Nicolas Maduro: Clueless in Miraflores

January 12, 2014


In the traditional structure of a Government, the Vice-Minister or Under Secretary plays a key role in that he or she runs the Ministry or Department, while the Minister or Secretary, a more political appointment, takes care of the political side, going to public functions and the like. In Venezuela, it used to be the same, the Vice-Minister was a more managerial, less political person, who would run the day to day administrative aspects, while the Minister attended functions, Cabinet meetings and the like. The Vice-Minister also took the place of the Minister when the Minister was away. Under the Vice Minister, there were the “Directores”, who ran each area of the Ministry. Obviously, Vice-Ministers have more perks than “Directores”, higher salaries, cars, body guards and the like.

When Chávez came to power, he began “inventing” Vice-Ministries, mostly to reward buddies who had done something for him, but could not be named Ministers or Vice-Ministers at the moment. I clearly remember when Merentes lost the race for President (Rector) of Universidad Central de Venezuela His grand ambition) and I heard he had been named Vice-Minister of Finance, which made me wonder who would run the Ministry in the absence of the fairly competent person who was Vice-Minister. But there was no problem, Merentes was actually appointed to a new Vice-Ministry, created by Chávez just to thank him for services rendered. Later, when Maduro became Minister of Foreign Affairs, he created three Vice-Ministries, each in charge of different regions of the world. The funny things is, in time, his close friend and confidant Temir Porras, now disappeared from the Government, began covering two of the three, as Maduro trusted him and could not find someone else to fill the third Vice-Ministry.

And now, in a clear sign of how clueless Maduro is about management and how to run a Government, he creates 111 new Vice-Ministers to accompany the thirty Ministers that accompany in his Cabinet. The hilarious thing is that the decree creating these new positions (Decree 730) actually says that this “optimizes” the structure of Government, not once, but twice.

Just imagine, now some Ministries will have as many as six Vice-Ministers, who will have to be coordinated by the Minister, the same guy who will have to spend half his day listening to Maduro, attending formal occasions and going to other meetings and functions outside the Ministry. The Vice-Ministers will be fighting for territory and budget and none of them will be in charge of administration, legal department and many others. Just not very efficient or “optimizing”

Even worse, each of these guys will spend the first month finding an office, getting bodyguards, cars and support staff for the new position. But hey! Everything is working so well in Venezuela that there is really no urgency to do things. Like there is a two month backlog at the Puerto Cabello dock, but there is now no wheat flower, so bread rationing has begun.

Wonder which Vice-Ministers (it overlaps many) are in charge of solving those two problems.

You can have fun reading the list of Vice-Ministers. You will be happy to know that the Vice-Ministry for the Supreme Social Happiness of the People (1.3) survives this restructuring. Or you may wonder why we need a Vice-Minister for Economic Cooperation in Foreign Relations (3.1), if we have one for each region of the world. Or how the four Vice-Ministries in Planning separate their responsibilities (5.1-5,4). Or what Socialist Industries (8.1) are all about. And what exactly does a Vice-Minister for International Tourism (9.2) do? Travel? And really, the Postal Service (20.3) is part of Science and Technology?

But nothing, absolutely nothing, will prepare you for the new Vice-Ministry for Social Networks (21.5). What does this person do? Create more failed “socialist” social networks?  Surf all day? Tweet all day? Monitor and spy on the “people” who use social networks? Block us?

We will soon find out.

But the message is clear: Maduro is so clueless, that he thinks somehow things will work better if each Minister has more and more Vice-Ministers under him or her, as if the number of people at high level can help solve problems, instead of people with the required knowledge. Or if they are chosen not for the loyalty but for their abilities.

But I am sure many of these new positions will be filled with current or former military officers, insuring that nothing will be done better or “optimized”, so the record of Chavismo remains unblemished in its inability to run and manage the country. They wll do exactly the oppite.

Maduro is simply, Clueless in Miraflores.

22 Responses to “Nicolas Maduro: Clueless in Miraflores”

  1. […] $5 says that Maduro’s regime will only increase whatever control it exerts over the private sector, Cadivi or whatever you call it. While he was at it, Maduro just created […]

  2. Ira Says:


    Paper shortages for VZ newspapers seem to be dominating the U.S. news cycle about VZ today.

    Isn’t paper still made from trees (and recycling)? And doesn’t VZ have a lot of trees? And haven’t nations been making paper since the days of King Tut? (In other words, we’re not talking rocket science here.)

    So why can’t VZ manufacture enough news print and toilet paper on its own?

    Rhetorical question, of course. And a sidenote question for those still living n the country:

    Whatever became of that book that Chavez came out with way back when? Can’t remember the name of it, but it was like his own Socialist Manifesto.

    Do they still sell/give this literary masterpiece away?

    • Kepler Says:

      We don’t produce nails since probably 1585 (and we probably produced nails for a couple of decades back then). Then we started to export wheat, then coffee, then cocoa, then oil.

  3. Kepler Says:


    After reading this:

    I assume the government is frantically thinking of ways how to announce a major devaluation yet again. I suppose such a devaluation would help them have some extra dollars reallocated for POLAR, right? Just for a couple of months or so.

  4. Dave Says:

    I guess its safe to say that the ALBA-1 Havana-Ccs cable is compromised. Fuck you very much ES

  5. Dave Says:

    Two wrongs does not make a right. You dont screw your country when it comes to national security.

  6. Dave Says:

    whover thinks ES is a godsend, I have news for you. Same goes for Assange. The WH must be fuming…. the NYTs David Sanger was privy to a lot of inside info for his book courtesy of Obama and now he screws them to get the story. Talk about mixed loyalties.

    • Kepler Says:

      Why don’t you make your Snowden rant at another blog on US affairs?
      You see a picture where Venezuela is shown as one of zones of access points and you think that’s enough to come back again with your rant about him.

  7. Dave Says:

    OT: The NSA and Venezuela. Thank you very much Edward Snowden you POS.

  8. LuisF Says:

    Viceministerios are just a cover up! Creditos ordinarios and adicionales will continue to be issued and the complete oficial budgets acrued and spent on fluff and noise.
    By the time all is said and done and this superstructure of useless overhead is implemented, la olla estara raspada, y la nacion quebrada!

    lista para el socialismo verdadero a la cuba.

    Dakaso to the Erario publico!!!!! a saquear………!

  9. Island Canuck Says:

    It’s now Jan. 14 & the government seems afraid or incapable of making important decisions.

    The available currency situation must be much worse than believed.

    We read everyday of the debts they have with various sectors like airlines (billions), automakers (billions) & now Polar with a debt of $400 million.
    The Polar debt is more worrisome than most as they are the only efficient food producer left in the country.

    The bakeries are closing because there is no wheat flour. Today’s report is that there is a shortfall right now of 1 million sacks of flour. These will not be replaced in a few days.

    The cupo electronico from CADIVI is still not active in the banks although it’s approved in your CADIVI account.

    The devaluation that everybody expects has not officially been announced.

    There is no SICAD auction this week (as far as I’m aware).

    The complete lack of leadership & transparency of this government of Maduro is, hard to believe, Much worse than Chavez. At least, right or wrong, he made decisions.and the country kept running.


  10. BUROCRASIA!!!! Su lechuguita

  11. jak Says:

    If there is no bread why don’t the people eat cake? Hopefully Maduro will say this soon 😉 It worked well the first time it was uttered

  12. bobthebuilder Says:

    I think you had it right at the start. These vice ministries are patronage for a weakened leader. Don’t expect any real decision making from these buffoons – unless they fancy getting slapped down.

    • Ronaldo Says:

      My sentiments exactly. The vice-ministers can also be publicly fired if something in the ministry publicly goes wrong. No need to sacrifice a perfectly good minister every month like Chavez did.

      Of course they will now need more acting deputy lieutenant assistant vice ministers to blame.

  13. geronl Says:

    333 Deputy Vice Ministers and 999 Assistant Vice Ministers to follow?

  14. Ricardo Says:

    Small nit: “no wheat flower” -> “no wheat flour”

  15. NET Says:

    The creation/appointment of extra Pooh-Bahs, apart from paying off political/military favors, is simply an attempt to follow/outdo the Grand Pooh-Bah himself (HCF).

  16. Gerry Says:

    I think you are missing the premise. Vice (vice,vice ad infinateum) ministers are being selected until every living Venezuelan becomes a minister, living off the Government payroll.
    Oil provides a very slippery slope (for the clowns).

  17. Kepler Says:

    I tried to capture all the viceministries in a concept chart and placed that in my blog (this time I posted it in German), but I don’t know if i missed one. I’ll check that out in the evening.

    I think we could have a poll about the favourite vice ministries. For me the one about the supreme social happiness topples them all.

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