Photo: Bloomberg retrieved

Remember what we’ve been saying about the carnet de la patria as an instrument of oppression? Reuters just published a thorough investigation about the thing, and it’s so fucking perverse, it’s baffling.

Turns out, once you register, the carnet stores:

1) Family information (sweet merciful Christ);

2) Employment and income;

3) Property owned;

4) Medical history;

5) State benefits received;

6) Presence on social media (of course);

7) Membership of a political party;

8) Participation in Socialist Party events, and;

9) Whether you have voted.

You know what this means? After you get on the system, the State can come directly to you and say “I know your mother needs medicine. I have it, and you’ll only get it if you do what I want.”  This is how the State knows what to do when the time comes to exploit us. Hard, cold, social engineering.

“What we saw in China changed everything,” said the member of the Venezuelan delegation, technical advisor Anthony Daquin. His initial amazement, he said, gradually turned to fear that such a system could lead to abuses of privacy by Venezuela’s government. “They were looking to have citizen control.”

As Angus Berwick explains, the ploy was first tried with a Cuban team and, after they screwed the pooch, it was redone with the Chinese ZTE, a company known for selling tech to North Korea and Iran, and the very one selling mobiles down the avenue. At CANTV, there’s a ZTE team pulling knobs and keeping track of how Venezuelans live.

Now you see why Nicolás has been so desperate to get everyone on board with the carnet de la patria. Remember the gas price tale? It developed just like we expected it to, but many fellas out there bought the spooky story, in a scheme that’s bound to return.

Benito Urrea, a 76-year-old diabetic, told Reuters a state doctor recently denied him an insulin prescription and called him “right wing” because he hasn’t enrolled. Like some other Venezuelan citizens, especially those who oppose the Maduro administration, Urrea sees the card with suspicion. “It was an attempt to control me via my needs,” he said in his Caracas apartment.

To say that this tramples over the Constitution is an understatement, especially after 20 years of chavismo. Want to know the best part?

This all came from Hugo Chávez himself.

It’s fucked beyond belief, utterly evil and the most chavista thing I’ve ever seen. Please, read the piece and abandon hope all ye who enter here.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. I said it from day one, I’ll be FUCKED before I get that card. I will pay full price for everything and we’ll be the last ones standing after everyone else has starved to death on their subsidized food I said.

  2. Wonderful country the revolution is leaving you people with, you’ve finally achieved Lenin’s dream: a truly equal society (barring some anyway).

    The road to serfdom was something i though only North Korea had achieved but the world is just full of surprises now ain’t it?

    • Head on over to Aporrea.org and read some of the stuff that the true believers are writing. They LITERALLY believe that everything is awesome, and the disaster people are experiencing is just isolated incidents. Then there are those who say that had El Imperio left (or would leave) Venezuela alone, things would be Utopia. That collapsing electrical, water and other infrastructure is actually CIA/Colombia/Illuminati SABOTAGE and not the lack of maintenance over the last 19 years. And that with a little bit of faith (and patience) everything will be right as rain… next year.

    • Very far from “a truly equal society” with the entrenched elites more powerful than ever with multi-billion dollar bank accounts overseas.

      “The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority.” — V. i. Lenin

      And when the bourgeoisie are all gone, who do the “new” dictators oppress except for the proletariat? Having been created by socialism, the enchufados have never and nowhere given power back to el pueblo — just the opposite. The bourgeoisie/enchufados hold onto their privilege ever more grimly while grinding el pueblo beneath their haute couture boots (while dining with the famous chefs all over the world). El pueblo waits and suffers for the transition that never comes.

      When will the useful idiots of latin america unify in action to help the people of Venezuela? When will they ask the free nations for help to return the stolen loot and pull down the enchufados?

  3. The ultimate goal of the Carnet de la Patria is surveillance and individual control on a par with North Korea. It shows how deluded the West has been to think that China will evolve into a “normal”, relatively liberal state.

    There is another sinister dimension: it is obvious that ZTE is not just “growing its market”, because the customer (Venezuela) has no money to pay. So this is China, despite being owed tens of billions of dollars in arrears, still advancing money to increase the oppressive powers of the Venezuela government. How can this not be part of a strategy to take over large chunks of Venezuela’s sovereignty? How ironic that Venezuela may soon be an appendage of one of the oldest “empires” of world history – the Chinese empire (ask Tibetans, indigenous Taiwanese, Uighurs etc. how that feels).

    • I’ve been thinking about this dimension. I used to think China could come around to supporting a non-chavista government as long as they bring competent management into PDVSA, but now I’m not so sure.

      • Please remember that China’s stated central goal is the propagation of international communism. Money is merely a tool to be expended in that goal.

    • I get your point, but I really don’t think so. Unless the people want to be led by the Chinese with a ring around their nose, and I don’t see that happening.

      If they’re FED, okay, but they’re NOT being fed.

      More important, China simply doesn’t have the power or will to project their power so far from home. And most important, what’s “in it” for the Chinese anyway? To take on the responsibilities and costs of a 30-milllion welfare state, to get what? Oil?

      What oil? Where is it? In the ground? They can’t even get the oil owed them for past cash loans.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

      Venezuela is China’s (and Russia’s) folly, and they’re fucking laughing their asses off in the White House on how China is losing and pouring money down the drain trying to gain a geopolitical foothold in South America.

      And if it ever came to war? Don’t make me laugh.

      The U.S. owns this hemisphere.

        • @Kepler I’ve been more than happy to criticze Ira when I think he deserves it, even on the sake of you and Canucklehead.

          But this isn’t criticism. it isn’t even a competent driveby. It’s an incompetent attempt at a “Gotcha.”

          Yeah, US manufacturing has been facing trouble. And yeah, a lot of that involves fattening the CCP’s coffers. And in the long run, that is Trouble.

          But you know what it doesn’t do?

          Instantly overturn 200 years of US dominance in the Western Hemisphere, ranging from its semi-favorable draw against Britain and British Canada (the attempt to annex it failed miserably, but drove the British to despair an armed defense of it while leading them to sacrificing Tecumseh’s confederacy).

          There’s a reason we informally talk about “Team Marines.” And that’s because the USMC and “Team Navy” have spent the last 150 years intervening in almost every country from here to the Tierra del Fuego (Even landlocked ones, as Solano Lopez of Paraguay knew). And US Intel has been even more active.

          If you’re ignorant enough to think the PRC has gotten around to changing THAT yet, you haven’t been paying attention.

          • I do not think China will replace Gringolandia right away. Empires never get replaced in a year. The Romans did not replace the Carthaginians in a year, not even in 50 decades. It took a bit more time.

            Congo’s main exporting partner is China now. That was not the case 20 years ago. And the Chinese already have some clout in Africa…not just commercially…and they are starting to have it in Spanish America as well.
            But what do I know? Scio me nihil scire

          • @Kepler “I do not think China will replace Gringolandia right away. Empires never get replaced in a year.”

            Nikolai II of the House Romanov called. Something about 1917 being a better year than 1916.

            I offered him a group chat with Zwide of the Ndwandwe and Napoleon I about the prospects for 1820 and 1813, but he said “Nyet Turtler, I’m already Skyping with Santa Ana telling me how he’s going to beat up the Yanquis in 1848 while we listen in a group chat with the Prince of Orange about how he’s really sure 1795 is gonna be a good year for a Dutch resurgance against France and Britain encroaching in the last year. Then we’re gonna all get together and cheer on our homie Santa Cruz and his rad Peru-Bolivia Confederacion.”

            In general, it’s a BAD mistake to type that something *Never* happened. Because while in truth most empires (including at least half the ones i mentioned) do go through a period of prolonged decline before they actually get replaced, that isn’t always true.

            “The Romans did not replace the Carthaginians in a year, not even in 50 decades. It took a bit more time.”

            WRONG.

            And as a Roman Re-enactor, I know that for a fact.

            What you’re trying to get is that Rome did not *DESTROY* Carthage in a year. Which is true.

            Unfortunately, Carthage wasn’t a great power becase of Carthage or its home territory or even the sizable African colonies. Carthage was a great power because of its awe-inspiring colonies in Sicily and above all its fleet’s domination in the Central Mediterannean.

            And Rome DID destroy that. Not in 50 years. Not in two. But really, in one.

            241 BC(E); Aegates Islands. Learn it, mate.

            Because before that year, Carthage continued its centuries long stranglehold on the Western Seaboard of Sicily and Central Med trade, beating off Greek and Roman attempts to challenge them, with the Romans spending the last several years fighting an attritional war to try and grind down the Punic ports before Hamilcar ground down them, and sending fleet after fleet of a Literally good navy to battles of varying success.

            AFTER that year, Carthage was forced to sign a peace treaty that made all of that *Go away.* An imperial legacy of over three centuries brought to collapse by the finality of one year’s naval campaign.

            Carthage would never again be the great power it was before that date. And it very nearly ceased to exist altogether. Its Central Med empire and trade monopolies were permanently ceded to Rome, Numidia rose in revolt in the Mercenary War, and in the process the Roman takeover of Sardinia and Corsica a couple years later was a footnote.

            The only reason why Carthage continued to *exist*- let alone RETURN to great power status- was because the Barcids fought down the Numidians and their Mutinous allies and then fundamentally shifted the very foundations of the Carthaginian Empire by reorienting it to Iberia. And even *that* ultimately did’t work

            So please, don’t lecture me on history. Particularly my areas of expertise.

            “Congo’s main exporting partner is China now.”

            China is the main exporting partner of the Congo and many other African nations because at present, PLN and civilian PRC shipping continue flowing unmolsted through the peacetime Straits of Malacca.

            But unless the PRC can set down new foundations for its power, just how freaking long do you think THAT status will last if it goes to war with the Western Allies (or even just the US or India) in the South China Sea and Indian Oceans?

            Protip: The CSA thought it was in a good trade situation going into the US Civil War too. Then the Union Navy’s Anaconda started squeezing and the big Western Euro states had to decide which government’s trade they valued more.

            That doesn’t mean the rise of China is impossible. China has been one of the world’s centers for all of recorded history, and I believe that complacency is a terrible enemy. Because again- things can change drastically in a very short period of time. More drastically and quickly than even you know.

            But accepting the unlikely may happen doesn’t mean it still isn’t unlikely.

            “That was not the case 20 years ago.”

            It also wasn’t the case 20 years ago that the CCP was outnumbered by “House Christians” and other dissident groups, and had to bankroll a massive parallel army to keep the *thousands* of daily protests and riots happening inside from boiling over. They also didn’t have the Great Firewall, nor the holes we’ve punched in it.

            “And the Chinese already have some clout in Africa…”

            They’ve had clout in Africa for decades. Heck, you had major Maoist goverments pop up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and even more factions (like the first incarnation of the UNLA in Mozambique).

            What’s changed is that they’ve pumped even more resources into currying favor with African governments, and their chief communist rival for influence collapsed.

            And even then, we’re still dealing with a regional major power whose point of access to Africa is threaded through two oceans guarded by the navies of two fundamentally hostile great powers and well as the hostility of pretty much every bit player and minor nation along that route outside of Pakistan, Iran, and (Sometimes) Burma.

            And the PRC knows this much, MUCH better than you or I ever could. Which is why they’re desperately trying to further expand their naval facilities and soft power in South Asia so that all the billions upon billions they pumped into Africa and the MENA doesn’t just start burning the second Indian and American ships sever the lifeline.

            Again, does that mean they won’t succeed? No it does not. But it does mean odds aren’t for them.

            “not just commercially…and they are starting to have it in Spanish America as well.”

            True, and this is particularly notable, and worrying. But again, similar issues: Having to traverse what would be extremely hostile regions in a hot war (or even dedicated gamemanship like blockades) in order to get much benefit out of them.

            The fact that in seventy years the PRC has not been able to tie down control of Singkiang or bump off the ROC while that immortal symbol of anti-Americanism in Hispanic America the Chavez brothers blame their own country’s ruin on “the Embargo” underlines who has the whip hand in this affair.

            “But what do I know? ”

            Answer:

            NOWHERE near as much as you seem to think.

            Though I must admit that your choice of Carthage and the Romans was *particularly* unfortunate.

            “Scio me nihil scire”

            ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστον βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ.

          • Turtler, you have shown you know how to copy paste the back translation into a Greek Socrates very probably never used and that you have a lot of time. Whichever I had used of the two, whether that empires are replaced soon or not, you would have used to prove your point of.,,Gringolandia is always going to be the most powerful empire.”
            All I am saying is the Chinese have already a lot of clout in the Americas and they will very likely increase it, they can keep chavismo for long, together with Cubans and Russians. They are still
            not very efficient, they (also) have issues with corruption, they
            are not well accepted, but anyway they can support regimes for decades.
            And unlike the gringos, they do not need to or have any interest in sending troops. Their workers, the security blokes here and there are enough for what they need.
            Getting rid of them won’t be easy and I do not think the USA can be of any help there, it was not when Obama was in power and it is not with the USA version of Hugo Chavez, a guy who spends more time on rows with his own compatriots, in scandals about prostitutes and his relatives contacting Russian agents than anything else

          • @Kepler Greek Socrates probably never used is at least as good as Latin he *Certainly* never used. Particularly when talking about things he might never have actually said in real life.

            Particularly since digging up the appropriate Ancient Attic form takes time, and while I have time I have to budget it for things, and “Finding Ancient Attic for a Pretentious Concluding Remark” fell off the bottom of my To Do list.

            Having addressed that, let’s move on.

            So with that addressed.

            “Whichever I had used of the two, whether that empires are replaced soon or not, you would have used to prove your point ”

            Not necessarily. If I felt the particular empires you used didn’t fit the “sudden replacement” scenario, I’d have acknowledged that. Much like I did how most empires do in fact decline over time and are replaced gradually.

            And brought up separate contrary examples of some that weren’t.

            It’s just that by inadequate grasp of the source material, you let me use one of the more devastating techniques in debate: turning your opponent’s own example on them.

            “Gringolandia is always going to be the most powerful empire.””

            STOP BEING AN INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST STRAWMANNER AND READ!

            My point was NEVER that the US was always going to be the most powerful Empire. In fact, I acknowledged the possibilities that the PRC would unseat it *several times.* But I also accept that understaning those chances involve accurately analyzing them.

            So there are two possibilities behind why you wrote this:

            Either you read what I wrote and you decided to lie about it, which makes you a liar.

            Or you skimmed through my post, and thus didn’t see. Which makes you intellectually dishonest.

            Which is it, Kepler? Because neither makes you good.

            “All I am saying is the Chinese have already a lot of clout in the Americas and they will very likely increase it,”

            Which is a fair point I can acknowledge. The CCP have always had formidable soft power and in recent decades it’s gotten gigantic.

            But would you want to bet that the amount of soft power it has in this Hemisphere was more than the Soft and Hard power the Second Reich hadin these woods prior to 1917?

            I wouldn’t.

            And while the digital age means they aren’t as reliant on physically going to their friends for trade, it is still a big roadblock.

            ” they can keep chavismo for long, together with Cubans and Russians. ”

            Agreed, as we’ve seen with Cuba.

            “They are still not very efficient, they (also) have issues with corruption, they are not well accepted, but anyway they can support regimes for decades.”

            Indeed, unfortunately. As the Castros show.

            And that might help lay foundations for a future Pax Sinica. with tributaries like in Zheng He’s days, only this time on every ocean and ethnically Han enclaves from Canada to Siberia.

            Maybe

            But as the Pakistanis can attest, their hard power is still incredibly fragile.. They can easily support their clients as long as they can do it covertly, through economic means, or with surgical strikes. But they still lag behind the US and its allies in those fields, and when actually tested in an open conflict their effective power is much less.

            That is one reason why they are so interested in OBOR. Because they figure it’s much harder to blockade their land routes West. And unfortunately for Maduro, Castro, Ortega, etc. OBOR isn’t going to directly help them. Indirectly? Sure, it could.

            But that’s down the line.

            “And unlike the gringos, they do not need to or have any interest in sending troops.”

            Which is their problem.

            Because ultimatley, Tributary status for China was reliant on Chinese strength. Political and economic yes, but also military. When the Chinese government couldn’t or wouldn’t put its foot down to keep nations from slipping away, they would. With a cascading effect on the government’s policies.

            This has been a cycle we’ve seen play out about a dozen times over the past three millenia, now it looks like it might be on a global scale. And even beating the Vietnamese enough to make them weep in the 1970’s couldn’t erase how they did not save the Khmer Rouge.

            Military power is a terrible tool and best used carefully, but it is still the bottom line in international affairs. And China’s ability to keep relations with its closer allies is going to be directly relevant to how far they will go for it.

            ” Their workers, the security blokes here and there are enough for what they need.”

            Agreed, For Now.

            The key issue is how they will adapt if and when the situation changes. It’s one thing to colonize or vassalize large thunks of the developing world. It’s another to deal with bush war backlashes like a Neo-Contra movement.

            And it’s going to be yet another problem to keep that new Chinese diaspora in line with the creeds Beijing is pumping out.

            I m sure it is possible they can meet all these challenges and unseat the US. But it isn’t going to be a forgone conclusion.

            “Getting rid of them won’t be easy and I do not think the USA can be of any help there, ”

            I agree that getting rid of them won’t be easy.

            But the US certainly can be of assistance, the issue is whether it will be. Or how warmly it will be received.

            I do not have a slavishly high opinion of the CIA and DIA or their operational effectiveness in the past, but the point is that even a modest amount of agitprop or armed resistance can help. A great deal. Particularly when you’re dealing with widely resented, plodding foreig colonies and their host governments.

            “it was not when Obama was in power and it is not with the USA version of Hugo Chavez, a guy who spends more time on rows with his own compatriots”

            No need to repeat yourself, mate.

        • MAGA has nothing to do it. It’s a simple fact:

          After 20 years of Chavismo sucking up to China and Russia, where are their ships? Their bases? Their people on the ground, not talking the talk but walking the walk on VZ soil? Or Cuban soil? Or Nicaraguan soil? Or Bolivian soil?

          Kepler, you’re one of those pompous guys who wants to appear smarter than everyone else, but you can’t do that by insisting on a reality you would LIKE to exist in place of the reality that DOES exist.

          And this exposes you as far, far away from very bright.

          I’ll leave your total lack of wit, soul, and sense of humor to a future post, but from what I’ve seen from you here on CC, your blogs must be absolute torture to read.

      • Here is one strategy for future U.S. intervention that I would consider. in a ploy typical of dictators, Maduro has tried to shift attention from domestic difficulties to foreign affairs by threatening Guyana’s territorial integrity. I would come out and guarantee unconditionally Exxon’s discovery of oil off the coast of Guyana, and would warn Venezuela off military action if they ever tried to impede progress in developing the field. (It is easy to impede progress just by threatening an oil company with damage to its drilling and pipe laying activities). That way, I have laid down a military marker to to Russia, China and Cuba – all dressed up as defending the sovereignty of a South American nation.

  4. “To say that this tramples over the Constitution is an understatement” …

    You guys keep bringing up this “Constitution” thing, as if that matters in any way to Maduro et al.

    It doesn’t.

    Of course this government will use information you give them against you. So does the PRC. And so does Fearless Fatso Leader in Nork. So do all repressive governments. Heck, so do Facebook and Google, although for now the result is mere commercial harassment.

    Marc has the right idea. Stay anonymous if you can.

  5. After I read that Reuters article I asked the hardware store owners if they had the carnet and they indicated that they did. When they saw my incredulous look they clarified that they were forced to get it in order to stay in business. That shocked the shit out of me. They were obligated in order to comply with the prerequisites to keep their business in business. Almost got my wife’s paperwork in order, still have to hold out for about a year until it’s approved and then we are all out of here. It’s barely livable now, I’m taking side bets whether or not we’ll be able to last the full year or if I will have to go ahead first with the kids and put my wife up in Aruba or somewhere before the waiting time is up.

    • Chavismo has taken bureaucracy to the next several levels.

      95% of what I do is regulated in some manner by the local, state and Federal government.

      Want a coffee pot, microwave and a refrigerator in your employee break room?
      A toilet at work, in case you or your employee wants to drop a dookie?
      That wood you have for inlays… how do we* know its from a legitimate source?

      People think that in the United States, you are protected by the Constitution… “innocent until proven guilty”. These people haven’t ever run a business.

      *Some wood projects we do (I am a cabinet maker) require some special woods not native to the United States. We buy them from a variety of wholesalers. Some exotic wood is highly regulated (Lacey Act)… and it is up to the owner of said wood to PROVE that the wood be sourced in a manner that the Federal/state government deems valid. If you can’t PROVE your wood is legit, you get it confiscated, you get fined and possibly thrown in jail.

      https://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/08/gibson_guitar_acknowledges_exo.html

  6. This story left me speechless. When I lived in Caracas in ’96-97, and back in ’98, I remember the cedula checks on buses and at random places. I still don’t know what the intent was (picking up fugitives?), but it creeped me out a bit. This is another order of worse, and it should be beyond indefensible for even the most die-hard progressive leftist still excusing the Maduro regime–often from afar.

    • The vast majority of defenders of Marxism haven’t ever lived under it. The defenders of Marxism who have lived it are usually the hierarchy who pine for the good old days of domination.

  7. An excellent article Mr. Drax. Thank you for the summary, because you really do bring it all together more succinctly than most.

    And as a history nerd and classicist, I’m

    “They shed their sense of responsibility long ago, when they lost their votes;

    The people that used to grant power, high office, the legions, everything,

    Curtails its desires, and reveals its anxiety for two things only: BREAD AND CIRCUSES.”

    Unfortunately, in true Socialist fashion I imagine both bread and circuses will become rarer and more rarefied. But how does one go about fixing it?

    Freedom lost is hard to regain.

  8. Good find. Not a surprise, given that Petro tweeted that the July 30 2017 constituyente “election” in Venezuela was an “opportunity not for revenge for dialogue and an opening.” Yeah, right. Or Petro’s tweeting that photos of empty grocery shelves in Venezuela was a falsehood. Or Petro calling El Finado a “great Latin American leader.”

    I don’t think my memory is failing me when I recall a pro-petro article published here (or, at least, the writer preferred petro over duque)

    While I suspect that CC editors would like its readers to forget Rodrigo Palau’s CC article that endorsed Gustavo Petro, there are CC readers who have no intention of forgetting this pathetic article. What to Expect When You’re Electing, Colombian Edition.

    • They can’t help themselves. They see every lost election as a bizarre anomoly. Clearly, “the people are voting against their own best interests”… and if that illusion fails them, “they are voting against the best interests of the nation”. GOD FORBID that their candidate is a fraud. Because Marxism provides every necessity… who wouldn’t want that?

      I made mention of this before, but whenever I need a little moral boost… a pick me up when the depression kicks in… I YouTube “election night 2016 meltdown”, and its an instant pick-me-up. Maddow, Uygur, and the merry morons of MSNBC election night team going full tilt mud-puddle gets me giddy.

      “Hillary in a landslide” still sends a tingle down my leg.

  9. One of the biggest dangers of the Carnet is its use by criminal gangs to extort the few remaining haves in Venezuela, all similar to the Colombian urban commie guerrillas, who have young idealized employees in bank back offices providing account balance information, which is then the exact amount the guerrillas ask for to free a kidnapped businessman/wealthier individual.

  10. I’ve always loathed and detested Cuban communism and their interventionism. They are plain Evil, have been for decades, and their destructive influence on the continent has been profound, for decades now. Undoubtedly, Fidel and Castrismo shaped Chavez, Maduro was indoctrinated in Havana. Perhaps Chavismo wouldn’t have succeeded or maintained itself in power without the pernicious, insidious, permanent influence and advice of the sons-of-bitches of Castrismo.

    But China and Russia are even worse. They are far more powerful, sneaky as hell. They work in the shadows, they outsmart even the USA at times. They have zero ethics, claiming to be “socialists” or “communists” all they are is disguised Capitalist, craving dollars more than anyone. They’re always trying to expand their influence, conquer, dominate, exploit. They bribe, do dirty deals, always under the radar.

    Freaking Bastards, the freaking Chinese and Russians: Perverse, immoral, twisted, evil, destructive. But very cunning, silent snakes is what they are. Much more dangerous than even the damn Cubans are.

  11. It’s questionable, in my experience, to try and contrast Venezuela with Cuba, China, Korea, and especially Germany, all of which maintained a somewhat organized and dedicated administration or power base to exert control once they had the relevant data. In Venezuela, save for toothless grass roots organizations, control is only worth enforcing if the enforcer stands to get something out of it. In states where exerting control also requires proactive action to fix or remedy anything, sans a payoff, or some kind of advantage – those places have been left to rot. Point is, esoteric political analysis is mostly besides the point – as if some socialist creed, rather than raw power and getting theirs, is the driving force in the failed state we now see. With so many factions scrambling for the last slivers of pie, there is no unified front to exert anything but provisional control over dwindling areas of population, like the gold mines, or CCS, where crafty “officials” can still milk what’s left for some little lucre. There’s no fluid command structure. The pipeline between Maduro and the people broke long ago, though a few delusional people think eating zoo animals etc. is the earmark of paradise … next year.

  12. Im thinking of the muddled family relationships in Venezuela and the laberyinthic superimposed web of extended relatives and friends every one can boast of, where you can have a full parent , a long gone temporary ‘parent’, where women have children from several men and so many have half brothers and half sisters and half aunts or fake aunts by the dozens and they are all family including semi carnal cousins to the third degree and how they loan cars and things to each other and think of some small time bored boureaucrat trying to figure out how it all hungs together and can feel nothing but pity for the poor fellow.
    Sometimes even I get lost in all the meandering convulate familiy relationships that surround me, even uncles and cousins and brothers which are kin even where they never have any blood ties to any of my relatives.There there is this customs of creating ties of family loyalty where no family ties exist , the custom of many of raising as their own some poor kid they just took a liking to !!

    • True, but remember that not all the pressure points need to be listed in order to have a tool with which to squeeze a particular individual.

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