It is a truth universally acknowledged that writers are never very happy with the headlines editors run over their articles. But every rule has its exceptions, and I think this is really quite apt. A taste:

For Mr. Chávez, this [putting the revocatorio article in the constitution] was partly a way to justify his role in history. In 1992, he had led a failed coup attempt against the democratically elected government of the day. It was a shabby affair: A few dozen troops machine-gunned the presidential palace in Caracas, the capital, while the president slipped out a side door and Mr. Chávez himself struggled to coordinate the revolt from the military museum nearby. The coup failed, but it propelled its leader to media stardom and eventually to the presidency.

Later, Mr. Chávez would argue that his revolt had been legitimate because Venezuela’s Constitution at the time contained no provision for getting rid of a catastrophically underperforming president.

“The Venezuela of ‘92 was so different from today’s Venezuela,” he said in a 2000 television interview. “Back then, all exits were blocked, totally blocked.”

Good clean fun.

54 COMMENTS

  1. I guess you nailed one reason why there are anti anti Chavistas who will never support the opposition, in spite of the mismanagement and failures of the present government, and that’s the Punto Fijo roots of the opposition.

    The corrupt old regime especially after the Caracazo was a democracy for the elites, a divvying up of the spoils, sitting atop violence, repression and disappearances.

    Your National Assembly leader, despised by his paymasters at the US Embassy in Caracas is the perfect mascot for this cause.

    Dear God please help Venezuela, caught between a rock and a hard place just as Americans also need Your intervention in the “Democratic Election” of 2016.

    • Yeah, how could they *possibly* support people associated with a regime that introduced universal free public education through university level, nationalized oil, mandated profit-sharing by law, introduced universal free health care provision, created the Instituto Venezolano del Seguro Social, subsidized low income housing, mandated paid maternity leave, mandated severance payments, mandated vacation pay…peace with the neoliberals? NEVER!!

      • No comment about the Caracazo, mass shootings of poor protesters or Punto Fijo, with its formalizing of a “one party with two wings” “democracy” or AD’s relationship with the US embassy. What a surprise!

        But just what the hell is the opposition’s plan? What are your differences with the government on the external debt? What do you propose to do about the $100,000,000,000’s skimmed through the multi tiered currency exchange rates and other forms of theft exemplified by Derwick and held outside of Venezuela?

        While I don’t personally have a position on the major mining proposal for the southern region I haven’t noticed an opposition position on it. It’s forgiveable for an individual who doesn’t live in Venezuela and has no expertise, but for a coalition that’s proposing to lead the country it isn’t.

        About Democracy – Marrea Socialista was denied the status of a legal electoral party and so could not participate in the National Assembly election last December. I am not an advocate for them but I appreciate their attention to the missing dollars. Maybe I missed what you or MUD had to say about any of that.

        From what I gather CLAP is indeed reaching people who are in need. I know people whose margin of staying alive is the CLAP food bag. I hope CLAP expands and improves and that efforts it’s making in food production increase and succeed.. What would you or MUD do right now in Venezuela to address the issue of hunger?

        • “But just what the hell is the opposition’s plan? ”

          Dismantle all the stupid genocide madness that chavismo has defecated upon Venezuela, for starters.

        • Major mining proposal? You mean the tentative settlement of a massive judgment that the regime can’t pay on threat of putting it into default?

          I know you are trying to be scrupulously neutral in your assessment of the pluses and minuses of a corrupt and repressive dictatorship, but unless there is something I’ve missed, calling this a major mining proposal is like….I don’t know…calling the Exxon Valdez settlement a major environmental proposal….

          • I know that there is opposition to the plan, which involves a lot more than the gold judgement. Opponents claims hat the plan violates the Constitution and can be stopped. They make claims on environmental grounds and say that indigenous rights are being violated.

            I’d imagine that it a substantial part of the hundreds of billions of embezzled dollars that have been removed from Venezuela could be repatriated the judgement could be paid without undertaking this immerse project. If the claims being made about the risks involved in the project are true it should be shelved and perhaps revised.

            Personally I don’t oppose the idea of Venezuela exploiting its great mineral resources. Of course there’s also the fact that illegal mining is going on anyway and Venezuela isn’t benefitting from it.

          • “Personally I don’t oppose the idea of Venezuela exploiting its great mineral resources.”

            It can’t be done when it involves drying the Caroní river on purpose to keep mining in its bed, thus flinging the country in the abhorrent blackout treatment it’s been subjected from years to today.

        • Eugene

          Well, for starters the MUD would allow the aid that has been and is being offered to enter the country and be distributed to those suffering and dying from lack of basic medicines.

          People are literally dying every single day from illness easily treatable in the modern world, and many others are suffering and living in fear of falling ill, due to the lack of almost any kind of medicine. Meanwhile, the regime refuses all aid and blocks all aid, including medicines and foodstuffs. It’s criminal, truly.

          Yet you sit here and talk about CLAPs efforts in “making food production” increase? And how it is successful? What a sad, unfunny, pathetic joke you are. I hope you can enjoy your leisurely morning commenting on blogs and articles without having to worry about skinny, humiliated, depressed, and scared relatives suffering in Venezuela under this regime (which you now claim not to have really been an advocate for).

    • Eugene, my old Chavista friend, how have you been doing since the days of Oil Wars? Not a peep from this gang for a long long time now.

      • I never described myself as a Chavista, but did defend the positive side of Chavez. I blog sometimes about Venezuela at https//Venezuela USA.blogspot.com.

        I hope life’s been treating you well.

        • “… positive side of Chavez.”

          Which positive side?

          Oh, yeah, nothing at all, because every single thing the corpse did was worse for Venezuela than anything done before.

          Barking the nonsense that “shiabbe was good” isn’t going to change the reality, he was a dictator, and UNFORTUNATELY he kicked the bucket BEFORE the fall of oil prices so he had to endure and be crushed under the sewage-alanche that would fall upon him later.

          • There must be a reason why Chavez won vote after vote and why millions of Venezuelans identify with Chavez. Also it is not unusual for governing parties to lose midterm elections.

        • I never described myself as a Chavista, but did defend the positive side of Chavez….There must be a reason why Chavez won vote after vote and why millions of Venezuelans identify with Chavez.

          By all measures Chavez was an astute politician who was very good at acquiring, maintaining and increasing power- which also involved winning elections. His winning of elections was aided by having hundreds of billions of oil revenue to throw around. The question is, aside from acquiring power and winning elections, what did Chavez accomplish with the hundreds of billions of oil revenue he threw around?

          I refer you to my comments at the Devil’s Excrement: Killer Facts About Chavismo In 140 Characters. As these comments are nearly two years old, they may be out of date. On the other hand, being nearly two years old, the data reflects conditions in Venezuela before the precipitous fall in the price of oil in 2014. Sources are in the comments.

          GNI per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $)1998-2012 increase
          Latin America 28%
          Venezuela 13%

          1998 :Venezuela 6th in Infant Mortality in Latin America & Caribbean
          2013 Venezuela 8th in Infant Mortality in Latin America & Caribbean

          Death rate associated with Tuberculosis
          1998 Venezuela 9th in Latin America & Caribbean
          2012 Venezuela 12th in Latin America & Caribbean

          Total expenditure on health as a percentage of gross domestic product
          1998 Venezuela 20th in Latin America & Caribbean
          2007 Venezuela 15th in Latin America & Caribbean
          2012 Venezuela 25th in Latin America & Caribbean

          Housing Units constructed per year per 100,000 population
          1979-1998 346
          1999-2012 200 [using pop average 1999-2012]
          1999-2012 201 [using pop average 1999-2011]

          To which I would add:

          Last I checked, Venezuela is now 7th in Infant Mortality in Latin America & Caribbean [excluding high income.].

          Life expectancy
          1998 Venezuela 9th in Latin America & Caribbean
          2013 Venezuela 12th in Latin America & Caribbean
          [ditto for 2015]

          GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $), % increase 1998-2013
          Venezuela 15.2%
          Latin America & Caribbean (excluding high income) 31.3%
          World 44.3%
          Lower middle income 81.8%
          Middle income 97.2%
          Upper middle income 112%

          Even with the oil price bonanza- the average export price of Venezuelan oil went from around $10/BBL in 1998 to around $100/BBL in 2013- the growth of the Chavista economy was anemic compared to other countries.

          From 1998 to 2015, the growth of GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $) for Venezuela is 1.5%. As per capita income has stagnated from 1998-2015, and current per capita income is probably below that of 1998, any Chavista claims about “poverty reduction” are utter nonsense.

          Accomplishments of Chavismo? Tell me another one.

          • “I never described myself as a Chavista, but did defend the positive side of Chavez….There must be a reason why Chavez won vote after vote and why millions of Venezuelans identify with Chavez. ”

            Is equal to:

            “I am not chavista but every non-chavista is shit”

            Which is, just another pathetic chavista too embarrassed to openly admidt he’s a hardcore brainwashed chavista sheep.

  2. I didn’t know the revocatorio had its origins with the hero of the museo mlitar.

    Recent world events are increasingly leading me to think that referenda are fundamentally bad things, and what better suits the purpose, and can better address problems of: (a) the election of lunatics who abuse their power, (b) fights over term limits, (c) battles between branches of government, (d) deferral of important and urgent decisions and (e) process issues around the referendum itself, a thing that is little understood, not normally supposed to happen, often ambiguous in its purpose, and easily manipulated- is British Parliamentary Democracy.

    I know… not going to happen, ever. And yes, parliamentary democracies are increasingly latching on to the referendum, mostly I suspect so those governments can avoid the normal consequences of…parliamentary democracy.

    While I obviously support the revocatorio in Venezuela because, what other options to change the government within the existing law are there?- over the longer term, I think it is a bad idea, and this regime has amply demonstrated why it is a bad idea, one that should be dumped along with all of Chavez’s other bad ideas and replaced with something more fundamental and structural in nature, when this agony is over.

  3. “… Venezuela’s Constitution at the time contained no provision for getting rid of a catastrophically underperforming president…”

    And then CAP was ousted after an impeachment, for MUCH less than Dilma was kicked out of office.

    Yeah, chavistas are dumbass hypocrites.

  4. Alguien conoce el nivel de abastecimiento de antibioticos en Venezuela? Si la carestia de antibioticos es de mas de 80% como dice aqui http://www.eltiempo.com/mundo/latinoamerica/escasez-de-medicamentos-en-venezuela/16607906

    quiere decir que 80% de los enfermos no tiene antibioticos? Hace tiempo hice un calculo de cuanta gente moriria en Venezuela si no hubiese antibioticos:

    Segun estos vinculos http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0922292.html y https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality en los EEUU en la decada de los 50s las muertes anuales por salud (infantil, tuberculosis, cancer, cardio, respiratorias) eran 1297 por cada 100 mil habitantes. In 2011 esas muertes anuales habian bajado a 680 por cada 100 mil habitantes. Una mejoria anual de 552 por cada 100 mil habitantes, debida casi exclusivamente al uso de antibioticos tras la 2a guerra mundial. Si hoy dia faltaran los antibioticos en EEUU se perderia la mejoria anual de 552 por cada 100 mil habitantes, y las muertes anuales subirian por una cantidad igual a: 552/100,000 x Poblacion = 1,789,136. Un efecto enorme dada la enorme poblacion de EEUU que es 324,118,787.
    Ahora bien, supongamos que en Venezuela, un pais pobre que solo podia comprar la mitad de los antibioticos que necesitaba, la mejoria correspondiente fue de solo la mitad, o sea, 276 por cada 100 mil habitantes. Entonces por falta de antibioticos, el empeoramiento correspondiente (de 276 por cada 100 mil habitantes) causa un aumento en las muertes anuales de 276/100,000 x Poblacion = 86,992.

    Señores no importan los detalles de este calculo. Este año solamente deben haber muerto decenas de miles de personas sin necesidad.

    Seria bueno que alguien con acceso a numeros confirmara o no esto. Si 80% de los enfermos no tiene acceso a antibioticos entonces la prohibicion contra la ayuda internacional que intenta traer medicinas a Venezuela debe considerarse genocidio y los culpables deben ser castigados con rigor.

    • Los castros quieren sus diez millones.

      Diez millones de muertos.

      La prohibición de la ayuda internacional, así como todo lo que hace el chavismo está condicionado a dos causas: Meterse dólares en las cuentas mediante guisos soportados en el monopolio del régimen sobre todo; y lamesuelismo a la diarrea comunista.

  5. “There must be a reason why Chavez won vote after vote and why millions of Venezuelans identify with Chavez. ”

    There are several reasons, in fact, all lamentable and/or pathetic:

    1/ Deep resentment from a large segment of the population, that felt alienated during 4 decades of ad/copey “burguesitos sifrinos”. The “pueblo” felt ignored, excluded. Chavez exploited that.

    2/ Chavez’s charisma, false promises of “socialism” always targeting the the poorer, less educated majority. “El presidente del pueblo” (yeah, right..)

    3/ Chavez freebies and gifts to the poor. “Viviendas,(real or false promises) refrigerators, free this and free that, during the oil bonanza. Bogus government jobs where “el pueblo” didn’t work much and earned more.

    4/ Millions and millions of ENCHUFADOS in the bogus 32-35 useless “ministerios”, They also love Chavez, of course, to this day.

    5/ Last, yet not least: Vast Ignorance, monstrous lack of education. To love and venerate a beast like Chavez to this very day requires an incalculable amount of ignorance, lack of information and/or abysmal education – if you’re not a corrupt ENCHUFADO, of course.

    • Heh, you basically mentioned EVERYTHING EVERY POPULIST DEMAGOGUE in Venezuela did, case in point, ALL the guanábana governments did EXACTLY THE SAME THING that chavismo did.

      But what makes chavismo different from the guanábana then?

      – Hardcore DRUG DEALING, in millions of tons, chavismo’s figureheads aren’t the biggest drug kingpins in the continent for nothing, starting from the castros and ending with the farcs.

      – Unbound FASCISM, where ANYTHING that gets done is only so the party can continue its rule: “Everything to keep the involution going, NOTHING to help Venezuela.” That was the actual chavista slogan.

      – Monstrous CRIMINALITY, Chávez gained the support of every mugger, rapist, corrupt, swindler, drug dealer and murderer in Venezuela by giving them complete and utter IMPUNITY for their crimes so they would becone his army against the people: “STEALING IS FINE IF YOU CLAIM YOU WERE HUNGRY” He said during his FIRST SPEECH as president.

      – Active ANTI-PATRIOTISM, as with the complete and stomach churning HATRED and contempt Chávez and his minions had and continue having for everything Venezuelan, constantly looking to sink its population deeper and deeper in misery, ignorance and death.

      And the list could go on for a long time, but the day is finite.

      • I’m going to stick with the drug allegations:

        http://venezuelausa.blogspot.com/search?q=Cocaine&m=1

        1-Without the US’ insatiable Jones for mind altering drugs coupled with its war on drugs this wouldn’t be a problem.

        2-Mexico is the number one source of cocaine. It’s also a human rights nightmare. The reason I spend energy on Venezuela and not Mexico is that I have personal connection with Venezuela, not with Mexico. Colombia, where the corrupt DEA and Special Forces are found is also a major source of cocaine. I’ve never seen an allegation that cocaine is produced in Venezuela.

        3- The “narcosobrino” case is weak, limping along in a US Court, but assuming that it’s valid for the sake of argument 80 kilos of cocaine that they were allegedly transporting would be a drop in the bucket of US lusting consumption of the powder that reputedly powers Wall Street.

        4- Talking about lack of patriotism of course you know that a war on drugs excise is just as good as a terrorism or human rights excuse for the US to attack a relatively small and weaker nation and do great harm.

        • Right blame the addict, not the pusher.

          Gee, I wasn’t aware that Coca trees grew in Mexico! Who knew?

          For someone who likes to pass himself off as some kind of expert, you really are lacking in both knowledge and apparently logic as well.

          Just in case you missed it, the coke is grown in Peru and Bolivia, the resulting paste is processed in Colombia and then shipped out through Venezuela to points north and east. How does it get through Venezuela to the outside? Courtesy of your friends the Cartel de los Soles. Courtesy of your friends El Polo Carvajal, Reverol and the rest of the putrid military.

          Funnily enoough, getting indicted for this is a sure way to a Cabinet position or a Diplomatic position.

          Now, not only are you a drug trade expert, but you are also a lawyer too? Amazing how you can judge how well a case is going from behind your keyboard. Or are you working for the defense in that case?

          So what if 80 kilos is a drop in the bucket. Should we draft a law that mirrors the airline baggage policies in regards to Cocaine? You know, 2 suitcases since it’s an overseas deal and all, those we won’t bust you for, but anything over that and you’re in trouble?

          It’s amazing to me that after 17 years and a TRILLION dollars there are still loons like you that think it’s all hunky dory now. Seriously Wexel, I mean, you can take off the tinfoil hat now, Chavez is dead and so is that “mamotreto ‘e mierda” known as the “Revolution”

          • Colombian and Mexican judges, journalists, police, soldiers are expected to die while the USA goes on tootin’ and legalizing marijuana NB cultivation. Victim, my aunt Fannie.

          • If you read my comments and blog posts and conclude that I am saying that “everything is honky dorry” in Venezuela maybe you should sue whoever it was who taught you to read English.

        • You haven’t answered nor backed anything with a single thing that may pass as an argument.

          “1-Without the US’ insatiable Jones for… ” <- You show here that you're of those sickening beings that blame the victims instead of the criminals for the crimes, such as those airheads that claim that "women are raped because they wanted to" and "they were killed because they deserved it"

          "2-Mexico is the number one source of cocaine." <- Wrong, it's the farcassassin-pedos.

          "3- The “narcosobrino” case is weak, limping…" <- And that's is why Wilmer Ruperti has spent above 400 million $ trying to save their whiny asses, right? Also, it wasn't 80 kilos (Which is already a monstrous amount) they were caught with EIGHT MOTHER FRICKIN' HUNDRED KILOS, about ONE WHOLE TON of coccaine.

          "4- Talking about lack of patriotism of course you know that a war on…" <- And here it is proven that you're no more than a pathetic, hypocryte chavista babbling the same stupid excuses over and over again.

          You can come back after you've got the money you spent on the "communicational guerrilla" training, because you got swindled, HARD.

  6. There is so much to respond to. I’ll give it a try. I came to this comment section to explain why in spite of the failings of Venezuela’s government I remain anti anti Chavista.

    In a nutshell it’s because MUD is rooted in Punto Fiji and the repression of the poor that’s called the Caracazo. It’s because MUD doesn’t seem to have a plan for the crisis of today and in some important and negative ways isn’t showing a difference between itself and the government.

    1- What to do about the external debt.

    2-What to do about the hundreds of billions of dollars that were skimmed and sent out of Venezuela through the foreign exchange system and other scams and schemes like Derwick.
    This is so important to any hope of a rapid recovery. Also it has to be established that impunity be taken away and exemplary punishment meted out to underline that Venezuela is to undertake a moral cultural revolution- that the old ways won’t be accepted any more.

    3- The major mining plan – are the objections being raised valid or are they calculated to prevent the country from enjoying the wealth in gold, diamonds, coltan, bauxite, and more? Where is the opposition on this? If the plan goes through how to assure that the country as a whole enjoys it’d fruits?

    4- The opposition couldn’t get its act together and initiate the recall in a timely manner. Was it seriously trying or is this a professional wrestling style match up? One can see political reasons for not really wanting to take responsibility for Venezuela’s short and medium term future while going through the motions of trying to take over.

    5- The influence of the US embassy over the opposition. For example, when the three legislators were barred from the Assembly the State Department issued a statement saying that the Assembly should seat them a anyway. Henry Ramos had originally compiled with the ban but later complied with the State Department request (directive?) helping to set the stage for the current deadlock/gridlock scenario.

    I never tire of mentioning the Wikileaks exposure of Ramos’ and AD’s client relationship with the US embassy. It’s relevant. Having lived through the Vietnam era in the USA (I was a draftee and a protester) and the genocide wars waged since I don’t think that the US has good intentions towards Venezuela and its people. No one should be deluded into imagining that the United States is going to send aid that’s more than nominal and symbolic at best to rescue a nation of over thirty million people. Expecting or requesting that isn’t a plan. Just look at Haiti. Do you think that the rulers of my country think any differently about Venezuela?

    6- Of course there’s an economic war although that doesn’t release the government from its responsibility to protect the country and the people. It’s been clear for the longest time that the US government and ruling circles have been dead set on ending US energy dependency on imports. One of several motives has been to harm Russia, Venezuela and Iran, as has been drummed into everyone’s who’s been paying attentions head. Now it’s come to pass. Where were the warnings from the opposition? When did the opposition insist that the government stop allowing the Bolivar-dollar scam?

    Mt. Toro, the fact that Caracas Chronicles has condemned the brutal Caracazo doesn’t absolve Mr. Ramos or those who consider him to be s leader and a potential President.

    To all who responded to my comments: I do have family in Venezuela.

    • Eugene, there is a Canadian writing in Apporea whose ideas appear pretty close to yours. His name is Oscar heck. He he your avatar or your doppelganger?

    • Number 4 is false. If you follow the letter of the the referendum law the process, from start to finish, should take less than 205 days, and considerably less if the process is expedited (which the electoral law itself makes a priority to expedite the referendum process. That would have put the referendum vote in November 20.

      But don’t take my word:

      http://bit.ly/2dlTqSg

      Couldn’t find this graph in English, but it is pretty clear and you can easily check each of the articles of the law that gives the time lapse for each stage.

      Why it has taken so long? Well, in the source article have but one example of many abuses:

      “Earlier this year, it took over a month to produce the simple one-page official form that the political opposition needed to collect signatures for the referendum.”

      We are talking about a excel worksheet here, just selecting in what order the columns go.

      That’s inexcusable.

  7. Franciscos byline can now be seen in the most prestigious papers and magazines of the US , it takes real journalistic talent to accomplish that !! Sure he is cuss headed at times , but we are lucky to have had him as our Blog Master for all these years ……., Sometimes he is the only journalist who has anything intelligent to say about our countrys tragedy ………and he uses a swift , funny, hard punching prose (and examples) to bring home to his readers what its really all about !! All this while maintaining more journalistic balance that maybe any one of us would have be capable of maintaining where we in his shoes..!!

  8. Ulamog claims that I said:
    “I am not chavista but every non-chavista is shit”. What a crock! There’s a big spread between “non Chavistas” and Venezuelan politicians who cage the US Embassy for money and favors so persistently that they became a big obnoxious pain in the ass. These are folks willing to sell their country. And to run for office in a crisis ridden country with little policy difference with the incumbents and no real plan is a force I won’t be a part of and won’t endorse. As for non Chavistas, I am one myself.

    I made a mistake about cocaine. Colombia is the number one producer, in spite of or because of the presence of the corrupt DEA. Mexico is the transporter and supplier of most of the cocaine that goes to Sniffle Nation, the Exceptional and Indispensable Nation on earth.

  9. It’s really something for the people of a country to have a lawful peaceful way to remove the President. I wish everyone on earth would be able to initiate a recall referendum. Venezuela’s Constitution is an advanced one, maybe the most advanced in the world.

    I say it often that I MO Venezuela is stuck between a rock and a hard place. I’m not a wealthy man so I can’t do very much for the people who I know personally who are struggling with the issue of feeding and clothing their kids, worrying that the wrong mosquito bites one of them. It angers me both to know that the government of my country set out to harm Venezuela’s economy(and Russia and Iran). and that Venezuela’s government seems to have done almost everything wrong in terms of defending the people’s living standards. My country’s government would rather frack and endanger it’s own people’s health and safety than buy oil at a fair price from Venezuela, Russia or Iran. Yes, it’s warlike.

    I wish that Venezuelans could just have an election and fix everything That would be great.I personally would not vote for a recall because it’s part of a scenario of US bullying of Venezuela and because it puts faith in an opposition that is tainted by its US connections Also the opposition eally has offered nothing for a solution.

    I keep repeating like a broken record that there was a massive embezzlement of your country and the external debt is being paid in spite of some questions about legitimacy not to mention that it’s taking priority over food and medicine.. Bonds bought with embezzled dollars should not be honored. Embezzled money should be repatriated.

    Whether you have the referendum or not and whether you vote President Maduro be out or not these issues are going to be confronted or your people will continue suffering.

    • If you are so disgusted with your country, how about you move to Venezuela and go on your anti US crusade from there? Or go say hi to Putin, or heck, go full bore and move to North Korea? I mean, put your money where your mouth is Wexler.

      I’m sure you’ll be able to find kindred spirits that think like you.

      At this point, ANYTHING that is offered to Venezuelans will be infinitely better than what they have had.

      I’m not exactly in love with the opposition either, but they are light years far and away better than any of the Chavistas in power today.

      Destroying a country’s productive apparatus while enabling imports to take place of manufacturing just so that a few can benefit is quite frankly a crime against humanity.

      How many deaths can be laid at the feet of the immoral ones in power today?

      You say we have a great Constitution, why doesn’t the government respect it?

      The cherry on the cake is that it is now worth less than nothing because the very SOB’s who pushed it through have so thoroughly peed on it.

      • Ah, caracha, el nuevo Arturito / Beto / Hector-el-Nazi es de los chavistas que también ODIAN A VENEZUELA?

        Heheheh, que pifia la que mandó la guerrillita lavacerebros para acá, de panita.

      • I don’t represent President Maduro. If I were a Venezuelan voter I’d be looking for answers to the problems of repatriation of the embezzled $$300,000,000,000 + and the external debt. IMO nothing good happens if these matters are left as is.

      • “I keep repeating like a broken record that there was a massive embezzlement of your country and the external debt is being paid in spite of some questions about legitimacy not to mention that it’s taking priority over food and medicine.. Bonds bought with embezzled dollars should not be honored. Embezzled money should be repatriated.

        Whether you have the referendum or not and whether you vote President Maduro be out or not these issues are going to be confronted or your people will continue suffering.”

        Are you one who fled rather than fight?

      • It’s interesting how folks expect me to defend everything that’s happened in Venezuela for the past 17 years. I see two power centers that are co dependent and fiddling while Venezuela’s burning.

    • It angers me both to know that the government of my country set out to harm Venezuela’s economy(and Russia and Iran).

      The lower oil price since 2014 is the consequence of two factors: 1) increased US production from fracking and 2) the Saudi response to increased US production: increase Saudi production to maintain market share which will simultaneously harm US frackers and enemies of Saudi Arabia: Russia and Iran.

      Increased production leading to a lower oil price would be the essence of a plot to “harm Venezuela’s economy,” would it not? For those who believe that “the government of my country set out to harm Venezuela’s economy,” consider the attitude of President Obama towards increased US drilling and production. Consider what Obama said in 2008 while he was campaigning for the Presidency.

      There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!

      No need to drill for gas or oil. Just inflate your tires and get tune-ups. Utter ignorance. Utter nonsense. It is certainly not the attitude of someone with a positive attitude towards drilling for gas and oil, which would be the obvious way to bring down oil prices- by increasing production.

      Consider what Obama said in 2012: You know there are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas[oline] prices.

      Eugene is going to inform us that a POTUS who believes 1) increased domestic drilling is unnecessary (tune-ups and inflated tires will do the job) and 2) increased domestic drilling cannot lower the price of oil was the mastermind behind a plot to “harm Venezuela’s economy ” by increasing production which would then lower the price of oil? [Also note that the increase in domestic US O&G production has come from privately owned lands, not from federal lands.]

      As they say in Venezuela, tell me another one about cowboys. Or in the US, tell me another fish tale. As a political analyst, Eugene is a pretty good taxi driver.

      The Saudi response was its own choice. I fail to see what USG had to do with it. I doubt the Saudis are happy with US policy in Syria, which indicates to me that there is little coordination these days between the Saudis and the US.

      • Just as I don’t represent President Maduro I don’t NB represent President Obama. I am against fracking. I think among other things it’s an act of economic war against Venezuela, Russia and Iran that disregards the well being of the people of the USA who I do care about, and the future of our water supply.

        As far as I know Obama is President and fracking is taking place in the USA.

        • As far as I know Obama is President and fracking is taking place in the USA.
          Since fracking is taking place in the US, you conclude that Obama is responsible for it, as in “the government of my country set out to harm Venezuela’s economy” by permitting fracking to take place.

          Let’s try some more.

          As far as I know Obama is President and thousands are being murdered in the USA.
          As far as I know Obama is President and tens of thousands are dying in auto accidents in the USA.
          As far as I know Obama is President and thousands of kilos of cocaine are being smuggled into the USA
          As far as I know Obama is President and there are millions of drug addicts in the USA.

          As a political analyst, you’re a good taxi driver. Like I said.

          • I don’t think Obama has done anything serious to stop fracking nor much to counter the propaganda justifying it as a way for my country to harm other countries, Venezuela included. Some States like New York have banned fracking on environmental and public health grounds. I haven’t seen Obama praise New York for taking this responsible stand .

            If my comments are so sub par why are you bothering?

  10. Pdvsa has just extended for a THIRD time the deadline for presenting offers to swap PDVSA bonds payable this and next year for new bonds payable in 4 years time , despite having offered the swapping bond holders a very favourable 1 to 1:20 exchange rate and 50.1% of Citgo as a payment guarantee ……..!!

    Reason for this new extention : Offers so far received have not met the minimum number of offers required for the swap to take place……….. !!

    Is Pdvsa at last going to default ………this must be something scary for both the regime and for the country !! The country is going broke and the regime is moving to take away the National Assemblys constitutional authority to review and approve the Govts budget ………, looks kind of silly if you think that maybe there wont be any funds to put into that budget…!!

  11. If fracking is a profitable business, something that brings honest money to those that engage in it (by producing at a good price ,something that society needs) , then that naturally and instantaneously will stimulate people to pursue fracking as a business , same as happens with the extraction of oil or with any other profitable activity, without having to assume that there is anything conspiratorial about it .

    Its kind of goofy to judge useful things people do naturally, with no need of artificial inducements as a ´sinister conspiracy of the wicked rich against the goody goody defenders of the poor’, more than that, such attitudes can be a sign of a sad mental state known as ‘paranoia’.

    Of course it can also be a very entertaining and self flattering pose for people who like to see themselves as high falutting lofty revolutionary visionaries and lovey dovey lovers of purity and nature being glamorously indignant about those evil people that engage in fracking !! Such sanctimonious poses allow such people to delight in branding others as morally deviant and inferior to themselves …!!” giving a good wallop of hype to their histrionically engorged egoes….!!

    Messianic Megalomaniacs are always prone to paranoia , their delusions of grandeur require that they invent an atrocious villain, a strikingly horrid one, which they can then righteously loathe in order to puff up their imaginary super -heroe status !! We who had to listen to the self righteous ravings of Chavez for years know well this connection between a megalomaniacal ego and hiper florid outbursts of paranoia….!!.

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