Lies Are No Cure

For Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

71
Photo: @LuisLopezPSUV

Yesterday, Health Minister Luis López claimed that: “There’s no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, but a financial blockade for the purchase of medicines and medical supplies,” announcing that Nicolás signed agreements with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to acquire medicines, as if something had prevented him from doing so before this terrible humanitarian crisis, which he explained with a North American conspiracy. He blamed the owners of laboratories and drugstores for the shortages, demanding them to stop such delays because they could “take over” those that aren’t working; he criticized the opposition for insisting on the opening of a humanitarian channel and discredited the NGOs that focused on health issues for being “a farce,” specifically accusing the Coalition for the Defense of Health and Life (Codevida) of being a “cartel” and Francisco Valencia, human rights defender and Codevida director, of being a “wage-earning punk.”

He also threatened the Fetrasalud union leader Pablo Zambrano for leading protests: “Don’t complain when they put the cuffs on you.” All of this takes place before the arrival of Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization, who’ll meet with government authorities. That’s why the useless Ombudsman issued statements all of a sudden and even a Health Ministry epidemiologist who works in Delta Amacuro disregarded the risk of poliomyelitis. López said nothing about the alarming epidemiological information but he did say that we should avoid spreading “negative news” about the health system during Carissa Etienne’s visit. If that’s not prior censorship…

Less reserves, more inflation

While Central Bank data establishes that international reserves are in their lowest level since June 1994: $8,8 billion, the National Assembly’s Finance Committee reported that the National Price Index for May reached the highest rate since calculations started: 110.1%, which translates to a 1.995.2% cumulative hike since January.

Lawmaker Rafael Guzmán explained that in April, 100 minimum wages were required to cover the food basket, now 200 are needed: “An increase in food prices of over 200% and this what the government has done by attacking national production.” Yearly inflation stand at 24,571%, an unprecedented amount for Venezuelan economy, as well as the highest hyperinflation rate in Latin American history.

According to professor Francisco Monaldi, “that yearly rate is almost 740,000%,” which would break historic inflation records in the region. By the way: Citgo Petroleum is reinforcing crude purchases in the open market to compensate for Venezuela’s declining supply, whose delays have opened the possibility of declaring force majeure. Additionally, financial services company European InterAmerican Finance LLC (Eurinam) is organizing groups of Venezuela and PDVSA debt holders to renegotiate the terms of payment for these liabilities with the government. The negotiation process will take place within the constraints imposed by U.S. financial sanctions.

Amazing chavismo

Econosocialism and Water Minister Ramón Velásquez said that 31 out of 62 water reservoirs have precarious storage readings, blaming “the intense drought affecting all the country’s reservoirs” for all the problems that his ineffective management is facing. As fair compensation, vice-minister Nelson Hernández said that the mining sector is expected to give BCV more than 24 tons of gold this year (282% more than in 2017,) which I assume is a complementary detail for El Aissami’s explanation about the effects of the Metal Hands Operation. We don’t know whether that excess will be used to pay the debt that PDVSA has with over 7,000 employees and retirees who protested yesterday, demanding labor benefits expired 20 years ago. Imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab said that a third group of citizens will be released from prison, saying that Nicolás’s “gesture” was well received. He added that these measures are a “door that has opened in favor of cohabitation and national reconciliation” and that they show how good the country’s current political and institutional moment is. Shortly after, to prove the “moment” argument, Delcy Rodríguez celebrated Somos Venezuela’s first year urging its brigade members to remain “in the catacombs of the people, accompanying them and bringing them social happiness.” A cruelly tough admission of how the regime understands everything that doesn’t compare to it: underground galleries of death.

Diosdado Cabello expressed his solidarity for dictator Daniel Ortega and, about released political prisoners -politicized, according to him-, he said that despite internal criticism, Nicolás’s generosity triumphed.

Abroad

  • Lawmakers Stalin González and José Manuel Olivares met with The Vatican’s State Secretary, cardinal Pietro Parolin, to assess the Venezuelan crisis. We’ll see if that meeting translates into support for the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference and the National Assembly.
  • Peru’s Prosecutor’s Office opened a preliminary investigation for alleged money laundering against former presidents Alejandro Toledo, Alan García and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, based on the testimony of former Odebrecht chief in Peru, Jorge Barata.
  • The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry delivered a not of protests to the new U.S. chargé d’affaires, Christopher Lambert, for his country’s “serious disregard for [the country’s] legitimate and constitutional authorities.” Lambert met with the AN’s board but not with Nicolás.
  • Nicaragua’s Human Rights Center updated the list of people murdered by dictator Daniel Ortega’s repression: 146 people after the latests assaults carried out by paramilitaries with the support of the National Police. IACHR secretary Paulo Abrao said that the situation is alarming.
  • The first session for the summit between president Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, leader of one of the most repressive governments in the world, was held last night (already day in Singapore.) A lot of pictures were taken from this event because it’s the first time that an American president in office and a North Korean leader meet for an opening awaited for decades. Unthinkable just a few months ago, when they traded insults that sparked fears of nuclear war, now there they are, making history.

And Nicolás talking about peace-seaking diplomacy; bad joke, as usual.

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

71 COMMENTS

  1. “hose delays have opened the possibility of declaring force majeure”

    That should be farce majeure.

    Force majeure is something out of your control. Act of God type of thing. Mismanagement and theft are not within this definition.

    • Farce indeed (and not the funny kind). No reasonably just court will uphold the force majeure claim since it was due to PdV/Vz-gov negligence. But will it matter? It will take many, many years for Vz to regain the capacity to fulfill the contracts and/or judgments. Everyday I grieve for the people of Venezuela.

  2. “A lot of pictures were taken from this event because it’s the first time that an American president in office and a North Korean leader meet for an opening awaited for decades. Unthinkable just a few months ago, when they traded insults that sparked fears of nuclear war, now there they are, making history.”

    Rodman, you forgot to mention Dennis Rodman who has done more to dinuclearize North Korea than Barack Obama. Let that sink in.

    • Nobel committee: Where’s Rodman’s and Trump’s peace prizes? (Oh, they will just give them to Obama, Xi, and Kim. Only hard leftists are eligible.)

  3. “…in April, 100 minimum wages were required to cover the food basket, now 200 are needed: “An increase in food prices of over 200%…”

    Am I the only one having difficulty with CC mathematics? Seems to me this would be an increase of 100%.

    • Leftist mathmatics Lorenzo. It’s like when legislators want to reduce the rate of increase in a federal program from 10% yearly growth to 5% yearly growth and the left screams bloody murder that the program is being slashed.

    • Those who end up writing for blogs most likely majored in the humanities or social sciences, and tend to have better verbal skills than they have math skills. Elementary, my dear Watson.
      By the same token, not many would want to hire me for my writing skills. I avoided classes involving writing as much as others avoided math or science classes. Nonetheless, for all my avoiding, I found out that all professionals need some writing skills.

      • I took STEM classes (chemical engineering) in college. That why I could take advantage of seeing some VZ most visual entropy sites (Punto Fijo, Amuay, Cardon, Barcelona. Maturatun, Jose, the ranchos and Kennels around Caracas for six years. I Got witness Chavez being elected. The big rain storm in Dec. !998 (I was on the 3rd to last plane leave to). I Remember to the scars on the mountainside (and how we had to pay to get Caracas.).

        All This – I can read same on Hilton Caracas “Danger – You Out These Doors”

      • You sell yourself short BT, you write very well. And you not only make your point, you back it up with copious quantities of charts, graphs, and links. LOL

  4. If someone like me can hold an informed informed opinion (sitting in California) based on published news and the testimony of the one remaining family member I still have in CCS (who doesn’t want to talk about it much), it’s seems pretty clear that Maduro and Chavismo have for some time now totally failed to meet the criteria of an actual government. Whatever institutions are still working, however poorly, do so not because, but in spite of Chavismo. Treating them, referring to them, acting in any way as though they ARE a government who governs, even poorly, is to bastardize the meaning of the word. At this point, they are merely squatters. People working in the public sector do their job only if you pay them in dollars or actual currency, meaning the public worker is now a total freelancer out for themselves and whoever they have to pay off to hold their position bla bla bla.

    One push and this house of cards falls. Whose is going to supply that push? Seems like that is worthy of discussion. Simply running down a laundry list of Chavismo’s transgressions is still news, but the tune is on a broken record, just the details vary. Tedious to watch and hell to live, I imagine.

  5. “One push and this house of cards falls. Whose is going to supply that push? Seems like that is worthy of discussion. ”

    Agreed vivalargo. Maybe that magnificent orange bastard can now direct his full attention to our direction.

  6. MRubio I can’t for the life of me imagine how you are hanging in and remaining so sane and positive. Love for family, I imagine, even stronger medicina then Chavismo. I really hope you soon see better days. And everyone there.

      • MRubio
        Maria has tracked down the Vitamin supplement for Crystal.
        I thought that it had been “lost” while transiting customs.
        She said that it should be delivered today. I sent an e-mail to Vicky to let her know.
        Once that is in the hands of Crystal’s mother, I need to know the doctor’s opinion. It is a 90 day supply although the Dr. may have her take a larger dose.
        If that is acceptable in place of Zemplar, it is one challenge addressed.

        • Will do John. If the package does make it in a day or so it would be ideal as Crystal’s mom can huddle with the doctors there at the clinic.

          Crystal and her mom are still in Caracas and should head this way soon though Valeria, Crystal’s cousin remains in intensive care running a high fever and they can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with her. Crystal and her mom may head that way to lend a hand watching the other kids while mom and day sort out Valeria’s problems.

          • MR
            I received a reply from Vicky and she will let Crystal’s mother know as soon as it is delivered.
            I tried calling again today. Frustrating!

          • John, I’m watching my phone as closely as I can but not much in the way of calls or messages are getting through via movinet right now, at least not to me.

            I’ll have my woman try to contact Crystal’s mom to give her a heads up.

            Thanks again buddy!

            PS: First batch of raddishes is almost ready and surprisingly, the Swiss Chard is growing like crazy. I’ve planted a number of other salad-related stuff as well.

          • John, I offered the Swiss chard to the locals but very few took me up on the offer……nice that they were honest in that they didn’t know the plant and probably wouldn’t eat it so why accept the seeds, but still too bad that they’re not growing it for their kids. When we start harvesting the stuff (my first batch is only about 50 or 60 plants, I’ll demo some in the bodega to see if I can get some folks to give it a try. Of all the seeds we gave out, the Swiss Chard is about all that remains from that first batch.

          • Wow, what a link John! Lots of information and good tips of storing and cooking Swiss chard to maintain the highest nutrient content possible. I’m going to save any waste water from boiling the plants for my pigs…..when we have pigs……which will be soon.

            BTW, we’ve got one rooster and two hens right now, both laying daily. “Tococa” I believe they’re called here. Look like chickens to me.

      • @MRubio, Marc, and all the other commenters in Venezuela currently receiving the many blessings of socialism being bestowed on them by Maduro and company.

        I know things are very dark right now and getting darker by the day but I do believe that things are going to come to a head in the near future. I believe that President Trump is about to crank up the heat on that gang of criminals in ways they have not even anticipated. Hang in there …even if it means just getting through each day one day at a time. I have no way of knowing who among you are men or women of faith but it doesn’t matter. All of you are included in the prayers of many people you have never even heard of.

      • Life is short old buddy. Can we hook up and see if we can exchange some ideas? I know we are pretty far apart as far as Venezuela goes but I think it would be mutually beneficial. How can we communicate more… intimitly?

  7. @vivalargo….As MRubio said, now that President Trump can focus more attention on Venezuela I am sure he will be holding the regime’s feet to the fire even more so than in the past. In doing so he will be shredded by the liberal press who now consider it their duty to trash the man at every opportunity.

    As a guy mentioned on tv last night, Ronald Reagan said “If I were to walk on water the headlines would read REAGAN CANT SWIM!”.

  8. Oh right on! Best news of the whole week: 80 million dollars confiscated from Dios diablo and they deported his daughter directly from New York to Caracas when she tried to go spend daddy’s drug money. Didn’t anyone get a video of the deportation? Gad I’d pay real money to see that. 60 million is chump change for him I know but imagine the tongue lashing he’s getting from Danielita. Daddy? What happened to all the money? I try to pay with the plastic and it won’t work! What happened?

    • According to what I have read, the amount confiscated may be $800 million. (Which reminds me of that old quote attributed to Everett Dirksen “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”)
      EEUU habría confiscado $800 millones de Diosdado Cabello y deportado a su hija. The source is Oscar Haza.
      stados Unidos habría confiscado unos $800 millones de la fortuna personal del político venezolano de alto rango Diosdado Cabello, pese a los esfuerzos de sus allegados por entablar un diálogo con las autoridades norteamericanas para buscar algún tipo de arreglo, reveló el martes el conocido periodista de Miami Óscar Haza citando fuentes de cercanas a la situación.

      Haza, quien citó a “fuentes importantes” del gobierno de Donald Trump, también reveló que la hija de Cabello, Daniella Cabello, fue deportada cuando trataba de ingresar a Estados Unidos y montada en un avión con destino a Caracas.

      “Se ha incautado dinero ya comprobado que pertenece a Diosdado Cabello, la suma de $800 millones de dólares, que podrían pagar por dos meses el servicio de la deuda externa de Venezuela”, anunció Haza en su programa de radio.

      Entre las propiedades incautadas se encuentran 12 propiedades en Estados Unidos, incluyendo un lujoso apartamento ubicado frente al Parque Central de Nueva York.

      “Le han dado en el centro del cuarto de máquina del barco de su poderío económico, producto del narcotráfico y de los negocios que se han llevado a cabo para su beneficio”, dijo Haza.
      I don’t know how accurate this is.

      • Hope these comments about the socio de Cabello, Rafael Sarría are true. It would indicate that the noose is really tightening. I haven’t watched Godgiven for weeks. The article claims he’s gotten really agitated lately on his show. Can anyone confirm that?

        “Esas sanciones se impusieron pese a los esfuerzos de Sarría por entablar algún tipo de diálogo con las autoridades estadounidenses para llegar a algún arreglo, dijo Haza.

        Sarría había contactado en Madrid a “un venezolano” que podía servir de puente para contactar a las autoridades y en un momento mostró su frustración y preocupación por el constante cerco que las sanciones impuestas por Washington y Europa contra altos funcionarios del chavismo involucrados en narcotráfico, corrupción y violaciones de los derechos humanos.

        Según Haza, Sarría manifestó en esa conversación que “ya era insostenible su situación en Europa” y que buscaba algún tipo de acceso con “la administración Trump para buscar una salida”.

        La respuesta fue contundente y días después se incluyó a Sarria y a Cabello en la lista negra de la OFAC: “Este gobierno no negocia con delincuentes internacionales. No negocia ni con militares ni civiles incluidos en las listas delincuenciales”, expresó Haza.

      • I read the entire article and sure would like to see some confirmation somewhere that the story is accurate.

        Cabello himself sounded reasonable when he was quoted as saying something along the lines that he’d be absolutely mad to try to hide $800 million in the US AND send his daughter there as well. Of course, $800 million might be pocket change to these guys.

        • Agree. No doubt the guy (or his relatives or however title is held) have some nice properties in the US and elsewhere around the globe, but $800,000,000 in US?

          The amount is plausible, and still way below what the Chavez’s family (all of them combined, not just the one daughter) have what?? $10B?

          Speaking of which, was the $500,000,000 of El Salami allegedly frozen ever verified? That was news and then nothing.

    • Pay with the plastic for the plastic (surgery). Believe it’s $800 mill. Ten-year ago estimate $6 bill. “savings”; now at least 10x that….

  9. Fuck me!!! 800 MILLION dollars. Damn. Naw it probably doesn’t hurt him much that bastard has MUCHO plata. Probably annoys him more that anything but anything that pisses in his cornflakes is TOP NOTCH in my books. Something else I just found but can’t confirm it’s validity:
    PRIMERO NOS SUICIDAMOS TODOS LOS VENEZOLANOS ANTES DE SER GOBERNADOS POR LOS YANKYS,
    Y LOS QUE NO QUIERAN SUICIDARSE LOS MATAREMOS, ES POR SU BIEN
    El presidente Nicolas Maduro
    expresó:
    Tenemos que morir con dignidad
    que todos y todas vallan a sus casas, maten a sus hijos primero y despues se suiciden,
    no le daremos el placer a los gringos
    de tomarnos con vida,
    despues que uds hayan muerto yo
    me suicidare también,
    Ante la inevitable ofensiva que lo derrocara, el presidente Nicolas maduro aseveró que jamas entregara el poder y que el pueblo de venezuela prefiere morir por suicidio antes de entregar el pais en manos de terroristas americanos.
    Any comments?

  10. I says give er!! we’ll all meet up in plaza Bolivar a 8 pm sharp and get er dun. (if we don’t show up on time go ahead and get started without us)

  11. Still trying to confirm in english on ICE homepage. All news articles are from yesterday, so it might not have been updated yet. Someone from CCS chronicles should call them to confirm this. It would be good to at least see a press release from ICE to confirm.

    Yes, article in ElNuevoHerald, but want to see something in English by the gringos to confirm.

    “For media inquiries about ICE activities, operations, or policies, contact the ICE Office of Public Affairs (OPA) at (202) 732-4242 or email [email protected].”

    • As far as video of this, the gringos are not as chismoso as Venezuelans and have no clue who Danielita is…so just thinking business as usual, mind your own business and just go through immigration and customs.

      So only way to verify would be by contacting ICE directly…hopefully some journalist worth a shit will do so. Real big news that needs to be confirmed.

      Of course, when she got back to CCS it is really easy to go on VTV immediately, smile, and then Diosdiablo rants the usual blah blah blah. So even putting that timeline together would be helpful through use of flight tracker.

  12. I know a lot of people here hope that Trump will do something to cause Maduro to fall. I see it differently. I would prefer and I think it would be better for Venezuela in the future if Maduro was brought down internally or by a consortium of its neighbors. I fear that if the US is seen as the driving force the leftists will create a myth that the Chavistas were on the right path to social justice when the evil Yankees interferred. I just hope this is done the right way.

    • He can be brought down by a banana peel for all I care, just as long as he’s brought down. And while I understand and can agree with your analysis, regardless of how this regime is toppled, the leftists will always blame the evil empire to the north. Afterall, if it weren’t for US sanctions, the country today would be smothered in food and medicines.

      • MRubio…i agree that Maduro’s downfall by any mesns is a necessity but I just hope Venezuela can get lucky and topple him internally but what I cannot figure out is whether Venezuelans are holding back because they think his fall is inevitable or whether folks are too beaten up and afraid to go the streets. It’s always good to see your comments.

        • The middle class (what’s left of it) are turtled and just trying to ride this out. The rich don’t give a fuck cause they have always been and always will be rich. There is a me batch of middle class inchufados and nuevo ricos who are… well.. thriving on this situation but they are scared because deep down they know that this is a bubble that is going to burst. And last but most definitely not least we have the poor. Who are in their vast majority, are living very poorly. Which is necessary because very specifically until those barrios in Caracas come streaming down from the hills, we won’t see any change.

    • Bill, it doesn’t matter if he’s brought down by his “neighbors,” as if that would ever happen anyway:

      In many minds, The Empire will still be blamed. Come on. You’re not new at this.

      Look at the bullshit that comes out of Miraflores every single day.

      Let us Gringos be blamed and damned for “forcing” medicines and food on VZ. I couldn’t give a fuck what those who would view this as a bad thing would think and say.

      • Yeah I believe it. I’ve got a pretty good bullshit meter going on and this smells like truth to me. I’m gonna take the risk and go on file as to say it’s real shit. And the fact that the midget reacted VERY quickly to deny. And denied very much like a liar would in his shoes what did he say? I would have to be an idiot to send 800 million and my daughter to New York. Ah ok Bro. Ya te tengo medido

      • Hey tom you are a god send and I thank you on behalf of all of Venezuela for your dedication and attention to this… how shall I say it? Cause. My guess is you are a preacher looking for inspiration as to how good your flock has it compared to shit holes in the world and you have lots of time to surf while writing sermons and other preacher stuff. I appreciate the prayers you offer for we who write here…I believe there is power in prayer. That common hope and good will projected is just as powerful as the hopelessness and impotence that we all feel here day to day. Hopefully it helps to counter act. But don’t take pity on me brother man. I am but a fly on the wall here ( I’m Canadian remember) I am exactly where I want to be living how I want to live and pay no mind (really) the politics cannot effect me short term. I will leave to an equal or better life if and when life becomes unbearable or prejudices my children as we all have passports. Please sir direct your prayers at the less fortunate and more ignorant masses who are the real tragic victims here. Rest assured: Me and mine will fare well but please keep with the diligent contributions. You are a definite asset to us all here!

  13. @Marc…thanks for the kind words. They are much appreciated. I am really glad that you have other options available to you if and when you feel you need to exercise those options.

    No, I am not a preacher nor do I have a flock. I am not even what some might call a Bible thumper. I do however believe as you do that there is power in prayer and when facing true evil it can be a source of strength to draw from. My prayers are that all who need it will find the strength to somehow endure and survive the darkness that has fallen across the face of Venezuela . That’s all I meant to convey and I hope I didn’t offend anyone in saying it. I hope everything works out well for you and your family!

  14. Why do the regime members and their families wish to go to the evil empire?
    It seems that they would be happier with like minded people in Cuba, Iran, Russia or China.
    800 million Dollars converted to Bolivars at the 2.2 million Bolivars to the Dollar works out to 1,760,000,000,000,000 Bolivars.
    1.76 Quadrillion Bolivars.

    • He already has 852 quadrillion bolívares in each of his ven bank accounts. Check it out if you don’t believe me! Carefully though because he’ll have you arrested if he finds out you even looked. That bastard has more money then he or 7 generations of his family can ever spend. You can’t imagine how rich and powerful he is and how well he lives. But he’s bored and wants to see the rest of the world. And so does his entourage. And deep down inside every Venezuelan secretly wants to be a gringo SHHHH! Don’t tell anyone!

    • That’s nothing compared to my stash. The last time there was no toilet paper left me traumatized. No way I’ll be left with a shitty ass EVER AGAIN!

    • Most likely one of the corrupt generals stashed it there, or it was planted for a photo op.
      Did the regime say when it would go on sale to the public?
      What is the maximum allowable amount of tampons and paper towels that an individual is allowed to own?
      If so many people wren’t suffering and dying, this lunatic fringe that runs the country would be a hit reality series.
      Mel Brooks presents;
      Bananas!! Starring the cast of Venezuelan lunatics as themselves….
      Sadly, you just can’t make this stuff up.

      • Yep you’re probably bang on. You can’t transport a chicken these days without everyone taking a cut. You have to ask yourself: who could possibly amass so much treasure? Without attracting the wrong attention. But I think we are seeing the beginning of the enchufado wars. These envidios bastards are ratting each other out. It’s en vogue to report the “abusadores” now.

        • That is a roll of toilet paper for every 40+ people. I would say less than a days worth for the country. Amateur hour at its best, this kind of supply should be able to go up in flames without causing a dent in supply.

  15. Weightless remember? We have no cash. Now it’s all electronic and even that is precarious because you must be careful you are not the wrong person moving copious amounts of currency or you will be singled out and made and example of. What are you still doing up? What is it 2 hours earlier there?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here