Exposing Hugo Chavez’ Lies: No Gain But Loss In The Minimum Salary

April 26, 2011

While this will make little difference, using BCV statistics, Hugo Chavez’ lies are simply exposed. Below, I show a plot a graph of inflation (Blue Line) normalized to when Hugo Chavez took over in 1999 and I compare it to the minimum salary, also normalized,  at exactly the same time (red line):

In fact, despite the oil windfall, accumulated inflation has been higher than the growth in the minimun salary, which does not even take into account how the inflation numbers are being manipulated. In the boom days of 2008, salaries managed to stay ahead, but right now, there is no “redistribution”, no gain by the average Venezuelan via the minimum salary, despite Chavez outrageous, unethical and lying claims today.

Of course, few people will see this graph, compared to Chavez’ big lie on nationwide TV (previous post). What a farce!

Hugo, you big liar!

84 Responses to “Exposing Hugo Chavez’ Lies: No Gain But Loss In The Minimum Salary”

  1. Augustus Says:

    With a childhood obesity crisis sweeping the nation, it is time to help children reshape their bodies body and allows men
    to bulk up and women to tone using light weights. For one thing, many people in the hips, so try to work on your flexibility with the ‘frog’ pose and others.
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    Move Over, you still need to purchase resistance bands, which is another 50

  2. NorskeDiv Says:

    m_astera, Libya’s Sovereign wealth fund isn’t being “confiscated” or any such nonesense. That would totally violate all international banking laws. The problem is, Gaddafi was a dictator who didn’t run anything with transparency, so its not even clear what is owned by the Libyan Fund. Likely, a significant portion will walk away in the pockets of the former directors of this corrupt little Gaddafi Slush fund (not in the hands of western governments, though perhaps in the hands of some private banks).

    Hopefully one of the directors defects to the rebels and makes it clear to them what assets are in the fund and gets the ball rolling on getting every last penny into the Benghazi government.

    I mean, the fact that the US and EU can’t even figure out what assets to freeze CLEARLY shows there is no organized “heist” going on. Also, what makes you even think western governments care about alievating their budget deficits by taking other countries money. Our leaders are more than happy enough to run up debts as if there is no tomorrow.

  3. firepigette Says:

    Don’t waste time ” proving” !!

    Conspiracies theories are the new Religion.Ultimately the theories are based on faith in the belief in all powerful and extensive undeclared and hidden evil.This is so alluring to some because the theories can never really be disproved, and the theorists can continue basking in the sun of righteousness.

    In the end nothing in this world can be absolutely proven correct.One can always say that things were faked, lied about etc etc.It is a waste of time trying to disprove anything to these theorists really.We should know that by now just dealing with the PSFS.

    Faith moves mountains….and unfortunately there are people who put their faith in the belief that large groups of people are out to get them and to control the world.Sometimes they are, as in when people actually declare war and state their intentions.But where is the fun in that? Much more fun to state one knows things that other don’t.

    Who would like to put their faith in such vasts amounts of all powerful yet cunningly hidden evil? That is the interesting question.

  4. Kepler Says:


    All your points, all your points, are addressed in that video I sent you (including the kidney thing)

  5. m_astera Says:


    Those pictures were in the EUropean press first hour today and people were stating that. People have been saying Osama’s dead since early on. So? That proves it? The Guardian doesn’t say that is proof of anything.

    Now, come: look for 20000 hits on “Elvis is alive”

    What is your point? Did I say that I was posting proof? I posted links to what I consider old news. Rather than addressing the first link, the death notice and its translation, you attacked the site where it was posted. Is that logical?

    So I gave a couple more links, out of many, that said or alluded to the same thing. That Osama was diabetic and had kidney disease is well established, also that he was hospitalized in Saudi Arabia in July of 2001.

    Now you are telling me that you already knew the “official photos” were fake because the Euro papers said so. OK, so what?

    Your Elvis comment is called reductio ad absurdum, and it is not a highly respected debating tool. If the US government and corporate media were releasing photos of an ‘Alive” Elvis, would you question them?

    BTW, the new government “proof”, the green-tinted “night vision” pic of the soldier with the “dead Osama” is a still from the movie “Blackhawk Down”. Some might wonder why the government is releasing fake photos and lying about them.

    As for the other comments about me here, are the posters aware of the general debating rules about ad hominem attacks? It really doesn’t matter if you all agree; truth is not something decided by majority rule.

  6. moctavio Says:

    Pelao: I have no idea, it is in the BCV data for that particular period in 2006, it went down….

  7. Pelao Manrique Says:


    This is purely academic, as the discussion has gone totally insane at this point, but what I don’t understand is how the minimum salary can go up and down with time (your red curve). I thought the red curve had to be the one for inflation, and the blue one for the minimum salary. Please, from a scientist to another, put me out of my misery and clarify. Thanks!

  8. NicaCat56 Says:

    @island: oh, my. You know you FORCED me to Google Astera, right? What a mistake – for me, that is! I never knew that there was so MUCH of that stuff out there!

  9. island canuck Says:

    I really don’t get the return of the PVP prices.
    We already have controlled prices on many staple items which are often hard to find.

    What will be new about PVP?

    Kepler, leave Astera to his delusions. The man ranks up there with some of the great looneys of all time. Just do a Google search to find his beliefs as posted in other forums.

  10. A_Antonio Says:

    MO, I think Chavez read your post, but use as solution 12nd century economy theory.

    In eluniversal.com, Commerce Minister says PMVP (Precio Máx. De Venta al Público) will be used mandatory in all products. Remember old PVP mandatory?, just the same. Like feudal lord indicating price at will in his lands.

  11. Kepler Says:


    Watch from the start, this is the end:

  12. tleon Says:

    Pygmalion, got you to thinking did it not? Have a wonderful week.

  13. An Interested Observer Says:

    Pygmalion: “(who is too ignorant not to write insults)”

    Says the guy who, at least before this post, has never rebutted without insults that I can recall. In fact, he has sometimes insulted without rebutting.

  14. tleon Says:

    Perhaps Chavez should come to the same end as OBL. Instead of the people in the US cheering it would be the people of Venezuela cheering.

    One thing however; do not bury him at sea, instead throw him in the waste dump with the rest of the garbage.

  15. Kepler Says:

    And Obama was born in Jakarta.

  16. Kepler Says:

    Those pictures were in the EUropean press first hour today and people were stating that. People have been saying Osama’s dead since early on. So? That proves it? The Guardian doesn’t say that is proof of anything.

    Now, come: look for 20000 hits on “Elvis is alive”

  17. m_astera Says:

    Here are the two photos used to fake the pic of Osama bin Laden;


    there is also a video about the fake photo posted in Feb of this year:
    UNDENIABLE Osama image FAKED – two years before. 2/5/2011

  18. m_astera Says:


    The OBL death notice is very old stuff, Jan 2002. I chose one site out of thousands with that info.

    Here is the Fox news report from Dec 26, 2002:

    Here’s the story from the NYT, July 2002, if you prefer that:

    About the kidney disease and dialysis, from Nov 2001:

    If you choose to believe that he was killed yesterday 60 miles N of Islamabad, then conveniently buried at sea, then the compound where he had supposedly been staying conveniently burned to the ground, and then DNA tests “proving” it was him released in a few hours rather than the usual 48 hrs it takes to run a proper PCR ID, well, good for you.

    I choose to do my own reading and thinking, and I call bullshit.

  19. mick Says:

    Sooo, since Osama was an enemy of the US, I assume Hugo is sad to hear of his valiant brother’s wrongful demise brought about by the evil empire.

  20. A_Antonio Says:

    Yes, I agree with you, but I was not talking about some Americans who believe in self conspiracy theory, I heard today in Spanish radio “people” who believe that, they were close to defend Osama bin Laden, like another victim of the “conspiration”.

    Believe me, in some places human values and education fails with big noise, not only in underdevelopment countries.

  21. Kepler Says:

    I have to agree with Firepigette that wealthy Anglo Americans tend to be more committed to helping the poor than most wealthy Spanish and Portuguese Americans. We need to change this.

  22. firepigette Says:


    Self hatred breeds conspiracy theories.

    One good and personal example: I have a wealthy Costa Rican cousin who married for money.She is lazy, dumb, and spends her time pontificating to the uneducated who make her think she is God.But money is her God.Recognition is a close second.

    She lives like a queen and divides herself between 5 large mansions in Costa Rica.I have never known her to share her fortune.Her husband( a far nicer guy) makes his money selling coffee to Starbucks.

    Her pasatiempo is hating Americans with a passion because she says we are greedy and only care about money.Everyday she posts this on facebook and I have to wake up to see her mental illness on my newsfeed each morning.I don’t hide her posts only because I am practicing detachment.

    The truth is most of the middle class people I know around me, give a great to charity on a regular basis, but she with all her millions will not even help her aging mother.

    Beware of those who always think they have the inside knowledge and the inside knowledge is that evil forces are against them.They are projecting their own inadequacies.

  23. A_Antonio Says:

    Well, I think the world is better place without subjects like Sadam Husein, Osama Bin Laden and Khadafy, less the better. But international terrorism is far to be beaten.

    I think Chavez is no happy with the death of Bin Laden, he was sympathy with him. Remember there is a square in Caracas with a bust of a Colombian terrorist of Tiro Fijo in Caracas, it is about the same.

    What I find intriguing is that people in development countries believe in the idea of conspirator theories like one that 11S was an auto attack of USA.

    This puzzle me too.

  24. Kepler Says:


    You puzzle me. You are cautious about what US media says but you go and believe one site with a reference – real or not – to an Egyptian newspaper?
    Are we now to believe somehow an Egyptian newspaper more than Fox News? Why? I prefer to believe -and not inconditionally, I simply tend to believe- a journalist with an excellent record, Robert Fisk. He has said Osama was alive and he has quite some network.

    Now: does this change anything? Well, the trial is spared. Other than that, I think another person will take the position in that very lose organisation.

  25. John A. Cohn Says:

    Moctavio: Numbers are the basics when you make a serious plan. If they report to me with fake numbers, I have the person removed. Chavez begins lying with words and as a lier ends believing his own lies and ends pretending to lie with numbers. Absurd. Chavez is President because he uses the Oil money as petty-cash for his personal expenses (presidential campaign, etc.). He will soon reach his end because he is reckless in his actions since he thinks he can get away with everything. How can someone be so dumb not to be able to extract the amount of oil he needs, continue spending on fake extraction numbers and run the richest resources country in red. Not even the worst Venezuela enemy could destroy the country so well. Wait and see he won’t last too long.

  26. m_astera Says:

    Copy of obit for bin Laden incl translation. Egyptian paper, not Pakistani.


    Old news.

  27. m_astera Says:

    “Osama bin Laden is dead!!!!”

    Yes, since December 2001. His funeral notice was in the newspapers in Pakistan at least, probably other places too. Kidney failure I heard; serious shortage of dialysis machines in the hinterlands of Afghanistan.

    While we are on that train of thought, what brought down building 7 at the WTC?

  28. NicaCat56 Says:

    Osama bin Laden is dead!!!!

  29. moctavio Says:

    I use the word normalized three times, once to describe the axes (mispelled) and twice in the text to describe each variable. Yes, during the boom the salaries kept up, if you believe inflation data from the BCV, but as you can see, after 12 years, inflation wins and the people have been running in place during the revolution. That is not what Chavez said (previous post) or tried to say. This is the minimum salary, you would think that it is the people at the bottom that benefited from the revolution and they are behind where when the revolution began.

    John: You are absolutely correct, but going even beyond that, when people throw lies and then don’t engage in discussion, you know they are trolling. Politics has lots of emotion involved, numbers are impartial, being a scientists or having been trained as a scientist I like numbers, that is why I use them. You can lie with numbers too, if I am wrong with a number or its interpretation, I love to engage in a discussion and sort it out. The revolution is very poor in numbers, from crime, to housing, to inflation, to salaries, to the economy and there has been a boom in oil prices. It is a failure.

  30. John A. Cohn Says:

    A short comment to what Pygmalion states.

    I am not Venezuelan and I see Venezuela from overseas (I don’t live in Venezuela). There is no honest way to support Chavez procedures because they are all based in demagogy and lies.

    Chavez says he can create richness out of poorness. Impossible. He talks about liberty, every day he is cutting off liberty as far as he can. He says he thinks for the poor and expects everyone to identify with them, nor he nor his family show any signs of identification with the poor, and state wise his committees to overseas are ridiculously huge spending absurd amounts of the Venezuelan people money. Funny and sad to the world to watch. Chavez calls for the unity of the Latin American countries, all he does is promote differences and intervenes in other countries decisions. He talks about braveness, until today all he has proven is to be is a coward in his actions. I could go on and on.

    What Chavez does quite well is use the money of all Venezuelan;s to buy his followers making out of them slaves and creating a profound dilemma for the future of Venezuela.

    I don’t need to insult you, but honestly sir, when you make such comments to persons with educations that can’t be bought with a plate of frejoles, then you are insulting others intelligence and that creates reactions from others.

    John A. Cohn

  31. Pelao Manrique Says:

    Wow, what a nasty thread of comments! OK, I realize I come to this discussion very late, but I seem to be confused about the graph as presented (we are not told what the data are normailized to). More importantly, I think that the devil mixed the label in the curves. The red curve must be the normalized inflation (which can go up and down with time), and the blue line must be the minimum salary (which is highly unlikely to ever go down with time). if not, the devil’s argument doesn’t hold. That is, values in the red curve almost invariably exceed those in the blue, and this would indicate that minimum salary have historically outpaced inflation. It would also mean that the rate of increase of the minimum salary has been slightly higher (but maybe not statistically different) from the rate of inflation. In any case, regardless of the labels, I think the rate if increases of the two variables are probably the same.

    Miguel, can you please clarify?



  32. Glenn Says:

    Great news today! Chavez is going to reduce bank reserves because the theft of oil royalties may not be enough to buy the election and he is promising 100% employment on top of that. So now maybe you can get a new refrigerator and a government job! What more could you ask for. ( what a prick).

    Chavez should share a jail cell with Qaddifi

  33. m_astera Says:

    A_Antonio wrote:

    “GPD have no real economic meaning in Venezuela; only to show how rich Chavez and close followers are. Half of the country belongs to Chavez; expropriate companies some buy with people’s money (because majority are waiting to be paid) are treated like they are owned by Chavez followers, at Chavez name. Barinas is a Chavez Family farm.”

    Well at least now we know what 21st Century Socialismo is; same thing as 12th Century feudalism.

  34. Nobody has ever banned for using profane language their posts are erased, in this case you the profane language is not an insult to your person.. Funny, it is mostly the Chavistas that ask that people be banned.

    Is it one trilion or not?

  35. Pygmalion Says:

    Hmm…I recall otehr people being banned from posting comments on this site for the profane language used by Kepler. Are you going to bam him Miguel, or is it one rule for the opposition and another one for chavistas?

    Ke´pler – I refuse to even engage in conversation with foul mothed individuals such as you. Claen up your act, please.

  36. Kepler Says:

    That “economist” Pygmalion forgot that Brazil and Peru had worse inflation rates back then…Venezuela is now on its own league in the whole American continent.

  37. Span Ows Says:

    My question about why there has not been another Carqacazo is completely valid.

    …because prices at the pumps hasn’t increased. 40 to 50 litres for one official dollar isn’t going to upset anyone. Chavez has the paperwork on his desk, he knows it must go up, it is stupidly cheap, but he knows it will be unpopular (as has every other Ven politician. he must wait until he can blame someone else. Also the fact that more people die on Venezuelan streets than in Iraq would mean trouble makers are dead and many folk daren’t go out.

    Just as the facts I state about inflation being 100%+ in the 1990′s with salaries frozen is also true.
    selective figures out of context help no debate

  38. A_Antonio Says:

    I found the resent discussion of GPD very futile, because do not represent real progress, not represent real development and isn’t real benefice to Venezuelan people.

    GPD have no real economic meaning in Venezuela; only to show how rich Chavez and close followers are. Half of the country belongs to Chavez; expropriate companies some buy with people’s money (because majority are waiting to be paid) are treated like they are owned by Chavez followers, at Chavez name. Barinas is a Chavez Family farm.

    Very futile.

  39. Kepler Says:


    Can you address the issue about oil prices? You are an economist, right? You know what it means that oil prices go from $12 per barrel to ever higher levels and now to >$100?

    Or are you going to tell me now: “well, it was lower in 2001 than in 2000 and lower in 2009 than in 2008” (never mind they were still way higher than any time before in the nineties).
    Te la vas a pasar haciéndote el idiota? O el que realmente quiere respuestas honestas y estás honestamente tratando de ver porqué?
    Fuck off…I am surprised some others here don’t see you for what you are. You will never address what I just mentioned.

  40. Kepler Says:

    What really pisses me off, Pygmalion, is that you claim to be an economist, thus someone who should know much more about economics than a computer engineer or a teacher or a physician or whatever, and you do not seem to grasp the meaning of

    oil barrel at $12-20 for years versus oil barrel at several times that amount


    oil subsidies as being subsidies for the better-off in Venezuela and

    even if Venezuela has lots, lots of oil, it takes a lot of money to process it and convert it into petrol and oil subsidies are given that grace to the better off – people like you – and not the majority.


  41. Kepler Says:


    OIL PRICE, the answer is oil price.

    Can you please respond to that or you are going to say now: “no, porque me insultasteeeeelerolero”.

    Oil price: it is only because of that that the military are now in power.
    (and if you don’t believe it’s the military: Chávez is a military as most of his governors and half of his ministers, the rest being former ex-guerrillas or people whose parents (Falcón) or brother (Barinas) are military.

    Perhaps you did not get this in your economic studies, but if a government gets not 20%, not 50%, but over 600% more money, even if it did nothing for that (it was market, it was China, India), that government is bound to have enough to accomplish populistic measures.

    So it does not matter whether the government steals 10 times more than the worst government we had, it does not matter if 3 times more people get killed (as long as it is not your own child): if you are the average Venezuela, you vote for such a person.

    How can you explain Venezuelans voted for CAP in 1988?

  42. deananash Says:

    m_astera, thanks….that opening disclaimer sure got my attention. If you don’t ever hear from me again, it will probably be because I’m too stupid to realize that the laws of nature apply to me as they do to everyone else. 😉

  43. moctavio Says:

    Pygmallion: The precise GDP number, recently updated in the BCV website is:

    1,011,773,859 thousands of Bolivars

    Divide by the official rate of exchange and you get the only correct number there is for GDP in US$.

    It ain’t 300

  44. m_astera Says:


    Here’s the link to an info page at PESN:

    The link to Jackson’s open-source working group at yahoo is at the bottom of the article.

  45. Dillis Says:

    OTT :

    Corpoelec employees will get a day off Monday if they go on the Chavista march tomorrow. I am no expert on Venezuelan employment law, but this can’t be legal!


  46. Miguel Octavio Says:

    That last bit about the one trillion seals who is the one that refuses to understand, learn and read. GDP is one trillion Bs. almost exactly according to the Venezuelan Central Bank, you must have a different more divine source or you juts made up the number.

    I deal with facts, you deal with your invented reality, how can it be 300 billion $ if the BCV says otherwise?

    I have no hopes for the opposition in 2012, so I have no clue about what you are talking about.

    Finally, understand that trolling is talking about what you want, not about the post. You think this is your blog and always go on a tangent that has nothing to do with the post. Start a blog, see if anyone reads your empty words. You finally replied on GDP and once again it shows you have no desire for the truth if you cant just look up a single official number and continue to spew your BS.

    And Chavez is destroying Venezuela, if that makes me a rabid anti-chavista, so be it.

  47. deananash Says:

    m_astera Thanks for your comments. Can you direct me to some good sites about the Telsa coils? I’m interested in exploring them….Where did you receive your info?

  48. Pygmalion Says:

    paal – the answers and comments on my comment by Kepler (who is too ignorant not to write insults) and Miguel Octavio who believes that if one is not a radical antichavista than one has to support Chavez, simply illustrate that their arguments are guided by bile and hatred.

    My question about why there has not been another Carqacazo is completely valid. Just as the facts I state about inflation being 100%+ in the 1990’s with salaries frozen is also true.

    If thngs are so catastrophic and apocalyptic as Kepler and Miguel Octavio make out then it is difficult to explain why in this week’s ediation of Quinto Día the front page headline talks about an “empate técnico” between Chávez and the opposition. Recognize that there is a lot of work to do in the coming months.

    What Kepler and Miguel Octavio do not recognize and are incapable of realizing is that the tactics they and the private media want to use to defeat Chavez in the elections have not worked in 12 years and are unlikely to work in 2012. The opposition in the AN makes a complete fool of itself instead of trying to be constructive. Their discourse will not win over wavering voters who are key to unseat Chavez.

    Surely the strategy is to win the presidential elections in 2012 and insults plus virulent comments and disinformation are not contributing to this but merely sidetrack the efforts we all should be making.

    Finally I am amazed that a short comment with facts and a valid question could cause such a furore. This only proves that there is not much confidence either in the strategy being employed or the facts being presented. Sorry but if it were otherwise then reactions would be more moderate.

    Miguel Octavio – stop being infantile by writing GDP is one trillion Bs. when you and we all know that it is US$300 billion. 🙂

  49. m_astera Says:


    Oil could work as a basis for a currency today; it certainly makes more sense than the present base for currency which is the “promise to pay” loaded onto the citizen taxpayers’ backs while the central banks continue to churn out fiat debt at interest.

    It seems to me that all things that have served as real money have been a store of energy (emphasis on “real”). Why not use something that actually is energy, e.g. oil? I think all of the ordinary people of the world would breathe a sigh of relief to have their money actually backed by something once again, anything of intrinsic value. The advantage that gold had, and still has, is that it is not consumed or used up. A disadvantage is that there are probably only around 4 billion ounces of gold above ground, less than one ounce per person today.

    I also like your sly idea of using the oil debt owed as a stimulus for the development of alternative cheap energy, but there is a lot of resistance from the electrical power companies and the oil sector to overcome to actually get something like that into the hands of the people. All of the forms of “alternative energy” that are presently allowed by the PTB have a negative ROI (return on investment) whether solar, wind, tide, or biofuels except perhaps on a very small and local scale. I can make a wind generator out of a couple of pieces of ABS pipe and a permanent magnet motor and use that to charge batteries to run my lights at home, but the economics don’t work on a large scale.

    That said, I recently joined an online open source project working with a modern version of Tesla’s coils and the broadcast energy concepts he devoted the second half of his life to. It’s looking good so far.

  50. A_Antonio Says:

    Let me add to Island’s comment that Venezuelan oil reach today 110 $ per barrel.

    …And let me ask One Question like Luis Herrera Campins decades ago (when only in dreams you can bet for the oil a this price):
    Where is the money?.

  51. firepigette Says:


    I don’t like insulting trolls either because it just makes the thread childish and boring, so mostly I ignore them.

    As for medicine, I disagree with you about Venezuelan doctors.Many are quite investigative- but of course there are good and bad.To do medical research you need to be a good scientist, to treat patients you need to perceptive and knowledgeable.

    As for science, I respect it immensely, but you cannot pretend it to be the only source of trustworthy knowledge.There are many things you can prove on your own that we have no way to prove them scientifically.Somethings are understood through verbal logic, others through direct perception, others through intuition, etc…and don’t forget, somethings are called scientific when they are not actually.We need to have an open mind to perceive truth wherever it lies and that means thinking both inside and outside the box of science.

  52. island canuck Says:

    Another great success of Socialism 21st Century & our supreme leader.

    The public school food program is paralyzed in 13 states due to the central government not paying what is required by law.

    As Miguel says let Pyg or any other Chavista justify this incompetence. They won’t of course.

  53. moctavio Says:

    Paal: There is a characteristic to trolling behavior, that is what this character does, never responds, just throws lies or factoids up and never faces up to them. Claims not to be pro-Chavez but his defense of Chavez is total, contradicts himself from post to post and never discusses the post. Take this post, it is about a lie that Chavez said, what does Caldera have to do with it? I despised Caldera, but hey, in his 5 years he kept up with inflation and oil was $12, but this troll comes and says he did not.

  54. A_Antonio Says:

    I agree with Paal that I would like to see less insult and more arguments when we discuss with a Chaviztas.

    The problem with them is we can se from miles a way they do not believe what are they say, the say something “a virtual reality” only to protect a way of things going in Venezuela that only benefits their self, and they piers. They know Chavez is a failure and they do not think to care, to say the contrary.

    Thais way is very difficult to discuss with them.

  55. paal Says:

    I have no intention on glorifying anything about Cuba, and, having done research within the Cuban health ministry, I am quite familiar with the failures of the system. It is not a great system, but compared to the dismal state of the rest of the society it is working better. Regarding Venezuelan doctors, like in most countries, you have good and bad ones. I for one, try to stay healthy and far away from the private clinics my health insurance pays for, as what I mostly get is somebody subscribing me 40 pills of antibiotics, 20 pankreosil and 30 pills of whatever else, plus trying to convince me to do all kinds of expensive tests. Good health personnel in Venezuela have to first overcome an inherently unscientific culture, something a lot of them fail to do.

    Most Cubans living in Cuba has been mindfucked to not be able to think rationally about society, but in natural sciences they are very strong and rational, despite a huge lack of resources due to failed economic model.

    I didn’t know Pygmalion claimed to be an economist. Still, I don’t see any good in insulting him, when you can do that through logical arguments. It is a real problem when we cannot discuss something with people we disagree with without insults.

    I’m sure I’m gonna get flamed now, but I say this because it needs to be said: In Venezuela a lot of people want to isolate themselves in their own position, in this case by failing to recognize the benefits of the health sector in Cuba. I read this blog because it is one of the few places where the author takes a scientific approach, which means you can actually trust the information. A person who sees only black and white can not be trusted as a source of information. And when you have a nation of those you have a nation unable to understand itself or its past.

  56. Kepler Says:

    And I agree with Antonio. I have quite some friends who are doctors and they work in public hospitals for the love of it and they can be quite critical of anything Venezuelans do but they have told me how the real level of those Cubans are. They have had to rescue a lot of patients after these have been treated by the Cuban “doctors”. A couple of those Cuban doctors themselves have approached them and said: “doctor, me puede decir cómo se hace esto…es que nosotros no…” and the guys use technology from the fifties.

  57. A_Antonio Says:

    I disagree with paal in one thing. The effective Cuban’s health system is the last lie to are missed to get down in Castro’s System.

    I talk with some ones who flow to Cuba to receive health treatment, and they told me they treat like fourth class citizen their own nationals compare with international patients.

    And I found that Venezuelan nurses have more knowledge in medicine than most Cubans doctors that came to Venezuela.

    Nothing good from Castros and communism in the Island.

  58. Kepler Says:

    abstenTion…and other typos, sorry.

    This is one of the charts I produced. It is not neat, but you can see the problem:

    The oil price hike of year X is plotted next to GDP growth of year X+1.

  59. Kepler Says:


    Oil prices are the Alpha and Omega of parasitic Venezuela and that has been so before Chavez. But now we have something we did not have ever since 58: ever higher prices, if not always than the year before, always higher than the year when Hugo was elected…ever higher than in the decade prior to when that military thug came to power.
    That is it all. And Venezuela is high on oil – more than ever -. I have shown though a simple chart one simple thing: those military thugs need not just higher oil prices, but higher oil price hikes just to deliver the same growth.
    That is absolutely madness and the fact a guy like Pygmalion, who claims to be an economist, does not seem to see that or pretends not to, is very telling, just as it is very telling he, even if he claims to be an economist -thinks petrol for free is a right and it’s good for Venezuela (and not just for the privileged).
    So we do have the right to insult that idiot.
    The question is absolutely stupid.
    You give Venezuelans alcohol, food and some circus and you have them at your knees…at least half of them. With 35% abstension and a little bit of CNE help you have them like that unless oil goes down $60 or so for several years…mark: well above the highest price it got in the nineties

  60. Roger Says:

    Chavez brings new meaning to the term populist While many countries that have oil have raised wages and subsidies, to keep the populace from overthrowing them, those that have no oil are scrambling to help the poor weather high international food prices of basic foodstuffs. It should also be noted that none of these other countries have been destroying private business and agriculture and thus local production and jobs that are less dependent on international markets. They try as hard as they can to build their economy! Worst that being a populist, Chavez is an inept Marxist, Socialist or National Socialist. Though inefficient, there is historical data that it can work in some cases. Vietnam being a good example.
    Caldera’s populist actions besides making the economy and inflation worse made it possible for Chavez to be elected with his great promisses that bring Venezuelans to this point.
    Meanwhile in Chavez’s secret room in Miraflores there is a magic mirror that some say was once owned by Bolivar. Every day Chavez goes to the mirror and sez “Mira Mira on the wall, who is the most populist of them all?” and the mirror always answers ” Manual Rosales is the most populist of them all!” Of course we all know the rest of the story.

  61. paal Says:

    Hi guys,

    I think we all should try and discuss without insults. Pygmalian is in all his right to disagree. And his question is valid. Why has there not been a Caracazo? For me that question has two answers: 1. Chavez is very good at cooking the frog slowly. 2. Unlike the 70s and 80s, 90s was already shitty so the negative change is not so strong as from the early 80s to the late 80s.

    Finally I would like to ask Pygmalion to consider what justification a “social” government has if it is incapable of improving the general population’s living conditions in a lasting fashion. Cuba has Latin America’s highest educated workforce, but is still unable to fulfill even basic needs beyond health services. Chavez in the end is just like Castro, a a guy justifying his complete failure by a false claim to improve the situation for his population. The difference between the models is that Chavez is still able to squeeze some productivity out of the national and international private sector.

  62. ElsaLario Says:

    I dont know who this Pygmallion is, but you are full of it. During Caldera’s five years in power (the second worst Government after Chavez in Venezuela), the value of the minimum salary in terms of purchasing power INCREASED, in contrast with this graph that shows that during Chavez it did NOT. During Caldera, there was no oil windfall, so you can go stick your you know what you know where with your lies.

  63. HalfEmpty Says:

    Fish hooks, whiskey and penacillin are the only real currency.

  64. HalfEmpty Says:

    Excellent idea, we could sell maize, wheat and aircraft the same way. It would make much more sen… no… wait…

  65. deananash Says:

    m_astera, your points are interesting and I’d have to say ‘spot on’ regarding the “humanitarian” aspects of this latest war, vis-a-vis the other non-wars.

    Regarding the dollar as the world’s currency, I’ve been expounding the dropping of the USD in favor of a barrel of oil. I mean, why use gold when you could just as easily use oil? It’s 2011 and you no longer need to physically carry the currency, you just press a few buttons.

    And really, isn’t oil the ‘gold’ of today’s world? A couple of hundred years ago, energy just wasn’t that important. Today, it’s paramount.

    An easy way of beginning this would be for China to only buy new US debt if the repayment were in oil – not in US dollars – based on today’s price. For example, if oil is $100/barrel, and China buys 100 million dollars of US debt (T-bills), then America would owe China 1 million barrels of oil (plus interest) at the maturity of those bonds.

    At some point, America would owe the world so much oil that it would become very economically feasible to really pursue alternative energies. And when America succeeded in developing them, then that technology would be available to everyone – it would be in America’s self-interest to see that everyone pursued these alternatives to oil. Then the price of oil would plummet and America would be off the debt hook. However, China and everyone else would also win as the energy that they consume would likewise be cheap.

    Miguel, your thoughts on my idea?

  66. Trucutu Says:

    Hey Mr. Know it all Pygmaleon, then CAP was the best President Venezuela had in the 70’s, Total Poverty reached 24% with oil at fifth of what it is today.

    But you have selective red memory, the worst kind.

    Chavez is destroying PDVSA and ou will blame someone else one day.

  67. HalfEmpty Says:

    Pygmalion used to have to shop in the Mercal, but with the recent success of the revolution it’s umm…. Mall Fare Laddie.

  68. Kepler Says:

    You said you work in Venezuela an economist or something like that. Is that true? Can you be more concrete or you are afraid we can find out who you are?
    You never address the points, but here it goes:

    * why things are different now?
    Do you know what the average price for an oil barrel was in 1982? In 1988? In 1992? In 1998? In 2000? Every year after that?

    Do you know what Brazil’s inflation was in the Caldera time? Peru’s? And do you know where Venezuela stands today with regards to inflation compared with Peru and Brazil and every other country in America?

    Pygmalion, you are a Chavista wanker. You pretend you are analytical, critical. You are not. You are a troll, a silly troll.
    If you really have a job other than perrocalentero in Venezuela, the country is really fucked up. You even think petrol for almost free is a birth right of yours and not an injustice. You claim to know about economics. You should really go to Plaza Venezuela and sell hot dogs there. Of course, it would be more difficult to send subsidized dollars to your daughter in Europe for her to buy gadgets, but at least you would be doing something you may be qualified to do: preparing hot dogs for Venezuelans.
    Piss off, man. You contribute to nothing here or in Venezuela

  69. Canadian Says:

    Chavez is NOT too far behind his Cuban father (Fidel) in this SPORT. If you don’t believe me then ask Donald Trump.

  70. Isa Says:

    Hey Pyg, have you compared housing units under your fake hero and under the terrible Caldera Government? I am starting to like Caldera, a lot and I hated him.

  71. GeorgeS Says:

    That garph is a VERY POOR showing for the revolution, but the point is Chavez lies, do you read what Miguel writes or just want to show your rojo rojito stupidity.

  72. GeorgeS Says:

    Heay deadbrain Piggy, have you considered that oil prices were 6 times lower when the Caracazo took place and ten times lower than when Caldera was President, or is that irrelevant in your empty Chavista brain?

  73. moctavio Says:

    I hope one day you learn how to read, not only text but particularly graphs. Yes, and things are fine at the universities, those Friday protests have also dissappeared.

    And GDP is one trillion Bs.

  74. Pygmalion Says:

    Thanks goodness that salaries are not frozen as in 1994 and 1995 when inflation was around 100%+. Now that would be something to complain about.
    Since 1983 Black Friday the economic situation has simply gone from bad to worse during all governments due to inflation and price speculation. If things were as bad as the privater media pretend, then why have we not had another Caracazo? just wondering.

  75. m_astera Says:

    Just for fun I did the calculations for what 144 metric tonnes of gold is worth in dollars today:

    144,000 kg x 32.15 troy oz/kg = 4,629,600 oz

    At $1500/oz that is $6,944,400,000.00; around seven billion dollars. Chickenfeed, really. The US and NATO have surely spent more than that on their little mission so far. However when you add this in:

    “The objective of the war against Libya is not just its oil reserves (now estimated at 60 billion barrels), which are the greatest in Africa and whose extraction costs are among the lowest in the world, nor the natural gas reserves of which are estimated at about 1,500 billion cubic meters. In the crosshairs of “willing” of the operation “Unified Protector” there are sovereign wealth funds, capital that the Libyan state has invested abroad.

    The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) manages sovereign wealth funds estimated at about $70 billion U.S., rising to more than $150 billion if you include foreign investments of the Central Bank and other bodies.”

    …..it starts to become clear why protecting the innocent civilians of Libya takes precedence over worrying about the protesters being shot down by government and Saudi forces in Bahrain.

    Gotta love those humanitarians.

  76. m_astera Says:

    Totally off topic, but it does have to do with Esteban’s buddy and finance, and I thought it interesting:

    According to the IMF, Libya’s Central Bank is 100% state owned. The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. It is significant that in the months running up to the UN resolution that allowed the US and its allies to send troops into Libya, Muammar al-Qaddafi was openly advocating the creation of a new currency that would rival the dollar and the euro. In fact, he called upon African and Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make this new currency, the gold dinar, their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US and the rest of the world only for gold dinars.

    The US, the other G-8 countries, the World Bank, IMF, BIS, and multinational corporations do not look kindly on leaders who threaten their dominance over world currency markets or who appear to be moving away from the international banking system that favors the corporatocracy. Saddam Hussein had advocated policies similar to those expressed by Qaddafi shortly before the US sent troops into Iraq.

    I wonder how much gold is in the vaults at the Venezuelan Central Bank? (my guess: 0)

  77. torres Says:

    I’d love to see the same graph for Poder Adquisitivo, ideally of the total population and not just those with jobs. Barring that, is there a way to factor in the number of those employed at salario minimo?

  78. tleon Says:

    Surprise, surprise Chavez told a lie. The facts are if he opens his mouth and utteres a word; it is a lie.

    Relax, sit back, go to the beach and have a Polar at least then you will be doing something other than whining.

  79. Andres F Says:

    Off topic- Celebrating Hitler in Colombia:

  80. Andres F Says:

    Normalization – noun
    Normalize – verb (normalized – past)

  81. A_Antonio Says:

    In the graph “(Noramlizaed)”? What it means?. Did you means normalizated?

  82. Alexander Says:

    I would suggest to use a different price variable to deflact nominal salaries as relative prices in Venezuela does mean nothing, are totally distorted. The best way to measure or comapre vital salaries is some kind of effective exhange rate, particularly from January 2003 when exchange rate and prices controls were imposed. Accordingly I did my own calculations only for two years.
    I continue bellow in spanish.

    Salario Minimo 2011: pese al aumento de 26% el salario minimo queda en 322 $ calculado a una tasa de cambio efectiva de 4.8 Bs/$ es menor en términos reales que el salario minimo del 2010 que era de 355 $ y calculado a una tasa efectiva de 3.2 Bs/$. La devaluacion de Enero de 65% se comio el aumento y parte del salario. I could be done backwards until 1999, but it does not make really any sense to me.

    This gives us an idea of purchasing power of the “salario minimo” in re3al temrs (dollars terms).

  83. Kepler Says:

    Thanks for this, Miguel.
    Now look: I am carrying out a poll in my blog for Venezuelan citizens. I am asking where they were born. Distrito Federal, Miranda, Carabobo and Zulia are not just the main places, but their over-representation compared to Venezuela’s real distribution is very telling.

    Let’s be clear: the mean Venzuelan does not have Internet access, does not live in Caracas, Valencia or Maracaibo, does not read a newspaper unless it is something like Ultimas Noticias or worse and does not have – I repeat – does not have a passport and has never been abroad unless that abroad is Colombia or perhaps the border with Brazil – at most.
    The mean Venezuela is probably in his twenties and if you see all what I said before you will see he is NOT your UCV/USB/UC student.
    He was underage when Hugo came to power.

    And we cannot go on spending time explaining things in Globovision or El Nacional. We need other methods.

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