And while you were all looking towards the Colombian border:
—The Venezuelan Central Bank proved it no longer has any independence by deciding to create a new methodology for measuring the CPI and eliminating the calculation of the old one. The immediate effect was for inflation to drop significantly under the new measure with the CPI coming at 2.2%, which nobody knows what it means. We are also told that even a newer version of the CPI will be released in April.
—President Chavez showed us his personal revisionist vision of Venezuelan history when he said that “there had never been massive vaccination campaigns before his Government”. This contrasts with numbers released by the Panamerican Health Organization which says that coverage in most vaccines has actually gone down during the revolution, with polio coverage going from 85% to 73% and tuberculosis from 91% to 85%. I guess they have a new way of measuring “coverage” under the revolution.
—Six buses were burned in protests by the workers of steel company Sidor in Bolivar State. The National Guard angered the workers and a battle between the two lasted for a couple of hours.
—At the University of the Andes the opposition coalition defeated the pro-Government coalition by almost a five to one margin, this means that the opposition group will hold 72% of the positions of the Student Union, with two females holding the top two positions at that organization.
—In the Maletagate case a second one of the men charged, Carlos Kauffman, changed his plea to guilty, while the Prosecutor in the case revealed that another one of the men accused, Franklin Duran, was taped talking to not only the Head of the Venezuelan Intelligence Police (DISIP), t additionally to the Vice-Minister of the Interior and Justice.
—Much the money dissipated by the Venezuelan Government in the last few weeks trying to lower the implicit swap market parallel rate appeared to have been mostly wasted when the Venezuela/Colombia conflict drove the rate up to levels near those of two weeks ago, before settling somewhat at the end of today.