It’s been an astoundingly rainy night in Caracas. It never ceases to amaze me how medievally unprepared we are to deal with such an elementary phenomenon as rain. Caracas was actually doing well, though, compared to the Regional del Centro, which turned into mayhem. But the raining champion this week is definitely Puerto Cabello. They’ve been affected for days, putting thousands of people’s work and health at risk. Even around a hundred companies have suspended their activities, including quite a bit of port movement involving food supplies.

Fall from Diphtheria

it turns out that while La Revolución can’t bring back the dead, it sure can bring back the killers

Hey, remember that thing we used to do when we eradicated diseases? They’ be cured, and suddenly they didn’t come up any more for like 25 years, and you’d think they were completely gone? Well, it turns out that while La Revolución can’t bring back the dead, it sure can bring back the killers. Lawmaker Dr. José Manuel Olivares reported the first death from diphtheria today, in the Domingo Luciani hospital in El Llanito. He also reported another case in the Pérez Carreño hospital. This disease hadn’t been seen in Venezuela for 24 years, and our health ministry remains silent.

Money Pours

While a single unit has an international market value of $45.000, it has cost the government $81.896

Juan Andrés Sosa, president of the Venezuelan Construction Chamber, said today that the Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela, the largest of the government’s many populist money hemorrhages, has cost the State three times the value of our international reserves.

Sosa went on to say that the government demands builders to set the square meter of construction at Bs. 60.000, or around 15 dollars, while they’ve been paying about $1.700 per square meter themselves. While a single unit has an international market value of $45.000, it has cost the government $81.896. All this amounts to a total of $95 billion -not to mention only about 6.4% of the population has been benefitted-, making Misión Vivienda about the most inefficient, least cost-effective, and most expensive possible way to spend Venezuelans’ money.

And while we’re on the topic of criminal spending, Ecoanalítica director Asdrúbal Oliveros spoke today at Universidad Metropolitana’s Manoa auditorium, saying that the government has burnt through $17.218 million dollars of assets in two years. Next year they’ll have about a quarter of that, while they’ll need $9.500 million in financing. Looks promising.

But never fear, because OPEC has reached a historic agreement. No doubt thanks to the valiant efforts of Eulogio del Pino, the Organization has agreed to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels daily. Hopefully, this agreement -which also involved negotiations with non-OPEC oil nations- will help keep oil prices stable for some time.

Kicking the Table

MUD will walk away from the dialogue until the government lives up to some of its commitments

Electoral NGO Súmate denounced that last Saturday marked the seventh year since they requested the Political and Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to avoid naming Socorro Hernández and Tania D’Amelio as CNE rectors, seeing as they were already PSUV’s militants. The TSJ has, of course, remained silent, the illegal naming took place and stuck, and the illegitimate rectoras have gone on to their own personal sprees of law-shaming.

Now for an actually surprising bit, Chúo Torrealba announced today, from the gardens of the Palacio Legislativo (no, they should not be using it for that. No, he’s not a lawmaker. Yes, it’s wrong.) that MUD will walk away from the dialogue until the government lives up to some of its commitments. These being, of course, releasing political prisoners, lifting the contempt state from the National Assembly, and resolving the Amazonas lawmakers case. The plot… thickens?

If anyone was wondering whether Omar Vizquel was leaving as the national baseball team’s head coach, he assured everyone that he’s going nowhere, and that he has the players’ support. I worshipped him as a shortstop, and I hope to God he takes the Clásico Mundial home.

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Carlos is a Law and Liberal Arts student at Universidad Metropolitana, and a teacher of Philosophy, Entrepreneurship, and Public Speaking at Instituto Cumbres de Caracas. MetroMUNer (@MetroMUN) and VOXista (@voxistas). But really, he's just an overcompensating, failed singer-songwriter.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Here is a conspiracy that turned out to be true. Obama-Clinton have been accused of conspiring with Saudi to crash oil prices to hurt Russia. Trump wins and right away Saudi cuts oil production. I never wanted to believe this conspiracy theory. But look at the facts. And look at what we now know: The Saudi 20M contribution to Clinton’s campaign and Clinton’s contempt for the deplorable american heartland and its even more deplorable tight oil boom. Their ruin meant nothing to her. Words fail me…I do not feel good about this at all.

    Prepare for higher oil prices supporting the regime for a LOOONG time.

    • It is said that Reagan did exactly that to choke the USSR. He allegedly publicized the star wars program to make the Soviets burn resources on trying to catch up. That combined with the Afghanistan affair made the trick (some people say).

      I am curious to understand if Obama’s obtuse international policy actually got the sophistication required to pull that one. Even if he did, he missed the other two punches albeit he tried with the Russian embargo and the “line in the sand” in Syria that he did not walk.

      Trump may be an asshole but he could be the asshole we need with a more assertive international posture against dictatorsuelos with Stalinist tendencies. Time will tell…

      • Hmmm… “Sure, he is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch.”

        I think I heard that one before. Nevertheless, all we can do is hope for the best. At the very least, I see a lot of pink slips coming for a lot of Washingtonians who have grown far too comfortable. That thought puts a smile on my face.

    • Conspiracy turned out to be true?

      There’s various reasons the prices went down, there was no need for a conspiracy. Obviously some benefited, some didn’t. Among other reasons, there was a bunch of new producers putting oil on the market which helped push the prices down, as did decelerating demand for oil generally.

      The Saudi’s and other Gulf States have no problem with several years of low oil prices, they can weather it, but they knew their arch enemy Iran would be severely hurt by it, as would Iran’s allies Russia and Assad’s regime. Also, they were happy if the low prices may knock out some new competitors in the oil game.

      As for the US: Yes, Iran being squeezed by low oil prices while being squeezed by extensive sanctions made them more desperate to strike a deal, which was good for Obama’s foreign policy aims. And Russian economy suffering was probably good as well (although argument could be made that Putin became more aggressive militarily to distract his people from economic recession brought on by lower oil prices). And any President wants lower gas prices, as the general public wants cheap gas.

      So the Saudi’s and the Americans both had reasons to like the lower oil prices. I doubt the Suadi’s were influenced much in their oil productions decision much by the Americans, however. They had their own reasons, and they don’t exactly have great relations with the Obama administration.

      As for this….

      “The Saudi 20M contribution to Clinton’s campaign and Clinton’s contempt for the deplorable american heartland and its even more deplorable tight oil boom. Their ruin meant nothing to her. Words fail me…I do not feel good about this at all.”

      Leaving aside the dubious claim of the Saudi 20M contribution to Clinton’s campaign, how does fit in the whole conspiracy? She stopped being Secretary of State well before the oil prices dropped in any event.

      As for deplorable heartland residents that she supposedly holds in contempt, the vast majority of them, and all Americans not involved with the fracking industry, benefited greatly from low oil prices.

      • Excuse me but, if I am an oil worker in North Dakota and I lose my job because of the oil price crash, should I dance for joy that I can fill my tank for less? Clearly, the oil price crash marginally benefited many coastline dwellers, while destroying the lives of many heartland dwellers of North Dakota, Texas, Colorado and other heartland states. The arrangangement with Saudi, if it existed, treated those destroyed lives as collateral damage. Expendable deplorables.

        The Obama administration re. tight oil production was less than enthusiastic. Wherever it could, it opposed it, and favored imported oil instead, but not from Canada. Heard about Canada’s ethical oil and the Saudi campaign against it? Obama didn’t like ethical oil very much, he made sure he blocked any and all pipelines across the border.

        Whether Clinton was Secretary of state or not during the oil crash is not pertinent to the possible existence of an arrangement between the Obama administration and Saudi. Wikileaks has shown the Clinton Foundation received pay for play before during and after the oil price crash. The 20M Saudi donation was published by Al Jazeera and confirmed by Wikileaks. Money is fungible. The revolving door between lobbyists and government officials affects the entire Democratic party. A donation of that size has to be suspicious.

        Of course the general public will never be allowed to know the truth for sure. But the 20M donation, the coincidences in timing between Trump’s election and Saudi’s production cut and the Obama administration’s opposition to the heartland oil boom do suggest the existence of a Saudi-Obama arrangement to anyone who might be wondering why the Saudis acted exactly now. Why do they know now that they did not know before?

  2. So, you are a “failed singer-songwriter”… Do you know the old TV series “Hill Street Blues”… well… I feel you now are composing the letter of the “canción triste de Venezuela”…

  3. Supporting the Regime has been mainly the Pueblo’s quiescence, seconded by the MUD’s acquiescence in engaging in repeated/extended meaningless dialogues. The Saudis tried to knock down/off some of the U. S.shale competition, only to fail, and, now, faced with rapidly-depleting international reserves/large budget deficits, are trying to minimally cut production to shore up prices, with only questionable prospects of success, in the face of non-Iranian participation, Russian “agreement” prospects, and Trump’s avowal to loosen restrictions on U. S. shale production.

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