The threat of protests

For Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

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Photo: El Pitazo

On Monday night, the protests caused by power outages in Zulia ended in repression with 48 people arrested for alleged lootings, as well as the murder of 15-year-old Anderson Luis Oliveros Núñez, reported by the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict. Early this Tuesday, thirty people were arrested, including councilmen and journalists, with several human rights violations, for attempting to protest before Corpoelec headquarters.

With such a severe and extended crisis in a vital service, chavismo doesn’t even coordinate their lies anymore. So Electric Energy Minister Luis Motta Domínguez contradicted the statements issued by Governor Omar Prieto, and both theories were unrelated to the explanation offered by Corpoelec vice-president Francisco Martín. Prieto spoke of the recovery of 90% of the power service, allegedly affected by rains and an attempted wire robbery. Motta Domínguez claimed that the blackouts are caused by “a purely political sabotage” planned by Un Nuevo Tiempo and Primero Justicia leaders; but at least he acknowledged that the sabotage had been more effective than his work, although it didn’t cause his removal from office for incompetence. Lastly, engineer Francisco Martín explained that Zulia’s demand is over 2,500 daily megawatts and the state currently receives only 900 megawatts, estimating a period of a month and a half to recover the necessary power generation in the state. Also unlikely, but that’s how denial of realitity works, meanwhile, the legitimate right to protest is violently abused.

Bankrupt

Hyperinflation devoured the capital of the Venezuelan banking system, after a decade of regulated rates that stripped local banks from any profitability. Only chavismo refuses to understand that injecting capital at a loss is an absurdity. An article published by Reuters says that “the value of the 31 private financial entities still standing at the end of 2017 was $40 million at the official exchange rate,” so the banks that are still operating, do so without expanding the credit: by December 2017, banks had lent a volume of money equal to $13 per person; the regional average is $2,000 per person. Professor Leonardo Vera sums it up in one phrase: “An economy without credit doesn’t grow,” and just like Halliburton reported yesterday a $312 million loss in Venezuela  —mostly on accounts receivable— asserting that they’ll stay in the country, most banks and companies will do so with reduced operations and with them, job posts. The data of the Inflationmeter of Caracas, created by Cedice Libertad, report that the inflation rate for the second half of March reached 20.81% while the rate on April 15 increased to 37.33%; services and food were the areas with the greatest price variation. According to this instrument, prices have quadrupled between January 1 and April 15.

And in the National Assembly

Once again the GNB prevented the media from entering the Federal Legislative Palace, ratifying (as if we needed it) the scope of their abuses. The Parliament unanimously agreed yesterday to open an investigation on PDVSA’s corruption network.

The lawmakers also agreed to denounce the human rights violations against the people of Nicaragua during the recent protests before international instances (United Nations, European Union and OAS, among others.) Furthermore, the AN will demand explanations from Trinidad and Tobago for the case of 82 Venezuelans deported last weekend, a decision criticized by UNHCR. Aside from this, Parliament Speaker Omar Barboza announced that he’ll travel to Belgium to meet this Tuesday with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs. He’ll be accompanied by lawmakers Julio Borges, Edgar Zambrano and Elías Matta.

Playing maracas

While candidate Luis Ratti requested that a single candidate be chosen to challenge Nicolás (through a national survey) and National Electoral Council (CNE) rector Luis Emilio Rondón said that the postponement of the May 20 election is unlikely, Delta Amacuro State authorities celebrated that this Tuesday had been decreed non-working to receive Nicolás, so that state personnel could forcefully attend his campaign event. Yesterday’s event included the reactivation of Tucupita’s National Airport, which has been inoperational for years, but what’s another act of embezzlement? Nicolás blithely said: “I scratch your back, you scratch mine, I support you and you vote on May 20,” with carnet de la patria in hand, after talking about all the social benefits that only he can provide. He said that dolarization was “anti-constitutional” and a way of losing so many years of independence, and promised international observation from Asia, Europe, the United States and Latin America for elections, but sadly he didn’t explain who they’d be. He arrived in Carabobo yesterday and to be honest, there were more people in the early protests for lack of public transport, although they weren’t wearing read uniforms. Nicolás’ voice is already hoarse after two days campaigning; the problem of getting accustomed to talking in closed spaces, as narrow as his judgement.

Abroad

  • Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that Venezuelan migration to Colombia has grown and that they think the country “is about to implode.” Santos hopes for a peaceful implosion (?) and rejected the possibility of a military intervention in the country.
  • European Parliament Speaker Antonio Tajani urged the leader of the European Commission (EC), Jean-Claude Juncker, to create a strategy to help the citizens displaced by the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. “The urgency of the situation calls the European Union to help European citizens in the Caribbean,” says his letter, in which he requests the activation of an instrument of aid and attention.
  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced that there have been “unjustified murders” during anti-government protests in Nicaragua, demanding a “swift, profound, independent and transparent [investigation] on these deaths.” They urged authorities to respect and allow the exercise of freedom of expression to all citizens.
  • Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza asked before the UN General Assembly that the organization resorts to tools such as preventive diplomacy “in good faith” and not as an instrument to interfere in the internal affairs of member States. So cute.
  • CNE chairwoman Tibisay Lucena met in Moscow with the vice president of the Russian Federation, who promised to send electoral observation for May 20 elections. Her successful tour has cruised through Ethiopia, Tunisia and the Russian Federation, all of them solid democracies, eh?
  • Panama’s measure restricting Venezuelan flights that will isolate both nations comes into force today. President Juan Carlos Varela urged Nicolás to reconsider for his people’s sake. Nicolás replied that he’s been waiting for his call for four days: “If he wants a solution, he should call, I don’t believe in microphone diplomacy.” A true statesman.

The head of the World Health Organization issued alarming data about the progress of malaria in Venezuela: we’re the the country with the greatest global increase of cases.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. “Santos hopes for a peaceful implosion (?) and rejected the possibility of a military intervention in the country.”

    I did not read this Bloomberg interview the same as you. Following is the relevant text:

    “We have in Latin America a phantom of foreign interference, of military foreign interference,” Santos said. “We don’t like that. Hopefully this will be fixed by the Venezuelans.”

    I read that as, “We don’t want to be forced to intervene and hope that Venezuela will solve its own problems. But, we have contingency plans to do so, if we have to.”

    • I didn’t read it like that, but I always read this like this:

      “We don’t want the Gringos to interfere in LatAM countries, but we LatAm countries reserve the right to interfere with each other.

      “Except we never do in any beneficial way.

      “And we don’t consider U.S. financial aid and arms sales as Gringo interference.”

      The mindset is mind-BOGGLING.

  2. Ironically, the more water and electricity outages, the better. See if today’s Cubazuelan Zombies come back to life. “Los Clepto-Zombies ya vienen, y vienen arrechos”.

    I disagreed with Quico on last post regarding what he called a “sado-masochistic” nature of the Narco-Regime, when it comes to neglecting the languishing and putrid carcass of PDVSA, or punishing honest employees who dare interfere with the Galactic Mega-Guisos (GMG’s). Because whats left of PDVSA is only worthwhile under heavy corruption parameters, for easy cash only. Not to go to work, and shit. Because the Drug Trade is much easier, much more Profitable in Cash, easier to hide the stolen billions.

    So its actually a smart Epicurian approach to massive embezzlement in Kleptozuela, it’s more pleasurable and more efficient to neglect PDVSA’s hard, honest work, in favor of other easier, juicier corrupt activities, including Food Scams, multiple Financial Scams, construction “vivienda” scams, etc, etc. And Drugs Traficking, the most profitable of GMG’s. Only 24 hrs in day to steal, and no time for the whijkisitos?! Fuck PDVSA, unless it’s easy pre-procurement kickbacks in cash. Damn any honest “escuálido” who dares interfere, va preso. That makes total sense in Kleptozuela, and it might be “sadistic”, as Quico wrote, but not “masochistic”. Masochistic would be working hard in PDVSA with no kickbacks, when you can be dedicated to so many other delightful and even more profitable GMG’s.

    Where the are unknowingly Masochistic, though, is when it comes to Water and Electricity and Garbage basic services. (Food shortages and forced poverty are different, that’s done on purpose to keep the remaining Cubazuelan Klepto-Zombies dazed, dependent and complicit). Even the most docile Pueblo-People Zombies get pissed off when they have no water and no electricity. “The threat of Protests” arises only then, not even when they’re hungry, it seems. “Hambre? Gueno, chamo, es la guerra economica.Pero no hay luz ni agua! Ezo ej curpa der Gobielno!” They blame water and electricity shortages on Nicolasno, as opposed to food, the imperio is to blame for that, it seems.

    That’s why even Chavismo tries hard to re-establish water and electricity outages. But they are so freaking corrupt that they are allergic to maintenance, planning, and such. And there were too many Millions to steal with the Derwick bogus power plants or El Guri GMG’s to assure both vital services. So they try, but avarice and incompetence doesn’t allow them to fix those 2 big problems. And the Klepto-Zombies get upset. That’s where the are “masochistic”, they are shooting themselves on the foot with THAT, not with PDVSA.

  3. Hey…

    They’re arguing President Trump’s travel ban for certain countries in front of the Supreme Court. And actually, it’s a revised version of the ban.

    Did you know that Venezuela was added to the list?

  4. This guy probably thinks there is no Easter Bunny, Santa Clause or Tooth Fairy.

    “There is no economic war, it is simple ineptitude”
    https://www.aporrea.org/internacionales/a262286.html (machine translation)

    “If there were economic war this would be what Maduro declared us not because of malice, but because of simple incompetence, when full of ignorance repressed the prices and pretended to create wealth by increasing wages every two and three months, “to protect the people”, while on the other hand he kept the dollars needed to import also repressed, feeding the mafias, maduristas and pseudochavistas that today shout from their flabby obesity “fatherland or death companions!”, while their figureheads buy half of Venezuela and spread around the world swimming in opulence with the money of the biggest oil bonanza in our history, leaving Venezuela in ashes.”

  5. “Furthermore, the AN will demand explanations from Trinidad and Tobago for the case of 82 Venezuelans deported last weekend, a decision criticized by UNHCR”

    I’m not sure of the above cases, but in general it is true that not all countries are to able to absorb any economic refugees. Several LatAm countries are to be commended for welcoming Venezuelan immigrants the way they have, but it’s not realistic to expect the same of all countries, particularly tiny ones.

    • Why are tiny countries less able to absorb a proportionate number of immigrants than other sized countries?

      Do the math, and tell me why they get a “free pass.”

    • Agree with Ira on this one. If you want to demand that countries accept the burden of Venezuelan refugees, all countries should have to accept that burden equally. T & T has been moving in the same populist/authoritarian direction as Chavismo. I think they should be forced to see clearly where that path leads to.

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