Archive for December 6th, 2006

Rosales’ press conference

December 6, 2006

Yesterday opposition candidate Manuel Rosales gave a press conference. It may have been his best presentation ever. He was serious, he was humorous, he was realistic and he tried to preempt Chavez by saying he was going to make his own proposals for the new Constitution. Rosales invited most of the important leaders that supported him and they seemed to be enjoying their conversation with their new found leader. I liked how he brought up some of the cases that irked me the most, like the burning of his headquarters in Valencia on Sunday, or the mistreatment of the lady who was the image of “Mi Negra” by the Chavista hordes.

But it is hard to be optimistic. While Chavez has appeared ready to talk to the opposition, I have no hopes that it will do much. Chavez will now proceed with Constitutional reform to be performed by his 100% controlled National Assembly. He will not propose anything that brings Venezuela into his ill-defined XXIst. Century Socialism. What he is likely to do is to introduce more control over the economy, which in no way implies that the poor will do better or there will be any form of fairer society in Venezuela. In fact, my prediction is that Chavez will, once again, become the absentee President, letting his boli-bourgeois oligarchy take over running the country.

In fact, after a month of not giving away anything to any other country as he was running for President, Chavez approved today US$ 80 million for on Argentinian cooperative of milk and powdered milk, an area in which our country is not self-sufficient. He also offered Nicaragua some electric power plants, a clear indication that he will begin again his international campaign to gain favors and become the leader of at least the two and a half if not the third world. He will leave his flunkies in charge, who will look into how to share the bounty while the autocrat is absent.

A picture is worth 10,000 words, #1: Food Inflation

December 6, 2006

I like charts and graphs. I will start an erratic (in time!) series of charts which tell a self-explanatory story about what is going on in Venezuela under the revolution. I start with this fairly simple one: Twelve month Food and Beverage inflation for each of the last twenty four months. Simply note that 56% of the items in this category fall under the regulated category and that the lowest srata of the population spend 80%-plus of their income on food.

Source: Venezuelan Central Bank