The Congress of Thugs

For Monday, July 30, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

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Photo: El Universal

The 4th PSUV Congress has been an ode to impudence, arrogance and spite for Venezuelans. During his speech, Nicolás developed content for those three spheres and while he kept all private media outlets out of the room, he claimed that the event had its doors open for all society, except that he also demanded that society had to be revolutionary and progressive. Perhaps that’s why he believes it’s necessary to reunify the late Gran Polo Patriótico and although he’d like to talk with the opposition, he says it no longer exists. That didn’t keep him from mentioning his wish to talk to Henry Ramos Allup, and also deem Julio Borges as “a thousandfold coward” shortly afterwards. The segment for the “great economic change” that will start on August 20 was extremely boring, saying that they have ten times as many banknotes as the country requires and that new rules are coming. And just like he mocked the former ministers who criticize him, he had the nerve to claim: “If you ratify me as the party’s chairman, I promise to assembly a team that will have a more effective leadership than the one I’ve had.”

Energy apartheid

The only relevant aspect of Nicolás’s presentation was the announcement of the vehicle census they will allegedly carry out between August 3 and 5: “Everyone who owns a motorcycle, a car, a bus, taxi, or truck” must register to allow for a “rational and fair use” of gasoline, which this time they’ll accomplish through the carnet de la patria, leaving ships in the recent past of imposed schemes to prevent fuel trafficking. Profesor Francisco Monaldi said on Twitter: “Maduro seems to announce that there will gas rationing using the carnet de la patria. They’ll possibly increase gas prices substantially and people will get a ration at a lower price with the carnet. The wise move would be to increase prices and grant a compensatory direct subsidy,” adding that gas rationing is an inevitable consequence “of the collapse of production and refining, combined with the policy of giving away gasoline” and that the government desperately needs to keep a surplus to export.

The usual suspects

Despite the demands for democratization, the party congress’ speakers and appointees were the usual suspects, a power group that’s probably made up of no more than a hundred people. Diosdado Cabello claimed that this exercise will allow further consolidation, that the “revolution’s future” is in the youth and he restated that the acute shortages of medicines and food that we suffer are caused by the United States’ alleged economic blockade. Aristóbulo Istúriz urged the building of a political hegemony that prevents losing the “revolution” in an election, in the risk of freedom, fairness and equality, in the danger of democracy. Adán Chávez promised to review the party’s structure with self-criticism and without sectarianism (being a Chávez himself). It was yesterday that Elías Jaua claimed that currency exchange controls were “pulverized”, which allows them to advance to a position where they can recover the governability on the exchange system and that the government must create a system to preserve foreign currency (hahaha!) and regularize exchange controls for business owners.

The former allies

In a late bout of memory, Walter Martínez said that el finado told him that former Minister Andrés Izarra had taken all the money from TV station Telesur and the Simón Bolívar satellite project (in his words, “Walter’s satellite,” the self-esteem issues these guys have are beyond fixing); it’s worth noting that Martínez kept this secret for five or six years.

The mistreated Andrés Izarra demanded on Twitter “an immediate change of government,” in order to save el finado’s legacy and the country, linking to an article of former Minister Jorge Giordani, called “Chávez’s curse and immolation,” where Giordani details his close ties to el finado (in search for “revolutionary” auctoritas), all to end up saying that appointing Nicolás as successor was a mistake, proposing the need for a change of government “as soon as possible.” Former Minister Héctor Navarro, expelled from PSUV for defending Giordani’s criticism, said the congress was a charade, claiming that the grassroots are disenchanted. Navarro restated that the ANC allows Nicolás to rule de facto and reduced the list of power players to six people: Diosdado, Nicolás, Elías Jaua; the Rodríguez siblings (Delcy and Jorge) and Tareck El Aissami. Meanwhile, former Minister Rodrigo Cabezas told Reuters that there wouldn’t be any debate in the PSUV Congress and that they’ll only back whatever Nicolás says, adding that the government forbade ministers to mention the word hyperinflation and that we’ll only solve it with a stabilization plan, but “there’s no professional leadership in economic policy.”

Powerless

Rafael Ramírez completes the circus above, claiming on a video that Nicolás’s economic measures aren’t backed by a plan and they’re based on lies and excuses.

Ramírez says that Nicolás hasn’t suffered “the lowest oil prices in history”; that PDVSA’s collapse is Nicolás’s responsibility; that it was PDVSA that guaranteed the revenue for social development and not foreign exchange controls (a matter for which he accuses Nicolás of being ignorant and a liar) and that he cautioned about this crisis in the PSUV Congress of 2014. Ramírez restated that slashing five zeroes from the currency without a plan “is putting makeup on the corpse” because money is being printed without any backing; he also cautions that the petro is yet another lie to privatize the Orinoco Oil Strip, which is both unconstitutional and “a fraud because the currency is unusable.” He challenged Nicolás to compare his administration with Chávez’s, telling him that the greatest difference between the two is that with el finado, they didn’t improvise or evade responsibilities. Lastly, Ramírez says that as a PSUV founder, he has the authority to demand a grassroots discussion about the current situation.

A lesson on ignorance

No content in the PSUV congress went so viral as a piece of the interview that Gloria Carvalho, chairwoman of the National Center for Telecommunications Development and Research, offered to VTV on June 22.

Carvalho claims that the origin of this domination (AKA the complex humanitarian emergency we’re suffering) are scientific labs that design products for such an ignoble purpose. But don’t worry, there’s a solution: supplying ourselves and using only the necessary technology (renouncing state-of-the-art tech) as native tribes have done, although those tribes are now ravaged by epidemics such as measles, malaria and HIV, among others. Carvalho forgets that the concentrated food for chickens contains soy, a product that’s hardly available now ever since it came under military control. With food less rich in proteins, chicken production also declines. But understanding this requires respect for science. In chavismo, ignorance doesn’t need to be bold.

We go on.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. I vaguely recall reading on CC that inexpensive and plentiful gasoline is considered a national birthright and that it would be the one privation that would set el pueblo on fire. Is that correct?

    • The Caracazo, national riots of 1989, the seminal event claimed by Chavismo is commonly blamed on the sudden and steep increase of fuel.

      • Not even 100% convinced that that had anything to do with the caracazo, anyway its certainly not a factor today. Yesterdays Venezuelans were a different breed of people.

        Raising fuel costs to international prices would however stunt illegal exports of fuel which would piss of the military men who are getting rich off of that trade.

        • This just in – Maduro will “Dicom” ocrize Gas.
          *** Prices stated in “Petros” 1 Petro = $1
          P$0.00 Dicom M – Military / Maduro – Unlimited (Got to !!)
          P$0.05 Dicom I – Insiders – Varies (Got to keep the wheels running)
          P$0.10 Dicom C – Colletivos – 100 liters/month (Got to keep the “Peace”)
          P$0.15 Dicom P – Patria Card Holders – 2 liters/month (Got to Pacify)
          P$4.00 Dicom O – Opposition – Unlimited (Got to create O so much more emigration out of these non-belivers)

    • Isn’t the majority of gasoline/diesel sales to commercial operators and enchufados? Does el pueblo care about either group?

  2. I doubt it, nothing short of mass starvation will do that, er pueblo no longer has any running vehicles. However the transportation problem would increase as higher gasoline prices will automatically raise all transportation costs which will in turn raise all other product costs which need to be transported. If it gets anymore expensive to live that may spark something. But as long as those 5 million in the hills around Caracas receive their daily bread, nothing will happen. Not many people are working anymore. Its just not feasible to waste your calories working for the man when what he pays you will not replace said burned calories. Shops everywhere closed for lack of merchandise and employees.

  3. There is a pattern in the news cycle for the past few months.

    Chavistas crazy talk jingoism, no one gives a hoot. Nothing happens, nothing changes. Things get worse. Everyone seems OK with it. Repeat ad infinitum.

    • Im sure everyone is getting really fucking sick of it. Its like watching the train wreck in slow motion…really slow motion, people are getting bored of the frame by frame, just fast forward to the wreck part for crying out loud.

    • There is nothing inevitable about a revolt against Maduro in Venezuela. Mass migration seems to modulate dissent as certainly was and is the case in Cuba. There seems to be more dissent among the Chavistas than between them and the opposition who I sense hope without reason that a third party will come to their rescue even including an intramural struggle within the Chavistas. Like Cuba the Chavistas could rule for decades. What exactly occupies the work day of an elected opposition figure? What would be the point be of showing up for votes in your legislature or for proposing or opposing legislation.

      • 1. The Chavista voter wants a different Chavista politician. Not an end to Chavismo. That is where the disconnect is. They think its a problem of the wrong captain at the helm of the Titanic… they don’t see a problem with the Titanic, even as it is slipping beneath the waves.

        2. I don’t see much hope when it comes to the opposition, as most of the opposition is just Chavismo Lite. They think they can do Chavismo better then Chavez. Where is the political party that is out there telling El Pueblo the truth about Marxism? Which candidate is saying, “Time to grow up, kids. No more handouts. No more something for nothing.” Have I missed that guy (or gal?)

        I don’t see an out for Venezuela. The culture loves Chavismo. They bought into the lie, and the people who have had enough have figured Venezuela and the culture isn’t worth fighting for. Which is exactly what the Cubans want… Hell, they pulled that same trick over 55 years ago. The achievers leave, leaving behind the ignorant people who are perfectly content to be subservient in order to get table scraps.

        • So right Guapo. As for Bill’s mass migration, it’s just part of the marxist plan of depopulation. Losing dissenters is a side benefit. Woe to the true believers who stay (or left behind) — the worst brutality is yet to come. The Castros will reduce the remainder to subsistence tribalism while the real estate will remain unencumbered.

        • The coming tribalism:
          “Carvalho claims that the origin of this domination (AKA the complex humanitarian emergency we’re suffering) are scientific labs that design products for such an ignoble purpose. But don’t worry, there’s a solution: supplying ourselves and using only the necessary technology (renouncing state-of-the-art tech) as native tribes have done, although those tribes are now ravaged by epidemics such as measles, malaria and HIV, among others. Carvalho forgets that…”

          • ““Carvalho claims that the origin of this domination (AKA the complex humanitarian emergency we’re suffering) are scientific labs that design products for such an ignoble purpose.”

            Huh?
            Was something lost in the translation?

  4. ?Vehicle census? Sounds like a scam to incorporate private vehicles to replace the now non-existant public transport, as replacement parts for this entity are no longer available.
    Vehicle owners beware!!!
    Gerry.

    • Remember, under every form of marxism every asset belongs to the ruling elite (via the government) including cars, houses, businesses, and the bodies and souls of humans.

  5. “Everyone who owns a motorcycle, a car, a bus, taxi, or truck” must register to allow for a “rational and fair use” of gasoline…

    As if charging a fair market price for gasoline couldn’t do the job a lot more efficiently. Give away gasoline for 10 cents US per gallon- or whatever it is- and than instill more bureaucracy regarding its use. Puro Chavismo. If there is a problem arising from government policy- in this case freebie gasoline- another layer of government will solve the problem.

    • It’s so crushingly obvious to everyone including the victims: by accepting stuff for “free” you give away freedom and control (without a fight). Control has always been the true desire of the despotic elite, from pre-history to this very day. The headlines bulge with examples.

  6. OT: Kid’s Day! Meet Greet & Eat

    Crystal’s mom brought a bus group over from her church in Maturin today……..about 30 people in total to help out with everything. After coffee here at the house, we fed almost 200 kids earlier in the morning. Current festivities include music, singing, games, gifts for all, and sweets.

    I’ll be leaving shortly with lunch for 200. This event was really well-organized and I have to give credit to Crystal’s mom and all those who helped make it happen. There’s a bunch of well-fed happy kids here in town today.

    She’s planning another event for December in another sector of town.

    • MRubio, sounds like a great time was had by all. I know the kiddos enjoyed themselves. I don’t know know if this comment board will allow you to post a pic or two but if so would be great to see them.

    • MRubio
      That is fantastic!
      What an incredible thing to do for so many kids.
      Crystal’s mother is truly a remarkable woman to do so much for others while she is faced with so many challenges herself.
      May God bless her and all of your family.

  7. Is Ulamog still among us or has he been scooped up by Sebin? I miss you buddy, where are you at? Glad to see you are still kicking MRubio.

  8. The gasoline announcements is annoying and worrisome, primarily because of the lack of clarity. Maduro makes these types of pronouncements without any detail and leaves us scratching our heads trying to figure out what it means.

    • Roy,

      I think it means that Maduro has run out of free gas to hand out to the people. Which is true. He has. PDVSA is in the toilet, and still swirling. To the extent the PRC and/or Russia comes in to create new production, that production is going to the PRC and/or Russia; not as a freebie to Venezuelans. But he is afraid to say this out loud, so instead you get more blather.

      The Venezuelan people are not rioting over there being no food, water, electricity, healthcare, public transportation, or personal safety. Losing out on free gasoline seems like the least of your problems. But hey, I’m not living there. Maybe free gas is more important to the average Venezuelan than those other things?

      • I am here. All of what you said is clear. I (and everyone else I know who still has a car that runs) just want to know if we will still be able to by gasoline and how many hoops they will make us jump through to do so.

  9. “Navarro restated that the ANC allows Nicolás to rule de facto and reduced the list of power players to six people: Diosdado, Nicolás, Elías Jaua; the Rodríguez siblings (Delcy and Jorge) and Tareck El Aissami.”

    This is a very interesting list, if only because of the absence of Vladimir Padrino Lopez. Is this because it is specific to PSUV rather than national powerbroking, or because Vladimir has truly fallen out of his super-ministerial role, or because Navarro doesn’t understand what is really going on?

    • I suspect the same as you.

      Possibly could be that Vlad is just the puppet of the Castroists that are really running the military.

      OR it could be that Vlad is the one with the real power and he and the puppeteers are the ones who are keeping it all on the down-low?

      ???

      • The regular military seems to be operating under the radar with the GNB doing all of the heavy lifting.
        Was the GNB included in the pay increases or was it for the regular military?
        There may be a rift between the generals that have their own private organized crime operations. I assume that some are becoming very wealthy while others are sidelined.
        The worst situation would be a government collapse and these generals maintaining control of different areas without any central government.
        It would resemble Somalia with all of the regional warlords.

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