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)

10 Responses to “The Impossible Numbers Of The Chávez Revolution”

    • TV Says:

      I’m not, it’s entirely surprising.

      What astonishes me is how little effect it has on electorate. Gray Davis was recalled for far less, the process began within days of his election.

      • TV Says:

        Gah, the first line should read:

        I’m not, it’s entirely unsurprising.

      • HalfEmpty Says:

        Why would the electorate care that gasoline is being imported? Why would the electorate care about the amount of oil being extracted? Venezuela is a rich country and will only get richer allowing todays appliances and gasoline to be paid for by tomorrows oil extraction.

        Srsly, it’ll work. Trust me.

  1. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Can someone explain the difference between what El Universal quoted as Venezuelan debt (1) and what the Moctavio wrote (2)?

    1) El Universal: “The public debt amounts to USD 93.58 billion, whereas the Chinese fund reached USD 32 billion and the debt owed by oil holding Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) amounts to USD 43 billion. Add to this due payment of pensions worth USD 14 billion and foreign requirements at USD 50 billion.” = 232 billion.

    2) Moctavio: “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.” = 149.6 billion

    Which numbers are correct? Which give a better picture of total debt?


    • Thats the fun part with these guys, you never know :-)

      Anyway, I dont include severance and pension, from what ramirez says the Chinese fund is US$ 12 billion less, and I dont know what “foreign requirements” are.

  2. Boludo Tejano Says:

    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?

    Of course his projections are not believable. So what else is new? Chavismo has a track record for making grandiose claims for future oil production. Consider the Statement of the Embassy of Venezuela Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources [March 4,2004]

    PDVSA’s 2004-2009 business plan is both ambitious and realistic. The plan calls for an increase in crude oil production capacity from the current 3.8 million barrels to more than 5 million barrels per day by 2009.

    At least there is a scaling down in the grandiose claims for future oil production, from 5 million BOPD to 4 million BOPD. Perhaps we should be grateful for that. :)

  3. Roger Says:

    Venezuela exports crude and heavy crude to the US and then imports refined gasoline ( with mucho mas value added) back to Venezuela where it is given away. Besides some “job creation” here in the US, what I see are double “commissions” for oil exported and then for the gasoline imported! I suppose the logic is if you give the gas away, why not all the expenses in doing it?

  4. Roy Says:

    Miguel, you just don’t get it. Statistical consistency is a tool of the Empire used to oppress the people. Chavez has freed the Venezuelan people from the tyranny of truth, and reality.

  5. NET Says:

    I doubt very seriously if any Communist or pseudo-Communist regime has ever issued any statistics that are reliable. Rational analysis of Venezuela’s true economic situation is, therefore, difficult to impossible, as is estimating the very real probability of an eventual Venezuelan $ bond default, and a Government takeover of what’s left of the private banking system (all of which easily justify the % bond premium markets demand for Venezuelan $ bonds). As for statistical lying, Eljuri/INE is right up there with Ramirez/Giordani. But, in the pais de los ciegos, el tuerto es Rey, and the typical Chavista voter will continue clueless until the eventual economic collapse.


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