Pernil Sabotage

26

After handing over 248 apartments in Ciudad Tiuna, Nicolás -disguised as a glacier- announced yesterday’s show as “the most important of the whole year,” although his performance didn’t support his claim. The people are conscious and wise, and must always be addressed with the truth, he said; sadly, he didn’t consider that the people are also hungry. In any case, his Delia Fiallo version is that the perniles (Christmas pork) didn’t arrive to the country because Portugal sabotaged them: “We bought all the pernil for the people, they went after our bank accounts, they went after the two giant cargo ships that were coming, they sabotaged us for now (…) we’ll settle the score later.”

Portugal has always remained neutral to our circumstances, with a better record in corruption (remember the case of the Canaimitas) and cowardice than in solidarity. It’s irrelevant if he picks a “fight” with then. Nicolás was bold enough to say: “Sabotage or not, nobody’s going to strip our people of their joy.” Because that’s how people feel in the streets, overflowing in joy without food, glad without medicines, buoyant with hyperinflation, delighted without electricity, radiant without gasoline.

One more bond

This Wednesday, the ANC created a mechanism for mining companies to pay income taxes in foreign currency and approved the Law of the Tax Regime in the Sovereign Development of the Orinoco Mining Arc. Nicolás approved a hundred thousand more pensions via the Carnet de la Patria and claimed that in 2018, 100% of pensioners will be covered!

Later, he signed the decree declaring that the cryptocoin Petro will be backed by field #1 of the Ayacucho Block of the Orinoco Oil Strip, which harbors five billion crude barrels, adding that he’ll create a special team of cryptocurrency miners to establish mining farms all over the country. With this, Nicolás confirms that the Petro isn’t a cryptocurrency but a debt certificate, another bond, backed by oil that belongs to the State which can’t be disposed of, according to the current Constitution. But in his imagination, the Petro “is born wealthy and solid, as no other cryptocurrency has been born before.”

Nicolás probably doesn’t know that cryptocurrency mining demands all the electricity we don’t have; but since he’s got his own priorities, it’s also likely that he’ll impose power rationing in all of the country’s cities just to feed BCV’s antminer farm, which he fancies will be managed by young people from the plan Chamba Juvenil.

Freedom of expression

The National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) released its yearly report for 2017, accounting for at least 500 attacks against free speech, a 26.5% increase compared to 2016. 49 media outlets were shut down in Venezuela, along with 20 newspapers that had to close due to the shortage of newsprint, whose distribution and sale are controlled by the State through the Maneiro Corporation. The report says: “the national government’s intention of silencing -at any cost- dissatisfaction for the increasingly critical economic and social situation, made 2017 the year with the greatest obstacles for the journalistic profession and consequently, for the collective exercise of the right to freedom of expression and access to public information.” Additionally, at least 66 press workers were arbitrarily detained in the exercise of their profession, beside all the attacks of State security forces against them during the coverage of anti-government protests. Just yesterday, Unicable TV journalists Naleida León and Gladifer Albornoz were arrested by the National Guard while reporting on protests in Nueva Esparta. They were released after being held for three hours, without their equipment.

Violence

The most recent report released by Mexico’s Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice ranks Caracas as the most violent city in the world for the second year in a row: “With a rate of 130.35 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants, Caracas is the most violent city in the world as it was in 2015, a situation that ratifies the severe crime crisis that Venezuela is suffering, along with other tremendously serious issues,” says the report, based on 2016 data with the murder rates of hundreds of cities in the world, not including war-torn nations. Caracas is joined by three more cities: Maturín, Ciudad Guayana and Valencia. In 2016, the official crime rate in Venezuela was 21,752 murders, while the unofficial rate was significantly higher. Today, the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence will reveal the results of their Annual Report on Violence for 2017.

Until courts reopen

The 44 recently “released” political prisoners will know the conditions of their release on January 8, because despite what Maikel Moreno said, the courts are on holiday, so there’s no service, access fo the case files or any chance of fulfilling their reporting regime as they were instructed to do soupon their release. Yesterday, they released the head of Carabobo’s Federation of Workers (Fetracarabobo), Omar Escalante, with precautionary measures. He was arrested in his home last August 8 by SEBIN agents. Ah, but following the revolving door principle that the government applies on their count of political prisoners, this Tuesday, a CONAS commission arbitrarily arrested photojournalist Héctor Pedroza Carrizo at his home without a judicial warrant. He’s being held in CONAS offices in Santa Cruz.

Backstreet boys

Former CICPC officer Óscar Pérez uploaded a video on YouTube calling for rebellion, urging Venezuelans to take “to the streets until we conquer our freedom” starting this December 27, a call which according to them, is based on articles 333 and 350 of the Constitution. With a script read in turns by his colleagues, they addressed security forces, asking them to set aside fear and come out in defense of their loved ones, calling to “avoid confrontation and further bloodshed” and cautioning that “if they suppress the Venezuelan people and their legitimate protest, we’re going to be there as well to defend Venezuela.”

Ay, PPK!

In Peru, group of Frente Amplio parliamentarians, which promoted the impeachment of president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski for alleged connections with the company Odebrecht, is studying the possibility of either presenting a new vacancy motion for the pardon granted to Fujimori, or requesting that the vote made on December 21 be reconsidered. Yesterday, a new voice was added to the severe backlash caused by the pardon: Amerigo Incalcaterra, representative of the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh), regretted the decision and said that granting a pardon is a prerogative that demands a rigorous study, considering the gravity of events, and also taking the victims into account, along with their families and all the consequences of promoting impunity.

Four rural communities in San Félix took over the road leading to Upata for eleven hours, demanding food and basic services. However, the democrat Diosdado Cabello just claimed that protesting for food “isn’t fit for the revolution.” I’m not surprised by his alienation, I’m just alarmed by it. The street is heating up more and more. Many feel the despair caused by shortages and impossible prices. Ideology provides no satisfaction and indifference is exhausting.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Muchas gracias, Naky. Tus noticias estan muy ayudable y importante para nosotros en la afuera para entender la situation actual de Venezuela y su genre. Que tengan un buen año nuevo!! Saludos, Tom

  2. So, in just a few days, the “revolution” managed to have diplomatic crises with Canada, Brazil, Portugal… Colombia doesnt count because that is a recurring thing by now.

    I’m also disappointed but not suprised in the reaction of many to the whole “they protest for the pernil???” thing. Apart from the fact that there are protest about plenty of stuff like not having gas, ok, yea, the whole thing with the pernil is a microcosm, is almost a zen koan that illuminates the whole root of the problem and the problem at the same time. The fact that people elected and supported politicians with no idea of how to actually deliver what are the real rights of Venezuelans – a stable, prosperous economy where they could buy perniles or whatever the hell they wanted with their decent salaries free from hyperinflation – but this cheap populist stuff.

    That doesnt mean anybody saying that they deserve this, “eat patria chaburros”, etc… is doing shit to solve anything. Come on. This is an opportunity to try to get to more people, to make them understand that the real revolutionary thing is to move to a future of actual personal independence via policies that ensure jobs, that ensure supplies, that ensure that inflation is controlled. Just getting into a self-righteous mood is yet another trap, and only gives hope to the Chavistas.

    If there are people protesting for being cheated of a pernil for a vote, yes, it is sad and a show of the decadence of the country, but REACH OUT to them as a fellow citizen and SHOW them you really want a better future for all and you NEED them to understand it. Saying that they are marginals and deserve it is just confirming to them that they may be angry at the Chavistas but they are the only one that, sometimes, pretend to listen.

    • Somebody should tell them instead “Hey, look, diosdado said that you can eat some patria, and he called you a burro too, and said your momma’s still too fat so she needs to starve some more. Also, bernal has all the perniles in his house, go and burn it.”

    • Jesus is showing the weakness that has hampered all decent, honourable and fair Venezuelan citizens, no more.
      Turning the other cheek is tantamount to suicide here.
      If they (Chavista supporters) are showing non allignment with the ruling clique, then it should be capitalised on.
      Those people protesting are the same families that are happy to jump on their motorcycles and terrorize the opposition.
      Let them eat their own, as that will be their demise.
      ‘Fiat justitia ruat caelum’

    • My better nature agrees with you, and I am sure that most of these hungry people are redeemable. However it sure gives you the impression that lumpenproletariat inclinations are leading the way.

      It does not escape me that when Chavismo gutted PDVSA or the National Assembly or killed 130 people earlier this year, the pernileros did nothing, and that they sold their vote for A PROMISE OF A PERNIL.

      When I see this, I cannot help but thinking of the Pentateuch/Torah and the story of wandering 40 years in the desert to purify the people.

      Pobre gente.

    • Apart from the fact that the protest are not only about the pernil thing but lack of food, gas, etc…

      Dividing the country into citizens that deserve stuff and non-citizens non-humans that deserve hate is what got the country destroyed and keeps destroying it. And with attitudes like “let them eat shit/each other/whatever’, any hope of getting rid of Chavismo or something like it is impossible. Try telling people to eat shit and then ask them to support a new democratic government.

      This kind of stuff can be used to get to people, to move people to realize their best interest is in changing the whole system. The thrill of “I told you” and “eat patria” is not only petty – is counterproductive.

      • Jesus, the Chavistas have shown time and time again that they are not going to support a new democratic government, their whole mindset is so cemented to the bullshit socialist theory that the country owes them a living, you have 18 year olds that know of nothing else

        “This kind of stuff can be used to get to people, to move people to realize their best interest is in changing the whole system.”

        That is never going to happen, go and give those people a 40hr a week job and see who still works a week later.
        Socialists have a ‘mindset’, that will not be changed by the allure of a new system – neither democracy or capitalism.
        I personally think citizens deserve what they have worked for, its that simple really.
        People should grow up and take the consequences of their own actions.
        This is a War.

        • Worldwide. Socialism has brought over 100 million deaths. Have you ever tried the math of how many miles of rotting corpses stacked 10 high, 10 wide, and ten deep that would be? None of that is to mention the hardships and deprivations of literally billions of people. It amazes me that anyone could still say “socialism” at all. If people choke on “Jeffrey Daumer”, Wayne Gacey”, and “Charles Manson”, then how the heck can anyone say “socialism”? It should become a politically incorrect word worse than any four-letter words I’ve ever heard. “Lord of the Flies” on steroids.

  3. I am very sympathetic with Maduro. I ordered a new vehicle last month but the bank sabotaged the deal when they refused to honor their end of the bargain – to finance the vehicle, simply because I didn’t pay for the last one. What bastards.

    • Yeah, they are doing it wrong, we change way more than $4.50 and a pork roast for our votes in Chicago. Pro tip: always get cash in hand first.

    • No kidding. And they even went after their bank accounts! ““We bought all the pernil for the people, they went after our bank accounts ….” My bet is those unscrupulous hog farmers probably tried to cash the check! That must be where the term “capitalist pig” came from. The United Nations will hear about this attempted grand larceny.

      Spotting the Petrocoin as another bond is brilliant. That’s what it is. Another promise to pay. Snra. Soto could sit on the board of Wells Fargo and make valuable contributions.

      The whole idea behind cybercurrency is that it has value only as a medium of exchange, that is, only as much as it is useful for transactions. Like most currencies today, it has no intrinsic value other than a possible collector’s item. Like a credit card has no intrinsic value, but those little cards are making a lot of people a lot of money because it is widely accepted as a medium of exchange. You could argue that gold has no intrinsic value other than as a rust-proof coating, but it is scarce, and pretty, so it acquires value as a medium of exchange. If you just let it sit there, it doesn’t do anything – literally. A paper-weight maybe.

      By backing a cybercurrency with something tangible which does have an intrinsic value (will move internal combustion engines of many types), it becomes a morphedhybridcybercurrencybond-ish type animal (the Germans made up that word, btw) – a “bond”, for short. Payment is promised based on collateral of oil. It’s just a lot more convenient to carry than a purse-full of heavy crude.

      • “something tangible which does have an intrinsic value”

        True. insofar that you can press your claim on the tangible asset, but I have doubts that ANYONE would send their gunboat to Venezuela in behalf of your Petro claim. Your next best option is probably Venezuelan courts?

        I hear there is a market for Cuban bonds emitted before Fidel.

  4. “Portugal has always remained neutral to our circumstances, with a better record in corruption (remember the case of the Canaimitas) and cowardice than in solidarity.”

    This statement is highly inaccurate and demonstrates profound history ignorance

  5. As Paul Harvey would have said, and now the rest of the story:

    “But the Portuguese government has denied any involvement in the alleged Christmas sabotage.

    “I know that ham to Venezuelans is as important as cod is to us at Christmas, but the fact that distribution has been delayed has nothing to do with the Portuguese government”, said Portugal’s foreign minister, Augusto Santos Silva.

    But on Thursday a statement by food company Raporal appeared to clarify the crux of the dispute, explaining that it and other Portuguese exporters had yet to be paid in full for last year’s consignment of meat products shipped to Venezuela.

    According to Raporal, a contract of €63.5 million was signed in 2016 for the supply of 14,000 tons of meat, but “€40 million remains unpaid”.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/29/venezuela-blames-portugal-sabotaging-christmas-ham-delays-protesters/

    LOL. What an asswipe, Maduro.

  6. Portugal has a population of 10 million compared to Venezuela’a 30 million. Yet Portugal is able feed itself silly in hog, and export to VZ and around the world.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  7. No se, pero me parece mas como lo escrito por Jesus Cuoto Fandino (I think it’s more like this): “Come on. This is an opportunity to try to get to more people, to make them understand that the real revolutionary thing is to move to a future of actual personal independence via policies that ensure jobs, that ensure supplies, that ensure that inflation is controlled.”

    I really don’t know. Even when I lived there I never got that close – too dangerous to get a bright idea like going to hang out in La Charneca or El 23 de Enero, I was told, but the few times I was there, no one ever bothered me (and they could have, easily – those are some tough people to be respected). Just don’t be stupid. It’s only violent when some ass abuser points the finger and tells people “There is the enemy, the cause of all your problems”. Usually “the enemy” is “the rich” and the objective is to “get back what they stole”. And you get the looting of stores operated by good, honest people who are of great value to the community.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here