Photo: Miami Herald

The Supreme Tribunal of Justice in exile started in Bogotá a preliminary hearing on merits against Nicolás for allegedly incurring in acts of corruption, specifically in illegal contracts signed with construction company Odebrecht. Nicolás didn’t attend the hearing, so he was assigned a public defender.

Luisa Ortega Díaz presented allegations gathered in investigations carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office, evidencing Nicolás’ responsibility in crimes of corruption and money laundering, emphasizing that “the entire web of corruption originates from a framework agreement signed by Maduro.”

Odebrecht left unfinished thirteen works worth $30 billion and in her view, this wasn’t investigated because Cilia Flores was Speaker of the National Assembly at the time. Ortega Díaz asked a declaration of the existence of merits to establish Nicolás’ criminal liability; the freezing of all his assets and accounts, and she requested Interpol to issue a red alert for his arrest.

The decision of the preliminary hearing on merits will be revealed on April 9.

Cleaning toilets

Despite the unprecedented crisis that public universities in the country are experiencing and the obvious dwindling of teacher and student populations, yesterday Nicolás opened the Martin Luther King University in Lara. He approved a 50% wage hike for all university sector employees, effective since April 1st, allocating Bs. 6.6 trillion for this decision; in addition to the Bs. 90 trillion to honor the sector’s labor liabilities. He also announced an increase in university scholarships: from Bs. 80,000 to Bs. 400,000.

He openly mocked the migrants who left Venezuela to “clean toilets,” as if it was dishonorable, as if it didn’t fully represent the magnitude of our emergency.

He also mocked Henri Falcón right before condemning the attack he suffered in Catia on Monday, claiming that 17 people were arrested, that he ordered an investigation and the highest penalty for detainees. He should be equally diligent with the accusation of State terrorism made yesterday by Hidrocapital employees.

Sinister stories.

At the National Assembly

Yesterday’s session was attended by the families of the people who died in Policarabobo dungeons, who demanded that the government exhume the bodies because they don’t believe that all of them choked to death, and also demanded that the government consider the complaints of the survivors of this incident, restating the theory that they were doused in gasoline. They denounced that police officers charged them in cash to visit their relatives. The Parliament approved an agreement to create a Special Investigation Committee to evaluate the Venezuelan prisons system and advance investigations to establish the criminal, civil and administrative liabilities of Nicolás, ministers Iris Varela and Néstor Reverol, and governor Rafael Lacava. While the Legislative Council of Carabobo denied the proposal to create a committee to investigate the incident, the IACHR issued a statement condemning the deaths and reminding the Venezuelan State of its duties, urging them to open a prompt investigation, to identify and punish the culprits, as well as to adopt the necessary measures to prevent the reiteration of this incident.

Vive la France!

“France demands fair and transparent elections that guarantee electoral equality and the independence of electoral judges,” said French Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian after meeting in Paris with his Argentine counterpart, Jorge Faurie; who said that Argentina “is trying to find a way for Venezuela (…) to recover its democracy, its civil and political freedom and its quality of life.” President Emmanuel Macron and his diplomatic counselor, Philippe Etienne, met with lawmaker Julio Borges, former mayor Antonio Ledezma and Carlos Vecchio, who explained them the Venezuelan crisis and requested urgent humanitarian aid, as well as the bona fides to hold free elections. Later, Macron said: “France is willing, along with its European partners, to adopt new measures if Venezuelan authorities do not allow the holding of democratic elections,” regretting the violations against the rule of law and human rights and pointing out that the conditions of May 20 elections won’t allow “a fair, free and transparent election.” Macron also emphasized France’s concern regarding the decline of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and its repercussions in neighboring countries, restating his conviction that a solution to this crisis can only be peaceful and negotiated. The only reply that Foreign minister Jorge Arreaza could devise was mentioning Macron on Twitter, telling him not to interfere in our internal affairs, accusing him of being subordinated to Trump’s “guerresista” (sic) plans.

Abroad

  • Argentine president Mauricio Macri will propose prioritizing the Venezuelan case in his agenda during the Summit of the Americas, which already includes a bilateral meeting with Donald Trump, which could involve the evaluation of mechanisms so that Venezuela can recover democracy; as well as new ways to restrict the Venezuelan government.
  • Panama’s vice-president Isabel De Saint Melo said that the list of high-risk individuals was created to protect the financial system, emphasizing that it was an autonomous decision of the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee.
  • Peruvian Foreign minister Néstor Popolizio said about Venezuela: “We do not support the government’s decision to prevent fair and free elections with legitimacy and credibility; this denies the most basic notion of democracy and is an insurmountable obstacle for their participation in the Summit of the Americas.”
  • While Foreign Commerce minister José Vielma Mora started talks with South Africa to boost commercial exchange, Mining Development minister Víctor Cano broadened the range of exchange options with Russia, including agreements to improve mining exploration and production systems; allowing Moscow to explore and produce minerals here and to supply equipment for the mining industry. Six Russian technicians will visit the Orinoco Mining Arc to assess our potential.
  • Former Venezuelan vice-minister Javier Alvarado was summoned to testify before the Spanish justice on April 16 for receiving bribes from the Spanish corporate consortium Duro Felguera in exchange for contracts. In 2009, Duro Felguera was awarded the construction of a thermoelectric station in Caracas for over 1.5 billion euros. Alvarado has already proposed his attendance with various resources; if he fails to attend this time, the summons “might become an arrest warrant.”
  • The Administrative Registry of Venezuelan Migrants in Colombia will start this Friday. 523 stations in 51 municipalities will be made available for the census, and all citizens who wish to stay in the country must attend, including Border Mobility Card holders.

Bloomberg says that OPEC’s output fell to its lowest level in a year as problems in Venezuela intensify: our output fell by 100,000 barrels per day in March, and is down to 1.51 million barrels per day. Professor Francisco Monaldi says that in order to reach such low output levels, “You’d have to go back to 1950.” Bloomberg adds: “The International Energy Agency said in its last monthly report that the Latin American nation remains the biggest risk factor when it comes to supply disruption amid a worsening economic crisis.” Monaldi shared another detail that’s really bad for the country: “For the first time in history, Canada surpassed Venezuela as crude provider for the U.S. Gulf Coast.”

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73 COMMENTS

  1. “For the first time in history, Canada surpassed Venezuela as crude provider for the U.S. Gulf Coast.”

    No embargo needed. PDVSA is embargoing itself.

    • This would be an appropriate moment for me to thank Ira for his contributions to my socialist medical care. Choose me over tear gas, Ira!

      • It means nothing. The U.S. is totally energy independent now.

        Of course, with the teensy weensy population of Canada, how much oil do you guys need anyway?

        Just enough to lubricate your ice skates?

        • We like to say we are sitting on enough oil to provide all of north america for the next 500 years. We’re going to go 100% electric car first any way eh. Oh and ice skates don’t use oil silly, we only use oil in our Skidoos and chain saws!

          • And we here in tropical southern Minnesota love your Skidoos. Just bought 2 new ones this winter! Keep em coming.

          • I don’t know about the oil, but you are sitting on enough Tim Horton’s to keep everyone in North America on the shitter for the next 500 years … (“now darker and richer”)

          • If you have ever flown into or out of St. Barths, you will say a little prayer of thanks to the Canucks for their Dehavilland Twin Otters.

          • @Lorenzo: Worse climb out than Sint Maarten?

            We fly into our Ontario fishing camp in an Otter. Most awesome, rugged plane on the planet. Ugly as a mud fence, but WHAT A BEAST!

            Bombardier makes some great planes too.

          • I’m not claiming to understand the oil market, but I don’t think you do either.

            We’re producing more than our usage, but for whatever reason, import and export still goes on.

          • We’re producing more than our usage, but for whatever reason, import and export still goes on.

            If the US were “producing more than our usage,” then the US would be a net exporter. Or it would be storing an awful lot. Do the math.

            Perhaps the following article will inform you, from the Energy Information Administration- which was the source for my net import comment. How much petroleum does the United States import and export?
            In 2017, the United States imported approximately 10.1 million barrels per day (MMb/d) of petroleum from about 84 countries. Petroleum includes crude oil, natural gas plant liquids, liquefied refinery gases, refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel fuel, and biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel. About 79% of gross petroleum imports were crude oil.

            In 2017, the United States exported about 6.3 MMb/d of petroleum to 180 countries. About 82% of total petroleum exports were petroleum products. The resulting net imports (imports minus exports) of petroleum were about 3.7 MMb/d.

            2017 , millions of barrels per day
            Gross Imports: Total, all countries 10.08
            Exports 6.34
            Net imports 3.73

            DO THE MATH: 10.08-6.34= 3.73. (with round-off errors)

            Please inform the EIA that it doesn’t know what it is doing.

          • Here’s another one. EIA FAQ:How much oil consumed by the United States comes from foreign countries?

            In 2017, U.S. net imports (imports minus exports) of petroleum from foreign countries were equal to about 19% of U.S. petroleum consumption.1 This was the lowest percentage since 1967.

            Petroleum includes crude oil and petroleum products. Petroleum products include gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, jet fuel, chemical feedstocks, asphalt, biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), and other products.

            1 Based on preliminary data published March 30, 2018.

            Net imports, net imports, net imports…..
            As ~ 80% of net imports come from Canada (see link in previous comment), oil is not the geopolitical problem for the US it once was.

        • Ira
          Canada is better than the shit state of Florida you call home. But if we are talking about gods country…we all know that is Missouri.

          • Yeah, that’s why so many Canadians flock here every year.

            Like they flock to Cuba.

            Granted, their judgment can’t be questioned. They just wanna get WARM!

      • Awesome.

        Currently, the Guapo family is hosting a family from Thunder Bay, Ontario whose father is getting a radical retropubic prostatectomy (prostate cancer) at the local medical center because the socialist medical paradigm in Canada feels it is a waste of resources to remove the prostate. They had to mortgage their house to afford it in the United States, because Canada wouldn’t remove the cancerous prostate at any price.

        Now, you might be appalled that a person should have to mortgage the house to afford a surgery. What is truly appalling is telling an entire population that they have universal. cradle to grave, comprehensive healthcare when they don’t. In fact Canadian politicians are quite content to let sick Canadians die. Cheaper to pump em full of morphine. I guess that is one way to keep the socialist paradigm in the black.

        Great healthcare in Canada. Just don’t get sick.

        • Yes, Canadian health care system is so bad, that’s why it’s consistently the most popular government service/agency in Canada, way above the next highest (the military).

          It’s unfortunate your friend has to mortgage his house to pay for that treatment. It’d be more unfortunate to live in a country where that type of borrowing is done regularly by families to pay for expensive treatments, while still having to pay lots for basic health care.

          • I didn’t say it was bad. It certainly isn’t as advertised here in the States. It may indeed be universal, and I don’t know if its inexpensive (a subjective term), but it certainly isn’t comprehensive. The question must be asked, “how good is the insurance if you can’t use it when you need it?” FWIW, the guests at our house we just met (though I now consider them friends). We open our house frequently to people who need a place to stay but cannot afford lodging. A local non-profit matches patients with host families. The benefit of having a big empty house when the last of the kids has gone off to college!

            The US doesn’t have a grand healthcare scheme that is workable. ObamaCare is a shitty, shitty insurance policy that is expensive and is far from universal… all the things Obama promised that his plan would be. (Imagine that! A lying politician!) You are correct. Our healthcare isn’t cheap, it isn’t universal, but it is world class. Which is why people from all over the globe travel here to get our expensive healthcare. The medical center my wife works at offers SAME DAY appointments and NEXT DAY surgery. Not bad, considering the waits people have to endure in their nationalized, socialized paradigms.

            I can speak to the American perception of your military. While Canadians may be rather fond of the CAF, we Americans (me: Army pilot, ret. 20 years service) aren’t so impressed with the uncanny ability of the CAF showing up like a blister (after the hard work is done) only to tidy things up and hang the new drapes.

        • My ex-pat niece in Calgary was appalled at the state of care during her high risk pregnancy. Couldn’t get done what was needed to get done.

          And she and her husband (this guy is as sharp as a tack) aren’t under any illusions that this is “free” health care, that the people aren’t paying for it one way or the other.

          Canucklehead can’t get this simple truth into his Canucklehead. Like a true Chavista, he wants something for free!

          Now granted, there’s plenty to attack about the high costs of the U.S. system, but rarely the quality/level. What irks me are jerk-offs from elsewhere who want the U.S. to absorb every immigrant on earth, inevitably resulting in unpaid health bills, and then COMPLAIN about those high costs, as if that huge unpaid debt isn’t a huge factor in the equation.

          • Ira, Don’t You remember “Sgt. Preston of Northwest Mounties” show of the early sixties – That’s is the military in Canada.

          • I don’t know anything about the Canadian military, but here is a video of their space program:

          • Canadians with medical conditions flock to Grand Forks, ND and Duluth, MN hospitals for treatments that they cannot get in Canada in reasonable time frames or lack of practicing doctors. Americans flock to Canada for cheaper prescription drugs.

            This has been going on since the 90s.

            Drugs are cheaper in Canada (subsidized) but medical care is better (over all, but exceptions do occur) in the US.

            There is no equivalent of the Mayo Clinic in Canada that treats foreign leaders (Jordans King Hussein) in a routine basis. Or that were in such a demand that they had to setup shop in the middle East (Mayo had a clinic there now as well).

            People still think (incorrectly) that medical insurance = medical treatment. The one has nothing to do with the other. It’s completely fair to point out how medical bills are (mis)handled in various countries. But medical services in the US surpass that of any of our neighboring countries.

            Switzerland probably has the best medical training and facilities.

      • Sharks could have used more oil on their skates last night. Looked like they were skating in mud. I expect better from my Canadian entertainment considering the amount of USD we pay them.

        • hehehehe… I remember when The Great One left Edmonton for Los Angeles. For years, my Canadian fishing buddy called us “Gretzky-nappers”.

          Amazing people, them Canucks. Being able to teach a Frenchman to play hockey. Certainly more than the French could do with a Frenchman!

  2. Hey, what happened to that two tons of gold that was spirited out of the country and which you reported about a few days ago. Are we simply letting that story die?

  3. So after an entire DECADE with that mega-whore called Luisa Ortega as Chief Executioner for Chavismo, no less, responsible for countless atrocities, violence, imprisonments (Including LL, who should be President now) and deaths, she’s a MUD Angel now, president of the TSJ?

    Un-freaking-believable. Only in Kleptozuela…

    “Luisa Ortega Díaz presented allegations gathered in investigations carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office, evidencing Nicolás’ responsibility in crimes of corruption and money laundering, emphasizing that “the entire web of corruption originates from a framework agreement signed by Maduro.”

    So after 10 YEARS as a Top Chavista prosecutor, she’s innocent now. Pure. Honest. Morally credible. A saint.

    Way to go Kleptozuela! The country I used to call home is beyond screwed. It’s dead.

  4. “France is willing, along with its European partners, to adopt new measures if Venezuelan authorities do not allow the holding of democratic elections,”

    Damn freaking politicians worldwide.. What “measures” pray tell? Freeze Nicolasno’s accounts in Credit Lyonnais? Forbid Iris Varela to take her hideous family to Paris on vacation? Stop exporting Camembert cheese and importing.. nothing from Kleptozuela?

    The only measure that would do ‘cosquillas’ to the ruthless narco-tyranny would be to shut down the oil cash completely, and that comes only from the US and India, mon cher Macron. And then Macri.. que vas a hacer vos, pibe? Que comercio tenes con Cleptozuela? Arepas? Llamas criadas en la pampa?

    Pathetic demagoguery, as usual. Even if the US and India shut down the only oil cash Kleptozuela now gets – about $55M/day – the Genocidal Narco-Regime wouldn’t care and would continue to blame the Genocide and Humanitarian Crisis on the “Imperial Economic War”, this time with solid arguments to justify it, and stay in power forever, Cuban style. The more people that leave, the more Remesas they get, the less people to feed or repress, the more they can steal, the happier they are. Tards. They will never just walk away, to face jail time and loss of their stolen millions, Tards.

    For numerous obvious reasons, the only solution is BY FORCE, bunch of retards.

    • We should do the embargo anyway, then the invasion.

      And I’m still one of those nuts who think it could happen.

      My rationale has always been that while VZ’s misery and totalitarianism is off the charts, 99% of Americans don’t know about it or care. An inevitably quick and successful invasion would force America’s attention to the reasons for it, and it would be a domestic political win.

      But the danger is the tit for tat with Russia. What will they do? But doesn’t seem to matter. They do what they want anyway, such as Ukraine.

      • “…embargo anyway, then the invasion.”
        Then el pueblo will hate you even more. The Venezolanos will always love every aspect of chavismo, even while they hate the results.

        Nothing will work until they completely repudiate their culture. (Can anyone guess how soon that might happen?)

        • Do you want start a “pool” and choose the date. I’m sure Fat Ernie and other Chavismo supporters would love to play.

        • Venezuelans already “repudiate their culture” I was born in Canada and taught to feel an immense sense of nationalistic pride all my life. We Canadians are modest and polite and peace keepers but we are also hard workers and punctual and organised and trustworthy. Everywhere we go people treat us differently then they treat citizens of the US of A. I feel sorry for Venezuelans…they know they are always late and “ya vengo” probably means “I’m out” and nothing works and everything is shit and nobody cares and throw garbage on the ground. because there is garbage everywhere anyway. It’s like their spirit has already been broken from all the begging. Fricken sinister plan this castro communism.

      • Choose your words more carefully Ira. Ain’t no “Invasion”. After the total oil and gasoline embargo fail, It would be a rapid military intervention, lightening quick if possible, a few choppers, couple dozen Elite Seal Team 6, a few dozen total Marines. Out in 1-2 weeks max, let the MUD deal with it.

        • It can only be am intervention when at least SOME Venezuelans get the balls to send some bullets flying themselves.

          Before that, it’s an invasion.

          But I don’t think the words matter as much as the intent and end result.

          • Bingo. Even a “paper salvo” indicting the leadership and junta for crimes and then refer to the ICC or OAS leads to coverage for an intervention of some sort.

            But don’t even dream of it unless Columbia, Brazil, and others take the lead. They have way more skin in the game than the gringos.

      • Ira, You can count Christine Lagarde in your camp full of nuts.

        http://www.interamericantrends.com/?p=pub-christine-lagarde-y-el-papa-ante-la-crisis-venezolana-es

        She has presented four scenarios for the future of Venezuela. Here are 2 excerpts that I found surprising considering her position at the helm of the IMF.

        “The fourth and last scenario, called Crimea in America, the intervention and blockade of the United States, Europe, Canada, the Lima Group and the Secretary General of the OAS are effective. A transitional government is given with the aim of re-institutionalizing democracy in the country to recover its functionality. The IMF provides the funds to get Venezuela out of the economic crisis. And the UN coordinates humanitarian support.”

        AND

        “Christine Lagarde draws the socioeconomic road map of the fourth scenario. While the Pope continues to give the regime time, which would allow Maduro to set the stage for Cubazuela with resources.”

        I haven’t seen any reports of regional leaders condemning her support of a US led embargo and intervention. The leaders that condemned President Trump when he mused about military intervention are now experiencing the effects of the mass influx of Venezuelans and the challenges to social welfare programs and communities this influx is creating.

        As Arte Johnson used to say on Laugh In, Interesting, Very Interesting.

        The realization that the knock on effects of the Venezuelan collapse will be felt by many countries seems to be the reason the IMF is becoming involved. The stimulus for this may very well be the bankers that are holding worthless bonds. The US and other countries create money from thin air to give to the IMF. The IMF gives that money to Venezuela to repay the banks that issued the high risk loans at high interest rates. The people of the US and other countries pay for this with inflation, the banks get their money and everyone is happy. The people are none the wiser.
        Rinse and Repeat. The creation of the Fed and the IMF was pure genius by the bankers.
        Lagarde’s commitment of IMF funds, should be a continual message of Falcon’s campaign. Here is someone saying, the money is ready as soon as the regime is gone. Falcon should ask her to campaign with him. It would be interesting to see the regime deny her entry into the country.

        • John –

          The money that was embezzled from Venezuelan oil revenues should be tracked down and recovered and used in the reconstruction of the country. I for one get tired of paying taxes that go to fix other people’s problems “the easy way”.

          Man tends to nitpick sometimes. I’m not trying to do that to you. You obviously do many good if not great things. But there is one area some twenty minutes of reading might improve. It is this: Don’t get the Federal Reserve Bank mixed up. Read up on the history of it before joining the mindless socialist conspiracy theorists. It is the support of the unwitting for slogans that gives those nut-cases influence. I’m not saying this is the absolute best history to read, but it is one piece that’s not too long. https://www.federalreserveeducation.org/about-the-fed/history
          The gist of it all is that the nation does better with a central bank, than it does without one. Both ways have been tried. Twice the country turned to J.P. Morgan, just as now the country is turning to President Trump, to restore order. Part of the “controversy” about the Fed is the misdirection of shifting blame for ignorance of economics – some of which was simply not understood and not developed – towards a plausible target.

          Again, I know the Fed reference was just one phrase out of your post, and certainly not the main topic, but there’s a lot of history as well as current scenes and quality education available on the Fed sites, and on U.S. Treasury sites, that rips the veil off of the “popular” but woefully stupid jingo-stuff.

  5. “Professor Francisco Monaldi says that in order to reach such low output levels, “You’d have to go back to 1950.”

    “Yeah, sure”, says Narco-Cabello to his buddies Tarek and Pendejo Padrino, “but you’d have to go back to the days of Ali Baba y los 40 Ladrones, plus Noriega, plus El Chapo, plus Al Capone, plus Pablo Escobar to even approach the highest drug output levels we have today in Narcozuela, una mano lava la otra, ja, Ja!!”

  6. “He openly mocked the migrants who left Venezuela to “clean toilets,” as if it was dishonorable, as if it didn’t fully represent the magnitude of our emergency.”

    The asswipe doesn’t even realize what it says about a country when its citizens would rather leave and clean toilets in another.

    • Well, it appears that many Venezolanos would rather move elsewhere and earn a living cleaning toilets…

      Than staying in Venezuela and having to eat from them.

      (Hey, I’m patting myself on the back for that one.)

    • From their perspective, every Venezuelan citizen that leaves is one less mouth to feed. I think that they would be happy to trim the population of Venezuela down to 10 million. They need enough people to maintain services, work in petroleum extraction, and serve in the military, but everyone else is dead weight. The added attraction is encouraging dissidents to leave as an safety valve for social discontent.

      So, why would Maduro be anything less than ecstatic over Venezuelan exmigration?

  7. I can’ help but wonder what this two faced snake would be saying if she was still in a position of authority within Chavismo?

    Her 15 minutes are up. Why is anyone paying the least bit of attention to her? She keeps insisting that she has the goods on Maduro et alli, yet she never produces. (Sort of like Maduro insisting that the Petro has sold over $5 billion? Same modus operandi)

    She is a disgruntled Chavista who got chased out. Nothing more needs to be said.

    If she were back in a position of authority, she wouldn’t be leading the charge to bring back democracy and republican rule of law… she is a milquetoast version of Chavez. Her problem with Maduro is that he is doing Chavismo wrong… and people like her would do it right.

  8. “He openly mocked the migrants who left Venezuela to “clean toilets,” as if it was dishonorable…”

    Cleaning toilets is beneath Chavistas?

    I own a small business. Less than 30 people, manufacturing custom cabinets and trim work, and custom home building/remodeling. We have a small area in the shop that includes a break room and a communal toilet. (Sorry, no executive washroom for ElGuapo!) At least once a week, the toilet needs to get cleaned. I don’t have a Environmental Services department… nor a Human Resources or Accounting department. As such, I have to do all the hiring/firing and bookkeeping… and toilet cleaning. The boss cleans the toilets.

    Why?

    Two reasons. I discovered long ago that to be an effective leader, you have to lead from the front. That means doing the dirty work that nobody wants to do. I certainly don’t like cleaning the toilet. Sometimes, I think my employees will eat extra greasy, nasty food just to irritate me. And when the guys (and gals) see me heading in there on a Monday, they give me a good ribbing. The point is, THEY SEE ME CLEANING THE TOILET. Which means that THEY know that I am invested in my company and the happiness of my employees. Showing your employees (by example) that you know what work is, is what leaders do. Which is why Maduro isn’t a leader, he is a “manager”.

    The second reason is I’m too cheap to pay to have it done by a janitor service.

    • I admire your style. Before I retired, I tried to meet the same standard, though we had a contractor to clean our toilets.

      • Leading from the front was something I learned from a physician friend. He is a surgeon, and between cases, he grabs a mop and helps clean the OR to help expedite turnover between cases. It doesn’t go unnoticed by his OR staff. That a guy with that much education (and well regarded) is willing to pitch in with menial tasks does a lot to keep moral high. And its not so much that he does it as it is that they SEE him do it. Which is why I keep the bathroom door open when I am cleaning it.

    • Brother I am the exact same way! Awesome, keep up the great toilet cleaning! Keeps the boys from pissing on the walls too much too!

      • Believe me, we have this one guy who I won’t name (AHEM! BRIAN! AHEM!) who I swear purposely eats hard boiled eggs, kimchi and broccoli and washes it down with motor oil prior to coming to work. You don’t want to go within 30′ of the dumper after he goes in there. NASTY.

        Actually, its surprising how clean it stays.

    • Amen El Guapo! That is what lacks of Venezuelan culture the most: sifrino bosses who are afraid to get their hands dirty because they have had a maid do all their dirty work all their lives. They just want to play on their phones and count money while “the monkeys” do all the work. Hate to put it this way, but this is the way it is here…and this is why you see mediocre businesses everywhere.

      I got shit last week because I make my kids work and cutting vegetables and sweeping floors at 8 years old (it is amazing that if you give kids responsibility and take the training wheels off at an early age how cooperative kids are). What lacks in Venezuela most is WORK ETHIC!!! This is a big reason why Venezuela is one of the most unproductive places on the planet (and then add 20 years of socialism where it has always been to destroy the productive classes and pander to the escualidos).

      Try running a business in Venezuela, it is one of the most difficult things to do on the face of the planet. As a boss, you have to prove to these lazy kleptozuelans that you can outwork them any day of the week (and that you already know their scam and they will not get away with it). Otherwise they will look for any opportunity to slack off and steal from you. You have to lead by example and show you will not put up with shit otherwise you will drift into mediocrity. People here are big time manipuladoras (emotional manipulators), so dont believe their crocodile tears and crack the whip. Tough love is the only way to go with this country once this shit falls.

      • Yeah, its cultural. You might be surprised to find that even across the United States, work ethics vary dramatically. I struggled to find cabinet makers in Portland, Oregon who both showed up 5 days per week and sober… both at the same time. The only thing they gave a shit about was when payday was, designer beer and where they could get more weed. No pride in their work and no work ethic.

        One thing I have found very useful is incentive. None of my employees get paid by the hour (they do in a technical sense, should they work extra shifts, etc) They are free to come in early and stay late, providing they get their work done. (three hour lunches are not unusual with some of my cabinetmakers.) It works because I know what it takes to make a cabinet. When the boss knows how to do the job, the excuses for not getting a job done on time are very few and far between. I am ALWAYS jumping in to help with projects. (It helps that I love what I do)

        What I have discovered that works wonders is profit sharing. Every quarter, I sit down with everyone and we look at incomes/outlays. Everyone’s share is tied to profitability. Everyone knows who isn’t “packing the gear”.

        • El Guapo’
          This is the best profit sharing story I know of. A friend of mine owned a Sports bar. He hired Woody (just like Cheers) Woody insisted on being paid $15 per hour.
          Quarterly my buddy would split his profits among his employees based on the hours they worked. He brought the other employees up to the same $15 per hour that Woody was being paid and then divided the rest of the money equally among all employees. When Woody was given his unexpected bonus, he asked how it was calculated. Woody realized that he was making the same as everyone else and got mad and quit. He had just been given a cash bonus of over $4 an hour, close to 30% of his salary. Because he wasn’t getting more than the others, he somehow believed that he was being shortchanged.
          You can’t make this stuff up.
          Venezuela has the same problem. As long as people think that they are benefiting more than others, even though their standard of living has collapsed, they support the regime.

    • Well, he has managed to fuck over 30 million or so people in just 5 years. That’s more than most managers accomplish during their entire career.

    • Maduro is a “manager” in the sense that he is reactive (tries to put out fires) instead of proactive (preventing fires from starting). The business world if full of these hucksters.

      What he is is a scum sucking piece of flabby whale shit.

  9. I think we should rename this one “Tired In Abstentia.”

    Luisa’s dog and pony road show is getting a little stale.

  10. I would like to know more about what angry, older, far right, white American men who have Venezuelan spouses think about subjects having nothing to do with Venezuela. Is there some way they can be encouraged to be more forthcoming and to participate here?

    • Well, yeah, Ira/others have some very definite ideas about Canadians/Canucks they often express here (btw, I personally like Canada/Canucks).

      • I love most Canadians.

        It’s just jerks like Canucklehead who insult America so much that I can’t stand.

        Stupid too, for categorizing me as right wing.

    • “I would like to know more about what angry, older, far right, white American men who have Venezuelan spouses think about subjects having nothing to do with Venezuela. Is there some way they can be encouraged to be more forthcoming and to participate here?”

      Why, tired of mocking them even when they stay on subject?

  11. @ Canucklehead…you were describing me to a tee until you got to the part about having a Venezuelan spouse. Mine is from Medellin, Colombia so I guess my thoughts/ opinions would have no standing here….dang it!!! Lol

  12. Some of the comments here are becoming personal and childish. From the trolls, this is expected, but it is disappointing from others.

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