For Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

An Attorney General who watches as the Nation’s assets are squandered, and a Comptroller who honors nepotism while presiding over the Moral Branch, expressed their thoughts about Amazonas’s deputies. When the Attorney General speaks about the government’s disastrous administration, and the Comptroller fires his thirteen relatives from his institution, I’ll listen to their perspectives. But they were only the prelude for the press release issued by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice’s Electoral Chamber, declaring the National Assembly in contempt for reinstating Amazonas’ deputies, adding that, in case the contempt persists, they’ll take any actions necessary, without saying what those might be. But the political consequence was already announced by Diosdado Cabello this Monday and ratified by Nicolás this Tuesday: “I’ve requested the TSJ’s advice. I can’t assign funds to a non-existent and illegal National Assembly.”

The conflict between the TSJ and Parliament takes us to a tedious field with no arbiters and no way to solve it appropriately. Nicolás said that he has the cojones to face the lawmakers. It’s a shame he doesn’t use them against his own corrupt officials. The AN’s funds are Law. Nicolás has no authority to stop assigning them, but he spent a lot of time speaking about parliamentary golpismo and referred to himself as chief of the National Public Patrimony. He remarked that he requested the Assembly’s payroll to deposit its employees directly, since they don’t have to suffer the consequences of the malevolent opposition’s decisions; that’s why he requested the TSJ for advice, which is to say, he once again allies himself with the institution that already challenges the Assembly.

Radicalizing disaster

The same way that the PSUV’s legislators left the Assembly’s hemiciclo to avoid discussing Nicaragua’s coup -which they evidently support-, Nicolás continues to support his government’s worst criminals. So the terrible Gustavo González López leaves the Interior ministry -don’t worry, he’s now head of the SEBIN-, replaced by Néstor Reverol, whom the U.S. recently accused of drug trafficking. So far, it’s been Tareck El Aissami and Víctor Clark who have defended Reverol’s honor, but then Nicolás came up with the prize and quoted Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” to explain his musings about drug lords in North America, and how the U.S. indicts Reverol to make him pay for all of his achievements in this area, demanding him a greater impact, a stronger OLP, at maximum power. Nicolás has never appointed a civilian as Interior minister.

Miguel Pérez Abad is also out, and the new Industry and Commerce minister is Carlos Farías, who was previously vice-minister of Medium and Light Industries. Pérez Abad was minister for less than seven months, but additionally, Nicolás has appointed three vice-presidents for the economic area in that same period of time: Luis Salas, Pérez Abad and now Carlos Farías. It’s obvious that he removes any moderate attitude, that he’s getting more radical, that he’s not willing to apply exchange rate unification, to return expropriated companies even though they’re not producing, or approach the private sector, remarking that if la canalla (the opposition) ever praises him, it’s because he’s betrayed the revolution. He instructed the new minister to focus on the issue of supply and distribution. Once again, sowing and producing are secondary tasks.

“I fight in the field of peace,” said Nicolás before mimicking imaginary dialogues with those he calls traitors (Chávez’s former ministers who are critical of his administration); saying that some of them are envious of him but that he can’t be blamed for having been chosen by el finado. And so, he himself chose a known nepotist of his government, Ricardo Molina, a member of Parliament for Aragua until this Tuesday, who returns to the cabinet as Transportation and Public Works minister and vice-president for Territorial Socialism. In his absence, his seat is occupied by his temporary deputy: Roque Valero. Molina was head of the Housing ministry for five years and directly benefitted many of his relatives with the misión Vivienda Venezuela’s works.

Wasting resources

Nicolás is as bad at storytelling as he is at governing. This Tuesday’s cadena must have had a significant cost, considering all the equipment deployed in the recently reopened Junín theatre. He mentioned the taboo many times, speaking about children’s rights, while so many are dying due to malnutrition, lack of medicines and crime. But that’s not his area, his area’s propaganda and he has no problem in setting others to speak about how much he wastes in taking it to other fields. He gave the floor to Alberto Aranguibel (whose only reason to be there is that he’s been interviewed by CNN) to narrate his tour of several countries to explain “the truth about Venezuela”. But Jorge Rodríguez also repeated the same story about the recall referendum, trying to help Nicolás, who couldn’t read a single figure correctly, but reproduced Diosdado Cabello’s Monday speech word for word, including insults, closing with the phrase: “I don’t care about the words of John Kerry or a thousand John Kerry,” to defend the scope of his discretion and how he breaks relations with anyone who criticizes him.

The MUD formally requested the date for the signature collection of 20% voters. CNE’s rectora Socorro Hernández issued statements similar to those of Jorge Rodríguez, she nearly said that until the “fraud” is investigated, there can’t be a recall. Once again, Francisco Márquez’ and Gabriel San Miguel’s lawyers were prevented from entering the prison to verify their clients’ health condition, violating their rights. Lastly, many chavistas must be dreaming with the new list of those who might be subject of visa suspension, frozen assets and even federal investigations. If the prize is a ministry, you can imagine.

A wonderful detail: every artist who performed in the Junín theatre this Tuesday, dedicated their work to el finado. Some of them flirted a bit with Nicolás, but none of them made more than a brief mention. Their vehement expressions of love for the one who’s already gone, were like symbolic lepes against Nicolás, reminding him that he’s merely a poor substitute of the only leader that party ever had, reduced to television programs with staged audiences. Santiago Rojas, author of “La viuda millonaria,” excelled by writing a song called “Vuelve Comandante.” I conclude with the little I could transcribe as I listened to him sing, kneeling on stage, true to his performance.

“Digo de rodilla en tierra

ofreciendo mil plegarias

con tal Chávez resucite

rezaré mil veces diarias”.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Just something which is not too important, however, it supposes that unifying of “exchange rate(s)” somehow would help to put some order on the house, they might be a wrong assumption. If we consider that exchange rate is the price -nominal terms- by which we buy one dollar, or alternatively, is the price of one bolivar when we buy it using dollars, (power purchasing parity) we can conclude that the exchange rate system has already been unified, I think in the real world, since the remainder price of 10 Bs can not be found anywhere so we really have one price for the dollar, one price which somehow depreciates daily basis. I put it that way since media and “main street macroeconomics” decided to use Marcos Torres Minister of Finance’s -in the shadow- phrase of “unification’ for the first time in New York, September 2015, funding the rumour of an exchange rate unification; The Minister was meeting with bankers and brokers and funds at that time, which asked him what was going to be with exchange rate system. He was clever, from then, lots of opinadores use the word mechanically without putting much attention on the constructs sequence. Let’s continue, we know there is another price for one dollar, we do not know exactly which it is, indeed we do not know it if it is fixed or moves some way, I do not use the verb “floating” since the price control system (all prices including wages) are set up in a way that impedes to float. As the demand is larger than supply, as the system has been legally defined to be a government monopoly, that is, some kommissar would fix the system weekly, monthly, basis, moving them up. Merentes in the BCV uses different method, he has a “tablita” which keeps in his blazer’s pocket to fix the SIMADI price every day, why he might be using a tablita, because we do not see monitors, screens, every minute transactions, volumes purchased and sold, nothing like that in BCV or in others public and private banks, which gives us an idea what is really is going on inside the BCV regarding the price of one dollar in SIMADI/DICOM. By the way, Perez Abad substitution gives to Merentes a victory, from now on only he will know how much depreciates SIMADI daily. There is another price if we want to buy one dollar, a price which moves daily, accordingly with demand and supply and in some specifical places, Cucuta and Colombia, banks “mesas de dinero” as well in every company treasury. In particular, the border is long enough and very difficult to control it, for that is de facto “dollarized”, that is, if we’re to buy coffee in Cucuta will could use peso-dollar price to get an idea how many bolivares I am paying for coffee whose price in pesos was translated to dollars; however, as many cross borders used credit and debit cards issued in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, etc. and sent to heir relatives here in Venezuela to have some hard currency at hand because it is necessary to buy goods and medicines and pay clinics. Two weeks ago, nearly 250 thousand Venezuelans crossed borders Brasil Colombia to buy arepas inputs, they did not carry bolivares on this bags since it was a real danger, even though brokers in Cucuta could change them putting some risk premium on top, as theses bolivares should be washed immediately in order to get dollars, the median prices that weekend on the border was around 1280 Bs/$, about 200 Bs more than the parallel market. Media did not put a lot of attention to this, they are watching careful the parallel market see what really happens with it and find the reason what it is very quite for four months long.
    So unifying exchange rate is a misconception and works only imaginary, since parallel market which is the other prices, it does not an exchange rate for the very clearly reason that the transactions between Bs and $ in that parallel market occur offshore, and it is effective inside banks transactions, onshore, and offshore,

  2. Just something which is not too important, however, it supposes that unifying of “exchange rate(s)” somehow would help to put some order on the house, they might be a wrong assumption. If we consider that exchange rate is the price -nominal terms- by which we buy one dollar, or alternatively, is the price of one bolivar when we buy it using dollars, (power purchasing parity) we can conclude that the exchange rate system has already been unified, I think in the real world, since the remainder price of 10 Bs can not be found anywhere so we really have one price for the dollar, one price which somehow depreciates daily basis. I put it that way since media and “main street macroeconomics” decided to use Marcos Torres Minister of Finance’s -in the shadow- phrase of “unification’ for the first time in New York, September 2015, funding the rumour of an exchange rate unification; The Minister was meeting with bankers and brokers and funds at that time, which asked him what was going to be with exchange rate system. He was clever, from then, lots of opinadores use the word mechanically without putting much attention on the constructs sequence. Let’s continue, we know there is another price for one dollar, we do not know exactly which it is, indeed we do not know it if it is fixed or moves some way, I do not use the verb “floating” since the price control system (all prices including wages) are set up in a way that impedes to float. As the demand is larger than supply, as the system has been legally defined to be a government monopoly, that is, some kommissar would fix the system weekly, monthly, basis, moving them up. Merentes in the BCV uses different method, he has a “tablita” which keeps in his blazer’s pocket to fix the SIMADI price every day, why he might be using a tablita, because we do not see monitors, screens, every minute transactions, volumes purchased and sold, nothing like that in BCV or in others public and private banks, which gives us an idea what is really is going on inside the BCV regarding the price of one dollar in SIMADI/DICOM. By the way, Perez Abad substitution gives to Merentes a victory, from now on only he will know how much depreciates SIMADI daily. There is another price if we want to buy one dollar, a price which moves daily, accordingly with demand and supply and in some specifical places, Cucuta and Colombia, banks “mesas de dinero” as well in every company treasury. In particular, the border is long enough and very difficult to control it, for that is de facto “dollarized”, that is, if we’re to buy coffee in Cucuta will could use peso-dollar price to get an idea how many bolivares I am paying for coffee whose price in pesos was translated to dollars; however, as many cross borders used credit and debit cards issued in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, etc and sent to heir relatives here in Venezuela to have some hard currency at hand because it is necessary to buy goods and medicines and pay clinics. Two weeks ago, nearly 250 thousand Venezuelans crossed borders Brasil Colombia to buy arepas inputs, they did not carry bolivares on this bags since it was a real danger, even though brokers in Cucuta could change them putting some risk premium on top, as theses bolivares should be washed immediately in order to get dollars, the median prices that weekend on the border was around 1280 Bs/$, about 200 Bs more than the parallel market. Media did not put a lot of attention to this, they are watching careful the parallel market see what really happens with it and find the reason what it is very quite for four months long.
    So unifying exchange rate is a misconception and works only imaginary, since parallel market which is the other prices, it does not an exchange rate for the very clearly reason that the transactions between Bs and $ in that parallel market occur offshore, and it is effective inside banks transactions, onshore, and offshore,

    • “…the remainder price of 10 Bs can not be found anywhere..”

      For the regular Pedro Pérez aka “average Joe” it can’t be found, but for the highest sphere of command, it’s buy at 10, sell at 1000.

      “…unifying exchange rate is a misconception and works only imaginary…”

      ONLY inifying the rate won’t solve the problem completely, the other part that must be done is to finish the monopoly the regime has on the dollars.

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