Archive for December, 2013

Announced Offcial Results Of Venezuelan Election at 10:06 PM

December 8, 2013

The “best” electoral system in the world can only give official results after 4 hours and six minutes after polls closed.

Tibisay is happy because abstention was 52% and can not read it well. She said 98% participation to begin with.

257 municipalities have so called “irreversible” results.

PSUV 196 municipalities

MUD 53 municipalities

Others 8 municipalities.

PSUV 4,584477 votes 44.16%, MUD 4,252,082 40.46%

PSYV and allies 5,106,336 votes 49,24%, MUD+ allies 4,435,097 42.72%, Others 8.03%

Municipio Bolivar, PSUV Anzoategui 52%

Municipio Apure PSUV 65%

Municipio Barinas MUD 51%

Municipio Heres PSUV 47%

Valencia MUD 55%

Cojedes PSUV 54%.6

Arismendi 51% MUD

Sucre, Sucre PSUV 54%

San Cristobal MUD 67%

Trujillo PSUV 53.4%

San Felipe PSUV 49.5%

Maracaibo MUD 51.8%

Metropolitano MUD 50.8%

Some Results, Looks Even, As Expected (Updated)

December 8, 2013

Not that many polls closed, but all indications are:

Update 9:56 PM: Opo looks like winning San Felipe

Update: 9:37 PM: Initial reports from Barinas gave Chavismo a victory, it is now very close

Opposition lost Libertador (double digits)

Opposition won the Metropolitan Mayor’s office +2%

Opposition won Sucre (+7%), Chacao, Baruta, El Hatillo

Opposition won Barcelona, Lecherias and Valencia (5%)

Chavismo won Maracay, Caroni (+12%), Barinas (very close), Apure, double digits

Opposition wins Maracaibo.

Opposition wins Guatire, loses Guarenas.

Good source of data

Of the three biggies up for grabs, opposition keeps Maracaibo, loses Libertador and Maracay

Chavismo seems to win total votes, but Unidad may beat Chavismo (PSUV)

Municipal Elections Report, With Irregular Updates

December 8, 2013

Ba-yCpmIgAImSr5One person, one vote, Not sure what this group voting is. The Commissars checking purity?

It is close to 6:30 PM in Caracas and the cat and mouse game of whether to close voting centers or not has begun. I was never clear whether this matters or not, but seems to be repeated every tie.

Once again, the Government violated the law all day, with Maduro openly campaigning for some of his candidates and using political slogans. The First Ladyness did the same. What else is new?

Abstention is high as expected, which creates uncertainty on both sides, as it becomes difficult to tell where your candidates are doing well, as abstention can be heterogeneous. However, abstention can also be asymmetrical , which is what both Chavismo and the opposition fear at this time. The MUD knows the numbers look good for them in their traditional areas, but where the races are up in the air, there is uncertainty.

Maduro suggested results would be “tight”, could this be a warning that results will not be available until late?

PSUV Motorcycle gangs begin to drive around some cities including Caracas. Not clear what is their plan.

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Stay tuned.

Venezuelans Go To The Polls. Will It Matter?

December 7, 2013

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I am in Caracas and the excitement over the Mayoral elections is more or less that of an Iguana racing contest in a coastal town: Everybody goes, because there is nothing better to do. But nobody knows the iguana’s, so the betting is slow.

And in this case, Chavista candidates told Nicolas to please stay home and campaign, but don’t show up to raise my hand. So, the excitement is precisely that of whatever the local race may bring. In most places: who cares? How can one get excited about voting for Jorge Rodriguez, for example, the least simpatico and disagreable Chavista ever to hold office. He will likely win.

That is the type of election this is.

And polls claim that Nicolas’ strategy of declaring the war on commerce will work. Will work in that Chavistas that a month ago were thinking of staying home are now thinking of going to vote, as long as there are no lines and they can get something in return. Anything, but one carton of milk is not enough. Come on! We are a democracy! We have a price, but not that low…

So, gimme a break. I will go vote because I am a radical Chavista/opposition.The rest? The weather better be good, my candidate pretty and smart (sorry Potro, sorry Winston!) and I better be in a good mood to show up.  No threats please! And some giveaways are appreciated!

Which only means that the races will be close. Closer than the pollster say. They say that Chavismo has an edge. That Maracaibo and the Metropolitan area are in trouble for the opposition.

I say, that abstention will be the winner and will determine the winners. And that the opposition, Cadakazo or not, will come out on top in total votes. And I claim that rather than the 120 Mayors, an improvement over the less than 50 from the previous election, that the polls say, we will obtain around 140-150 cities, which still means Chavismo can claim a victory in the end with 175-178 cities.

So, the symbols are important. The Metropolitan Mayor, Libertador, Maracaibo, Maracay and Valencia will be the trophies that everyone will want to claim. And I think we lose Maracay and Libertador and that’s it.

But in the end it does not matter. The result will be “even” unless either side can win by 8% points and win some of the emblematic cities from the other side. Which I don’t think will happen, but abstention remains the wild card.

So, in the end it is likely to be a draw. Which implies Chavismo still has a level of support that the opposition can only wait for the Parliamentary elections of 2015 to try to do something about. Two long years from now, in which the revolution will try to press on its radical agenda, in the face of empty shelves, high inflation and Chavez’ weakling son as their leader.

Not a pretty picture, but in the end one that is not likely to change tomorrow even in the context of my predictions, which are considered to be on the very optimistic side locally.

But I call them as I see them. I don’t know whether to wish I am right, or wrong. That is how irrelevant Sunday’s results may be.

Maduro Now Set To Regulate Car (???) Sales

December 2, 2013

chery

President Maduro announced today that his war on inflation, prices and commerce will move over today…to cars. Yeap! For those of you that have been looking for a car to buy (or used for that matter) for the last two years and have not found one, you can rejoice, as, as of tomorrow, that non-existing car will actually go down in price, in another milestone for the revolution.

Maybe he should lower the price of toilet paper, while he is at it.

The story of the automotive sector is the same as that of most sectors of the the Venezuelan economy. The Government begins to squeeze out the private sector, destroying manufacturing capacity for the sake of socialism , favoring imports, particularly Government imports. The private sector gets fewer and fewer dollars and the Government gives out favors, charges commissions and uses the cars for political purposes. Of course, it is all sold as a big favor to the middle class, who supposedly will benefit from it. Maybe , like in the picture above, it will be the military middle class that gets the cheaper cars.

Car sales in Venezuela are down sharply in 2013. Total sales the first nine months of the year, according to Veneconomy were down 17.5% at 81,950 cars, but more importantly, sales of cars made in Venezuela were down 31.1% at 57, 236 units in the first nine months. For comparison, in 2007, car sales were 491,000, of which close to 200,000 were locally made.

Car makers in Venezuela are owed US$ 1. 8 billion today and find the flow of foreign currency spotty. Last June they had a big burst of  Cadivi payments, which by now have disappeared.

Meanwhile, cars imported by the Government are increasing. Veneconomy reports that while SEAT and Honda have not been given licenses to import cars for six years, independent importers related to the Government have been give licenses to import Chinese cars from distributors which are not even China based. They expect that 30,000 such cars will be imported this year. I wrote about some of these imports a couple of months ago.

Then there are the four car assembly projects which involve the Venezuelan Government, including the Chery project, which claims to be making 18,000 cars a year and will expand in the nationalized plant of another Chinese company called Great Wall. The other projects, including Venirauto, are seldom heard about. But are reportedly making some cars.

But the smoke and mirrors continue. The Government announced with great fanfare the Productive Venezuelan Automotive System, sort of like Gran Mision Vivienda for cars, and close to 400,000 people registered for it. About 3,800 people have so far received a car so far.

And today will be the crowning glory, as Maduro regulates car sales and sets car prices to go down. If you can ever find one.

Fortunately, as reported in Fausta’s blog, we have enough ambulances that they can be used for other purposes, such as electoral campaigns:

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Maybe they should sell ambulances to the public.

You have to love socialism.