Crass Ignorance And Naiveté From Venezuelan Government Officials

April 26, 2013

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It is starting to get spooky listening to Government officials as to how problems will be solvedor how clever they are about knowing what Capriles is doing. The question is whether this is crass ignorance or naiveté. Do they really think people are that stupid? Maybe they are, but…

-Take President Maduro´s statement yesterday in Zulia:

“We will facilitate the requirements so that Venezuelans can bring their foreign currency from abroad and invest in a national savings fund in dollars. This fund will invest in the priorities established by the Government”

Wow! I really don’t even know how to begin to dissect this statement. Why would Venezuelans want to bring their foreign currency back? Who will manage the fund? What are those priorities? Will it be a socialist fund? Where will the custody be? What is the management fee? How many dollars do you think will come back to this fund Nicolas? How will you guarantee that these dollars are not converted to Bolívars?

But the real question is: Nicolás, do you think there is a single Venezuelan who will actually bring back one hundred bucks for this?

Really…

-Then, there is Jesse Chacón, the new Minister for Electric Energy who gave himself (?) an ultimatum:

“If in one hundred days I have not managed to stabilize the electric system, Iresign and give way to a Venezuelan that can do a better job”

Well Jesse, you should have given the address for people to apply to replace you by sending their CV.

Because Jesse, you were in the Cabinet in 2006, when the Government created “Mision Revolucion Energetica”. You were also in the Cabinet in 2007 when the Government issued the “Organic Bill for the reorganization of the Electric sector”. You were about to leave the Cabinet in 2009, when the Ministry of Electric Energy was created. I know, you were no longer part of the Cabinet in 2010 when Chávez decreed “National State of Emergency of  electric matters on and the creation of the Electricity Chiefs of Staff”. Sounds a lot like what you are saying today.

And now you want to do the same thing that was not done in seven years in 100 days? Let me give you a tip: In 2006-2007 there was money to invest and you are telling us Merentes is looking for money for you. Hope he finds it, hope he gives it to you too.

Dream on!

BTW Jesse, have you noticed the light bulbs you want to force people to to use cost ten times more than regular ones? Just a thought.

-And then there is the new Minister of the Interior and Justice, holding a press conference telling us that as Head of the intelligence police, he knew that Capriles was not going to recognize the election.

What is most remarkable about this, is that in his own words, the intelligence plan was called “Connection April”, like in April election,  which in October, November and December detected this outrageous plan by Capriles not to recognize the election.

Definitely very interesting. In particular, I would like to ask The former Head of Sebin: Exactly how did you know that Chávez would die in March, leading to elections in April?

Just a thought…

Why not May, or February, or July for that matter? I guess your SEBIN was both an intelligence and fortune telling unit.

BTW did you tell Maduro you knew all this? It could have helped him, you know?

Just wondering.

44 Responses to “Crass Ignorance And Naiveté From Venezuelan Government Officials”

  1. Humberto Says:

    Surreal Miguel. What a bunch of wackos. … words fail me…

  2. Carolina Says:

    ” Exactly how did you know that Chávez would die in March, leading to elections in April?”

    I would go further: how did they know Chavez would die?

    If I remember correctly, they all said he was cured, right?

    • concerned Says:

      It is not really that hard to predict someones death in March when they are cold and stiff in December. They only needed enough time to develope their plan.

      If somehow the truth about chavez’s real death would leak out, it would be game over for maduro. Maybe track down the ones who were allowed hospital access in havana, if they are still alive or not locked up.

      • Mick Says:

        Oh come on. He wasn’t completely dead. They still kept his heart beating on life support. Otherwise they would have a rotten corpse instead of a fresh one when he “died”.

      • jc Says:

        His daughters will fess up eventually. They were by his side the whole time. They know deep down where his state of mind was and when it was “gone.”

  3. Rosanet Says:

    Why would Venezuelans want to bring their foreign currency back?

    Can the Venezuelan government find out which Venezuelans hold foreign bank accounts via reciprocal treaties with US or Europe?
    If the answer is YES, then, all the Venezuelan government needs to do is threaten those people with jail time (we all know what that entails) unless they transfer their funds.
    So, do you think they have the perversity to do this?

    • moctavio Says:

      For Venezuela to find out, Venezuela would have to provide those countries with the information on the citizens of the other country, which it does not do. Moreover, these treaties dont say you have to provide information on what you have only on what you earn. Finally, if it is under a corporation, then if the corporation is not Venezuelan, the Government would not find out.

      • syd Says:

        There are other ways of finding out … Here’s one…
        Decades ago, I worked in the administrative area of private banking. One of the comments from the field (in Argentina) was that the clients in that country were concerned that banking statements were being mailed with a return address, proudly displaying the bank’s name. Not so good if you had la conserje of your building snooping around. The complaints had the effect of changing the way statements were subsequently mailed to recipients — henceforward with a more cryptic ‘remite’.

        • moctavio Says:

          Except these days, most brokers can send statements via email and they give you “go green” options with no statements.

          • syd Says:

            not yet among all major brokerages associated with Cdn banks… I’ll ask one of the biggest in the coming days.

      • Mike Says:

        All it takes is a decree “by so and so date, all foreign currency accounts must be repatriated or else harsh jail sentences will be imposed”.

        When the threat of jail hangs over one’s head, one’s behavior tends to change. Venezuela’s government doesn’t need to know every single person that has a foreign currency account. Not knowing what or if the government knows will keep many people sleepless, particularly if a few people were made examples and thrown in jail. The outcome would be that those who have enough to live comfortably in exile (lots of opposition) will leave the country. Most of the rest with smaller accounts, driven by fear, will probably bring their money back.

        And btw, they can get the info by other means, e.g. Miami banks are infiltrated by Cuban intelligence and it would not be difficult to obtain lists of Venezuelan account holders. They probably have them already. Or how about first ask people to mandatory disclose or register their foreign accounts with penalties for non-compliance? We in the US have to disclose it, for tax reasons, or else…, so it’s not so far fetched.

        If the government were to announce this officially, but on a voluntary basis, not one penny would come back, quite the contrary, more money would flow out and the black market dollar would spike up.

        That’s how Cuba did it and Allende was about to. I don’t however believe Maduro has the guts, because the military would not play. But he could always exempt certain people and nobody would ever know for sure.

        And yes, I understand that there are many ways to hide the money better than just a bank account. From corporate investments to Bahama Cash Bonds and countless schemes in between, many completely legal, some not. But then there is always the “paper” trail, mostly electronic nowadays.

  4. Deanna Says:

    Rosanet, I don’t think that the Venezuelan government has knowledge of which Venezuelans have foreign bank accounts. And even if they do have that ability, what kind of reason would they have to put people in jail (or threaten): for having a foreign bank account in dollars or Euros????

    • Rosanet Says:

      I seem to recall the Ley de Ilicitos Cambiarios said to have such an account was illegal beyond a certain balance threshold.

      • moctavio Says:

        No, that law says nothing about that. The only law that touches on that is that you have to report income and capital gains from accounts abroad in your Venezuelan taxes.

  5. Mick Says:

    I would guess Maduro has no clue where most of the Fonden dollars went even though he has been president for a couple of months now. Need-to-know and he doesn’t.

    • moctavio Says:

      In a classic Chavista move, Maduro put one of his Vice Ministers of Foreign Relations as Head or Manager of Fonden, at least he is putting his buddies where the money is.

      • NorskeDiv Says:

        Better said, where the money was.

        I’m betting Fonden is pretty dry now, if it had large cash reserves you would have seen them during the recent election. I think they are broke.

  6. Ronaldo Says:

    Maduro, Chavez, Cabello, and other top Chavistas and their families must have tens of billions of dollars in foreign banks. So yes, lets repatriate their stolen cash first. It would be great if the U.S, Switzerland, offshore banks, etc would make public Chavismo bank accounts.

    Chavismo is again trying to paint the opposition with Chavismo crimes. Surprise, in this case the opposition is small time compared to Chavismo.

  7. Ronaldo Says:

    How much can Jesse Chacón steal from the electric system in one hundred days? I bet a family member will replace him in any case.

  8. Pedro Says:

    I am betting that A. Chavez is leaving the country PDQ

  9. Kepler Says:

    OK, I placed a countdown clock in my blog.
    Arné Chacón’s brother has now 22 weeks to solve the issue.
    We should actually have one single site where one could put all kinds of countdown clocks about Chavismo, until Boligarcs decide to auto-destroy or ask for refugee status in Iran.

  10. island canuck Says:

    Supposedly Maburo left last night for Cuba:

    http://www.noticierodigital.com/2013/04/maduro-viaja-a-cuba-para-ratificar-la-alianza-estrategica-entre-los-paises/

    What really bugs me is that both he (& Chavez before him) continually presents himself like a lap dog to the Cuban regime like an underdog.

    If the situation of handouts is to continue at least he could have the balls to make them come to him. We are the ones providing all the handouts & goodies to Cuba not the other way around. It’s just really demeaning to watch this idiot groveling at the feet of the Castros.

    Wake up Venezuela!

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      Cuba? Now? What an incredibly stupid thing to do.

    • firepigette Says:

      Island,

      They won’t wake up….they will just say “don’t believe in the media because it will just make you identify with the oppressor.”

      Most fanatics who base their ideology in a lack of logic , and facts continue to do so because of the strong need to be right.

  11. Pedrop Says:

    Whilst the subordinate status Venezuela has to Cuba is bothersome what is concerning is the instruction DGI Agent Maduro will receive from Fidel on this visit.

    And he will be told what to do at this critical time. There’s no doubt about that. Everyone knows that Maduro and his own are a tad directionless, floundering maybe.

    Fidel does not have the complete and total control as before. That makes him dangerous, well extra dangerous I suppose. I hope I’m wrong but there’s a counter punch about to descend on Venezuela from the north.

  12. Mick Says:

    The Castros certainly have a ton of dirt on all of the important players on both sides. Caprilles is one of the few they cannot control.

  13. Gustavo Coronel Says:

    Maduro said that he would solve the electricity shortages by reducing work hours

    • m_astera Says:

      Actually that would work, if done in the right way. Send every government worker home, shut down all government buildings. Everyone continues to get their regular paycheck. That would not only solve the energy problem, but a lot of others too.

      • Kepler Says:

        I disagree. People work so little in Venezuela that sending them home would only increase electricity consumption. Think about it: more TVs on all the time, more beer, more fridge, more individual cooling systems.

      • Bruni Says:

        Reducing work time won’t do anything because the peak is between 6 and 10, as I read. It will only move the peak a little earlier.

        What may work is desynchronizing office hours as well as school hours. For instance, one group of employees starting at 7 to 2, another at 10 and so on. It would be a way to “smooth” the peak.

        Of course, the other way to smooth the peak would be to have differentiated tariffs. The problem is that they do not have the meters to implement it and buying smart meters for every house in Venezuela would be extremely expensive.

        How on earth in 14 years they have not found any way to predict this was coming and modernize the system?

        Back in 1981 when I was a young engineer I worked on prediction and optimization models at Edelca. I remember we were almost dayly given an amount of consumption 10 or 15 years in the future and we had to run the simulations and tell the ministry of planning wether that was possible or not, based on Guri’s programmed improvements. I remember my civil engineer collegues being sent to Guayana almost every other week to assess for new hydroelectric sites to be constructed in 10, 20 years time. This was not science fiction, this happened 32 years ago in Caracas.

        It is hard for me to believe such a level of incompetence 32 years later.

        • island canuck Says:

          “The problem is that they do not have the meters to implement it and buying smart meters for every house in Venezuela would be extremely expensive.”

          They apparently don’t even have a sufficient supply of regular meters.
          Ours burned up about 3 months ago & still hasn’t been replaced.
          They are now just charging me a reduced amount each month based on “I have no idea” :-)

    • concerned Says:

      If you can’t increase the salaries to where they should be, decrease their hours. This is only an act of desperation and the electricity shortage is only an excuse to hide the real shortage which is currency. Reducing hours will do nothing for conserving electricity. Air conditioners and other consuming appliances in government run facilities will continue whether a body is in the room or not. If anything, consumption will increase if employees return home. Anyway, it will all be fixed in 100 days right?

      What a joke, but just par for the course coming from the mouth of a bumbling fool who hasn’t uttered a competent statement since chavez’s death allowed him the opportunity to talk.

  14. moctavio Says:

    Giordani in 2000, canceled three hydroelectric projects because, of course, he is an electrical engineer (not an economist like most people think) and he said the projects, which were ready, were not needed and would harm the environment (he was NOT an environmental engineer either) The rest, as they say, is history, the Foundation for electrical projects or whatever it was called was shutdown, maintainance at Guri was stopped and until the crisis began, no new projects were started and the Government nationalized private electrical companies. At that time the Cubans came in and went for their own distributed non-interconnected system, they bought emergency floating power plants and things have not improved since then.

    • Bruni Says:

      It is hard for me to understand that Miguel. We were pretty advanced 32 years ago. We were doing sophisticated things for the time: sophisticated modelling, forecasting, evaluation..even research projects based on Guri’s dayly power measurements.

      How can a single man do so much damage? And minister of planning! On top of that!

  15. metodex Says:

    Reminds me of “The Princess Bride”

    Maybe Chavez was “Mostly dead” in Nov-Dec”


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