A Bigger Fraud

For Thursday, February 22, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Globovisión

The Democratic Unity Roundtable announced that they won’t participate in April 22 elections, deeming them a fraudulent and illegitimate simulation of a presidential election.

Ángel Oropeza made the announcement and dared the government to hold the vote under other conditions: “With these conditions established in the document of the agreement in the Dominican Republic (which the government refused to sign), we’re willing and ready to participate. Otherwise, don’t count on MUD or the Venezuelan people to support the fraud.” Oropeza also called for the creation of a national broad front with social and political forces to obtain clean and competitive elections.

Shortly afterwards, Nicolás showed up to raise the bet from “double or nothing” to “all in.”

All the posts, no guarantees

Emphasizing that he’ll go to elections with or without MUD, Nicolás said that he’ll ask the ANC to “hold early elections to renew all powers and focus only on working,” taking the chance to say that Diosdado Cabello’s proposal was necessary and fair. So, the integral renewal includes Legislative and Municipal Councils, and Parliament, over 2,500 posts in an election where a government with 25% approval rating will be the sole challenger.

As a kind of justification, he said: “That way we can clear four years to focus on working exclusively on the country’s prosperity,” the same argument he used to justify the imposition of the ANC and the State of Emergency, which he has wielded for the past two years to rule with absolute powers as all indicators collapse. For some reason, Nicolás chooses to forget that back in 2000, el finado tried something like this and it was a complete failure; that although the terms of Legislative and Municipal Councils have expired, the AN is still in exercise and holding early parliamentary elections is only possible by violating the Constitution. The fact that Nicolás speaks about renewal when he seeks the reelection, is as disrespectful as accusing the opposition of being disconnected from the country, while he, compared to most starved Venezuelans, looks like a mammoth.


Lawmaker Julio Borges, who headed the opposition commission in the failed negotiation in the Dominican Republic, wrote:

“Nicolás Maduro with this “mega election” farce, you’re committing suicide. Your days are numbered”.

Shortly after that, Delcy Rodríguez said she’d received the megaelection proposal, ratifying the ANC’s commitment to carry out Nicolás’ orders.

Most people agree that elections of such complexity would be impossible to hold on April 22 and that this new call is evidence of the regime’s need to finish any vestige of independent powers, which only predicts further decline for Nicolás’ already battered legitimacy in the international stage.

Henri Falcón, whose party signed MUD’s agreement, boasted that he’ll defeat Nicolás even “with all your tricks,” which garnered more scorn than praise.

Lastly, CNE authority Luis Emilio Rondón pointed out that an election such as the one proposed, violates the political rights of Venezuelans; he asked not to repeat mistakes and read the Framework Law of the Municipal Public Power, because it forces the holding of separate elections for municipalities and for the National Public Power.

Poorer and hungrier

The National Survey on Living Conditions (Encovi), carried out by the Central University, the Andrés Bello Catholic University and the Simón Bolívar University along with the Bengoa foundation and Red de Solidaridad Ciudadana, among other institutions, revealed dramatic data about our circumstances, starting with the report that 87% of the population lives in poverty, with a rise in extreme poverty from 24% in 2014 to 61% in 2017; 89% of Venezuelans think that their family income isn’t enough to buy food; 61% admit to going to bed hungry; 20% can’t afford breakfast and 63.2% have reduced their meals in order to save food. It makes sense, then, to read that Venezuelans lost an average of 11.4 kilos last year, as a consequence of the worst economic crisis in our history, between a severe recession and hyperinflation, with our income in ashes. Access to education dropped from 78% to 71% in two years, we have over a million unschooled children and severe academic lag reaches 15% among teenagers between 12 and 17 years old. I urge you to read the survey in detail, there’s too much important information to include this as a usual block in this daily briefing.

Chávez the corrupt

While Venezuelans were coming to terms with a new depreciation of the bolívar, evidenced in the results of the second DICOM auction, which went from Bs. 30,987.50 to 36,131.10 – 14.2% depreciation – imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab gave his accountability speech before the ANC, a performance in which he seemed strangely pleased to reveal the degradation that PDVSA reached under Hugo Chávez’s rule, estimating after his preliminary investigations, an embezzlement of $15 billion, excluding overpriced contracts and those assigned at will in the Orinoco Oil Strip. He should moderate the anger he reserved to accuse his predecessor Luisa Ortega Díaz of protecting great drug lords and corruption big shots, because talking about at least 100 people arrested to dismantle corruption schemes in the oil sector and money laundering operations, is admitting that Hugo Chávez was corrupt, that he chose corrupt cronies for key posts and that they did manage to operate with the necessary freedom to move the colossal sums of money mentioned by Saab. Either he benefited from such schemes or he was too relaxed in the control his post demanded.

The fun part was that, right before Saab’s performance, PDVSA forbade its employees to use social networks:

What’s the risk if the imposed prosecutor is already revealing the evidence of the corruption that destroyed the country’s main company as if it was an achievement?


  • If it’s about corruption, the Swiss financial regulator Finma is investigating several Swiss banks to determine whether they complied with anti-money laundering laws, in a sprawling investigation on corruption for over a billion dollars involving PDVSA.
  • Brazil and Colombia announced that they’ll reinforce cooperation at the border and the exchange of information about the situation of Venezuelans who are fleeing from the crisis.
  • Julio Borges will meet with Panama’s Juan Carlos Varela today, and then with Venezuelans living there.

Dr. Julio Castro urges health workers to give their opinion about the conditions of the hospitals in which they work (public or private) by answering the National Hospitals Survey, which has been carried out for the past five years.

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  1. This is great. The conditions could be set for a UltraMegaSuperGiga Fraud. Of unprecedented proportions in recent world history. Rex and I sure hope the Chavistoide Criminal Thugs go all out: go ahead and fake a 60% “victory” with the detested Burro as ‘president’ another “victory” for the Chavistoide AN including Legislative and Municipal Councils, and Parliament, over 2,500 posts.

    Such an blatantly obvious Ultra Fraud would be awesome!! Sadly, I don’t think the Kleptocrats are THAT dumb. But anyway, at least Borges and Ramos Allup/AD no van pal baile, which is great after the Dominican Republic Bachata circus, making it abundantly clear, nationally and internationally, que lo que viene es tremendo robo de ‘elecciones”. After the UMSG Fraud the economic conditions will be even worse, yes, worse, more hunger, more poverty, more transportation problems, electric black outs, KLepto-petro total failure and looming “Defol”..

    Superb conditions for my buddy Rex to coordinate with Macron/EU and Macri/LatAm and unleash The Perfect Storm: Immediate condemnation of the Mega Fraud, no country on Earth except Cuba and Bolivia recognize Maduro as president, many pull out their embasadors and freeze all diplomatic and commercial relations. And then……………………………..

    KABOOM!! Zero US$ for oil, hopefully zero gasoline exports. That’s the only $40 Million/Per day the Regime gets from the USA, which no one will be willing to pay cash for heavy oil, not India or Russia or China. (Especially after Rex is done negotiating with them too) . Thus, in the middle of the worst economic crisis in Kleptozuelan History, when people are the angriest they’ve ever been, feeling cheated and desperate, no more cash to bribe the Millions of Enchufados and public leeches, or most of the corrupt military.

    That’s when the shit hits the fan. When Rex shuts down the cash.

    • Poeta,
      That’s true that the Vzla economy will completely collapse with misery and death for ordinary citizens.
      However, the top Chavistas are sitting on $billions that can sustain them quite comfortably for a few years.
      They will not disappear overnight.

      IMO, the demise of Raul Castro will signal the end of Maduro. This bastard is fomenting trouble all around the hemisphere. The next generation of Cuban leaders will be interested in personal survival rather than conquering other countries. Maduro has nothing to offer Cuba and the Cubans will ignore him.

  2. “Zero US$ for oil, hopefully zero gasoline exports.”

    Does PDVSA even have the capacity to produce gasoline for export right now? I wouldn’t be surprised if Maduro is not importing more gasoline than he’s exporting at the moment. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    This from 5 years ago.

    “Venezuela in 2012 became a net importer of gasoline as a result of escalating problems at its refineries and increasing demand for fuel in its internal market, joining a growing list of countries that struggle with fuel supplies despite ample oil reserves.

    The OPEC nation exported 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline and naphtha last year, according to state oil company PDVSA’s annual report. But it imported an average of 66,300 bpd of the same fuels from the United States alone, according to U.S. Energy Department data.”


    While demand has surely fallen dramatically because of the cratering economy and lack of spare parts to keep vehicles running, PDVSA’s refining capacity must also surely be greatly diminshed today.

    • Amazing how she can put together these complex elections in a matter of a month or two but a “yes” or “no” vote on the recall referendum was so complicated it was going to take at least 18 months. Cunt.

      If I was a cynic, which I’m not…….

  3. Dr. Julio Castro urges health workers to give their opinion about the conditions of the hospitals in which they work (public or private) by answering the National Hospitals Survey, which has been carried out for the past five years.

    I have immediate family working in a once-leading CCS hospital and the conditions are abysmal. However making this known to the public by way of videos, interviews, and photos, has been criminalized by Chavismo. But the times is near with the conditions become so grave that people will stop being scared to show the truth regardless of repercussions. Once people start documenting what is actually happening en mass, Maduro will have a real issue to deal with. As is, the actual condition of hospitals in Venezuela (most but not all) is terribly dirty secret.

    • Terribly dirty – yes. Secret – no. Granted, millions of useful useful lefty idiots in the US may actually believe Cuba has a better healthcare because “free” and “universal” and so forth. They can be shown video of a Potemkin clinic and they will believe it.

      OT – how is it that the DT exchange rates has been frozen for several weeks in the mid-220s to 230s?

      If because “no cash” – then how are prices able to rise just off electronic payments without raising exchange rate?

      MRubio – what gives?

      • Dunno AG, but I’ll tell you this. The day I start looking to buy dollars with some extra bs, that rate will take off like a scalded dog. Guess the market’s waiting on me. 🙂

        • Thanks, guacharaca. I am fortunate to live in the US (presently split between HI and the mainland). Noting like a 90% discount at the exchange window. Yes, I know it used to be 900000%, but hogs get fat while pigs get slaughtered.

      • Probable reason: at tax time (Feb.-Mar.), corporations bring/sell $ to convert to Bs. to pay their yearly Ven. income tax–this yearly effect is actually quite muted so far this year (previous effects have been as much as -30% or so in Bs./$ exchange rate), probably due to collapsed private economic activity; the rate usually zooms up starting end March onward.

        • OK. But if this is the reason, is predictable, and everyone would be speculating on it, which would drive the rate up in advance under the “baked into the market” theory. Guess we’ll find out.


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