Remember SICAD? Remember THIS guy?

Better call in the big guns... (extra points to the first commenter to identify this guy.)
Better call in the big guns… (extra points to the first commenter to identify this guy.)

You don’t? Don’t feel bad: nobody does.

After a single dollar auction back on March 24th, the new parallel-to-CADIVI system for distributing dollars whimpered off into the oblivion where it should always have dwelled.

No pragmatic decision-making of any kind seems forthcoming from the clique in power.  CADIVI is still sclerotic and no functioning replacement for for the now mothballed SITME system, there’s just no way to source anywhere-near-legal dollars in this economy. And in our nunca bien ponderada economía de puertos, no dollars=no stuff.

But maybe the mechanism is a red herring here. Quite aside from the mechanics of dollar-allocation, they just don’t have any dollars to allocate on hand in the first place.

Even if there was a huge crisis in the Middle East tomorrow sending oil prices skyrocketing to $250/barrel leaving the Central Bank awash in greenbacks, it would still take time for importers to get those dollars, place their orders, get them delivered to Puerto Cabello and distribute them to consumers.

Another way of saying that is: it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Which brings me to the photo above. Remember that guy? See, I’ve been mulling a theory these last few days.

I think we’re living in an alternate-universe. It’s 1989. And Jaime Lusinchi has just been re-elected president. 

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