Archive for February 4th, 2007

Maza Zavala says someone has to disentangle the economy. Good Luck!

February 4, 2007

When Rafael Caldera was President, he named Marxist Economist Domingo Maza Zavala to the Board of the Venezuelan Central Bank. It was a time of crisis and Maza said many things he should have not said at the time. Maza remained on the Board of the Central Bank through the Chavez years, always making comments that showed he disagreed with the Government’s economic policy. It certainly seems weird to agree day after day, week after week, month aftetr month with this Marxist Economist, but it all has a simple explanation: No matter what his politics are, Maza knows about economics and knows that certain things are too much even in an economy like ours.

In today’s El Universal, Maza gives an interview that contains many of the things you regularly read here, except he is an economist (They call him the father of modern Venezuelan economics, whatever that hyperbole may mean) and I am neither. Some quotes:

“There is such complexity of problems, of contradictions and paradoxes in the Venezuelan economy that one has no answer or explanation, one tries to examine, of pointing out as much as possible withing this tangle. Now, someone has to put order in this entanglement”

“We still have to see endogenous development and still have to define what is XXIst. Century Socialism”

On how many Bolivars has Fonden spent: “I can’t tell (see my earlier post) we have always complained that it should present its accounts and explain how it spends its funds. Now, according to to its last estimate it still maintains almost teh totality of its funds in Dollars, some US$ 18 billion, thus it has spent little Bolivares (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

“the Government is in crux, a true bottle neck, a sort of Gordian knot”

“In Venezuela, there is the peculiarity, that it has been the Government itself, in an indirect fashion, that has sued the parallel market, when it issues dollar denominated bonds in Bolivars, or negotaites Dollar denominated Argentinean bonds”

“I have always been in favor of the state participaating in the private sector, but not in its totality”

There you have it…even the experts have no clue about what to do and how about the development fund that does not even spend!!!

A jewel for history!

Celebrating February 4th. 1992 Factoid #7: Accumulated Inflation since Chavez took over

February 4, 2007

Celebrating February 4th. 1992 Factoid #6: Malaria Cases and Maternal mortality

February 4, 2007

Top left: Cases of malaria. Top right: Number of maternal mortality cases per 100,000 inhabitants

Source: Acuerdo Social

Celebrating February 4th. 1992 Factoid #5: Revolutionary double speak

February 4, 2007

–The Vice-President: “There are no shortages of foodstuffs”

Has anyone seen black beans anywhere?

The Minister of Interior and Justice: “We will investigate hoarding of foodstuffs”

But there are no shortages.

–The Vice-President: “We will impose th Dictatorship of Democracy”


The Minister of Defense: “We will be blunt with the hoarders”

But I thought there were no shoratges…

Celebrating February 4th. 1992 Factoid #4: Some interesting numbers

February 4, 2007

-Last year the Venezuelan Government spent US$ 6.01 billion in military weapons and the military.

-Last year the Venezuelan Government claims to have spent US$ 16 billion on social programs ( We don’t know, US$ 6 billion were supposed to come from Fonden, but Fonden spent most of its funds on infrastructure projects and we really don’t know how much anyway)

-Last year the gasoline subsidy was between US$ 12 and 13 billion, a subsidy mostly to the rich who own cars. (Add to it US$ 2.2 billion in car parts imported to make cars at the official rate of exchange)

-The whim of nationalizing CANTV, EDC and taking 60% of all of the heavy crude projects will cost US$ 14.2 billion.

-48% of all Barrio Adentro modules are closed.

-Mercal has not imported food in two months.

Celebrating February 4th. 1992 Factoid #3: The Chavez Doctrine

February 4, 2007

Hugo Chavez justified his 1992 on the basis of eight or nine reasons called the “Chavez Doctrine”, not all of which I remember, but here are seven of them.

-There was too much poverty

After the oil windfall of the last few years, poverty is at the same level as when Hugo Cahvze became President.

-Carlos Andres Perez (CAP) was giving money and oil away to foreign countries.

Ditto Hugo Chavez.

-CAP traveled too much.

Nobody can beat Hugo

-The Government was corrupt.

Never have we seen the current levels of corruption under Chavez.

-CAP was the lackey of a foeign power (The US of A)

Substitute Cuba

-That the Government was yielding territory to a foreign power (Colombia)

Chavez has stopped claiming the Guyana and today’s paper says that Government wants him to drop that claim all together.

-There was no electoral way out

The election was two years away, CAP was impeached. There seems to be no way out today as Chavze asks for his indefinite reelection.

-The secret budget was being used to aid foreign politicians.

Oh well!

Apply the Chavez Doctrine today and what do you get?

Celebrating February 4th. 1992 Factoid #2: The innocent soldiers of Chavez

February 4, 2007

Alberto Barrera, the recent winner of the Herralde literary prize, was coauthor of the book “Hugo Chavez without uniform“. In the course of researching it, he came across the fact that Chavez brought the soldiers under his command to Caracas without telling them anything about a coup attempt. Here is what he wrote today in El Nacional:

One of the most evident signs of concentration of power on a person is the yearning to turn his personal path into official history. Power also needs to invent a new memory. Transforming the past is also the task of any revolution.

I write this due because of this Sunday February 4th. It has already been said that the President hs the power to turn this day into an official holiday, on the patriotic calendar. Let it be decreed as such. Nevertheless, my memory can still remember the crude pain of that day: The soldiers the coup plotters brought to Caracas did not know why they were coming. They were no revolutionaries riding Granma trying to get to the island. They were young men that innocently followed the order of a superior. They came under a pretense.

That is to me the most important sign of that day. What, since that day, this revolution lacks. Epic and ethics.

Celebrating February 4th. 1992 Factoid #1: Decrees that were nevers issued

February 4, 2007

Here is the list of decrees that were to be issued had the coup been sucesfull, according to Alberto Garrido’s book with the the man put in charge of writing them:

-Decree of detention and execution of important political and private sector leaders
-Dissolution of Congress
-Dissolution of Legislative Assemblies
-Dissolution of Supreme Court and Judicial System
-Suspension of all Privatizations
-Exchange Controls
-Expropriation of all guns

Chavismo celebrates a day of infamy.

February 4, 2007

With the same cynical attitude they have towards everything else, Chavismo will celebrate today the 16th. year anniversary of the bloody coup attempt
led by Hugo Chavez, Francisco Arias Cardenas, Yoel Acosta Chirinos and
Jesus Urdaneta. On that fateful day these men led a bunch of troops
they commanded to stage a coup, without the soldiers knowing where they
were going and what the intention was. By the end of the day over 50
people, military and civilians, were dead, and 100 more were wounded.
The only military officer of the four who was unsuccessful in his
military goal was Chavez, who nevertheless was the one to show up
publicly as he was the last one to surrender, from the Military Museum
where he had spent most of the night holed up, never attacking his
military target, the Miraflores Presidential Palace.

and his buddies were pardoned and nobody served a sentence for either
the killings or for the attempt against Venezuelan democracy and its
institutions. Chavez was the only one of the four leaders who refused
to join the democratic process, going around the country calling for
the people to revolt. In late 1997, he was convinced by Luis Miquilena,
who no longer supports him, that he could win via the ballot box and
jumped into the race.

Those are the democratic credential of
Hugo Chavez. The same man that spent last year more money on military
equipment than in most social programs. The same man that has manipulated and
cheated on elections. The same man that refuses to even talk to people
that support him, asking for unlimited enabling powers. The same man
that rules only for his supporters and not for all Venezuelans. The man
that destroyed checks and balances and the rule of law in this country.
That despite his claim to love the people has done little to improve
their lot despite the price of oil jumping six fold in his eight-year
tenure. The same man that massacred a peaceful march on April 11 2002,
an act that was planned by him in the presence of the many and for
which his own military hogh command asked him to resign. The same man
that issued a law to muzzle the media. The same man that has sworn to
close a TV station in May without a legal reason for it. The same man
that allows the most rampant corruption the country has ever seen. The
same man that wants the Constitution changed so he can be in power
indefinitely. The same man that allowed a fascist database to be
compiled with those that signed a petition against him, which is used
to discriminate, fire and persecute ordinary Venezuelans.

same man will celebrate today; He will even allow his buddies to
illegally wear military uniforms, in celebration of the only thing they
believe in: militarism and force. They will call that bloody day, a day
of glory and celebrate the only real coup and rebellion the country has
seen in the last 16 years, while daily calling any action by the
opposition, destabilizing, coup plotting and the like.

this Autocrat/Dictator will celebrate today a shameful act for which he
should be in jail, with the same lack of scruples with which he and his
comrades act every day.

Claiming to be compassionate, while he destroys everyone and everything that stands on his way.

Claiming to believe in dissent, while forcing all Government workers to attend today’s celebration.

Claiming to believe in the law and the Constitution, while bypassing and violating it daily.

Claiming to be democrats, while each and every one of their acts, like the one today, proves exactly the opposite.

Claiming to believe in democracy, which they only use for their profit and personal power or gain.

And they plan to celebrate it all!