Original art by Mario Dávila

Miraflores Palace, Tuesday Afternoon.

Diosdado, Maduro, Cilia and El Aissami lean in to listen closely to el gordo Zerpa.

“Look guys,” he says, looking pained, “we’ve raspado la olla every way we know. Old ways and new ways — we made some up!”

Now he’s grinning, proud of himself.

“But the gig’s up: we can’t make it to this bond payment, we are 150 million short and it’s due today. The gringos are going to start suing y esta mierda se acabó. We need to fix this. Maybe we can just say that we sent the wire and that it went into their spam folders.”

Diosdado jumps in. “I just got off the phone with the guys at Banco Central. The wire from Deutsche Bank for the gold repo won’t get here until tomorrow,” he explains. “Some idiot sent the wrong account number, delaying everything. Todo este peo to pay the mamagüevos that bought this junk for nothing and got yachts and private planes. But whatever, we got ours too; we need to make this work.”

Cilia frowns. “Coño, Simón, you told us you were gonna close that deal with the Chinese,” she yells at him. “What the fuck were you doing in Beijing for almost a month, getting a gastric bypass? ¿Te mojoneaste ahora que andas flaco? What about the Russians?”

Todo este peo to pay the mamagüevos that bought this junk for nothing and got yachts and private planes. But whatever, we got ours too.

“I spoke with the Russians,” says El Aissami, “and they also said no. They already gave us a lot of money for nothing and Mr. Putin is not happy with the results. I called some bolichicos to see if we could sell some empresa mixta to cover the difference, but they are not even picking up the phone. I’ve always said it: No se puede confiar en sifrinitos mamagüevos.

Maduro just stares at the void, and eats an empanada, repeating to himself: “restructura-ción, refinancia-ción, TelitaConCa-zón”.

Jorge Rodríguez is sitting there, bored, looking at his phone.

¿Ustedes son güevones?” he interrupts without raising his gaze. Rodríguez takes a deep breath, stands up, and puts his jacket on. He’s ready to leave. Without looking at any of his colleagues, he shows them the calendar on his Iphone X knowing that they can’t actually see the calendar but that they will see the Iphone X.

“Monday was bancario, aterricen!” he says. “All Saints Day, a banking holiday. Call the lawyers, and thank those lazy viejos oligarcas from the Asociación Bancaria de Venezuela for saving your asses.”

“Someone explain to the gringos that we take our holidays seriously, y ya,” says Rodríguez, as he walks out the door. “Better start watering those brains of yours. No les voy a durar toda la vida“.

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