Weekend Recap

Bad Ink Caracas

We couldn’t help ourselves, and had to join in on the free tattoo story. In the end, the whole event made sense to us when we found out where the funding had come from: the Ministry of Education.

programaopsu

Several pieces were published on the subject, including some with interviews as to why someone would get a tattoo of another person’s signature (well, not another person: the Eternal President). But the most heartwarming of all was that of the 76-year-old woman who tatooed Chavez’s signature on her arm: “this doesn’t hurt, what hurts is not having Chavez alive.” (Here’s the link to Aporrea’s post).

Anyway, it was a good story to take our mind of all the body-part hacking and corpses floating in Caracas’ Guaire river.

Guaire Tattoo

This, too, has Chavez’s signature on it.

MUD

Ramon Guillermo Aveledo resigned from his post as Executive Secretary of the opposition coalition “MUD.” There have been a couple of closed meetings between MUD members to determine who will replace him.

As a side note, Ramon Jose Medina sent a long letter in support of Aveledo, and placed his resignation as well (la cual fue aceptada).

Universal Censorship

The first thing Abreu Anselmi said when taking over as head of El Universal newspaper was that the editorial line would stay put. Well, this week, several Op-ed collaborators reported they had been cut off or suspended due to a restructuring of the paper’s editorial line. That was fast.

We’ll see where these people end up. CC posted Daniel Lansberg’s censored piece yesterday.

Chronicles of Cheverito

Minister Andres Izarra launched a new campaign to promote tourism in Venezuela based on a comic-book character named “Cheverito,” pictured below. In terms of publicity, we can say it was a massive success. Cheverito went viral hours (not so say minutes) after his release. This subject has been as widely covered as the tattoo affair, so there’s nothing left to say…

Cheverito fascistoide

Nah, there’s always something left to say! The above, showing Cheverito making fun of the oposition “squalid ones,” is the Ministry’s response to all the memes and jokes that made Cheverito viral. A little exclusion here, a little discrimination there, fascism everywhere.

This, too, has Chavez’s signature on it.

The wolf is-a-comin’

For the past couple of years the government has been flirting with the idea of the idea of maybe, perhaps, pretty pleasy, not really, raising gas prices. Ok, not raising, but cutting the subsidy that allows Venezuelans to fill up their tanks with a quarter. In a huge step forward, on Wednesday, the PSUV Congress discussed and approved the revision of gas prices – not that we know this for sure, since it was done behind closed doors. As you can see, all the big decisions are taken within the government party and not the National Assembly, for instance.

On Twitterland, that small piece of virtual territory dominated by the other half of the country,  the discussion within the opposition (or whatever it is right now) has been divided between those who say that “before raising the price they should stop giving away oil and such and such,” and those who believe it’s been a necessary measure since 1999 or 1989. (Please go at it in the comment section!)

By the way, as Henkel Garcia says, in 1999 those same four bolos Venezuelans use to fill up their cars, bought what now 110 buys. PDVSA is now receiving from sales at gas stations only 3% of the cost to produce a liter of gasoline.

Maduro said he would create several funds to invest the “surplus” that would be received. Perhaps they should invest those funds in, uh, covering the cost.

Trapped

Although Carvajal was freed some chavista officials may feel reluctant to travel abroad these days. The US finally revoked visas for certain unnamed government officials. The crooks have been confined to the same jail as their victims. Yep, Venezuelans may find it a tad hard to travel since some tickets to the US are being sold at the absurd price of 3,000 green bucks (to Miami this is).

Minister Izarra sort of made a follow-up to Ramirez’s outrageous comment (flights were being detoured to Brazil because of the World Cup) on the lack of flights to and out of Venezuela by saying that the problems that exist in the sale of tickets are due to the raspacupos (those guys that supposedly bankrupted the country by using their credit cards), since they booked all flights in advance. Also, he said the government’s subsidy -yep, he used that word- of last year to -middle class- travelers had been around 5 billion green bucks, and that the glitch was corrected, oops.

Despite the economic problems, people have enough purchasing power to allow them to travel.

Andres Izarra

On related news, the folks stuck at Barajas Airport in Madrid made it back, and got robbed when arriving to Maiquetía.

Diosdado’s menace of the week

Lastly… (Drumroll)

While Argentina rejects its default and blames someone else, there are rumors (because that is all you have when official sources refuse to publish economic data) that Venezuela’s GDP had a dramatic drop of -5.5%. Suck on that tangerine…

This too has Chavez’s signature on it.

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