Archive for February 7th, 2003

Is Venezuelan becoming Cuba?

February 7, 2003

Late last night, Movimiento al Socialismo Deputy Carlos Tablante, speaking against a bill that would control content in media asked rethorically: “You talk about Cuba and China, countries with a single leader, a single party, a single ideology, a single newspaper, a single TV station, a single radio station…is that what you want here?”. Remarkably the Chavista Deputies, who are a majority, answered in unison: “Yesssssss”

Do I need to say anything  else?

Commando attempts to enter building where petitions are held

February 7, 2003

Last Sunday, a private organization managed to obtain signatures from over four million people to sign various petitions against the Chavez Government. Today, a “building inspector” from the Sucre municipality, showed up at the building where the petitions are being stored with a commando of 20 heavily armed cops/military to search the premises without the required order of a judge or the office of the Attorney General. The inspector is the sister in law of the Mayor who happens to be the son of the Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel. The petitions include those to revoke the Mayor’s mandate. This was done at 6 PM on a Friday, how efficient, no? Fortunately, the people in the surrounding area who are lower middle class took to the streets and blocked the attempt to enter and search the premises and by now more people are showing up by the minute. (see picture below). The inspector then burned the supposed order she had to search the premises. This is simply another fascist act by an outlaw Government.

(The building inspector showed up later on a local TV station and was caught lying about her relationship with the Mayor, her knowledge about what was happening at this building and when she found out about it…)

Strict Currency Controls: Lot of philosophy, little substance

February 7, 2003

After two weeks without foreign currency exchange, we now have a decree, that says very little. Basically, the degree prohibits just about everything, sets the exchange rate at Bs. 1600 to the US$, but says very little about how anybody will get them. The new ecchange office will be all-powerful to set the rules and decide. Of course, you will have to register, request, prove, beg and probably pay something if you are an importer. But the rules will be decided by a new office, since after two weeks there was no agreement on how to do it. Thus, it will be a while before the system actually starts working, allowing the black/grey/whatever market to flourish at around Bs. 2200 to the US$. Third time in twenty years we wil have exchange controls. Once again, it will be a disaster. As Venezuelans like to say, we have seen this movie before…..