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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  1. Excuse my ignorance but what if this was, after all, planned? What is the difference they can get from putting off for one day the payment of a billion dollars?

    • Excuse me Senor Kepler, (with your name) you should keep on figuring out how planets revolve about the sun. And you should attempt to find out what dark matter and energy is. You have better chance finding out those things than understanding VZ finical mismanagement (or anything else about the (leadership?). I was going add “LOL” but reality keep my lips sealed..

  2. as Margaret Thatcher so famously said: “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” And Maduro et al have proved this once again for the umpteenth time in my lifetime but the allure of spending someone else’s money, to gain votes and to enrich the socialist elites , is so strong that it never seems to end. It’s like ocean waves crashing on tbe shore.

  3. Lots of Venezuelas oil is sold now thru the russians (330 plus thousand of bls per day) who then resell it in the open market even if they dont produce the oil , of course they get a margin for being ‘in between’ so Pdvsa gets less that if they made these sales directly , thus lots of Pdvsa money received from the sale of the oil is now deposited in Russian Banks . When a payment must be paid to Pdvsa creditors the money must be transferred from a russian bank into another bank connected to the wests system of bands , because there are sanctions against some russian entities this means that transfers are more cumbersome and complicated that before because the process of transferring money must flow thru more complex channels , mistakes are more easily made on the way (remember too many cooks spoil the stew) , also because of the existence of the sanctions western banks which have to recieve the money are extra careful and finicky about compliance with procedures and that ultimately leads to money taking more money to reach Pdvsa creditors….this happens all the time , transfer operations must be repeated again and again until they come thru because mistakes are made either in Pdvsa or along the way….

  4. Venezuela Teeters on Brink of Default


    “What we have today in Venezuela is a state of non-democracy with many violations of human rights and political rights,” Argentine President Mauricio Macri said in New York after meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

    He told the Financial Times the US should impose “a full oil embargo” on Venezuela. Such a move would have “broad support” across Latin America, he said.”

    First I’ve heard of any serious talk of an oil embargo. Anyone else? That would sure cut Maduro’s water to a drip.

    • Macri ain’t getting the support of Latin America for this. Come on.

      Latin America, and its leaders, are so generally anti-Gringo as to be comical. Cut off their nose to spite their face. Do you think the U.S. really cares?

      An oil embargo might happen, but only when TRUMP decides.

  5. “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.”

    Is the author here trying to lay culpability on the Gringoes?

  6. The whole assumption of there being any kind of stress levels raised within the little OG Narco group NCDTJ is ridiculous. Default IS part of their plan, moreover THEY will decide when that WILL happen, not wall street. At this stage of the game there simply are no surprises for Chavismo. They know exactly whats coming and are fully prepared for it. Unlike the Opposition which is as unprepared as they come. Chavismo is winning all the battles and soon will win this war.

    Cubazuela is here to stay!!

    • if they default they have no money, if they have no money the lose support from the military, if they lose support from the military they lose.

      Chavistas aren’t masterminds, if they were then the economy would not the be the mess that it is. With an average economic performance they could hold on to power forever.

      • Duncanvd, Kike – You guys echo my thoughts exactly, that they are at the default stage of their plan, and that it is a puzzle why the regime seemingly wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. I said I’d stay out of trying to prognosticate Venezuela from my arm chair, but I think it is worth asking what the regime’s next move will be?

    • Honestly at this point after seeing how negotiated exits worked in Central America et al and seeing how the corrupt idiots just want to stay until they get hagnged or something I think that we are looking at 1-2% chance of total failed state collpase Somalia Style, The military has the weapons but do not have the means to produce food and services for themselves and their “subjects”, not without some type of collaboration. This will cause massive desertion and the military might collapse to 10-20000 men. Maybe some of the most ruthelss or skillfull generals might be able to control some cities or towns but it will be rule by warlord. We will probably have to close the border this side of the line.

      Now regime collapse and transitional government in 2-3 years will be one of the least horrible situations. The bad thing will be an Argentine style Amnesty law. IMO The best possible outcome after is the realistically most-free market oriented faction winning free elections which looks to be PJ, I would think it that would make Venezuela tie Colombia’s income in 10 years (minimum salary 240 USD, Per cpaita 6500 USD) and be close to the richest country in Lat am in 25 years provided oil stays relativley high (very fast considering it took 17 years to destroy the economy). Any more intermediate solution could just extend Venezuelas crisis to Haiti level stagnation.

  7. “At this stage of the game there simply are no surprises for Chavismo. They know exactly whats coming and are fully prepared for it.”

    Almost exactly what I said Duncanvd in the run-up to the 15 Oct “election”. Did anyone really think the regime would call an election and then be shocked or embarrassed at the outcome?

    They’ve got the December “election” all set now, a prominent former political prisoner running to set an example for the rest of the opposition (he might even “win” by the way), and it appears are planning the presidential election for Feb. I figure with hyper-inflation just around the corner, even greater food shortages and suffering for the general population on the horizon, and the likelihood that the regime is here to stay, Maduro’s popularity should exceed 60% by the time the presidential “election” is held.

    I would disagree though on their ability to withstand an oil embargo. While they certainly have some sort of contingency plan for such an event, I’d bet it’s the 2nd most feared weapon to be used against them. Personally I think the odds are virtually nil that one would be used, but if it were to get to that point, I don’t see either China or Russia doing much to help the regime further.

    The one good thing about this regime is that they’ve fucked the country’s ability to produce its resources to the point that those two countries, especially the Chinese, would think long and hard about the additional funding needed to recover their investment, especially with this regime in control. An oil embargo could be a back breaker.

    But then, I’ve been wrong so many times, I need to stop predicting the end.


    • Yes an oil embargo would eventually break the regime’s back but besides that I don’t see enough support in the region I also think Trump won’t do it. Prices at the pump in the US would jump by at least 20ct and Trump can’t and won’t sell that story at home. Punishing a regime directly is I think widely accepted in the US but when average Joe needs to pay the price for some narco communist’s fucked up views and actions I’m pretty sure Trump’s dwindling approval rate would take a real nosedive.
      I honestly see this dictatorship holding on to power for at least another 2-3 years. It ain’t a default, hunger deaths, crime rates, corruption rates, elections, the opposition or even the complete freedom of Leopoldo that will force this regime out of power. There are just too many high ranking military, government and PSUV groups and individuals, with wayyyyy to much money at their direct disposal, for this whole shitsshow to just go away. Imho I see a civil war followed by a negotiated exit for Chavismo as the only solution. Times aren’t favorable for this to happen right now but let’s see in about a year or 2. I’m pretty sure living standards will have deteriorated so much that the climate would by ripe for a civil war, maybe even with a US and or U.N. blessing.

    • I’ve been wrong so many times on the end of the narcoregime that at this point I am going to predict that they will be in power for the foreseeable future.

      Hopefully my streak of being wrong continues and I am proven wrong!

      • Welcome to the club Robert, imo your predictions are getting better. Hugh fortunes and therefore powers are nowhere near giving up. Why would they, the game is running just as they have foreseen/manipulated it. We are barley in the second half so we have still a while to go in regular playtime and then have overtime and penalties to look forward to. 24-36 months easy untill the end will be insight. Might be even longer, Castro neeeeeeds Chavismo in power at ALL costs!!

  8. What do we really see with this default scare? First, the Chavista’s think they can game the system and get away with it. This is typical short-sighted thinking. They cannot possibly play by the rules so they break the rules of their bond agreements thinking they can reduce their debt with a fast one. But nobody on Wall Street is going to be done out of billions and let them skate. No way. The reason Trump hasn’t called for wider sanctions is not to keep the price down at the pumps but because his cronies could be done out of big paydays on the bonds. If they are quick-changed in the bond deal, Trump will act. Trying to gyp the world market out of monies owed also cuts Maduro out of the world market, making Venezuela, basically, a ward of Russia and China. That won’t last.

    Again, Maduro might last over the short term but he’s only spelling his future demise by trying to job the bond holders out of their lucre. They’ll get their pound of flesh sooner or later – of that we may be sure.

    • Juan – Not be offensive, but the $120 billion debt is already down to what? – maybe $60 billion? The global bond market is estimated at $100 trillion (Google it). Not that 0.06% isn’t important, but free markets handle themselves, and take losses as well as gains. The U.S. is NOT like Venezuela’s current regime where the government owns things. P.S. I think my number of 6/100ths of 1% is correct – I seem to have trouble with all the zeros I have no personal contact with, lol. International defaults are not a new thing at all. I think Venezuela has defaulted about four or five times in the past century, Argentina about 9 time, Brazil at least four, Spain is notorious for defaults, Greece is a basket case … not a pleasant thing, to default, but not anything new.


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