Notes From A Visit To Revolutionary Venezuela

April 28, 2012

After a week in Caracas, where traffic has become absolutely unbearable, here are some things I heard:

-I met with my original “Chavez is sick source” who in May said that Chavez was sick, leading to my completely forgotten post, which was the first one on the matter. Well, turns out my source knew about it since February 2011. One day the whole story will be told and we will find that Chavez’ failing will be the same one that did him in in so many areas: A total disregard for expertise and know-how.

-In Chavez’ absence, the financial part of the Government is sitting there doing nothing. Giordani does not listen to Jaua, Merentes is ignored. The Central Bank needs a bond issue of either PDVSA or Venezuela bonds to supply its SITME foreign exchange system, but absent the All Mighty, nobody dares make the decision and he has paid little attention to the matter.

-Reporters in Caracas are seeing more contacts from high Government officials, curiously all of those with Presidential aspirations, than they have seen in thirteen years. Jaua sends half a dozen press releases every day, Ramirez has been calling reporters that he blacklisted in the past, Jorge Rodriguez thinks he could be anointed successor, while Diosdado has become the traveling President of the National assembly. Even Aristobulo has shown some interest. Only Maduro has been quiet on that front, which may mean absolutely nothing no matter what Bocaranda may say.

-After talking to many people, I came away with a feeling that Chavez may name a new Vice-President, Jaua is simply not liked, but he will not name a successor any time soon. This is better for the opposition and a very dangerous game for the revolution. If Chavez is not seen in public designating someone as the the heir to his revolutionary ideals, there will be a fight to death among various Chavista factions.

-While much has been made over the speech by Portuguesa’s Governor at PSUV’s campaign command meeting, I think the whole thing was overblown. Castro Sotelo is in charge of planning and he presented scenarios, one with a weakened Chavez, one without Chavez and one with no elections. But in his scenario (and in his speech), it is the opposition that does not want the election, not Chavez’ party. Go figure.

-Most local companies refuse to discuss publicly the impact of the new cost and price control Bill on their finances. They are simply paranoid about the Government even getting a hint that they are complaining. But Procter and Gamble guided down its profit forecast for the year, as Venezuela’s controls have chopped prices up by as much as 25%, cutting worldwide profits by 3%.

And yes, tomorrow is my predicted date, it may not happen, but I will not be that far off.

97 Responses to “Notes From A Visit To Revolutionary Venezuela”

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  5. […] any event, something appears to be happening. – In Chavez’ absence, the financial part of the Government is sitting […]

  6. […] any event, something appears to be happening. – In Chavez’ absence, the financial part of the Government is sitting […]

  7. Ira Says:

    Come on already–he’s flying back like TOMORROW for more treatment. After returning to VZ just last week?


  8. Johnny Walking Says:

    You know, I am thinking after I saw again that image that Jesus must be having a very tough hypertensive emergency and dear God does not have a clue about how to treat it. Poor Jesus must be thinking “wait until that SOB gets here.”

    • syd Says:

      Poor Jesus all right. Se le va a poner los pelos de punta cuando llegue ese malparido al cielo. It could change the face of christianity for ever. No more messages of peace. They’ll be history.

  9. Jeffrey Dalmer Says:

    I thinks its hysterical that he goes to Cuber for medical treatment. What a dumb shit. If Venz votes this clown back in then you all deserve the increase in shit sandwiches you will end up eating.

    • Roberto N Says:

      Thanks for the good wishes.

      Many of the same sandwiches to you, cabeza ‘e ñame.

    • Johnny Walking Says:

      Cuber? I guess you just ate a “shit sandwich,” and it went straight up to the microscopic pea in your cranial vault. Please, stick to your comic books, and let grown up stuff be discussed by adults. This blog is not anywhere near your turf.

    • Johnny Walking Says:

      And, who uses the term “hysterical” to refer to a serious situation a country is undergoing? Are you a Paris Hilton ladylike? Please, go away to get your manicure and leave us alone!

    • syd Says:

      hey, personer non grater, thanks for the link. now, run along and eat your pizzer.

  10. moctavio Says:

    From the world of Chavismo high tech: Let’s see, what the Cubans did is not working, maybe this will

    • Johnny Walking Says:

      Talk about failed cultures. That guy on the right bears some resemblance to Buhda. May be if he rubs his tummy, something good may come up for Thugo.

  11. Johnny Walking Says:

    “One day the whole story will be told and we will find that Chavez’ failing will be the same one that did him in in so many areas: A total disregard for expertise and know-how.”

    Literally, Chacumbele. Se mató el solito.

    However, brace for the narrative – again – that the empire killed him using some sort of powerful rays to induce his disease. And that it has to be true, because … the Cubans discovered this through their amazing technology.

    It’s all on twitter.

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      Can anyone imagine what is taking place behind closed doors at Miraflores? Right now,….today. The tension there must be through the roof. ‘Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.’ …Euripedes.

      Madness is taking place right now, behind closed doors. Just imagine having to deal with a guy like Chavez, a bipolar nut case. There will be many books written about what is taking place at these very hours…..

    • syd Says:

      Chavez’ failing was also due to a total lack of common sense. For unless he’s nuts (wha? impossible!), who in their right mind thinks that good practices in daily living include high amounts of caffeine, frequent hours-long harangues while seated, the stench of corruption swirling around one’s conscience, the anger and hatred towards scapegoats, and the hunger for power at any cost.

      • NET Says:

        And due to cowardice, when attacked with the first symptoms of cancer, not willing to face up to the reality with proper tests/diagnosis/follow-up–all right in character with his past actions as “Golpista” and “President.”

    • Hi, Johnny Walking,
      with hugo’s fertile imagination, he’ll also accuse the empire of keeping his cuban hospital rooms permanently radiated by the death rays. 🙂

    • gweh Says:

      Luv it…expecting same. Blame the gringos and advanced poisoning technique for producing the cancer

  12. CharlesC Says:

    “keep an eye on what the Chavistas-Cubans are doing.”-Did the cubans
    order the assissination of the General and the Lt. Colonel recently?
    What is really going on with all of these “other trips” to and from Cuba-not just
    Chavez- but -is it 4 planes per day back and forth?
    I think evenwith both eyes and ears on the chavista-cubans- we still don’t know
    what they are doing?

  13. Kepler Says:

    Perhaps the Cubans are trying to let us think he is alive when he is dead. Perhaps they want us to think he is dying right away so they can show him in one week and claim Chávez is the New Evita Peron…and they keep doing that until October and then he can drop dead soon after that.
    I don’t think it matters whether he is alive or not to keep an eye on what the Chavistas-Cubans are doing.

    • megaescualidus Says:

      I like to call Bocaranda “boca ‘e jarro” instead. Whereas in the past [I think] his hit rate was kind of low (he was more like a rumor spinner than anything else), lately he’s been more reliable. I’d think if HC was gone, “boca ‘e jarro” would know, and, honoring his nickname, he wouldn’t have waited to let the world know.

      • HalfEmpty Says:

        I hate to be morbid, but Vz is a tropical country. Even in former USSR I tried to visit the Tomb of Lenin (summer ((tourist)) and every time it was “under repair”. and this is with the worlds best preservationists, altho, Vz have many excellent plastic surgeons, their expertise might come in handy. What I’m saying is, Summer’s coming on and we’re running out of ice.

  14. Kepler Says:

    I notice you are really anxious and I understand, but I think it is for the best of us if we just wait until clear evidence is here. It doesn’t help us to speculate.

    • island canuck Says:

      Kepler, not so much anxious as skeptical. I don’t trust anything that the Cubans & Chavistas might have up their sleeves..

      Consider what would happen if he were actually already not with us. Wouldn’t they try & delay as long as possible to get all their vultures in a row? The twits, etc. don’t prove anything to me.

      Let’s see him sign the new LOT in person live on TV with some reference to news of today or yesterday.

      Then I’ll be convinced. If they spirit him back to Cuba without an appearance then they could keep the charade going for some time.

  15. megaescualidus Says:


    Happy birthday to you!!!

    But, I couldn’t resist to say, your predicted scenario (that HC would have been no more by your birth day) didn’t quite happen. As I’ve commented before, there’s nothing else (well, almost nothing else) that I wish more than Venezuela to move on from this nightmare it has been since HC won the ’98 elections. But, I won’t believe HC is gone until he’s [at least] “2 metros bajo tierra”. I really hope you’re right about “soon”. And, I really hope, sooner than later, certainly before (well before, even better) than the October elections.

    • island canuck Says:

      Does anyone consider that it may have already happened??

      We haven’t seen him for days. Someone arrived the other day on a plane but was that really him or photos from one of his many other arrivals?

      I won’t believe he’s still with us until I actually see him.

      • syd Says:

        well, Esteban is standing behind a lectern in el salón Simón Bolívar and in front of a large portrait of SB who looks very healthy. Not so, his deluded protegé, who has rambled about the new workers’ law, and has named JV Rangel to conduct a *study* about the possibility of removing Vzla from the Interamerican Commision on Human Rights.

        Setting the stage … or just threatening .. or both.

        • NET Says:

          Significantly, dressed in black, with a dark purple shirt (colors reflecting his true state and destination), and at the end bringing out the crucifix that “saved” him on October 12/13–luckily for the Country, he has always been/acted like an Atheist–no saving possible in this case!!!!

  16. vdpsc Says:

    Happy Birthday. Thank you for your work.

  17. Isa Says:

    Hugo: Where have you been the last 15 days, we have heard your voice and seen one picture, but that is so unlikely you. Are you alive?

  18. NicaCat56 Says:

    Happy birthday, Miguel! I hope ALL your wishes come true (the sooner, the better)!

    Jeez, Rojorojito! Just because you and your secuaces are desperately trying to find out just which rock to climb under or hole to slither down when the sh*t hits the fan, doesn’t mean you can just come in here and rain on Miguel’s birthday parade!!

  19. Manuel Says:

    Miguel, you met with your source and what new info did you learn? Man…you sure know how to make us come back to your blog!

  20. CharlesC Says:

    Sr.Diablo it’s getting late. Time for “la hora loca”!!
    What’s a birthday party without a bellydancer?

  21. Johnny Walking Says:

    The revolutionary, socialist, communist, marxist and everything else, “Colectivo La Piedrita” is on capitalist … Facebook! Really, you just cannot make up this stuff.

  22. blackwatertown Says:

    I’m a new visitor to here (though previously travelled round beautiful Venezuela by bus, boat and hitching in the past) – all interesting stuff.

  23. Rojorojito Says Chavez has many more years to live. Chavez 2030!!!!!!!

    Good for you! May your life be tied to his.

    • Ronaldo Says:

      This blog and the opposition do not want Chavez dead either. Just get him out of office and have him pay for his crimes. If he leaves office and lives forever, he will be able to see a better Venezuela for a long time.

  24. Ira Says:

    Okay, here I go–and mark this down:

    He’ll die on July 5th–or before.

    • Rojorojito Says:

      Don’t let yourbasic instincts cloud your good judgement. Chavez has many more years to live. Chavez 2030!!!!!!!

      • CharlesC Says:

        I have an idea- ask AN to give Chavez a furlough-a couple of months off-
        without pay of course. That way he can travel back and forth to Cuba and
        anywhere else- just don’t show up for work. Oh, and don’t touch
        the checkbook, and no expropriations,no signing any contracts, just relax
        and work on your apology list and how to pay back all you took from the
        Venezuelan people…

      • Johnny Walking Says:

        Sorry, pal. The Walt Disney method doesn’t work. Seriously. Ask Walt.

        • moctavio Says:

          What little faith you have, I would expect you to say he will be with us until 2070, when he will be 116 at least, supernatural religious figure are like that.

          • HalfEmpty Says:

            Hugo is an idea, he will never die. You keep preaching my friend, but remember to get out occasionally and have some fresh vegetables.

            Hail Red Sox!

  25. Ira Says:

    I think that the idea of an unknown successor to the fat little dictator hurting his fascist party has been overemphasized everywhere in the media.

    Although there are now elections (fair elections I won’t say based on draconian and fascist rules which favor Chavez economically and a million other ways), I think it’s more serving to view VZ similar to Cuba, N. Korea, and China.

    No one thinks about a successor in those countries, because they’re lost to true democracy. And unfortunately, VZ is a slight tip away from that as well.

  26. Dr. Faustus Says:

    If anyone were wondering as to the danger that lurks ahead for Venezuela during this period of government paralysis, one need only look at what may be waiting to fill the void, the street gangs/thugs of Caracas.

    Today’s Washington Post article is a must read:

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      Furthermore, the paralysis of the Venezuelan government is probably as a direct result of Hugo Chavez being diagnosed as ‘bipolar.’

      “….Navarrete revealed about Chávez’s precarious mental health in early 2002 — a period of seething political turmoil in Venezuela that was taking an emotional toll on Chávez.

      Chávez at the time was “very distressed,” Navarrete said, and “under intense pressure and physical exhaustion.” Accordingly, a team of psychiatrist began treating him.

      Chávez had reason to be anxious, for his grip on power was becoming increasingly tenuous. At the time, tens of thousands of anti-Chávez protesters — on the eve of a March coup against him — marched regularly in the streets, demonstrating against Chávez’s autocratic style and leftist agenda.

      Yet it wasn’t political turmoil alone that was provoking stress-related problems in Chávez. It was much more serious: Chávez is a “manic-depressive,” Navarrete said. He explained that Chávez’s “unstable mental states turn from euphoria to sadness — states in which the personality becomes dissociated and has episodes of loosing contact with reality. It is a very common disease in today’s world, described as bipolar disorder. President Chávez oscillates between these poles, more prone to euphoria, to hyperactivity and mania.”

    • Ira Says:

      I read the article this morning, and it’s pretty much agreed that these groups could be disarmed and neutralized with little trouble.

  27. Roberto N Says:

    Good things come to he (or she) who waits.

    Feliz cumpleaños, Sr. Diablo!

    Que cumplas mucho mas.

  28. His Final Curtain,
    when and if,
    will come with a whimper.
    It is but a death foretold.

    A departure long awaited by some,
    dreaded by creatures still peering
    at us from beneath their stones.

    Let the sunshine in.

  29. firepigette Says:

    I am not interested in speculating on Chavez’s demise though perhaps it would be better for him and for others that he pass on, as his life creates so much suffering for himself and others.But this is not something I bank on nor do I waste my time ruminating on.In my opinion it is better to deal with life or death as it comes, though if I were to project my imagination some….. so far I would “see” more suffering in his life than I could ever visualize in his possible death.

    Happy Birthday Miguel.All the best!

    • syd Says:

      Fortunately, there are many Venezuelans, in the country and outside it, who do not share your “here and now” views on life and death. Chavez’ imminent or near future demise represents:

      – hope to about 3 million Venezuelans, if not more, never mind how unrealistic that hope might be.

      – the need for contingency plans, among oppo politicians.

      – sorrow to millions of die-hard loyalists, now contemplating a future without their beloved leader.

      So the issue is on most people’s minds, and speculating is a morbid way to connect, perhaps alleviate the tension produced by uncertainty.

  30. Happy Birthday to you,
    we wish you many years more por cumplir to come.
    Your Blog is much appreciated.

  31. noel Says:

    Miguel, what about Cuba’s influence on the whole process? Cuba benefits hugely from oil imports from Venezuela and would have a wrenching adjustment to make if/when it has to pay market price. They also get political regional support from Chavez. With military and intelligence personnels well implanted in Venezuela, do you expect to get actively involved, if not in the presidenial election, at least behind the scene?

    • Noel Says:

      I realize that I skipped the word “Cuba” in the last sentence between “do you expect” and “to get…..”.

      • Jim Says:

        Does a bear shit in the woods? You answered your question buddy

        • Ronaldo Says:

          Is the Pope Cuban?
          Does Jimmy Carter have brains?

          • noel Says:

            Leaving aside the fact that you are very impolite, if it is so obvious that Cuba will do its best to influence the outcome of the election (if I understand you well), and if their impact is likely to be big, then why not talk about it? They may be a bigger factor than any other discussed here.

            • moctavio Says:

              Yes, I do expect the Cubans to attempt to play a role, but I think if Chavez is not around, they will not. The pro-Cuban generals are few and not loved. Diosdado is not pro-Cuba, I think taht is why he was imposed as President of the Assembly, the same with the Minister of Defense. The fear was that absent Chavez, who would control the Cubans.

            • Jim Says:

              What’s their to talk about? Who they are, where they are, what they do? Few here know anything about them. Capabilities, etc. That’s like the editor of the chavista daily that published Luis correa arrest…he was promptly shot in his garage. Sorry if I hurt your feelings

  32. CharlesC Says:

    There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents … and only one for birthday presents, you know.
    – Lewis Carroll

  33. VJ Says:

    Happy Birthday Devil…!
    Today´s top joke:
    “Nueva LOT beneficia con postnatal a más de 1 millón de mujeres del sector informal”

  34. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Frohes Geburtstag!

    When will Hugo Chavez come out of hiding?

  35. Kepler Says:

    I wish Miguel to be one of the key consultants for the Venezuelan ministers of science and technology from 2013 to 2043, after which he can retire to write and take pictures of orchids and ladies only. I will invite Miguel for an Ethiopian dinner with Belgian beer next time he comes over.

    • moctavio Says:

      Thank you, but no thank you. I worked for the Government for a long time, paid my dues already.

      • Kepler Says:

        Well, as a consultant you can work from your Limited Company and keep a certain distance :-). At least I hope you go for the dinner & beer, can be French-Belgian dinner & Belgian beer.

  36. syd Says:

    If the rumors are true (Boca et al), things are looking grim. Yet, in spite of all the damage this man has done, I get no pleasure from his possible agony.

    Happy Birthday, Miguel. May you continue to offer us careful opinions, rare among the spinners and weavers of a stretchy reality.

  37. ErneX Says:

    The guy has been surprisingly silent or away from any kind of public or filmed events since he came back from Cuba.

    They also had an event to celebrate the 2 years of his Twitter account @chavezcandanga, really, a whole theater with hundreds of people to celebrate a Twitter account. He wasn’t there either.

  38. Carolina Says:

    Miguel, Happy Birthday!

    The photo says all the stupidity that’s going around Chavez.

  39. Rojorojito Says:

    Sure miguel, he’ll soon be dead. Now, promise me you’ll send me a picture of yourself on oct 7 when chavez is reelected by over70% of the electorate.
    No amount of wishful thinking will make cancer come back
    No amount of wishful thinking will make you come back to power.
    No volveran!!!!!!

  40. Roy Says:

    I have begun to lose count of the number of significant power vacuums that will be created when Chavez shuffles off this mortal coil. In my mind, the number of ‘peaceful transition of power’ scenarios is shrinking daily as well as the likelyhood of those scenarios occuring.

  41. island canuck Says:

    Good morning Miguel.

    Happy Birthday!

    The painting was published on the website of the employees of the AN.
    Makes me want to throw up but illustrates the level of the cult worship that infects Chavismo.

    In truth with Chavez not appearing in public it’s like Easter Week – eerily quiet.

    The new labour law will only result in fewer opportunities for women of child bearing age & higher unemployment.

    The cost & prices law in addition to the labour law will push inflation & shortages even higher.

    The impending collapse of the electrical system is another problem.
    See VENEPIRÁMIDES for a great explanation:

    I really don’t see how these things are going to help win an election.
    They look more in line with “we know we aren’t going to win so let’s make it impossible for them to govern”.

    The rest of the year does not look good

    • Kepler Says:

      What? I thought Miguel had fotoshopped that picture and was just kidding! Oh, my! I have seen lots of ludicrous pictures of Chávez’s personality cult: Bolívar and Chávez, Super-Chávez, Chávez with a saint’s aura and so on, but that? Well, I reckon it could be worse: Jesus holding an i-Pad showing a Chávez.
      Happy Birthday!

  42. HalfEmpty Says:

    Heh, looks like an InstaLanch is in progress.

    That picture is screaming for a PhotoShope.

  43. […] OCTAVIO: Notes From A Visit To Revolutionary Venezuela. I hope he’s right about Chavez’s […]

  44. NorskeDiv Says:

    With Jesus blessing him (as seen in the picture!) surely Chavez regain his health, ontop of that Evo Morales got the native gods to bless him. Hopefully Mahmoud will get the Shia saints and Allah to bless him as well (has there been any update on whether Mahmoud has done this yet?? If so why not I thought Iran was a friend of Venezuela! Mahmoud, get on the ball with Allah… and quick Chavez is looking very ill!

  45. […] OCTAVIO: Notes From A Visit To Revolutionary Venezuela. I hope he’s right about Chavez’s […]

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