Quico and Dorothy embarrass the government

"The peoples" deserve better
“The peoples” deserve better

Yesterday, to commemorate “Chávez Day,” the government spent countless dollars on ads in several of the world’s newspapers. The version that came out in Canada’s The Globe and Mail contained the typo “the peoples” in its main title, a huge embarassment for the government.

As if to put salt on the PR wound, today our founder Quico Toro and friend-of-the-blog Dorothy Kronick publish a scathing op-ed in the New York Times. In it, they masterfully explain the insanity that is chavista exchange-rate policy making, by using a simple parable of a nutty king:

“In a faraway land, an eccentric king nailed an edict to the door of his palace that said: “Henceforth, $20 bills will be sold here for $1.”

Within minutes, his subjects were clamoring for those cut-rate twenties. So the king posted a second edict: “Each $20 bill shall be used only to buy things abroad.” Then a third: “Whatever you buy abroad with your $20 you must sell in our kingdom for $2.”

“This will make me beloved!” he thought. “Foreign goods will be cheap for all.”

But it didn’t work out that way. Soon, the lines for $20 bills were matched by lines at every store that sold foreign goods.

Since nobody saw much point in buying anything abroad to sell for just $2, people mostly pocketed the twenties and the imports never showed up on store shelves. And if any item did hit the shelves, whether it was a $2 box of diapers or a $2 sack of flour, it could be sold for $6 on the black market — so standing in line at the shops became a job.

The king was incensed. A new edict appeared: “Pocketing your twenty and marking up a $2 import are henceforth economic crimes, punishable by imprisonment.”

Riot police officers roamed the queues sniffing out dissent; subjects were recruited as spies. “It must be a conspiracy! A foreign plot to overthrow the monarchy,” raged the king.

If this fable strikes you as far-fetched, spare a thought for the people of Venezuela. For 12 years, their economy has been run pretty much along these lines.”

Great job, guys.

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  1. Interesting ad-marketing by the regime: Canada and Italy. These two countries contribute the bulk of low-budget tourists, now going to Cuba, earlier to Margarita Island. Long ago, Canada and Italy were the two principal targets in a marketing strategy written up by a (Cuban-American) resort developer, for his planned resort in Margarita (c. early 1990s), one that eventually did not go beyond the pre-feasibility studies.

    • They published an ad in the New York Times that also had multiple grammar and wording errors. These newspapers aren’t stupid. They know that if they tried to correct the errors, these morons would accuse them of being “fascists” or “golpistas” that were trying to distort their “truth” and refuse to purchase the ad. After all, if somebody insists on behaving like an idiot or a lunatic while paying you lots of money, why bother trying to help them? Why not just take their money and laugh all the way to the bank? Much like the companies in Trinidad, which I’m sure will be more than glad to give Nicolas $50 worth of toilet paper in exchange for $100 worth of oil.

      • Before Maduro’s visit to the UN, they had a half page ad in the Washington Post that was full of grammar and wording errors as well. (It was probably the same one they put in the Times) Not only was it full of errors, it talked about supporting Puerto Rico’s fight against colonialism. (Recent polls show less than 7% of Puerto Ricans want independence).

        These people truly are clowns. It’s almost inconceivable.

    • “…how much would cost to hire an intern that spoke english?”

      I guess Eve Longoria Golinger is no longer on the payroll. Though ivy-league trained, well, not her law school, and though her writing isn’t all that great, at least she could have proofread the obvious mistakes.

    • They could even go for unpaid internships if they want to make sure they have enough dollars to pay for all those ads.

    • Not that I enjoy Eva Gollinger’s writing, but since she’s already on the payroll, how hard would it be to get her to proofread these things? I mean, you get her to edit the english version of correo del orinoco, read by maybe 10 people, but not to glance what the publish in the newspapers people actually read…

    • Fun Story. While working in a Government Institution I was one of the few that spoke and wrote English in my department (I dare say in the whole institution). We had to translate a presentation for some wonderful folks from Iran (lovely people, did not want Women during their meetings). Anyways, I did the translation and forgot about it. A few weeks later, they ask me to print the presentation so every attendee can have a copy. When I start reading it, some IDIOT in the INTERNATIONAL DEPARTMENT had changed my translation and it was a frigging mess, they ran it through Google Translate or something like that. I was furious.

      • Yes, I’ve seen that happen, Audrey. And I’m not talking chavistas. Seems like anyone who’s been to Disneyworld thinks there’s nothing they don’t know about the English language. So they strut “their stuff”, changing already well-translated works, to their delusional knowledge base, and in the process, contribute to a totally amateurish-looking document, more than just one or two syntax errors. Sigh.

  2. ‘for the peoples’ has a weird sound to it , nobody speaks that way , makes the message even more artificial , should have used one of their highly paid washington lobbyist to help with the drafting , make it more colloquial.

    Francisco and Dorothy’s spoof is splendid. !!

    • Re. ‘weird’ quite right though I’d hesitate to call it a typo as claimed – I took it as an unwieldy transmogrification of ‘de los pueblos’ – or blame the Venezuelan government’s slipshod syntax; the Canadian newspaper knows what it’s printing and could readily have observed, “Look chicos, this is a load of rubbish” and set them straight, surely?

        • “People” is the excepted plural form of the word “person”. The only sense in which I could see “peoples” used would be if you were referring to multiple groups of persons. And even it that sense, it sounds archaic and awkward.

        • Every time I hear the word “peoples” when not used in collective form….I cannot help but be reminded of an old (an not terribly PC, in this day and age) movie, “Zorro the Gay Blade”.

          Don Diego: The peoples are quite happy working the land for the caballeros!
          Charlotte Taylor Wilson: You don’t really believe the people are happy!
          Don Diego: All I know is the soldiers are very happy shooting the peoples who say the peoples are not happy.

  3. The Op-Ed is just outstanding, a superbly effective way to deconstruct the insane chavista economic policy for the non-specialized reader. We are very proud of you guys. Kudos.

  4. 50+ years of Cuba/NK/other communiques, and the gusanos still don’t know that the misspellings and the appearance of low-education is on purpose. You people are so concerned with gipsy impasses that you can’t think of other possibilities.

    I mean, what the fuck is this?

    “So why doesn’t Mr. Maduro take action? Maybe because those people pocketing twenties are friends of the government. Or because the Maduro administration just doesn’t understand the economic consequences of walking back its earlier mistakes (shockingly, there’s not a single economist in Venezuela’s cabinet). In any case, it’s not happening.”

    • You mean, your “gipsy” misspelling is on purpose? And, yes, Maduro is mega-stupid, but there are a few around him that do understand the economic consequences of walking back their earlier mistakes–that’s why they wont do it, and would rather risk going down in flames (a new Allende-like legend). To paraphrase a recent political cartoon, the “good ship” Venezuela-Titanic is nose-down half-sunk, with Captain Maduro/assorted Red radicals/few top brass stupid military on deck looking on, as Raul Castro, dressed as a woman (priority seating), gets into one of the few remaining lifeboats (with USA printed on its side) and yells to them, “Full Speed Ahead!”.

      • The good ship Venezuela-Titanic was brilliantly aided by the churning of propaganda (in a NYC office, no less!), endearing misspellings to handcraft an authentic ring (yeah, sure), gullible foreign press, and drum-banging trolls who never measured up in school, nor gained a sense of direction other than what the “revolution” could provide.

      • “…that’s why they wont do it, and would rather risk going down in flames (a new Allende-like legend)…”

        I guess it has to do more with the kleptomaniac malandro lambucio nature of all the high heads in the regime, they prefer to starve and kill every venezuelan that complains rather than taking any measure that would mean any reduction of their ill-gotten earnings and profits.

        chaburros think that they are entilted to steal and take away everything that they want because almost all of them are choros or have that mindset, so they see others as just stepping stones for getting the most gain in the shortest time with the minimal amount of work.

        The legend thingie, well, the wax doll was killed in the island in december of 2012, and inmediately used as a surfing table to keep the kleptocracy in power.

  5. ¡Uufffff! ¡Ese gancho al hígado no fué conmigo y me dolió! ¡Hahahahahahaa!
    Trolls histéricos llegando a berrear en 3, 2, 1…

    Uurrgghh! That uppercut to the liver wasn’t for me and it hurt! Hahahahahaa!
    Hysterical trolls coming to whine in 3, 2, 1…

    • Evidently, you’ve learned nothing. You ought to follow the advice from the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Volunteers, and stick to social issues in the evil empires.

      Hey how’s that egalitarian schtick from the regime workin’ for you these days?

      Answer to hysterical trollettes in 3 … 2… 1.

    • So a letter aimed at black soldiers (mostly conscripts) in 1950 is analogous to a full page ad put in the New York Times in 2015?

      Seriously, why would the Venezuelan regime put an ad with grammar and spelling errors in the NY Times or a similar periodical? Enlighten me.

    • BTW, there are no errors in that letter. It’s written in a casual style, conversational style, but the english is fine.

      So…what are you talking about? Do you have another example that actually supports what you seem to be arguing?

      • Riiiight.

        Well, here’s MLK on the Korean war:

        “Beyond the tragedy at the front, at home the young people are torn with confusions, which tend to explain most of the extremes of their conduct. This generation has never known a severe economic crisis. But it has known something far worse. It is the first generation in American history to experience four wars in twenty-five years, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, and the war in Vietnam. It is a generation of wars. It shows the scars in widespread drug consumption, alienation, and the feverish pursuit of sensual pleasures. Yet we can not call this generation of the young the ‘Lost Generation.’ We are the ‘Lost Generation’ because it is we who failed to give them the peaceful society they were promised as the American Heritage. [Applause]

        And finally the whole nation is living in a triple ring of isolation and alienation. The government is isolated from the majority of the people who want either withdrawal, de-escalation, or honest negotiation. Not what they now given, steady intensification of the conflict. In addition to the isolation of the government from its people there is our national isolation in the world. We are without a single significant international ally. Every major nation has avoided active involvement on our side. We are more alone than we have been since the founding of the Republic. Lastly, and more ironically, we are isolated from the very people whom we profess to support, the South Vietnamese. In their elections the pro-war forces received less than 1/3 of the vote. In the countryside most of the area of South Vietnam is in the hand of the Vietcong. And the army of South Vietnam has so reduced its role in the fighting it may shortly become the first pacifist army on the warfront. [Laughter – Applause] ”


          • Actually, dspur, MLK is talking about the other time American soldiers went to an Asian country to kill and rape their peoples.

          • So reading comprehension problems. That explains a lot.

            He’s talking about Vietnam: “Lastly, and more ironically, we are isolated from the very people whom we profess to support, the South Vietnamese.”


          • Well so much for “Why would that embaras you? It’s your second language, man, it’s expected.”

      • LMAO How can I like and give thumbs up to these comments?? xDDD

        Bueno, yo no usaría “mamagüevo”, más bien le diría el eufemismo que significa lo mismo, que es un “vivo”, jejejeje, hay que mantener la clase y seguir sosteniendo el monóculo, Sr. Toro 😛

  6. Every time an overcompensating pityyanqui goes all out with a grammar/spelling piece, they play into the game. You people are dispensable.

    • “dispensable”? The same as the bigmouth serra who was poked a thousand times? Was he dispensable too?

      Careful with what you say, dude, the internet never forgets and we know how to use Google.

      • This is funny considering you live in Venezuela. Other pitiyanquis are smart enough to leave before they start running their mouths.

      • Ay chiamo, este se esta convirtiendo en Hector 2.0… How much longer till he starts threatening us with putting us in labor camps?

        • Wow. Here’s a child threatening me with what happened to murdered-congressman Robert Serra, and you still manage to play the victim card.

        • I bet he’s this close from daydreaming with taliban-style checkpoints, where a group of glorious PNBs will stop every vehicle and ask every passenger if they are with the revolution, the punishment for saying no is just a bullet in the head, after all, they’re quite good at that, killing helpless people.

          • “taliban-style checkpoints”

            The indoctrination on this kid is something else.

            Bush 2002’s campaign all over again.

          • The brainwashing is strong in you, now pulling the “2002 card”.

            When you come and bark “11 de abril”, you lose the game.

    • Yes, because blogs, social media, comment boards and other forms of discourse existed to mock Fidel, Che and North Korea 50 years ago….Way to go, Al Gore, at undermining your own arguments.

      As a pitiyanqui, I don’t mind misspellings or poor syntax from someone who speaks English as a second language.

      Given the breadth and readership of the NYTimes and the Maduro regime’s almost pathological need for legitimacy and projection of power on the world stage post-Chavez (particularly given their recent humiliations regarding OPEP and obtaining funds from their creditors in China and Russia), this doesn’t exactly help their cause. Do you think a large portion of their bond holders and underwriters read the NYTimes? Or do they watch Telesur instead?

      It is nice of you to admit that they take direction from Cuba, however. And I can see regime-apologists, such as yourself, trying to spin it as “We meant to do that!”

      Oh, and for what its worth…..for you, we pitiyanquis are indispensable.

  7. Y seguimos dandole tela para cortar a loco ‘e pueblo………

    Aunque creo que Syd tiene razon, creo que es mujer.

    Asi que la bautizaremos “Maria Antonia”, en homenaje a Gualberto Ibarreto.

    Sigue barriendo con Papermate, dspur!

  8. Tens of thousands of Canadian peoples who read the print edition of the Globe and Mail just had it confirmed to them that Venezuela has become a classic, old-style banana republic.

  9. To anyone here who actually believes that the spelling and grammar mistakes are part of some strategy on their part, please stop giving them that much credit. They really are that stupid. I should remind you that this is a government led by an individual that said that Christ multiplied penises and Chavez talks to him in the form of a bird.

    • Refer to my above comment re Plurinational Bolivia. In Bolivia, “peoples” is deliberate. Pueblo/people Aymara, Quechua, Amazona, etc. Even Pueblo Espanol?

    • I thought most of the time that the language butchering was just a tool to help to convey the illusion of “barrio macho malandro men” stereotype that seems to be so loved among many venezuelans.

      The “penis multiplication” and the bird thing could be actually be done on purpose, the first to cover the actually important issues, like the ol’ good Chigüire stated here -> http://www.elchiguirebipolar.net/28-08-2013/oposicion-pene-pide-pene-que-pene-no-pene-se-pene-ignoren-pene-los-pene-temas-pene-importantes/ ; and the second one to reinforce the myth of invencibility and immortality that makes one of the cornerstones of chaburrismo.

      Other ones might be just to troll us, like when he said “millonas” and then started giggling and then everybody else started laughing too, because this people manage stuff like a 80s cartoon villain, where all the minions compete to be the best butt kisser.

      • Don’t worry. We know it was an intentional ploy on your part to misdirect the Cubans, North Koreans and other gusanos that might think some people were, you know, smrt.

      • Why would that embaras you? It’s your second language, man, it’s expected. Unless you’re invested in strange things like the “upheaval of American values”, to quote one of your articles, even though you’re from fucking Zulia. Lol

        • The difference is he admitted his mistake and corrected it immediately. That’s what grownups do. He did not try to make excuses, or argue that it wasn’t a mistake, or argue that it doesn’t really matter anyway. That is what children do.

          • Most childish: “argue” that the “mistake” was actually intentional and that you’re stupid if you don’t notice it—it’s all an elaborate ruse and you’ve been falling for it for 15 years.

            “HA HA! You idiots keep on laughing at me while I shit my pants! You’ll never know I do this on purpose to make you underestimate me and waste time laughing as I run around the room smearing the floor with my own feces! Laugh now, idiots, you’ll have to deal with the stench later on! Guess who’ll have to clean it? NOT ME! HA HA!” — drpus

  10. The ad also came out in Norway, in Klassekampen (The Class battle), the most left-leaning newspaper in the country.

    • I can understand the regime choosing a liberal newspaper to present its wares and aim for new converts, but isn’t the selection of the most left-leaning paper a waste of funds? After all, the regime is preaching to the converted. Unless the regime is desperate to keep afloat the sinking ship, and avoid the rats slipping off.

      • I suppose it must have gone like this: “Norwegians are really rich, so even average lefties with a lot of utopia in their head have some spare crowns…it’s better to address them and wait for them to show up at our embassy in Oslo than write to a broad newspaper in the USA”

  11. There were no paid conmmemorative adverts published on the international press to remind us of the 2nd anniversary of the passing of Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela ( two really admired world class figures) . why should there be one about the passing of Chavez , someone which reputation is now that of a laughable loud mouth narcicistic buffoon . That the regime has published these badly written adverts is a sign of their puerile pathetic misreading of how the world views their defunct idol . If he is remembered at all its because of the tragic legacy he left behind , Venezuela , a once prosperous and free country reduced to shambles, to the condition of a half putrid banana republic .!! with people making interminable queues to buy toilet paper and other basic necessities , of record breaking homicide indexes , of run away inflation , of shut down newspapers ., of murdered imprisoned and persecuted disidents . !!

  12. I understand “peoples” is of common usage in Canada; I’ve heard it often when referring to the first nations that populated that territory (first peoples).

  13. Remember BB, we come from a culture where obits are paid adverts that compete for space in Section B, back pages.

    I’m really starting to believe that the Castros have told Maduro to become the “bad boy” so they can assume a more moderate posture vis a vis the US

  14. The use of peoples is fine. The usage does denote, however, that the associated assertions apply to all the peoples of the world. This grandiosity is a regular fixture of Chavista proclamations to the international community. The press agent in charge of these is clearly tone deaf to the perspective of the international community at large. If the intern in our screwed up mail room sent out an email proclaiming that he holds the secret to our future corporate success and should be put vested with supreme executive power forthwith his email would engender a similar reaction from us as the international community’s reactions to these Chavista cult proclamations-bemusement combined with some concern regarding his mental stability .

    Oh, also, a typo on a blog post is a minor faux pas. Making an entirely new post to correct it is an affectation. While a typo may, in some infinitesimal way, contribute to degradation of the language and downfall of western civilization. I say: let the dice fly high. MHO.

  15. The use of “peoples” is not wrong, but it is not in any way idiomatic. “Presence for the peoples” is just wrong. The word “for” looks like a direct translation from Spanish, an actual English-speaker would say something like: “He is eternally present among us.”

    It makes them look pretty much like morons.

    • Awkward, anachronistic, and a bit moronic, but not explicitly wrong. Charitably, eternal presence for the peoples equates to: eternal voice for the peoples, eternal advocate for the peoples, etc.

  16. The only use of “peoples” I think is valid is when you are refering to different nations, ethnicities, races, etc.

    Is the difference between “yo soy el pueblo” y “los pueblos de Lationamerica”.

    But unless they think the deceased is going to be an eternal presence for everybody from the Inuit to the Patagonian and the Tuaregs to the Maoris…

    … hell, they do, right?

    • “Our Chávez, who art in Heaven, in earth, in the sea and in us the delegates, Hallowed be Thy name, Thy legacy come to us to take to the people … gives us today your light so that it guides us all days and lead us not into the temptation of capitalism, deliver us from evil, oligarchy and the crime of smuggling, for centuries of centuries. Amen.”

      • You forgot the biggest piece of butt kissing in that heresy:
        “Thou who sits besides GOD… given…”
        Heh, they have soles below the neck.

    • ditto. This fable technique is brilliant, one even the intellectually challenged can understand though they may kick up a storm in these comment sections.

  17. You explain the problem so well that, even for someone who for years has been following these events, I am even more disgusted now by the way Venezuela’s economy has been hijacked by the government for the benefit of a ruling clique and at the expense of those they purport to serve.


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