Not much news in the Teflon robolution in Venezuela

June 23, 2010

(They want to shut our mouths off, bit all they have managed is to shut our noses off)

Yes, not much stuff to blog about. The way things are going in Venezuela the word “news” requires something beyond imagination, because the “routine” just does not cut it here in Venezuela anymore. Chavez used to be a Teflon President, but we now seem to have a Teflon Government. Nothing sticks to it, nothing scandalizes, everything in the end is the opposition’s fault and/or absolutely irrelevant.

Take the by now 120,000 Tons of putrid food imported by the government. It turns out that the word “putrid” is just an exaggeration. It is just “expired” food, or some socialist concept like that. And by the way, it is mostly the private sectors fault, according to the Chief Mismanager, the President of PDVSA Rafael Ramirez According to this genius, who will go into history as the destroyer of PDVSA. the private sector is responsible for their putrid food, because they were in charge of the ships and the storage companies. Funny, the storage companies were nationalized long ago and in any case, if this were the problem, the Government would be finding lots of private sector spoiled food. Instead, every time they raid the private sector companies, they take the food away for hoarding, but somehow it is never spoiled, bad or whatever euphemism you want to find for a large fraction of what happens to the food brought in by the Government.

Oh, how come the Cubans who run the ports are exempt from fault? Oh, yes they are Cubans…

And then you wonder when the Comptroller surfaces and says that he started looking into the rotten food two years ago. Are you kidding me Clodosvaldo? That was 120,000 Tons ago! What have you done since then? Of course, Leopoldo Lopez used money for one purpose to pay a Chavez’ ordered salary increase, it only took you six months to ban him from running for office. I guess the PDVAL or PUTRIVAL guys can be elected for the next National Assembly, at least they will know where to look for the corruption.

Which brings me then to the “People’s Ombudswoman”, who always comes to the defense of the Teflon guys, but seems rather quiet on the subject of the possible poisoning of the population. She should be concerned, after all, the spoiled food was not meant for the oligarchs, but for those that vote for Hugo, or at least used to. What morals does this woman have? As Diego Arria told Chavez, I tell her: “See you in The Hague” and I include Clodosvaldo and his double pension in this too.

And speaking of those pensioned off, how about funny man Norman Puerta, the former and retired anti-drug czar of Venezuela, he was caught with a million dollars in that idyllic country, but it has nothing to do with drugs or anything illegal, it was just “a misunderstanding over the money he saved”, just  a million bucks of savings for a guy who made made maybe US$ 1,000-$2,000  a month. But you know, the people who work for the Chavez teflonic Government, particularly in the anti-drug sector, they lead spartan lives, after 11 years in power they can save a million bucks. I’s just discipline, even if you don’t believe the math. It would only take him 500 months to make that million, and that is only 41.6 years, Chavez should last that much if things keep rolling along the way they are.

And in the middle of all these irrelevant news, Chavez issues a decree saying that nobody, absolutely nobody, can negotiate a collective contract agreement without his authorization. Never mind that this has been the silent “rule of law” for the last five years. It is an intrinsic part of XXIst. Century Socialism, that unions are out and Chavez’s party PSUV is in. Thus, no negotiations, no salary increases, no unions. And some people still think this is a left wing revolution.Neither the workers, nor the people can revolt in Venezuela.

It is all about Hugo.

But thanks God these are quiet times, not much happening, not much to write. When something does happen, you can be sure I will report back to you beyond the banalities of the robolution like those described above.

In the meantime, I will do like the opposition leaders, work on my stuff, even if I don’t want to get elected.

38 Responses to “Not much news in the Teflon robolution in Venezuela”

  1. JAU Says:

    Miguel, you should run for government, you are goooood

  2. m_astera Says:

    The problem with that idea is that, for the most part, decent and honorable people don’t want to be part of government.

    Those who lie down with dogs get up with fleas.

  3. moctavio Says:

    A good politician has to be out, I like being inside. A good politician has to like talking to idiotic people. I don’t.

  4. loroferoz Says:

    Some ten years ago I read an interview with some 92.9 FM (That Caracas’ station, with the irreverent programs) guy saying that

    “We are a third world country, just about to become African”

    A bit cynic for then. Now I ask myself. How? When?

    How did we become African? When did we become African?

    It’s not news anymore that the situation is plain outrageous, and the government officials behave like it is nothing.

    Continuous work is required to keep the roads open and clean, epidemies and plagues from happening, and barbarians and bandits from terrorizing the citizenry. Every civilization worthy of the name knew and cared. It is obvious, from the “news” and from plain observation that in the government, don’t know or care in the least.

    We are clearly headed to the hell of failed countries.

  5. Deanna Says:

    Venezuela stopped being a Third World country when it became part of the Fourth World, 11 years ago!!! I have seen Third World countries in much better shape, even after decades of conflict.

  6. Roy Says:

    Guys,

    I wince every time I see the term “third-world country” used to describe Venezuela. For me that term has VERY strong negative emotional connotations, nearly as strong as using the term “nigger” for a black man.

    To understand why, first you have to understand the origin of the term. During the Cold War, the world had divided itself into two camps. One being, the United States, and its allies, self-referred to as the “Free World”. The other “world” was Communist Bloc lead by the Soviet Union and its allies. Any country which was non-aligned was considered the “third world”. Strictly speaking, that meant that Switzerland was “third world”. However, these non-aligned countries were most typically poor and undeveloped countries, which played the two great powers off against each other to maximize how much largesse in terms of “development” aid money they could get from both.

    Although the original definition had nothing to do with the relative development or prosperity of that country, the term came to mean a truly backwards dirt-poor country in which the majority of the population was still engaged in subsistence-level farming.

    For me, being an American, and having grown up during the Cold War, this term was used in a highly derogatory and contemptuous manner. To me, the term conjures up an image of a country populated largely by superstitious and ignorant peasants, governed by a strongman dictatorship or some mockery of democracy. As bad as the government here is, Venezuela doesn’t fit my image of a “third-world” country. Of course, under El Jefe Supremo, I suppose we might get there, if he gets his way. But we are still far from that dreary image.

  7. RWG Says:

    ClusterStock.com just posted a graph claiming that the Venezuela stock market has outperformed the US S&P market the last five years. It appears to be Chavista propaganda and deserves condemnation. Comments are at the bottom. Have at it.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-venezuela-vs-sp-500-2010-6#comment-4c235a4d7f8b9a2c693d0000

  8. Roger Says:

    With Cubans running the ports, a lot of Venezuela’s imports are probably going on to Cuba. I suppose when they get caught they will just call it Bulk Buying.

  9. moctavio Says:

    RWG:
    I just left the following comment there:

    What a stupid graph. On June 2005, the Venezuelan Stock Index was around 21,000 the “official” exchange rate was at Bs. 2.15 per US$ and the parallel one at around Bs. 2.5 per US$. Today the Index is at 61,000, with the official rate at Bs. 4.3 per US$ and the parallel one is….suspended. But last time it was able to trade, it did so at Bs. 8.1 per US$, which says that in real terms, not Bs. in a country with 30% inflation, the index is down. In fact, the high for the index in December 2006 was 62,012, while the index sits today, three and a half years later at 64,625

  10. loroferoz Says:

    Roy: There WAS Third World.

    Now there is Fourth World (even Fifth), or African country.

    Which is broken down, deaf and cynical/pillaging/corrupt government, general lawlessness, endemic violence/crime/civil war, malfunctioning utilities/infrastructure, ailing economy/economic distortions/runaway inflation, capital flight, scarcity of basics up to an including food, a population that is ornery and with little social conscience or sense of community, and generally being a place people run away when they have the chance.

    Here and on the ground from Caracas, driving and living here, I have seen plenty of the above, and growing stronger in the last year.

    Third World might be Colombia or Chile or Argentina two decades or so ago and we had pride that we were ahead of them. But they did overtake us before Chavez entered scene. And now they might even be developing countries.

    Instead my prediction is that we Venezuelans get to see the brink of the pit of national failure and feel the heat from down on, if we are lucky enough!

  11. moctavio Says:

    Guys, things are very touchy in Venezuela, please refrain from making comments calling for asassination and the like, the only person that can be jailed is yours truly and I have had enough of that for the time being.

  12. firepigette Says:

    I lived in Venezuela more than half my life and I am a senior citizen, so I remember Venezuela from back when.It was and still is underdeveloped in many ways.Compared to Belarus( a 2nd world country) it is much less educated thanBelerus, though richer.

    However,

    It makes no sense to be labeling in this way, in my opinion,because people all have different value systems.Comparing development in certain aspects is to erroneously believe one way is good and the other bad WHEN THIS IS ALWAYS subjective..important:

    it seems to be a consensus on this blog that Venezuela today going downhill fast…that is what is important

    Back in the 60’s Venezuela was less developed but I like it soooo much more than now.

  13. loroferoz Says:

    moctavio: I am almost a pacifist as regards political violence and war, civil or foreign.

    But seeking to end a government and associating for it, even for the most banal of reasons, is the right of every citizen, as long as they don’t violate the rights of other citizens.

    Democracy rests on the shared assumption that everyone’s basic rights are to be respected. If not, it’s every party for itself, to get there first to eliminate the others. Such a basic assumption is forfeit in Venezuela where a supposed majority is out to stamp out everyone else, that democracy is also forfeit in Venezuela, no matter how what or how many elections, or how “clean” they might be.

    Assassination or other possibly deadly violence, or persecution against government officials or supporters of the government would fit under violation of their individual rights.

    However, the means of civil disobedience are open. And restoring democracy is a duty then.

  14. moctavio Says:

    I agree with you, some people want to resort to that or calling for that, but if they say it here, guess who may go to jail? Me and I have had enough of those threats now to last me a lifetime

  15. Roy Says:

    Dear Ferocious Parrot,

    (It is even funnier in English!)

    I understand what you are saying, and maybe I am working on outmoded definitions. But I still wince when I hear this term. In my day, it was extremely pejorative and, worse, condescending.

  16. loroferoz Says:

    There’s little sense in political violence, unless you want to institute a police state or some other form of despotism. If you want to live in peace, then you try and act civil even in the midst of outrages.

    For example, where would you stand if you wanted this president assassinated, and then planned to elect another person in the future? That person would be fair game for the supporters of the person you wanted dead.

    All of this shines a particularly sinister light on the doings and goings about of Chavez and fellow travelers in February and November 1992. They wanted to institute despotism, and to assassinate Carlos Andres Perez. In fact, they were accepted and won elections after purportedly renouncing those methods, and all attempts at despotism. Though present events give the lie to the reformation of those that are still in government.

    In our case, if we want to produce lasting peace and a country that makes sense, we should preach exactly that. Remembering that peaceful does not mean brainless, and that civil does not mean compliant.

    Also, we should not give tyrants the incentives and the excuses to do more violence, like trying to jail bloggers.

  17. Roy Says:

    All,

    We should respect Miguel’s request. There are other blogs in which the administrator/s are beyond the reach of… Esteban.

    I was guilty of a similar error in Judgment and I am trying to gauge my words more carefully now.

  18. loroferoz Says:

    Roy:

    Well, I do hope it’s extremely pejorative and condescending. I hope it is downright insulting.

    I would call most Venezuelans on account of being opportunists and BSers with the level of social intelligence and civic spirit that would shame a stray dog, or would make the rest of the pack kill him.

    Because we, Venezuelans, have a lot to be ashamed of. Specially compared to other countries in South America.

    We had everything from 1958 onwards: Humongous head start in wealth, no civil or foreign wars, were largely free of coups-d’etat until 1992. We looked down on the rest of South American countries, some of which produced refugees that came here. We were growing.

    Now Venezuela, and particularly Caracas, looks and feels like a compendium of cliches of post-apocalyptic movies, or the proverbial Tijuana (or Ciudad Juarez) of Hollywood convention.

  19. Gordo Says:

    I have said this before, and I feel it’s time to repeat it.

    What’s happening in Venezuela is not sustainable. There has been enormous capital flight and a brain drain. I think of it as a climate change that has caused a migration of resources that will return when the climate changes back.

    I believe it is much easier to “rebuild” what once was then to build anew with meager resources a future based on fantasy.

    Therefore, it should only be a matter of time.

    We should hope that something new will be learned from Chavez. For one thing, we should have learned that poverty, and the widespread discontent it creates, is a continuous source of political instability that capitalism doesn’t address well.

    Certainly, capitalism does produce enormous benefits for the public good that no government can match. However, only government has the sole mission to serve the public good, whereas for enterprise, it is only a commission.

  20. Susan Says:

    Take a look at the latest from the US:

    AP

    *
    Buzz up!
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    Related Quotes Symbol Price Change
    HP 39.03 -1.38
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    By FABIOLA SANCHEZ, Associated Press Writer Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 30 mins ago

    CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela’s government has seized control of 11 oil rigs owned by U.S. driller Helmerich & Payne, which shut them down because the state oil company was behind on payments.

    Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez announced that Venezuela would nationalize the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company’s rigs. He said in a statement Wednesday that Helmerich & Payne had rejected government demands to resume drilling operations for more than a year.

    Helmerich & Payne announced in January 2009 that it was stopping operations on two of its drilling rigs, because Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA, owed the company close to $100 million. It said it would shut down the rest of its rigs by the end of July as contracts expired unless PDVSA began to make good on its debts.

    The company said Thursday that PDVSA’s debt was $43 million as of June 14.

    Referring to Helmerich & Payne, Ramirez said: “There’s a group of drill owners who have refused to discuss service prices and have preferred to have this equipment put away for a year.”

    President and CEO Hans Helmerich said in a statement on Thursday the company’s position has remained clear: “We simply wanted to be paid for work already performed.”

    “We stated repeatedly we wanted to return to work, just not for free,” he said. “We are surprised by yesterday’s announcement only because we have been in ongoing efforts in a good faith attempt to accommodate a win-win resolution, including a willingness to sell rigs.”

    The company has worked in Venezuela for 52 years, Helmerich added.

    U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said he hopes Helmerich & Payne is compensated and suggested the takeover and other recent nationalizations are scaring off private investment in Venezuela.

    “We would just call on them, if they did make such a move, to compensate the owners of those wells,” Toner said. “This is the latest in such an instance where international investors, their investments are being nationalized by the government of Venezuela. It doesn’t speak or bode well for the investment climate there.”

    Helmerich & Payne is not the only oil services company to have complained about a delay in payments. Dallas-based Ensco International Inc. said last year that it had suspended oil drilling operations off Venezuela’s Caribbean coast because Venezuela owed it $35 million — prompting PDVSA to take over the company’s operations.

    The government of President Hugo Chavez has nationalized dozens of privately owned companies in recent years as the socialist leader seeks to expand the state’s role in the economy. Government critics and many business owners argue the takeovers violate private property rights.

    Helmerich & Payne Inc. is primarily a contract drilling company. As of June 8, the company’s existing fleet included 214 U.S. land rigs, 39 international land rigs and nine offshore platform rigs.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Justin V. Juozapavicius in Tulsa and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.


  21. […] (They want to shut our mouths off, bit all they have managed is to shut our noses off) Yes, not much stuff to blog about. The way things are going in Venezuela the word "news" requires something beyond imagination, because the "routine" just does not cut it here in Venezuela anymore. Chavez used to be a Teflon President, but we now seem to have a Teflon Government. Nothing sticks to it, nothing scandalizes, everything in the end is the opposition … Read More […]

  22. island canuck Says:

    Wow it’s amazing what you learn from listening to our Emperor.

    I didn’t know that the USA had bombed the South Korean ship and made it look like the North Koreans had done it to provoke a war between South & North Korea.

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=665885

    They (USA) must have a good reason for doing this although in all honesty I can’t think of one.

    Chavez is just so much more “full of it” than I am.

  23. A_Antonio Says:

    In another line, one good topic for a post is how many times Chavez has changed or interchanged ministers and vice-presidents in these 11 years.

    El Universal newspaper says is like 200 times, near one and a half times (1.5) per month.

    Is this constituted a record?

  24. m_astera Says:

    “I didn’t know that the USA had bombed the South Korean ship and made it look like the North Koreans had done it to provoke a war between South & North Korea.”

    I can imagine your news sources told you it was the N Koreans though, right? China raised serious doubts about the accusation of N Korea’s involvement, the S Korean ship was apparently equipped for submarine and torpedo detection so no crappy N Korean mini sub should have been able to sneak up on it, there was a joint US/S Korea naval exercise going on in those waters at the time (Byongyang Island), questions have been raised about the origin of the torpedo (Germany? Who gets their torpedoes from Germany? Any guesses?) and no independent investigation into the incident has been allowed. Perhaps it was an accident due to the naval exercises.

    “They (USA) must have a good reason for doing this although in all honesty I can’t think of one.”

    Perhaps you can think of a good reason for N Korea to have done it? When they know damn well they could be bombed into the stone age within a day and don’t stand a chance against S Korea and their allies? Cui bono?

    No credible evidence has been shown from any source that N Korea was involved; not that I have seen anyway and I’ve been following the story since it happened.

  25. island canuck Says:

    LOL!

    Wait till I find my aluminum foil hat.

    Try to find some sense of reality.
    You are as crazy as Chavez.

  26. Roy Says:

    If you believe Chavez, you probably also believe that:

    1. 9-11 was staged by the U.S.G. to justify taking on Al Qaeda, a peace-loving bunch of holy men.

    2. The world and all major governments are completely and secretly controlled by an organization of old rich men called the Tri-Lateral Commission.

    3. The U.S. Gov. is hiding the crashed spaceship and remains of extraterrestrial aliens in a place in Nevada (Arizona?) called Area 51.

    Come on everyone, help me out here with your favorite lunatic conspiracy theories.

  27. island canuck Says:

    Caracas Chronicles puts it perfectly:

    “In a way, it’s kind of a handy thing, a good way of settling for yourself the question of whether you are or are not a total lunatic. If the idea that the US staged the Cheonan attack and then faked the investigation strikes you as even vaguely plausible, you’re a lunatic. Own it.”

    http://www.caracaschronicles.com/node/2565

  28. jz Says:

    Miguel, when you said there was not much news, the following day Chavez came out and nationalized his oil rigs. See the link: http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=359211&CategoryId=10717

    On top of that, the most recent parallel market rate show 11.24 bolivars to the dollar. At those rates, it is tempting to return to Venezuela.

    For those of you in Venezuela, I would like to ask. Are there goods, services, and places still worth coming to or is the quality and crime so bad that it would be foolish to visit? Secondly, is it unsafe now to engage in the parallel market in Venezuela? Third, is it possible to get the parallel exchange rate in a country outside of Venezuela?

  29. moctavio Says:

    It was meant to be irnoic, lots hppens, we dont even react any more.

    You can visit, is not thaaaaat bad….yet.

  30. island canuck Says:

    JZ.

    In answer to your questions.

    Here in Isla Margarita the sun still shines, the beaches are beautiful & the rum & beer are cheap. If you use common sense it’s also very safe.

    The exchange rate you referred to is indeed published however you won’t get anywhere near that on the street. The black market still flourishes in any tourist area or airport as there is no alternative. It’s like prohibition or drugs, if the demand is there there will be a market.

    You will not find any kind of market for the Bolivar outside Venezuela.

  31. m_astera Says:

    Roy and Island Canuck-

    Your straw man arguments are pathetic, as are the ad-hominem attacks. Perhaps they didn’t teach logic in the schools you went to.

    Anyone who hasn’t agreed with the propaganda you took in with your mother’s milk is to be ridiculed, because that is what you were taught to do, at risk of being ridiculed yourself.

    Noted that you posted no counter arguments, only straw men and ridicule and putting words in my mouth that I never said.

    It is interesting how mouse-quiet you have been when I have posted other “absurd conspiracy theories” that were laughed at for years until they were proven true. For example, Roosevelt and Churchill conspiring to lure Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor in order to get the US involved in WWII. The fake Gulf of Tonkin incident that gave LBJ the green light to escalate the war in Vietnam. Sending the Lusitania into waters known to be interdicted by German subs, after being warned by the German government not to do so. How about the sinking of the battleship Maine? All of these, every one of them, are fully documented ruses and lies. Would you like to call them tin-foil hat theories? You would lose.

    One more, you pathetic swallowers of BS and true moral cowards:

    Let’s discuss the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean in 1967.

    I fail to see the payoff for you; well, maybe I do. Maybe being a good little drone who doesn’t draw attention has served you well. I couldn’t swallow that crap and live with myself.

  32. m_astera Says:

    And by the way, your reading comprehension leaves a lot to be desired.

    I did not state that the US deliberately blew up the S Korean ship, nor do I think that is the case. Read what I wrote a few more times.

  33. island canuck Says:

    Wow. Someone needs a little love. :-)

    By the way this is a forum about VENEZUELA not conspiracy theories.

    There are lots of forums where you can meet with similar minded people to discuss these things.

  34. m_astera Says:

    Conspiracy theories. As crazy as Chavez. Tinfoil hat. “a good way of settling for yourself the question of whether you are or are not a total lunatic. If the idea that the US staged the Cheonan attack and then faked the investigation strikes you as even vaguely plausible, you’re a lunatic”

    Is your whole life a cliche’, or just what you post here?

    I listed a number of instances above where the US staged attacks, set them up, or allowed them to happen to further the ends of those who did not and do not have the best interests of the American people in mind. Did you look up the USS Liberty yet, mr freedom and democracy? No, and I don’t think you have the guts to.

    Nothing wrong with being ignorant, but being proud of one’s ignorance and attacking those who are not, that sounds a lot like Chavez and his troupe, to me anyway.

  35. island canuck Says:

    Listen Michael why don’t you get a good night’s sleep.

    Everything will look a lot brighter tomorrow.
    I think you are also a little late with your meds.

  36. m_astera Says:

    More cliche’s. About what I expected.

  37. Eric Lavoie Says:

    Funny m_astera, that it could have been something else than north is possible, but if you are like you claim well read then you know the most likely probability is the north doing it. They are that crazy. But of course it must be the US. I can you the how to on tin foil hats? You are definitely a good candidate. And btw the anti sub ship was in shallow water the effectiveness of passive detection in such case is not that effective, and subs can defeat such ships.


  38. […] mer här (om maten till Haiti), här och här (alla på […]


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