Dry tremor, wet tremor

Your daily briefing for Saturday, April 28, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.


At 4:45 a.m. this Friday, a magnitude 4.7 tremor shook Caracas, Carabobo, Miranda and Vargas. According to data from the Venezuelan Foundation of Seismological Research (Funvisis), the epicenter was located 20 kilometers to the northeast of Morón, Carabobo state. Shortly after, Funvisis reported a second 3.0 tremor. There was no material damage nor human losses. Completely omitting this event, Nicolás used a campaign event to order the takeover of the Hydrological Company of Mérida due to the constant water rationing and the increase in the service’s price, blaming governor Ramón Guevara for the layoffs at the Hydrological Company and for the “sabotage to the supply” of water. The company “Aguas de Mérida,” charged with supplying that state, rejected Nicolás’ statement and the expropriation order with a communiqué touching all the necessary details: water shortages are being reported all over the country due to poor policies to maintain the service. Later, a main pipeline ruptured in the La Toma sector of El Hatillo municipality, causing a landslide in the community that destroyed three houses and left another five at severe risk. The pipeline’s collapse is a tragedy revealing another: the existence of housing on top of pipelines, just because the State allowed it. Clinging to the official script, the ministries of Electric Energy, Ecosocialism and Water denounced sabotages to explain water rationings, asking the people to keep a high morale. Chavismo evades the magnitude of the water problem and the direct ties between their policies and the collapse of a service managed by loyalists instead of specialists; loyalists who enjoy impunity for their mistakes, so nothing ever improves.


The protests called by the Broad Front for a Free Venezuela this Friday fulfilled their humble aims considering how hastily they were proposed and the lack of available information about their structure and purpose. Let’s keep in mind that the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict has a pretty detailed record of our demonstrations and that’s why they establish that there’s been a 93% increase in protests across the country, and that most of them demand social rights. Yesterday’s protests had the same pattern: demands for food, health, better salaries, medicines and supplies, essentially. Several Broad Front spokespeople insisted that they don’t seek to call for massive protests, but instead brief, focalized demonstrations, “connected” with each sector’s agenda. These protests may reduce the level of exposure to regime repression, but are they effective beyond social networks?

False dichotomies

Early in the morning, a regional campaign chief for candidate Javier Bertucci was shot, apparently by a criminal who wanted to steal his cellphone. He’s currently out of danger. Minister Vladimir Padrino López asked the Armed Forces to remain “united” and urged their members to exercise the right to vote, adding that soldiers are called to “wield the sword to preserve Venezuelan independence and sovereignty” right before explaining the two opposing models for May 20: the one he supports and another he deemed unpatriotic and treasonous. Meanwhile, Nicolás said that people will choose between him and Henri “Faltrump”, blithely admitting in El Vigía a crime established in the Law against corruption, that he uses State resources to his favor: “… for the mobilization of inauguration of public works, because we combined a didactic but constructive electoral campaign.”

He said that the crowd waiting for him in Falcón state was the biggest ever seen by Falcón’s people in their entire political history. He claimed that he’ll build 100,000 new housing units and restated that the sale of gasoline for international services supplied by Venezuela will be charged and paid in petros.


If you want an Infinity War, it’s ours, my friends.

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  1. “Several Broad Front spokespeople insisted that they don’t seek to call for massive protests, but instead brief, focalized demonstrations, “connected” with each sector’s agenda. These protests may reduce the level of exposure to regime repression, but are they effective beyond social networks?”

    Of course not. They are laughably exaggerated by the media, much like CC did yesterday, that’s all. 4 gatos con 3 ollas pidiendo agua y comida. 2 dozen brave women here or there with some pots & pans asking for stuff. Zero social impact, always rapidly dissipated by the Gualdia Nazional Bolibanana.(that’s the correct spelling in Kleptozuela). This “Broad Front” of clowns, suspect muddy characters and future wanna-be Enchufado politicians are just some actors in a tropical tragicomedy of sorts. All they do is mess up, travel with money they get from who-knows-where, and enjoy the good life and talk crap. To be defeated time after time after time by the sinister, much smarter Narco-Kleptotocrats and their 1300 “generals” plus Sebin thugs enforcers. Just part of the useless circus, 4 gatos hablando paja.

    • In all honesty, I think the time is over for these sort of protests. Venezuelans are not up for it. Nobody wants to stick their neck out. But, that’s just my sense from thousands of miles away.

      The ONLY thing that will make Maduro et alli reconsider is massive uprisings from their voting block. And ONLY when that core constituency start starving will that occur.

      So, with a bit of schadenfreude, I look forward to that point in time when El Pueblo starts paying a price. When a couple thousand end up starving to death, or shot dead by the GNB when they start with the food riots… When the Marxist lovers start turning on the Marxists…

  2. “the Dominican Republic’s General Directorate of Immigration is carrying out mass raids to arrest illegal Venezuelans and Haitians”

    Wow.. That’s how low Cubazuela has sunk: Lowest of the low. Right down there with Haitians arrested by.. Dominicans bailando bachata. This is the last wave of Venezuelans trying to escape Kleptozuela: the uneducated, poor, with zero professional skills, beggars of sorts, potential refugees, charges for other countries with better governments, just like Haitians. (The first couple of waves were the better educated, skilled professionals, a couple of million, who flew by plane, and not to the DR, accepted by many countries because they can be incorporated and contribute to their societies. The 3rd and 4th waves now are the undesirables, similar to the Haitians except even more desperate, plus some Guatemalans or Nicaraguans..)

    Not even the DR wants those people, Haitians and Kleptozuelans. No wonder Chile, a civilized nation, just modified it’s immigration law to filter those people big time. That’s the facts, Jack.

    • Ole Chile! They just their country on right track (now that they unelected Bachele). I think somebody should dig Pinochet up out his grave, and teach Venezuelan (with red shirts on) the real use a futboll stadium. Adios.

      • “I think somebody should dig Pinochet up out his grave, and teach Venezuelan (with red shirts on) the real use a futboll stadium.”

        Couldn’t agree more, time has come to start killing in great numbers any MFer with a red t-shirt in VZ. An ultra right wing dictatorship would do miracles, killing socialism-communism-fascism in a way it will not stick it’s head up for the next century!

        • Pinochet killed 3,000 in 16+ years- about 200 per year. Murders in Venezuela are about 20,0000 per year.

          The Chilean military was united against Allende. Venezuelan military is, at best, divided against Chavismo- with many generals and officers who are quite happy to keep the Chavista gravy train going. My guess is that if the generals put it to a vote, they would go for Chavismo.

          The Chilean Chamber of Deputies passed by a 63% majority a resolution which Allende corrected stated “promoted a coup.” Between the NA and the CNA, nothing going there.

          For those MPJ fans, recall that he spent 5 years in prison for stealing the equivalent of about $2 billion in current dollars. Yes, that is chickenfeed compared to Chavista thieving, but it was still thieving.

          Your military savior dreams are just that – dreams with no basis in reality.

  3. I no have military dreams relative to VZ, The country is too corrupt (top to bottom) , undereducated (top to bottom) and know give a shit ((top to bottom). Pinochet knew enough to hire people that could help turn Chile around (iT now safer (49) than the US (35) – with VZ being number uno. Mostly he knew to the “Boys from Chicago” (three of them eventually earned Nobel Prizes in Economics). I can’t imagine USA, EU, Cal Tech or Carnegie building their observatories in Venezuela (they have them Chile now). I don’t Chile is perfect. In Chile they apparently care about the about the future, in education, much much more than Chavista Kleptozuelans. And they think, they have work in diverse economyy), (not just steal or watch them that surround us, steal or murder)

  4. There was an article in Aporrea today that addressed Venezuela looking for partners to invest in joint oil ventures. My immediate thought was jailing the Chevron executives isn’t going to make many companies rush into these deals.
    The general (small g deliberate) that was being interviewed claimed that with oil averaging US $60 that they were finally covering lift costs.
    A little back of the envelope math makes me think that lift costs are running around US $20 per barrel. This is down from the last report that I could find that showed lift costs at over US $25.
    In other words there is no profit coming from the oil fields. The collapsing production is a result of deferred maintenance. Most likely the production will continue to collapse without any maintenance or new drilling.
    The 1.5 million barrels per day only give PDVSA 500,000 barrels per day maximum. The other million barels are committed to loan repayment, Cuba and other Caricom countries.
    Good luck getting the next CLAP boxes.
    If, and I really doubt it, the foreign reserves actually exist, there is no reason to hold the reserves instead of using them for imports.

    MRubio, If you see this, I’m still waiting for the e-mail for the seed name and supplies for Crystal. I want to get things shipped. I have a few bonus items that took some doing to add to your shipment. Yaaxche is a no go. I need to come up with something else.

    • “A little back of the envelope math makes me think that lift costs are running around US $20 per barrel.”

      Its $23 if I remember correctly.

      • Duncan,
        The last numbers posted on trading economics were around $ 25.50.
        Those numbers are a few years old. I was curious about labor costs with the collapse of the value of the Bolivar and the reduced workforce.
        PDVSA still has high overhead. There may be less than 1/3 of production available for sale after all of the production that is committed to other projects is stripped out.
        This means for every 3 barrels pumped only one can be sold.
        The decline in production has offset any benefit from increased prices. Many analysts expect to see further production declines. This makes any price increases almost moot. US producers will be going all in as the prices increase. I think that the current $70 range will be close to the top.
        Venezuelan crude sells for about $10 less than WTI. For the foreseeable future there is no substantial oil money coming to the regime.

      • MR,
        This morning I emailed the company that provided the onion seeds. The President told me that he used to sell to Venezuelan distributors. I asked him for advice on the onion and carrot seeds that I should get and a suggested retailer.
        The varieties may be sold under different names in the US. The green onions are all open pollinated. There isn’t any distinction between long and short day. I believe that the day length is critical to bulb formation and doesn’t effect green onions. There are differences in growing days from 60 to over 100.
        I will be including another bunch of open pollinated vegetable seeds. With a little cooperation the people in the pueblo should be able to keep them isolated and exchange seeds for everyone’s benefit.

  5. Great job JOHN and MRubio, CC still serves a purpose.

    Happy 11th anniversary of 2007 repatria de patria de Faja, and near 11th anniversary of death of RCTC, recent announcement of near-death of El Tiempo.. Feliz Dia de Trabajadores tomorrow!

    The last real Faja project in 2004 was built to be profitable at $20 PER BARREL WTF (chinese, russians and india have since poked holes, producing on the cheap, requiring imported light crude diluent, so as not invest $billions in the chavez scam). Things turned to shit on May 1 2007, with expropriation of actions of IOC’s (Conocophillips, Exxon, BP, etc) participation.

    6 new projects signed by chubez and ramirez in 2009/10 never materialized because of blatant corruption. If they had the country could be producing +5 Million barriles per day instead of.. whatever they refuse to report (less than 1.5 miiliones).

    Meanwhile Conocophilips wins $2 BILLION last week in arbitration. Exxon, who previously won $BILLONS in arbitration, finds BIlLLION barriles in new reserves in the Esquibo abandoned by dead chubez and maduro.

    So.. what’s new besides starvation, exodus and death.. ?? quico? ¿quico¿

    • Don’t forget that the US oilfield maintenance companies have stopped servicing PDVSA oilfields due to non payment. Some have been writing off the debts.
      Apparently the Venezuelan fields require a higher level of maintenance than other wells to maintain production.
      This deferred maintenance is resulting in lower production that most likely will continue to decline at an ever faster rate. Overhead divided by production equals lift cost. This means that lift costs will continue to climb as production goes down.

      • John, is your lift cost of $20-25/barrel factoring in the increased cost of diluent. Surely the actual cost has risen more than any “wage increases”. What happened with the China agreement that allowed the regime to only pay interest (not principal), I read that expired within the last month. Do you know if it was renewed, because that would further deteriorate any actual earnings PDVSA is bringing in.

  6. Waltz, I was using the Trading Economics website. They seem to have reliable information. That is where the $25 per barrel is from. That data is years old. I was citing a general that is involved in PDVSA as saying the $60 per barrel allowed PDVSA to finally cover lift costs.
    PDVSA isn’t very open with any data. OPEC is reporting the 1.5 million barrels per day.
    I questioned the same thing about dropping labor costs. The production drop has kept lift costs up. I doubt the oil used to dilute the heavy crude is in production numbers. It is overhead and should be considered in the lift costs.

  7. Got it re-the source for the break even point. Of course the diluentis part of the lift costs, just saying that as oil prices go up so will that cost, an actual cost in foreign currency as opposed to the “raises and bonuses” that are just decimal points on a screen at this point, little physical currency to be found at this point.

    No word on an extension of the Chinese loan repayment grace period?

    • I haven’t found anything about the Chinese extending terms again.
      Admittedly it is hard to find info on PDVSA. They do not release anything of substance. The bonds being public required the release of financials. How to enforce that is a good question. Sanctioned and in default makes the financial reports a moot point.


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