Nine Devilish Years, which makes me feel…exhausted!!!

August 4, 2011

A friend and reader sent me an email today and reminded me that my blog has been around one of these days for all of nine years. I checked and indeed it was born on Aug. 4th. 2002, exactly nine years ago today. Which makes me feel, when I think about it, like the picture above…


I thought this would be short and sweet, a two to three year project, which turned into a nine year night job…and counting…

But hey! See that tree at the end of the road, there is still hope! And I happen to be very stubborn and tenacious (Yes, I was born in late April). So, I will be around for a while.

Here is that first post:

Banana Republics 101 Part I

Most people who live in or are from underdeveloped countries take offense when anyone refers to their own or, for that matter, any other country, as a Banana Republic. The term originated in the Central American countries were the United Fruit Co. operated, but has come to signify countries which may not even qualify to be called countries because of the way they are run. I do feel like I live in one, when I try to explain to my friends from abroad any of the following:

-For the first time in ten years Venezuela has economists in both the Minisitry of Finance and the  Ministry of Planning. In the past, we have had a Mathematician, a Sociologist, an Urban Planner and an engineer, to cite a few. (Not true anymore in 2011, thyey got rid of the Economists, brought back the Mathematician and Urban Planner)

-Venezuela is part of OPEC, where it gets together with its most important competitors to decide how much each country should produce per day. Interestengly enough, Venezuela is the OPEC country, other than Iraq for different reasons,  that has reduced its production the most in the last thirty years. Despite this, few Venezuelans are convinced we should split from OPEC. Thats ok with me, but don’t you think we should even discuss it? (Still the case in 2011)

-There were mudslides in the coastal zones near Caracas in Dec. 1999. Estimates are that close to 40,000 people died. The US Army Core of Engineers offered to rebuild the coastal highway (for free!!) an send ships to Venezuela. The Government refused to accept the aid and the ships  turned back. To this day, three years later, the highway has yet to be completed. (Parts of it were rebuilt, some are a mess today in 2011)

-We say we live in a democracy. Despite this, only one candidate in the last ten years was elected in a primary of his party. He lost. (Still the case in 2011)

-There were riots this week in Caracas. Government supporters rioted for two days, shot people, blocked streets and created chaos in the city. The Government announced today that it had asked the Attorney General to investigate the abuses of the police when they used tear gas from a helicopter. The President has banned the flying of police helicopters over the city. There has been no call to investigate the rioters, where they got their weapons or who leads them. (Nothing ever gets investigated in 2011, except to screw the opposition)

Hate to see what a Banana Republic would be like…..

31 Responses to “Nine Devilish Years, which makes me feel…exhausted!!!”

  1. Susana Says:

    Miguel, I am happy we met and ate sushi together and that you have kept on informing so many persons about Venezuela’s reality, but… I wish this blog never had to come to life, I wish at least, it wasn’t about him anymore, I wish we were free, because even in our exile, all of us, Venezuelans, are chained to the pain of what he has done to our lives

    You are brave and I am glad this blog has been a constant in spite of chaos or because of that very chaos

  2. Roberto N Says:

    Congratulations Miguel. Thank you very much for all the blood, sweat and tears!!!!

    Hope you will keep on keepin’ on!!

  3. bruni Says:


    you have not been blogging for nine years. May I remind you your on-line “blogging” in Atarraya during the 1992 coup d’état of Chávez against Pérez?

    I have tried hard to find those messages in my own Atarraya archives and have posted queries around about them, but I have not been successful. You should do a special post asking your Internet readers to look them up, who knows, maybe one of them kept the files somewhere. If you ever find them and post them here, it would be a truly historic post. You were probably the only one “blogging” the 1992 coup d’état!

  4. Alek Boyd Says:

    Well done Miguel. As another almost-9-year blogger, I know what a huge effort it is, especially when one lives abroad. But as you say, we have to document the wretched chavista experiment, if anything, as a personal contribution to a better future in Venezuela.

  5. HalfEmpty Says:

    Greetings from Tallahassee. It is well and good that a man have more than 1 obsession, although I bet the Orchids hate every second you spend on this project.


  6. deananash Says:

    My sincerest CONDOLENCES, amigo. What a waste of life Chavez and his ilk have wrought. Still I’m beyond thankful for your documentation, to say nothing of your insights. Oh that you were President instead of the caudillo.

  7. moctavio Says:

    And last, I hope! But doubt it…

  8. liz Says:

    Diablillo, next year you’ll celebrate your first decade blogging!

  9. CharlesC Says:

    No me preguntes si te amo,
    porque esa pregunta me ofende,
    si pudiera colocar moneda sobre moneda
    para hacer una torre de todo lo que siento,
    créeme llegaría hasta el cielo

    These are some lines from an Anonymous poem-
    Cheers! Keep writing, pal. You are always very interesting.

  10. CharlesC Says:

    No importa que te mudes a otra galaxia,
    tu siempre estas aquí,
    y sobra decir que yo vivo en un mundo dentro de ti.

    Porque por más lejos que estés,
    por más preguntas que hagas,
    no importa el lugar donde estés,
    donde tu vives es aquí… en mi corazón

  11. David Says:

    David: Miguel yours is truly an tremendoes resource for all of us that live away from the motherland. Thanks for a great job

  12. yves Says:

    I’ve diffused your blog name around Colombia and Europe for the past
    2 years. Your edge on Venez’ financials is fascinating, it tells it all.
    Well deserved thanks for those 9 years.

  13. firepigette Says:

    Congrats for all the hard work dedication and heart

  14. moctavio Says:

    I was early, because my brother is a techie and showed me about blogs very early in the game. I can’t find a list of the chronological order of blogs, but the first one was Zonageek by Sebatsian Delmont, the second one my brother in Tyromaniac and the third one was the Devil.

  15. Juan Crespo Says:

    Miguel, you were the first blog i ever read. Since i read yours for the first time i can’t stop now. What you,and other bloggers offer is just unique and can’t be replaced by tv,radio,newspapers or other internet services.

    Thank you Miguel!!

  16. Gringo Says:

    Nine years indicates a lot of persistence, especially considering the high quality of what you write. Keep up the good work

  17. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Deinen blog hat uns alle gefreut! (Your blog has given us all much joy)

    Er, anyone notice the ‘drop’ in the price of oil today? Substantial. Off the cliff. What happens to the “expected” future oil revenues to PDVSA? Or did they project a continuous 107 dollars per barrel ad infinitum? We live in interesting times.

  18. clamto Says:

    Congrats Miguel. I’m one of those that checks your blogs daily to see what new analysis or commentary you have.


  19. LuisF Says:

    SAme here! thanks for a very enjoyable, very real blog!

  20. gerard Says:

    Miguel, thanks for all of these years. Even from The Netherlands you have a fan who reads the blog weekly! Greetings

  21. dianuevo Says:

    Congratulations Miguel. I am only following you for 5 years or so. Before that I did not even know where Venezuela was located on the globe ;).
    Keep up the good work. There are many of us who enjoy to read what you have to say.

  22. LD Says:

    Congratulations! A very good work! Keep going! Hope the change is coming, but anyway, your useful analysis should not stop then.

  23. moctavio Says:

    Thank you all, there was a lot of Serendipity in all this, if persistence is a role model, then it is.

  24. island canuck Says:

    Congrats Miguel.

    I really hope you keep this blog going.
    I have a feeling that the next 18 months are going to be the most incredible in the history of Venezuela.

  25. A_Antonio Says:

    Congratulations !!!

    But, I think Venezuela turn these years from a Banana Republic to a failed country like African Zimbabwe and Somalia. For worse, Some centroamerican countries like Panama, Costa Rica y Dominicana are heaven compare to Venezuela and they are receiving our emigrants.

  26. Juan Cristóbal Nagel Says:

    Congrats Miguel. You’re a role model.

  27. julie carbonell Says:

    dear Miguel
    Congrats and keep up the good work
    Julie Carbonell

  28. Jose Says:

    Congratulations and please keep the good work!!!

    PS. I hope that’s not you in the picture….are you growing breasts? 🙂

  29. ErneX Says:

    Here’s to at least 9 years more. Congrats, you do a great job with the blog.

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