Archive for July 9th, 2008

A picture is worth 10,000 words : CPI shows failed policies

July 9, 2008

Despite changing the definition, reporting it differently, keeping monetary liquidity constant, intervening massively in the parallel market and otherwise attempting to show that inflation is down, the results are not great as shown in the chart above, where I plot the 12-month accumulated inflation for each of the last twelve months. Inflation for the last twelve months has been running at over 30%, about the worst possible thing that can happen to the less well to do. Note the perverse effect last November of the financial transaction tax, as predicted here in an article called “The new magical transaction tax“. The only good news is that the CPI should slow its growth since that tax was finally eliminated. It only took the Government eight months to realize what a stupid idea it was!!!

The passionate lies of the revolution and its cheerleaders

July 9, 2008

Politicians by nature like to spin the truth, a small lie
here or there, or simply a twist of the truth. All in the name of the success
of their project, whether personal or partisan. But nobody can beat the
Chavista revolution at the passion with which they can lie and deceive,
essentially assuming that their supporters will not notice the inconsistencies,
laughing at the intelligence of the people they claim to love and believing in their
ability to trust them unconditionally.

The supporters and cheerleaders of the Chavez revolution are
no different, they make up facts, dismiss others and try to portray a reality
they know little about except that they sympathize with it. Today Quico
wrote an excellent article
debunking one such article in
The Independent
, which you can ascribe to either an incredible ignorance by
the author, which speaks badly of his professional abilities, or to an
incredible lack of ethics by him.

While Quico dealt well with the factual errors of the
article, some of them outrageous, what still amazes me is this ability to
attempt to suggest that Hugo Chavez has never even come close to supporting the
FARC terrorists. This is not only the case in Hari’s article which explicitly says:
“You have been told that the Venezuelan President supports the Farc thugs who
have been holding her hostage”, but seems to have permeated the PSFhere, ever
since Ingrid Betancourt and the other fourteen hostages were rescued by
Colombian military authorities.

The passion and intensity with which so many people have
attempted to portray Hugo Chavez, as an innocent bystander is simply sickening.
Many of these cheerleaders seem to have joined the story only recently, as if
Reyes computers were the only source of evidence for Hugo Chavez’ support of
the FARC, which at times was blatantly open and for which there is ample
evidence factual and very very real:

-Venezuelans will never forget General Gonzalez Gonzalez, an
active military General telling the Venezuelan National Assembly that in 1999
and 2000, he brought to the attention of Chavez pictures proving that there
were active FARC camps within Venezuelan territory and they should be
destroyed. Nothing was ever done about it.

-Or how about the Foreign Minister of the FARC Rodrigo
Granda, who was found in Venezuela living in the lap of luxury, with Venezuelan
identity papers, provided by none other than the man who is today back into the
Ministry of the Interior and Justice. Rodriguez Chacin was later proven to have
met Granda at the VIP Government gate at Maiquetia International Airport upon
his entrance to the country.

-And since we are speaking of Minister Rodriguez Chacin, can
we forget his words on the occasion of the release of two hostages to the
soldiers turning over the two former Deputies of the Colombian Congress, saying
“we are watching what you are doing, keep it up!” This is a man described by
the FARC as a true “badass”, on the occasion of his visit to the FARC to ask
for “training” support.

-And by the way, how did that wanted FARC terrorist and criminal
Ivan Marquez get all the way to Caracas to meet with…you guessed it, Hugo
Chavez at the Venezuelan Presidential Palace? Once again, it was Chavez current
Minister Rodriguez Chacin who gave him a lift, all the way to meet the top

-It was Hugo Chavez who attempted to get a movement going to
have the FARC declared a belligerent force by the world. The move never even
got off the ground, but is that sympathy or what?.

-Then there is all of the information in Reyes’ computers,
which many don’t seem to believe in, but it’s there, certified and consistent.
It was actually used by Interpol to jail some people.

Of course, Chavez failed in his efforts and suddenly turned
around and has gone back to talking to Alvaro Uribe a man he hailed last
November “never to meet again”, when he broke relations with Colombia when
Uribe told him that he was no longer welcomed in his negotiation efforts because
he had overstep the bounds of the rules agreed to.

But local politicians are equally passionate in their lies
and exception. Only ten days ago, Chavista Deputy Carlos Escarra made an
impassionate defense of the disqualifications of candidates by the Comptroller.
Escarra spoke of the fight against corruption, stopping the robbers of the
people and the like. Curiously, we learned yesterday that the same Escarra,
then a Deputy but always the lawyer, took on the case of Chavista candidates
that were disqualified from running for office, using precisely the opposite
legal arguments that he used two weeks ago.

And then there is the august leader of the Venezuelan
National Assembly Cilia Flores blasting reporters who wrote about nepotism in
the National Assembly. Flores seemed to forget she is the wife of Foreign
Minister Maduro, who she succeeded in that Presidency. Of course, she made it
sound like the accusations were all false, that there is no nepotism. But
besides accusations of a hiring process that did not seem kosher, in the recent
hiring process, Flores was
lucky enough
to place relatives in nine of the sixty permanent positions up
for grabs. These included three brothers or sisters, two nephews, a cousin, the
mother of that same cousin and her “consuegra” (co-mother in law?) and her

Flores arguments are simply circular, she complains that
nowhere in the article is it mentioned that the workers of the Assembly have
better benefits and denies there is nepotism…I guess the Flores’ must be the
new Kennedy’s of Venezuela.

But of course, the revolution is full of nepotism anyway.
Chavez’ brother was a Minister and Ambassador. His Father Governor (elected,
yes, on Chavez’ coattails). His other brother is Secretary General of his
father and a cousin is on the Board of PDVSA. Which only proves that nepotism
is a way of life in the revolution, but you have to lie passionately and deny
it so that the “people” will never find out about it.

It’s a way of life for them…