Photo: Panorama

Perhaps it was because it was a banking holiday yesterday and there were no school activities, but there was no celebration to prove the regime’s discourse about the victory that wasn’t. Minister Jorge Rodríguez was in charge of making a sort of synthesis, ignoring the abuses committed with the Carnet de la Patria, the Puntos Rojos, their soldiers’ attacks and of course, abstention. It’s funny that they’re so bent on surpassing the electoral achievements of the Comandanteterno. Be it a fixation for Nicolás or for his loyal team, Rodríguez said that Sunday’s triumph was “the greatest victory accomplished by any political force in Venezuela’s republican history,” claiming that elections set Venezuelans “freer every day.” So his assertion that chavismo’s building the future we deserve shouldn’t come as that big of a shock to us. What is shocking, though, is that despite the hate law, he spoke of winning in the cities “where the whities live,” and he also accused Juan Pablo Guanipa of being a white supremacist. According to Rodríguez, political stability has been recovered in Venezuela, and he was proud that “the guarimbero dollar” couldn’t break the people, which means it’s no longer necessary to eradicate it because citizens are surfing the consequences of a ruined economy.

Worse than Jorge

Nicanor Moscoso, head of Ceela, an organization of alleged electoral experts that has been collaborating with the CNE, presented his report on elections, which includes the absolute satisfaction with the opening of electoral stations, the arrival of electoral supplies; the voting machines and the complete effectiveness of verification systems. The second part of Moscoso’s report was even more cynical, underscoring that the locations of voting stations was appropriate (a journalist questioned Moscoso about the unnotified relocation of voting centers and VTV cut her off); that free and secret elections were guaranteed – what about Puntos Rojos and assisted votes?! – that voting stations were closed within the legally mandated period (false); that security audits were successful and there was a 47.3% turnout (and Mark Ruffalo is my boyfriend.)

The best: Plan República didn’t cause damages or problems! In any case, voters protested yesterday before PSUV headquarters in San Juan de los Morros, demanding the tickets they were promised in exchange for their votes. There were also complaints of public employees fired for supporting dissident chavistas.

The opposition

In addition to MUD’s statement, which nobody read, National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges met yesterday morning with The Vatican’s top diplomat Pietro Parolin, to discuss the reach of the negotiation and the humanitarian crisis.

Later, former CNE authority Vicente Díaz said that “there’s no legal precedent to exclude political parties from coming elections.”

Last night, former governor Henrique Capriles said that these elections were a ruse and that the government doubled down on its efforts to show “a non-existent democracy,” revealing its system’s corruption and an abstention that reflects the country’s institutional crisis. Capriles emphasized that after what happened with gubernatorial elections, the opposition suffered a split that unveiled individual interests and even complicity. He spoke at length about the dangers of losing faith in elections, giving in to uncertainty and despair, so he claimed: “We need a solid unity to pull the country out of this hole we’re in.”

Amazonas without lawmakers

The TSJ Electoral Chamber shelved the file opened on December 28, 2015, against parliamentary elections in Amazonas, according to ruling 221 published yesterday by government-run newspaper Últimas Noticias. Before the AN installation, this chamber ordered them not to incorporate the lawmakers elected in Amazonas because of the lawsuits filed for alleged electoral frauds in that state, especially “vote buying,” without tickets for toys or CLAP bags. The AN inducted those lawmakers, which caused the infamous “contempt” they could never shake off. In the ruling written by Malaquías Gil, the full responsibility for this case (cause suspension and failure to hold new elections) falls on plaintiff Pedro Luis Cabello Hermoso, because it didn’t comply with the law, forcing them to shelve the file, while they try to resolve the other seven filed suits. Calmly, of course.

Economy

While chavismo disseminates the entry into circulation of the communal currency El Panal, David Paravisini reported that the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) will discuss a project to increase liquid fuel prices which, according to his proposal, “must be brought to the average prices abroad, which is approximately one dollar [per litre].” Pdvsa was paid more than $ 5,000 million to subsidize gasoline in 2016 alone.

Later, Oil Minister and PDVSA chief Manuel Quevedo, asked the Comptroller General to carry out an audit of all PDVSA units. The nepotic Comptroller, Manuel Galindo, responded that they will draw up a plan of up to 30 days “to start seeing the appropriate results after the prosecution’s proceedings and after investigations.”

Ah! Reuters reported that the accumulation of tanks waiting to be loaded in Venezuelan ports has increased because Pdvsa hasn’t been able to deliver liquid fuel for exports, so the news to review and validate contracts signed by Pdvsa, its subsidiaries and joint ventures, becomes less relevant.

Abroad

Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said that Nicolás’ intention to ban opposition parties from participating in presidential elections is an “extreme measure to close the democratic space in Venezuela,” stating that with this measure, the president only seeks to “consolidate power in his authoritarian dictatorship.” Canada expressed deep concern for the same threat, because it puts “at risk solutions to restore democracy & resolve the humanitarian crisis, urgently needed by all Venezuelans.” By the way, the head of the Venezuelan Airlines Association, Humberto Figuera, said that only 25% of the airplane fleet managed by national companies is operational, due to the low frequency of flights and price-regulated plane tickets, and that the money from ticket sales “isn’t enough to cover expenses.” I quote him here due to our growing inability to travel abroad, while Trump announced his intention to send humans to the Moon and NASA explains its potential. Nicolás travelled to Turkey last night to meet with Erdogan.

Yesterday was National Broadcaster Day, in celebration of the 87th anniversary of Radio Caracas Radio (750 AM), the oldest radio station in the country. In addition to its symbolic value, RCR also has an important political value, as it continues to be a space of radical dissent in most of its daily schedule, despite harassment, threats, lawsuits and fines. Cheers for our broadcasters! Congratulations to all the people in RCR!

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29 COMMENTS

  1. “What is shocking, though, is that despite the hate law, he spoke of winning in the cities “where the whities live,” and he also accused Juan Pablo Guanipa of being a white supremacist.”

    Best laugh of the day! Did he say all that in the same sentence? Because that would be impressive!

    There is nothing better than beating an opponent who you not only hobbled and blindfolded prior to the contest, but also refused to show up. What’s next? Beating up crippled old ladies in a wheelchair? What a great victory for Chavismo!

    How is it that the didn’t get 101% of the vote?

  2. Don’ t be a fool. It is a victory. He is in fact beating crippled old ladies in a wheelchair, and there is nothing we can do about it until we don’ t get serious and force him to stop doing that.
    Of course they are celebrating. Why wouldn’ t they celebrate the complete defeat of their enemies? They have all their enemies on their knees. They are in control.Do you think that they care that you think you have the higher moral ground? They are just enjoying the thrill of humiliating those they hate. That makes them high and that’ s why they will never stop.They are tripping.

  3. For what it’s worth, yesterday and today I’ve heard people here locally saying something I’d never heard them say before…….”this mess is not the fault of the regime or of the opposition, it’s our fault”.

    They are, of course, correct.

    • Damn. Then again, you live in farmville, so your locals perhaps understand that SOMEBODY has to produce and not everybody can live purely off promises from the government.

      • Generally, people in the rural areas were firmer supporters of Chavez/Chavista than people in the urban areas. So not sure that is the case.

        • I keep making the opposite argument.

          No.

          Even middle class and upper middle went Chavista, because they thought they would get something for nothing. That they were “wronged” by the Gringos. And that VZ was actually a WEALTHY country, which is funny on many levels since the country produces nothing but oil.

          Something for doing nothing.

          They should inscribe that on the fucking flag.

          • Fix your statement, it was those who didn’t want to work, there are people who know the value of hard work that NEVER EVER touched that chavista garbage.

            You know how they’re known? They’ve been ridiculed as the “viejas locas del cafetal”

          • Ira

            I’m not arguing with you that a significant portion of the middle class either supported or acquiesced to Chavista rule.

            I’m stating that, contrary to what you suggest in your comment about people in Farmville, that those people living in Farmville actually supported the regime at higher percentage than urban/suburban folks did.

    • MR

      Understanding the cause of a problem is the first step towards solving it.

      I don’t know if you saw my message last night. If you can check your e-mail, you’ll see what I’ve been up to.
      J’s offer to assist with seeds is going to be very helpful.
      Andrew from the seed company asked me to register and fill out an order form but not to pay and then he will see what adjustment he can make to the price. If your guys can assemble their order and prioritize their lists. We can get this underway before the end of the year.

      It would be a great Christmas gift for your people and give them some hope for the new year.

      • John, will check my email today. My list is almost complete and will send it by email to you. You’ll have a detailed list of seed type, and a few recommended suppliers as well.

        Good the hear about J’s offer. There is no seed here and vegetable prices, like everything else, are going through the roof.

      • John – Is there a way for me to make a donation to your seed purchases through CC or anonymously through PayPal? You seem have the procedure wired with the right connections so the packages actually get through.

        • Nice offer Gringo. John is a straight-shooter….says what he’s going to do, and then does it. I’ve spoken with him several times by phone. The man is serious and is doing good work to help those here who want to help themsevles.

        • Hi Gringo
          Yes thank you for the offer.
          Caracas Chronicles has my permission to give you my contact details. I also sent them an e-mail asking them to send you my contact info.
          When MRubio sends me the list of what the farmers want, I will be able to have a better idea going forward. I have a seed company that sells open pollinated and heritage seed (see above). Perhaps you can directly contribute to the cost via the seed company. The man that I have been corresponding with is willing to help. It would be like splitting the check at a restaurant. Another possibility would be ordering seed online and having it delivered to the shipping company that I use in Miami. I have a good relationship with the shipper. They hold things for me and assemble shipments.
          Currently I have a credit towards shipping for a few thousand dollars. I have been using it to send packages air freight. The packages clear customs in one week instead of 4-6 weeks if the shipments go by sea.
          Any help you would like to give, will be gratefully appreciated.
          Thanks for your interest in helping. The nice thing about this project is that it will be putting the farmers on the road to independence from government handouts. They will have their own sustainable seed supplies.

          • John – Splitting a check at a restaurant … lol nice analogy, humorous. Thank you for your reply, I’ll look for an e from CC and contact you. Admire your work helping the farmers with light and useful seed and you certainly seem to have figured out a lot about how to do it right. Also I knew two or three Americans named John in Caracas and even though the probabilities are low, I wonder if you might be one of them. And MRubio is quite a guy. I hope all these vegetables grow up to be good strong free market capitalists.

        • Gringo
          I’ve never been to Venezuela. I have promised to visit when this regime is gone.
          MRubio is definitely a great guy. It has to have been hard to watch a people willingly sell their freedom to this gang of criminals. Staying and trying to make a difference when he could have so easily left, shows the quality of his character.
          As much as I appreciate your kind words. Any success that I have had has been because of the cooperation and assistance of a long list of people.
          With no end in sight for this regime, projects like this that promote sustainability can reap great rewards.

    • “For what it’s worth, yesterday and today I’ve heard people here locally saying something I’d never heard them say before…….”this mess is not the fault of the regime or of the opposition, it’s our fault”.

      They are, of course, correct.”

      So they’re saying “Venezuela deserves the dictatorship”

      I’m so sick of that stupid phrase that I’ve almost punched the teeth off random people’s mouths in the street for so joyfully lifting all the blame and responsibility of the criminals.

      • Good point, the same thing happens all over the place, that the forgiving nature of mankind excuses criminals, yet points fingers at decent people who make any mistake, even making stuff up and spreading suspicion if nothing is actually there. I guess it is a symptom of fear of any strength, and an inability to differentiate good strength from evil force. Progress is to take responsibility in a positive sense and move towards a reconstruction, but some will suspect that, because the word “progress” has been used by very bad people who have nothing of the sort, but are very big on blaming others for being successful, while they themselves are not productive.

        I have gotten some surprising results from asking people what it is they envision and are working towards. Once I got an answer like “You know … that’s a really good question! Haha … I don’t really know! Haha.” (Yeah … “haha”.) Some of these people are just in the “socialist group” to be included in something. Deep philosophy.

  4. “Mark Ruffalo is my boyfriend” … hope his wife does not find out.

    The guys on Aporrea are going bullshit over the proposed gasoline increase to gringo prices. If they are lucky, they will get Texas or Wyoming prices, and not California prices. They want free stuff. And they deserve free stuff, especially if it is made right there in Venezuela. Something like that.

  5. Try to explain to those “guys” that because fuel is so heavily subsidized and the price differential is so large that it leaves the country as contraband. The profits of which fund corruption and illegal armed actors at home and across the boarder. Those profits could remain in State confers and be used for legitimate purposes without the market distortion. Report back if you can get a coherent answer. I will not hold my breath.

  6. Waltz – I think your comment is directed at my preceding one.

    Unfortunately, Aporrea does not provide for comments/questions. As you no doubt know, most of these “guys” are [1] (old )guys), [2] true-believer commies; [3] full of fist pumping anger and long winded screeds; nothing coherent. They may recognize the problems caused by fuel smuggling, but the solution of course is government enforcement (arrests and jailing). They do not want a free market or capitalism. They want “fair prices” enforced with a heavy hand, and for goods and services to be available (if not plentiful) at said “fair prices”. Producers/Merchants who refuse to supply/sell at the fair prices should be jailed and their businesses confiscated. Many of these guys (yes, some are women) are critical of Maduro, but still worship Chavez. They want more and better Revolution, but Maduro just gives them the same ole ills of capitalism.

    A few of the posters do point out (bravely!) that the so-called economic war is just bullshit government deflecting blame, and one of the snarkier guys just observed that $1 per liter is not so bad at the official exchange rate of 4BsF to $1.

    • Another Gringo— Yes sorry about that, I am still trying to figure out how to post from my phone. It is like playing darts, sometimes the posts end up in the wrong location and others, if I have had a few too may cocktails, miss the board completely. (Lost posts)

      I forgot that Apporea does not allow comments, my spanish is not good enough to spend time reading “long winded screeds; nothing coherent.”, when more often than not the authors do not even sign their names. (hence the “guys” reference.) Even if they are able to understand the consequences of fuel subsidies it seems their “fathers” did not teach them that too many of us human beings are not honest, thus punishment is not a solution to fundamentally flawed policies. It would be great if someone who has studied sociology or psychology could comment further on this.

  7. Said Gringo: “I have gotten some surprising results from asking people what it is they envision and are working towards?”

    Put differently, “What about present conditions suggest that they way you are working is viable?”

    Inevitably, because no one but Delcey can ignore present and dire conditions, the answer is the socialist way is not the problem, rather the right wing imperialsits who keep waging their economic war, otherwise Venezuela would be heaven on earth, where folks sell stuff for less than it costs to make it (“fair prices”) and the infrastructure needs no maintenance and he world is glad to lend money without ever being paid back.

    In any language that’s called circling the drain… Ker-plunk!

    • Agree completely. Just for shots and grins, the CIA should post an exchange rate of 3 million Bsf to 1USD on the well-known CIA web site, Dolar Today, to make the Aporrea posts more fun to read! Trump could Troll-Tweet something like “bus driver, my ass.” at the same time.

    • “What about the present conditions suggest that the way you are working is viable?” takes it directly to politics on a national level. Bypass the politics and get to the person himself. You may not get an immediate answer, and sometimes you don’t get an answer at all, but as Javier Liendo wrote in his article “Falling Into Line” with patience you get the personal reasons. Ask for the personal wants and needs and the vision or idea of how things should be.

      I can ask you, Juan Largo, what you envision and are working towards. I don’t know what you might answer in specific, but it’s personal at your level. Mankind, right or wrong, likes to follow leaders, and that following goes to and develops into politics, and local and national policies and ideologies. But those come down to the personal level, to the individual. from there it goes to those immediately around him. What you, Juan Largo, want is probably what you will find Joe Chavista wants: food, peace, housing, pay, stability, safe environment, predictable future, happy kids, and so on … productive friends and associates you can trust in most things, police who maintain order, rational laws, and so forth. I would guess that most want to be productive in what they know they can produce better than most, and see tangible results. You work with someone and see that they get better products more easily, so you immediately want to learn how they do that. Life is competitive. Most of it can be learned (remember being taught how to catch a ball?).

      Maybe what they want in their personal lives is as far as you can take it, and maybe you do not have to then ask – over time, with patience and friendly disposition – “are things getting better or worse?”. Maybe you ask what the guerra economica is. You have to be prepared for weird answers. Just say something to let him know you heard, then ask more. He doesn’t know what the guerra economica is because it doesn’t exist, but getting an area where you have to explain concepts of economics that he has no education in is probably not going to be productive unless you know how to teach very basic things like supply and demand at a level he can see, and that you can get his interest in.

      You run into problems along the way. Some people will say they want to be rich and not have to work! They do not realize that being rich and not having any purpose in life is not happiness. Depending on the person, you wait a day or two and ask them what they like to produce (something in that direction) and they tell you they love to see vegetables grow, or love mechanics on automobiles. “But … I thought you didn’t want to be rich and not do anything!” Or maybe you catch them when they’ve just finished a job and you say, “Wow. That engine really runs smoothly! You’re really good at mechanics!” (Y bueno … el tipo se pone orgulloso y te explica como lo areglo y te ensena como se hace esto y lo otro.) Just an example, that you run into problems and misconceptions, but you get the guy to start thinking, you see? You go personal. Heck you could ask Maduro how many tickets and multas he got when he was driving a bus. Maybe he’d tell you his life history, how it was the only job he could get and he hated it, or maybe he tells you he loved driving a bus and never got a boleto.

      • Screwed up sentence should be “but I thought you wanted to be rich and not do anything” – or “didn’t want to do anything” etc..

  8. Gas maybe almost free, but other byproduts are not, like motor oil, that is selling at 150.000 per liter (gas sells at 1,00 to 6,00 Bs per liter…) A diesel truck uses 24 – 26 liters of oil and needs a change every 200 hours… Cost of transportation will shoot through the roof, apart from all kinds of crap like the stealing of iol, etc…

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