Yesterday, a video went viral on social media a street plantain vendor being assaulted by a mob. Later, all the attention was displaced by a video uploaded by lawmaker Carlos Paparoni showing a group of people stoning a cow to death in Palmarito, Mérida. Lootings haven’t stopped in Ciudad Bolívar. In Cojedes, 21 people were arrested for attempting to loot a truck transporting live chicken. A truck loaded with bologna, rice and pasta was looted early in the morning in Casupal (Monagas). And just like over 200 people looted a food storage warehouse in Puente Ayala (El Tigre, Anzoátegui) on Tuesday, another group looted several boxes of Natulac juice from a transport they assaulted believing it carried chicken. In several states, shop owners are trying to pull the merchandise out of their stores to protect it, others have decided not to open again.

The campaign to inspect fuel sale chips in Táchira was marked by disorder and confusion.

Additionally, 23-year-old Kevin Morales died of malaria in Bolívar, becoming the third victim of this disease in 2018.

These are the regions that Nicolás doesn’t talk about, in his version of the country anarchy is a myth.

What did Nicolás say?

Since he’s already campaigning, yesterday he came up with the creation of Caracas’ Chief Command to extol his population repackaged in what he calls social policies, claiming that this shenanigans will be “a great invigorating engine for the transformations that Caracas is wishing for.” He also said that all the conditions have been set in 2018 “to build the best government ever made.” That’s why he said that the carnet de la patria is a miracle and claimed that Primero Justicia is behind recent protests, saying that former governor Capriles Radonski is corrupt, and accusing the Guanipa brothers and lawmaker José Guerra of financing the recruitment of “rioters to cause violence.” He urged the people to support peace efforts, that peace we can all feel in the country. Nicolás hopes for a pre-agreement to come out of the dialogue.

Populism by millions

In his Thursday for regions exclusively dedicated to Caracas, Nicolás approved Bs. 28,5 billion for the plan of agro-urban expansion; Bs. 50 billion to improve the infrastructure of municipal markets; Bs. 150 billion to progressively dismantle the garbage transference plant in Las Mayas; Bs. 6.4 billion to repair garbage compactors and put them back in service; Bs. 42 billion to promote the productive activity of the Hogares de la Patria program and Bs. 4.9 trillion to activate the regional fund to strengthen the Clap and sovereign country faires.

Showing the clarity of his priorities, Nicolás also approved Bs. 27 billion for a recreational program for caraqueños during Carnavales and Holy Week and Bs. 13 billion to boost sports.

Sadly, he forgot that 10 cases of measles have already been reported in Caracas.

Forced revalidation

National Electoral Council said that the political party revalidation process ordered by the ANC will take place over the weekend between January 27 and 28. Funny that the same rectoras who have stalled for years to offer a solution regarding the situation of the lawmakers elected in Amazonas in 2015 and most recently, Andrés Velásquez’s challenge against the elections due to vote tampering in Bolívar state, are now proving their efficiency in applying the ANC’s punitive action against parties that refused to participate in the latest elections; the opposition’s new demand in the agenda of negotiations in the Dominican Republic.

And in the Dominican Republic

The government delegation arrived almost 12 hours late to the Dominican Foreign Ministry office to start the technical meeting with Rodríguez Zapatero and minister Miguel Vargas. The hour for starting was changed throughout the day for this circumstance, and MUD’s counselling team sent some tweets trying to cover the hours they had to wait, any sort of optimism vanishing from their reflection. Before travelling, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz tweeted:

“On my way to the Dominican Republic for the “negotiation” (…) If there are no concrete and credible results now, there there will be no reason to keep going.”

Despite asking the mediators for seriousness and synderesis, Delcy Rodríguez claimed that Muñoz “sadly chooses the back door and serves American interests” while he replied:

“Nobody is forced to do something impossible. Venezuelans may define their future, but you invited us as mediators and we won’t be a part of something that won’t mean a credible solution to the Venezuelan crisis.”

Ouch, Delcy!

Human rights

Amnesty International issued a statement saying that lawmaker Gilber Caro has been in prison for a year amidst constant abuses against his human rights. Arbitrarily detained in 2017 disrespecting his parliamentary immunity, almost five months went by before the lawmaker was presented before a court, subjected to isolation and with little food. The military court in charge of the cause established Tocuyito prison as his detention center and his preliminary hearing, vital for the start of a trial, has been suspended nine times.

NGO Foro Penal said in their balance yesterday that 2017 was the year with more political detentions in the country’s history: 5,511 arrests, most of them taking place between April and August. They supported the statements offered by Cindy Portillo, who denounced her husband’s forced disappearance since January 4. Cindy’s husband, Jameson Jiménez, was a childhood friend of former CICPC inspector Oscar Pérez.


President Juan Manuel Santos warned Nicolás yesterday about seeking to use Colombia to cover up the failure of his collapsed revolution, urging him to allow the opening of a humanitarian channel; meanwhile, the Colombian Foreign Ministry announced that they will request UN advise on how to deal with Venezuelan homelessness in their country. 

The Lima Group will meet on January 22 in Santiago de Chile to study the progress (decline, actually) of Venezuela’s situation.

The Panamanian oil ship Proteo was supposed to sail yesterday from Curazao with a load of Venezuelan crude, but it was retained by local authorities due to the debts payments demanded by several shipping companies.

The black market dollar rose by more than Bs. 25,000 in three days:

The euro already broke the Bs. 200,000 mark.

Inflation is supposed to slow down these weeks, and yet…

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  1. See all them smiling faces after the street vendor got rolled?

    That is why the United States should NEVER use its military to “liberate” Venezuela.

    F’ing ingrates.

    When there is Chavista blood filling the streets, and the red shirts are fighting the red shirts and thousands of CHAVISTAS are dead, only then should it be considered.

      • I think that’s a pretty safe bet.

        I’ve been to Venezuela many times, and every country in Central America, including very very poor countries like Honduras and Guatemala. I never thought that I would see something like that in Venezuela.

        So yeah. Bum rushing a banana peddler. Venezuela would qualify as a de facto shit-hole right now.

  2. “The euro already broke the Bs. 200,000 mark.”

    By the time I read this post, the Euro is now 216,700 Bs on Dolar Today.

    That’s 8% more in less than a day.

    The USD is at 178,600 Bs. Should be comfortably over 200000 sometime next week.

    Bs are toast. Hope they at least make decent tp.

    • Keep in mind the bolivares of the 1970’s – the last ones I spent – were devalued by a factor of 1000 to get the “bolivar fuerte” of today. Those once were Bs.4.30 to the dollar. Sooooo … more math (you almost need scientific notation) … that would be Bs. 178,600,000 to the dollar. In scientific, that would be Bs.1.78E8 to the dollar. Hey … it IS easier to do the math that way!

      Now let’s see, the first derivative of inflation would be the slope of the curve at any given point, and the second derivative would be the rate of increase in slope between two points on the curve, and apparently that’s somewhere around 3,000% – did I get that right? I don’t think so. My calculus is more than a little rusty. I did get it wrong. … The first derivative would be the rate of increase of the curve, or simply the rate of inflation. The second derivative would measure the rate of increase in the rate of inflation. I’m not sure you can apply all that accurately to the financial world, but some people have tried defining “gamma” as the rate of change of the “delta” of a stock option, and that “gamma” would be the second derivative (I think). You know the “delta” is decaying, but you want measure the increase (or decrease) in that rate of decay. It’s like in an automobile engine in a car accelerating – it has a maximum torque generated at a set range of rpms and at that point it’s acceleration is highest (not its speed, but it’s acceleration). A Ferrari for example is at its best when it’s above 60 mph (or thereabout, I read), it thrives on the high rpms. Whatever. I understand the delta and gamma, but you have to understand options to get the explanation, so I’ll leave it to Google-heads who want to know.

      It’s the rate of increase in the rate of inflation that you want to watch, because as that increases, you get the inverse bubble of hyperinflation full in the face, and you would have to use that as the basis for estimating what you have to charge today to repurchase inventory a week from now. If for example, you have 100% month-to month inflation in October, then 110% in November, then 120% in December, you can’t just mark up December goods by 120% to cover the restock at the end of January. You have to go more than 120% over December – even though the second derivative is slowing, it’s still a positive number. I haven’t been keeping track of the bolivar, but my guess is that the rate of increase is increasing, not decreasing.

      September base value of 1
      October 100% inflation = 2x base value
      November 110% = 4.2x base value a 10% increase in acceleration of inflation
      December 120% = 9.24x base value, an 8.4% increase in acceleration of inflation
      et cetera. (piece of cake)
      I probably got that all wrong, but it seems logical that the additional 10% increase in acceleration monthly would have less impact as the straight rate of inflation grew – proportionately, 10% increase in inflation is increasingly smaller compared to the 100%, 200%, 300%.

      The “rate of inflation” is not the same as the acceleration (or deceleration) of that rate of inflation. There must be a number in there that equates to a steady acceleration, and I guess that’s where some math-o-phile started coming up with calculus as a way of working with that. I think the unitary value of a steady second derivative would place the rate closer to 130%, than to 120% for December, because at 130% you’d have a 12.6% increase in acceleration.

      In conclusion … if inflation is steadily 100%/ mo (“doubling” every month) you do not have an acceleration in the rate of inflation. If it goes from doubling every month, to tripling every month, then you have an acceleration of inflation, or an accelerating inflation rate. Calculating that acceleration is what you would use to estimate the next month’s inflation, and so estimate the prices to charge for the present month to have enough to replenish inventory.

      • Gringo – that made my head hurt. Rate of change of the rate of change …

        I didn’t mind calculus so much back in the day, but I draw the line at linear algebra and P-Chem. Was only a single bit of graffiti scratched into the stall wall of our chemistry department, which read, “Heisenberg may have sat here” Good stuff.

        • Sorry, I screwed it up on the percentages, and I’m still trying to figure out how to say that a 3% inflation rate is steady inflation, and you can use that to estimate prices, but when that 3% goes to 4%, then 5%, then 20%, 100%, you have an acceleration. You have to have some measure of that acceleration to estimate what prices will be next month.

          The equation for just a straight line already incorporates a “percentage increase” but in real numbers, so Y=2X would represent a “100% inflation” line measured in the number of bolivares or yuan or whatever you need to buy the same amount of goods. It’s not expressed as Y=100%X, and the [my] confusion came out, in whether you mean Y=X “exactly”, or whether you mean Y=200%X. I.e. 100% inflation is taken to mean “two times the currency units needed”, and not “an identical amount” as in “100% of an apple”. Y=80%X is taken to mean Y=0.8X, but 80% inflation is taken to mean 1.8 times the previous number.

          I’m closer than that Spaniard Luis Salas, famous for his “inflation does not exist” statement.

  3. Yeah man, what “Gringo” said. FYI: I can attest to the fact that the word shithole has been a part of the US foreign service informal lexicon since at least the early 60’s and probably a lot longer. Sorry folks just not a lot people moving to Pakistan to find a better life. Does calling a shithole a shithole make you racist? Of course not it just indicates that you are observant and have functioning olfactory nerves. When I lived in Venezuela it was during the Carlos Andres Perez years and it was the antithesis of a shithole.

    • The Panama Canal and malaria infested swamps come to mind as a shithole …. 1903-1914. Someone once described bars in Panama as replicas of that inter-galactic bar in Star Wars – never know whom you are going to sit next to, CIA, KGB, Chinese, Colombians, Swiss Bankers, Long Tall Lady in a Black Dress ….

    • Having worked in several of these places, having worked with Pakistanis, Chinese, Angolans, Venezuelans, Bangladeshis, Italians, Mexicans and Colombians, Irish, Canadians, Argentinians, Aussies and Kiwi’s, etc… while your observation is correct, its just impolite. Many of these foreign nationals were highly educated and experienced, and returned to their home countries to make them better. I would never use that word in front of friends much less my Venezuelan wife, much less to hear that from a world leader. It is just pointless.

  4. The measles outbreak is what scares me, not.

    Chavistas are dumb enough to claim MMR shots are actually poison from gringos. Ignorant folk tend to believe stuff like that from popular and “well respected” (Maduro) leaders.

    Look at the fun they are having in the UK after thinking (falsely) that MMR shots cause autism.

    Pray for a faster/humane death instead.

    • Don’t go there.

      There’s no reason you can’t innoculate your child, over several months, with separate shots for measles, mumps and rubella. As opposed to giving a baby this ONE massive dose. Oh, I know the reason:

      It’s cheaper to do it all at one time.

      But should I have a choice? According to you, I shouldn’t. The state will decide.

      Father of an autistic 26-year-old here, and I’m very passionate about this subject. Anyone who subjects their child to the MMR is a fucking idiot.

      Go ahead. Roll the dice.

      It’s your kid, so why should I give a shit?

      • Then no autism before MMR?

        I give a shit, because I am the caretaker of an autistic 14 year old, and to insinuate that MMR causes autism is to suggest that the dearth of pirates causes global warming. There is absolutely ZERO peer reviewed scientific evidence that anything in the MMR (or any other vaccine) causes autism.

        Correlation does not imply causation.

  5. News just came out that Iraq is producing 5 million barrels a day. And VZ is down to 1.7, and it’s going to get lower.

    Now, I understand the difference in extraction difficulties between the two countries and type of oil, but come on. Figure in the Iraqi war (remember that, it’s still happening)…the powerhouse PDVSA used to be…do the math…

    And you realize how fucked up VZ really is.

    • Your post about Iraqi oil production got me to wondering Ira. Remember the “no blood for oil” mantra? We were only going to war because we wanted to control their oil?

      I looked it up and of 23 active fields listed in Iraq, the US is has possession of a grand total of two. Two. Along with the US there’s the Netherlands, Malaysia, China, France, the UK, Italy, Korea, Russia, Turkey, Japan and Angola all investing in Iraq’s oil industry.

      • Preaching to the choir, here:

        And the Kuwaiti well fires we put out … well, that some American companies put out. They got paid (probably just standard price, maybe minus a volume discount), for sure, and they got the job done. Some of that was amazingly dramatic to watch on video. Some ugly people try to spread the blatant lie that “the U.S.” this and “the U.S.” that, to try to insinuate the impression that it is “the U.S.”. It is not. They just don’t get the idea, and do not want the rest of the gullible stupid socialist parasites to get the idea that the U.S. is all about providing a stable and favorable environment in which INDIVIDUALS can work to make their own little dreams and ambitions come true. Of course “we” didn’t want the Kuwaiti or Iraqi wells: they were not the companies’ property! There were no agreements in place, no contracts signed. Those companies do not steal things – crap, they make plenty of money honestly because they’re darn good at what they do, well organized, and they love it. It was their individual choice to do what they do. “The U.S.” just provided the environment – and culture – in which they could achieve. It’s called freedom. And for most of us here, anyone who wants to try to take that away can try to take it away over their own dead bodies. And yes, we do feel that everyone else should feel that way.

      • Just to clarify, the US does not “own”any Iraqi oilfields, there are various types of profit sharing contracts, JV’s, production sharing agreements (PSA), etc. Avoids the whole sovereignty issue, shared risks, etc.

        Point is Chavismo would have done better to not nationalize in ‘07 for control and sovereignty bla bla.. Venezuela would likely be producing +5MM BOPD, at lower operating costs and higher national income, even at lower oil prices, if they’d just weren’t so greedy, corrupt, understood business.

        • Here:

          [Quote from the article linked to above:]
          Petroleum map of Venezuela, 1972

          Well before 1976, Venezuela had taken several steps in the direction of nationalization of its oil industry. In August 1971, under the presidency of Rafael Caldera, a law was passed that nationalized the country’s natural gas industry. Also in 1971 the law of reversion was passed which stated that all the assets, plant, and equipment belonging to concessionaires within or outside the concession areas would revert to the nation without compensation upon the expiration of the concession.[8] The movement towards nationalism was experienced once again under decree 832. Decree 832 stipulated that all exploration, production, refining, and sales programs of the oil companies had to be approved in advance by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons.[8]

          Nationalization become official when the presidency of Carlos Andrés Pérez, whose economic plan, “La Gran Venezuela”, called for the nationalization of the oil industry and diversification of the economy via import substitution. The country officially nationalized its oil industry on 1 January 1976 at the site of Zumaque oilwell 1 (Mene Grande), and along with it came the birth of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) which is the Venezuelan state-owned petroleum company. All foreign oil companies that once did business in Venezuela were replaced by Venezuelan companies. Each of the former concessionaires was simply substituted by a new ‘national’ oil company, which maintained the structures and functions of its multi-national corporation (MNC)-predecessor.[19]

          All the new companies are owned by a holding company-Petroven or PDV- and in its turned owned by the State.[20] Ultimately not much had changed in this regard, as all Venezuelans with leading positions in the MNCs took over the leading positions of the respective new companies,[20] and therefore still securing their interests in Venezuela’s oil. PDVSA controls activity involving oil and natural gas in Venezuela. In 1980, in an aggressive internationalization plan, PDVSA bought refineries in USA and Europe as the American Citgo that catapultated it to the third-largest oil company in the world.[14]
          [End quote.]

  6. Less that 8% of Iraq oil exports go to the US , by far the mayority of it oil exports go to China , India , South Korea ….the greatest beneficiaries of US intervention of Iraq are China and India.


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