So, how did we get screwed this Semana Santa?


Ah, the holiday-smoke-screened Fuck-You Decree: it’s almost as much a Venezuelan Easter Tradition as enormous traffic jams and Bipolar Pisillo.

This year, Chávez stuck to the classics. Nothing fancy, just a good, old fashioned nobody’s-reading-newspapers-this-week massive money grab.

With Venezuelan oil export prices topping $108/barrel, Chávez signed a decree to grab 95% of windfall profits on oil sold at more than $100/b.

And I write “Chávez” rather than “the government” advisdedly: because this money is not going to “the government”, but rather into the totally-discretional, extravagantly-opaque, never-ever-audited off-budget petty cash box known as Fonden: you know, the biggest one of the ten black-box spending mechanisms that won’t stoop to actually telling us what it spends on when and won’t even disclose its balance sheets until two years after the fact.

So that money’s pretty much vanished down the rabbit hole, never to be heard from again.

But hey, how much of a buzz-kill is it having to actually, you know, account for how you spend millions in public funds?

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  1. What I find amazing is that if you read apporea, chavistas are actually sooooooooooo happy because of this money now belonging to the pueble, how much more PDVSA now gives to the people and how many more things will be done for Venezuela with this new law. I just don’t [email protected]#$% get it!

    • Of course they are happy. At least a part of that extra money will be distributed through them and they will see also apply the new law: 95% to their ‘socially sensible’ pockets and 5% to feed the chickens.

  2. I guess the folks over at Aporrea et al have not read this:

    The title is a bit misleading, but the pearl in the interview is this:

    ““Los recursos petroleros son propiedad exclusiva del Estado venezolano”, fueron las palabras de Jesús Faría, diputado a la Asamblea Nacional en representación del Psuv.”

    Torres, take it away mi pana!

  3. Actually double or triple screwed depending on how you keep count. Likely less funds for PDVSA to invest to get the declining oil production up, and IOC’s will be even less likely to invest, for among other issues, lower return on existing of future investments and better more secure opportunities elsewhere.

  4. Menos mal que los nuevos democratas que compiten en las Primarias han hecho un fuerte caso de tener mas auditabilidad y de presentar cuentas claras sobre el manejo de los fondos publicos….

  5. I amused myself by going to the website to peak at their balance sheet. I was (though I shouldn’t have been) surprised at the amount of detail that they give, that it somehow fits into 2 pages! imagine that! It reminds me of the survey census they do in the barrios, they jot down the number of people maybe the name of the household head. That really comes in handy doesn’t it!?!


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