quite to retired people as any appointment to an important position implies an increase in their pension the day they leave.


 


Another interesting case is the universities. You can retire after 25 years of service and if the University paid your graduate work, those years count too. Thus, many retire as early as 45 years of age. Moreover, if you die, your full pension is transferred over to your widow. I know of cases where someone was hired at 21 years of age, worked thirty five years for the University, died at 70 after remarrying to a younger woman who is now sixty and entitled to his pension. If she lives to be eighty years old, the University acquired a responsibility for 103 years when it hired that young professor so many years ago. In fact, this is a close relative. No country can foot the bill for such a system.


 


Remarkably, PDVSA is an exception to all of this. The system is complicated to explain in detail, but basically, it has a pension paid by the company, which is seldom adjusted up and a voluntary contribution plan. I heard recently a former President of one pf PDVSA’s affiliates who retire in 1980 that is PDVSA pension is Bs. 300,000 or $120 a month. Thus, PDVSA paid and pays well, but its pensions are actually quite crummy.


 


Recently, I saw a study that in five institutions, PDVSA, the military, the Central Bank and two others I don’t remember, pensions take up 4% of GDP, up from 1% when Chavez became President.


 


Clearly, this is unsustainable. In 1998, then Minister of Planning Teodoro Petkoff, now Editor of Tal Cual brokered an agreement between the unions, companies and the Government to start pension funds in which workers would contribute part of their income. After a transition period of ten years, in which new contributions would fund the retirement of the older workers with current rules, people, would retire later only with whatever they contributed to the fund and the investment gains it gained, a la Chile.


 


The regulations for pensions would be strict requiring either 60 years of age or 35 years of service, I would have made it stricter with 65 years of age or 35 years of service for everyone in the country. Such a fund, would not only alleviate an important funding problem the Government has with its generous pensions, but would also provide a huge pool of savings which could be used by the Government itself to finance its activities. These funds would buy Government paper, competing with banks and forcing banks to lend more than they do rather than investing in Government paper as their main source of income.


 


The pension reform was actually approved in 1998 and Chavez stopped it. Basically, the law allowed for the private or public management of the funds with workers having a choice and being able to transfer them from one to the other. Chavez and his Government objected giving it to private managers, even if heavily regulated. Chavez promised a review of the law in six months, then six more and hen the final six. This was four years ago. Nothing has been done since on such an important matter. Why? Simple, the commission appointed by Chavez was full of the same academics who would lose their easy pensions after only twenty five years at the universities. In fact, one of them even argued he was resigning from the Government to be able to complete his twenty five years. Such principles!


 


Sadly, it took nine years to approve a bill that would have been critical to the restructuring of the country, but it took only months for Chavez to stop it. The bill had almost all of the elements required. It should be revived and implemented. If not, the financial health of the country is in peril, to the detriment of the poor, since it is the  Government who is funding these excessive pensions and perks.

What Venezuela’s economy needs #2: Pension Reform

December 7, 2004

The need for pension reform is critical for the finances of the country. I already addressed this issue in part in September in a post entitled “The untouchable pensions”. But let me start at the beginning:


The Venezuelan Government employs an inordinate amount of workers. There are somewhere around 1.8 to 2 million public workers in the both the central and regional Governments and this does not include PDVSA or the universities, who are treated separately. Clearly in a country of 25 million people where half the population is under eighteen this is a remarkable number. As an indication, the central Government in Japan has 800,000 employees, a country with 125 million people and a much older profile than Venezuela’s.


 


Civil service regulations only apply to the central Government. The military, universities, the Central Bank and municipalities all have autonomy for their own regulations. If you are a civil servant, you may retire at almost full salary after age 60 or 30 years of service. Moreover, your salary receives full inflation and merit adjustment based on increases approved for active workers. This is all funded from the institutions budget. Its impact was not felt until the 90’s when many of these institutions, Ministries and the like began to have three decades in existence. The Minister can also give pensions by “grace” something which is done regularly whenever they want to get rid of someone in a position from which she or he can not be fired.


 


Then there are other institutions, all of which have separate regulations, some of which allow retirement as early as with fifteen years of service.  As an example, a General retires with full salary and his salary will be adjusted to that of a fully active General every time the military receive a salary increase. The same with positions such as the President of the Central Bank. The pension of a retired President of the Central Bank is equal to the basic salary of the current President of that Institution. Same with someone who retires as a member of the Board of the Central Bank. There are dozens of these people around since many are appointed near retirement or even afterwards and their periods are only three years. Note that this makes these positions quite to retired people as any appointment to an important position implies an increase in their pension the day they leave.


 


Another interesting case is the universities. You can retire after 25 years of service and if the University paid your graduate work, those years count too. Thus, many retire as early as 45 years of age. Moreover, if you die, your full pension is transferred over to your widow. I know of cases where someone was hired at 21 years of age, worked thirty five years for the University, died at 70 after remarrying to a younger woman who is now sixty and entitled to his pension. If she lives to be eighty years old, the University acquired a responsibility for 103 years when it hired that young professor so many years ago. In fact, this is a close relative. No country can foot the bill for such a system.


 


Remarkably, PDVSA is an exception to all of this. The system is complicated to explain in detail, but basically, it has a pension paid by the company, which is seldom adjusted up and a voluntary contribution plan. I heard recently a former President of one pf PDVSA’s affiliates who retire in 1980 that is PDVSA pension is Bs. 300,000 or $120 a month. Thus, PDVSA paid and pays well, but its pensions are actually quite crummy.


 


Recently, I saw a study that in five institutions, PDVSA, the military, the Central Bank and two others I don’t remember, pensions take up 4% of GDP, up from 1% when Chavez became President.


 


Clearly, this is unsustainable. In 1998, then Minister of Planning Teodoro Petkoff, now Editor of Tal Cual brokered an agreement between the unions, companies and the Government to start pension funds in which workers would contribute part of their income. After a transition period of ten years, in which new contributions would fund the retirement of the older workers with current rules, people, would retire later only with whatever they contributed to the fund and the investment gains it gained, a la Chile.


 


The regulations for pensions would be strict requiring either 60 years of age or 35 years of service, I would have made it stricter with 65 years of age or 35 years of service for everyone in the country. Such a fund, would not only alleviate an important funding problem the Government has with its generous pensions, but would also provide a huge pool of savings which could be used by the Government itself to finance its activities. These funds would buy Government paper, competing with banks and forcing banks to lend more than they do rather than investing in Government paper as their main source of income.


 


The pension reform was actually approved in 1998 and Chavez stopped it. Basically, the law allowed for the private or public management of the funds with workers having a choice and being able to transfer them from one to the other. Chavez and his Government objected giving it to private managers, even if heavily regulated. Chavez promised a review of the law in six months, then six more and hen the final six. This was four years ago. Nothing has been done since on such an important matter. Why? Simple, the commission appointed by Chavez was full of the same academics who would lose their easy pensions after only twenty five years at the universities. In fact, one of them even argued he was resigning from the Government to be able to complete his twenty five years. Such principles!


 


Sadly, it took nine years to approve a bill that would have been critical to the restructuring of the country, but it took only months for Chavez to stop it. The bill had almost all of the elements required. It should be revived and implemented. If not, the financial health of the country is in peril, to the detriment of the poor, since it is the  Government who is funding these excessive pensions and perks.

And another case from the Finance Ministry

December 7, 2004

There is also the case of Merentes’ fomer Vice-Minister and Director of Public Credit Jesus Bermudez in hir prior service in Finance, who was detained in Miami for having US$ 40,000 in cash, which the newspaper considerrs it “abusive” on the part of the US authorities because that is not illegal. Well, it may not be illegal to have the money, but it is illegal not to declare it!


What the article does not say, is that the money was found under the pilot’s seat, in Bermudez’ recently acquired private plane, which can actually fly all the way to Miami regularly. I guess those public sevice salaries have really improved under the revolution, since Bermudez spent almsot five of the six years Chavez has been in power working there. Such a clean revolution!

Rewriting History by Elizabeth Araujo

December 7, 2004

This article from Elizabeth Araujo in today’s Tal Cual should be called History Backwards or the History that never was, but beautifully makes the point of what is so wrong about what is happening in Venezuela


 


Rewriting History by Elizabeth Araujo


 


I saw on TV Lazaro Forero and Henry Vivas shooting against the crowd on April 11th. 2002.


 


 Remember Venevision showing the video that went around the world and served as a key piece in Judge Anabel Rodriguez qualifying without delay the charges against these police Captains for homicide. I just can not forget that afternoon when then Governor Mendoza, desperate, called on his cell phone one of his Mayors and asked him to invite the barrios so that they would come down with stones, guns and sticks in order to defend the counter revolution, and that night general Rosendo, in a cheap CIA trick, addressed the nation to inform that given the events of the day they had asked the President to reign, which eh had accepted.


 


I remember how William Lara and Diosdado Cabello stood, unarmed, in Avenida Urdaneta, challenging the coupsters and none of those cowards dared touch them; as certain as Jose Vicente Rangel swore the next day to El Nacional, that he would not recognize the fascist Government and he would be taken dead from his home, before surrendering.


 


That we know. It is them, civil society, that marches destroying on its path the kiosks and ornaments at the squares. I have seen Julio Borges burping with a beer in his hand, Pompeyo laughing at the Editors, recommending to them that they stick their media in their pockets, Gerardo Blyde changing at will the internal regulations of the National Assembly to approve bills ordered by Bush and I am sure that opposition youngsters go at night to the barrios to spread the garbage in the streets and make Freddy Bernal’s management impossible.


 


What can you do with the people that invented the Fort Mara fire, the secret meetings with FARC, that places people in the 23 de Enero buildings and shoots against the Metropolitan Police to blame the pacifist NGO the Tupamaros. Those that send criminals to hit Deputy Rafael Marin with an iron beam and then say Lina Ron sent them; that disguise themselves in Mision Robinson t shirts and destroy the Columbus statue, that incite their own to invade farms and buildings and then accuse them of being Chavistas, that hit militants of the process in Bolivar square or insult TV reporters to tell the world that in Venezuela there is no freedom of speech. These are the facts that we have to preserve in the memory of the new generations so that they know their reality and don’t back down to the mediatic inventions in their insistence for confusing the most important facts of this nascent revolution.

Rewriting History by Elizabeth Araujo

December 7, 2004

This article from Elizabeth Araujo in today’s Tal Cual should be called History Backwards or the History that never was, but beautifully makes the point of what is so wrong about what is happening in Venezuela


 


Rewriting History by Elizabeth Araujo


 


I saw on TV Lazaro Forero and Henry Vivas shooting against the crowd on April 11th. 2002.


 


 Remember Venevision showing the video that went around the world and served as a key piece in Judge Anabel Rodriguez qualifying without delay the charges against these police Captains for homicide. I just can not forget that afternoon when then Governor Mendoza, desperate, called on his cell phone one of his Mayors and asked him to invite the barrios so that they would come down with stones, guns and sticks in order to defend the counter revolution, and that night general Rosendo, in a cheap CIA trick, addressed the nation to inform that given the events of the day they had asked the President to reign, which eh had accepted.


 


I remember how William Lara and Diosdado Cabello stood, unarmed, in Avenida Urdaneta, challenging the coupsters and none of those cowards dared touch them; as certain as Jose Vicente Rangel swore the next day to El Nacional, that he would not recognize the fascist Government and he would be taken dead from his home, before surrendering.


 


That we know. It is them, civil society, that marches destroying on its path the kiosks and ornaments at the squares. I have seen Julio Borges burping with a beer in his hand, Pompeyo laughing at the Editors, recommending to them that they stick their media in their pockets, Gerardo Blyde changing at will the internal regulations of the National Assembly to approve bills ordered by Bush and I am sure that opposition youngsters go at night to the barrios to spread the garbage in the streets and make Freddy Bernal’s management impossible.


 


What can you do with the people that invented the Fort Mara fire, the secret meetings with FARC, that places people in the 23 de Enero buildings and shoots against the Metropolitan Police to blame the pacifist NGO the Tupamaros. Those that send criminals to hit Deputy Rafael Marin with an iron beam and then say Lina Ron sent them; that disguise themselves in Mision Robinson t shirts and destroy the Columbus statue, that incite their own to invade farms and buildings and then accuse them of being Chavistas, that hit militants of the process in Bolivar square or insult TV reporters to tell the world that in Venezuela there is no freedom of speech. These are the facts that we have to preserve in the memory of the new generations so that they know their reality and don’t back down to the mediatic inventions in their insistence for confusing the most important facts of this nascent revolution.

Rewriting History by Elizabeth Araujo

December 7, 2004

This article from Elizabeth Araujo in today’s Tal Cual should be called History Backwards or the History that never was, but beautifully makes the point of what is so wrong about what is happening in Venezuela


 


Rewriting History by Elizabeth Araujo


 


I saw on TV Lazaro Forero and Henry Vivas shooting against the crowd on April 11th. 2002.


 


 Remember Venevision showing the video that went around the world and served as a key piece in Judge Anabel Rodriguez qualifying without delay the charges against these police Captains for homicide. I just can not forget that afternoon when then Governor Mendoza, desperate, called on his cell phone one of his Mayors and asked him to invite the barrios so that they would come down with stones, guns and sticks in order to defend the counter revolution, and that night general Rosendo, in a cheap CIA trick, addressed the nation to inform that given the events of the day they had asked the President to reign, which eh had accepted.


 


I remember how William Lara and Diosdado Cabello stood, unarmed, in Avenida Urdaneta, challenging the coupsters and none of those cowards dared touch them; as certain as Jose Vicente Rangel swore the next day to El Nacional, that he would not recognize the fascist Government and he would be taken dead from his home, before surrendering.


 


That we know. It is them, civil society, that marches destroying on its path the kiosks and ornaments at the squares. I have seen Julio Borges burping with a beer in his hand, Pompeyo laughing at the Editors, recommending to them that they stick their media in their pockets, Gerardo Blyde changing at will the internal regulations of the National Assembly to approve bills ordered by Bush and I am sure that opposition youngsters go at night to the barrios to spread the garbage in the streets and make Freddy Bernal’s management impossible.


 


What can you do with the people that invented the Fort Mara fire, the secret meetings with FARC, that places people in the 23 de Enero buildings and shoots against the Metropolitan Police to blame the pacifist NGO the Tupamaros. Those that send criminals to hit Deputy Rafael Marin with an iron beam and then say Lina Ron sent them; that disguise themselves in Mision Robinson t shirts and destroy the Columbus statue, that incite their own to invade farms and buildings and then accuse them of being Chavistas, that hit militants of the process in Bolivar square or insult TV reporters to tell the world that in Venezuela there is no freedom of speech. These are the facts that we have to preserve in the memory of the new generations so that they know their reality and don’t back down to the mediatic inventions in their insistence for confusing the most important facts of this nascent revolution.

Chavista justice and the new Minister of Finance

December 7, 2004

The return of Nelson Merentes to the Ministry of Finance demonstrates clearly the empty words of the Chavez revolution. While opposition members are indicted for minor infractions, such as removing road signs illegally, Chavez appoints again to that position one of the few Venezuelans that has been found guilty of violating the anti-corruption law called the “Law for the protection of the public assets”. Indeed Merentes was found guilty of numerous violations of that law by the pro-Chávez National Assembly when it investigated the “missing” funds (somewhere between 2 and 6 billion US$) of the macroeconomic stabilization fund (FIEM). But of course, you need a Prosecutor to accuse and the current one will never accuse one of his own, with so many easy targets in the opposition to harass.


Interestingly enough, Merentes was also part of the first accusations by the then pro-Chavez press against a Chavista figure when he was accused in 1999 of using funds from the technology and science fund of Universidad Central de Venezuela to buy jewels for his employees. The now Minister of Finance defended the actions as being parts of the “perks” of working for that fund. I love revolutionary logic!

Chavista justice and the new Minister of Finance

December 7, 2004

The return of Nelson Merentes to the Ministry of Finance demonstrates clearly the empty words of the Chavez revolution. While opposition members are indicted for minor infractions, such as removing road signs illegally, Chavez appoints again to that position one of the few Venezuelans that has been found guilty of violating the anti-corruption law called the “Law for the protection of the public assets”. Indeed Merentes was found guilty of numerous violations of that law by the pro-Chávez National Assembly when it investigated the “missing” funds (somewhere between 2 and 6 billion US$) of the macroeconomic stabilization fund (FIEM). But of course, you need a Prosecutor to accuse and the current one will never accuse one of his own, with so many easy targets in the opposition to harass.


Interestingly enough, Merentes was also part of the first accusations by the then pro-Chavez press against a Chavista figure when he was accused in 1999 of using funds from the technology and science fund of Universidad Central de Venezuela to buy jewels for his employees. The now Minister of Finance defended the actions as being parts of the “perks” of working for that fund. I love revolutionary logic!

My blog: Secret or Public?

December 7, 2004

I guess soon I will have to find out whether the Web is considered to be private or public. You see, the distinction may become very important soon in the quickie fix up that our illustrious National Assembly is doing on the Penal Code. Rather than expect for the full revision of the code, our emblematic revolutionaries decided to patch it up to make sure that political opposition can be wiped out.


Whether my blog is considered public or private is very important according to today’s Tal Cual Editorial. If private, if I were to offend Hugo Chavez, I would be punished with prison between 6 and 30 months, half of that if the offense was “light” (Which is not defined). But, and here is the key to my question, the punishment would be increased by a third if the offense was made in public.


 


Of course, what is an offense? If Chavez says something stupid and I say so, is that an offense? What if he lies and I point it out? Is that offensive too? What if I accuse him of doing something illegal? Guilty? Is calling the letter he wrote to Carlos the Jackal, a love letter, an offense? Is calling him a murderer an offense? Is publishing a picture of him blowing a kiss to Fidel Castro, an offense too? What if I quote someone else calling Chavez a clown? Is that an offense too?


 


Then we come to the question of private versus public. What is private? Since the legislators took the trouble to define the additional penalty for a public offense, it means they have something in mind about what constitutes a private offense. If I tell Jimmy Carter in private that Chavez lied to him and Carter says it at a press conference. Am I in trouble? What if Carter tells Chavez privately what I said, guilty too?


 


What if I say he looks fat, like he does (see Tal Cual’s cover today). Go to jail without passing go and collecting 200? Or if I laugh in my blog at these jerky pictures of Chavez in Rio, where he pretended to be exercizing, with heavy sox, headbands and wristbands? He looks like such a fat clown! Should I go to jail for saying that?


 



 


By the way, I have to wonder who will be the enforcer for this. Honorable judge Mikael Moreno? Or will it be the People’s Ombudsman, who has so little to do because the revolution has been so successful at eliminating poverty, crime or corruption? Maybe they can appoint the El LLaguno shooters, after all, they have been certified as being innocent, something few Venezuelans can claim. Maybe they can bring back to the country some of those retired Generals living in mansions in Miami and have them serve the revolution once more. No, wait, I am sure that among the 15,000 Cubans in the country they can spare a few to check on violations of this article of the law. Who better qualified and trained that someone that grew up spying on his own family and friends to enforce the law?


 


I guess for now, I will keep the blog public. If I ever feel the need to make it private, I will rename it the “The Secret Devil’s Excrement”, making it a secret organization or logia, inviting everyone of you (including the Chavistas), and nobody else, to be a lifetime member. This way, my defense will be that my offenses against the President could not be defined either as private or public, they were simply secret. And that my friends, is not contemplated in the Bill at all, which according to revolutionary logic will mean that I will always be innocent, even if guilty.

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