Photo: Nazaret Torres

The Machiques municipality in Perijá has 10,361 km2 of territory and productive land, the largest in Zulia State, and it has always dealt with livestock… until now. Meat has been scarce in a municipality dedicated to producing it for the entire Zulia State.

Through a Presidential Decree, the National Bureau for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights (Sundde) published the prices of cuts of beef as part of the economic measures implemented by President Nicolás Maduro. The announcements imposed a Bs.S. 90 price tag on the kilo of beef steak and boneless loin, commonly known in Machiques as “pulpón” and “entre canto” respectively. Citizens haven’t seen these products in butcher’s shops for over three weeks.

The numbers don’t fit, that’s why many shops here have no meat. We’re doing wonders sacrificing part of our profits.

Juan Carlos Perrotta, head of the Association of Industrial Retailers of Machiques de Perijá, blamed shortages on Maduro’s measures and said: “We depend on the prices of the dead animal’s meat, then we make the cuts and depending on that, we establish a percentage of the price. The cost of the dead animal is Bs.S. 700 and Bs.S. 750, but we were already getting them for Bs.S. 1,000. The numbers don’t fit, that’s why many shops here have no meat. We’re doing wonders sacrificing part of our profits.”

Local Aljadis Benjumea said: “This is a livestock area and there’s no meat. The last time I bought a kilo of meat was three weeks ago at Bs.S. 120, and I’m not talking about good quality beef.”

Meanwhile, José Luis Mauris, owner of a restaurant in the municipality said: “We only see meat on TV. I have a restaurant and it’s closed because there’s no meat but I still have to pay my employees”. For William, a livestock farmer in the area, prices must be deregulated to create more supply and allow a free exchange of supply and demand. Other livestock farmers agree: the current price doesn’t cover production costs. “I think that meat should be between Bs.S. 260 and 280 per kilo,” said William.

A meeting was organized between the region’s butchers and municipal institutions, to discuss the problem. According to Perrotta, they decided to forego part of their revenues. “We get 19% of profit for the final product instead of 30%.”

Perrotta explains: “We buy the dead animal, which weighs 250 kilos. After cutting it, 180 kilos remain, and that’s what we sell. We have to play with that so we can make some profit.”

Livestock farmers have also been affected by lack of internet and mobile signal. The inhabitants report that the Movilnet platform has been down for four months, because the transmission equipment at the 40th km in Machiques de Perijá has been stolen. Shop owners have resorted to using cell phones connected to points of sale that work as landline phones, but this only works with 2G technology; if that fails, the phones stop working.

The leaders of various beef associations met with Machiques mayor Betty Zuleta, to discuss the matter.

On Monday, September 17, the leaders of various beef associations met with Machiques mayor Betty Zuleta, to discuss the matter and she guaranteed she’d travel to Caracas and have a meeting with CANTV’s manager.

In view of the problem, the regional government didn’t offer a solution and instead, made it worse: during a rally, governor Omar Prieto threatened to expropriate the shops of any butcher who doesn’t buy the product from Zulia State’s main slaughter houses. He also said that the butchers had to have slaughter certificates and invoices.

But, where can someone get legitimate slaughter certificates? Ideally, one would go the Agriculture Ministry, responsible for issuing the slaughter certificates in order to send cattle to the slaughterhouse. The other method is visiting the Health Department, in the Food Hygiene Division of the Machiques Hospital, and then go to the National Guard headquarters to get the permit. But in Machiques, most producers hire fixers to make fake certificates for them.

According to Felipe, a manager in a farm, “There has to be sanitary control. That’s another mess.” Almost nobody in Machiques, either large or small producers, are solvent in animal health. “In order to get a certificate, we need to have the updated vaccine against aphtose fever, brucellosis and hemorrhagic septicemia, but that’s a lot of money. So, what do we do? We hire people who forge the slaughter certificates, an agronomist signs it and that’s it.  A friend of mine had to pay Bs.S. 2,000 (Bs.F. 200 million) for a certificate. I recently forged one too.”

Aphtose fever vaccines are nowhere to be found, so they’re smuggled from Colombia. “Some time ago there was an outbreak of that disease in the south of the Maracaibo Lake,” said Felipe.

The government hasn’t implemented vaccination campaigns, so the country isn’t allowed to export meat.

The government hasn’t implemented vaccination campaigns, so the country isn’t allowed to export meat. There are health parameters abroad, established by the World Health Organization (WHO), that require our livestock to be free of that ailment.

The meat sector isn’t the only one under duress. Livestock related products are also difficult to find. “There were three milk processing plants here: one of them was Camprolac. I worked there in the 80s, and every day we got 2,800,000 litres of processed milk. Parmalat processed eight or ten million. After it was nationalized, Parmalat was reduced to nothing,” said Felipe.

Meanwhile, citizens are literally hunting for meat, just like in prehistoric times.

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95 COMMENTS

  1. State mismanagement and ineptitude are not an exclusively ‘socialist’ vice , states either do their job or they dont whatever measure of intervention the state has in the running of the economy . In Venezuela the State is usually inept in handling almost any job so its always best to leave the task to private interests , but I wonder what would be the case if our state was run along Chinese or Singaporean lines where the State is much better at doing things than is the case elsewhere. They dont have these problems in Bolivia ,or Nicaragua even if they are self proclaimed socialist States because what matters is that public jobs be left to whoever is best at doing them be they the state or private interests.

      • State mismanagement and ineptitude are inherently socialist/marxist vices because marxism enshrines them in constitutions, law, and every public policy. Most other forms of government eschew those same policies and instead construct self-correcting mechanisms in law and policy.

        All governments are inept and inefficient to varying degrees, but most provide means to limit the damage — not socialism/marxism. If BB rambles on long enough, he will eventually explain to us how purges and genocide have positive virtues. [To other readers here, please don’t swallow BB’s false premise in each post without question.]

        • I’ll never forget the story, and I’ll try to give the truncated version here, with the facts as well as I can remember them.

          I’ve told this before.

          After the fall of USSR, a Russian agricultural minister visited the UK to learn about making the transition to a “new” economy. He was driven around all over…England, Ireland, Scotland…and kept asking the same questions and kept getting the same answers:

          Q: “Is it Federal, regional or local government responsible for the distribution of food stuffs?”

          A: “None of the above, sir.”

          Q: “Well, who is responsible to make sure there’s adequate production and that it’s distributed properly?”

          A: “No one, sir. Capitalist market economies do this automatically.”

          This Ruskie was no idiot…he was high up in the Soviet hierarchy food chain…but he had no concept of simple free markets.

          It doesn’t have to be managed by the state.

        • You can see the same success or failure writ large on a state basis in the USA. Compare the financial results and quality of life for example in Illinois (Chicago), Michigan (Detroit/Flint), Connecticut, NYC circa 1970-80 with well run states such as California (past, I’m afraid), Texas, Utah, etc. In cases of failure it’s often the tolerance of bureaucratic bullshit amongst the electorate. Simple things like garbage collection, police response times, morality of public servants inter alia all set the tone for expectations of officials. And especially the “rules for thee but not for me” which collapses the house of cards.

          Luckily we have a beautiful thing called the Supremacy Law which acts as a check on local and State misadventures. Likewise our independent Judiciary. It can be a curse if abused but most checks on power along the way is often a very good thing.

          This is what **should be** enforced in Venezuela’s current Constitution as well as a low tolerance for BS.

    • State mismanagement and ineptitude are not an exclusively ‘socialist’ vice , states either do their job or they don’t whatever measure of intervention the state has in the running of the economy

      However, disastrous falls in agricultural production due to poor government policies tend to be found in self-proclaimed Socialist countries. Consider the issue of price controls, for example. Price controls leading to falls in production and then food shortages- not to mention food lines- are more likely to be found in socialist countries than in capitalist countries. Consider Sandinista Nicaragua in the 1980s. You know, the regime that supported the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

      Nicaragua’s Net Agricultural Production Per Capita, didn’t fall in 1978 or 1978, during the war to topple Somoza, whose regime fell on July 19, 1979. No, it took peace and the policies of the self-proclaimed Marxist /Socialist Sandinista regime to decimate agriculture. From war-ridden 1979, to peaceful 1980, Nicaragua’s Net Agricultural Production Per Capita, fell 39.3%. Price controls & “land reform.”

      Consider Allende’s Chile. From 1970 to 1973, Chile’s Net Agricultural Production Per Capita fell 17.9%. Another self-proclaimed Marxist/Socialist regime. Price controls & “land reform.”
      See a pattern?

      Not to mention the disastrous record of the USSR and Mao’s China in agricultural production.
      Marxists/Socialists and agriculture remind me of Stalin’s crack about fitting Socialism to Poland: like putting a saddle on a cow.

      From 2014 to 2016, Venezuela’s Cereals production (here mostly rice and corn) has fallen over 50%. It ain’t just meat in Zulia in 2018.

      Please find me an example of government-engineered agricultural disasters that DID NOT come from self-proclaimed Socialist regimes. Inquiring minds want to know.

      Net Agricultural Production Per Capita :Agriculture (PIN): Net per capita Production Index Number
      Filter results: Agriculture (PIN) +( total)
      Elements: Net per capita Production Index Number (2004-2006 = 100)
      http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QI

      • Socialist/marxist agricultural disasters in Vz are particularly painful since she should have, and could easily have complete food independence and sovereignty. Vz followed the path well established by Lenin/Stalin stealing farmers’ wheat, Mao driving farmers off the land, Castro ordering farmers to plant strawberries instead of corn and beans — all followed by starvation. Only useful idiots and apparatchiks think that the destruction of agriculture is not part of the marxist plan. Yet, true to their indoctrination, many still soft-sell marxism as a viable form [“not an exclusively ‘socialist’ vice”].

        Add energy independence and sound economic policy and you’d have a happy and prosperous nation — what a concept.

        • I have spent the last few weeks helping farmer friends getting their crops out of the field and into the dryers/elevators. I get paid nothing, but I do it because they are friends and they can use the help. It is (harvest) by far the busiest time of the year, and labor intensive.

          We chat, and I broached the subject of Venezuela’s mess. All he can do is chuckle. Venezuela has EVERY blessing going for it, from the food production standpoint. Lots of arable land. Range land aplenty. Yet they import boxes of food. Because after The Omnipotent Government takes away your opportunity to achieve (and thus be rewarded), there is ZERO incentive.

          Take away my farmer friends land and say to him, “Don’t worry. This land is now The States. But, I will pay you what I deem fair for your long days and risks. In return, you will give to me all of the product and I will take care of the rest.” I am pretty sure that my farmer friends would say, “Fuck right off, and here is a shotgun blast to the belly for your trouble, you thief.”.

          Now, none of this ends well for my farmer friends, because The State has many more guns. But in the end… who will plant? The “poor campesinos” who know NOTHING about incomes and outlays, depreciation of equipment, capital expenditures and most importantly… taxes? No… the land goes mostly barren (the campesinos will do OK, until they can’t buy seed that isn’t produced anymore by the nationalized seed companies) No corn gets planted. Because nobody plants it. No corn gets harvested because nobody planted it. Nothing in stores because there was no harvest.

          Marxism/Socialism seeks to end achievement and all that success brings. That is why it will NEVER work, because humans inherently want to achieve and do better. Not just “exist”.

          BTW, gone are the days where the Gentleman Farmer could use his 40 acres of land to provide for his yearly income. According to my farmer friends, if you don’t have over 1000 acres of your OWN land and work another 2000, you won’t survive a year. Land isn’t cheap, and just ONE John Deere S790 will cost you $600,000 easy.

    • State mismanagement and ineptitude are not an exclusively ‘socialist’ vice , states either do their job or they don’t whatever measure of intervention the state has in the running of the economy.

      But the agricultural disasters in Venezuela have much in common with the agricultural disasters in Sandinista Nicaragua in the 1980s: price controls, inflation, and “land reform.” Both Chavista Venezuela and Socialist/Marxist Sandinista Nicaragua of the 1980s had price controls which led to falls in agricultural production which led to food shortages which led to food lines.

      Back in the 1980s, Sandinista Nicaragua had price controls, food shortages and food lines- just like Venezuela today. Mayor Bernie Sanders, as a big fan of the Sandinistas- just as he was a big fan of Fidel- took it upon himself to praise food lines.
      Bernie Sanders Praising Bread Lines and Food Rationing.

      Bernie Sanders: “It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

      As Mayor Bernie Sanders liked food lines- and the accompanying price controls in Sandinista Nicaragua, why wouldn’t Senator Bernie Sanders also like food lines in Venezuela? Just sayin.’

  2. Economic Measures Cause Meat Shortage in All of Zulia State

    Breaking: Economic Measures Cause Meat Shortages in All of Venezuela

  3. Nazaret (She Of The One Veil), good report, but the title should read, “…Meat And Chicken And Eggs Shortage In All Of Venezuela.” What is available is being bachaqueado in small/semi-clandestine venues at several times the regulated prices (good old free-market capitalism at work). Also, Zulia livestock producers have said that even in pre-price-regulated times livestock production was only 50% of normal, due to cattle theft/hijacking from criminals/military authorities, in addition to lack of prohibitively-expensive medicines/vaccines.

    • Well-said NET. The problem applies to all classes of meat in all of Venezuela.

      We’re producing our own eggs these days and the birds are laying so many that we’re allowing some to brood. Also, we butchered a rooster and two hens on Tuesday. The two hens weren’t very productive to begin with, and when I caught them eating eggs, well, their fate was sealed.

      Ever had a rooster gumbo? Oh yeah.

      • The last time I was in New Orleans, they could have put chain links in the gumbo and it would have been delicious. I don’t think I have EVER had bad gumbo in Louisiana. I think the food is required by law to be extraordinarily delicious.

        • And the gumbos in New Orleans are different than what we prepare in Cajun country……Nawlins gumbo often uses a bit of tomato, okra, and a few other things we don’t in SW Louisiana. I like both, but Cajun gumbo is better IMHO.

          My woman doesn’t like me in the kitchen for some reason. I think it’s a Venezuelan thing: women cook, men eat. And that’s fine with me. But before chasing me out of the kitchen, I taught her how to make a roux and prepare a proper gumbo. Oh yeah.

          • Meh. Mrs. Guapo has gotten over that.

            She is quite content to let anyone else cook, though she is very good at it. The Aunties are FANTASTIC cooks, and during the holidays NOBODY is allowed to intrude into their domain. (During the holidays, our house is used for all gatherings, so our kitchen becomes THEIR kitchen. Our next house will be something like the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl with a large kitchen… and a dance floor.

  4. “Through a Presidential Decree, the National Bureau for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights (Sundde) published the prices of cuts of beef as part of the economic measures implemented by President Nicolás Maduro. The announcements imposed a Bs.S. 90 price tag on the kilo of beef steak and boneless loin, commonly known in Machiques as “pulpón” and “entre canto” respectively.”

    Beef is 200 Bs S here in our area IF you can find it. Stepdaughter #2 called the other day from Pta La Cruz and spoke with her mother about the idea of buying an animal and having it butchered. We’ve got plenty of freezer space. Beef in Barcelona is 600 Bs S per kilo right now.

    Presidential Decrees aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

  5. Stealing from farmers by setting prices so low is stupid thing. Solution to Venezuela problems is to go back to market economy and cut social programs, use US dollars.Long term problems are bad education level and socialist mindset.

  6. Informative article showing once again that there is corruption en cada esquina in VZ. Still we’re not witnessing rock bottom. Same old same old is what comes to my mind acctualy.

    Read somewhere couple days ago that the robolucion is now at an estimated 800 billion green bags. Fuck me jumping left to right, up and down. Gotta give it to Chavismo …. they went for it AND got payed like NO1 in history, chapeau,

    Viva Cubazuela and it’s brave pueblo

  7. “After the genocidal narco-kleptocracy set the prices of beef, as part of Beijing’s economic measures, this protein disappeared in the Zulia region. Farmers are trying but can’t keep up, they have to sacrifice their revenue and deal with threats of expropriation.”

    A comer maní !! (Lleno de proteina, pero hace mucho sol p’a sembralo)

  8. “Through a Presidential Decree, the National Bureau for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights (Sundde) published the prices of cuts of beef as part of the economic measures implemented by President Nicolás Maduro.”

    Now tell me these brain-dead ‘digital’ media writers do not contribute to cement the Chabestia Narco-Regime.

    If that’s an “opposition”, independent statement, with capital letters and all… Who needs friends when you have enemies like the moron who wrote that?

    “Through a so-called “Presidential Decree”, (a hideous fart from ‘la primera combatiente, perhaps?) the laughable National Bureau for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights (Sundde) (Whatever that acronym crap means, Helado de Corrupcion Bolibanana Sundee?) published the prices of cuts of beef as part of the economic measures implemented by illegal, illiterate Communist thief, Colombian bus driver Nicolásno Masburro.”

    I feel better already.

  9. Miss Nazarett Torres here sure looks pretty, but her stock of active brain cells seems lower than that of prime meat cuts in the best of Zulia’s carnicerias.

    “The government hasn’t implemented vaccination campaigns, so the country isn’t allowed to export meat.”

    Lady, the Carnicero Genocidal Regime hasn’t implemented vaccination campaigns for children in Kleptozuela. Thanks for such a sharp, original analysis and mind-blowing report.

  10. ““There were three milk processing plants here: one of them was Camprolac. I worked there in the 80s, and every day we got 2,800,000 litres of processed milk. Parmalat processed eight or ten million. After it was nationalized, Parmalat was reduced to nothing,” said Felipe.”

    As Naky would observe, “Amazing Chavismo!”

  11. “The leaders of various beef associations met with Machiques mayor Betty Zuleta, to discuss the matter.”

    Here’s a brief extract of the meeting, recorded live with the latest Drone technology:

    “Distinguido! Como ejta la vaina??”
    “ahi, pana, echandole bola” “ehta mojella no ejta nada fasil”
    “Coño, pero pa’ que te quejais tanto, primo? Con esa tremenda mansiona que te estan construyendo?”
    “Si, compañero, pero con eso no alcansa pa’ comel y pa’ toa la familia, vale”
    “Gueno, chamo, tranquilo que todo se resuelve entre panas, sabe come ej”.
    “Pongase pila, que sin calne, y sin suminjtro no podemos seguir chambiando.. tu sabej..”
    “No le de mente, compai, alguna vamos a invental, como siempre”
    “Dale puej!”
    “Compai, y donde son los wijkisito pa entral en detalle hoy?
    “Ahi, pendejo, en casa’el alcalde e verga, chico, como toos los Vielnes!”
    “Eso!”

    • ” Mire, alcalde Betty Zuleta, donde ejta mi chuleta?
      “Muy grasioso, webon. Tranquilo, camaraa, quedese quieto”. Deja la lloradera y la mamadera e gallo y pongase a producil”
      “Usted me prometio una mollejera e rial hase tiempo, y entonse?
      “Ta jodia la vaina, pero tranquilo, que los Chinos ya mandaron bajtante dolare pa toos.”
      “Tamos pendientes, puej, Zuleta, no se orvide der Pueblo”
      “Que pueblo ni que mojello, vergación! Si tu tienes maj rial que Cabello, hijo e puta!”
      “Ni tanto, ni tanto, no te volvais loca”

  12. Republcan Senator Bob Corker is heading to VZ today to “assess the situation.”

    Mind you, he’s very anti-Trump, although he’s a Republcan. And he’s not even running for reelection next month.

    This could be interesting, although it’ll probably just be a tiny blip on the news. Sounds like he’s playing the stooge, and wants to get a few parting jabs in on Trump before his term is shortly over.

    Just a guess. Really don’t know and can’t figure out why he’s going NOW. Not even sure if he’s on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but he might be.

    • Ira, not only is Corker on the committee but is also chairman of the committee. Not sure what he is up to in VZ but I am sure he will only see what he is “allowed” to see.

      • If he was on a real fact-finding trip, he’s slip into the country as a tourist, telling no one.

        Alternately, he could just read this site and get all the information he needs without charging the taxpayers for a first class seat.

        • “Alternately, he could just read this site and get all the information he needs without charging the taxpayers for a first class seat.

          {{{insert sound of coffee coming out my nose…}}}

          Best laugh of the week.

      • The release of Joshua Holt was attributed to Corker. During a media event afterwards President Trump praised Corker and thanked him for his efforts.
        Corker’s statements following his trip will be much more telling.
        If he claims that dialogue is not possible with the regime, consider it one more box being checked on the list of things to do before intervention.
        The politicians may not be in agreement about what specific actions need to be taken to instigate regime change in Venezuela. There is broad agreement that something must be done. The regime is not leaving peacefully. Most of them know that their futures are destined to be incarceration.
        It will be interesting to hear Senator Corker’s statement regarding his “fact finding” trip.

  13. But….but…..but the food minister , Luis Medina, announced that 50,000 kilos of beef are to be distributed monthly . How could there be shortages? This must be more fake news planted by the evil gringos del norte.

    • If that 50,000 kilos was distributed to every VZ citizen equally, that would be 2 grams of meat per person.

      Along with an un-announced bonus, which King Maduro is providing as well, each citizen is to receive one delicious golden, McDonalds french Fry, and a drop of Pepsi to wash the glorious Bolivarian bounty down.

      Things are good in VZ

      • Dale, I might have been off on my estimate of remaining population but I came up with almost 3 grams of meat per person. Lol. I thought that was laughable but then I didn’t know about the McDonald’s bonus that goes with it!
        Viva la revolucion!!! Viva El Commandante!!

  14. There is no support in the U S for intervention. Corker is anti Trump ( although he vigorously sought the vice presidential nod to run with Ttump). But that will not color his judgenent about Venezuela. His conclusion may not please folks but he will be fair.
    Now as to no meat, no oil, no medicine, no cash, no everything save for Chavismo remedies, Venezuelans have a remrdy. Civil disobedience would send a strong message to the world. Right now the lack of any widespread response excuses inaction by the test of the wotld. Inaction suggests there is still public support by a meaningful number of Venezuelans for Chavismo. Civil disobedience does not have to mean street protests that could result in death. People need to stay home and leave public spaces empty long enough to send a message. The problem is I think most Venezuelans are hoping that the govertnment will fall of its own weight or that “the world” will rescue them. I sadly suspect that this hope is unfounded and without some self help this mess will continue beyond my own lifetime.

    • In a non-functioning society, how is people staying home going to send a message? And the thousands walking to Cucuta every day isn’t already sending that message? And the people eating from the garbage and dying left and right? In the dark? With no water?

      We’re way past the sending a message stage.

    • Right you are.

      There is ZERO support for an intervention of any military type. Because the the people who do the actual thinking in Washington DC know that doing ANYTHING to usurp power for Chavismo will give them the out they crave. Maduro and Delcy and Diosdado and Vlad would love nothing more than to run away to Cuba while howling about El Imperio and how right they were all along about the guerra economica. And the rest of the worlds bed wetting Marxists would caterwaul for the next 50 years about Bad Old Uncle Sam.

      No… Chavismo owns this mess. The ONLY way that anyone goes in is after a very bloody civil war. Only when El Pueblo pisses on Chavez grave will there be any change.

      I disagree about civil disobedience, however. It doesn’t need to be in the streets. It could be monkey wrenching. Better yet, there needs to be fear put in the agents of Chavismo enforcement. Starting with the colectivos. They are not afraid to come out of their barrios. CHANGE THAT.

      • “Maduro and Delcy and Diosdado and Vlad would love nothing more than to run away to Cuba while howling about El Imperio and how right they were all along about the guerra economica. And the rest of the worlds bed wetting Marxists would caterwaul for the next 50 years about Bad Old Uncle Sam.

        No… Chavismo owns this mess. The ONLY way that anyone goes in is after a very bloody civil war. Only when El Pueblo pisses on Chavez grave will there be any change”

        YES YES YES YES YES FFS. Talking about being Spot On!!!!!!!

    • The US Senate and Team Blue as a whole, are presently obsessively consumed with whether Brett Kavanaugh tried to get to 2nd base at a high school party 37 years ago. Something like that. What is happening in Venezuela is not on the radar. It is an embarrassing time to be an American, to be sure.

      Cnucklehead, if you see this comment, you should know that one of your compatriots in a local restaurant out here in the Maritimes compared the French Onion soup he was serving to US policy. He says the super heated soup represented Mexico, and that the thick cheesy bread top represented “the wall” and that I needed to be careful, because while the wall looks secure, it won’t really protect me from getting burned by the soup. I told him that the cheesy bread wall was beautiful, and that he should make the soup pay for it.

      • “The US Senate and Team Blue as a whole, are presently obsessively consumed with whether Brett Kavanaugh tried to get to 2nd base at a high school party 37 years ago.”

        According to Blasey Ford’s account, I’d say it appears Kavanaugh never got in the batting box.

    • “Inaction suggests there is still public support by a meaningful number of Venezuelans for Chavismo.”

      Your observation is accurate Mr. Crispin. There is still public support by a meaningful number of Venezuelans for Chavismo. I wish I could explain how that’s possible, but I can’t. It defies logic.

      I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion though that a huge part of the problem is that many, or perhaps most, Venezuelans don’t understand the problem. Perhaps it’s simply too complex for them?

      And before Kepler and canuckles et al start screaming at me that I’m disparaging the intelligence of Venezuelans, I’m not. I’m just making an observation based on anecdotal evidence. There’s been a constant parade of customers here at our place these last few days with hands full of the new currency. As I said in another thread yesterday, give them the price for an item in bolivares soberanos and you get a deer-in-the-headlights look in return, even though the bills they have in hand are the new ones!’ It’s not like having all the old bills still on hand and trying to subtract 5 zeros.

      Hyperinflation is crushing these people but they simply don’t understand it. If one can’t figure out that a bill of 10 bs and a bill of 20 bs will pay for an item that costs 30 bs, how is one going to wrap his brain around the concept of the government causing hyperinflation by printing money out of thin air? How is one going to understand the concept of supply and demand influencing prices? I suspect it’s much easier to just believe what Maduro says. This is all a plot by the gringos and evil capitalists to damage the country via an “economic war”.

      I’m sorry, but I have to accept that right now the situation appears to border on hopeless.

      • I would have more sympathy for difficulty in adjusting to a new currency. Over a decade after Argentina replaced its old currency at a 100:1 ratio, it was still very common to talk of prices and salaries in terms of the old pesos. It was not only common, but practically universal, to talk in terms of the old pesos.

        How long has Venezuela been with the new currency? A month?

        • Yeah, since 20 August. I know you’re right BT, but I can’t help myself, it drives me nuts. If I can forget about Bs F, why can’t they?

          When they ask what the price is in Bs F after I’ve given it in Bs S, I’ll just shrug my shoulders and tell ’em I don’t know, then hand them a calculator. Alternately, I could hide in the office and not do the bodega. I know many clients would like that idea as well. LOL

          • BT, further to your comments, I suspect that what the client is trying to do is perhaps attempt to establish some sort of baseline in his mind between the prices in the two currencies. That’s to say, how does this new price in Bs S that you’re quoting me Mr. Gringo compare to the old price in Bs F?

            The fallacy in that exercise, of course, is that with hyperinflation, today’s prices are obsolete within a week or two. From what I recall, within a week or two of the new currency taking effect, most vendors stopped labeling products with the old system.

            Imagine someone asking me today how much I sold my ranch for at the end of 2015 (using the old system’s currency) and I told them, $2. With today’s hyperinflation, making the conversion to Bs F is about as useful.

          • True, but why? Keeping el pueblo confused is key.. no one wants to be seen as explicity ignorant, even if they are undereducated. Sticking to the old is easy, understanding the new is.. confusing. Doesn’t matter why the dictatorship lopped off 5 zeros. So what was that price again in BsF?

            Saw it all before after the BsF was introduced, lopping off 3 zeros. People kept referring to Bs prices.. but now, with hyperinflation less5 zeroes.. perfect reason to revolt… but just blank stares, as they worry if they can eat today, or feed children tomorrow.

          • My introduction to the old peso/new peso came very quickly. On the way from the BA airport, the taxi driver stopped for us to purchase some sandwiches. The vendor quoted a price of 500 pesos. I handed over 500 pesos (new). NO NO NO, replied the sandwich vendor. He meant 500 thousand of the old, which translated into 5,000 of the new. Instead of paying 40 cents US for a sandwich, I paid $4 US.

          • Yes, the hyperinflation, where prices can double in a week, add to the confusion. When I was in Argentina, it took 8 months to a year for prices to double.

          • Last week my woman found some coffee mugs in Maturin and bought at bunch for resale here because there are none to be found in town. She paid 17 Bs S per mug last week. When she returned yesterday from Maturin she told me they were priced at 90 Bs S.

          • Oh, and just to really confuse everyone, including the kids, the new old 100 Bs F notes, the yellow ones, (labeled 100 but were technically 100,000 Bs F), are still in circulation and used as 1 Bs S now.

            Without fail, every time a kid asks how much the caramelos cost and I say, 3 Bs S, the response is, 300 bolivares?

            MAKES ME CRAZY I TELL YA!!!

      • MRubio.. Maybe its class pride. Perhaps this is the first time poorer Venezuelans have exercised power in Venezuela and maybe they are clinging to their decision about chavismo out of stubborn pride. They have to know it is not working. I value your contribution to this board.

  15. FWIW, they are in full meltdown over at Aporrea today. One guy (a lawyer! go figure!) started off by blaming El Imperio for the economic war… then went off for about 10 minutes on how the vile Uncle Sam was micromanaging said war so minutely that he couldn’t pay the ferry after waiting HOURS in the queue.

    https://www.aporrea.org/regionales/a270129.html

    Jesus, our local, state and Federal government can clear traffic after a baseball game efficiently, and they think that Uncle Sam has the uncanny ability to screw up a ferry ticket in Venezuela?

    • I thought their last ferry recently sank from lack of maintenance? Maybe those were just the ConFerry ones that had been expropriated by Chavez?

      Yes, if only the US government was even half as effective as the Chavistas give them credit for being ….

    • “then went off for about 10 minutes on how the vile Uncle Sam was micromanaging said war so minutely that he couldn’t pay the ferry after waiting HOURS in the queue.”

      Guap, see my post immediately above yours. We were describing virtually the same phenomenon at the same time.

  16. AG, how is the house coming along ? Do the contractors have it “dried in” yet! They say heavy snow through the Rockies and into the Dakota’s over late weekend and early next week with some places getting FEET of snow.

    • Tom – The roof was dried in, including the “cool roof” framing over the top, back in July. Then we had to wait until this week for the actual metal roofing pieces to get delivered. Something about our roof pitch being so flat that they needed to be mechanically sealed instead of snap-fit, and how there was a shortage of the metal “coils” used to make such pieces. Who knows the real story. Anyway, looks like we just made it, and according to weather.com this storm will mostly pass to the north of us. Maybe just some rain-snow flurries this weekend.

      We are heading back from eastern Canada early next week. Hoping to get occupancy permit and move in shortly thereafter. The metal roof pieces were the main hold up. Contractor only 33% over his original bid, and not done yet, with not much changed from original plans. Plus, he wont take petros …. But, if you overpay, they show up. Nice work if you can get it.

      • AG, sounds like you will be in the house in time to enjoy a Rocky Mountain Thanksgiving! Congrats on the new house! Enjoy!!

  17. It has been reported that Senator Corker would be in Venezuela today.
    The US Senate proceedings are being carried live on Yahoo news and Corker is in attendance.
    Perhaps he is flying to VZ this afternoon.

    • John, as I type this, I sit here making string beans stringless. Thank you again my friend. We’re eating much healthier, and enjoying a lot more variety these days because of your generosity. You’re a saint!

      • MR
        You are very welcome my friend.
        How is Crystal coming along? My entire family is keeping her in our prayers.
        I am assembling more items for my sister’s trip to Florida in a few weeks. More of the usual things. Let me know anything that is especially needed.

        • Don’t recall if you responded to my comments about Crystal elsewhere here lately, but they’re planning to fly to Spain on 11 November. She’ll have major surgery once there……kidney, some intestines, and part of her mother’s liver will be transplanted. Thanks for keeping her in your prayers.

          • Yes I did reply to your earlier comments. I was curious about how she is doing post operation.
            Such an incredible ordeal for Crystal and your entire family.
            I do pray that everything is successful and that she goes on to have enjoy a happy life following the transplant.

    • Good point.

      And the full Senate vote is tomorrow (yes, on Saturday), so he obviously can’t be back in time.

      Maybe his vote on the Committee carries over and he doesn’t have to be in attendance for the full vote.

  18. Kind of sad since a couple of years 90% of all comments in this blog come from
    US Americans over 65 years old and one Venezuelan with identity issues because his parents
    were Spaniards and who keeps saying Indians, blacks and others not like him are inferior.
    Exceptions are people like Bill and a couple of others.

    • I explained this in the “Opacity” thread Kepler. You should read it. It all the fault of His Orangeness. Oh, and Ira, it’s his fault too.

      • Actually, 61, but I keep saying 62 because I’ll be 62 in December.

        So you have three more years to be right, but you’ll probably be wrong again anyway.

    • Well, Kep, lets make a list of things that Socialism has brought to my extended Venezuelan family.

      Physical illness, injury
      Misery, despondency… (grab a thesaurus)
      Suicide attempts, depression, anxiety
      Hunger, malnutrition
      Victims of violent crimes (including one rape)
      Fear

      Lets look at what the rest of the worlds Socialists have offered my family in Venezuela

      Best wishes
      “Solidarity” in the fight against vile Capitalism
      Slogans on cardboard placards
      Red t-shirts of Che’s sneer or El Galactico’s eyes

      Now, we list what Capitalism has brought them

      Prosperity
      Happiness
      Hope
      Security
      Freedom, liberty
      Warmth, comfort, satiety
      Health

      Pretty sad, eh?

      • Qué tiene que ver el sufrimiento de tu familia con que los venezolanos hayan dejado de escribir aquí? Qué tiene que ver el socialismo y el capitalismo con que los venezolanos ahora no escriban en este blog sino gringos viejos casados con venezolanas? Quién te dijo que yo era socialista?

        Is despondency a fancy word for you? Do you try to impress people whose mother tongue is something else than English with English words? Do you think you are particularly intelligent because you know what the pronunciation of the English word “mischievous” is and a Latin American farmer or a Chinese worker does not?

        I suppose you are the kind of US American who tries to impress poor women in Latin America by showing them your US passport.

        • Gringos Viejos Casados. Your words.

          Your words, which as usual, say nothing. They only reveal your nonsense.

          Is MRubio a tired old Gringo too?

        • A. I could use my faulty Spanish, but since CC is an English language blog NOT EXCLUSIVE TO VENEZUELANS, I figured I would use my mother tongue. I make no apologies for being a US citizen speaking out on issues that affect Venezuela.

          B. Your rants lead the vast majority of us readers to believe you are somewhat to the right of Fred Engels. Or is that just me who thinks that?

          ~~~~~~~

          I am sorry (no I’m not) that you consider words like despondent (the root of despondency) too “fancy”. I make no apologies for my choice of words.

          If you examine my tome (too fancy?) closely, you would discover the word “thesaurus” where a person who was new/amateurish in English could run with it. A person might also read my short essay (fancy?) and get the impression that Socialism has been an abject (fancy?) failure while Capitalism has brought my in-laws every happiness. Yet all that eluded you? You wanted to bitch about lexicon? (oops!)

          In the future, I will be sure to eschew obfuscation and espouse elucidation.

          In the meanwhile, f*ck off.

          • I’ve always wanted to use “eschew obfuscation and espouse elucidation” in a sentence.

            But if I did, people would think I’m having a stroke.

          • B. Your rants lead the vast majority of us readers to believe you are somewhat to the right of Fred Engels.

            I have been reading Kepler’s comments for more than a decade. Apparently you didn’t read my recent comment regarding Kepler on the Caracazo. No Commie would have made those comments. (I also have a comment preceding which is relevant.)

            Eurosneer- yes, yes, and yes. Though you may find it hard to believe, he has turned down his Eurosneer volume compared to years past. Corncob up an orifice regarding calling US citizens “US-Americans” instead of “Americans” – yes, indeed. I just roll my eyes when he goes into “US-American” mode. Commie- no. Nor are his Caracazo comments the only evidence of that.

        • What’s your problem Kepler? People come, people go. I imagine if you looked at posts here from 6 years ago you’d see names that no longer are posting 3 or 4 years ago. So what?

          And maybe some people are turned off by a “bunch of old white Americans married to Venezuelans” saying what they think about the country and how they believe it can be fixed, but again. So what? Suck it up buttercup.

          Despite the whining that this place has gone to hell in a hand basket intellectually, there are still plenty of interesting discussions about politics going on, information being shared, friends made, and people….real people, actually being helped.

          Now, if it’s your desire to associate only with like-minded individuals, and you’d like a place with alternate opinions are not only frowned upon, they’re outright silenced by banning, I might suggest you spend some time here:

          https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=latest_threads

          They’ll surely welcome you with open arms.

          • The DU site is located in Dante’s 7th circle. For a reference point, the Clinton bedroom is located in the 9th …

    • Well, there IS someone (Poeta?) on this Blog that hypothesized that a certain commenter, whose family escaped post-War Europe,and, like the Woitschatzke orphans (father former SS/similar), settled with relatives in/around Valencia, is a Gringo-hating Uber-Nationalist due to the humiliation that he/family suffered at the hands of the U.S. liberators….

    • “Exceptions are people like Bill…”
      Can we trust anyone who swallows BB’s false premises whole, then regurgitates them?

      Note the identity politics of Kepler only attacks other posters while avoiding debate on the issues. His indoctrinated bigotry and hate run deep.

  19. “In view of the problem, the regional government didn’t offer a solution and instead, made it worse: during a rally, governor Omar Prieto threatened to expropriate the shops…”

    “If you don’t have a good crisis, create one!” — Hillary Clinton
    …and if you do have a good crisis, make it worse.

  20. “…during a rally, governor Omar Prieto threatened to expropriate the shops…”

    Did anyone yell out, “AND THEN WHAT? WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU EXPROPRIATE THE SHOPS AND THERE IS NO MEAT? HAVING A SHOP DOESN’T MEAN THAT MEAT APPEARS BY MAGIC!”

    #598 of 1001 things you will never hear in Venezuela.

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