Taking Inspiration from Nicaragua

For Thursday, February 9, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

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National Electoral Council board member Tania D’Amelio announced this Wednesday that CNE would meet with political parties today, probably to emphasize how impossible it’ll be for them to fulfill the conditions the government will impose on them. The abuses and attacks against political and electoral freedom are one of the rectoras’ specialties. And so, the 59 parties pending renewal, will have to collect 0.5% of voter signatures in 12 states, over 14 hours with just 380 captahuellas (fingerprint scanners) while the PSUV will have 4,800 machines and a week available for their internal process.

Although the only non-chavista board member, Luis Emilio Rondón, said that the renewal of political parties’ official status doesn’t affect the establishment of an electoral timetable for gubernatorial elections, it’s obvious that this whole thing has Nicaragua plastered all over it.

Remember that Daniel Ortega did whatever he wanted in that country and the international community didn’t lift a finger. It won’t be different here. So we must defend our legitimate right to association. The opposition needs to set priorities, the reach of individual actions, the relevance of unity and a political strategy. Likes don’t legitimize leadership, and trending topics on Twitter don’t topple dictatorships.

Heads-up for Gladys

I don’t think that the head of the Supreme Tribunal (TSJ) was amused by the statement issued by National Assembly Speaker Julio Andrés Borges, after the meeting he held in Brasilia with Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, saying that he’ll meet with his counterparts throughout the region, in recognition and support of Venezuela’s Parliament and democracy. Some instances of contempt are costly.

Strangely, Guevara added: “Without cornering them or allowing them to tighten their hold on power,” which is exactly what we’ve been doing.

Meanwhile, lawmaker Freddy Guevara explained part of his agenda for the next few days, which includes a meeting with OAS SecGen Luis Almagro, to rekindle international pressure with the Inter-American Democratic Charter (Almagro stated today that dialogue had reached a dead end and that the Vatican’s presence disabled the application of the Charter); refocusing negotiations with the government and generating sanctions for Venezuelan officials accused of corruption or Human Rights violations. Strangely, he added: “Without cornering them or allowing them to tighten their hold on power,” which is exactly what we’ve been doing.

Regarding sanctions

A group of 34 US lawmakers signed a letter to President Trump, urging him to increase pressure on the Venezuela government, noting that officials accused of corruption and Human Rights violations must be immediately sanctioned. Additionally, they requested an exhaustive investigation on drug trafficking allegations and Venezuelan vice-president Tareck El Aissami’s support for terrorist cells.

Dancing the crisis away

Salsa was streaming out of Miraflores, even though the Venezuelan State lost its case on political discrimination before the Inter-American Human Rights Court, as well as a trial in the Appellate Court in Paris, which ordered them to pay the Canadian mining company Gold Reserve $730 million in damages due to expropriation of the company’s assets in Guayana.

We have no food or medicines, but we do have rhythm. Chavismo’s priorities.

Nicolás keeps dreaming that meeting the heads of oil-producing countries to raise oil barrel prices, as if PDVSA’s situation (production dropping consistently for the last four years) didn’t have an impact on its inability to service debt and invest on new production capcity.

Analysts estimates that the oil barrel must reach $100 for chavismo to be able to repay “$10 billion in interests this year, plus maturities estimated at $2 billion,” according to Bloomberg. But Nicolás chose to express his indignation with the presence of opposition lawmakers in Washington, demanding their courts to proceed against what he considers severe crimes of high treason. Since he’s a coherent guy, he announced the creation of Corazón Salsero, the Salsa Movement for Peace and Life, “to bring joy to the Venezuelan people.” It’ll launch on March 15th, with a concert in the Plaza Bolívar of Caracas to show “different dance moves.” We have no food or medicines, but we do have rhythm. Chavismo’s priorities.

An ongoing repo

Reuters says that Venezuela’s Central Bank is studying a repurchase deal (selling an asset to an investor with the promise of purchasing it back at a established date and price) with Nomura investment bank, to offer PDVSA bonds worth over a billion dollars. The BCV would sell the bonds, promising to repurchase them in three years.

The deal is pending review by Ricardo Sanguino, head of the BCV. With this financing, the bank will try to raise international reserves, which are now at their lowest ever: $10.5 billion, to repay over nine billion dollars in debt this year. 70% of total reserves are depreciated monetary gold. Reuters points out that Nomura refused to comment on the deal, and the BCV didn’t reply to requests for clarification.

 

15 COMMENTS

  1. “A group of 34 US lawmakers signed a letter to President Trump, urging him to increase pressure on the Venezuela government, ”

    Whatever will be the Trump’s doctrine for Venezuela will be certainly followed with enthusiasm by Argentina and Brazil, which are countries desperate to be in good terms with the US due to economic, and somewhat ideological reasons, even if not openly professed. To have these two South American countries plus the US wanting to remove Maduro is probably 50% (if not more) of the path to liberate Venezuela.

    Do you remember what Tillerson said?

    “Rex Tillerson, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, last week announced that he would seek regime change against the «incompetent and dysfunctional government» in Venezuela. In reply to Congressional questions concerning Trump’s still-to-be confirmed appointment, Tillerson said: «If confirmed, I would urge close cooperation with our friends in the hemisphere, particularly Venezuela’s neighbors Brazil and Colombia, as well as multilateral bodies such as the OAS, to seek a negotiated transition to democratic rule in Venezuela».”

    For the first time in months I feel optimistic about Venezuela. If MUD don’t ruin everything as they always do, things may start to change. It would also be ironic to see the ‘American Chavez’ saving Venezuela.

    • Don’t get your hopes up. Short of sending in troops, which is not gonna happen, nothing external is going to oust the regime.

      • Yeah, yeah, yeah, the whole “THEY’REGONNAIVADEUSWWWAAAAAAAGGHHHHH!!!11!11!1!!” ridiculous rubbish.

        International pressure can come by much more efficient methods, such as denying loans so the bolibastards can’t have access to more dollars to steal for example.

        And don’t come with the other fallacy about “But you want to sink the whole country just to annoy the chavistas, wwaaaahhh!”, people are eating from the garbage and dying from everything by now, they CAN’T BE WORSE.

        There’s nothing worse than chavismo, they’re the rock bottom.

    • Now Trump has a reason.

      I read an article this morning that it was discovered that the Venezuela passport office has been selling passports to know Hamas members that are on the US shit list.

      It doesn’t surprise me that the passport office would undermine the integrity of a Venezuelan passport for a nice bribe. They didn’t understand, or consider, the larger impact this small graft could cause for the current administration.

      In other words, some thief in the passport office just poked the bear.

      • I have always thought that defending women (in this case, Ivanka) from chauvinists (in this case, Nordstrom’s board of directors) was one of the most sacred fights for you leftists. Even if that meant replacing all Nordstrom’s board of directors!

        I guess I was wrong.

        All women are equal, but some are more equal than others?

        What would be the liberal media reaction if Nordstrom had done the same with Malik, or whatever is the name of that Obama daughter?

        There will be hashtags trending now! #JusticeforMalik #RespectMalik etc.

        • Marc, I was making a simple point that it appears Trump has given more consideration to the question of what Nordstrom should sell- namely his daughter’s stuff- than the grave humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

          Now, I may be wrong on that and he may be losing sleep wondering what can be done to promote democracy in Venezuela, now that he is leader of the free world, but I have seen no evidence of that thus far.

          As for Rex Tillerson, who clearly is not an insane person, and demonstrably has an interest in his new job, it seems from the passage you quoted that he is urging… dialogue.

  2. You are both right, about a 50% chance and no troops. I am suprised that Tillerson’s statement has been received with such silence on this board. Interesting, interesting, interesting. The U.S. adage, dont look a gift horse in the mouth, comes to mind or perhaps some might prefer the enemy of my enemy is my friend….

  3. Also, if you folks had read some history, you would know that the castro dictatorship was left to do as they please because a deal made between USA and the URSS after the missile crisis, where the soviets agreed to remove the missiles in exchange for the castros to be “left alone” in the island to tyrannize it as they wanted and make no effort whatsoever to remove the castros from power.

      • Because my comment refers to the heap of comments that claim that no other country “won’t do anything” and “will leave Venezuela alone” comparing this situation to Cuba’s.

        Also because I’m tired to read the henri falcón/chúo torrealba-style comments that claim that the only thing the international community can do is to raid the country to rain gunfire on maduro and his cronies.

        Those are just two kinds of comments that try to take refuge to defend the absurd idea that “Venezuela is alone in this” and this other one that’s much more irritating “Venezuela’s problems are solved by venezuelans themselves and nothing more” which has been used as a mantra to justify chavismo’s idiotic “defense of sovereignity”.

        Heck, even people with people one would’ve thought won’t be so quick to stick themselves to the “hate USA just because” trend like Briceño said “Beware the lunatic Trump! Don’t listen to his claims to do anything in Venezuela! Are we seriously going to give chavismo the reason after 18 years on their claims that USA did womething related to this country?!”

  4. Its funny about OPEC and Nicolás. They must be thrilled to have PDVSA on board!

    OPEC knows it needs to cut production to raise prices. But none of the members wants to be the one to take cut. But thanks to Nicolás, they don’t have to. All they need to do is let him to what he does best, destroy PDVSA. In other words, they are going to let VZ take the cut because it is so poorly run that it is doing it anyway.

    There is an old saying. When you play poker, look around for the sucker. If you can’t spot him, then it is you.

    Nicolás is playing poker and doesn’t realize that HE is the sucker.

  5. Very interesting all your comments, but there is something you are not considering: the MUD will do anything to boicot any measures coming from the US or other country or even international organizations (like they did with the OEA). They have invested too much in this system, they are all in for Maduro. They are ruined and their only chance is to stick with Maduro. If it comes to a forceful regime chance, they will not accept it. It is more profitable for them as a political party to stick with whatever they bargained with Maduro. They have doing this for at least two years, so don’t deny at least that it is a possibilty.In fact, I am surprised you don’t mention that MUD is benefited directly by the new CNE “threath”. El deseo de algunos de quedar bien como sea con ese grupito corrupto y decadente que es la MUD a veces, digamos, les impide pensar con claridad. Estaría bien formar otro grupito de gente cool y excluir a los de la MUD más bien, de tal forma que tarados como César Miguel Rondón lo piensen dos veces antes de intentar atacar a María Corina.

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