Carraplana Chronicles

Seen but not heard...

The scale of Venezuela’s looming bankruptcy is…staggering.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the General Assembly that 15 countries including oil producer Venezuela are in arrears in paying their annual contribution to the U.N. regular budget, which means they can’t vote in the 193-member world body unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Ban’s letter dated Monday and circulated Friday also included Iran, another major oil producer, which was under U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program until last Saturday, when they were lifted. But Assembly spokesman Daniel Thomas said Friday that Iran “just paid,” so it can now vote.

The loss of voting rights in the General Assembly is perhaps most embarrassing for Venezuela, which is currently a member of the Security Council and will hold its rotating presidency next month. Being in arrears does not affect its voting right in the council, but being on the list can be seen as a loss of status at the U.N.

It’s a real crisis. Maria Gabriela might actually need to take a break from shopping on Madison Avenue to deal with this one.

More and more, Venezuela-watching becomes an exercise in rubber-necking.


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  1. I have a question: we all know that to make ends-meet, one has to reduce fiscal spending. Bringing down the number of public employees and superfluous workers in industries like PDVA , Sidor, Carbonorca, etc will accomplish this. Where would almost 2.5 million people at the service of the State find employment?

        • Serious answer? The state will probably need to start some New Deal type jobs programs, building/repairing roads and other infrastructure.

          • Thank you, Roy. For that, serious money is needed. How do they get that type of money without borrowing it? What or who is willing to lend that type of money without laying down the usual terms of tightening the belt(and we all know what that means)?
            I am for all that the new AN is doing but I cannot help wondering, even if the manage to unseat the present government, how would they cope with the aftermath? I am not totally convinced that the country understand the sacrifices it needs to make to get it up to its feet again.

          • I also don’t think that most people (even on this blog) understand how long and hard the road to recovery is going to be for Venezuelans. My guess is that it will take twenty years before average real wages get back to 1998 levels. But, it can be done, and there are plenty of successful examples and models for how to go about doing it. Obviously, this will require significant outside investment and that will require making the structural changes in the laws and institutions needed to attract that investment.

            The first and immediate challenge is to put the new plans in place without too many people to starving to death before they start to have a positive impact on domestic food production.

            The second challenge is convince Venezuelans to stick with the program instead of falling back on populist short-cuts.

        • Macri is solving this issue by attracting private multinationals to invest and create jobs in Argentina. But the Chavistas are more concerned with making their silly Reich last for 1000 years while the people suffer.

          • One advantage Argentina has is that with its abundant agricultural production, Argentines will be able to eat, even it they can’t have their desired half kilo of beef per person per day. The prospect of starvation is not an impossibility for import-dependent Venezuela.

          • “The prospect of starvation is not an impossibility for import-dependent Venezuela”

            What should make us wonder how dishonest FAO and its infamous activists disguised as respectful nonpartisan workers can possibly be after they have been giving awards and an infinite amount of undeserved praise for the Venezuelan Government for several consecutive years (the last award being given as late as 2015, mind you, when not even radical marxists could still defend the regime without having a drink first), ignoring the farms/supermarket expropriations and price controls impact, the people waiting in lines for hours, the consequences of oil price decline and rampant inflation; all suggesting a very likely road to total economic collapse in the near future with unpredictable consequences food security-wise, at the same time that they focused their attention on the pathetic “agricultura comunal” and congratulated it saying it was an idea to be repeated around the world to fight hunger, FAO will have a lot to explain. Well, a lot to explain if we consider that there’s still some vestiges of integrity and sanity left in this world, what is a total shot in the dark these days.

    • Some percentage of those people could probably (eventually) find work in the same field they are in when the private sector resurrects. But it will wake some time.

  2. In a nutshell there are four challenges for the Oppo :
    1. Getting the bastards out .
    2 Figuring out HOW to rescue this ruined country and get it back on its feet , not an easy thing to do !!
    3. Efecting the rescue in terms that allow the country a better future
    4. Doing so in a way that s both effecive long term and doesnt rile the population so much that they will want to bring the bastards back in !!.

    You cant start the rescue unless item 1 is settled , so thats the priority , meantime some planning has to be started to develop possible lines of attack to get the country back to a more normal sattisfactory shape.

    • BB,

      I would expect the planning for the recovery is mostly already done, subject to various different scenarios depending on the timing of when the change of government occurs and the actual economic and social situation at the time of the change. The opposition is more organized than it would appear from the outside and they are surely receiving technical assistance from outside sources. This is not the first country that has needed such assistance. The outside world has a significant interest in Venezuela’s recovery and is doing what they can without creating any appearance of external “interference”.

      • I also suspect that much of the planning is in place , waiting for the appropriate scenario to begin its implementation , my fear is that even where you have a good plan the uncertainties and difficulties are such that some part of its will fail requiring adjustments and changes that will tax the patience of people and even then not ensure a total success . We must face the fact that there are challenges so great and complex that one cant ever be certain of meeting them in a wholly satisfactory manner , so some degree of inevitable disenchantment is to be expected. The management of expectation is going to be important and the maturity to recognize that sometimes perfect answers to daunting problems don’t exist…..only important improvements over existing conditions and no more…….!! We must control our craving for utopian results …and be content with a gradual but measurable advance in our situation.

  3. The country recovery must start up bringing back trust and confidence..values remarkedly lost during the last 18 years. Bringing back all the expropiated goods,media, process and manufacture plants, power plants, land, will show a new country and a real commintment to restore the right path to development and sustainability.
    If the country not do so…nobody will put a cent…a second of thinking time into the actual disgraced structure.
    Of course no reminiscences of chavismo could be disturbing tje process…obviously Maduro and all his team has to go out of their seats.
    That is the real change scenery requiered to re start the country.

  4. Privatization of many now state controlled business is certainly part of the package , the restoration of confidence also very important but the plan itself has to go far beyond that , but this is still to broad vague and general , it can be done different ways and some will prove more practical and effective than others , the devil is in the details. My fear is that as usual we venezuelans are great at spouting great sounding generalities but are indifferent to dealing practically and deeply with the many difficult details that have to be sorted out to try and accomplish anything ….. For example there is the subject of how to deal with the great number of people who cant be left to starve and yet may have little to contribute to a sanely managed economy , the question of subsidies , the temptation to allow clientelism and populism to dominate the political thinking …etc…..

  5. how much do they owe? US $3 million? What happens when Venezuela takes the Security Council presidency next week? Do they get to vote? Will Rafael Ramirez return to Venezuela? Will RR cut a deal with US authorities? Maria Gabriela lives in the same building as RR and is under his wing. Eva Golinger.was doing public relations legal work for Maria Gabriela….

  6. What pisses me off the most about this is that we warned it since something like 2005. Chavez, of course, had his way. He kicked us so hard, so bad and so often that people stopped believing the warnings. Last year, everyone agreed that this country was a lost cause. The reds would have it forever and the moral bankrupcy couldn’t, ever, be fixed. Our hope was based on the variable of the DEA hunting or not a guy. Now we have hope (which is a lot to say), in an scenario where everything we warned about came true. The economic crisis, the crime and the loss of liberties was a slow burn, but surely it got here. And it all could be avoided.
    But Chavez had his way.

  7. […] In its own unorthodox and uncoordinated way, the government is showing it gets it that there’s no money anymore and painful decisions can no longer be delayed. Caracas Chronicles readers know you can see that in everything from delays in paying Pastor Maldonado’s F1 sponsorship money and even Pablo Montoya’s $100,000 Premio Romulo Gallegos to delays in paying Uruguayan agro-exporters and even Venezuela’s UN dues. […]

  8. […] もう金はなく、痛みを伴う決断をこれ以上先送りにはできないと政府が理解していることを、彼ら独特の非論理的でぎこちないやり方で、政府は示している。パストール・マルドナドのF1後援資金の支払いが遅れ、ロムロ・ガジェゴス賞の受賞者パブロ・モントーヤに対する賞金10万ドルの支払いすら遅れ、さらにはウルグアイの農作物の輸出業者に対する支払いから国連の分担金の支払いまで遅れているのを見れば、カラカスクロニクルの読者ならすぐに分かるだろう。 […]


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