Sí son ratas

Our ruling clique has given up trying to be loved, or liked, or esteemed, or approved of, or even just minimally respected...they're quite happy to be loathed, so long as they survive.

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When rats feel trapped, they dig. The reflex survival reaction all rodents have is to try to dig their way out of trouble. 

Chavismo’s like that, too.

I’m not going all Hans Landa on you, comparing chavista voters to rats. I’m really not. Nobody has been lied to more than PSUV’s base. I pity them.  

But their leaders? Unas raticas, for sure.

Just like Tarantino’s Landa, I can appreciate rats’ absolute determination to survive. It’s not pretty, but it’s primal. 

When you choose to be a rata — a scheming, shady, treacherous creature — you trade esteem for survival.

Maybe it’s the fact that for the past two decades we’ve seen ruling chavistas huir hacia adelante: dash forwards and never look back. Maybe it’s the fact that, for the past half decade the opposition has played democracy in a game of lawlessness. Maybe it’s the way they’ve conditioned us to celebrate the exile and house arrest of political prisoners, but nothing more.

When you choose to be a rata — a scheming, shady, treacherous creature — you trade esteem for survival.

And that’s the bargain they’ve made: to wallow in universal scorn, so long as they’re able to survive.

They’re four-to-one down on the polls, ruling over a hungry nation, with no legitimate international allies in sight, presiding over a lingering sense of este peo va a estallar…but still suckin air. And more cuatriboleaos than ever.

Because it does take balls to strip the legislative power of everything but its Palace. To use lower courts to derail a basic citizen right. To not give a flying fuck that people are digging in dumpsters for a peach pit. It takes the magnificent disinterest of a rat, in a corner, digging.

As we try to make sense of what it is these guys are up to, it’s vital to keep in mind the context of the decision making in which la cúpula roja is making its calls. The more ilegal and erratic the option, the more plausible and likely it is they’ll go for it. They’ve transcended any kind of concern for democratic plausibility. It’s not about looking good. It’s about surviving. 

16 COMMENTS

  1. The fact is that Marxist have justified and performed violence over the years to gain and preserve power. The likes of Mao and Fidel are still celebrated around the world by useful idiots.

    For a movement that promises liberation it is so contradictory that they have such an arrogant and condescending attitude which allows them to impose their political religion on everyone else under pain of violence.

    • That’s what is most desperating about the Venezuelan drama, it’s nothing new. Just the repetition of very old mistakes due to lack of information/knowledge of the population. It could have been avoided fairly easily!

      The average citizen in South America is an easy prey for those red folks. Back in 1999, most of the CC’s writers would have mocked the ones saying that Chavez was trouble, we only learn through pain in this continent, when we are in the plane flying to never come back with tears in the eyes, when everything is already lost. That’s the only moment when we finally learn.

  2. With recent developments, I am left wondering just what it is that the MUD (or the AN for that matter) can do at this point?

    The Chavistas have nullified the recall. What do you think is going to happen leading upto the 2019 elections?

    The puppet Supreme Court will most certainly find a way to take petitions from Chavistas and the PSUV to say “a fair election is not possible” and postpone (indefinately?) the 2019 elections.

    I really really hope I am wrong. Oil prices are looking to stay well below $55 for many years to come. As a consumer, I welcome this. But, the people of Venezuela need to understand that the cash cow (all but dried up) is not going to bring any changes.

    Even an infusion of several billions of dollars from US/China/Spanish oil companies cannot make the near-worthless crud/crude more valuable on an already surplus market. Fracking won’t solve the problem and the “easy” oil is not worth diluting its value in order to make the heavy crude to market these days. They spend around $41 to make a $45 barrel of crude and still have to cover excessive transportation costs as a result.

    The PSUV has power (in the executive and judicial, but not the legistlative branches) but no money for investment.

    Look to see near 900% (annual) inflation shortly. 700% was already achieved, based on what some economists have found out.

    At what point does a Venezuelan person say “enough” and actually revolt? I just don’t think the people have any spirit left.

    • I tried to get some discussion or interest in laying out plans on the assumption MUD gained executive and judicial control. No takers. Maybe this isn’t the blog for it, or maybe most here think that’s looking too far into a hypothetical future, but I still say that if are going on a proverbial journey of 1,000, you’d better have a good idea where your intended destination point is. Otherwise, why go? Just walk around in circles, and get some exercise, instead.

      – Oil majors called in with rock solid guarantees their capital is secured, and they can operate on their terms without interference
      – Recovery of alleged stolen billions (the IMF is in a much better position to help track those alleged funds down)
      – Re-appropriation or reverse appropriation or whatever of agricultural lands and processing facilities
      – Immediate end to “deeveesaas” and let all companies use their own capital on the free market to import their needed raw materials, seeds, fertilizers
      – Undeclare the economic war and return manufacturing facilities
      – Apologize, at least, to companies who have lost hundreds of millions trying to do business in Venezuela, and make “weak promises” to try to repay them
      – Release of political prisoners
      – Etc.
      – (MUD tried passing legislation for some of the above, that I am aware of, but were blocked and shut out)
      – The big problems I see are in a transition insofar as food and basic necessities are concerned. How do you transition from 1/100th world market price averages for Latin America to full price without starving all but the few remaining well-to-do. Accepting medical aid and food relief would help. Even under sane and rational circumstances, it will take at least a year for Venezuela to recover its lost agricultural production.

      Whatever. I wish Venezuela luck and success, but you have to have goals to work for besides just getting elected.

      • I don’t see how they can make those transitions without causing more grief (is there such a thing?) and losing what little control they would have.

        My fear is that, where they are now and likely to go VERY shortly, a full scale revolution and coup is only a matter of time. And then what? PSUV 2.0 but under a different banner?

        The biggest issue is the one you pointed out… getting their economy (or at least some functioning capital markets) established after control changes. The big oil companies are already looking at bunkruptcy if VZ-PDVSA becomes insolvent with their capital already on the line.

        Ironically, its is probably a coup that will be their salvation as well as damnation. It will cause their oil exports to drop further, which will drive up oil prices (by a little, enough that the market will notice) and might spur some investors. But they challenge will be restoring order in such a way that outside capital (since there is no effective “internal” wealth generation with 900% inflation on the horizon) will be made available.

        I don’t think the IMF can help much. Or should they at this point.

        In the end, it is better to let it burn and see what they can make of it afterwards.

  3. Much of this and other conversations work off the assumption that Maduro can just string this thing out ad nauseum, but the looming bond issue, and likelihood of default, might for the first time going to put the Chavistas under terrific international pressure. Today, from Forbes:

    Q: How ugly does this get? Investors have had it with South American oil companies and their corrupt governments.

    A: I wouldn’t be surprised if you see new precedents in terms of being able to seize oil assets on boats, because the U.S. government is going to be very anti-Venezuela obviously. For sure Citgo refineries get seized. Note that PdVSA bonds don’t have a collective action clause (CAC). Venezuela does, other than its 18s and 27s. Those non-cac Venezuela government bonds will be an interesting opportunity at some point. But the main point is non-cac makes any renegotiation trickier as we saw in Argentina. It’s conceivable that Maduro switches rights of oil to some new company. But that probably doesn’t matter. The new company will have no access to capital.

    We admire a rat’s staying power but wonder how any raton can keep on scratching around when he has no cheese and his assets are getting seized off shore. And my sense of this is that Maduro’s sudden trip abroad is less about cutting oil production and more about begging for money. Except the Chinese already said they would lend no more without policy changes.

    The rat seems pretty cornered to me.

    JL

  4. Interesting perspective, but as it often happens in these posts, the elephant in the room in invisible:

    “When you choose to be a rata — a scheming, shady, treacherous creature — you trade esteem for survival.”

    One of the things you learn in any decent school or college is to ask, “yes, but why”? Be a bit more analytical.. it’s cool to point out the disease, how about the causes and some possible cures?

    The causes of Vzla’s disaster are numerous, yet they all boil down to Galactic Corruption (GC). and Fear.

    Chavista thugs in power want t stay, as long as they can, BECAUSE (key word) :

    – They want t steal even more $$. For the entire family, and retirement in the Caribbean.
    – To have more time for an escape plan.
    – Because they fear persecution and loss of their humongous bank accounts, houses, cars, lifestyle..

    These are not blind rats trying to survive. They are relatively smart Thieves, getting fatter every day.

    When you understand that, you understand Vzla.

  5. If a rat has no new food, and nowhere to run to, they’ll eat their own.

    I didn’t want to say this, but soon enough will tell.

    and, dolar (dolor?) dolartoday is moving in one direction as well.

  6. Chavismo is in a bind , Chavez played to the hilt how his regime was empowered to do anything because they counted with the wildly enthusiastic support of the masses (of course his narcicism fed on the adoration of the masses so he needed elections as a form of showing of how he was always being acclaimed by the masses) , now that their own corruption and mismanagement has lost them the support of the masses they are revisiting their past presumed fealty to democratic principles and wanting to substitute it for something else, but that something else is ellusive and unconvincing even to their own ears no matter how much rethorical hoopla they put into it ……the comunas are a lame substitute for people massively going to the polls and making their choices known…..sooner or later they will have to have an election but they are in panic that it will make ostensible what we all know , that they will be resouncly rejected at the polls….!!

    They are cheating at game they cant play without losing and yet cant come right out and say that there will be no more elections as that will signal their betrayal of those old principles they pretended to hold so dear while Chavez won the elections for them !! Now he is gone and Maduro cant repeat those wins !!

  7. :…sooner or later they will have to have an election…”

    Why would they? Unless it is a Cuban style election with only one party and one candidate. I don’t see any reason for them to do allow an election they can’t win. They will have to resort to massive repression in order to maintain themselves in power, but I don’t think that they can fully depend on the FANB for that.

    I think they are pretty much screwed, but are in denial.

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