With an extraordinary military deployment, buses and food in plastic containers (in the best tradition of chavista marches of old), Nicolás held an assembly with employees yesterday in PDVSA La Campiña headquarters, taking the chance to say that chavismo “is the antithesis of the authoritarian State,” that they’re the guarantee of rights and democracy.

He later admitted his outrage for corruption cases (which have been denounced in the oil industry for years) and said that, starting today, vice president Tareck El Aissami will reveal evidence incriminating executive staff in illegal activities.

Nicolás emphasized that the economic crisis is caused by the oil dependency imposed by the Fourth Republic and that chavismo didn’t correct this in 18 years. He spoke of oil as “the vital core of [the country’s] economic and socio-political life” and even said that Cipriano Castro had been a “historic victim of the Empire’s great interests on the Venezuelan oil.” Ambassador Alí Rodríguez Araque will be honorary chairman of PDVSA.

Lastly, Nicolás asked employees to bump output to a million daily barrels.

Let’s talk economy

Torino Capital’s imports index for September reported the worst inter-annual contraction on foreign purchases: imports dropped by 45.4%, compared to last year, and 24.5% compared to August. Due to this downturn and the low expectations of recovery, the agency estimated a consolidated drop of 31.9% in 2017.

Humberto García Larralde, head of the National Academy of Economic Sciences, said that Venezuelan per capita income contracted to an unseen level since 1954: just in the last four years, Venezuelans’ income contracted by 27%. The odds for economic recovery, he stated, are low, and 2018 will be far worse, as international reserves are at their lowest level in 21 years, and the foreign debt increased fivefold while the government keeps imposing new price controls.

Additionally, the black market dollar surpassed the lowest official exchange rate (Bs. 10) by 8,000 times yesterday, and the rate used for the auctions system (Bs. 3,345) by 25 times.

In the National Assembly

After intense ruckus, with some lawmakers shouting their refusal to negotiate with the Administration, lawmaker Mariela Magallanes, who said on Monday that she wouldn’t travel, but still presented the agreement before Parliament, requested a nominal vote to approve the agreement regarding the negotiation in the Dominican Republic. The majority of lawmakers expressed their support for “the negotiation process to recover the guarantee of a prosperous Venezuela,” Magallanes read.

They also discussed the food crisis and proposals to solve it.

They unanimously approved a report that contains the bill of the budget for the Legislative Branch’s 2018 tax year.

Against

Lawmaker Richard Blanco said that “this dialogue is absurd (…) there’s nothing to talk about with this regime if there are no clear, true demonstrations of good will and compliance with people’s will which demands an immediate political change, the dismantling of the ANC, the release of political prisoners, an end to repression and profound corrections,” he said. He disdained the nominal vote as a legislative scheme, claiming that there was no quorum when the vote took place.

Lawmaker Biaggio Pilieri added that they’re not satanizing the negotiation, but that its effectiveness depends on requirements such as the parties’ credibility, social endorsement and the capacity to demand results.

Mediators

Paraguay’s Foreign Ministry reported that minister Eladio Loizaga won’t attend negotiations in the Dominican Republic due to internal elections in the Paraguayan parties that will run in presidential elections in 2018.

The Venezuelan government had a hard time finding its third mediator and yesterday, it finally made it: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will be the sixth country to act as a mediator in the negotiation.

Ledezma and Almagro

Antonio Ledezma requested help from the international community, stating that Venezuela is being held captive: “I come to raise my voice for the 30 million citizens held hostage of a regime that has violated their freedom of expression.”

Meanwhile, OAS chief Luis Almagro said: “Some sectors within MUD may represent Venezuelan opposition, we know that there are sectors of MUD that don’t represent Venezuelan opposition, that are not a direct part of the Venezuelan opposition,” also regretting the schedule proposed for the negotiation in the Dominican Republic, because it wasn’t sufficiently inclusive. “The opposition will have to separate the wheat from the chaff and discuss the political, social and economic elements that truly create a challenge for the government and could lead to [Venezuela’s] democratization,” he emphasized.

Abroad

  • Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos said that he’s offered the Venezuelan government humanitarian support in food and medicine for a long time and they have refused: “President Maduro, allow the international community to help the Venezuelan people in this moment of severe crisis, a crisis caused by the regime and not by Colombia or foreign elements, as has been implied so many times.” Santos said that Colombians will always lend a hand to Venezuelans.
  • Salvador Nasralla said yesterday (in an interview with TeleSUR!) that he’ll seek to recover institutionality in Honduras: “This is a dictatorship, a totalitarian government where the President controls the Supreme Court, Congress, the Electoral Tribunal, the Prosecutor’s Office (…) and that’s why we want to take power, to recover institutionality.”
  • Mocking the will of Bolivians who overwhelmingly voted “No,” Bolivia’s Constitutional Court authorized Evo Morales to run for presidential re-election.

Desorden Público and C4 Trío were nominated to the Grammy awards for their record “Pa’ Fuera” and Los Amigos Invisibles with “El Paradise”! Sadly, they’re both in the same category. We’ll have to wait until January 28, 2018.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. What a joke.

    The “opposition” is going to show up with a jar of Vaseline, bend over and lube up. Count on it. BOHICA.

    What a fraud. Maduro is literally over a barrel, and the “opposition” is in a position of power (as things are so bad for Chavismo right now)… yet the opposition wants to negotiate from a position of weakness?

    When Maduro recognizes the authority of the AN (who must sign the bills that Maduro can’t pay) and releases political prisoners, THEN the opposition hops on a plane to the DR. Not before. AFTER.

    If Venezuelans suffer, it isn’t because the opposition is the cause. Chavismo is responsible. They control everything. If they don’t want to play nice, then don’t play with them. What is so hard about understanding that?

    • “The “opposition” is going to show up with a jar of Vaseline, bend over and lube up”

      Of course they’re not going to bend, they’ll force to bend the 30 million of venezuelans that oppose chavismo.

    • Guapo, don’t be such a radical. I’m sure that if nothing comes out of this IV Mesa de Diálogo en Punta Cana, the V Mesa de Diálogo in Pyongyang will do the trick. Coño, why not wait until the tenth or eleventh meeting before we really start asking chavismo for concessions?

  2. What, exactly, are the Chavista’s hoping to negotiate – other than making vain promises if the opposition signs off on debt restructuring? Would be crazy for them to do so BEFORE the Chavista’s made good on their demands.

    • Maduro: The National Assembly no longer exists
      28 Nov 2017, 22:22

      Caracas, November 28 (EFE) .- President Nicolás Maduro affirmed on Tuesday that the National Assembly “is an unburied corpse”, and assured that this House of opposition majority “does not need” and “does not exist” thanks to “we have the National Constituent Assembly “.

      “The oligarchy adeca (from the Democratic Action party, hegemonic during bipartisan democracy) rancid destroyed the Venezuelan Parliament Destroyed, that does not exist, thank God,” said the head of state during an act with the new leadership of state oil company PDVSA .

      Among the cheers of the workers of the oil company, Maduro also affirmed that “thanks to the people we have a National Constituent Assembly and the National Adeca bourgeois Assembly is not necessary, it does not exist”.

      http://www.noticierodigital.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=88112

      Why is the opposition showing up again?

        • I’m getting that sense.

          It appears that what must happen (IMO) is that the “true opposition” must take a page from Karl Marx, and “Accelerate the Contradiction”. Only when things get so bad will the Chavistas look for an out. Which might not come for a while, since the Chavistas are content enough to “watch their country burn in order to be the King of the Ashes.” (stolen quote from Game of Thrones)

          But… I also get the sense that the people who will be most adversely affected by Chavismos incompetence and their clinging to power are the ones who keep voting for it. Schadenfreude.

  3. A quick update from the east of the country: Grim and getting even more grim by the day.

    Our local chinese merchant’s market is bare, unusual for this time of year. It’s usually bear at the end of Dec and most of January since most transport activity shuts down for the holidays.

    My lady made the trip to Punta de Mata today to try to find merchanise. It’s not as big a city as Maturin but it’s not small either. She found almost nothing……not even a single can of sardines which is what most Venezuelans live on today. The chinese markets were all bare. Her usual stop for vegetables had maybe 10% of the normal material available…..that’s been the case here locally as well as most of those who sell veggies have shut down for lack of supply and high prices for the few products that do arrive.

    Here in the east, most of the food is imported from Brazil by military officials and I can only assume that inflation is now getting so bad that it’s almost impossible to import the volumes needed. Of course, it might also be that they don’t have the dollars available either.

    I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like come 15 January or so.

    We’re in the process of buying, processing, and storing approximately 30,000 kilos of white and yellow corn and have pledged to ourselves that we’ll not sell it in bulk to outsiders but will instead keep it all available for the local market as the contraction continues next year. These people have to eat.

    This is getting ugly.

    • Awful. Please keep in mind the story of the factory owner near Maracaibo who was able to find toilet paper for his company and employees, but who was subsequently arrested and charged with hoarding toilet paper. This would be a juicier target, and there are multiple parties who could gain politically and economically by turning against you.

      • Pilkunnussija, I’m sure I’ll eventually get my tit caught in the wringer for something, but I no longer care.

        This place is basically forgotten in the grand scheme of things and people are suffering because of it. Also, I’m not hoarding corn for personal use……I’m hoarding corn because it’s scarce as there was little planted in this area, there’s not enough corn being imported to feed the people, and there are no assurances that it’ll be available at any price next year. I don’t have much on hand, but enough to make a difference for some of the people who live here in this pueblo. If that’s a punishable offense, so be it.

        • Hi MRubio
          Today’s exchange – BsF. 96.794,46 to 1 US Dollar.
          I can’t imagine trying to do business in an environment where the exchange can move 10% overnight.
          Did you get a chance to discuss Do Mesa shipping from Brazil with your stepson?
          My thinking is to try to get bulk copper sulfate to you for your farmers. If you can get powdered lime, they can create a fungicide / bactericide that is referred to as the Bordeaux mixture. 4 pounds of copper sulfate, 4 pounds lime and 50 gallons water. It is an organic recipe that is claimed to be very effective.
          The lime is used to cut the acidity. It is possible that a substitute may work. Possibly baking soda.
          It may be possible for me to order through Amazon Global, have it delivered to Do Mesa in Brazil and then shipped to you for distribution. If we can arrange this delivery link, I may be able to be more helpful.
          If I had any ability to speak Spanish or Portuguese I would making the calls myself. I am woefully challenged when it comes to languages.
          Similar to how challenged the regime is when it comes to economics.
          I am certain that my friends in Sao Paulo will help me get it to Do Mesa. They own a manufacturing facility and may also have contacts that can be useful.

        • I will second the thoughts of Pilkunnussija. I may not always agree with you but find your input valuable. Stay safe, no reason to announce all that you do. Try to fly under the radar as much as possible. Thanks for your contributions here.

  4. “Bump output to 1,000,000 bpd”
    “Si, jefe ”
    “Can we have our Christmas bonus now ??”
    “Si jefe ”
    ” we can get a lot of coke on that tanker , call the boys “.

  5. “Ambassador Alí Rodríguez Araque will be honorary chairman of PDVSA.”

    How ironic, that a terrorist that used to blow up PDVSA’s pipelines now sits as the company’s boss.

    “The odds for economic recovery, he stated, are low, and 2018 will be far worse…”

    As long as chavismo is government in Venezuela, the odds for economic recovery are ZERO.

    “Mocking the will of Bolivians who overwhelmingly voted “No,” Bolivia’s Constitutional Court authorized Evo Morales to run for presidential re-election.”

    Hey, look, when lefties can’t win then they do FRAUD, just as chavismo has done since 2000.

  6. She means an additional million barrels a day, not to bump it up to a million.

    They’re now drilling 1.9 mil BPD, so it should be real easy to make that 2.9.

    Right?

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