Chavez Becomes Blameless on Wasteful Gasoline Use in Venezuela. His Solution: Rationing!

February 15, 2011

Yesterday, I sincerely could not believe the Dictator when he started talking and pontificating about the problem with cheap gasoline in Venezuela. “You are filling your tank with the cheapest gasoline in the world” said the President, speaking with his scolding tone, as if saying “you bad guys have been doing this behind my back”. Then, as if his inauguration was just last week, rather than twelve years ago, Chavez told us in his pedagogical tone, that the Government subsidizes 90% of the price of gasoline, a topic we have covered many times.

Wow! When did he find this out?

Because for twelve years, Hugo Chavez has done very little to change the price of gasoline. In fact, he forced Former President Rafael Caldera in 1997 NOT to increase the price of gasoline to take advantage of that populist stance.

In 2000, his cronies at PDVSA cancelled the natural gas car program for vehicles, which was rapidly expanding and they have now tried to revive without much success (Surprise!)

And it was Chavez himself in Alo presidente the fact that he had not built major roads, because that would only attract more people to cities.

And it was also Chavez who sent oil and gasoline to Iran, London, Petrocaribe, Cuba, Argentina, Central America and Uruguay, the latter a country with a much higher standard of living than Venezuela.

But rather than eliminate these subsidies and/or increase the prce of gasoline, Chavez solution is very simple:

Gasoline rationing. The Government will force us to consume in 2011 100,000 barrels less a day than in 2010.

What’s next? Rationing sand? Because after all, we have had water and electricity rationing, food shortages and now gasoline rationing, all once abundant in Venezuela.

But it is the paradox of Venezuela, Chavez, the revolution and gasoline. After twelve years of inaction, he puts his angelic and pedagogic face and blames us for his incompetence. Even managing to scold us. We should feel guilty. But not him. Like the cartoon above, Chavez is well meaning, generous and smart.

It is the Venezuelan people who are simply very dumb, to continue to put up with Chavez’ charade. The “Yo no fui” parade of his own incompetence.

79 Responses to “Chavez Becomes Blameless on Wasteful Gasoline Use in Venezuela. His Solution: Rationing!”


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Javier, Radio AYRE Venezuela, Notiven . com , Patricia, Guillermo Mantovani and others. Guillermo Mantovani said: RT @moctavio: Chavez Becomes Blameless on Wasteful Gasoline Use. Solution: Rationing! http://wp.me/ppwPU-38r [...]

  2. Dean A. Nash Says:

    I’ve said it for a long time now, regarding Venezuela, China and any of the world’s other ‘totalitarian’ states: When the people want to be free, they will be. Until then, the dictators have free reign.

    The Chinese have a Faustian deal with their overloads – continue the country’s economic progress and we’ll forgo our natural rights: freedom of speech, assembly, religion et al.

    But sooner or later – I suspect around 2020 – that deal is going to come to an end. And then the Chinese, like the Egyptians before them, will rise up and free themselves.

    I suspect that in that year, Chavez will still be in power in Venezuela. I hope not, but I honestly think so.

  3. bobthebuilder Says:

    I have a vision of Chavez 20 years from now:

    “You the Venezuelan people have been allowing me to spout utter crap for the last 30+ years. It is your fault I have governed so badly.”

  4. JunCTionS Says:

    “And it was Chavez himself in Alo presidente the fact that he had not built major roads, because that would only attract more people to cities.”

    I couldn’t find the source for this. If anyone could please point me to this it’d be great.

    Also there should be a compendium of phrases and promises like this. Including the material from “Usted lo vió” of Globovisión. If it exists someone please let me know. If not, it might be a good wiki-idea.

  5. island canuck Says:

    As I pointed out yesterday a simple increase each of his 12 years would have prevented this.

    Rationing of gasoline is just plain stupid.

  6. Johnny Says:

    Rationing is a socialist solution to pricing of all goods, once you sell goods so cheaply, the market for them has no rational bounds. Think free medical care, there will never be enough medical facilities nor doctors for that matter to take care of free demand. That is why the market works, provided it is free of government inducements, which cause bubbles which eventually burst as all bubbles do. Right now we have a $ bubble raising havoc world wide with commodities pricing. Same thing happened in the roman empire when they debased coinage. Think, an ounce of gold bought a barrel of venezuelan oil before WWII, how many ounces of gold does a barrel fetch today. Ha pennies, not even that!

  7. Otro Roberto Says:

    In a book for children published in 2010 in Germany regarding the different continents and countries, there is a brief mention to Venezuela.

    My translation of it is as follows: “It is the fifth oil producer of the world and it has the largest gas reserves of the continent. However, the country is poor: due to its chaotic and corrupt economic politics, many shelves at the supermarkets remain empty. There is scarcity of important staple food such as sugar, noodles, eggs, milk, and meat”. For those that understant German: “Es ist der fünftgrösste Erdölproduzent der Welt und besitzt die grössten Erdgasreserven des ganzen Kontinents. Trodzdem ist das Land arm: Wegen seiner chaostischen und korrupten Wirtschaftspolitik bleiben in den Supermärkten viele Regale leer. Es mangelt an wichtigen Grundnahrungsmitteln wie Zucker, Nudeln, Eier, Milch und Fleisch”.

    That is all that is mentioned regarding Venezuela. This is very sad … because we can say that it is true.

  8. A_Antonio Says:

    You forget that Venezuela also subsidies oil in calefaction in some cities in USA, maybe because we already solve our poor people problems, so now we can solve problems in the underdevelopment USA.

  9. Kepler Says:

    Miguel,
    How does Hugo the First want to ration petrol? Do Venezuelans get vouchers now or do they need to use a card? And what’s going to happen to the huge smuggling taking places throughout our borders?

    Otro, do you have the ISBN?
    Have you seen the page from the German embassy on tips for tourists visiting Venezuela? Sounds like Iraq.

    To the others: you can get an approximate translation with

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.auswaertiges-amt.de%2FDE%2FLaenderinformationen%2F00-SiHi%2FVenezuelaSicherheit.html%3Fnn%3D399338%23doc399278bodyText2&sl=de&tl=en&hl=&ie=UTF-8

  10. island canuck Says:

    Another thought that occurs to me is the cost of handling a rationing program – policing it, distributing the cards, etc., etc.

    It’s just such a waste of energy, money & efficiency.

    Just raise the GD price idiots!

  11. Pygmalion Says:

    I am as guitlty as everyone else. I wasre electicuty and water. I drive when in fact I could wlk and couple of blocks. In fact I’m typical of the lazy easy-come, easy-go attitude of many Venezuelans. We are wasteful and profligate and care little about the environment. Maybe if I am only allowed to buy 40 liters instead of 50 each time I gas up then I may drive less and take that two block walk which is beneficial for me anyway. I don’t think that I have the right to use 9 times more energy than the average Venezuelan, although I have the money to do so, since energy is a finite resource and we should all try to respect it for the good of our fellow countrymen. I hope you all agree with this.

  12. moctavio Says:

    I disagree, charge more. I dont waste electricity or gas, I walk a lot. Just imposing regulation will cost too much. Increase the price.

  13. RWG Says:

    Island Canuck,
    Don’t forget corruption. Its basically an income transfer program. Only Chavistas will get their allocations of cheap gasoline under a Chavez rationing plan. A secondary market will open to sell gasoline to those who exceed their rations.

    I suspect riots will occur because people cannot understand why some get gasoline and they do not get gasoline.

  14. Kepler Says:

    Pygmalion, you are really pathetic. You are absolutely incapable of criticizing any measure Hugo the First says…you have not the slightest desire to think by yourself. Your love for Hugo is close to a cult.

    Petrol prices have to go up. You also need to prepare a series of measures to catch up the effects of that in certain areas, but for that you need to think ahead, something apparently Chavez supporters are unable to do.

    Quotas are absolutely ineffective. The control needed to make them effective will imply a huge waste of resources urgently needed for something else.

    I am sure if Hugo the First said tomorrow that price rises are the solution and not controls you will come over tomorrow and tell us what Hugo said is the best thing.

    What a fucking troll!

    How on Earth are you earning above average in Venezuela with such an intelligence level?
    Do you steal or do you work for the government or both?

  15. A_Antonio Says:

    It is better and more ethical to sell gasoline and diesel at least at cost price (production + distribution cost), Chavez simple do not has the balls to do that.

  16. Bloody Mary Says:

    Pygmalion,

    I can’t believe how do you dare to expose such idea in public. I understand Chavez rationality to lie and say whatever help him to get votes… but you…..
    If you use 9 times the energy that an average person in Venezuela…. shame on you… I’m agree with you about that.
    I know that well educated people in Venezuela don’t waist energy as you do… and I assume that people who are taking advantage of the corruption are those who use 9 times the average energy, like you do, and represent only 2%….. son limiting your consumption does not have enough impact.
    Sooner or later you, chavistas, will need to assume the politic cost of the increase if gas prices….. And we will be waiting for your head when that happens…

  17. geha714 Says:

    Chavez wants to ration gasoline. Good luck with that!

    He’s now trapped in an impossible situation.

    Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. Trouble awaits!

  18. clobber Says:

    It’s a pity when an individual’s comments receive personal abuse. Pygmalion expressed a personal view that in many aspects is very valid. It may be that he uses 9 times more electricity than the average person and his camionetta holds 50 litres while my car takes 25. Venezuelan’s, just like many nations (including the USA and China) are wasteful in the consumption of non replaceable energy. An increase in the fuel price would help to control the wasteage by some people buying smaller engined cars. As in all nations there will always be people who have the money to ignore financially orientated measures. Chavez lost the moment to increase fuel prices when his government let the banks hand out easy credit for car purchase four years ago, the result a doubling of cars on the same amount of roads = havoc. Pygmalion sits with his 50 litres in the same traffic jams as I do.

  19. Kepler Says:

    Clobber,

    That personal view is very valid, but completely out of place. I try to use cars as little as possible. I have always done that. I have the fortune now to live in a country where that is rather easy, but I did that in Venezuela as well. Even though it is extremely difficult in many places, I tell people there when I travel with them: “let’s optimize the travel, let’s go A, B, C”.

    But: that is not the issue here. The guy just comes to justify whatever Chavez says as the best solution. It is NOT.
    Don’t come over and tell us that bloke is giving us a new insight on environmental awareness.
    By the way: I and many others have written about those things for years now.

    Do you have an idea about what it will cost to implement that measure?

  20. island canuck Says:

    Clobber:
    “An increase in the fuel price would help to control the wasteage by some people buying smaller engined cars. ”

    You see this is also part of the problem. We can’t buy smaller cars or any cars at all for that matter.
    It was reported in “Sol de Margarita” this week that the Margarita Toyota dealer sold on average 210 cars a month in 2009 while in 2010 the number was 9 cars a month.

    This results in 10’s of thousands of pre 1990 cars staying on the road & burning untold thousands of litres of gas needlessly.

    The shortage of new cars has also resulted in unbelievably high prices for both new & used cars.

    A 4 cyl Terios now costs the equivalent of US$49,534 at the official rate of BsF.4,3. This car would cost around US$12,000 in, say, Miami if it was sold there.

    The whole economic structure of the country is now so broken that there is very little hope that we won’t tumble into chaos in the near future.

    In Noticiero Digital today there was a thread talking about the rationing. The general consensus is that prices need to be raised while a few individuals are calling for actions in the streets if the price is raised.

  21. Eduardo Says:

    The only rational solution is to increase the gasoline price. There is always the fear of another “Caracazo”, but rationing only leads to black markets.

    History shows that.

    In the book ” Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology” of C.W. Ceram (by the way, german), a kind of black market is mentioned in SUMERIAN TABLETS (>5000 years old).

    So, black markets are not caused by “stinking capitalist”.

  22. A_Antonio Says:

    We need serious people talking serious Business here; there is no other way that begins some day with the selling the gas to its real price, as transform the Venezuelan economy with free market rules, food and Exchange included, we do not means liberalism, only rational economics. What about Wealth State Capitalism? More leter we beging, worse.

  23. bruni Says:

    How much can he ration? It does not make sense. He is so much afraid of raising the price of gasoline…with even a small increase he should be able to subsidize popular transportation and even food transportation.

    Who is advising this guy?

  24. island canuck Says:

    The stupidity of all this just keeps reminding me of things that will not work.

    Here in Margarita there are hundreds (thousands) of pirate taxis.
    Some days I think that I see far more pirates than licensed cabs.
    I don’t know how it is in other cities in Venezuela.

    As these guys are not registered as public transport how will they get the gas they need to work? Are they just going to calmly accept the fact that they can’t work? Not likely!

    That’s where the black market will take over.

    What about people who want to drive throughout the country for vacation? Traveler’s to Margarita, etc. Special permits, more bureaucracy??

    It’s just so stupid! Raise the price & face the music of 12 years of incompetence!

  25. RWG Says:

    Caracas is a dirty city. It has been dirty for many decades due to cheap gas and heavy traffic. Every street and sidewalk is black from oil. Many buildings at street level are covered in oil. Don’t walk in white shoes, the sludge will mess them up. Every time I have gone to Venezuela starting in 1982, I thought the whole city needed pressure washing. I could be rich just scraping the oil off everything and selling it.

    Now gas is next to free and traffic is absolutely horrendous. Just raise the gas prices. People will adjust and the pollution may go down.

  26. Roy Says:

    Island Canuck said:

    “Just raise the GD price idiots!”

    Canuck, you should know better than that…

    With that solution, how can the Chavista officials manage to collect bribes for more rations or sell fake ration cards? How can they possibly skim more money off of such a simple, rational, self-regulating system? No, no, that will never do. It is way too easy and too transparent. They need complicated schemes that are poorly understood to make sure there are ways to cheat the system and continue to steal money.

    You simplistic Capitalists just don’t get it. How else are lazy, unproductive people supposed to get more then their share of the pie? Sheesh…

  27. A_Antonio Says:

    Some 15 years ago Caracas has some reasonable fine metro and metrobus system, I remember I having a car a prefer use metrobús and Metro to go to Teresa Carreño Theater, Parks, Cinemas and so on.

    Now Chavez screw up the systems, if he want reduce the use of gas, he should begin to be effective in maintenance and making more public transports system, begining by controlling the delinquency and the firings in the bus and mini-bus systems.

  28. Txt Says:

    Interesante post para análisis, por favor revise esto:
    Mas de 1000 Denuncias y Promesas quedadas en el olvido; así somos =(

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=180813

  29. Otro Roberto Says:

    Kepler: The ISBN is the following: 978-3-8339-2696-9 . The book is Willi Wills Wissen – Das grosse Willi-Raetselbuch: Menschen, Laender Kontinente.

  30. jeffry house Says:

    Free market fundamentalism always threatens those with the least income. While many of the people who post here can absorb a hike in gas/oil prices, there may be some in Venezuela who cannot.

    Ignoring their interests brought us Chavez the first time around.

    Especially if oil or gas are used for cooking, this can be a real threat to people’s well-being.

    But experience has shown that, in these cases, a targetted benefit is far fairer than a system of rationing.

    For example, in Canada there are people who cannot purchase home heating oil at market prices in wintertime, especially in the North. Because we do not want people freezing in the dark in -50C conditions, a targetted rebate is used to make sure that everyone has heating oil sufficient to last through the winter.

    For the very poor in Venezuela, a similar targetted rebate could cover minimum costs for cooking oil or other necessary petroleum use, as a cost one fiftieth that of a rationing programme.

    I can imagine all the gas rationing scams: I don’t have a car, so you buy my card, or if cards are individualized, I buy a wreck, don’t run it, and buy the gas for your vehicle, etc. etc. etc.

  31. Steve Says:

    The people of Venezuela continue to amaze me everyday.

    Can you not look at what is transpiring in the Middle East and do something for both you and your country?

    Chavez and his so called Chavistas are your problem; do something or continue to bend over and be a bit– for them.

  32. Leon Says:

    I think I get the point Steve or as Chevez would say:

    “Your check is in the mail and we promise not to cum in your mouth”

  33. Roy Says:

    Chavez is very good at the blame game. About a month ago, I heard him talking about the “Crisis Aliamentaria Mundial” or the “World Food Supply Crisis”. Well, I read the news, and other than the usual famine in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, I was not aware of an world-wide food crisis. In this way, he can blame the shortages of foodstuffs on the “World Crisis” and ask his supporters to thank him for protecting them from the worst of it.

  34. wanderer Says:

    Eduardo Says:

    In the book ” Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology” of C.W. Ceram (by the way, german), a kind of black market is mentioned in SUMERIAN TABLETS (>5000 years old).

    —————-
    Great book.

  35. moraimag Says:

    wow, this is unbelievable, they are really willing to do anyting to avoid paying the political cost of increasing the prices. Julio Borges mentioned a study that says most of the gas is spent on the traffic, the average speed in Caracas is 16KM per hour. If something was done to improve that we would save a lot of gas. But is incredible that he frames this as our fault when:
    – You can’t walk because most places are not built for that, there are not even sidewalks
    – If you could walk you risk being robbed in every corner, last time I was there I walked a few blocks to go and buy something and when I came back to the office they told me, are you crazy? They robbed 2 people today in the corner of Wendy’s in La Castellana and that’s in one of the “safer” areas in Caracas
    – There is not public transport, if you take a bus you can be robbed, will stay hours in traffic and at night there is almost no service because the drivers are scared too
    – The subway is a disaster
    – The market for cars is so distorted that an old 1980 car is coveted like a precious thing and they go around wasting gas proudly

    So, how exactly is this going to change with a rationing program?

    They are going to fail big.

  36. moraimag Says:

    Hey look at this moron from the association of petrol stations, according to him people are using gasoline to clean floors! He says there will not be rationing but a “campaign to promove saving”

    Oh my, what a bunch of idiots

    http://www.el-nacional.com/www/site/p_contenido.php?q=nodo/185434/Econom%C3%ADa/Fenegas:-En-Venezuela-no-hay-racionamiento-de-combustible

  37. clobber Says:

    It amazes me that in the socialist republic so little has been done by the government in areas of traditional socialist areas – education, health, housing, public transport etc. So much money and time has been spent on politics, both national and international and so little on the well being of the Venezuelans. After 12 years of nothing He is talking 2 million new homes in the next 6 years and opening sometime the new rail link from Caracas to Puerto Cabello. I can’t help but think this will be a white elephant but maybe in the 6th Republic it will converted by the Chinese into a high speed link at vast cost. What about simple, well maintained government bus services throughout the country?

  38. loroferoz Says:

    I was going to abstain, as your post needs little comment. But then… Hugo’s logic is beyond description:

    “And it was Chavez himself in Alo presidente the fact that he had not built major roads, because that would only attract more people to cities.”

    Explain to me, then, WHY he centralized power and budget TO CARACAS?

    Result: I waste a third to a half of my driving time sitting, with the engine idling in a traffic jam to go to work and back, or going at a walking man’s pace.

    Put in also that I cannot buy a new car, that the old car is a 4 odd liter gas guzzler, and that a more economic (in gas and other consumables) vehicle I had was stolen.

    And then Hugo comes out with gasoline rationing. Priceless conundrum…

  39. greedy capitalist Says:

    Chavez isn’t about socialism, he’s about finding ways for his corrupt and loyal followers to line their pockets. Socialism is just a facade he uses to get the support of the ignorant masses. Con men all over the world make their livings because people want to believe they can get something for nothing.

    Everything has a price.

  40. mick Says:

    Chavez isn’t about socialism, he’s about finding ways for his corrupt and loyal followers to line their pockets. Socialism is just a facade he uses to get the support of the ignorant masses. Con men all over the world make their livings because people want to believe they can get something for nothing.

    Everything has a price.

  41. Roger Says:

    I think who ever came up with this is very very clever. Unlike CAP and others, even recently, who have tried to raise the price of gasoline and have faced riots in the street, this plan sez you get your basic allotment (whatever that is) at the same old price but, after that, well we just have to see. Whether Venezuelans will have to pay full price, say two or so Bs a gallon or be able to buy ration tickets from a busker hanging out near the station or even the same guys with buckets of gas and a funnel at convenient stops in the barrios, who knows. Im sure somebody will come up with a way to make money and keep supporters happy.

  42. Antonio Says:

    Chavez needs money, because staying in power requires money. Money in our country comes from the sale of oil and gasoline (nothing much else to sell). The People are consuming the oil and gasoline that Chavez could be selling to the empires for cash or credits. Less consumption at home = more foreign cash. More consumption at home = less foreign cash.

    What is wrong with the man’s logic?

    And stop using gasoline to light up your barbecue. Eat Boloivarian arepas.

  43. A_Antonio Says:

    greedy capital, mick, are you the same? Well 100%, agree.

    “Chavez isn’t about socialism, he’s about finding ways for his corrupt and loyal followers to line their pockets. Socialism is just a facade he uses to get the support of the ignorant masses. Con men all over the world make their livings because people want to believe they can get something for nothing.

    Everything has a price.”.

    And the price Venezuelans will have pay will be greadest and it is not money, they will pay with their future.

    Tocayo Antonio 100% agree with your last comment.

  44. Pygmalion Says:

    “I waste a third to a half of my driving time sitting, with the engine idling in a traffic jam to go to work and back, or going at a walking man’s pace.” – that’s Caracas for you. Never a truer word spoken.

    Now Kepler, as this is the case, how many people do you think could stop driving to work to help the country. Quite a few but I am not prepared to do it, since I have the right to freedom of movenmentas outlined in the 1999 Consitution. I want to buy the cheapest gas in the world. That’s my right. And I do not want the price increased and I want my gas and electricity subsidized and I want to use all the water I need to wash my care.

  45. A_Antonio Says:

    Pyg says: “I want to buy the cheapest gas in the world. That’s my right. And I do not want the price increased and I want my gas and electricity subsidized and I want to use all the water I need to wash my care.”

    Really!!, the cheapest gas, electricity and gas are subsidized with money that belongs to all Venezuelans. Subsidized gas goes principally to people that have car (middle and high classes), the biggest consumer of gas, water and electricity are with the higher incomes. You really show your true depredatory nature of the environment and the richness of all people money and natural resources. That’s Chavista principle.

    What about use 1.5 millions dollars in subsidize of gas, to fight deficiency and improve public transport system? How many Venezuelans should die dairy in shootings in bus and mini-bus, Before Chavez do something about this? Hey baby, 12 years pass by doing nothing.

  46. A_Antonio Says:

    Only two news today: “Un joven de 20 años identificado como Carlos Valero falleció tras oponerse al asalto del colectivo donde se trasladaba en el Km 3 de la Panamericana y recibió un balazo en la cabeza.”. “Robos cada 15 días y al menos un secuestro por mes son las razones que esgrimen los choferes de líneas de taxi del municipio Los Salias”

    Do you want save gas, begins with saving the user’s lives in public transport systems.

  47. Kepler Says:

    The constitution, Pygmalion, is been trodden time after time by the military thugs we have in power.

    As for freedom of movement: there is only as much as those gorillas want.
    As for “right for the cheapest gas in the world”: that is not a right. It is not in the constitution (which, as I have just said, is worth shit for Chavistas anyway).
    You are stealing from the poor by using that cheap petrol.
    Oh, piss off, you are just a silly troll. Pensar que te están pagando. En qué ministerio estás?

  48. Andres F Says:

    jeffry house, a little contradiction perhaps? “targetted rebate could cover minimum costs”… and then…, “I can imagine all the gas rationing scams”.
    I would not suggest this blog to you, if you dislike free market economies.

  49. moctavio Says:

    Pygmallion you are the best definition of a troll. You come, say something and then dont answer when people question your outright defense of anything chavez says or does. Thread carefully or start being responsible.

  50. A_Antonio Says:

    I just read the speech of Rafael Ramirez in the AN, What a political panfleto!!!

  51. liz Says:

    This is how they are supposed to implement it: (I heard it on the radio)

    First, you have to register your car (what happens if you have more than one?). Then, they give you a card with a bar code. Which has all your data, including your gasoline quota. (control, control, control, did I say control?)

    After you buy all of your permitted amount of gas, they could charge you the gas at other price (international, perhaps?) or simply, won’t sell it to you.

  52. A_Antonio Says:

    Liz: I see in the future “buhoneros de gasolina” like rice and sugar in the streets.

  53. loroferoz Says:

    “Now Kepler, as this is the case, how many people do you think could stop driving to work to help the country.”

    Few that value comfort, safety or travel time at any rate.

    I would use the public transport system, if there were one where I live. We have the busetas and camioneticas. When there are busetas. Subject to robbery, depending on season. The Metro is also in no better shape.

    Or a private one, if it were near-affordable.

    Anyway, it’s a moot point, given that most Venezuelans living on a salary have to make do with what they have now, and endure risks, discomfort and waking up in the wee hours of the morning just to be able to work and live.

    And I use living in the starkest sense of the word. It does not mean going to the movies, saving money (with inflation and CADIVI, who can?) and buying a house, or any kind of vehicle.

    A new, more fuel-efficient car? You must be dreaming! And it could be stolen or jacked. Anyhow it will spend most time in traffic.

    Public transport? What public transport???

    Moving nearer your workplace? Be thankful you even have a place, rents are sky high!

    A fine mess you have gotten us into, Huguito…

    “Free market fundamentalism always threatens those with the least income. While many of the people who post here can absorb a hike in gas/oil prices, there may be some in Venezuela who cannot.”

    This is not about free markets, anyway, anyhow, even tangentially. This, like 1989 and CAP, is about failing populism and a failing petrostate, trying to make numbers add up to get by.

  54. liz Says:

    A-Antonio
    LOL! but if I remember well … during the paro I had to buy gasoline in a container (bidón).


  55. [...] moctavio, at The Devil's Excrement, said: rather than eliminate these subsidies and/or increase the price of gasoline, Chavez solution is [...]


  56. [...] moctavio, at The Devil's Excrement, said: rather than eliminate these subsidies and/or increase the price of gasoline, Chavez solution is [...]


  57. [...] moctavio, at The Devil's Excrement, said: rather than eliminate these subsidies and/or increase the price of gasoline, Chavez solution is [...]

  58. Pygmalion Says:

    Excuse me Miguel – but where am I defending this awful government? I’m just saying what I want. The fact I don’t believe that gas prices should rise or be rationed is neither here nor there. Is that rolling since I do not have time to be constantly replying to insults from people like Kepler?

  59. Pygmalion Says:

    BTW – according to Noticias24 Ramirez said today in the congress that gas would not be rationed and the price would not rise. So what’s left to do? A public education campaign? Don’t make me laugh.

  60. Paul Says:

    Off topic but wonder….where will the 3.6 tons of cocaine seized off the Ven coast in a Ven ship end up? Time for some investigative reporting?


  61. [...] moctavio, at The Devil’s Excrement, said: rather than eliminate these subsidies and/or increase the price of gasoline, Chavez solution is [...]

  62. Kepler Says:

    Pygmalion,
    Tell me why it is a right for Venezuelans to have almost free petrol.
    Mind: even if a country had 99% of oil reserves in the world and everything else was going dandy and it was not the poor country Venezuela is (in spite of what 90% of Venezuelans think): extracting and transforming oil into petrol costs a lot of money.

  63. Fred Says:

    In the worst case scenario, oil should be sold at cost.

  64. Mick Says:

    If Hugo were not truly stupid he would just raise the price a penny a liter now and then to keep pace with everything else? Is there really going to be a real revolution over a few cents per tank of gas.

    If you put a frog in a pot of hot water he will immediately jump out. But, if you put him in a pot of cool water and then heat it he will fall asleep and die.

    That is the status quo with everything else in Venezuela. When are the people going to realize that the water is getting warmer?

    On the positive side, this sounds like just the kind of problem that will give Chavez a lot of headaches and give the opposition ammunition. It wasn’t until the England imposed taxes on things like playing cards that the colonists rose up. The opposition needs a champion to wrestle the poor vote away from Chavez using issues like this.


  65. [...] Blogger moctavio, at The Devil’s Excrement, said: [...]

  66. deananash Says:

    Off topic, but if any of you still need proof as to what a fool former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is, this article provides plenty: http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/18/the-jimmy-carter-chronicles/

    And this even though it omits his horrible work in Venezuela.

  67. Kepler Says:

    deananash, please! The Muslim Brotherhood is indeed a threat, but what is the solution? Keep Mubarak?

    The United States of America was to a big extent responsible for building up the Freedom Fighters (later known as Taliban) in Afghanistan and for setting up the Saddam Husseim regime. As long as the EU and the US are financing Saudi Arabia’s regime, they are financing Wahabism, which is pumping billions of dollars in Islamic fundamentalism everywhere.
    I see it even in Muslim neighbourhoods in Europe: the books in the Arab
    shops with very fundamentalist content are almost all financed by the Saudi government.

    As for the Shah: well, perhaps the guy was good for the US, but he massacred, killed hundreds of thousands of his people.

    This attitude of “we either support dictator A or Godless regime B will come” makes me sick and this is something the USA and the EU have been doing for quite a while. The longer you kept Mubarak in power, the bigger the pressure in the kettle. You get no shit of news about Egypt in English, but we get quite a lot here and the repression in Egyptian prisons was big and the malaisse was only benefiting the radicals.

    Oh, let me see: Kengor is a bloke who thinks Reagan defeated communism and wrote a book about that. Tsts…yeah, “Mr Gorbachev, pull that wall down”. If now oil prices were to collapse and Sarah Palin came to Washington as president and said to Chávez “let your people free” and the Chavez regime collapse this Kengor boy would probably write a book about Palin defeating Chávez (no, I don’t think oil prices were all the cause or even 50% of the cause for the USSR collapse, but the many complex causes have no place here).

    This Kengor boy (professor of a US university, Dios mío) talks about women losing rights after the Shah was thown out in Iran. What he does not seem to know about is how the Shah came there in the first place. What he does not seem to know is that Afghanistan was one of the most equal societies before the US started to finance the Taliban to combat the Godless commies.

    Deanash,
    I never sympathized with communists or socialists (at least in the way people define them in most of the world outside the USA). Still, I am apalled at the way the right in the US sees the world. It is really not better than the naivie vision Carter had and has.

  68. Pymalion Says:

    Kepler – I do not see why we should pay international prices for gasoline when the oil under the ground is on Venezuelan territory and is part of our national heritage. This is why I beleive that gasoline should be cheap for all Venezuelans.

  69. moctavio Says:

    If it is a prt of all Venezuelans heritage, why should you get more of it and why should you get any of it while Venezuelans in 100 years will not benefit from it.

  70. A_Antonio Says:

    I think deananash is not trying to defend Jimmy Carter, at the contrary.

    I like the common sense view of Kepler, nobody deserve automatic cheers in this ugly world without earn it. I think USA is guilty as hell of most of things happens in Africa and Near Orient.

    USA or France does not care if there a son of the b… in power in any country; only wants that he or she is “their” son of the b…. in power. Nothing personal, it is only to care their business goes well with those in power.

    Countries like USA and France with tradition of democracy and in human rights between their piers, should show more ethic to the world that they have some principles to defend and not only show some false face in diplomacy outside their countries.

    Venezuela do not have that responsibility simply because do not have democracy tradition, and actually does not have nothing to show and the actual president do not have any principle to defend, only his seat.

  71. Kepler Says:

    Pygmalion,
    You cannot understand this? Wao. If you have access to Internet and tell us you have that car etc, you are part of the better off in Venezuela.
    That means you had much better chances to get an education than the vast majority of Venezuelans…and yet you do not grasp this?
    Wao.

    1) as Miguel said: why should you automatically benefit from petrol when 70% of Venezuelans – at least – who are poorer than you do not? Why should it be a right to you and not to them? No, they cannot just go to the pump and drink it. They would need to sell it and they can’t.
    2) petrol does not come from heaven. In fact: you cannot find it in lakes or rivers. If you went to school in Venezuela, you should have learnt this: petrol is the product of a very long process.
    It costs a lot of money.

    Please, take a look at this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refinery

    Dios mío, Dios mío…

  72. Pygmalion Says:

    What I do grasp, Kepler, is that society is unequal. Some people have vehicles and some do not. But if the gas prices rises it will affect everyone in terms of retail prices. The population in Ven. is around 29 million and there are almost 6 million vehicles. Why should we car owners pay international prices for gas when the crude component is here unde our feet? Yes, it costs to refine crude oil. We all know that. So, could the solution be the have a two tier gas price – one for commercial vehicles to keep prices down and not spark more inflation but charge more for private car drivers? Such a solution is hardly prqctical and would lead to all sorts of corruption – and there has been enough of that for decades. I say leave things as they are and I am certain that what Ramirez said before the AN will be true – no price rises, no rationing – this means I can continue driving as long as I like as a épeson who has worked hard to earn this right and not lazied about wanting the government to give me stuff for free. Work hard, drive hard is my motto.

  73. Andres F Says:

    Pygmalion, If gasoline supply was infinite, you would be able to set any price you would like (even if it would still make no sense).

  74. Kepler Says:

    Pygmalion, the solution must be to increase petrol prices all the way, for all.

    Unlike what people do in Venezuela, you need to have a programme to catch up the consequences. The guys at Caracas Chronicles are proposing some interesting ideas.
    Fact is the subsidies to people like you, Miguel and 80% of my relatives could very well be spent in loads of extra hospitals, schools, public libraries, training mechanisms for unskilled workers, etc.
    If need be, people could subsidize buses. A very open system could be implemented whereby one could check out in what municipality how much petrol is being distributed to buses and that could be checked online. That’s not rocket science.
    There need to be solutions.
    There is no right on Earth why any government, specially a government of an underdeveloped country as Venezuela, should be paying your share of the refining.

    There is no such thing as “the world price”, but different prices.
    Here I pay more or less whether I go to one or the other petrol station. If I cross the border into the Netherlands, it’s other prices, to France, the same. You could at least have prices that approach prices in Colombia.

    Oh, no, me canso de tener que explicar todo el sistema. Hombre, ve las entradas sobre subsidios a la gasolina en la bitácora de Juan y Francisco.

  75. m_astera Says:

    I see the gasoline subsidy as being one of the very few actual benefits Venezuelans get. It is also one that they don’t have to apply for, qualify for, have all the correct paperwork for, stand in line for, make five visits to the office for, or pay someone a bribe for.

    Raise the gas price, give more money to the government, just how is that going to benefit the average Venezuelan?

    If I owned a restaurant, I would at least expect to get my meals free. Do the Venezuelan people own their own resources, or does the government own them? And if the government owns the resources, not the people, who is the government?

  76. m_astera Says:

    Kepler-

    If you would understand the US right wing, those who call themselves “conservatives” you need to understand their sources of information.

    They get their news from Fox news. They get their opinion from Glen Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael (Weiner) Savage. I believe all the above get their paychecks from Rupert Murdoch.

    If you can stomach say two hours of listening to or watching the above sources you will have no more questions about why US “conservatives” “think” as they do.

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