Apocalypse Without Gaita

For Monday, August 13, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Efecto Cocuyo

Zulia State remains in the dark, it’s been long enough to spoil food and equipment, to beat any resistance records in a state characterized by its high temperatures, along with humidity and the serious compounded effect of having no access to any other service, losing communication capacity, as well as unhealthiness levels due to a garbage collection service as fleeting as the brief periods with electricity. Maracaibo mayor Willy Casanova has parroted Minister Luis Motta Domínguez’s key messages, asking citizens for patience, understanding and trust amidst their apocalypse, justifying what they can’t solve with “sabotage” and “terrorist attacks.” Zulians are being tortured; on top of hyperinflation, crime, the lack of gasoline and cash, a state without electricity is inert. Only modernity made Zulia inhabitable, it’s inhospitable without it. Additionally, after the explosion and fire of the high tension line in the Rafael Urdaneta bridge, vehicle transit is limited. Delcy Rodríguez was in Maracaibo and spoke like a militant, not like a vice-president. Governor Omar Prieto wrote last night “we’ll start seeing the positive results in the electric system,” meanwhile, last night blackouts were reported in Valencia, Carabobo State.


The other great tragedy to the south are floods, with much less data about Amazonas State, considering its notable level of land and communication isolation, which the government hasn’t bothered to explain; with the rains affecting Apure State due to the flooding of rivers Meta, Cinaruco and Orinoco, leaving hundreds of flooded homes, while Civil Defense national director Randy Rodríguez claims they’ve acted timely, offering figures of active officials but not of affected citizens, without explaining whether shelters have been set up, how they’re supplied, how to help.

Journalist Pableysa Ostos wrote several tweets to explain the severity of the situation in Bolívar State with numbers, based on the Orinoco river’s rising level, which places Ciudad Bolívar on red alert because there are only “five cms. left to surpass the historic levels of 1976.” That historic level has already been surpassed in Caicara del Orinoco, while Paula and Club Náutico are still below the red alert. 10,000 people affected by this situation have been reported in Bolívar alone, and the government says nothing.

A call

Lawmaker Juan Requesens’ family said that after 120 hours of isolation, they got a phone call from the arbitrarily arrested parliamentarian. In their statement, they say that he spoke of his condition and asked them for personal hygiene products. Although they ignore the reasons that made this call possible, they emphasize that they’ve been barred from seeing him (same as his lawyers) which keeps them concerned about lawmaker Requesens’ physical and psychological integrity.

Francisco “Paco” Palmieri, U.S. acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, wrote on Twitter: “Maduro and his secret police continue to disregard the rule of law in their arrest and illegal detention of constitutionally elected National Assembly member Juan Requesens. Latest example in a long litany of human rights abuses.”

Amazing chavismo

With the severe issues discussed this Sunday, Nicolás wrote last night just to lament the death of Egyptian Samir Amin; more moved for losing an example of the fight against capitalism than for the consequences that such a practice reveals in the country.

Transport Minister Hipólito Abreu said that the Metro de Caracas’ problem is the amount of users: in his view, since the system was created for 700,000 users and now serves 3,000,000, it’s obvious that it would work poorly! He explained everything associated with lack of maintenance and investment with the “economic blockade”; he denied the shortage of parts (the problem is speculation), he didn’t talk about gas prices because it’s not part of his faculties, he attributed any possible improvement to the transport census and back to the Metro, he claimed that they have a plan and in 15 days “we’ll reach very interesting operational levels.” Meanwhile, former Foreign Minister Roy Chaderton urged yesterday to keep our eyes open to the threat of Colombian oligarchy, with some relief because even though they “Think themselves as being superior and more civilized than us, we’re more.” He spoke of our military superiority (?), claiming that the regime isn’t isolated and solidarity is growing, and remarking that Venezuela is an example of democracy. Sadly, that military superiority Chaderton boasts about is denied with ever official complaint of sabotage and “terrorist attacks” to explain the collapse of public services. Former PSUV lawmaker Aldrin Torres and his wife Rebeca Núñez were found dead, after being missing for 11 days.

We, migrants

Quito confirmed this Sunday that the government decreed a state of humanitarian emergency to tackle the mass flow of Venezuelans in a situation of human mobility, opening several temporary shelters: “In each shelter there will be 20 people, members of family groups, and parents won’t be separated from their children,” explained municipal spokeswoman Alexandra Ortiz Mosquera, estimating 240 Venezuelan migrant family groups in Quito, 57 members of which are in a “double risk” situation, as they’re people affected by disabilities, pregnant women, minors or elderly citizens. This decisions includes the mobilization of resources according to the basic humanitarian needs of mobility groups: a place where they can sleep, get primary health care and food. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) issued a report about Venezuelans entering Ecuador, declaring that our exodus “is one of the largest mass population movements in Latin American history,” saying that the flow is increasing, that many Venezuelans are moving on foot “in an odyssey of days and even weeks in precarious conditions” and that many run out of resources to keep travelling and become more vulnerable, even turning to begging.

That’s how the week will start. We go on.

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  1. What have they done with my Venezuela? As Naky does this reporting, I’m seeing another from https://www.vpitv.com

    The latter shows the tale of enchufados from La Viña and surrounding neighborhoods in Valencia. All filling up the tanks of their brand new very expensive cars, ie Grand Cherokee for one.

    All far from the tragedy that reportedly is living everyone else. Completely insensitive to the ”collapse” of the country.

    When they enlarged the picture, in fact, it looks neat, clean, green, beautiful. Just like my neighborhood in Plano, TX.

    The only complaint is that they have to line up for gas at this spectacular PDVSA Gas Station. One to two hours these poor people wait in line. They almost made me cry so long their lament was about the waiting.

    All those who were interviewed had brand shirts. Women didn’t wear jewelry ”because” the malandros from ”the south” would steal them. Another cry and more tears.

    They are completely unaware that the Orinoco is inexorably rising and soon will overcome the levies flooding Ciudad Bolivar. Much less they are aware (or don’t care) about Maracaibo. I know someone that is certainly enjoying it.

    So you think the bad guy is Madburro. In that VPI report, there were dozens of enemies too.

    There will be a need for an almost total annihilation of thousands of Venezuelan to eradicate the infection of this ”peste”

    This millennial generation is the only one that can do something. Once time goes by, their successors will not remember. I’m old and my memory is full of only good moments, but was Venezuela always like this? I’m referring to the unconscious broken society which has no values other than making money to fuck up the neighbor or their best ”friends”, ”you have nothing and I have everything”.

    Waiting for commentary. I’m enraged, I can’t write coherent thinking anymore

  2. “Former PSUV lawmaker Aldrin Torres and his wife Rebeca Núñez were found dead, after being missing for 11 days.”

    Oh, you can’t tickle my ass with a feather like this! Tell me more?

    “In each shelter there will be 20 people, members of family groups, and parents won’t be separated from their children”

    As if they had the capacity to place or care for the children in the first place.

  3. Call Reporters Without Borders, Doctor’s without Border, Amnesty International, NGOs all busy with Africa and they are friendly to Madburro. No chance this will get any better

  4. Given the dire state of the nation, I wonder what, exactly, are the Chavistas in charge of. That is, what is their capacity to actually govern, to maintain and correct, as needed, the laundry list of emergency situations Naky just listed,

    One thing for sure – political cachet is one thing, but problems with energy, transportation, etc. all require money to fix or ever address. And what, exactly, is the state of Venezuela’s finances right now?

    A recent article wrote:

    Platts reported this week that Venezuela has already warned eight international customers that it wouldn’t be able to meet its crude oil commitments to them in June. Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA is contractually obligated to supply 1.495 million barrels per day to those customers in June, but only has 694,000 barrels per day available for export.

    It would take someone closer to the oil sector than I am but if reports are true that some 90+ percent of Ven’s income comes from oil exports, and that Ven is contractually obligated to supply more oil than it is capable of producing, one wonders how much of those exports go to repay loans – in which case Venezuela receives no hard currency for their sales, and how much actually generates cash income?

    In other words, how much – even in the broadest ball park figures – hard currency is coming into the country?

    Whatever it is, that amount is shrinking fast, and it’d be interesting to have some ball park figures. My sense of it is that Madura still has enough money coming in to create the appearance of a government, though in functional terms most of the institutions are basically ungoverned, that is, they are not receiving enough funds to remain functional. At some point maintaining even the appearance of a functional government will vanish once the funds are not there to stage parades and so forth. If we knew in rough terms what the financial situation actually was, based on oil income, it might be telling.

    My best guess is that, as reported, oil income was roughly 48 billion in 2017, and production is down about 25% since then. Add another 10% (at the least) for shipping snafus etc, and you are down to around 35 billion a year, or 2.9 billion a month. Say a billion a month goes to keeping the security/military forces fed and in line. In 2017, goods worth around 10.5 billion U.S. dollars were imported to Venezuela. I figure that amount has dropped at least 20%, reducing yearly imports to 8.5 billion. Then a billion a month is skimmed outright, if not more.

    Granted these are grossly speculative figures, and it’d be interesting to have an actual forensic accountant go over the figures based on available statistics. But the point stands: Maduro is quickly running out for money to even appear as a functional government. Even if all the silly claims the government spokespeople keep making about fixing the metro and the energy grid and a miracle financial recovery plan, all financial indicators point to empty pockets sooner than later. They might put off having to form over Citgo for a few months and stall out on the billions owed in outstanding and defaulted loans, but the day is fast approaching that the only money coming in will go to the physical survival of the Chavistas and the security forces. The country itself, the vaunted Pubelo, will be entirely on their own.

    • Remember that the Barclay’s report dated 15 May titled “The ship is taking on water” suggested that the end of deferment of China loans would result in approximately ZERO imports to Venezuela during the second half of 2018.

    • Juan Largo
      I haven’t tried to run the numbers lately. The last time I used the best info I could find online.
      Venezuela had the highest lift costs of any OPEC member. It used to run around $25 per barrel.
      The production committed to debt service, Caricom, Cuba and free domestic supply was about 1 million barrels per day. IF Venezuela could sell oil for $75 per barrel and produce 1.5 million barrels per day, it would be break even.
      I do not know how the hyperinflation has affected the lift costs. Employee salaries are probably much less in Dollars. Venezuela still needs to import lighter crude to mix with the tar they pump. As a rule of thumb, Venezuela receives about $10 less per barrel than West Texas intermediate (WTI). A quick check shows WTI selling for $66.57.
      The only way PDVSA and the regime can generate any cash is to defer maintenance and investment in wells. MRubio is more familiar with this than I am. I am only familiar with oil production as an investor.
      The way I see it, The regime is hard pressed to generate any cash as long as so much production is committed to debt repayment and other activities. I do remember that China had given the regime a break on repayment. I believe the grace period has ended.
      At 1.5 million barrels per day, Venezuela needs to lift 3 barrels out of the ground in order to monetize one barrel. The lift costs on 3 barrels may be very close to the selling price of the one barrel that they can sell.
      The OPEC report shows Venezuelan production @ 1,278,000 barrels per day for July 2018
      If these numbers are true, Venezuela needs to lift 5 barrels in order to have one to sell. Only 20% of production is available for sale. 80% of the production is already committed. As less oil is produced the lift costs will rise. Lift costs cover the entire expenses and are divided by the production. A bunch of employees with nothing to do, but still on the payroll make lift costs skyrocket. Like I said before though, I don’t know what the labor costs are. Actually they may be nothing when the regime just creates money from thin air.
      $200 oil would not bail the regime out of this mess.

        • From what I understand in recent history, Venezuelan crude has sold for about a $10 discount to WTI. That is the estimate I used when I attempted to figure the income from oil sales. The hyperinflation makes trying to estimate labor costs impossible. They also don’t publish how much they steal / embezzle.

    • Apporea is reporting the same OPEC numbers.
      July oil production @ 1,278,000 barrels per day.


      What happens when PDVSA can no longer afford to run the operation?
      MRubio must know more about this. It seems that simply walking away from a collapsed oil company would pose incredible environmental and safety risks. There is soon going to be a situation where either the company can not pay employees, or what is already happening, the money is so worthless that coming to work is a waste of time.
      I don’t know if there is another comparison anywhere in the world.
      Lake Maracaibo may only be the beginning of this environmental disaster.

  5. Question….

    Whenever the subject comes up on these oil calculations, its always a given to reduce the total lifted by what is due the Chinese.

    VZ stopped paying Bonds, starting what? 9 months ago?
    Things today are light years worse.

    When will they stop paying the Chinese “loan” from the oil pumped?
    and why do they still pay now?

    What can China do if they stop?

  6. Ira, according to the linked article, that couple had been “intercepted” by another vehicle as they were leavning a neighborhood on the 1st of August and had not been seen since. They were found in an advanced state of decomposition within a short distance of the abandonded vehicle somewhere between Pto Ordaz and Cuidad Bolivar. I’d guess some sort of revenge killing based on the limited info provided.

    On another note, my woman and I made an early morning trip to Punta de Mata so I could renew my cedula. She dropped me off next to the National Guard base with the instructions to ask someone leaving if they were giving out cedulas today. She was to wait a few minutes and then head over to the local market. As I was entering the gate I asked a woman if that trailer over there in the distance with the line was where I needed to renew a cedula. She said yes.

    Like I good boy I got in the long line and waited. In no time I see my woman headed my way on foot. Dafuq she’s doing? “What’s the problem”, I asked when she arrived. She said, “there’s no system today, they’re not receiving anyone for cedulas, only giving out cedulas to those who applied and were photographed before. You’re wasting your time”. I snapped back, “but I did as you said and asked a woman who was leaving here if this was the line to renew cedulas and she answered in the positive. Why didn’t she tell me there was no system?”.

    To that my woman said, “because you didn’t ask that! When are you ever going to learn that we Venezuelans answer only the question asked?”. LOL. I should have recalled my experience in 1992 in Caracas with the subway. I’ll never learn.

    We then headed for the market and I have to say I was shocked. Lots of product, lots. A whole lot and it was late by then. Fresh veggies, auyama, yuca, onions, garlic, tomatoes, ahi dulce, eggplant, and even lettuce, carrots, and potatoes……..the latter three I’ve not seen in our humble pueblo in 6 months or more. I also saw plenty of packaged products as well but didn’t really take note of contents as I was blown away by the volume and quality of the produce. The packaged goods looked like beans, powdered milk, sugar, corn meal, that sort of stuff.

    We bought about 100 tortas of casave with cash and via “punto”, we bought tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and cucumbers. Everything has one price for cash, another for “punto”. The casave for instance was 50,000 bs per torta in cash, 200,000 bs per torta via punto. Tomatoes were 4 MM bs per kilo by punto but I failed to ask a price for cash.

    I asked one guy about his platanos while I was waiting on the woman to pay with her card and he said 200,000 bs each in cash, 750,000 bs each in punto. I had to ask again because the prices didn’t seem to make sense to me. We sold platanos here for 50,000 bs each about a week ago. I forget how much my woman asked for in transferencia. When I mentioned his price to my woman, she said we pay an exceptionally good price for our platanos and sell them cheap……which explains why this one kid keeps leaving for Punta de Mata each week with about half our inventory. He makes all our profit, LOL. Interestingly, the same guy who sells us the platanos for such an attractive price, asked 250,000 bs per kilo for auyama the last night. The price in the market today? 80,000 bs per kilo. Crazy.

    I also made what seems like a decent contact with a fellow who has a buddy who handles large volumes of corn. According to this guy……gondolas full of corn. I’m not interested in buying right now because the prices will be too high, but once the harvest in this general zone kicks in, prices will fall. And talking about “this general zone”, I noted on the trip that there’s even less corn planted than what I’d hoped. The Brazilians, it appears, have planted most soy beans, very little corn. I did see some corn planted by a private individual in Monagas, perhaps a 100 hectares or more, but don’t if I’ll be able to make contact with him or if he’ll be interested in selling even if I do. Time will tell.

    After seeing that market today, I’m guessing the few guys who still sell veggies here in town must not have the capital to make the trip and buy in bulk. Prices are high to be sure, and no one has much cash, but everyone’s hungry here and looking for product.

    I don’t really want to become a veggie tycoon, but damn.

    • MR
      You need more seeds? 🙂
      There are some in your package if Crystal’s mother can make it to Caracas.
      Speaking of crazy numbers, Vicky just got an second job working part time doing data entry. 30 million per month. Her regular job now pays 8 million after her last raise. She was supposed to start her 2nd job today but the internet wasn’t working.
      It isn’t much. but she’s trying. 2 jobs and grossing under 10 bucks a month. Crazy!

      • John, I still have not received your contact info. Can you think of another way to make this happen? I have contacted CCs and asked that they provide my info to you or vice versa.

        • Hi Waltz
          I will try to contact [email protected] again.
          He e-mailed me and said that he would pass on contact info.
          The last couple of months have been hectic and I am just now getting caught up.

          If anyone at CC is reading this, You have my permission to give Waltz my contact details.

    • Mrubio, Thanks for that update. So I guess is good news that there was at least veggies and fruit to buy if you can afford it. How about in the Beef/Pork/Chicken/Fish/Diary departments?

      Cash is now 4x electronic?! And this is the about to go away cash, not the new cash. That seems crazy to me. How long are the existing Bs going to “co-mingle” with the new “5 less zeros” Bs?

      • Some veggies yes, more than I’ve seen here in many months. Fruits? None that I saw.

        The dairy department here now consists of powdered milk and some farm-made cheeze…..not much else. Haven’t seen milk in the liquid form in well over a year, pastorized fruit juice about the same. Thank god for our parchitas.

        I saw no beef, pork, or chicken but did see some sardines.

        Have no idea how long the new old bills are supposed to circulate though, as usual, I’m expecting a circus.

        • MRubio – Thanks for the follow up. I didn’t read your list carefully enough (although platanos are fruit – no?). Is the farm-made cheese from cows or goats? Maybe there are few or no dairy farms left? It’s hard to get a sense of what the hell is going on down there.

          Despite their moniker, reading CCS does not help me make sense of Venezuela.

          Yes, I imagine the new currency roll out will be a circus. These mental midgets on Aporrea who think that “anchoring” the new -5 zeros currency to the mythical petro will stop inflation are going to be sorely disappointed.

          • Yes, platanos would be considered a fruit. And now that I think of it, we bought bananas as well today. The small ones, the kind I used to buy in Mexico when I lived there. When I mention fruit though, I’m usually thinking of apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, that sort of stuff. Can’t recall the last time I’ve even seen, much less eaten any of those.

            The farm-made cheese in this area is all from cows though I’ve got a buddy who produces goat cheese on Margarita Island. Quite tasty.

            On another note, there will likely be less cattle rustling in the area for a while. Late last night, four locals (famed for their late night activities) were met with shotgun blasts at the back gate of a local ranch. I used to bale hay at the place and know that entrance well.

            Anyway, two dead, one wounded, the other escaped. The one who escaped is the same guy who fled the local police lockup next door about a month ago. I’d heard he was hanging around town like nothing had happened, but he’s scarce now.

            Just another day in the People’s Socialist Paradise of Venezuela.

          • Sounds like the Wild Wild West in the movies. Or like Chicago on a quiet night.

            We have the “little” bananas on our Hawaii property. People call them apple bananas for some reason. I have learned from experience to not eat too many of them at one time….

            I also am a fan of the goat cheese, espcially mixed with sun dried tomatoes. Hope your buddy is hanging in there OK. I understand (from Aporrea) that Margarita Island is especially FUBAR these days….

          • Haven’t spoken to my buddy on Margarita for a long while now. He was a regular buyer of bermuda bales from me for years for his goats…..had something like a thousand animals or more. The guy would send a friggin gondola each trip…..504 bales at a time.

            I certainly wouldn’t wish anything negative on my goat buddy, but hearing that Margarita is FUBAR does tickle my heart a little in relation to another guy I dealt with there. He too bought bales a time or two but we finally got crossways talking politics. Chavista to the core…..had an excuse for everything wrong, and blame for someone other than Chavistas when he couldn’t couldn’t come up with an excuse. Blasted guys like me who would buy corn, store it, and then resell at a markup….nevermind the work involved, the cost of the barrels, transportation, or the inflation angle. Nevermind that I was making it available to the locals who appreciated the product.
            It was just wrong to do it that way in his mind. Anyway, everything was rosy in Margarita according to this clown. Literally the land of milk, honey, and puppydog tails. Food everywhere according to him.

            So I quizzed him one day about his “business”, and he tells me he sells salt. I asked for more info. In essence, after receiving an order, he’d send his truck to the salt mine where they’d load the pre-packaged salt and then he’d deliver to his client on the mainland.

            Really? Zero added value, other than transporting it to the mainland and selling it at a markup? So your sales price covers your transportation costs including wear and tear on your vehicle, your costs for your driver, and you make a profit for yourself for future investment? Yes. Well then, you do realize you’re a capitalist, no? He didn’t care at all for that characterization of his activities. But what really pissed him off was when I asked how what he was doing with salt was any different than a “bachacho” who moves a pack of rice from Caracas to Maturin and then sells it with a markup to cover all his transportation costs and leave something for himself and his family.

            At that point he told me it was a free country and I was free to leave if I didn’t like the way the government was handling things. LOL.

            After about a year of no contact, I sent him a message the other day asking if he was still bachaquiando salt. Heh heh. No answer. Probably ignorning me because things are about 100 times worse than the last time we spoke, or even more likely, the fucker has fled the country he helped destroy.

          • That’s a classic example, MRubio.

            Socialism 101:

            Profit is greedy if someone else does it, but is just making a living to get by if you do it.

            Private Property is theft if it’s someone else’s property, but OK for you to have your own home and I-phone and car and bank account. After all, it’s yours.

            When you get right down to it, socialists think other people should be their personal slaves. All my stuff at “fair prices” to be supplied by my slaves and for which I will pay monopoly money printed by the state.

            Well, fuck-off slavers.

          • Gringo:

            If you eat too many of those bananas, are you sitting on the toilet for hours?

            Or you don’t go to the bathroom for months?

            Inquiring minds want to know.

  7. Thanks, John. That looks graver than I imagined. Factoring in lift costs, the theoretical 2.9 billion a month shrinks by what – half. That’s 1.5 billion. If 80% of the 1.5 billion barrels is already committed to pay down loans, that only leaves 400 million a month as oil income for the Chavistas to operate with.

    As Piku just wrote – “the end of deferment of China loans would result in approximately ZERO imports to Venezuela during the second half of 2018.”

    We are officially IN the 2nd half of 2018. While gold and steel and other stuff is no doubt generating income for those in power, how much of that do you think is going to state coffers, and how much of that – if any – is going toward exports?

    I don’t trust myself on this bullshit accounting of mine – I’m just glossing over the figures and comments of those who know better, but if the above is remotely in the ballpark, isn’t the collapse of the whole Chavista experiment looming in the near future. Nobody can govern with NO money. What is the true status of this fiasco? I learned early on if you want to know the truth about government, follow the money, but I ain’t finding any?

    How is any of this sustainable over even the short term? What does the country really look like, in financial terms, going forward from this day, Aug. 13, 2018?

    • And they still do have Millions of similar chimpanzees supporting them, to this day, mind you. Roughly 15% of our beloved, clueless, ignorant and corrupt populace.

  8. Remittances may be the most important source of foreign reserves. Why do you think the regime started paying a much higher exchange rate? The government exchange is still much lower than the black market though. It will never catch up because they are printing money at an ever accelerating rate.
    The regime coveting the remittances means that the lower hanging fruit has been picked. I seriously doubt that there are any foreign reserves left. Regardless of the regime’s official claims.
    As an example, remittances from the US to Mexico are higher than the value of Mexico’s oil production.
    After seeing the environmental destruction that PDVSA is responsible for, can you imagine what the regime will do to get any gold out of the ground?
    I have never watched a country self destruct like this. Somalia wasn’t a developed country before it fell into anarchy.
    Oil is only such a big deal because Chavez destroyed every other segment of the economy. Venezuela used to EXPORT many things.
    Restoring agriculture, manufacturing and oil production are not possible without foreign investment. Some companies that had their assets nationalized by Chavez or Maduro will never return. The educated and skilled workforce has also left the country.
    Foreign investors will not put a dime into the country as long as the regime holds power. Nor will the IMF or the World Bank. China was only a friend when there was money to be made.
    Eventually the lights are going to go out and there will be no water coming out of the taps. This is already a reality for large areas of the country.
    I do believe that the regional “leaders” that were so quick to condemn President Trump when he mused about military intervention, will eventually be begging for help. Venezuela is not collapsing in a vacuum. Neighboring countries do not have the ability to deal with the coming flood of refugees.

  9. I think some Venezuelans know what needs to be done… they are just waiting for someone else to do it.

    I think that most Venezuelans are still holding out hope that Chavismo can pull one out of the hat and turn it around, and are in no hurry to let go of the dream of a Socialist Utopia as envisioned by El Gigante. (as seen by any recent visit to Aporrea.org)

      • This asshole (Gian Carlo Di Martino) is what I am thinking about. Very optimistic about the future of the Revolution….

        1. High praise for Maduro, the Worker Leader!

        2. The peasants will lead the revolution!

        3. The peasant revolutionaries will inform on those who are counter-revolutionary, and the aggressors will pay the ultimate price! Justice!


        This kind of fucker needs to be swinging from a tree the minute the revolution falters. Sadly, I have some in-laws (the ones we didn’t evacuate from VZ) who think just like him. I’d buy some new rope, just for them. (inside words, El Guapo… inside words)

        • There are no shortage of people out there who think Stalin was awesome and that Poll Pot was a hero to the Cambodian people by canceling all their debts. Brother No. 2 seems like such a nice guy in the interviews. They went to Cambodia to help the people, not to kill them. But those darn people just wouldn’t get with the program, so they had to kill them in order to save the revolution.

          Thankfully, Maduro and Company are nowhere near those levels of depravity just yet. Maybe they just need more time.

  10. Neighboring countries do not have the ability to deal with the coming flood of refugees.


    This is a hard fact, and I’ve read efforts of the Brazilians to close the border (impossible as it is to enforce) because Venezuela is bleeding refugees by the droves, daily. Same with Ecuador, which is now shifting refugees to tent cities, and Columbia, which has requested international aid. Trinidad et al are also scrambling in lieu of the exodus.

    Fact is, the Chavistas are not capable of negotiating anything, and lack all wherewithal to carry out whatever they could negotiate. What’s more, the last decade has shown us there is no way to enforce any resolutions from outside the country. At least in terms of negotiating change.

    Basically we have a country in full meltdown and and no one wants to force a solution because that puts them on the hook for the immediate chaos and also the clean up. And with a solution not forthcoming from the country itself, given a fractured and emasculated opposition (the word is basically meaningless as a general term), what’s to do but watch the whole place go up in flames?

  11. According to tanker tracking stats Venezuela was producing some 1.4 mbd in May and exporting an average of 1.1mbd during the 1st quarter of 2018, things have become worse since then , remember for one that Venezuela is dependent on light crude oil and refined product imports (much of it of US origin) to mingle with its mostly heavy crude production to be able to make it into an exportable product and supplement the supply of the country internal gasoline demand , Conocos legal actionsagainst Pdvsa controlled or rented terminals in the Caribbean have made these imports and exports much more difficult (as much of that blending was done thru those terminals , thats bound to make exports much smaller and the supply of venezuelas gasoline demand highly deficient , now that a US court has authorized one of the govts creditors to take control of Citgos share the situation will become close to impossible for Pdvsa . Two recent reports from independent press agencies give news that Pdvsa has officially been exempted from the paying of venezuelan income tax for 2018 , for a country which is so dependent on Pdvsas taxed income this means that Pdvsa is incapable of paying that tax and is in dire financial straits, the second reports that Pdvsa’s employees are being paid thru funds which the Central Bank (reponsible for issuing money in Venezuela) gives to Pdvsa …….., not from Pdvsa’s own earnings……this means that Pdvsa is flat broke and running on fumes ……!!

    • Venezuelan domestic consumption used to be 600 thousand bpd. The decline of more than half is directly in line with the estimates of the decline in GDP.

      In Margarita Island, where there used to be traffic jams, the streets are eerily empty. After about 6pm it feels like a ghost town.

  12. Venezuela (like Mexico) doesn’t produce gasoline. It’s all imported at almost a 50 USD/Barrel and given away for a symbolic amount of 0.0001 USD/gal. In Mexico people pay the real price.

    • Filled up the car today in El Tejero. Don’t know how many liters. My woman gave the guy 200 bs……200, not 200,000 bs. I asked if part of that was a tip. She said, “yeah, 100 plus bs was the tip”. LOL Really an insult.

      200 bs! How much is that, a fraction of fuckin’ cent? Gawd this country is fucked.

      • Lot’s of pissing and moaning on Aporrea about how the lowest value coin of the “minus 5” currency is a 0.5 Bs, and how this means gasoline is going to cost at least 0.5 Bs (= 50000 current Bs = about 1 cent.) Why, that’s almost international prices! Outrageous. What an entitled bunch of asshats.

      • My wife and I have zero cash and we can’t get any from our banks. The last two times we filled the car with gas we took a small item of packaged food with us to “pay”. The attendant was thrilled to accept it instead of Bs.

  13. I believe that when Venezuela is no longer able to pay the Chinese loans, China will let it go. China would rather have the “anti-imperialist” Chavista régimen than to push too hard and see a more U.S.-friendly government come into power. Unfortunately oil production can still sink lower and not threaten this regime.

    • China will let it go, because they will have no other rational choice. They would be at the end of the line to receive compensation in any legal action, and any new government is likely to disavow the ligitimacy of those loans.

      They are going to have to write it off as bad debt, just like so many others have.


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