Nicolás’s Supportless Imposition

For Tuesday, August 14, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Prensa Presidencial

Nine days after the National Guard’s stampede and a week after the failed “Shield of love,” PSUV collapsed the Caracas traffic, closing streets and avenues for a 15 km march that nobody attended: they couldn’t patch up their lost support with public employees, but Nicolás’s ego was once again beaten. The speaker in the march’s last station was again Diosdado Cabello who, with more anger than peace, spoke of the joy of marchers, the huge attendance, the impossibility that the opposition could ever arrange a similar event and even people’s patience, restating the threat: “This country is ours, if it’s not ours, it belongs to nobody, the country is socialist or it isn’t a country. Rifles on the shoulder, knees to the ground and bayonet ready.” Pure peace. If the next bonus will be paid for repeating the term “frustrated assassination attempt,” all the spokespeople interviewed on official media already have it in their bank accounts.

The big announcements

Nicolás ratified last night that for the first time in 19 years, they have an integral plan. He knows this one to perfection because he prepared it personally. What does it include?

  • Monday, August 20 will be non-working, marking “the start of a phase of work, effort and progress.”

  • That same day they’ll start the process of tethering the new wage and price-setting scheme to the petro. BCV will publish the operational figures and the tethering to something that doesn’t exist, which is absurd because currencies are tethered to people’s trust in them.
  • Starting on August 20, there will be two accounting units: the sovereign bolivar and the petro. He lacked the capacity to explain what this means.

  • He’ll impose the “maximum public sale price,” tethered to the petro amidst hyperinflation. By the way: the petro was created by the government which originally said that there would be a finite number of it, but they already ditched it; as it is, they could create petro banknotes, which would be worth less and less every day and so would the sovereign bolivar.
  • To stop gasoline smuggling, it will have international prices, right when the real income is at a historic minimum.
  • There will be a direct subsidy system for gas and he offered no details, so with or without carnet de la patria, this is a promise of rationing.
  • Sovereign bolivar and strong bolivar banknotes will coexist.

  • “They will regret having been born,” said Nicolás to those who refuse his plan, with the threat of a club to carry it out. More social control for political purposes, more apartheid, more poverty.

Due process

Ombudsman Alfredo Ruíz said yesterday morning that he’s at peace with the handling of lawmaker Juan Requesens’s case because due process has been respected. In his version, it’s normal that a lawmaker is presented before court after five days of his arrest (even with the allegation of flagrancy) and that he communicates with his lawyer only after the preliminary hearing. He was notably concerned by the leaked humiliating videos, not by their content, no, but by the leak itself. Hermann Escarrá said that in case there were human rights violations, the lawyers and relatives must go to the Prosecutor’s Office to file the complaint: “The judicial process established by the Constitution has been followed (…) knowing Nicolás Maduro as I know him, I’m sure that constitutional guarantees are being complied with,” he emphasized.

Last night, Nicolás once again talked about the video where Juan Requesens admits he facilitated details to one of the people allegedly involved in the drone flight, claiming that the lawmaker “could have stuck to the constitutional precept, but no, he testified and confirmed the attempt,” taking the video as an “evidentiary confession that has turned the investigation around.”

Requesens case

While the German government expressed its condemnation for lawmaker Juan Requesens’s arrest, María Corina Machado said that the government’s actions against the lawmaker are “State terrorism,” because only terrorists commit crimes and then laugh about it.

Dr. Juan Guillermo Requesens explained that the lawmaker’s lawyer is Joel García and that they won’t accept the imposition of a public prosecutor. The lawmaker was transferred to court, and his sister Rafaela Requesens couldn’t access because court officials demanded a “SEBIN permit,” forgetting which institution should be subordinated to which.

The seven detainees presented in yesterday’s hearing were: lawmaker Juan Requesens, general Alejandro Pérez Gámez; colonel Pedro Zambrano, Bryan Oropeza, Luis Guerra Giménez, Yanin Pernía and José Gregorio Blanco.

Briefs and serious

  • According to OPEC (secondary sources) Venezuelan oil production dropped in July by another 48,000 barrels per day and reached 1,278,000 barrels per day. An official source reported a larger drop: 62,000 bpd.

  • Grupo Zoom reported that starting yesterday, the “remittance” dollar exchange rate is Bs. 4,010,000.00, so now the minimum wage in Venezuela is officially less than a dollar, thanks to this 27.6% depreciation.

  • Ana Rosario Contreras, head of the Capital District’s Nurses Association, invited citizens to join them on Thursday, August 16, and walk from the J.M. de los Ríos Children’s Hospital to Miraflores to deliver a document to Nicolás.

  • Relatives of Rubén González, general secretary of Ferrominera’s Union, denounced his enforced disappearance yesterday morning, explaining that he was being persecuted by the National Guard and SEBIN.

  • The rains in southern states continue and Ciudad Bolívar is just three centimeters from reaching the historic level of 1976, keeping six municipalities in red alert. Some people in Apure and Amazonas also remain in alert due to their own floods.

  • Several areas of Maracaibo report intense protests after 80 hours without electricity.

From abroad

  • “We hope that all neighboring countries keep their doors open and we are prepared to assist in support of the people crossing the border,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq, adding his concern for the amount of people in this exodus, mentioning the state of migration emergency decreed by Ecuador.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis talked to his Brazilian counterpart, general Joaquim Silva e Luna, and they studied the Venezuelan crisis. Silva e Luna explained that they discussed how to aid Venezuela, without giving further details.
  • Former Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero rejected lawmaker Julio Borges’s statements about how he was threatened to sign the agreement at the Dominican Republic in February this year: “What I won’t accept, under any circumstances, is that someone questions my attitude of absolute nobility, disinterest and good faith in Venezuela’s entire conflict,” he said. Moving.

Rafaela Requesens said at 11:10 p.m. that they had been waiting at the Justice Palace for news about her brother for nine hours. These are the practices to which Nicolás’s phrase is “tethered”: “They’re going to regret having been born.”

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  1. “Starting on August 20, there will be two accounting units: the sovereign bolivar and the petro. I have lacked the capacity to explain what this means.”

    Don’t feel bad. Renowned economists are scratching their heads. It’s rumored to be part of the infamous economic plan called, “Making Shit Up” that gets dusted off from time to time.

    “These are the practices to which Nicolás’s phrase is “tethered”: “They’re going to regret having been born””

    OOOoooh! Hold that thought, Nick. Those words are going to haunt you.

    • English Guapo – “It’s rumored to be part of the infamous economic plan called, “Making Shit Up” – Yes. Like everything else that comes out of his pie hole.

    • Im not sure that this currency talk is the major news item here?

      “U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis talked to his Brazilian counterpart, general Joaquim Silva e Luna, and they studied the Venezuelan crisis. Silva e Luna explained that they discussed how to aid Venezuela, without giving further details.”

      Currently within a radius of around 600 miles of the Venezuelan coast are the following;
      1 The Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) USS Iwo Jima.
      2 Carrier Strike Group (CSG) USS Abraham Lincoln.
      3 Carrier Strike Group (CSG) USS George Bush.

      It is also not inconsequential that Niki Hailey was meeting ODA Teams in Colombia within the last few days.

      Maybe nothing but!

  2. “…Starting on August 20, there will be two accounting units: the sovereign bolivar and the petro.”

    On Tuesday Aug 21 Venezuela will dollarize because no one will have any alternatives left.

  3. Poor Nicholas! He keeps coming up with these great socialist plans to turn Venezuela around, but those clever economic warriors from the U.S. and Colombia manage to out-fox him every single time.

  4. In my daily glancing of Aporrea a common pattern is emerging. First they have to invoke the tired accusations, the opposition, the empire, Colombia and Santos. But then with the same intensity they go after Maduro and state their grievances. The dyed in the wool are suffering and have a terrible cognitive dissonance.

    It would seem that any enterprising military or politician, i.e a XIX century style caudillo, with a certain amount of muscle could just step in and takeover. I can imaging some lost garrison in the hinterlands of Venezuela rising and Chavismo just disolving as they take a march to Caracas. It doesn’t seem to be very many Chavistas motivated in taking a bullet for the bus driver.

    • “…lost garrison in the hinterlands of Venezuela rising…”
      First they’ll have to switch sides, i.e. repudiate marxism and all the lies they love so dearly — cognitive dissonance indeed.

  5. “Sovereign bolivar and strong bolivar banknotes will coexist.”

    They’re soon going to run out of catchy names for the bolivar. Alternately, they could do like the weather service does with hurricanes and have a list each year that runs from A-Z and just rename them as inflation knocks them over.

    In other news, Stepdaughter 2 called last night and told her mother that Banco Mercantil is closing for 10 or 11 days… withdrawals, no wire transfers, no nothing. And since no one accepts checks these days, it’s sure to be yet another Venezuelan cluster fuck.

    John, no news yet on Crystal and her mom heading to Caracas. When they do, you’ll know. This morning I harvested a nice group of green beans, okra, and Anaheim peppers from my garden. Thanks again buddy, you’re a life-saver.

    • MRubio
      I’m glad to hear that it is making a difference. I am assembling more meds etc., to get another shipment going your way.
      Waltz and I have both contacted CC and requested an exchange of contact info. Raul from CC sent me an e-mail and said he would take care of it. I am going to e-mail him another request.
      Things have been hectic here. I am starting to get better organized and will get things ordered for you.
      Good luck my friend!

      • It’s hard to strike down the already-down–little/no: electricity/water/public transport/garbage collection/even gasoline. No real public protests of importance, much less en masse. Quiet resignation/adaptation. The Valkyries are riding over still-protected/fast-decaying Caracas, and the Ven. armed forces. The Final Destination will be first half next year, if necessary.

  6. “Starting on August 20, there will be two accounting units: the sovereign bolivar and the petro. I have lacked the capacity to explain what this means.”

    No one has the capacity to explain what that means. These buffoons (along with millions of wanna be socialists in the US and around the world) are science-deniers. They deny that human beings have free will and won’t willingly be their slaves, even in the pursuit of paradise. They deny the law of supply and demand, a law as real as the law of gravity. Maybe easier to screw with for very controlled limited events, but those controls have huge costs, and never work in the long run.

    These assholes can declare and denounce and proclaim and threaten and raise their fists, while wearing Che berets and worshiping El Finaldo, but no one outside (or inside) Venezuela would willingly accept “Petros” in exchange for something that can be sold for hard currency.

    And, these same chuckleheads just raised the Zoom remittance rate to 4M Bs in an effort to capture some USD. Still lower than black market, but a plain admission that the “minus 5 zeros” Bs are worth no more than 2.5 cents (and ‘oh the humanity’ that the cost of a tank of gas would go up to 1.25 cents!).

    But, but, but, it will be tied to the mighty Petro.

    Meet the new Bs! Same as the old Bs!

    • The worst part about it is that NM actually believes this new “economic plan/cono monetario” will actually solve something….

      • NET. This is why I hope the US does not do anything militarily to give the worldwide socialist buffoons an excuse for the failure of socialism (“It would have worked if not for the meddling of US imperialists”). Just stand back and watch it fail spectacularly by its own weight.

        • Who knows, NET. Depends on many factors, not the least of which internal US politics with the never-ending Rage of the Democratic Machine that they lost to the likes of Trump.

          Maybe Venezuela will keep slogging along at a steady rate of deterioration, or maybe something big and country wide will erupt to force the issue. Probably just depends on when the rest of South America cannot handle any more Venezuelan immigrants/refugees. With Syria, war created refugees. With Venezuela, refugees may create war. I got no crystal ball.

          As big of a shithole as Venezuela has become, it’s not on many US citizen minds. Just another “so sad, too bad” place in the world, like Mexico, Nicaragua, most of the African continent, the Stans, Detroit, the south side of Chicago, and the Baltimore Orioles, to name a few others.

          • Yes, refugee increased flood will sway neighbors/their U.S. influence. U.S. citizen top-of-mind isn’t important vs. LatAm Regional subversion geo-politically. What’s coming is hopeful (ergo, the Valkyries–although gargoyles are also appropriate)–change from anarchy to chaos–monetary “reconversion” 1-3/more? weeks, where there are: insufficient bills new/old; few/if any coins (just now “being minted” in Maracay), critical to day-to-day commercial functioning; a completely non-functional gasoline new pricing/rationing scheme; blocked/mal-functioning debit/credit card platforms/electronic funds transfers; even more skyrocketing inflation due to higher goods gasoline transport costs/coming general wage hikes; more essential consumer goods scarcity due to declining petroleum $ production/income; worse electricity/water scarcity affecting now Ccs; greater Ven. military/their extended families’ discontent (many still living in Ven., mostly in Ccs.) (only 1m=50% of Generals came to NM’s recent obligatory rally/threat meeting); etc., etc. Those living in Ven. better stock up now on essential/non-perishable foods/goods, including those for personal security….

  7. Unfortunately, Venezuela gets basically zero coverage on evening tv news in the states a bit more on internet news site. The story of Venezuela just does not fit their agenda…although there was brief mention of a recent “drone attack” Nine out of ten (maybe more) are unaware of what is happening and the liberal media likes it that way.

    • More than “Does not fit their agenda” – it is embarrassing to their past statements about how great Venezuelan socialism is, especially the free healthcare, free college, free housing, and other free stuff that Americans should also be entitled to. Every time Bernie or Occasional-Cortex gives a “free shit for all” speech, there will be many who will shove Venezuela in their face, forcing them to go through the “that’s not real socialism” or “US sanctions are to blame” or “Trump and Putin made it happen” song and dance. It’s easier to simply ignore Venezuela and pretend they’ve never heard of it.

      It is sad, though, at how easily people go for free stuff. There are videos on You Tube of Brother No. 2 being asked why they did it, and this nice, calm, harmless looking, soft-spoken old man explains that, on Day 1, they freed all the people from owing any debts. Jubilee. All kinds of positive comments follow about how this should also be done for student loan debt in the US, and that it is just US propaganda that the Khmer Rouge went on to ruthlessly torture, slaughter and starve a couple of million people after discharging their debts.

      • It is simpler to point out that every ghetto in the US is owned by Democrats.
        The same as how Maduro has destroyed the country and made the people dependent on the government, the Democrat base in the US is dependent on government welfare.
        Every time a Democrat is running against a Conservative Republican, the Democrat’s mantra is all about what people are going to lose if the Republican is elected.
        The Republican is always going to reduce or eliminate a welfare benefit.
        Black unemployment is at the lowest level ever recorded. The dignity of working, creating your own wealth and not being dependent on government for your quality of life seems to be what President Trump is offering.
        The Liberal Democrats have trapped a large portion of minorities in a cycle of generational poverty with all of the ills that go with it. The Democrats need these people to be dependent on them so they can be exploited for their vote.
        When they are no longer dependent on the Democrats, they won’t vote Democrat.

  8. And the NGOs: Amnesty International, Red Cross, Docteurs sans Frontière, etc. If the bloggers and CC want to effect change, it isn’t by asking the Marines to invade Venezuela.

    Somehow Chavez purchased a ”chavismo life insurance” when he gave away diesel oil or gas oil to the USA northeastern states, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, etc.

    So people might be starving in Venezuela but that isn’t Maduro or Socialism fault, besides these US co-citizens have had warm winters.

    There are people there that will fight on behalf of Chavez notwithstanding everything going wrong for Madburro. In fact, those liberals will vote against anything or any USA action on their friend. Sanders and his new Ocasio girl will furiously defend Madburro.

    I met a high ranking Democrat officer a month ago, and he took personal offense when I initiated a discussion about why Venezuela was suffering. I simply told him that the Democrat party was infected with Socialist ideas, right of the writings of Marx, Lenin, etc.

    Forget about the USA help. Democrats will win the midterm elections and will state that Madburro decisions were based on the USA ”bad” capitalism foundation. Again, he will find comfortable support.

    • “Democrats will win the midterms”
      And how do you know that? Thats right you do not.

      “Somehow Chavez purchased a ”chavismo life insurance” when he gave away diesel oil or gas oil to the USA northeastern states, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, etc.”
      Well that “Chavismo life insurance” didnt work very well, he is DEAD!

      Your comments and diatribe are consistently all over the place.
      BTW Trump is now at 50% and this is before he appoints a Special Counsel for Democrat Russian Collusion. Lets see that rocket take off before November.

      • Crusader, there is one thing I hate to do and it is correcting misconceptions. I said Chavez purchased a life insurance. And the chavistas collected the benefits of his dead. That’s precisely why you purchase life insurance. Not to give the benefit to you because you will not collect, your beneficiaries will (Chavez is death, Chavismo collected).

        Now, I don’t have a crystal ball but, let’s put mildly that I predict Democrats will win the upcoming midterm elections. Do you vote? Are you one of the fans of Mr Sanders and his Ocasio-Cortez? If you think we will keep the house, God bless you! I hope that is the outcome.

        Have you seen that Bernie is working towards placing a 14 yr old as a candidate for the governmental election of Vermont. That sounds crazy, but Vermont electorate is “Sui generis” to say the least. And unless there is a rule that the kid cannot run, here you go: a 14 yr old Governor of Vermont.

        Please focus on Venezuela. And prepare for the week after next if you live in Venezuela.

        God bless you

  9. Epidemic, water purification issues, power grid failure, or simple starvation are real concerns at this point, far beyond the point of being inconveniences. The health care system is worse than described. People and societies are very difficult to kill off but Maduro is sure givig it the college try. Trying to create his own economic system (the Petro boondoggle), and the laugher about Cuban “economic advisors” show how vastly out of step these gaffos are relative to modern times and ways. What you’re looking at here is the kind of Homeric incompetance not seen in the western world for decades.

    • It’s not incompetence, it’s the deliberate enslavement of the population of Venezuela, following the plan engineered by the cuban invaders.


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