For Tuesday, January 17, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
Headline: 15 people have been murdered per day in Caracas so far in 2017. It makes it more confusing to watch the show of military exercises in preparation against external threats which only distract the PSUV, while local criminal gangs operate with total impunity. Venezuela’s been experiencing economic contraction for 12 trimesters in a row, a recession that has destroyed companies and jobs, caused by terrible decisions in economic policy. Two details Nicolás forgot to mention during his pointless five-hour unaccountability report.
Whatever he wants
Nicolás will continue to dictate economic policy with the renewed Economic Emergency Decree he sent to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, so useful during 2016, despite the fact that the Constitution only allows its use for 120 days
Nicolás will continue to dictate economic policy with the renewed Economic Emergency Decree he sent to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, so useful during 2016, despite the fact that the Constitution only allows its use for 120 days. The idea is to get rid of any control the Legislative Branch might have on his decisions, so that he can keep managing the State’s finances like a game where he sets the rules and breaks them at will. Whatever he hasn’t ruined with the Economic Emergency Decree, he’s shut down with the “contempt” accusation pending on Parliament, which the TSJ itself has refused to resolve.
Nicolás called the Executive Branch’s exercise a miracle, despite the drop in foreign income ($5,291 million). Once again, he extended the Bs. 100 bill’s validity -the Jon Snow of our economy- until February 20th; he claimed that he’d lower unemployment with yet another public works plan he failed to explain, of course. He modified Income Tax payments and announced more direct subsidies through the release of the Bs. 50,000 Hogares de la Patria debit card, an amount that doesn’t even cover a home’s needs for a week. Proud as he was about paying the external debt ($60 billion,) he forgot to explain how much damage has been caused by the decision to prioritize it over imports, how many Venezuelans have died due to lack of medicines, how many companies have closed due to lack of raw materials, how many people have found it impossible to eat due to the chokehold of inflation and shortages. The opacity of his administration and the excess of propaganda make it difficult to evaluate his supposed achievements. The only verifiable triumph was the exceedingly low political cost of each barbarity imposed by his government in such a complex and harmful year.
Nicolás presented himself yesterday as “half magician” and that’s why he claimed that he’ll make his Annual Report before Parliament in 2018, only to restate the pertinence of making his unaccountability speech before the TSJ because if he didn’t, he could fall in “contempt” as well, which would take him to an eventual political trial and prison, remarking that the TSJ “could try the National Assembly” if they chose to. He says the declaration of abandonment of office is absurd because he works everyday -sadly, there’s no connection between what he calls “work” and our situation-, but he said that the lawmakers’ absence during the event was a “world record of immorality.” A special mention to his terrible script about Acción Democrática and Primero Justicia, a prelude to the subject of the dialogue that hasn’t happened, but that “has no alternative” according to him, even though his government has failed to fulfil the first agreements.
Out of respect for Colombia
On top of Sitme, Sicad, Sicad II, Simadi, Dipro and Dicom, we have another exchange rate for the border now
On top of Sitme, Sicad, Sicad II, Simadi, Dipro and Dicom, we have another exchange rate for the border now. Italcambio’s four exchange houses will operate with a rate of four Colombian pesos per bolívar, which is about Bs. 750 per dollar. Táchira governor José Gregorio Vielma Mora claimed that this measure will “fight off the economic war,” that the Central Bank has millions of Colombian pesos and that they’ve set the exchange rate “out of respect for Colombia.” In order for Venezuelans -only natural persons- to buy or sell pesos, they must request an appointment through Italcambio’s webpage and deliver a bunch of documents, for a maximum of $200 for cash transactions and of $300 for electronic transfers. This is another source of corruption which, far from solving the issue, adds another layer for black markets.
While Oil minister Nelson Martínez says that there’s work to be done in order to protect the petrochemical industry and continue to create jobs and wealth for the country, Exxon Mobil and Hess announced a successful drilling operation in a deep water deposit that confirms the seafloor off Guyana’s coasts is rich with oil and gas, one of the largest discoveries of its kind in decades, estimating there are 1.4 million oil barrels mixed with natural gas just in Liza -one of the oil wells in the Guyanese coastline-. Martínez added: “We all know the value the petrochemical industry has for the creation of jobs and wealth, and that inspires us to boost our commitment to increase our production to the maximum level.” Isn’t he cute?
Nicolás claimed that if the TSJ decides to repeat legislative elections, they’ll go to the booths for “an overwhelming victory.” But you see, the CNE’s yet to call for gubernatorial elections, which should’ve taken place in 2016 and were promised for the first half of 2017
Yesterday, chavismo celebrated the arrival of the new bills; they celebrated the inflation their disastrous economic decisions have caused. The new bills started circulating this Monday, with a delay of over a month and an issue date of August, 2016. The community manager of the Bank of the Armed Forces deserves a medal, after he uploaded pictures of smiling clients receiving their worthless pieces of paper with the hashtag #BANFANBNuevosBilletes. Check the hashtag and smile like the clients or like the malandros that will happily wait outside bank agencies today. Another medal for Nicolás, responsible for the lootings, the dead and the money that remains lost to the people who deposited their Bs. 100 bills in the Central Bank.
Nicolás claimed that if the TSJ decides to repeat legislative elections, they’ll go to the booths for “an overwhelming victory.” But you see, the CNE’s yet to call for gubernatorial elections, which should’ve taken place in 2016 and were promised for the first half of 2017. But of course, CNE’s one thing and the TSJ’s quite another, with no autonomy or respect for the Constitution but with a lot of discretion and capacity to serve the ruling party.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.