Sanity 1, Samán 0


neveras02Earlier this month, butchers across the land went on strike, fed up with both constant harassment by INDEPABIS and price controls that force them to sell at a loss.

What was the response of CC’s Man of the Moment, Eduardo Samán? “You can’t strike, so better deal with it and just keep working”.

However, not everyone in the government shares Samán’s position. Some would prefer to find a consensus with the meat sector. During a special meeting held this week at the Central Bank, the State will allow butchers to sell at market prices “off the record” for the time being, while the INDEPABIS commits to reduce the pressure from its coercive inspections.

Will Mr. Samán abide to this tentative deal or could his peculiar view of how the economy works ruin this conato de sensatez for everyone? Guess we’ll find out pretty soon…

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    • it’s really an amazing image. “We know our policy is a catastrophe so do we change our policy? Hell no! We keep it while agreeing to look the other way if you ignore it!”

      Así! Así! Así es que se gobierna!

      • That’s right. The fine line between trolling and insanity gets blurrier by the day. In fact, I think that line is already gone from quite some time.

        • Gustavo : Its always been like that , even from Colonial times , “La orden del rey se respeta pero no se acata” or as a wise old lawyer told me years ago ” una es la ley que aparece en gaceta otro la que el funcionario guarda en la gaveta de su escritorio”, if a law is irrational or unenforceable you dont change it , you simply ignore it and keep it in the books. Carlos Rangel mentions this as one of the things that divides Hispanic Civilization and Anglo Saxon Civilization , the latter only ennact modest reasonable laws which can be enforced and then insist in enforcing them whilst the former ennact very demanding or ambitious laws which are them ignored . ( Del Buen Salvaje al buen revolucionario ) . Its part of the Culture !!

          • Which reminds me of the old saying from the days of the Spanish Empire: Obodezco pero no cumplo.
            Rangel’s books was one of the best I ever read. I still have my frayed copy, bought in an Anaco comedor.

        • I think what this means is, you butchers continue to sell contrary to the law at your risk, and if we decide we don’t like you, for whatever reason, we have the means to punish you. It is a form of governing by extortion.

  1. They had better watch their step over at Indepabis. It’s stuff like this that sets off the spark which sends tens of thousands to the streets. I would give it another month, two months max. People are getting sick of being forced to live hat-in-hand within a lunatic asylum. Something is sure to give,….and shortly.

    • I wish I could say that I am that optimistic about people getting tired in 1 or 2 months…That is the reason they accustomed people for 15 years to carpetas, mercal , etc.

  2. If I were them I would go the Saman way. It’s election season. Take a “Kill ’em all, let God sort them out” attitude towards outrageously-capitalist-hoarding-speculative butchers. At least till january. Then soften up a bit. Remember, you want the pueblo thinking that it is their fault, never yours.

  3. A friend from Bulgaria tells me that almost all commerce there was done in this way under Communism. There was a set legal price, but an agreement that the vendor could sell at the market price, always much higher. The vendors accepted the deal, but it meant in practice that selective prosecution of dissident businesspeople could occur. Don’t want a picture of the Great Leader in your window? Of course! And you sell illegally, at speculative prices, too!

    • True, but for those who chose not to play, they help those who continue to play to have more business and to make more money as long as the officials look the other way. It is not simple!

  4. They do this all the time , appearances are to be kept at all costs , even where everybody knows the underlying truth of the matter . Gnral Guaicaipuro Lameda says that during his time as president of Pdvsa he was verbally ordered by the then Minister of Energy to raise production beyond the Opec quota limits ( a flagrant breach of Opec rules) , and that when he asked for a written order , he was told there would be none . He later complained that if it ever was made public that Venezuela was producing more than the Opec quota , he would be the fall guy , and the Ministry would be able to deny that it ever gave that order.

      • Quite right Rodrigo !!, congrats , very few people know that !. Tehnically speaking the only effect on production ocurrs when the national authority of each member country instructs the Opec production adjustment to the internal producers , then it becomes a binding internal commitment on the producer , so that it is only when such instruction is issued that the producers either obey it or are in breach of the law . The Saudis have always claimed that they are not bound to obey any production decisions decided by Opec . Venezuela however at the time was very supercilious in claiming that it always abided by the Opec conference decision. (probably the only Opec country that at least formally made an appearance of following Opec Quotas.) . Guaicaipuro however was officially in breach of the formal policy which made him uncomfortable as anyone can understand. !!

        • Just as an afterthought , is a commitment legally less binding because there are no practical means provided for its enforcement ??

          • I commitment is not by any means legally binding. It could be morally or ethically. It could be made a point of honor, but it is not legally binding by any means.

            This is a tangent, but I agree on your main point on appearances.

          • Where there is no remedy, there is no right. I think Lord Blackstone said that. Which is to say, Venezuelans are people who have been stripped of their rights.

          • If thats the case then enforceability marks the boundary that separates the legal from the ethical or in other words what makes a rule binding in law is the possibility of its coercive enforceability otherwise it is reduced to the level of an abstract moral maxim or a purely social custom !! what an interesting insight !!

          • I have to think about that. I guess some people think the moral and ethical are enforced…but later, and in another jurisdiction, if you know what I mean.

          • I’m seeing it as the “laws of economics” vs “Preserving the Rational of the Bolivarian Revolution”, or rather “Philosophy vs. Reality”. Which one is more immutable? Hard objects vs Hard-headedness?

          • There’s a quote from the French Revolution that comes to mind here. I don’t remember who said it, but it went something like: “when there are two men in the middle of the ocean and only one log to cling to, that defines the difference between between charity and personal interest.”


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