The picture of the week
The picture of the week

After Richard Nixon went to China, historians began coining the phrase “Nixon in China” or “Nixon goes to China” to signal an unexpected shift by an ideological politician who decides to embrace and engage a foe.

After this week’s calamitous visit to China, where he came away empty handed, we should coin the term “Maduro in China” to signal when an ideological politician goes to embrace an incredibly close ally, and comes away rebuffed and empty handed.

The last week was a terrible one for our economy, and a worse one for presidential fashion. But in denying Maduro the funds to stay afloat, China has given Venezuelan democracy a pretty good week. The collapse of the chavista regime goes on.

We’ll see what the next week brings – judging by current tension levels alone, we’re in for a pretty rocky few weeks. Gird your loins, people.

Have a great weekend everyone.

(Disclaimer: The unforgettable picture of Maduro, Cilia and his scarf was actually taken in Russia, not in China.)

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  1. When you are in debt or financial struggle, you first go to family or friends because you think it might cost you less and they will ask no colateral. Alas, when you are a known bad credit, it will cost more to find open doors, and, if they are indeed open, the stakes will be high.

    • In this case, our friend did ask for collateral. According to Bocaranda, China wanted total control of Sidor, a little collateral. Apparently our government rejected the proposal leaving empty handed.

      • The Nuevo Herald says that they Maduro offered the entire CVG, but the chinese wanted total control of the companies. Which even he won’t accept, given that the resulting syndicate mutiny (they are actually armed and can hide on the refineries) was going to be ugly, both for the effort to supress and the shattering of the regime’s bullshit.

      • The wax doll gave away the Esequibo, so it won’t surprise me if we find out maburro gave away Sidor, CVG or pudrevesa itself just to anybody who promises him to stay in power.

      • In this case, our friend did ask for collateral.
        Which reminds me of some lines from Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.

        I didn’t mean to be nosy so I went into a bank
        To try to get some bail for the boys back in the tank.
        They asked me for some collateral and I pulled down my pants.
        They threw me in the alley, when up comes this girl from France
        Who invited me to her place. I went, but she had a friend
        Who knocked me out an’ robbed my boots an’ was I on the street again.

        Apparently Maduro isn’t the first person to have trouble getting a loan. I will pay you on Tuesday for 20 billion hamburgers today…..

  2. Venezuelan oil is about $40/bbl, barely covering food, maybe a few medicenes. Liquid international reserves are virtually nil, and I have real doubts about stated levels of gold reserves, despite F-Rod’s allegations he “saw them” in a recent visit to Caracas. BOA is finally now talking probable imminent default. The Chinese weren’t so stupid as some thought, denying a liquid funds bailout, promising future financing for infrastructure/housing/etc. projects, many similar of which were never finished, or even started, in the past. Food/other essentials scarcity lines are very long, and patience is thin, in what historically has been a quiet post-December early January period.The situation is untenable for long….

    • Let’s be serious here, there are 100s of thousand Chinese living in venezuela, the Chinese government have a lot more than just news they read about vnzla, they need only call up anyone Chinese who lives there to get a full idea what is going on, and whom they trust… China knows way more of what is going in venezuela than they let on.

    • “BOA is finally now talking probable imminent default.”

      Yeah, I saw that, too. And of course I wondered how Francisco Toro was going to spin that baby, after having enabled/packaged so beautifully F-Rod’s earlier sales pitch on behalf of his firm.

  3. Chavismo is a paper tiger, remove from it its petrodollars and put on the streets millions of people complaining, and it will crumble in a matter of weeks. But if the lefty effeminate side of opposition start with the “no guarimbas” bullcrap, then this disgraced revolution may last forever.

    • and then how do you remove those people from the streets, machine guns? “right wing” logic never accounts for this. clearly that is the alternative, and not advocating guarimbas is sensible for those who follow thoughts through to conclusions and give a shit.

      • Why the hell would someone want to remove those people from the streets? Are you chavista? They must be the ones removing the Chavistas from power with their own hands, and not be the ones removed from the streets. The streets must belong to the Venezuelan people, and not to the government criminals.

        Those folks are one inch away from not having milk to feed their own chidren, The question is: will the resign to their fate or fight? I want to see them fighting.

    • Excuse me, ‘effeminate’? And on top of that, ‘lefty effeminate’, because as every fact dictates, weakness and cowardice are womanly traits, and being a ‘lefty’, oh, well, only lefties are ever weakly cowards, and only weakly cowards could be against guarimbas, I suppose? You forgot the ‘we need a Pérez Jiménez’ at the end of that ridiculous comment.

  4. Maduro’s day may be soon to be over, but that does not equate to the revolution’s days being over, nor that Venezuela recovery may be able to start soon.

    Pretty rocky next couple of months indeed.

  5. This would be a perfect moment to poll Chavez’s popularity. Maduro’s approval rating keeps falling to a place I wouldn’t believe possible (22% according to Datanálisis), so it would be interesting to know if people are still enchanted with Chavez’s legacy, or just blame Maduro for the situation.

    • Either fider, or raúl, ordered to have the wax doll dead before the country would plunge in this crisis, so they could maintain the “sacred incomparable martyr” lie, just like they did with che cochino guevara when fider sent him to Bolivia so the army could kill him there.

    • Comandante Beef Jerky’s popularity is on the rise. All chavistas are convinced of “With the comandante we could never fall this deep whatsoever” or “Maduro deceived us and tries to trample el legado”

      Half Oppo also thinks that. Even capriles who every other day tweets about it.

      I think only 30 percent of vz population realizes chavez was the lead architect of this disaster.

    • I’ve tried to ask a similar version of that question. All you get is a blank look. There seems to be a mindset that one man is responsible for all, regardless of whether it be success or failure. Doesn’t matter who is maduro`s replacement as long as you replace him then it`s off to the playa. A bit like how they (ie a LOT of Venezuelans) wanted Chavez. There’s not a lot of thinking in Venezuela I suppose. Not a lot of anything these days either.
      I suspect maduro will be the convenient scapegoat and then another revolutionary idiot will replace him. The macho frustration will have been exorcised and order restored.

    • No he did not. He got nothing which was apparent from the first day in China’s tweets and press releases. All they did was spin. The Ecuadorians and Costa Ricans did seal their deals. It’s very easy, it they had a deal, it would have been signed but when they meet with the Chinese heads of industries the day before and talk about pledges and projects, then you know they have nothing. As the days wore on and they met with the Chinese president, it became all too apparent that they had nothing. Padrino talking military was about old deals in the works, the amphibious landing vehicles and the space center and satellites. Nothing new under the sun just lots of smoke and mirrors.

  6. Something ugly is brewing in those long slow queues now dotting the landscape of so many Venezuelan cities, they are everywhere , long snakelike queues of retless angry people , murmuring , huddling , shouting, shoving . You can smell it in the air , something is about to give !! The police is a constant presence , the announcement of govt bigwigs that these queues are infiltrated by the Oppo which plans to use them to promote anti govt protests tells you that they expect some kind of explosion to happen at any time and they want to pin the blame for them in the oppos , not on the people who are tired and fatigued and hot and impatient waiting interminably in those queues often to be told that what they where waiting for is gone. This is going to make Maduro more cautious about what measures he announces for fear of triggering a street rebellion of some propportions . He was afraid of the consequences before , now he must be in full panic. !! Their fear is their worst enemy because it prevents them from doing what they have to do to at least attempt to cope with the coming cataclyism . The chinese have eyes and ears and are sharp witted in their assesments . They are probably quietly speaking to oppo people right now while making consoling noises to their gibbering ingratiating visitors .

    • That’s the best barometer one can have, to feel the pressure in the streets, shoulder by shoulder with the common man, hearing what they have to say.

      Here in my country I could feel very easily the moment in which the tables had turned, the moment in which we (the opposition) went from being an irrelevant minority to an organized side setting the political process pace.

      It starts on newspapers’ websites’ comments sections and things like that, youtube comments, facebook, twitter etc., then these internet users start talking with their close relatives about it, whom keep spreading the “gospel” even further, then the process keep ongoing nonstop, until one day you wake up and most of the country is in the same frequency as you do, repeating word by word everything you believe in. It’s contagious! But what is most peculiar about this is that’s 100% authentic, people join the cause because they see it’s meaningful, honest and true, for they see on a daily basis the problems the country is facing. They know there’s no lies involved. Thus, the masses feel inspired, hopeful and revived, and become preachers for the cause themselves. Fear vanishes because the urge to improve their lives is just too great. It’s just unstoppable. Venezuela tasted this last year and is about to taste it again.

      And even the most idiot Chavista knows that life is very bad right now, and that himself and his loved ones are in trouble and that their future might be seriously compromised, they see that the middle-class/rich folks find a way to escape the adversity by emigrating. But these useful idiots know that they would have a hard time even getting their visas to live in Europe or the US when the situation deteriorates even further. Despair starts growing in them because inside they are afraid of not having food to eat, they are more vulnerable than the sifrinos they hate. And they start to feel angry too.

      Maduro is definitely in trouble.

  7. Should we all the ones living here be in cataclismo mode then? The water is up to our neck. Even SICAD 2 is going up…54 or so… I think this might start outside Caracas, maybe Los Andes (the most screwed due to the poor distribution and distance from the main ports…. then the question will be….will Caracas follow on? And the rest of cities? Shit is going to hit the fan soon, IMHO.

  8. Some of videos of how long the lines for food are in Caracas are unbelievable. Literally miles.

    This is the last time the Food Minister answers questions from NTN24…:

      • It’s because lying in a convinging way requires a certain amount of brainpower, and that’s a muscle the marginales of Venezuela haven’t exercised in their whole lives, that’s where the expression “the rancho in the head” comes from, you might have a crapload of money and credit cards, but if your mindset is that of a marginal, you’ll still be a marginal.

        Yes, I’m twisting chvista nerves by saying “marginal” in the way they despise it the most.

    • dspur,

      If you are describing about high-raking officials as “poor”, you are deluded, these people are rich. Very rich.

      What they also are is incompetent, vulgar and inarticulate.

      “Fascists” are those who believe in a society totally controlled by the state. Usually fascist regimes organise people in militant groups (hence the name, from the italian “fasci”) dressed in shirts of the same colour.

      I would say people in power who really hate the poor are forcing them to queue for hours while singing “Chavez vive” and, above all else, are executing policies to keep them poor on purpose.

      • “Born a marginal, raised a marginal, they’ll be always marginales. Even with shittons of money.”

        Read the comment, Alejandro. You are a fascist.

        • Dspur is so dumb he can’t even read.

          That comment is mine.

          Being poor doesnt make you un marginal. That minister is un marginal regardless of the gazillions he has.

        • Hi dspur,

          I am not a fascist, I am not a gypsy. I am ,however, trying to explain to you what exactly is a fascist: this government. No need to look far.

          From the personality cult to the obsession with the colour red. Not original; fascism in Latinamerica has a long history. I would say Chavez was Peron with poorer taste for women.

          Anyway, relax, no need to insult people here. This is not a place to take out your anger and frustration.

          • “I am ,however, trying to explain to you what exactly is a fascist: this government”

            It’s sad how your reflex is to blame others when you have fascism a few pixels away. You don’t have a moral objection to fascism, obviously.

          • “Socialism, Fatherland or Death”
            Discuss what that is.
            By the way: read in any general encyclopedia the actual meaning of fascism.
            It is not “anything I dislike”

          • Alejandro, you are wasting your breath and demeaning yourself by descending to his level. Don’t feed the troll!

    • I always assume the opposite is true when anything official is announced.
      Thereagain the Chinese must have given something in order to prevent a Venezuelan default, the main creditor being the Chinese themselves.

    • The Chinese talk of ‘investments’ , investments are not ready money , they translate into long drawn out disbursements of money to pay mostly chinese construction and engineering firms and chinese manufacturers and suppliers over a long period for their share of project work abroad and in venezuela . Only a minority part of the investment takes the form of the hiring or purchase of Venezuelan labour or goods . If the investments are made to ongoing projects or oil projects they are really to allow the chinese companies to continue to get paid ( usually very handsomely) for the work they perform or the things they supply . Part of the money will be in showcase projects that are big on propaganda value ( education buildings) but dont involve the bringing of much money to Venezuela . If there is any financing it will be securitized through the payment of Pdvsa oil receivables or supplies and dole out only to the extent that the payment of past loans open a tranche for the regime to recieve new loans to replace those which have already been paid . Ultimately this may translate into the actual receipt of some 4 US$ by the Venezuelan govt coffers if at all. Maduros Highlighted reference to 20 billion US$ is meant to decieve people into thinking that he is talking about billions of fresh money for the govt , which most certainly is not the case. !!

      • My conjecture is that now Cabello will step in quickly and take control of everything. Maduro just needs to be denied landing rights in Venezuela to cancel him out. I said it here first.

        Maduro will live in Cuba under the watch of Raul. Cabello will use his military background and wear a beret to show he means business. Just watch.

  9. D: Hector St. Clare may not be Venezuelan, but I checked out his stuff in other places and he’s been a Christian Socialist for many years. Makes sense that he likes chavismo.

    • I guess you haven’t checked here much, then.

      All of Hector St. Clare’s comments contain phrases that advocate violence towards anyone that thinks different than him.

      I was not aware that this was one of the tenets of Christian Socialism.

      But it does make sense that he likes Chavismo, after all that cult does espouse violence towards those who do think differently than they do.

      • Robert, my intention wasn’t to portray Hector as chavismo’s poster boy as you’re pretending. He has views that are way too politically incorrect, even for me.


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