(I am your leader. Follow me!)
You have to wonder what goes through the brain of Hugo Chavez. As the country struggles with everything from unemployment to infrastructure, he travels to a bunch of countries and signs a bundle of agreements, few of which make much sense in terms of cost, contribution to Venezuela’s development or it’s economy. He just gives our country for nothing and nobody says much.
Even worse, Chavez uses the term treason to projects that were in the hands of North-American companies, such as the case of the Las Cristinas gold mine, but fails to say that it was…Hugo Chavez that signed the agreement with Canda’s Crystallex in 2004. In fact, it was the current Governor of Bolivar State, then President of the CVG, who signed the contract. But since then, Chavez has fallen in love with Russians and their autocrats, so he has take it away from the Empire to give it to another Empire. No rationale behind it.
He then went all over the place signing agreements to build housing. As if the Uruguay case did not prove anything. But how can you justify buying housing abroad, that could be built from scratch here, creating thousands of jobs. Our private sector could do it if the Government wanted it. So we are to believe that Iran will build 50,000 housing units, Russia 10,000 for the military, Belarus 5,000 and Portugal 12,000.
But wait! We paid US$ 90 million to Belarus for some housing in 2008 and our friend Kepler has not been able to find them anywhere, but the Belorussians said they got paid!
Then let’s send them 200,000 barrels of oil a day at a discount and since we are importing coffee because Chavez also destroyed that crops’ production, let’s promise we will send them 50,000 Tons of coffee to keep Belorussians awake. Who will we buy the coffee from? Will it be free?
If I were from Belarus, I would have asked for iPods and iPdas, you never know…
And then, since we are short natural gas in Venezuela because of the lack of distribution across the country, offer US$ 780 million for a gas project to:
Yeap! Let’s take 25% of the amount of the recent PDVSA bond and give it to our Iranian friends who are so much like us and will love us so much for doing it.
Also buy some air to surface missiles, some tanks, spend another US$ 850 million and done, The trip is over. Even if we never spend one cent on the phantom nuclear plant, Chavez spent over US$ 2 billion, gave the Russians away the Las Cristinas mine and will give the Belorussians a $4 million dollar discount a day on oil, which adds up to US$ 1.3 billion a year.
Voila! Hugo spent all of the PDVSA bond issue in a single trip.
And we still don’t know why or what is going on through his head. Is the purpose to screw the private sector so that the opposition can not be financed? Or is it all a grandiose show and he plans to complete none of the announcements? Or is he just so out of touch with reality that, like the 2008 Belorussian apartments he will never ask what happened to the housing that was never built.
Nobody, even Chavez knows the answer. What we do know is that around him are groups and mafias making money like crazy, while they laugh at the jokes and antics of the Venezuelan autocrat and dream of the day they can enjoy their profits.
And nothing happens as Hugo gives away the country…But it seems cheaper to keep him here, at least he can’t give anything away.