A day of defeats

For Thursday, April 26, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

24
Photo: Tal Cual Digital

Diosdado Cabello lost the lawsuit he filed against newspaper The Wall Street Journal for libel, based on the article: “Venezuelan officials suspected of turning the country into a global cocaine hub.” Judge Katherine Forrest dismissed the lawsuit because Cabello’s lawyers didn’t show that the statements were false nor proved the slander against him. Additionally, ConocoPhillips announced that they won the $2 billion arbitrage against PDVSA in an international arbitrage court for the anticipated dissolution of two crude production projects. Remember that Conoco’s assets in Venezuela were expropriated in 2007 and the company keeps another arbitrage before an instance of the World Bank. To make things worse, American oil company Chevron evacuated several executives from Venezuela after two of its employees were imprisoned due to a contractual dispute with PDVSA. These employees could face treason charges for refusing to sign a contract to supply spare parts for ovens. The drama is that mixed companies are the core that sustains the dwindling local oil production. Without them, the collapse will be worse and faster than we’ve already seen.

The useless reconversion

Central Bank chairman Ramón Lobo announced that starting on May 1, prices must be tagged in sovereign bolívares (without three zeroes, like most of the population already uses them) but early in the morning economist Omar Zambrano explained the futility of a monetary reconversion that has no impact on the greater problem that’s hyperinflation, and also will cost the State between $500 and $600 millions (more than thirty thousand “integral” minimum wages) and as if this wasn’t enough, it’s technically impossible to carry out the process for the date set by the BCV! Besides, lawmaker José Guerra said that the BCV withdrew $500 million from their active position in the International Monetary Fund of Special Drawing Rights, to pay for the gold they had pawned in Citibank.

From the CNE

Nicolás suspended his campaign event in Zulia due to the impossibility to properly handle the approval levels he enjoys amidst the electrical emergency. But don’t worry, a bunch of people issued statements from the National Electoral Council yesterday, starting with Javier Bertucci, who’s willing to support a single candidacy and also denounced a boycott against him committed by two chavista mayors and Nicolás’ foul play.

Henri Falcón restated the complaint about foul play and demanded the CNE, guarantor of such advantage, to “do what they have to do.” He also denounced that private media outlets are getting calls from government officials to order the broadcast of government activities.

Rectora Sandra Oblitas announced that they’ve decided to open administrative investigations against chavista mayors of Linares Alcántara municipality (Aragua) and Guaicaipuro municipality (Miranda), due to Bertucci’s complaint and despite this, she had the nerve of claiming that the campaign is developing satisfactorily.

Titanium on steroids

Imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab made his contribution to the script of the operation Paper Hands, ratifying information already given by Vice-President Tarek El Aissami and minister Néstor Reverol. The novelty of his statement resided on the dismantling of three remittance houses: Intercash, RapidCambio and AirTM. He said they’ve created a special team to prosecute those who commit crimes with currency exchange operations and claimed that he’s recommended Nicolás to create new reclusion centers for the culprits of these crimes because they’re “true serial killers” responsible for “starving the people to death.”

His successful contribution to the operation started with the capture of the owner of webpage Dolar Pro, who apparently “confessed” his crimes. Sadly, he didn’t explain that the man was forced to return to the country after his dad was kidnapped. Saab said: “The accomplices operating abroad are fully identified. That’s where the Prosecutor’s Office is going, respecting due process.” Saab would profit greatly from exporting the titanium on his face.

Serial killers, Tarek?

On the world day against malaria, healthcare and bioanalysis employees in Venezuela protested to denounce the shortage of reagents for lab tests in public institutions, which stands at 100% already, versus 70% in private labs. And just like Codevida reported the death in Nueva Esparta of Mr. Asdrúbal Lindo, after spending 20 days without a dialysis for lack of a catheter; friends of the famous Venezuelan theater actor and director Levy Rossell announced his passing due to the shortage of antihypertensives and oxygenating treatment he need to recover from a cerebrovascular accident he suffered less than a month ago.

Also yesterday, doctor and lawmaker José Manuel Olivares reported that half of the pediatric hospitalization service at the Domingo Luciani hospital was shut down. Since Venezuela’s the country with the worst global performance against malaria in the world, without a public policy to respond to the magnitude of the epidemic, who are the true serial killers?

Abroad

  • Claudia Díaz, Chávez’s nurse, appointed National Treasurer in compensation for her admirable work and responsible for the Economic Development Fund, was arrested in Madrid along with her husband Adrián Velásquez (Miraflores’ chief of security) for alleged crimes of money laundering and corruption, detailed in the Panama Papers.
  • OAS chief Luis Almagro proposed that the European Union (EU) should impose stronger sanctions against the Venezuelan government. In his view, there need to be different levels of sanctions that have “a greater impact on the variables of the regime’s financial operation,” that impact their families and figureheads.
  • “We must say outright that Mr. Maduro simply doesn’t fulfill the standards of democracy in the Inter American system, to state it fully and clearly: Maduro is a dictator,” said Colombian presidential candidate Humberto de la Calle.
  • The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights reported that the death toll during the protests reached 34 people, since it includes some missing citizens who were later found by their families at the Managua morgue and people who didn’t survive the wounds suffered in the protests. Most of them were youngsters and students.
  • President Juan Carlos Varela said that Panama isn’t closed to a dialogue to seek a solution to the disputes with Venezuela, but without renouncing their clear stance in defense of democracy and the protection of their financial system. Varela insisted that aerial connectivity is a matter that must be resolved with agile communication because it affects the population and “isolating both countries is a mistake.”
  • The U.S. Embassy urged Nicolás to allow the access of humanitarian aid into Venezuela because it would include medicines to treat preventable diseases such as malaria.
  • Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy discussed about the difficult Venezuelan situation, “a question about which there’s full agreement between both countries,” says the statement issued after the meeting.
  • The Supreme Tribunal in exile announced that they have a physical office in Panama City. Apparently, it will be formally inaugurated this Thursday, April 26.

In the report about the status of Press Freedom, Venezuela dropped six more sports and now ranks 143th out of the 180 studied countries. The drop is explained by all the abuses suffered by press professionals and by the progress of censorship. Congratulations to Conatel and the Maneiro Corporation for their “achievements”. This was a day of defeats for both chavismo and the country. Cynicism and indifference have gained even more traction in their actions; it’s us who always suffer their failures.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.

24 COMMENTS

  1. “Sadly, he didn’t explain that the man was forced to return to the country after his dad was kidnapped.”

    Totally Original Gangsta modus operandi.

  2. Update from the east of the country.

    Hunger is REALLY setting in here. There’s virtually no cash in the streets, and for the little there is, there’s almost nothing to buy. We can’t process corn fast enough for the demand right now. Many customers who used to buy 1 or 2 kilos at a time are now requesting 10, 20, or even 50 to 100 kilos. They see the writing on the wall…….there’s hardly any corn left in town, nothing new arriving, and they want to buy and hold for the months ahead. If there’s a harvest this year, that won’t occur until November at the earliest.

    Bread, cheese, rice, flour, processed corn meal, sugar, coffee, cooking oil and MOST FRESH VEGETABLES are now history as well. My woman just returned from Maturin taking care of family business and looking for supplies. She told me she couldn’t find a single potato in Maturin, not one. We’re talking about a city of (at least till recently) of 500,000 people or more. Oh, and the guy who takes care of the house we still have there told her he is quitting the country as well. We’ll sell it if we can find a buyer for the place and unload it.

    With all this good news, Maduro should have this election in the bag.

    • Again: https://www.wikihow.com/Raise-Rabbits-for-Food They’re low cholesterol, high protein, all white meat. The pen should be 100% covered – unless you’re good at catching hawks and other predatory birds and animals. Given the situation, indoors might not be a bad idea to prevent theft.

      I have no idea what’s going on there. Society is weird to the point that people will starve to death over ideas that some readily available foods – such as insects – cannot and must not be eaten because they’re gross and foul. All you have to do is choose your edible insects carefully and cook them properly. Maybe some here may be dumb enough to think I’m being sarcastic. I’m not. People eat all kinds of weird stuff all over the world – sea urchin (you crack the shell) is some of the most expensive sushi. I know you have sea urchins in Venezuela. They are not very fast movers. Neither are freshwater mussels. If things are getting as bad as you say, Google up edible food sources while you have connectivity.

      • MR probably can catch piranhas in the canos de los Llanos during the rainy season, prickly on the outside, probably tastes like chicken on the inside, if he can avoid losing a finger or two; and large escarabajos toasted are probably delicious (the horn can be used as a toothpick)–I think Jose Maria Gonzalez should write a new scenario to the on-going-apocalyptic Venezuelan saga.

        • Could use some chivistas as bait for the caribes … maybe catch a caiman or two as well. Chinches, alacranes, grillos … they package and sell those here, toasted. Anyone who has a steady supply of sea urchin – I don’t know which kinds to pick https://shizuokasushi.com/sea-urchin-species/ but the sashimi ones are really delicious. Looks like jaundiced mucus, soft, squishy, but tastes fabulous.

        • No piranhas, but there’s plenty of “guabinas” (wolf fish from the caños everywhere, with huge canines – taste-like-chicken -) They can also hunt the baba, chiguire, lapa, or birds with slingshots “pajarito frito” a veritable delicacy in any top-level Spanish restaurant.

          Vaquiro (wild pig) is trickier, because even tigers don’t dare mess with them. I’d suggest stick to the cachicamo, big lizards with delicious tails full of protein, iguanas, squirrels and other treats. For desert, just shake any banana tree, lechosa or avocados, they grow wild almost by themselves or sown “al voleo” with little or no work, as out so called “bravo-pueblo” people like it. Gratis y sin trabajo.

    • MRubio, that is really big. With no corn, the arepa heads wont know what to do. Seriously, they do not. Pasta and cheez whiz eh? Especially the younger generations who do not know how to cook. Gotta get creative and I hope you are growing your own food already or get dollars from abroad– otherwise ur f^&ked. This is because in kleptozuela there are far too many “live for the day” mediocre lazy c*nts who do not know how to plan for neither a distopian future (which we will face in the coming months) nor a prosperous future (which could happen if this shit falls).

      Time to start stocking up vzla. Shit is going to hit the fan in May/June. It will be a zombie apocalypse that finally brings the robolucion aka “socialismo del siglo 21” to a humiliating defeat (and time to rub thier nose in the shit once the house of cards falls. No f$&king “conviviencia”! Mofos need their noses rubbed in the turd that they shat). Hopefully the “Marshall Plan” that Marco Rubio talks about arrives sooner than later and the Chabestias will go the way of the dinosaur.

    • MRubio,
      100 kilos of corn is a lot of corn. Are they reselling it in small quantities? Seems like corn would hold value way better than Bolivars.

      Curious – how do you price the corn that you sell? Are people paying you in USD? – or electronic POS for Bs (since there is no cash)? Has anyone asked (yet) if you take Bitcoin (or Petro!)?

      If widespread looting breaks out, is there anything to loot? Are you concerned about being a target because people know you have all this corn?

      • “MRubio,
        100 kilos of corn is a lot of corn. Are they reselling it in small quantities? Seems like corn would hold value way better than Bolivars.

        Curious – how do you price the corn that you sell? Are people paying you in USD? – or electronic POS for Bs (since there is no cash)? Has anyone asked (yet) if you take Bitcoin (or Petro!)?”

        Dried corn properly stored in steel drums is far better than cash in the bank in Venezuela. And yes, 100 kilos is a lot of corn. While I don’t generally ask what one plans to do with his purchase, more than one buyer has volunteered that they’re buying for their extended family. Some, no doubt, are buying for resale, probably in the larger cities. Cash has almost completely dried up here, and everywhere else for that matter, so most purchases are by bank transfer.

        In addition to buying from the producers, we buy from individuals (200, 300 kilos, etc) during the harvest and for a month or two, or even three, afterwards which helps me know where the market value is generally. What many readers on the outside may not know is that there’s always a lot of corn left in the field due to ineffencies in the harvesters and the crappy quality of the seed which yields plants that literally fall over with a strong wind or heavy rain once the cobs have matured. That’s product lost to the harvester, but often recovered by hand…..some by the owner while the harverster is still there which is then used to de-grain the cobs. Some of it is recovered months later, with or without the permission of the landowner.

        On my last trip to buy platanos, a week and a half ago, I saw guys hitching a ride with dozens of sacks of corn they’d collected from a harvest that was completed in late December or early January! If the winter’s really wet, most of that spoils on the ground rapidly, if it’s dry, then a lot of it can be recovered for months. They then de-grain it by hand.

        Early in the year I sold raw corn in bulk (5,000 kilos at a time) several times to a guy in Barcelona who was processing it for arepas using his own equipment. I believe he also has equipment to ultimately produce a pre-cooked corn flour like Harina Pan, but the last time I spoke to him, he hadn’t cranked up that part of his operation. Didn’t need to as he was selling everything he could process trillado. He paid me in dollars because that’s what we negotiated.

        I finally reached a point though where I no longer wanted to sell in such volumes as I could see this pueblo was going to be in a world of hurt because of lack of product. As it stands today, we’re basically the only game in town for buying corn that’s ready to process into arepas. We’ve got supply for another month or so, perhaps longer if I restrict purchases to 100 kilos or less. Haven’t made that call yet.

        A few phone calls around the area will always give a good indication of rough market value for raw corn. My average cost back in November, with transportation, was about 3,000 bs per kilo….actually for the entire harvest, that was probably my average cost per kilo. Today I could sell everything I’ve got, raw, with one phone call for 50,000 bs per kilo.

        Once you have a firm value for the raw stuff, one can then include the cost of trillando, the loss in weight (usually 15-20% depending on the quality and size of the grains), storage, transport, cost of the plastic bags (very expensive today) etc to come up with a value of the processed product for retail sales locally. Prices tend to run 30, 40, or even 50% or more higher in the big cities, but the risks of getting it there don’t make that an attractive alternative for me. I no longer do long trips I don’t have to make.

        We’re selling today at 45,000 bs to the kilo for maiz trillado, ready to cook and make into arepas. Yeah, I know, I said I could sell all my raw product, no processing, with a single call for 50,000 bs per kilo, but, as I said earlier, we’re trying to do something to help the folks here and the situation is getting worse by the day.

        “Pasta and cheez whiz eh?”

        LOL! Pasta and cheez whiz are considered luxury items here. I’m not kidding.

        Hope the long-winded explanation helps.

        • Fascinating, thank you. I’d obviously be one of the people who starved (re: Poeta’s summary above), but I once had one orange tree and one grapefruit tree. The problem was giving the things away fast enough. I’d forgotten all about volume of product. Corn sounds very efficient. A U.S. avocado farm, for example: they come in and harvest with trucks, but after they’re gone, there are dozens of good ones lying on the ground around each tree – maybe just tossed there because they were ready to eat and would not endure the trip to the supermarket and required shelf-life. A USDA article said that 40% of world food supply is wasted along the various stages from earth to plate. Supermarkets throw out boxes full of edible produce because it falls below their selling standards – fried chickens get tossed too.

  3. In his view, there need to be different levels of sanctions that have “a greater impact on the variables of the regime’s financial operation,” that impact their families and figureheads.
    ————

    Going after the families of Chavista’s living abroad is a serious business. For immigration departments to actually go after these people, a given country would have to be on a crusade, and I’m not seeing that kind of commitment from European countries, though perhaps the US would shake a leg in this regards. Forcing all dependents of Chavistas back to Venezuela would also be a bad policy in some regards. The kids don’t necessarily inherit the sins of their parents, and the notion that all of these people are living large is surely a caricature.

    • BULLSHIT!! Any, and I mean ANY members of a sitting or former chavista’s family who have been or are involved in any level of theft from the country ALL KNOW what is going on….I agree that they (children, spouses, nieces etc..) mat not have perpetrated the crimes, BUT they will have been let in as to where the money they enjoy now comes from. Any reasonable person knows approximately what there parent or family member does for a living, and they would have discussed contigency plans (ie: if I get arrested, the secret passwords to the Swiss account is in ‘xxxxx’ location)
      Morally, any such member becomes an accessory after the fact when they live off such illegal gains…even if they have plausible deniability

    • JL, please. Rest assured that the vast majority of close family members of the ruling chavistas are living as large as possible, wherever they live, and it’s with treasure stolen from the country. If it was good enough for Chavez and his kids, it’s good enough for everyone else’s.

  4. “The drama is that mixed companies are the core that sustains the dwindling local oil production. Without them, the collapse will be worse and faster than we’ve already seen.”

    Good for Kleptozuela. The faster PDVSA collapses, the more they will rely on DRUGS to survive, the more pissed-off the “pueblo” will be, the angrier the DEA/CIA will get, the happier Seal Team 6 would be.

  5. “The Supreme Tribunal in exile announced that they have a physical office in Panama City. Apparently, it will be formally inaugurated this Thursday, April 26.”

    ANYONE knows who pays for all the MUDcrap today? Extensive travels, hotels.. offices..

    Guess not. No one seems to have a clue. Thus, when in doubt, Kleptozuela has only one infallible answer: Galactic Corruption, in the MUDcrap “opposition” too, of course.

    • We’ll never get an answer to this.

      Maybe they stole enough to support their travel, and since the Chavistas stole more, they’re mad at them for that and using THEIR stolen money to go after the CHAVISTA stolen money.

      That’s the only explanation I can come up with.

  6. Amigos, I said in”some” regards. I can’t go into this with names or anything but I personally know more than a few kids of Chavistas who basically cut ties and moved to the states just to separate themselves from what they know is a rotten business all the way. It’s easy and feels good to demonize but this is not always all or nothing. So far as those living large – no mercy. But it would take some real tough policy to round these people up and again, I’m not seeing those policies in place. I’m down to one last immediate family member in Venezuela.

  7. I have proposed in the past, that you still remaining in Venezuela use the Jonathan Swift”s technique of hunger control “as presented in “A Modest Proposal”. You can round up some “red shirts”. (or their babies). Give them good whack on head and prepared them according to taste. With the level of disease in the country, just make sure that they are boiled, baked, fried or broiled fully. This will take of several problems facing Venezuela (and the world). Please consider it.

  8. Holy fucking shit.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article209925289.html

    Discuss.

    I’m no Oppenheimer fan because his predictions and solutions for VZ are never correct. But he’s never been known to be a liar.

    Here, he just interviewed Santos, who claims that immediately after the May “election”….guaranteed Maduro win of course…the ANC will approve the new voters’ “rights” laws.

    A la Cuba and USSR, where the individual voter has no rights at all.

    Poeta:

    And people still don’t believe the U.S. military is going in.

    • Ira….interesting article but surely it does not come as a surprise to anyone. It is the next logical step for Maduro isn’t it? I am sure that even more shocking moves will be made by the gang of thugs after the “election”.

    • Quico should do a piece on what a peaceful resolution of the N. Korean problem would likely mean for Venezuela from a US foreign policy standpoint.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here