Chavez gives Venezuela away and nothing happens

October 27, 2010

(I am your leader. Follow me!)

You have to wonder what goes through the brain of Hugo Chavez. As the country struggles with everything from unemployment to infrastructure, he travels to a bunch of countries and signs a bundle of agreements, few of which make much sense in terms of cost, contribution to Venezuela’s development or it’s economy. He just gives our country for nothing and nobody says much.

Even worse, Chavez uses the term treason to projects that were in the hands of North-American companies, such as the case of the Las Cristinas gold mine, but fails to say that it was…Hugo Chavez that signed the agreement with Canda’s Crystallex in 2004. In fact, it was the current Governor of Bolivar State, then President of the CVG, who signed the contract. But since then, Chavez has fallen in love with Russians and their autocrats, so he has take it away from the Empire to give it to another Empire. No rationale behind it.

He then went all over the place signing agreements to build housing. As if the Uruguay case did not prove anything. But how can you justify buying housing abroad, that could be built from scratch here, creating thousands of jobs. Our private sector could do it if the Government wanted it. So we are to believe that Iran will build 50,000 housing units, Russia 10,000 for the military, Belarus 5,000 and Portugal 12,000.

But wait! We paid US$ 90 million to Belarus for some housing in 2008 and our friend Kepler has  not been able to find them anywhere, but the Belorussians said they got paid!

Then let’s send them 200,000 barrels of oil a day at a discount and since we are importing coffee because Chavez also destroyed that crops’ production, let’s promise we will send them 50,000 Tons of coffee to keep Belorussians awake. Who will we buy the coffee from? Will it be free?

If I were from Belarus, I would have asked for iPods and iPdas, you never know…

And then, since we are short natural gas in Venezuela because of the lack of distribution across the country, offer US$ 780 million for a gas project to:

Iran..

Yeap! Let’s take 25% of the amount of the recent PDVSA bond and give it to our Iranian friends who are so much like us and will love us so much for doing it.

Also buy some air to surface missiles, some tanks, spend another US$ 850 million and done, The trip is over. Even if we never spend one cent on the phantom nuclear plant, Chavez spent over US$ 2 billion, gave the Russians away the Las Cristinas mine and will give the Belorussians a $4 million dollar discount a day on oil, which adds up to US$ 1.3 billion a year.

Voila! Hugo spent all of the PDVSA bond issue in a single trip.

And we still don’t know why or what is going on through his head. Is the purpose to screw the private sector so that the opposition can not be financed? Or is it all a grandiose show and he plans to complete none of the announcements? Or is he just so out of touch with reality that, like the 2008 Belorussian apartments he will never ask  what happened to the housing that was never built.

Nobody, even Chavez knows the answer. What we do know is that around him are groups and mafias making money like crazy, while they laugh at the jokes and antics of the Venezuelan autocrat and dream of the day they can enjoy their profits.

And nothing happens as Hugo gives away the country…But it seems cheaper to keep him here, at least he can’t give anything away.

52 Responses to “Chavez gives Venezuela away and nothing happens”

  1. jau Says:

    So Miguel could you remind me why we must wait until 2012 to get this guy out of here?

  2. moctavio Says:

    Because he will stay until then at least…

  3. jau Says:

    Now they are going to sell CITGO…. estan raspando la olla…. they are not going to run out of money, WE are going to run out of assets first

  4. NicaCat Says:

    I want my, I want my, I want my MTV (money for nothing, and the chicks for free).

  5. metodex Says:

    Why do we even need all those weapons? what for?are we being invaded? are we supporting a war?what for? so other fat well-paid corrupt venezuelan soldiers(98%) got something to play with when theyre not on new york fighting the empire?

    The worst part is that when he’s gone,he will be worshipped like Che Guevara. Why is nobody besides you talking about this? what are opposition representatives talking about huh?

    All that money coulda been used for so much more.But noooooo we need to give weapons to peasants and the people(like they dont got one already) so they can protect the country from the big evil empire of doom,darkness and death.
    If Chavez was stuck on an island all alone he would build a fort to defend himself from the enemy. Where the fuck is the enemy?

  6. GB Says:

    Slight OT: I am amazed how nonchalant people are in this country (I am not a native but been here a while).
    I was in the local Bicentenerio (formerly CADA) on Monday mainly for convenience. The first box of cereal I picked up had a hole nibbled through the bottom of it, and a few minutes later saw a rat in the produce. An actual rat scrambling around some squash. A customer tried to kill it by hitting it with another squash, but I didn’t stick around. What amazed me is there was no outrage from anyone. Everyone just accepted that rats in the vegetable bin is normal. That’s messed up!

    Currently my housing complex blew a transformer and there are no spare parts. My wife heard a rumor that a new transformer will cost the condominium association 18,000 Bs.F. (they gasp)! Of course, no one wants to pay because everyone is so fucking into themselves. Because of this, we’ve had no water for >36 hours. People would rather haul water from whatever source/friends/neighbors/relatives they have. Fuck’n A!

    I think this is just a taste of things to come for the country…just wait!

  7. tannin Says:

    He craves glory, and glory, if bought not earned, is damned expensive. Very lucky, for Chavez, that Venezuela is a rich country; still present tense, but failing fast.
    The weapons, why is he buying weapons ? I know, for sure, 100 %, that i do not need to spell it out; we all know why.
    What will happen in ’12, after his election loss, and that’s assuming the election is allowed to proceed ? We all know the answer to that question as well.

  8. Kepler Says:

    Miguel,

    I think the Belorussians are supposed to build 4000 now, they were supposed to build 5000 in 2008. I wonder if Chavistas want to say Belarus was supposed to build 10 houses in 2014, then build 20 and announce they did twice as much.

    The whole thing about the oil deals looks mental. Remember Belarus is land-locked.
    I will do a review on the whole circus.
    Tannin,

    Venezuelans are being trained in Belarus, among other places, for military and “intelligence” purposes.

  9. Lim Says:

    Look at it from the positive side.

    These guys got into government without much of an idea of what they were going to do once there. Then they rented, at an incredibly high price, the Cuban political script to have some sort of a plan.

    But it didn’t work! To establish communism you need a real revolution. You need to take control of everything early. It was the greed and corruption of Chavez’s associates that saved the day. Nobody will do anything now except for money (a lot of it). Chavez’s regime has produced the seeds of its own destruction in its corruption. No way back now. Guaranteed.

    But as many French people know, after a “revolution” you get stuck with Napoleon. The guy almost destroyed France, but you still see things named after him all over Paris. My guess is that 100 years from now those alive will see a statue of Chavez where Columbus’ used to be. I only wish we could make the statue in 1012 and get over with it.

  10. GWEH Says:

    GB, you describe the surreal realism to a t. Lim, you are correct, the script is being applied and very succesfully. It is working my friend.

    Regarding the weapons, I see a naive public. Venezuelans should better inform themselves as misinformation and disinformation abound. I see things long term and the picture is not pretty. All the pieces are falling into place.

  11. GWEH Says:

    Cuba today is a clear and present danger to US national security. Some of you may disagree but this is good as gold as it comes from the ultimate source and I have to agree. So where does that place Venezuela? The shit is hitting the fan.

  12. GWEH Says:

    Let me frame it: It’s not going to happen alone. “This is our problem and we will solve it ourselves” BULLSHIT. Venezuela is so gone off the deep end that it cannot get out on its own. Chavez sometimes says the truth even in his wishful thinking. Unfortunately we have a naive US administration and a boat load of other priorities to the detriment of good Venezuelans.

  13. Ma.Elisa Mellior Says:

    Asi es Miguel, nuestra generación no podrá ver la recuperación de Venezuela. Y quien sabe cuantas generaciones más tendran que luchar para sacar a Venezuela de este hueco. Asi como los argentinos nunca se recuperaron de los desmanes de los Peron.

  14. albianoldboy Says:

    In the movie by Oliver Stone “JFK” the question was not who killed Kennedy, but why? and who benefited.

    The question is not if Chavez goes and if Venezuela collapses, but who will benefit? and what happens to Venezuela?

    The clear winner will be Colombia, Venezuela will be balkanized by Colombia, that will be the second power in South America, to Brazil.

    Thanks to Lula’s shortsightedness the Spanish speaking monster on Brazil’s northern border, will be a Grand Colombia, not ruled by a easily manipulated egomaniac like Chavez, but a though battle tested Colombian people.

  15. A_Antonio Says:

    “The question is not if Chavez goes and if Venezuela collapses, but who will benefit?”

    Answer: Venezuela is already collapsed: shortcuts of electricity, Caracas underground, food shortages, violence: 20.000 death a year.

    I’ll bet 1.000.000 times for a change, any change, and at least we will have some hope, than the present way of 100 years of economics and human failures, no progress, only wait the prevail of the nightmare.

  16. An Interested Observer Says:

    Nicacat, change MTV to PDV, and that’s the tune Hugo has been singing for years.

    Of course, in was just PDV back in 2002, but now it’s much, much more.

  17. Daniel Olban Says:

    I think we just have to see, evaluate, assess, examine, etc etc Chavez’ past since he was little until 2002.

    Chavez just uses past experience to follow a script. He will never be smart enough to start a new thinking paradigm of his own. In other words, Chavez’ himself cannot change his way of thinking thus his actions are easy to to predict (in fact he always say what he will do)

    He believes he is constantly in war, thus acting accordingly. There! lies Chavez’ seed of cessation……..After all this BS, what to do?…. Don’t know we will have to sit down and do a big and extensive PROSPECTIVE exercise showing flexible scenarios then set flexible strategies…..(hehehe more BS hehehe)….

  18. megaescualidus Says:

    Let him keep going on a failed projects signing spree. Let him keep giving the country away. This is why, as narrow as opportunity as it may be, I’m “caustiously optimistic” for the 2012 elections. Chavez and his Government are so disfuncitonal and so out of touch with reality they won’t even realize when the rug’s being pulled out from under them.

  19. Roy Says:

    Albionoldboy,

    You said, “The clear winner will be Colombia, Venezuela will be balkanized by Colombia, that will be the second power in South America, to Brazil.

    “Thanks to Lula’s shortsightedness the Spanish speaking monster on Brazil’s northern border, will be a Grand Colombia, not ruled by a easily manipulated egomaniac like Chavez, but a though battle tested Colombian people.”

    In comparison to what we have now…? I’m OK with that!

  20. odef007 Says:

    Kepler: Belarus/Housing

    I can not remember if it was Nito or Torrealba, think Nito, that did a
    special that was run before the elections on housing. The Belarus component was a joint venture. Nothing close to the quantity purported. Homes sold, not given. Deposits paid. Project not complete gated and guarded.

    Citgo being Sold. Ummm na. Carries to much debt and demand is not there yet.
    There are existing 1st party/payer liens (secured debt) on the Company for the Bond issue of 2007 for 1 Billion $US at 12% ( this was in addition to the existing 1.3B in place ) It was disclosed that this money was to be a “loan” to parent PDVSA.
    In June this year they issued another Secured Bond debt for 300 mln at 11.5% matures 2017 and non callable for the first 4 yrs. (clause restricting Dividends on this one )
    I am scratching my head because I read today in TalCual (PDVSA Madura la salida de Citgo by Jose Nunez) that the supply contracts to Citgo by PDVSA have been reduced from 10 years to 1 with a possible ext. of 1 more).
    ( ability to service debt? ) Things that make me go hmmm.
    I think Chavez is going to financially crash and burn before his election.

    The tanks and weapons … to keep him in power after he crashes?

    As always, thanks host for the ventana

  21. Kepler Says:

    odef007,

    Thanks. As I wrote there: the Belorussian ambassador said in 2008 (as stated by them) already 90 million dollars of the 320 million had been paid at that moment. That’s a lot.

    The whole thing is criminal on any account. Why on Earth are we paying Belorussians to do what Venezuelans could do, build houses? And anyway:
    why did Venezuelans go then go to Mali to build houses there?

    The picture there is no Photoshop. You can visit a Malian governmental site to see details about those houses.

    http://www.primature.gov.ml/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=2985

    The page is in French, but you can get the machine translation. I also translated it in my blog.

    Anyway, here comes another on Belarus but not on housing: as I said earlier, there are Venezuelans now studying at the War Academy of Belarus. They are not just studying to become “soldiers”. That academy also gives classes on intelligence.

  22. loroferoz Says:

    Not that former Presidents of the former Republic of Venezuela did not travel the world signing meaningless, useless deals. Not that they did not nationalize this and that when it was fashionable. A certain Carlos Andres comes to mind.

    The sheer scale of both the deals, and of the meddling in the Venezuelan economy distinguish their sorry much-more-so successor, who believes himself another Simon Bolivar. Like that same Carlos Andres but autocratic…

    Not so off topic then. But… Swiss style federalism, regional economic autonomy, iron-bound protection of private property, and a President with JUST enough power to sign checks for symbolic donations, in command only of nicely uniformed ceremonial guards seem like GREAT IDEAS for Venezuela and Caracas.

    Too bad I am fantasizing. That is not possible. Venezuelans don’t learn, and Caracas will self-destroy the same even if we get to substitute Chavez. “Everybody wants to be President” to do at least some of the stuff Chavez does.

    In fact, at this time I am only counting on catastrophes to do the job of beating Venezuela back into the shape of a functioning country.

  23. Daniel Olban Says:

    I wonder whether all this noise surrounding Citgo could cause oil price to go up in the US market….. Would that be possible?…. wouldnt’ that be Chavez’ intention in the end just to some more dolaritos?

  24. island canuck Says:

    To return to Owens- Illinois:

    From the company – http://www.marketwatch.com/story/morningstar-calls-owens-illinois-selloff-overdone-2010-10-28

    “Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’s takeover of two Owens-Illinois bottling plants is causing headaches for company executives, but investors shouldn’t be overly concerned, a Morningstar analyst said Thursday.”

    Love the use of the word strongman – not president or leader.

    “Glassmaking is a highly specialized, complex and technical industry, and we are concerned by government plans to manage the operations without having the appropriate level of expertise. We also are concerned about the continuity of supply to customers in critical segments like food and beverage,” said Owens-Illinois Chairman and Chief Executive Al Stroucken, in a statement.

    Ha, ha. Like this is news to us living in Venezuela.

  25. Robert Says:

    Is there a chance that the Owens Corning takeover could affect Polar? They do use a lot of glass bottles? Or do they make their own?

  26. island canuck Says:

    OI provides 80% of the glass bottles to Polar

  27. paul Says:

    Miguel it might just be the simple trick of false invoices. The 90M$ you mentioned with Belorus is now ‘legitamate’money.
    Put a false invoice through the books and now you have millions being moved around which is unaccountable. They will say- we bought housing for it. As you say it makes no sense to any one travelling the world dealing with dictators saying they will provide housing for your people on the other side of the world- unless? They are just false invoices?

  28. m_astera Says:

    Had to laugh at this one, Kepler:

    “That academy also gives classes on intelligence.”

    Considering which loyalists are probably attending, they will need more than classes. I would suggest pills or injections.

    Lim laid it out clearly above. We should all give thanks for corruption, ignorance, and laziness.

  29. Tomate Says:

    In my opinion, he is planning his exit strategy. Chavez only cares about Chavez and all these deals have nothing to do with Venezuela. They are all about Chavez building bridges and buying favors in countries where the U.S. has no influence. Just in case he needs it!!!

  30. masterblog Says:

    in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

    The countries to whom he gives away our money thru ridiculous (and bogus) arms deals, oil projects, housing scams and/or other so-called ‘assistance’ projects, are all worst than Vene – yes, there are still some left!-Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bielorussia, Iran, Russia, Mali, Syria, etc. …It is only with these countries that he can still play his games and where he is treated (sucked up to) like the global leader he fantasizes about being… A

    What is of course really pathetic, is that it’s been 12 years and he’s still at it!!!

  31. Kepler Says:

    I know the word “intelligence” has a strange use there, but you know what I mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_service

    I put more information about that in the Spanish blog. I won’t exaggerate the repercussions of that kind of training, but we have to take that into account.

    In the other case: there are serious efforts from Belarus and Venezuela to find a way to transport that oil to Belarus through Ukraine or Lithuania…a total waste.

  32. Maria Says:

    “In the other case: there are serious efforts from Belarus and Venezuela to find a way to transport that oil to Belarus through Ukraine or Lithuania…a total waste.”

    I do not think they are doing that. They will buy it
    from some European country to supply Belarus. I do not know if they are paying market prices but that type of deal is common among oil producers.

  33. Kepler Says:

    Maria, that is what a Belarussian friend told me last year, he thought it is just shifting. That is what logic would dictate.

    But what I read from the Russian and Belorussian press is something else.
    Just check please the posts I have in Spanish with the tag “Belarus”. There was an initial shipment done through Odessa and then train of some test oil of Santa Barbara. Obviously, that was a test. But then they have been negotiating the passage of “Venezuelan” oil through Odessa, then, as the Ukrainians were hard, through Lithuania (see article there). Then back to Ukraine as now Ukraine has another president.

    In a new article in Regnum (Russian site), they say
    Belarus imported 80 thousand tones to a price of 656 dollars the tone according to the Stats Dep of Belarus.
    They also said it was previously importing oil from Russia at a price of
    398.

    Now: why do both countries need to go through the hassle of finding new transporting paths if oil is not coming from Venezuela?
    Iranian oil goes through Russia, doesn’t it? Lybian oil goes through?

    No clue.

  34. Kepler Says:

    I meant: I have no clue. I just read how both parties have been looking to a route to transport “Venezuelan oil” either through the Black Sea or the Baltic Sea.
    That’s what articles there say.

  35. island canuck Says:

    Here goes another one.

    Just published in the Gaceta Oficial that ABA Casa de Bolsa has also been intervened

    http://www.eluniversal.com/2010/10/29/eco_ava_intervenida-aba-casa_29A4668537.shtml

    I guess this owner didn’t pay the right people.

  36. GWEH Says:

    Albionoldboy, PDVSA loss was the Saudi’s gain. That is history. Venezuela is history. Game Over. Sorry to break the news to you all… I am not an opposition leader or coordinator so I tell it like it is. You are all fucked.

  37. GWEH Says:

    your last chance to get Chavez out was 8 years and you fucked it up. Now pray for the “Nestor solution.”

  38. island canuck Says:

    GWEH

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    It’s now all show & mirrors.
    The inability of the opposition to mount an effective presence is depressing to an extreme.

    Anybody want to buy a good business?

  39. Jose Says:

    Good account of the government’s recent round of spending. The key is exposed in this article: why he does what he does? who is he benefiting? how is this going to help him for the 2012 election? I think many of the answers are around this article and chat room. This gov’t is in need of one thing above all: US$!!! to oil the machine, pay for the revolution, and maintain a minimum social peace (no imports – no food, no food- no peace). They will do anything for hard currency (sell Las Cristinas, sell Citgo, Rohr, leverage the hell out of PDVSA, expropriate Polar and stay with a cash cow)..The country is passing through a deep transformation, at one point chaos due to improvisation and large errors will pass the bill…the 2012 elections are the only hope, with a safe-passage transition plan for all this regime….if they feel they are threatened after handing power, they won’t hand power like the Iranians did with Moussavi. This is pure escalation theory they more you escalate events the more difficult is to back down.

  40. Lim Andrews Says:

    GWEH,

    The Nestor solution…

    A close relative shouted the other day from another room: Guess who died! My thoughts immediately went to Havana, expecting to hear a name that has haunted me since childhood. But no, it was only Nestor. Sigh!

  41. Gringo Says:

    From Greg Mankiw’s blog [Economics Professor at Harvard];
    From my inbox:

    Dear Professor,

    I´m from Venezuela. And this picture shows the kind of things you find when you go to a Mercado Bicentenario in Venezuela (which is the new name of a chain of private markets -Cada and Exito- recently expropiated and now runned by the Government).

    This one is from Mercado Bicentenario, in Centro Comercial Ciudad Tamanaco (CCCT), a mall, in Caracas, Venezuela.

    It says:

    Description of the product: Diana Oil.

    Fair Price: 4,73 Bfs.

    Capitalist Price: 7 Bfs.

    % of savings: 32%.

    My best regards, and congratulations for your blog, books and everything!

    http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2010/10/pricing-in-venezuela.html

  42. mick Says:

    If oil goes up, Hugo(Hitler) will declare war on Colombia. If oil goes down, Hugo(Castro) will make sure almost all Venezuelans are equal(i.e. POOR).

    Either way it will become more and more difficult for honest, hardworking citizens to earn a decent living.

    Much like North Korea, Venezuela will fail while all the countries around it will succeed in a big way.

  43. Juancho Says:

    From what I heard, while it is politically impossible to steal Polar just now, Chavez will try to control all of it’s major suppliers, starting with the bottlers.

    They say it’s going to be cat and mouse between these two, Polar probably coming out on top owning to Chavez’ numbskulled Cubanos that advise him, and Polars significant resources and craftiness. Before Chavez, Polar basically did exactly what it choose to do, with little regards for the law or rules – basically old style Venezuela. They have a lot of deep contacts here. They won’t fold without a major battle.

    Chavez has nobody at all to effectively run that glass operation. It will simply tank like all the other outfits he’s purloined over the last few years.

    I’m told that Cuba could sustain this kind of bullshit for decades, but never here in Venezuela, which became a consumer society in the 70s and 80s and there is NEVER any turning back from that.

    Something’s gonna give. This level of incompetence and tomfollery is not sustainable for much longer.

    Juancho

  44. Kepler Says:

    “Sorry to break the news to you all… ”
    Gweh, what news are you bringing that are news?

  45. HalfEmpty Says:

    oil the machine, pay for the revolution, and maintain a minimum social peace

    Jose knows the score, read his comment again. It’s a nice summation.

  46. concerned Says:

    I would suggest one way to support Polar at this time would be to start buying your beer (if you are not doing it already), in the returnable bottles.

  47. megaescualidus Says:

    GWEH,

    The “Nestor solution” won’t apply with Chacumbele. He’s in much better physical shape than Nestor.

  48. Roberto N Says:

    Not only that, Mega, if he kicks the bucket tomorrow, from natural causes, then we’re left with Jaua.

    Not sure what’s better. Kind of a Guatemala/Guatepeor kind of deal.

  49. vdpsc Says:

    In order to support Polar, you may need to be prepared to buy beer in plastic or cardboard cartons!

  50. PB Says:

    Hey Gringo

    That “saving” is just fantastic”. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like it. Does anyone take it seriously?

  51. Yas Says:

    TOMATE you said:”In my opinion, he is planning his exit strategy. Chavez only cares about Chavez and all these deals have nothing to do with Venezuela. They are all about Chavez building bridges and buying favors in countries where the U.S. has no influence. Just in case he needs it!!!”

    I completely agree!! Chavez is just a dog pretending to be Doberman but when it comes to fight, hides under his mum’s skirt


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