In Economic Depression


Photo: Contrapunto

Lawmaker José Guerra, member of the National Assembly’s Finance and Economic Development Committee, reported that the country’s economy lost 25% of its productive capacity in the last four years, with a 13.2% drop in 2017, surpassing the 12% drop in 2016. The elements that explain this context of economic depression are the dwindling oil production, the reduction of consumption due to a decrease in purchasing power (thanks to hyperinflation), the intense depreciation of the bolívar and the decline in the construction industry. Only 3,800 industries remain operational and the AN estimates that some 1,000 will shut down in 2018 if the current economic policies continue. Guerra restated that the crisis could be corrected if BCV stops issuing artificial money to finance the fiscal deficit; if currency exchange controls are lifted and if the financial debt, which he estimates will surpass $150 billion by 2027, is renegotiated.

Producing less

“Venezuela is producing 1.5 million oil barrels per day (bpd) less than its historical capacity, but that’s something the country must tackle on its own,” said Ecuadorian Hydrocarbons Minister Carlos Pérez; while according to Bloomberg, the forecasts of the International Energy Agency establish that oil extraction in Venezuela will continue to drop until 2023, reaching 1940s levels (when output was 700,000 bpd) which will impact production growth for OPEC countries, estimating that Iraq’s growth will compensate the sharp drop in extraction in Venezuela. Additionally, Fedecámaras chairman Carlos Larrazábal said: “Our private sector is shutting down,” and companies are operating at 30% their installed capacity. Larrazábal explained how the crossover between reduced working hours, crime, the lack of inventory and cash problems influence the decline in economic activity, while the government refuses to change the model that has destroyed the economy.

In the shadows

Out of ALBA’s 11 member nations, only 5 heads of state attended Nicolás’s summit, including him. A president for every year since Chávez’s death. After their arrival, on the World Day of Energy Efficiency, Caracas, Vargas and Miranda suffered another blackout. Darkness and inaction are the best summary of el finado’s legacy. Meanwhile, the event in the Military Museum on which Nicolás installed the summit, wasn’t attended by any member of Chávez’s family and everything that happened yesterday revolved around Nicolás, making the speeches of his few current allies even more boring. He was bold enough to announce a “Joint Economic Plan” for ALBA, proving the coherence of a group maintained with nation-draining incentives. If there’s something a country in economic ruin, amidst a humanitarian crisis, is an economic plan. The summit has only been covered by official media, an undisputed evidence of its notoriety.

A day after your passing, Marta

The lack of immunosuppressants keeps killing transplant patients in the country. This Sunday, 50-year old Marta Solórzano died in the Hospital Universitario of Caracas after her body started rejecting her kidney because she wasn’t taking the necessary medication to keep it. According to records from the Coalition of Organizations for the Right of Health and Life (Codevida), eight transplant patients have already died since October due to lack of medication and 3,500 are currently at risk of losing their organs, returning to dialysis (with less equipment and supplies available) or dying.

Where’s Gilber?

The lawyers of lawmaker and political prisoner Gilber Caro demanded a “proof of life” after he was arbitrarily transferred from the prison where he’d been held, saying that they don’t know where he is. Several lawmakers and relatives of Caro have requested information about the legislator’s current location. The office of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights also demanded information on the lawmaker’s whereabouts: “We demand (that) Gilber Caro’s family and defense be immediately informed of his whereabouts,” they wrote on Twitter, denouncing that “his transfer to an unknown location without informing his relatives constitutes (an) enforced disappearance according to international law.”


  • In the context of the FAO America Conference, Julio Berdegué, FAO chief for Latin America and the Caribbean, said that he sees a “marked spread of hunger in Venezuela.” Susana Raffalli, nutritionist specialized in food security administration, ratified that Venezuela is the country with the worst food performance in the region and the worst levels of acute malnutrition in the hemisphere.
  • Peruvian Foreign Minister Cayetana Aljovín restated that Nicolás’ invitation to the Summit of the Americas was removed because he’s preventing the holding of democratic elections in Venezuela. Nicolás replied: “Venezuela will fight for its right to be heard, to have a voice. Nobody will quiet Venezuela down,” adding that he’ll attend the summit with Bolívar’s sword.
  • This Monday, Roraima’s government declared an outbreak of measles, a diseases considered eradicated in Brazil since 2015. After five confirmed and 23 suspect cases (most of them Venezuelans) the State Health Bureau concludes that it’s a virus imported from Venezuela, so they announced an early vaccination campaign against the disease for March 10.

Beautiful things happen too!

Yulimar Rojas retained her world title on indoors triple jump with a 14.63 meter-long jump, conquering the gold medal in the World Championship in Birmingham. Yulimar got the world’s best score in this season, becoming the first American two-time champion in triple jump and the second in accomplishing this feat, after Russian Tatyana Lebedeva. Violinist Rubén Rengel rose with the first place of the 21st Annual Competition of the Sphinx Organization in Detroit, becoming the first Venezuelan to receive it. But also, the Anthology of the 2nd Rafael Cadenas National Contest of Young Poetry was granted an honor certificate in the Contest “The most beautiful books of the world” that’s taking place in Leipzig, Germany; a well-deserved recognition for the awesome people behind Libros del Fuego and Team Poetero. Lastly, Fe y Alegría, the country’s most important movement of popular education, celebrates its 63rd anniversary maintaining 174 schools, five university institutes, 24 radio stations, a training and research center and 77 vocational training centers. Their yearly lottery takes place on May 23, please support this beautiful work by purchasing their tickets.

Today, the civil society will hold the event “Venezuela unida no se rinde,” in the Aula Magna, UCV at 10:00 a.m.

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  1. Someone please enlighten me, what the hell does this mean? → “adding that he’ll attend the summit with Bolívar’s sword.” Please do not say saber rattling.

  2. “…he’ll attend the summit with Bolívar’s sword.”

    Awesome. I would love to see that. The logistics are going to be tricky, however.

    You just don’t show up, especially if you are the head of state. As a pilot, you have to make flight plans, especially if you are carrying dignitaries and you are flying into other nations borders. You can’t just fly into some airport and say, “Oh, guess who is on my bird? Its the dictator/despot of some shithole nation, and he has Bolivar’s sword with him!”

    I don’t give a shit if its Excalibur and some watery tart threw it at King Arthur! You can’t land uninvited unless its an actual emergency. Especially if military equipment in in the middle of your airstrip. But the visual is nice of Maduro’s private plane turning around at the border and him rattling “Bolivar’s sword” with as much indignity as he can muster…

  3. Where does Jose Guerra get this economic data? Go figure.. A remote, wild guesstimate at best. This Jose Guerra guy is just a poor man’s Ricardo Hausman, the difference between Harvard and UCV.. Yet an asset for Narco-Klepto-Cubazuela. Reminds me of the brave but delusional Capriles, a poor man’s Leopoldo Lopez: also needed in whatever’s left of a country formerly known as Venezuela.

    • Sorry man, but I totally disagree with you on Jose Guerra and Ricardo Hausman. Hausman is a socialist whose leaning post is “the government”. The government must do this, the government must do that, the government must guarantee this, the government must supply this, the government, the government, the government. His line is a centralized economy – typically socialist Harvard.

      Jose Guerra has a sound and functional series of steps to set the economy free from “the government”. I posted about Guerra’s major points a while ago. I guess you didn’t read it, or don’t like gringos, but you cannot dislike economics and and fiscal responsibility and throw those out the window unless you want a trashed economy, too.

    • This was a foregone conclusion after Smartmatic announced that there was fraud of at least a million votes in the July 31″election.” Smartmatic supplied software, but didn’t participate in the October regional “elections.” Repeat Elections.

      Through a statement, the company that provided the technological platform for voting and election services in Venezuela for CNE since 2004, clarified that they didn’t supply products or services for regional elections: “Smartmatic simply gave the software to the National Electoral Council, in the presence of political parties, during an audit of the source code,” so they didn’t participate in programming voting machines or offered tallying services. The company accused the government of not paying the debts incurred for the products, services and technical support during 2015 parliamentary elections and the ANC elections. The government is so brazen now, that they might simply say that after denouncing the fraud on July 30th, they misplaced the unpaid bills; no worries, whatevers.

      It would appear that Smartmatic hasn’t gotten paid in several years for its services. Nor could Smartmatic anticipate getting paid after denouncing CNE fraud back in August. No reason to hang around.

  4. “the country’s economy lost 25% of its productive capacity in the last four years”

    That’s a feature, not a bug.

  5. “the country’s economy lost 25% of its productive capacity in the last four years, with a 13.2% drop in 2017, surpassing the 12% drop in 2016”.. does no one else see a problem with these numbers? I get percentages aren’t additive, but what happened in each of the previous 2 years (‘14 and ‘15) to get ONLY 25% in 4 years? Serious problem with politicians who don’t understand economics much less el pueblo.. the point is things are much worse, as reported in CC sad stories, than can be determined and accurately reported.

  6. I love you Naky, keep up the good work. I live in England having lived in VE for four years. My wife lives there.
    I send her and my step-children dollars every month – this keeps them alive.
    God bless you!!!

    • Yep. Remesas. Billions coming in. Integral part of the sinister Castro-Chavista Master Plan. Vital for the final phase of complete Cubanization of Narco-Kleptozuela.

  7. I love you Naky, keep up the good work. I live in England having lived in VE for four years. My wife lives there in Ve’

    I send her and my step-children dollars every month – this keeps them alive.
    God bless you!!!

  8. Do people actually believe this is Bolivar’s sword? I mean, come on:

    It reeks of total bullshit, like the “Washington Slept Here” nonsense that American bed and breakfasts used.


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