Sovereign disaster

For Friday, March 23, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

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Photo: BCV

Last night, Nicolás announced the second monetary reconversion in 10 years: once again, they scrapped three zeros from the currency and the new banknotes, whose highest denomination will be Bs. 500 (Bs. 500,000 currently) which can’t pay for an egg carton, will start circulating on Monday, June 4.

The “economic war” is once more the justification for this monetary reform, but Nicolás didn’t forget to mention other “culprits” such as Dolar Today, the United States and president Juan Manuel Santos, who he blamed for the cash crisis, alongside lawmaker Julio Borges.

The fact that he said the measure had been ready since December 2017, makes the launch of the “safer” Bs. 100,000 banknote even more absurd; it barely circulated at all, another useless expense for the Central Bank. He was bold enough to say: “We’re going to defend the bolivar, the country’s monetary and financial sovereignty,” revealing another proof of his economic failure.

This “Sovereign Bolívar” will have more nominal than practical value. It’s a poorly designed monetary reform and Nicolás knows it: without an anti-inflation plan, without a stabilization plan, the fiscal and monetary mess will continue. A bolívar today is equal to a million bolívares in 2008, Zimbabwe style.

Armored petro

Nicolás also made a report on the petro because the sale process started yesterday. It was hard for him to get in character, but he repeated the exercise of announcing unverifiable figures for the pre-sale process, saying that the petro broke all records of offer, exchange, purchase and circulation in “the global crypto-economy,” claiming that “there’s no monetary space in the world where it isn’t talked about.”

That must have inspired him to set up a blockchain and cryptocurrency event in April. Superintendent Carlos Vargas said that even buses will take petros and Nicolás ordered the creation of four economic areas to promote the use of the petro: Margarita, Los Roques, Paraguaná and Ureña-San Antonio (Táchira state). Nicolás inadvertently said: “we’re depositing eight million votes, sorry, bonuses (…) my mind betrayed me,” and he even smiled.

Improvising, as always

Earlier, Vice-President Tareck El Aissami announced that Nicolás had decreed the period of March 26 to 28 as nonworking holiday for public servants, as a power-saving measure: “this decision comes from the impact caused by the recent summer, affecting water levels in hydrographic dams and, consequently, the instability of the national electrical power system,” wrote El Aissami on Twitter, excluding employees working in activities that can’t be interrupted from the decree. Chavismo has been in power for 20 years and they’ve been incapable of designing plans for rain or drought periods, they just improvise, restricting the rights of citizens, with a power crisis that translates into prolonged power-cut periods in at least six of the country’s states; with failures in water supply. Read “Living without Water”, an article published in Prodavinci.

Hunger

The UN warned yesterday that 124 million people in 51 countries needed humanitarian aid in 2017 to stop the serious food crisis, predicting that the food problem will intensify throughout this year in conflict-torn nations. The Global Report on Food Crises, made with the cooperation of several United Nations agencies, emphasized that acute hunger in the world increased by 11% compared to 2016. For FAO General Director José Graziano da Silva, “two out of every three starving citizens come from countries experiencing prolonged crises,” adding that with all the information held by countries and international organizations, it’s possible to avoid this tragedy through more efficient and less costly aid.

Political prisoners

NGO Foro Penal denounced that over 12,000 people are currently imprisoned since 2014 and 157 political detentions have taken place in 2018 alone, emphasizing that there are five minors “with a release warrant who haven’t been released yet,” saying they’ve been kidnapped by SEBIN, because none of their relatives have seen them even though the period for a formal trial already expired (45 days). Foro Penal added 20 more soldiers to the list of political prisoners, not counting Miguel Rodríguez Torres or Víctor Cruz Weffer, expressing their concern “because there have been relevant cases of torture which, although they’ve been made public, are still severe.”

Abroad

– Cuba and Venezuela are part of the black list of the Inter-American Commission on Human Right (IACHR), according to the annual report for 2017 they released yesterday. Regarding Venezuela, the report says: “the serious decline of democratic institutionality, the alarming increase in repression against social protest and freedom of expression, the violence and crime, and the severe political, economic and social crisis that the country’s experiencing, continue to systematically restrict human rights for Venezuelan citizens.”

– Donald Trump still plans to attend the Summit of the Americas despite president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s resignation, White House sources confirmed.

– In view of the possibility that the presidential election is held as planned by chavismo, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela cautioned about a new exodus of Venezuelans which Central American countries would find difficult to deal with. Varela said that he hopes Nicolás will “think this over and understand that an election without the opposition’s participation, advanced by an illegitimate ANC; would intensify the crisis.”

– Spain reported all asylum request records were broken in 2017, especially from Venezuelans, which tripled. Venezuela heads the requests and consequently ranked second in denial, right after Ukraine. Spain has almost 400,000 pending requests: one out of every three are from Venezuelans.

– Fernando García-Casas, State Secretary of Cooperation for Ibero-America, said yesterday that Spain doesn’t want to cause more trouble to Venezuela amidst this political crisis, but instead “helping it become a democratic, safe and peaceful country,” so they think it’s necessary to keep dialogue open in Venezuela and that’s why Spain’s stance hasn’t intensified tensions. García Casas hopes that the Spanish ambassador can return to Caracas, after being declared persona non grata by the government.

– Julio Borges and Carlos Vecchio met with American congressmen to thank them for the support they’ve given to the democratic cause and to ask for greater pressure against the May 20 electoral fraud.

– Lawmaker Luis Florido met in Bogotá with Luisa Ortega Díaz, lawmaker Germán Ferrer and César Gaviria, Colombian president, to join efforts in favor of restoring elections and democracy in Venezuela. Florido also met with senator Álvaro Uribe and Partido Liberal secretary Miguel Ángel Sánchez, to discuss the humanitarian attention for Venezuelan refugees and restate the need to establish a humanitarian corridor.


Ahora es soberano
el bolívar que era fuerte
otra condena de muerte
para ese veterano…
Igual durará muy poco
este cono monetario:
lo hiperinflacionario
¡vuelve todo un zaperoco!

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Can anyone would lives in Kleptozuela answer 2 questions?

    1/ Out of 10 average, typical people, the so-called “pueblo”, how many believe in the “guerra economica” excuses? 3 or 7? How many believe that the bananabolivar ain’t worth shit and they are hungry because of the Imperio, Colombia or Europe?

    2/ How can the same 10 people, average, poor, uneducated, non-enchufados, possibly survive on “sueldo minimo”? Perhaps they don’t pay rent, no electricity, no water or utilities, Claps are cheap, transportation is cheap, phone/internet? Clothes, medicine, food? Can anyone do the basic math as to what are the average home expenses for a typical household (usually with plenty of children) vs. income?

    I suspect that the vast majority must be ENCHUFADOS one way or another. If they don’t get SOLID remesas from abroad. They must be corrupt, by the millions, period. Thus, complicit, responsible for the mess. Thus, deserving of the hellhole they created and maintain.

    I bet no one dares to answer question #2, simple math.

    • 1) Difficult to say. Most people I know, (“pueblo” or not) tend to support the opinion of whomever shouts the loudest. If you ever lived here, you ought to know that “Veletero” is a way of life around here. That’s why incompetence and venality are so widespread. Being good at what you do, or even just being fairly honest is always trumped to being superficially charming. And also remember that the fish rots from the head down. So, while the so-called “pueblo” might be full of useless free-loaders, they learned that from the elites, including the Non-Chavista ones. Most of whom are now having a good time abroad.

      2) In yesterday’s Daily Briefing, it clearly said that for February JUST FOOD BASICS cost 96 times the minimum salary. So, I’ll go out on a limb and say they survive like they do in Zimbabwe.

      They’re not even that corrupt, they simply learned along ago, that being superficially charming pays better than work or skill. Call it being a “part time sociopath”. And they’re not the only ones. They learned it from people in higher economic strata.

    • No body believes any of the internal propaganda, but they will vote for the same policies again every chance they get.

      Next up:
      the Extraordinary Bolivar, then the Really Good Bolivar, then the Great and Wonderful Bolivar, then the Most Excellent Bolivar, then the Super Ultra Bolivar…

      The ISO can’t keep up but it won’t matter as no body outside Vz will accept any of them.

    • Still no specific, simple answers to these 2 simple questions.

      1/ Out of ten average, poor people, how many believe in “economic wars” and blame “el imperio”?

      Wild guess: 70% of the remaining populace are ignorant enough to believe in such Galactic Mega Mojones Chavistoides. Brain-washed, clueless Zombies, after almost 2 decades of Castrista propaganda on radio+tv.

      2/ How do they possibly survive on minimum salary? Income/Expenses: simple math.

      In Zimbabwe I suppose they raise chickens and grow much more yuca than people in Petare or la Urbina or Guatire and Maracibo can. My bet is the vast majority survive on Remesa$ and/or they are corrupt Enchufados, one way or another, leeches of the narco-tyranny.

      • On the latter part of yuor comment, from what I hear in the street people only get as much as they can with the money they have; whichis not a lot. If lucky, they get two meals/day. I like shopping at the mercaditos (open air markets). Anything that goes in the trash cans is quickly picked up by someone. This stuff is a lot cleaner and “better quality” than they can get in trash from residential buildings. Also, you do see people in pain because they can’t find the meds they need and if they find them, can’t afford them, I don’t think there’re as many enchufados as you might think.

        On the first prtion of your comment, I don’t know how many believe in the guerra economica, but, unfortunately, I feel it is more than common sense would dictate.

        • Same as any ordinary venezuelan I do a lot of queuing througout the day with people from all walks of life , same as many of my relatives and friends and I have yet to meet any one who believes in the guerra economica story , maybe 2 years ago someone might intimate that he believed it , but its been a while since any one I see in those long long interminable queues show any sign of believing the story , its so flagrantly sham that only the tiny fraction of they dye in the wool suppoters may ‘make believe’ that they believe it (20%?) …..usually they dont say anything so as not to arouse the anger of those around them which is always sizzling and ready to burst with bitter ironical comments. If people say anything about the causes of the hyperinflation and scarcity they mention corruption , all govt bosses are believed to be corrupt to the tilt …….ever met any one who believed that Al Aissami or Diosdado are honest peo?? There can be no guerra economica when the govt controls every minute aspect of the production and distribution of privately owned products including who the authorized driver of a food truck any given day and where the produce is going every day …….!! Several years ago the regime ennacted a law which made the govt and the guardia national control every aspect of food production and distribution with great fanfare announing that the law was necessary to prevent private producers of goods to manipulate the production and distribution of their goods , if the law exists tha the guerra economica allows them to wage any such thing then the blame lies in the govt for not using the law they ennacted ….its so absurd …..!!

    • I agree with Carupano. True belief in “The Revolution” is about 20% of the population and it will probably not go any lower than that. This segment of the population is too emotionally invested in Chavismo to ever change. Their belief in Chavismo is more religious in nature than political. They believe the official propaganda because it is all part of the dogma they accepted and internalized a long time ago. Even when the regime collapses, they will continue to believe and will mourn for “the good old days” when the government “cared about them” and “took care of them”. Only as that permanantly deluded segment of the population dies off, will the percentage decrease.

  2. What a real economist has to say:

    “@ricardo_hausman
    La verdad que si a ver vamos, para quitarle 3 ceros al bolivar, para eso de una vez le quitan 5.”

    O que se quiten la mascara y usen la verdadera moneda: NarcoDollar Bolibanana, con bastante CleptoPetro.

  3. “two out of every three starving citizens come from countries experiencing prolonged crises,”

    So…? Stop intervening in conflicts before there is a winner and stop the diplomats from prolonging the crises!

  4. Can anyone estimate (do the math) how many Sovereign Bolívar’s to buy a Petro and how Coke (Venezuela real currency) does that buy. Please, somebody help – my Slide Rule (do you remember them) is broken and I can’t use calculator or computer because the power off in kennel. I got make an shipment later.

  5. Can anybody tell me how much Coke a Sovereign Bolívar or Petro will buy (I need the conversion because I have shipment going out a little later and the power is off)

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