Archive for February 21st, 2008

Rationing cards, another smart Chavista invention coming soon at a PDVAL market near you

February 21, 2008

And so it begins. After shortages arising from price controls and the Government’s inefficient intervention into the food distribution chain, the new PDVSA owned PDVAL markets will have what effectively represents the introduction of rationing cards in Venezuela.

One can only ask the obvious: Where or what next?

Asdrubal Chavez, Vice-President of PDVSA and the President’s cousin (of course), announced that in the planned network of large (PDVAL) and smaller markets (PDVALitos) run by the PDVSA subsidiary, they will keep a register of all purchases, limiting purchases to once a day. Moreover, they have done the studies of how much food a family may need and purchases will be limited to those amounts. They will have a “file card” (read rationing card) to register purchases so as to avoid repeats and people exceeding the limits.

There are 26 PDVALs and 20 PDVALitos, but the Government plans to have about 180 and 2,000 of each by the end of the year. The PDVAL network will be separate from the existing Mercal network.

You have to love the creativity of the revolution as they reinvent failed concepts and as they fail, improve on them to emphasize their failed aspects. Ayn Rand would have been so proud of them, as they fit her descriptions so well!

Santos sends soe very nice species to compete with Eduardo…

February 21, 2008

Santos sent me these very nice pictures of species

Two very nice Cattleya Lueddemanniana crosses, the one on the left has the “Haydee” plant in the cross. The one on right has very nice color.

Left: A first flowering of a C, Lueddemanniana coerulea. On the right Jumelea Sagitata

A nice Brassia Rex

Chavez throws temper tantrum over media criticism of his Government

February 21, 2008

President Hugo Chavez threw a huge temper tantrum today, showing that he is on the edge and frustrated over the failure of his Government, as there are daily protests, road blocks and in the latests turn, looting of Government owned markets, including one in the town of Sabaneta where Hugo Cahvez was born and where one of his brothers is the current Mayor.

Chavez’ tantrum took the form of one of his nationwide obligatory TV addresses which lasted for quite a while, at least one hour, and which he devoted to blasting the media for their coverage of the problems, claiming they were simply an exaggeration and accusing them of carrying out a media war against him and his Government.

What is most interesting is that most of the tantrum appeared to be due to this headline in Ultimas Noticias, a newspaper which is considered to be pro-Chavez and whose Editor, Eleazar Diaz Rangel, has vigorously sided with the Chavez Government on most issues:

Headline: Health care in coma due to the lack of funds
Sub title: Hospitals in Caracas in a functional coma according to Luisana Melo

Chavez said that it was not true that the country’s health system was in a coma and using his classic hyperbole, “if it were not for the revolution, people would be dying of hunger”. Chavez seems to not be informed of the state of the public health system and for the first time in the country’s recent history, there are chronic shortages of the most basic staples from milk, to bread, to coffee, to meat.

The article in pro-Chavez paper Ultimas Noticias on health care actually interviews the Secretary for Public Health of the Metropolitan Mayors office, who says: “The health care system in Caracas finds itself currently in a situation of functional collapse…this is a reality we have to assume…we continue to have unacceptable health indexes…there are no professional (doctors) as the number being educated has gone down…91% of the budget is spent on salaries, we don’t have money even to buy a stethoscope”

Another pro-Chavez paper, El Mundo, was heavily criticized, together with El Unversal, which is considered to be opposition.

The Vice-President of the Venezuelan Medical Federation said after the President’s speech that Chavez knew that the health care system collapse and it is in coma “because President Chavez was not properly advised” when it created a parallel health care system (Barrio Adentro) and the primary care system is indeed collapsed and Chavez should visit hospitals and see how the facilities are not working and the system is indeed in a “coma”.

Chavez also invited singer Alejandro Sanz and Fito Paez to come and do a duet with him, saying it was false that he had not allowed Sanz to sing in Venezuela. Paez said Chavez was a Dictator for this and said even when Pinochet was in power in Chile he was allowed to sing there. Of course, it was not Chavez, but his underlings, that canceled twice Sanz’s concerts or did not rent out the Poliedro to allow him to hold a concert of the size required to make it profitable. Sanz has been very critical of Chavez in his concerts.

Clearly, the Venezuelan President is extremely sensitive to the constant criticism and protests and keeps acting as if he had recently assumed the Presidency, while the population is simply fed up with shortages and inflation and the fact that the revolution has been in power for nine years and has yet to deliver much to the population.

Veniran tractor factory to shut down

February 21, 2008

And another one that surprises nobody:

“The company with Venezuelan and Iranian capital Veniran Tractor could be forced to closed down due to financial problems, according to charges by Deputy Juan Linares, a member of the Legislative Council of Bolivar State. The Board of Directors has disappeared for two months and the payroll system changed from bank accounts to handing over cash, explained Linares to newspaper Correo del Caroni. On top of that in January only four tractors were assembled and so far in February only maintenance activities have been performed. The regional Deputy says that the shutdowwn of the factory should be prevented because of its incidence on the economy of the region.”

I mean, Iranian manufacturing technology, sporadic Venezuelan Government financing, non-profit socialist system, ideal cultural affinity between partners, modern Iranian and Chavista management techniques, what could have possibly have failed in this project?