Archive for November, 2012

Chavez’ Authorized To Leave Country To Seek Health Treatment

November 27, 2012

Today, in surprising fashion, the Venezuelan National Assembly authorized President Hugo Chávez to seek treatment for his ailments in Cuba, under Article 235 of the Venezuelan Constitution which says that any absence of more than five days from the country has to be approved by the Assembly. This is different than a temporal absence, in which the Vice President replaces him. (Art. 234), which Chávez has refused to do ever since he started receiving treatment in Cuba for his mysterious ailment.

According to the letter sent by Chávez to the National Assembly, he will receive treatment in a hyperbaric chamber for “oxygenation”, a treatment which according to the American Cancer Society is used for treating bone damage caused during radiation treatment or to treat infections of soft tissue which are causing necrosis. Chávez has said that he has received chemotherapy, but has never formally acknolewdged being treated with radiation, although there are rumors that this was the first type of treatment he received when the cancer was first discovered.

The timing is certainly unconventional, to say the least, as there will be important Gubernatorial elections on December 16th. So far Chávez has been absent for most of the campaign, reducing his appearances in public since he won the Oct. 7th. Presidential election, as can be seen in this graph published by El Universal today:

Notice that Chávez has been absent publicly since about fifteen days ago and now he makes no public appearance to request the leave or as he is leaving the country. Reportedly, he is unable to walk more than a couple of steps at this time. Additionally, the request to be absent from the country was approved at an ordinary session of the National Assembly to “celebrate” the 20th. anniversary of the second coup that took place in 1992 and not one scheduled for the approval sought..

There are two important considerations at this time. First, the President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello read the letter, but also announced Chávez would be here on Jan. 10th. to be sworn in as President, suggesting that he will not be here for the remainder of the campaign. This certainly will benefit the opposition, as Chávez personally will not be present to endorse his hand-picked candidates. Additionally, the electorate largely believed that Chávez had been cured from his cancer, with polls suggesting 80% of his voters believed the illness was not a factor to consider in the decision. This could benefit the opposition since the Oct. 7th. election proved once again that it is Chávez that gets out the votes and generates excitement in the Venezuelan voters.

But more importantly (or ominously) it creates a number of possible scenarios which could complicate things in the next few months, depending on whether Chávez ‘condition represents an acceleration of the cancer he is suffering. First of all, if there was an absolute absence of the President elect before he is sworn in, Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution says that the President of the National Assembly (Diosdado Cabello) will become President and elections would take place within 30 days. If the absence were to take place after Chávez is sworn in on January 10th. , then the Vice-President (Nicolas Maduro) would take his place and elections would also have to take place within 30 days. Note that Chávez would have to appear to be sworn in on Jan. 10th. in this scenario, as he has to name a new Vice-President after being sworn in.

For Chavismo, this creates a complex situation, in which the party would have to choose a candidate within days, something which would be traumatic, to say the least, unless Chávez personally designated a successor, something that so far he has refused to do during his year and a half sickness. The opposition, on the other hand, is likely to choose Henrique Capriles after his pereormance against Chávez in the recent Presidential race.

Venezuelan dollar bonds rose sharply when the news was announced today, with most issues reaching historical high values. Investors clearly were betting once again that change may be in the air in Venezuela and a more reasonable economic policy will be implemented, independent of the side that wins were Chávez to suddenly disappear from the Venezuelan political scene.

With Afiuni’s Case, Chavez’ Revolution Shows Lack Of Compassion And Scruples

November 24, 2012

You all know the horror story that Judge Afuini’s life has become ever since she decided to apply the letter of the law to Eligio Cedeño and let him go because he had been jailed without a trial for longer than Venezuelan law says you should. She was jailed on direct orders from Chávez on national TV even before there were formal charges against her. Since then, her trial has been delayed over and over. Despite her health problems, she was denied home detention until the situation became untenable and the UN, European Union and the Interamerican Human Rights Commission have asked the Venezuelan Government for her release to no avail.

What was not known to the public, but the Government and the UN were informed of, was that Judge Afiuni was tortured and raped while initially incarcerated at INOF in Los Teques. This was only publicly revealed this week, as a book was published with Afiuni’s story. The story is no surprise, Venezuela’s penitentiary system has become a terror story of how human beings are treated with less respect than animals at the country’s jails. What is sad is that Afiuni also had to suffer this additional violation of her rights as a human being to satisfy Chavez’ whims and that despite her suffering, nobody in the Chavez Government showed any form of compassion towards her.

But it gets worse.while the Minister for Women says that it has to be investigated and “if true” her rights have to be guaranteed (about time!), the former Head of INOF who goes by the name of Isabel Gonzalez tries to turn it around against Afiuni and says (without any support) that she will sue Afuini, because it is all false and her accusations violate human dignity”. They also now deny that the accusation was presented to the UN, which her lawyer clearly says was done and today Maria Corina Machado publicly scolds Chavez, because he knew the reality of what had happened to Afiuni.

That is the story of Chavismo, a lack of scruples, a lack of compassion and an ability to turn around any charges on the accuser, the persecuted and the abused. A complete inability to assume responsibility for anything, while trampling with people’s rights openly. Come on! Are we to believe that at INOF no woman has been raped or abused before? But these incompetent Government officials come out and hold a press conference as if they ran a perfect system, ready to pile on to Afiuni once more, without qualms and moral doubts.

It just seems that Venezuelan sinks deeper into a lawless and amoral state as time goes on. Where is the People’s Ombudsman when this happens? Where is the Prosecutor? What does this whole thing say about the venerable and amoral Hugo Chávez? The horror continues as I write. Forty thousand plus Venezuelans live in squalor in Venezuelan jails, abused, raped, tortured, without food, while the President of the “people” looks the other way, ignoring a problem too complex for anyone in his administration to even attempt to solve it.

But as Hugo himself,said on the occasion of a couple of hundred deaths in Venezuela because of his irresponsible Government, the “show” must go on, that is all that matters in the Chavez revolution.

Truly depressing…

Added: And now INOF sets up a media show with some interns denying this was possible.

Giordani’s Intellectual Dishonesty Reaches New Heights

November 22, 2012

Yesterday, I was planning to write about Minister’s Giordani’s remarkable statement on the state TV station VTV, to the effect that in his opinion ““regalado” se debe acabar en el país, El gratis se acabó y el regalado se tiene que acabar”, which loosely translated says “giveaways have to end in this country. Free is over and giveaways have to end”. Then today, I read Gustavo’s piece and thought he had covered it, but that Giordani has the audacity to say what he said, requires that I rant about it, even if Gustavo covers it quite well.

I used to think that Giordani was intellectually honest, a misconception he dispelled long ago, but his latest statement is simply outrageous coming from him. Let’s start with the fact that this is the first time that he has made such a statement and that Giordani has been part of the Chávez administration for more than twelve of the last fourteen years. He has held no irrelevant positions, having been either Minister of Planning, yes Planning with a capital P, and now he holds the dual portfolios of Planning and Finance. During that time, he has also been on the Board of the Central Bank, for about twelve or thirteen of those years and on he Board of PDVSA for a couple of years. So, he can’t argue he did not participate in decisions.

As a way of background, Giordani was the leader of Chávez’ transition team and wherever he went he would say “We have different ideas”. And he (they) did. Caldera’s Government had been adjusting gasoline prices to the export price quarterly, which candidate Chávez requested be suspended until after the election. Prices have been held at the same level since them, making them essentially free today at less than $0.30 dollars per gas tank at the informal rate, or a buck at the official one.

Additionally, in the year 2000, the Chávez Government froze electric rates. They have been frozen since then, but the currency has gone from about Bs. 0.7 per US$ to Bs. 4.3 at the official rate or almost triple that at the parallel rate, so that electricity is also essentially free today, thanks to Chávez and I imagine the Planning Minister was part of this stupid decision, which is in part responsible for the huge electricity crisis the country has suffered over the last four years.

Also in the year 2000, exactly 12 years ago, the Chávez Government froze the basic unlimited residential telephone rate at Bs. 62 per month, about $15 at the official rate, or about $4 at the “unmentionable” rate. The rationale for this is even more Machiavellic, not only does it keep the price down, satisfying populist desires, but at the same time, it guarantees that 8% of the CPI will not increase.

Then, the Chávez Government created Mercal as a way of selling heavily subsidized food of all sorts, thus representing another giveaway sponsored, created and executed by Chávez and Giordani. Note that I am not personally against some subsidies in certain foodstuffs, but Mercal created subsidies for a large variety of products, many of which Venezuela does not even produce in sufficient quantity, requiring additionally that they be imported.

There are many more examples, like subsidizing the well to do with CADIVI dollars so that they can buy things online cheaper or travel cheaply. To say nothing of the bonds sold to the rich at a subsidized exchange rate. Yes, they stopped that a couple of years ago, after issuing some US$ 30 billion of them.

I could go on, but I am sure your get the idea: All of these distortions, absurdities, giveaways and free stuff were invented, created, implemented and executed while this sinister figure of Chavismo held some of the top positions in Government and without him ever publicly objecting to any of them. On the contrary, he has defended many of them and defended his almighty boss Hugo Chávez. After all, none of these policies follows any economic or social logic, their only objective is to guarantee that Chávez and his empty revolution stay in power, nothing more, nothing less. Because that has been the foundation of Chávez’ economic policies: Offer to give away, give away and promise to provide everything for free, that is in the end the only “socialism” that Chávez has proposed or offered. Without this, Chávez would have been long gone. That is all he is in the end, the prmise of free stuff.

But what is worse is that Giordani has imposed all sorts of other idiotic policies on the Venezuelan economy since 1998 that have led to sustained 20%-plus inflation, a destruction of the productive sector and the creation of half a dozen distortions that will be very costly to remove. If he fails to understand that his ideology has the consistency of tapioca on the free stuff, how can he get that he has really screwed up with the rest, given that he has no clue as to how an economy functions?

In the end, the “boy” from San Pedro Macoris has done terrible damage to Venezuela and its economy, but he will never recognize what an incompetent, dishonest and destructive politician he has been. Pity his family took that boat to Venezuela, his arrogance and ignorance will leave a heavy economic burden on all of us.

Chavez’ Guarico Candidate: Nice Guys Do Finish First In Venezuela

November 19, 2012

While a lot has been written about Chavez’ “Dedocracy”* and his choice for Governors, I am surprised how little has been said about Chavez’ choice for Guarico State, Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, shown smiling for the first time ever above. Here is a case a candidate who fits the image of the perfect Chavista citizen that the revolution has promised to create in the future, a truly “nice” guy, tolerant, democratic, honest, above reproach. I mean, it is really hard to find anything to complain about in this choice. we find all the criticism simply jealousy, without foundation.

Why complain if he is not from Guarico? Born in Anzoategui, he has never lived in Guarico, but we are sure that he will learn fast and will even visit the State regularly once he is elected. He roamed the Llanos of Venezuela carrying out secret counter intelligence and military operations, so he knows his way around Guarico.

While many think that Rodriguez Chacin first came to public light for his heroic participation in the November 1992 coup attempt against Carlos Andres Perez, his earlier claim to fame was his leadership role in the El Amparo Massacre, where fourteen people died. Rodriguez Chacin was accused of being part of those that participated in the massacre and even formally accused, but once Chavez got to power, the case was never considered again.

And when Chavez won in 1998, Rodriguez Chacin was appointed to an intelligence agency and later, in 2002 became Minister of the Interior and Justice (nice, no?), where he could make sure that his case never resurfaced again.

Rodriguez Chacin was discovered to have two Venezuelan ID cards, his own, and another one in the name of Jose Montenegro. Montenegro had opened an account in Banesco and other banks and Congress investigated it, since it was Rodriguez Chacin’s picture on the cedula opening the account. There were a number of accounts opened by “Montenegro” and they had fairly sizable withdrawals and deposits regularly. The real Montenegro was actually quite worried about it. Never heard from him again.

Rodriguez Chacin became Minister of the Interior and Justice in 2002 and then again in January 2008, but was there less than nine months, just three weeks before the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) ungratefully declared him as a “significant narcotics trafficker” under the Kingpin Act. It was rumored at the time that the US Government had given the Chavez Government advance notice of this and that led to his removal.

Later, Rodriguez Chacin’s name surfaced quite frequently in the captured computer at a FARC camp in Ecuador. Among the exchanges there was a generous offer (Told you he was a nice guy!) of a “loan” for US$ 250 million to the FARC guerrillas to buy weapons, which Rodriguez Chacin referred to as “don’t think of it as a loan, think of it as solidarity”. See what a nice guy he is? There was also an email in which Rodriguez Chacin was asking the FARC to train Venezuela’s military in guerrilla tactics, just in case the US invaded Venezuela.

He was also in charge of the humanitarian operation “Operacion Enmanuel” to retrieve three persons kidnapped by the FARC in a negotiation in which Chavez tried to get Ingrid Betancourt out of Colombia, but had to settle for Clara Rojas and her son born in captivity. Because of Chavez desire to promote his role in this, camera crews from Chavez’ Telesur accompanied Rodriguez Chacin in the rescue and he was taped during the exchange, expressing his solidarity to the guerrillas in no uncertain terms:

Rodriguez Chacin says in the video: In the name of President Chavez…we are watching your struggle. Maintain your spirits and you can count on us”. See the niceness coming through again?

For all his help, his record in all these dubious activities and having no experience running for office, running a municipality, let alone a State, President Chavez used his “Dedocracy”* to name him as PSUV’s candidate to be Governor of Guarico State, a State where Chavez won by 30%, insuring that even Rodriguez Chacin can win there.

And proving once again, that in Chavez’ revolution, nice guys like Rodriguez Chacin, do finish first.

*Democracy by Chavez’ finger

Of Virtual Ice Cream Plants And Ministers In The Chávez Revolution

November 17, 2012

By now everyone knows the story, On October 21st. Hugo Chávez remotely inaugurated an ice cream factory in Falcón State, which was supposed to sell about 600,000 units a month under the name Coppelia. The project is one of those hairbrained hodgepodge projects that Chávez likes to waste money on: It is supposed to be a Cuban brand, but the whole thing was built and put together by an Argentinean company. It was hailed as another triumph of the revolution by the President, will all supplies being Venezuelan, except that three weeks after the opening, Chávez learned that the plant was not operating.

What happened? Chavez’ Government happened. First of all, there was a blackout (the plant is in Falcón, one of the worst states in terms of blackouts) and one of the processing machines was damaged. As usual, the turnkey plant was purchased without parts (or surge protectors!) and they now have to wait for them to come from Argentina (If there is  money!). (I wonder how much they paid for the plant?) But to make matters worse, they also ran out of supplies to make the ice creams.

This is wholly expected. While the manager of the plant was hailed as someone who used to work at Lacteos Los Andes, that company was fully operational when the Chávez Government purchased it from its owner at an outrageous price. Thus, this guy had experience running an existing operation, but had never built one himself. Moreover, this was an order straight from the top, so he probably just figure he would just made do with what he had, so he built something, even if it was somewhat virtual, as an ice cream producing plant.

But to me the most interesting part of the story is that in part it was discovered by Chavez’ Secretary for the Presidency who now also has the pompous and silly  title of “Minister for the follow up of the management of the Government”

Isn’t that what Ministers are supposed to do anyway? But most of Chavez’ Ministers are simply virtual Ministers anyway.

So, after fourteen years of naming incompetent managers and removing all of the checks and balances within the Venezuelan Government, Chávez has just realized that he has to somehow bring them back. But rather than give power to the office of the Comptroller, which remains under a temporary head since the last one died (and Chávez needs opposition input for naming the position) Chávez assigns the job to someone else who already is likely overloaded with work.

Chávez is likely to start a management school if things continue this way, once he realizes that the problem is the people that surround him (If he lives that long), because besides the fact that there are no checks and balances, the management team that surrounds him is simply atrocious, full of other virtual managers and Ministers. Witness the case of Hector Navarro, who has been a Minister of everything for the last fourteen years and whose only known accomplishment was to make the stupid suggestion to move Venezuela half and hour back from its proper time zone. To reward him for his incompetence in all his positions, Chávez named him as Minister of Electricity and President of the electric company Corpoelec, a position he has held for about a year. And Navarro holds a press conference to make the announcement that he has initiated an investigation of the same institution  that he is head of, because…

They shut off his electricity and his bills are “irregular”!

Read this simply: Minister Navarro has no clue what is or not going on within he company he runs. Because he evens suggests that there are mafias that may be over or double billing him within Corpoelec. But apparently this genius of Chavista management would not have learned of the disaster that he presides over, if it were not for the accidental (was it?) shut off of his electricity.

The worst part is that the Minister tries to make a big deal of his outrage which all it does is prove how irresponsible and incompetent he really is. He is simply another virtual Minister and a terrible manager, as virtual as the Coppelia ice cream plant.

Maybe he should switch jobs with the Minister for the follow up of the management of the Government, at least she did her job with Coppelia!

The Chavez Government Gets Ready For A New Constitutional Change

November 11, 2012

Yesterday and today Chavismo met for a mysterious “Constituent Process” associated with its “Socialist Development Plan for 2013-2019″.

Sure.

Supposedly, this is simply a meeting to present Chávez with proposals for his new six year term. But, may I ask, why does it have the word “Constituent” in it?

And all of a sudden we hear Capriles say that “It makes no sense to insist with changes to the Constitution¨

Well Henrique, get ready for them, because that is exactly what is coming next year. And the sooner the better for Chavismo. And you my Dear readers, better wake up and realize that next year, Chavismo is likely to attempt another widespread change of the Constitution. (Same for MCM, soon communes will be in the Constitution)

People forget that you can only ask for such change once within a term, but that term ends in January and a new one begins. It is 2007 all over again, with communes and Vice-Presidential succession included. And this time, Chavismo is likely to ask the voters to give communal power, whatever that is supposed to imply and mean, Constitutional rank.

And what it probably means is that communal power will legislate, decide and execute everything. Sort of Governors, with legislative power and the money needed to get things done.
And the Governors and Mayors? Well, very well thank you, they will be bypassed and ignored and the opposition, however major or meager its victory’s in December, will be left holding the bag with little to show for it.

Oh yeah! Once we are there, Chavismo is likely to change how the President’s inability to serve is handled, including the the Vice-President will replace him for the remainder of the six year term and no elections will be held until 2019. This is really the key, what is truly important. Thus, in this way Chavismo guarantees that it will be in power, Hugo or no Hugo, until 2019.

Not bad, no?

And I am sure there will be others proposals to confuse people along the way and that is what will probably be discussed this weekend, what other junk can be included to make Chavismo stronger and weaken the opposition’s power, however weak it may already be. And Capriles and others don’t want to say what they know it is coming, so as not to discourage the electorate form voting in December. But the name and the words of this weekend’s Chavista gathering confirm everything I have been hearing in the last two weeks: Chavismo is looking to this Constituent process after the December regional elections, when it will simply wipe out however little the opposition may gain in the vote for Governors and insure its true hold in power given Chavez’ health problems.

Add the succession change in the Constitution and Chavismo has a lock in power in Venezuela for at least another six years. Whether you like it or not.

The Impossible Numbers Of The Chávez Revolution

November 10, 2012

That those in the Chávez administration have no scruples to lie and deceive with every word is well known. What is amazing is how they can give numbers fully aware not that they are 10% or 20% off, but as much as a factor of two or three. In some sense, it would be better if they did like the do with epidemiology or crime statistics, juts don’t give out the numbers rather than assume that we are all so stupid that nobody will notice the huge inconsistencies in what they claim.

I bring all of this up, because the two biggest liars in the Government, Rafael Ramirez and Jorge Giordani went to the National Assembly this week and kept lying (and insulting). It is not clear to me if opposition Deputies were even given a chance to question this numbers, as the ever fascist Jorge Gordani, when an opposition Deputy suggested that a deficit of 18% was somewhat dangerous for the economic future of Venezuela, replied something like : ¨This people have yet to realize that they lost the election¨. As if democracy was the Dictatorship of the majority, where the minority can not even speak or has to shut up. But clearly, that is exactly what this fascistoid Chavistas believe what democracy is all about.

Ramirez testified or pontificated his numbers without any hesitation. First, he continued saying that Venezuela is producing 3.1 million barrels of oil a day, a number that neither OPEC, nor EIA, nor Ramirez’ confidential memos to Chávez agree with. This document clearly states that Venezuela was producing around 2.6 million barrels of oil at the time, when Ramirez was publicly saying the same official number of 3.1 million barrels.

But what is a 14.5% error among criminals and dishonest people after all? That’s really all it is.

But Ramirez really began lying when asked if it was true that 70% of the country’s gasoline was being imported. He called this accusation “false”, saying that only certain components for making gasoline are imported but, he clearly stated, internal gasoline consumption is 298 thousand barrels of gasoline a day.

Say what Rafael?

You mean to tell me that despite the number of cars doubling in the country since 2001. Despite the GDP growth claimed by your Government. Despite the fact that gasoline has gone from being cheap to being free in those eleven years. Despite all of that, internal gasoline consumption according to you has gone down 35%???

Really, you take us for such fools Rafael?

You see Rafael, PDVSA in 2001, while you were already Vice-Minister of Energy, Chávez was President and had changed the President of PDVSA twice, reported to the SEC on June 14th. 2002 in this document called the 20-F (fourth paragraph, page 15), that internal gasoline consumption at the time was all of 458 thousand barrels of oil a day.

How is that drop explained? A technological revolution? Shortages? Or simply mind blowing fake statistics?

I’ll take the latter.

In fact, estimates are that internal gasoline consumption is today around 800 thousand barrels a day, which if true would require imports to be not the 70% the Deputy suggested, but about 60%, not  that far off. The Deputy must have some inside info.

Ramirez once again projected that by 2014 oil production will be up to 4 million barrels of oil a day. But if he fakes the real numbers, how can one believe his projections for anything? Remember his “Siembra Petrolera” program? I guess they never got beyond the slogan, because oil production has barely gone up and we were supposed to be near 4 million barrels a day by now anyway.

Finally, while by now you may not want to believe any number given out by Ramirez, he said that the country had used US$ 17.9 billion in oil exports to pay for US$ 38 billion in Chinese loans. That suggests we still owe US$ 20 billion to the Chinese, which added to the Republic’s US$ 93.6 billion in debt (both internal and external) and PDVSA’s 36 billion dollars in debt, gives the country a total debt of a cool US$ 149.6 billion, up US$ 106 billion since 2006, in the midst of the biggest oil windfall the country has ever enjoyed.

As a not so favorite President of mine used to say: “¿Donde están los reales?”

(The President of the Central Bank Nelson Merentes was also present, but all he said is that inflation will be in the single digits by 2014, the same projection two years down the line he has made in the last four years)

Writing The Devil Is Enough Of An Occupation

November 7, 2012

In December 2009, I wrote a post entitled “Disclaimer: Being a devil and a diablo is more than enough” and used the same drawing above. In it, I tried to put to rest rumors that I wrote or helped write not one, but two other blogs about Venezuela.

Today, I have to reiterate the same words, because for reasons that are irrelevant to this post, I have been accused again (twice this time) of writing the blog Venepiramides (I will not even hyperlink to it at this point). Essentially, I was not aware that once again it had become “common knowledge” that I had something to do with that.

Thus, I reiterate here publicly that I, Miguel Octavio, write about Venezuela in this blog alone and do not contribute, write, collaborate, or have anything to do with Venepiramides. I also have an abandoned blog (exdiablo) in which I attempted to translate the contents of this blog and two other halfhearted efforts at showing my orchids and interesting stock charts. All these blogs are now listed on the left as “All Blogs by Miguel Octavio” (descriptions included). Those are my only blogs, the only ones I write or dabble with.

Is that clear enough?

Now, after trying to understand the reasons why people arrive at this conclusion, I have found very little that makes sense. Yes, that other blog runs an RSS Feed of my blog (and eight others), I can’t stop that without stopping all RRS Feed subscriptions (500 or so) to the Devil. I do link to it, that blog wrote about Stanford in its beginnings, a topic that was interesting to me at the time. I will remove this link sometime soon.

But after reviewing everything and having independent people review the facts, the styles, content, I can only reach one conclusion: The person linking me to Venepiramides, is the same one behind that blog, who has created this generalized opinion in order to divert attention from him (her?). There is no other justification for it.

In closing, some random thoughts: First, why would I start a second blog, seven years after starting this fairly successful one, (winner best LA and Caribbean blog ’06, quoted in WSJ, FT, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, invited by the President of the US to talk about blogs), to start another blog, in Spanish (where I had not been successful with exdiablo) and devoted only to Ponzi schemes initially? More importantly why would I want to slow down now in this very successful blog (The Devil), to work on the other one (a post a day), which is much less successful? Second, I have seldom asked favors from my readers, but if you do see some reason to think the two blogs are related or connected (or if you have a good reason to show they are not!), please let me know in the comments. I just don’t see it and want to understand why people actually believe it and go as far as contacting me about it!

Thank You!

Lying As A Way Of Life In The Chavez Revolution

November 5, 2012

Lying has become a way of life in the Chavez revolution. Last weekend I saw a few that would make Pinocchio feel almost honest:

-The first one was Venezuela’s representative to the Interamerican Human Rights Commission German Saltron who said that it was totally false that there was overcrowding in Venezuelan jails and that the Government fed all of the prisoners. Maybe he has not seen the video I posted, or read the article about how the prisoners run the San Antonio prison in Margarita Island. And just to add to the lies and exaggeration, he claimed the Chavez Government inherited this problem, without mentioning the tripling of the number of yearly homicides since 1998 or the more than doubling of the prison population since then. In fact, homicides went down during Caldera’s Presidency, not my favorite Presidential term before Chavez, but that happens tobe a fact.

-And then came Minister of Planning and Finance Jorge Giordanu who in a rare interview in El Mundo (by subscrpition only) said a few hard to swallow ones. The first one was that taking money out of the international reserves and into Fonden “made sense”, because of the very low yields around the world. Of course, he did not mention that this practice was begun in 2004, when yields had not fallen. In fact, they started going down sharply  after the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Thus, this was simply looking in the rear view mirror to justify what they had done.

But then, Giordani began talking about the new financial institutionality of the country and how the money from the international reserves is now “invested” for the people. well, I don’t have the latest distribution on expenditures, but Quico did a very nice pie chart a while back (2006-201) showing that at that point the largest percentage of Fonden money went to oil and energy, followed by transportation, the Cuba-Venezuela commission and Defense in the first four places. A full 60% went to these four areas, of which only one, Transportation, can truly be considered investing for the people. For the people of Cuba maybe, but that is another matter, no? And the numbers don’t seem to have changed much since 2010, according to this article in El Universal.

Oh yeah! He also said there would be no devaluation in 2013. Yeah! Sure!

Such are the lying ways of the revolution.

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