The End of the Monk (UPDATED)


HoodedFigure_zps1c1ba74aJorge Giordani, who as Planning Minister has done more damage to Venezuela’s economy than any single thing since Zumaque I, has been shunted out of the cabinet altogether for the first time in 15 years.

Official titles don’t come close to capturing his influence. A Utopian socialist with a soft spot for Kim Il Sung, Giordani is the architect of much of the deranged macro- and microeconomic framework Venezuela has run on since 2003. The intellectual father of the multi-tier exchange system, the hyper-regulatory raj and the Fair Prices Doctrine, Giordani proved a consumately skilled player of the Carmelitas power game.

Famously – freakishly – indifferent to the material perks of office, Giordani has no testaferro empire of his own, nor a PDVSA/Border Smuggling style cash-cow to fund a patronage network. His power rested, ultimately, on his unimpeded access to Hugo Chávez’s ear. It’s a testament to his bureaucratic acumen that he managed to hang on to his seat in the cabinet for 15 months after Chávez’s passing. But he couldn’t stretch it out any further than that.

The End of the Giordani Era leaves the nation’s economic fate in the hands of Rafael Ramírez & Co., a gaggle of PSUV hacks that’s sometimes described as “pragmatist”. That’s a label you’d only think to apply to them by comparison to an utterly inflexible extremist ideologue like Giordani. They are, instead, best thought of as relatively “conventional” politicians: a relatively dim-witted bunch who maneuver with a view to hanging on to power, shoring up their position within the PSUV hierarchy and fattening up their testaferro-fronted off-shore accounts without consistent reference to rigid ideological pre-commitments.

It’s a testament to how catastrophically misgoverned the country has been that we tend to think of that as “progress”.

Update by JC: In a long-winded, candid, cathartic goodbye posted on Aporrea, Giordani basically blows a gasket, confirming (at least in part) the power struggles inside chavismo, and calling Maduro out for not being socialist enough. The money quote is a delectable morsel:

“It is painful and alarming to see a Presidency that does not convey leadership, that wants to affirm it by simply repeating, without any coherence, the proposals of Commander Chávez, and by giving massive resources to anyone who asks for them without a fiscal program embedded within a socialist framework that gives those requests some consistency. At the same time, policies when dealing with the private sector are at best confusing, and the pressure of these agents seems to pave the way for the reinstallment of capitalist financial mechanisms that satisfy the need to capture the nation’s oil rents via the financial system. In light of this, there is a clear sensation of a power void in the office of the Presidency, and a concentration of power in other places, destroying the work of institutions such as the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank, and establishing a de facto independence of PDVSA from the central government.”

Wow. Drink that with your morning coffee.

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    • Just posted an update! Kepler, if there was ever a need for your knowledge of semantics, this is the time. That letter … es de psiquiatra.

      • ” Mantener la tasa de cambio que favoreció las importaciones y redujo las exportaciones, ya limitadas de la economía privada.”

        He is proud of this!!!!!!! We got a finance minister that completely forgot to take his medications for 15 years. This doesn’t even make sense under a socialist economical model, it just opens the door for corruption and foreign over expenditure. I always wanted to believe they used CADIVI as a control tool instead of an economical strategy to implement socialism.

    • He lost me at “Habiendo sido Ministro por tanto tiempo es mi deber rendir cuentas al país.”

      Now, seriuosly, I couldnt keep reading after that phrase. These guys have are the REAL shit, que caraetabla! trimardito!

      Ojala pase el resto de sus dias haciendo cola para comprar comida y papel tuale!

  1. Giordani wasnt alone in his ideological radicalism , Jaua , Adan Chavez and others shared them although they lacked the Monks economic credentials . Ramirez finally won a very tough struggle where he was as exposed to the kind of political defenestration as Giordani ultimately experienced . He is bound to be more pragmatic than Giordani but there is still a radical wing inside the leadership that may attempt to block his initiatives on politically practical or ideological grounds .!!

    Maduro is now apparently going along with Ramirez but that hasnt always been the case , the crisis in Forex resources has probably pushed his hand . Ramirez power as Pdvsa head is highly coveted by many inside the leadership clique , The regimes future measures bear watching , its all ready been announced that there will be no more bond issues this year ( thats a sign of rationality) , that the exchange rate will be unified and made more functional (probably allowing Pdvsa to put more of its income into the Sicad 2 system) and that a loan for future oil supplies deal is being worked with the chinese for 4 billion usd. Gasoline prices will be hiked gradually but so as to soften the punitive subsidies which Pdvsa must fund .

    Giordanis fall probably represents one of the most momentous changes in the regimes economic
    philosophy . Were getting closer to an F Rod scenario than we were before !!.

  2. I’m sure he’ll stick around. He’ll be called in to office again, as they all are, eventually. It’s a tight circle of crooks that step in and out, in and out.

      • Note Giordanis poisonous reference to allowing the restoration of Pdvsa s autonomy as one of the evil things that Maduro is now permiting, thats an idirect dig at Ramirez who fought many of Giordanis most crazy ideas within the gabinet . Running a business however badly gives people a more concrete idea of what it means to act practically . Giordani was always a pie in the sky academic !!

        Very likely Ramirez saw Giordanis dogmatic riguidity of principles as causing the ruin of the regime and the country . While Chavez was alive he followed his idols orders , but once he died following the crazy Monks dictates must have seen like madness as problems multiplied .

          • He lost the battle to reality , to a crisis that he had no way of dealing with and is everyday becoming worse , to the survival instinct of people that know when they have gone on the wrong direction and realize that they have to turn back !! Corruption will just find a new way of milking any changed situation . he lost the battle against the corruption years ago and moreover came to tolerate it for the sake of his cherished and now betrayed revolution .!!

          • ” he lost the battle against the corruption years ago and moreover came to tolerate it for the sake of his cherished and now betrayed revolution ”

            You are so right about this…

    • After that letter he won’t and he knows it. And Giordani is not a crook, he is a deranged ideological dinosaur. If he had been a crook like Ramírez he would’ve thought more about the viability of the system to keep stealing before enacting the crazy policies that got us here. If

  3. This is VERY significant. What is Chavismo without the ideology? Just another gang of thugs in power.

    Who is next on the list to be purged?

      • While Madurismo is still some steps away from pure stalinistic practices in their purges (gulags seem possible but firing squads seem like a stretch), I would think the schismatic chavistas will form their new, more pure, holier than though party. This is particularly true given the tensions that one can read about with the upcoming PSUV ‘convention’ (aporrea is full of pieces ‘with all due respect’ and then they drop the bile).

        This will endanger the unity of the 30% chavismo duro block, but the questions still beckons, will they fratricide hate impel them to spite the other faction? Or will they adopt ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ position and just hate the escualidos more.

        Likewise the 40% nini’s, will some part move to the oppo side when they see a weakened chavismo?

        • That could be very helpful to the PSUV. How does one get consumers to buy the fancy $25 frying pan? Offer a very fancy pan for $35. (The same ploy works in reverse at the bottom end of the market.)

          Suppose Giordani and other purist Chavistas form their own party (call it the Partido Socialismo-o-Muerte de Venezuela – PSMV) and denounce Maduro and the PSUV for pro-capitalist deviationism. Then the PSUV can say “We’re not crazy – the crazies are over there. We’re the pragmatic socialists.”

          Such configurations have developed in the past. In the 1948 U.S. Presidential election, Democrat incumbent Harry Truman faced breakaway candidacies on the left and right. Former VP Henry Wallace ran as a “Progressive”, denouncing Truman for his alleged war-mongering foreign policy toward the USSR. South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond ran as a “Dixiecrat”, protesting the civil-rights plank in the Democrat party platform and Truman’s desegregation of the armed forces. Each of these candidates pulled a large block of votes from the Democrat base.

          Nearly all political analysts thought Truman was doomed. The Chicago Tribune printed its next-morning edition before the actual results were in, with the headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”. There is a famous photo of Truman gleefully holding up the Tribune‘s front page.

          But later analysts have concluded that both breakaway candidacies may have helped Truman more than they hurt him. Truman was charged with being “soft on Communism” – but Wallaceite attacks implicitly refuted that. Black voters at that time were wavering between traditional loyalty to “the party of Lincoln” and the New Deal Democrats (who were still the party of Jim Crow and the Klan). The Dixiecrat rebellion caused black voters (and white liberal voters concerned for civil rights) to rally behind Truman.

          Which is to say, in politics, it is often useful to have the right enemies. A “PSMV” could draw enough votes to hurt the PSUV. But a small-but-noisy “PSMV” could reassure voters that the PSUV is relatively safe. If the chavernment is really clever, they would place covert agents in the “PSMV” party apparat to prop it up, while also ensuring it is never a real threat.

          • Interesting perspective Rich. Fanatics polarize to their own faction leaving a more appealing Chavismo to some part of 40% ninis.

            This is quite depressing. I’ll go numb myself with futbol.

          • The prospect of something like that coming to life is terrible indeed.. But I don’t see it as likely. After all, Chavismo post-Chavez without the ideology is just a another gang of thugs in power, one with lots of cash to give away; and given the terrible economic situation, what’s there left for Maduro to offer if he can’t use the petrodollar or the ideological cards? The authoritarian card.

            Wait, that’s even worse… Oh shit.

      • Agreed with cacr210. Jaua, followed by Adan Chavez.

        The Cubans? As of now, they know that their colonization of Venezuela is a lost cause. They will buy themselves as much time as possible, before their oil subsidy is cut off.

  4. The demise of a different ‘Monk’ …
    Rasputin’s face was found to have turned black, and
    an icon was found on his chest. It bore the signatures of Vyrubova,
    Alexandra, and her four daughters.
    The body was put into a packing case that once held a piano
    and was driven in secret to the imperial stables in Petrograd.
    The next day it was loaded onto a truck and taken out of Petrograd on the Lesnoe Road.

    Vzla’s fate turned black,
    Country fell into a black hole.
    And then all the king’s henchmen
    lived richly ever after.

  5. One of the ironies that I have always found most remarkable in these 15 years: The man who stole the least was among the ones who caused most damage.

    tipica vaina bizarra de Venezuela

    • Bizarra (courageous) no, grotesca, rara (bizarr). Gente bizarra son los que tienen los cojones de enfrentarse al chavismo.

      The irony I found was that a lunatic like Giordani caused so much damage to the country that most earnestly fought against the dictatorship he claimed he claimed to have suffered so much, that of bloody Rafael Trujillo.
      Betancourt really did a lot to denounce Trujillo. Trujillo was the one who organised the assassination attempt against Betancourt. Then comes Giordani and does anything to undermine what Betancourt fought for…the wanker!

      • Pero es que leyendo la fulana carta, ¿no les queda claro que Giordani es un inmoral? Puede que no haya robado nada, pero alguien que admite sin tapujos, sin ningún rastro de conciencia que se gastaron el presupuesto de la nación (and then some) para reelegir a Chávez es un inmoral de marca mayor.

        En el fondo, el tipo está hablando no porque tiene remordimiento de conciencia sino porque está arrecho porque los suyos están perdiendo en esta lucha fratricida dentro del chavismo. Qué falta de ética tan arrecha.

        • Es que ese tipo nunca tuvo ética.
          Qué lástima que nunca se pudo capturar en video la frase que daba sentido a todo su accionar, aquella que condensaba sus ideas en unas cuantas palabras, esa frase por la cual Guaicaipuro Lameda casi lo agarra a coñazos.
          Esas son las frases, como la del mentecato del sobrino de jorge rodríguez “No los sacaremos de la pobreza para que se vuelvan escuálidos” o la del otro bastardo que dijo “Las colas son un invento, NO EXISTEN LAS COLAS PARA COMPRAR NADA” que hay que zamparles con un megáfono día y noche a los “chavistas de a pie” que están jodiéndose en una cola o que están pasando trabajo que jode en los barrios a donde viven.

        • Completamente de acuerdo.
          Pero es lo que digo: quizás no haya robado nada, pero su fanatismo y anhelo de poder han sido mucho más nocivos que los actos individuales de un boliburgués ladrón común.
          Lo fascinante es que pese a su ignorancia, su fanatismo ideológico, pudo controlar a tanta gente y urdir
          tramas tales que dejó en el camino a centenares de criminales más pragmáticos.

          Realmente me provocaría decirle en frente: “eres un hijo de Rafael Trujillo, el dictador que tanto odiaste.
          Dañaste al país que más denunció los crímenes de este”.

          • Además de eso un adulador sin vergüenza, creo que fue Guacaipuro Lameda o alguno de los exministros de los primeros años de gobierno de Chávez que contó como era imposible poder contra él cuando el tipo se aguantaba 8 horas en frente del despacho de Chávez para que lo atendiera mientras ellos no podían permitirse ese lujo porque tenían que trabajar.Y si no robó, para mantener ese poder y el cambur tuvo que dejar a bastante gente robar y guisar y hacerse el loco, si el como Ministrotuvo conocimiento de actos de corrupción y no los denunció, es tan legal y eticamente responsable de esos actos como los ladrones.

        • No creo ni que le pase por la cabeza que el objetivo de la economía sea otra cosa que mantener a la “revolución” en el poder cueste lo que cueste.

        • I managed to put some of the most infuriating pieces of that incoherent, cynical rant:

          “Para el primer frente me fue posible avanzar en la propuesta de dos medidas asociadas a un gran fondo del país, marcado por la opinión de los agentes del Comercio exterior como un foco de corrupción: el CADIVI y su mecanismo asociado el SITME. Nicolás Maduro acogió en ese ámbito una de las 2 medidas que le propuse. La creación de un Comité que aprobaría los permisos de uso de divisas a los precios privilegiados que el Estado otorgaba para las importaciones básicas para la economía y el reemplazo del SITME por el SICAD.”

          You heard it here, the official rate is a lie, I mean, a “priviledge” assiged by corrupt bureaucrats. And what’s the problem, according to Giordani?

          “La segunda consistente en mi nombramiento como la autoridad del CADIVI, para aprovechar el peso del Ministro de Planificación y Finanzas, en la instauración de un funcionamiento transparente. Medida esta que él no aceptó. Prefirió una dispersión del mando.”

          Ah yeah, that he wasn’t named Minister of Breaking the Piñata. All the whining about the evil “raspa cupos” from the chavistas is the outrage that someone else is sucking the oil tits of Daddy State, besides the Holy Misiones (now working exactly as the prisions, with Prans in charge that kill anybody that complains) and the lion’s share of the “Alto Mando”.

          And that’s a “moral authority” according to chavistas? No me jodas.

        • I see chavistas as fanatics. Let make this comparison:

          An appendectomy is a rather simple medical procedure, now if I, with no medical training or facilities, tried to perform one, EVEN WITH THE BEST INTENTIONS, will surely result in the death of the patient.

          Essentially we have well intention-ed idiots doing this to the country. This does not exculpate them, but they will never have the presence of mind to admit their incompetence. Remember history has proven that their ‘comunismo trasnochado’ philosophy does not work, but how could they come around and admit they are wrong after 50+ years of belief? It would jeopardize their identity and show what a waste their political and probably life was. Only very brave people can make such radical admissions (Petkoff, for example).

          • We again fail to see these idiots are tools for someone else, behind the scenes the real power broker, cuba, has allowed and promoted these incompetent fools to reach positions of power (contralora anyone?) to be easily manipulable and colourful idiots that keep our attention span full trying to think rationally why they do what they do.

            The principle stated above, of being able to keep power by allowing many to steal, applies primarily at this first level too. Cuba is not interested in the destruction of Venezuela perse, as long as it can skim and steal as much as possible for as long as possible.

            Other parties however, accomplices by action or inaction, ARE more directly interested. Neighbours for strategic and land interests, BIG OIL for the opportunity to buy cents on the dolar the reserves down the road (china), and idealogues and world players for their geopolitical interests (iran, russia, china, US), etc.

            I thinks the fate of Venezuela is doomed. The state fell prey to lesser malandros, who later got take over by Castro, and all other alimanas. The lesser malandros thinking in their short term riches, the others in how to benefit longer term.

        • Yo creo que mas claro imposible que “preservar la continuidad politica de la revolucion” era (Y probablemente lo siga siendo) la prioridad #1. A la m…. el presupuesto, la buena gerencia o el mediano plazo, lo que importaba en ese momento era asegurar que Chavez no perdiera la elecciones. Estoy seguro que podemos contar con esa misma manera de pensar hasta que el cuerpo aguante (e.g. hasta que no quede un pendejo mas dispuesto a prestarles plata).

        • Here is the confession quote:

          “En este camino del proceso bolivariano era crucial superar el desafío del 7 de octubre de 2012, así como las elecciones del 16 de diciembre de ese mismo año. Se trataba de la consolidación del poder político como un objetivo esencial para la fortaleza de la revolución y para la apertura de una nueva etapa del proceso. La superación se consiguió con un gran sacrificio y con un esfuerzo económico y financiero que llevó el acceso y uso de los recursos a niveles extremos que requerirán de una revisión para garantizar la sostenibilidad de la trasformación económica y social.”


        • I agree with you Juan. Admitting that he will do whatever was necessary with the country’s economy in order to get the election is totally inmoral.

          And I agree that he has no regrets. He is just saying that he lost the battle, but no regrets with respect to the battle itself. The guy is the main responsible of having dilapidated with bad policies the largest wealth that Venezuela ever experienced and he has not even the humbleness to admit it. Ideology is more important,
          as I recently wrote in a short post.

    • Bolivar once wrote ‘El talento sin probidad es un azote’ . Giordani makes true the contrary message “La probidad sin talento tambien es un azote” !! maybe a competent crook can be better than an honest incompetent !!

  6. Otra duda: ¿quiénes serán los fulanos “asesores franceses” que tanto menta Giordani en su post-mortem?

    • Esos no son los de Temir Porras y el tal Maximilian Arbeláez (un francés nacionalizado venezolano) Pero Porras cayó ya también.

        “La tribu francesa. En el audio de la conversación entre Mario Silva y el jefe del G2 cubano Aramis Palacios, que divulgó la oposición en mayo, el presentador de La Hojilla critica las recomendaciones “no confirmadas” que un “grupo francés traído por Porras” le habría hecho a Maduro durante la campaña: desvincular su figura del Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela y plagar las tarimas oficialistas de artistas que, en su opinión, convirtieron la competición electoral en un “show tipo Sábado Sensacional”.”

        • Buenísimo ese reportaje. Y yo que creía que los franceses predilectos de la revolución eran Hermés y Louis Vuitton…

          • Ironicamente, Temir Porras también salió del gobierno y anda por ahí rondando este documento que escribió: Y es lo contrario de Giordani, pide más “pragmatismo” así que parece que a los franceses tampoco los están escuchando tanto. Al final esto no es un conflicto de ideología sino una lucha de cuchillos por el poder.

  7. If, as noted above, Porras is a product of ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration), two remarks come to mind:
    1/ He is very clever (or too clever)
    2/ It is graduates of the ENA (including Fr.Hollande, and most of the Ministers of all French Governments of the past few decades) who have France in the Economic mess it is now.

  8. I have identified three types of Chavistas: (1) The Idealists (2) The Connected (get it?) and (3) The Chain of Fools. All Chavistas in my opinion fall into one of these categories or the partial mix of two. Giordani was 1 with a wallop of 2, but strictly because he received his salary and a power quota form the government. A true idealist, he is like the Aporrea people that are poor and unconnected but whose intellectual clout separates them form the Chain of Fools. Giordani’s future is in writing, becoming a guru for this group of people (in which we all have some friend, especially living in the first world) which have read many a book, but are so idealists, so Utopian, that they truly believe that Chavismo is the way.

  9. At least he gives us a partial but nice little laundry list of his “accomplishments”

    – creciente dependencia de los ingresos petroleros,
    – crecimiento de las obligaciones del gobierno
    – aumento de la burocracia
    – imposibilidad de seguir manteniendo niveles de inflación
    – problema estructural de la agricultura y la electricidad,

  10. I now wonder how a hardcore chavista -the kind that used to say “No es Chávez, son los que los rodean”- would react to this major bean spillage. I can almost hear them trying to justify the Eternal Intergalactic Commander’s blind trust in Giordani and blaming the “conjura mediática” for the results of our economic disaster.

    I’d like to repeat Roy’s very timely question from a few comments ago: if this is a purge, who will be next in line?

  11. Remember, remember:

    Then Giordani interrupted me and said: “Look, General, you still don’t understand this revolution. Let me explain: the purpose of this revolution is to achieve cultural change in the country, to change the way it thinks and lives, and those changes can only be made through power. Thus the first thing is to stay in power to achieve that change. Our political floor [sic] is given to us by poor people: they are the ones who vote for us. So, the poor will have to stay poor, we need them that way, until we achieve cultural change. Then we could talk about a production economy and wealth distribution. Meanwhile, we have to keep them poor and hopeful.

    (The translation is mine)

  12. I have a logical conundrum here.
    As a principle I will always be against anything that Giordani think is right.
    Is he think the economy is going in the wrong direction, does that mean that the Government is making the right decisions? Could it be that what F. Rodriguez says and predicts is because of this and Giordani is the first to go before more practical measures are taken?

    I don’t know what to think.
    In this case we have to be very careful, because the enemy of my enemy is not my friend…

  13. Giordani is the worst writer ever. Only a few sentences in his letter state anything relevant. The rest is a melange of confusing ideas and unreadable narrative.

  14. I am surprise how intelligent and genial are the Venezuelan opposition.I cannot understand why such great and secure analyst lost the government and power for 15 year.After all chavistas are less than stupid monkeys , you created that political exist strategy LA SALIDA ,sounds like a Hollywood film.Any way in my modest opinion two real radicals were in Venezuela one is death the other out.The pragmatic team is in government and will shift to the center at their own time not yours, unless they want to lose popular support.The question is will they have enough time? Who knows. To end and no offense when I read opposition economist ecc I always read again Viajeros de La India

    • Typical “End of History” defense, aka a worthless facade of confidence. As expected after a heavy moral blow.

      Really, try harder.

      • For most of the last 15 year it wanst the current clique which Ruled but Chavez , headstrong conceited know it all economically ignorant and delusional Chavez , the clique simply went along as loyal and unquestioning accolytes doing what the master wayward imagination ordered , They only obeyed orders and were so besotted with Chavez that they could not even think for themselves .
        That time is over and they are now facing the disastrous consequences of 15 years of misrule , they no longer have the huge money buffer that Venezuelas oil revenues gave Chavez because there is a big whole which Chavez left in the countries finances and which is growing by the minute . the dear leader is no longer there to take sacred decisions and they either start understanding the reality of the countrys worsening situation on their own or they faced increasingly difficult governability problems . Ramirez whatever blames attaches to him for destroying the country in obeyance to Chavez has been one of the first to start looking at reality in the face , he appears to be sponsoring measures which are at least partially rational and common sensical even if together with that he still abides by many of the old errors and delusions . Giordani was held ramsom by his love for ideological cloud cukoo land and cant move ahead , He played a game at retaining his former powers and has lost to Ramirez . This is not to say that Ramirez is in total control , he has to deal with the other members of the clique and a revolutionary establishment which still harbours a lot of incompetent and fanatically myopical or blind people . Giordanit wanst alone , there were others in high positions that at least partially sympathized with him . The door to more rational but politically painful measures is more ajar than it was before but it isnt yet entirely open. Lets stop whinning about who is to blame and how much scorn they deserve and start phocusing in understanding what this change might mean for the future . !!

    • Video VTV, 18 junio de 2014, Maduro dixit:
      “uno ve el pueblo en la vanguardia .. de la batalla .. así ha sido el proceso venezolano ,, en Vzla el pueblo ha sido la vanguardia revolucionaria .. que no ha sido entendido por algunos escribidores (sic) y grandes pensadores .. ha valido más el ego, pequeño burgués .. (crescendo) .. gran ego, pequeño burgués y el orgullo que la humildad de un pueblo que merece que trabajemos por ellos … por nosotros, por nuestra patria …tenemos que ser la vanguardia de la vanguardia … la vanguardia etica …blablabla .. Chávez .. no traicionar jamás la confianza que dejó el comandante Chavez en nosotros y nosotras…jamás, bajo ninguna circunstancia ni excusa, no hay excusa para la traición de nadie al proyecto revolucionario .. ser la vanguardia de la vanguardia … (clapping from las focas)…”

      • Maduro no sirve ni para insultar… Qué vaina tan oblicua y aburrida!

        He didn’t throw Giordani under the bus, he threw him under a tricycle.

        • except that the staging, the costume (an oh-so-serious black shirt with epaulets), the performance with a controlled but limited range of emotions … all these elements inflate the tricycle, beyond the reproduction of the text.

    • it kinda reminds one of the parting of ways between Trotsky and the Communist Party in the 20’s. Were I in Giordani’s shoes I would avoid Mexico City as a place of refuge after his retirement from the party. There’s a traditional act which takes place there, as Leon T. could confirm were he alive today, having to do with traitors and ice picks. Revenge is best served-up cold…..

    • “me voy con la frente en alto, con la satisfacción del deber cumplido, porque durante todos estos años lo único que hice fue cumplir con la misión que el comandante Chávez me encargó: quebrar a este país.”

  15. Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
    I get words all day through;
    First from him, now from you!
    Is that all ?



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