That those in the Chávez administration have no scruples to lie and deceive with every word is well known. What is amazing is how they can give numbers fully aware not that they are 10% or 20% off, but as much as a factor of two or three. In some sense, it would be better if they did like the do with epidemiology or crime statistics, juts don’t give out the numbers rather than assume that we are all so stupid that nobody will notice the huge inconsistencies in what they claim.
I bring all of this up, because the two biggest liars in the Government, Rafael Ramirez and Jorge Giordani went to the National Assembly this week and kept lying (and insulting). It is not clear to me if opposition Deputies were even given a chance to question this numbers, as the ever fascist Jorge Gordani, when an opposition Deputy suggested that a deficit of 18% was somewhat dangerous for the economic future of Venezuela, replied something like : ¨This people have yet to realize that they lost the election¨. As if democracy was the Dictatorship of the majority, where the minority can not even speak or has to shut up. But clearly, that is exactly what this fascistoid Chavistas believe what democracy is all about.
Ramirez testified or pontificated his numbers without any hesitation. First, he continued saying that Venezuela is producing 3.1 million barrels of oil a day, a number that neither OPEC, nor EIA, nor Ramirez’ confidential memos to Chávez agree with. This document clearly states that Venezuela was producing around 2.6 million barrels of oil at the time, when Ramirez was publicly saying the same official number of 3.1 million barrels.
But what is a 14.5% error among criminals and dishonest people after all? That’s really all it is.
But Ramirez really began lying when asked if it was true that 70% of the country’s gasoline was being imported. He called this accusation “false”, saying that only certain components for making gasoline are imported but, he clearly stated, internal gasoline consumption is 298 thousand barrels of gasoline a day.
Say what Rafael?
You mean to tell me that despite the number of cars doubling in the country since 2001. Despite the GDP growth claimed by your Government. Despite the fact that gasoline has gone from being cheap to being free in those eleven years. Despite all of that, internal gasoline consumption according to you has gone down 35%???
Really, you take us for such fools Rafael?
You see Rafael, PDVSA in 2001, while you were already Vice-Minister of Energy, Chávez was President and had changed the President of PDVSA twice, reported to the SEC on June 14th. 2002 in this document called the 20-F (fourth paragraph, page 15), that internal gasoline consumption at the time was all of 458 thousand barrels of oil a day.
How is that drop explained? A technological revolution? Shortages? Or simply mind blowing fake statistics?
I’ll take the latter.
In fact, estimates are that internal gasoline consumption is today around 800 thousand barrels a day, which if true would require imports to be not the 70% the Deputy suggested, but about 60%, not that far off. The Deputy must have some inside info.
Ramirez once again projected that by 2014 oil production will be up to 4 million barrels of oil a day. But if he fakes the real numbers, how can one believe his projections for anything? Remember his “Siembra Petrolera” program? I guess they never got beyond the slogan, because oil production has barely gone up and we were supposed to be near 4 million barrels a day by now anyway.
Finally, while by now you may not want to believe any number given out by Ramirez, he said that the country had used US$ 17.9 billion in oil exports to pay for US$ 38 billion in Chinese loans. That suggests we still owe US$ 20 billion to the Chinese, which added to the Republic’s US$ 93.6 billion in debt (both internal and external) and PDVSA’s 36 billion dollars in debt, gives the country a total debt of a cool US$ 149.6 billion, up US$ 106 billion since 2006, in the midst of the biggest oil windfall the country has ever enjoyed.
As a not so favorite President of mine used to say: “¿Donde están los reales?”
(The President of the Central Bank Nelson Merentes was also present, but all he said is that inflation will be in the single digits by 2014, the same projection two years down the line he has made in the last four years)