Maduro’s Empty And Bizarre “Sacudón”

July 15, 2014

When I first began this blog, I overused hyperlinks. My reasoning was simple: Some of the things going on were so bizarre and difficult to believe, that my credibility was at stake if I did not indicate the source of what I was saying was happening.

This is no longer the case.

The way Venezuela is run, the things the country’s leaders say or implement, from the Ozone tax, to President’s that talk to birds to 20 billion dollars rip-offs (twice), by now people have become accustomed to the bizarreness of the revolution.

But somehow, the Bolivarians never cease in amazing and surprising us. It would be entertaining, if were not so painful. Which it is.

I mean, when a President announces that he will make important announcements the next day, which involve the Sacudón (Big shake up?) of the structure of the State, the “misiones” and the economic and social offensive, you expect something. You expect even more, given the current state of the economy, with inflation running at 60-plus percent per year, 5,5% per month, shortages, airlines leaving, international reserves depleted, daily protests, Government losing popularity and fiscal and monetary distortions killing economy activity.

I did have my expectations down. I know the various factions in Government differ on how to solve problems. I know there are no economists in or near the Cabinet. I know the Government worries more about losing popularity (and power) that about making things better. But I expected at least some form of vaporous announcements, half defined measures, watered down policies.

But I really did not expect a rambling Maduro announcing essentially nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Niente.

First we had the nth. eulogy to our Comandante (“Our biggest difficulty is to have lost Him”), followed by a love fest. Love for all, but more particularly and more importantly, love for and to the military. Particularly, loveless Gen. Lopez Padrino, who apparently did not receive much love after his July 5th. speech, where he pledged allegiance to Chavismo above all. Lopez Padrino, according to Maduro, is supposed to represent the “new” Venezuelan military “thinking”. It does not get more oxymoronic than that.

Subconsciously Maduro also said how much the country misses Hugo, because he has no clue, I guess, he really wishes Hugo was here. Or there.

We then got the usual blast on the capitalists, opposition, speculators, who are responsible for inflation, shortages and all of the ills of the economy. Next sentence: But the Venezuelan economy is healthy (Never mind we have the highest credit risk in the world)

So, is there a problem or not Nico?

He seems to be in no rush to fix anything.

Next, the only “announcement”, we are ready for the fiscal revolution. Except the way it sounds is that they will control fiscal spending. Except that “fiscal” in Spanish, also refers to taxes. Thus, what it means is that they after impoverishing the productive sector, they will now try to tax it to death, so that “they” can keep spending.

Get it?

At this point it was important for Maduro to clarify: “We will make announcements”. No idea of the timeline at this point.

Then we saw the clueless Maduro: We now have to check what imports we can substitute. How Cepalese can he get? Does he understand any of it? (I don’t miss Chávez, how could he leave us with Maduro in charge?)

Again: we will make some announcements…

In between he had a guy who has been Chavista like three times and opposition twice in the last fifteen years, tell us how wonderful agriculture is doing and the VP, Chávez’ son in law, tell us how the Government will be turned inside out or outside in, don’t recall the order.

We were also told at some point and at length how wonderful and “democratic” the World Soccer Cup was. (Democratic my foot, the best team won, the rest suck!)

We then heard a blast against those that stole the US$ 20 billion via Cadivi/Cencoex.  Except that those that asked for $3,000 have been asked to prove their spending in the thousands, while not a single one of those that got the US$ 20 billion for imports has yet to be called. The Prosecutor says she does not want to interfere with the investigations, I say, she does not know who she will find behind each rip off, so she wants to be careful.

Then we come to the highlight of the day:

Maduro: “We worked really hard yesterday…like four or five hours”

He thus insulted , 95% of the working population of Venezuela, which I don’t want to guess how many Maduristas/Chavistas/Bolivarianos it includes, but it can’t be many.

By then, it was clear, there would not even be vaporous announcements like I predicted:

vaporososright after betting there would be no announcements relating to gas prices:

gasolinaBut I was very wrong. There no announcements, other than:

“We will make the announcements on August 11th.”

Yes, in the end, that was the only announcement of the “announcements”

And the we were shown a video of the one year anniversary of Nicolas’ marriage to Cilia. In another Fruedian slip, he said she was the real boss. As if we did not know…

It does not get more bizarre than that…but I will not listen on August 11th, I will be on vacation in September, when he will likely make some announcement.

Or maybe not…

 

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40 Responses to “Maduro’s Empty And Bizarre “Sacudón””

  1. Alejo Says:

    Le Monde is centre-left, liberation is leftist, Le Monde Diplomatique is far-left and receives money from corrupt governments in exchange for good press.

  2. Kepler Says:

    XP,

    It is good to see Le Monde publish that.
    Now: Le Monde is not “the most lefty” newspaper in France. There are a lot of newspapers and many are way way way way way way to the left of Le Monde.
    There is, for instance, Le Monde Diplomatique, but there are other local newspapers as well. Le Monde is rather a newspaper often read by people who are “social democrats”. That is not extreme left, not outside Texas…or at least not outside the USA.

    Le Monde has published critical articles of Chavismo for many years now and I don’t recall a positive one in the last 4 to 5 years.

    The French are generally some of the leftiest in Western Europe, even if they don’t see that their wealth is more based on their exploitation of Africa than many other European countries now. Still, I would say it’s the extreme left
    of France that are and will always be sycophants of Madurismo.

  3. xp Says:

    Le Monde warmed my heart today …
    from noticiero digital –
    [u can uz googl 2 translate]

    EDITORIAL del diario Le Monde, periódico vespertino francés, es UNO de los DOS periódicos de referencia en Francia junto a Le Figaro.

    Le Monde es el diario francés mas izquierdista y apoyador de cuanta guerrilla y movimiento revolucionario hay en el mundo, razón por lo que este EDITORIAL de LE MONDE tiene vital sentido y un significado DEMOLEDOR en el mundo comunista que es como una cachetada al actual gobierno venezolano.

    Editorial de Le Monde:

    “Los venezolanos en el callejón sin salida del chavismo”

    Venezuela, gran productor de petróleo, es potencialmente un país rico. Sin embargo, 15 años de chavismo le han dejado fuera de combate en lo económico y social. Desde el mes de febrero los venezolanos han tomado la calle para protestar diariamente contra un régimen que ha logrado una triple corona: despilfarro, corrupción y autoritarismo político.

    El “chavismo” es la doctrina heredada del otrora presidente Hugo Chávez, quien ejerció el poder desde 1999 hasta el 2013, cuando murió. Es un cóctel socio-nacionalista inspirado del ejemplo cubano, y de anti-imperialismo militante que saca sus fuerzas de un viejo fondo revolucionario latinoamericano.

    Los 14 años de reino de Hugo Chávez ayudaron a una pequeña parte de la población: los más pobres entre los 30 millones de venezolanos se beneficiaron de cierta redistribución de la renta petrolera. En lo que se refiere a todo lo demás, el “chavismo” arrasó con el país: economía bajo control del Estado, inversionistas locales e internacionales desmotivados y sin incentivos, control de precios, control de cambios, control del comercio exterior…

    Elegido en abril del 2013, el sucesor de Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, lo superó con creces. En un año, ha congelado la actividad económica del país. Esta semana, anunció que se veía obligado a implantar una cartilla de racionamiento parecida a la que Cuba instauró hace medio siglo…

    Aparte del petróleo, del cual posee las reservas más grandes del mundo, Venezuela produce cada vez menos. Importa casi todo. Antiguo país de ganadería y agricultura, hoy en día se ve obligado a comprar más de un tercio de lo que consume.

    Al país no le quedan casi divisas, ¡el colmo para un país exportador de petróleo! A los hospitales les falta de todo. Los cortes eléctricos son cada vez más frecuentes. La inflación anualizada sobrepasa el 56%, condenando a los más pobres a aún más pobreza.

    Los manifestantes se enfrentan a las milicias paramilitares del régimen. Este acusa a los “burgueses” de tomar la calle. Se equivoca. Detrás de los estudiantes, punta de lanza de la manifestación, está todo el espectro completo de la sociedad venezolana que expresa su inquietud por el futuro.

    Bajo la personalización del poder a ultranza que ejercía Hugo Chávez, el ejército no ha dejado de aumentar su dominación de la vida política. El “modelo cubano” produce acá todos sus efectos nocivos. Se ha creado una economía paralela, un mercado de tráfico interno y externo que beneficia a una pequeña nomenklatura sin escrúpulos.

    Al derrumbamiento de la economía se agrega una inseguridad galopante: 25 mil homicidios por año, sin contar los robos, agresiones de todo tipo y secuestros. Caracas es la capital más peligrosa del planeta.

    Se necesita toda la atracción del “exotismo latino” para que ciertos intelectuales franceses le encuentren algún encanto al “chavismo”. Sobre todo porque este, ya sea bajo Maduro o bajo Chávez, cercena las libertades públicas, silencia a una parte de la prensa y maltrata a toda la oposición. En la realidad, el chavismo se ha convertido en una pesadilla.

  4. geronl Says:

    Leftists are the same everywhere, if they are not kept in check by some kind of reality or opposition they inevitably spend money they do not have and tax the productive to death.

  5. moctavio Says:

    no pan, mucho circo

  6. Dr. Faustus Says:

    So, lemme get this straight. There’s no money for the hospitals to replenish basic medical supplies. There’s no money for the auto industry, auto parts as well, to keep production lines going. There’s no money for the airlines who’ve been stiffed for over 4 billion dollars. There’s no money for sanitation or keeping the water reservoirs safe from bacterial contamination. But there are foreign reserves available for, pause here for a moment…..,Pastor Maldonado.

    “Pastor Maldonado has been confirmed as a Lotus driver for the 2015 Formula One season.
    The current campaign has been a troubled one for Maldonado and Lotus so far, with the Venezuelan yet to score a point for the Enstone-based marque.
    But given Lotus’ seemingly difficult financial circumstances at times, the money Maldonado brings with him from state-owned oil giant PDVSA helps considerably.
    It means owner Gerard Lopez has wasted little time in confirming one half of his driver line-up for next season.”

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2698578/MALDONADO-TO-STAY-AT-LOTUS-FOR-2015.html#ixzz381hgcBVz

  7. Ira Says:

    There’s an “air tax” at the airport?

    And it was doubled 2 weeks ago!

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-07-18/venezuela-s-breathtaking-air-tax?cmpid=yhoo

  8. bill bass Says:

    They think words and announcements substitute for real actions , These notions have biblical overtones. In Genesis God says Let there be Light and ..light appears . They feel they are Gods that can create worlds from calling them to happen !!

  9. jau Says:

    I dont believe in the famous fight between the pragmatic vs the commies because commies policies always creates many corruption cesspools which the “pragmatics” love.

    What I mean is that none of these guys care about Venezuela. I am sure they hate Venezuela, all they care is power and money.

    Maduro’s no-announcement-announcement speech is a reflection of that. They keep the status quo because commies are happy that the process is still in process and the pragmatics keep reaping the benefits of the process. I think it is quite simple

  10. moctavio Says:

    Is any of the commenters or readers of this blog from Luxembourg or lives there? If you are and want to help, send me an email at devilexcrement@gmail.com

  11. Kepler Says:

    Octavio,

    What will happen to all these government bonds? Who has them? A lot of Venezuelans do but: in what proportion? Can the government decide to default on these bonds for some people and for others (foreigners) not?

    • Ronaldo Says:

      Kepler,
      If the government pays foreigners and defaults on Vzla citizens, the Vzla citizens can simply sell their bonds to foreigners. A discount will be incurred.

      However, given the amazingly stuped morans running the Venezuelan government, they could pass a law allowing default for anybody not wearing red.

    • moctavio Says:

      The Bs. bonds the banks, the dollar bonds, Venezuelans and foreiners. They can default on one currency or the other but not on who has them.

  12. Kevn Rica Says:

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” ― Philip K. Dick (author of sci-fi)

    Maduro may have stopped believing.


  13. Comrades, the route for socialism of the 21st century has been mapped following a confluence of Marxist thought by great minds, which range from Marx to Stalin to Beria to Fidel Castro and his brother Raul. I’m sure others had input. Giordani influenced the revolution, as did Rafael Ramirez with his failed oil development plans. And Chavez was magnificent coming up with the communes and allowing so much corruption and crime, which allows the Cuban g2 to blackmail Venezuela’s corrupt chavista elites and their senior military. This is working just as planned, and in 5 years you WILL be living in something just like Cuba, or you will be writing your comments from elsewhere.


  14. The economy keeps deteriorating? Incompetent “government”? Great news. One of these days, people will have had enough.

  15. Kepler Says:

    I see this very interesting article by Anabella on the different sources and shares:

    http://prodavinci.com/blogs/todo-lo-que-usted-debe-saber-sobre-la-esperada-reforma-fiscal-por-anabella-abadi-y-richard-obuchi/

    So: it will be devaluation or trying to target Maduro’s political enemies.

    I wish they had some tax on terratenientes, including the minister of Interior, Chacín, the Chávez clan.

  16. moctavio Says:

    Companeis have higher tax brackets, except you may have noticed they are making less and less here if at all. Not much to tap there and the flight by night importers are not as closely followed as the established companies, to say nothing of the effects of inflation.

    Banks make a lot of money, but they do, because Government bonds are tax free, it is a vicious circle, if they eliminate that they are tax free, the Government would have a harder time selling them.

    So few is a relative term, so few people have formal jobs in Venezuela too. There is little the Government can target because the Government has destroyed the sources of income of the people.

  17. moctavio Says:

    The % of Venezuelans that pay income tax is indeed small, because there is a basic exemption, such that if you dont make Bs. 107,000 a year, you dont pay taxes. This is 17,000 , 10,000 or 1,200 dollars a year at 6.3, 10 or 80 respectively. Pick your poison.

    Say the equilibrium rate is around 50 Bs. per US, we are talking $2,000 a year is the limit. Should someone making so little pay income taxes?

    As for those that make more, they pay their income taxes. It is almost impossible not to.

    Venezuela, like the US, has global taxation, that is the tax that is likely to be evaded the most.

    • Kepler Says:

      Octavio, but how much money is that? I know they have to pay taxes but they are so few. It seems to me the really big fish do what they do in Europe or in the US but more so: they keep relatively low salaries and they let profits flow into their businesses etc.

      So, my bet is there is little the government can get by target income tax in Venezuela, they can target companies, they can target VAT for non-food

  18. Kepler Says:

    I think according to BCV about 33% of the GDP was oil-related, but that is just on a direct basis. If oil revenue keeps dropping, everything else will drop dramatically:

    if PDVSA or a contractor does not spend a million in some project (say, Valencia’s underground), workers won’t get paid, sub-contractors won’t spend money in parties, less people willeat hot dogs in those events and so on.

    What is the percentage of Venezuelans who actually pay income tax?
    How much can you squeeze from them? Most Venezuelans, as far as I know, do NOT, do NOT pay income tax. They earn too little.

  19. alexander Says:

    You should be accustomed, it is nor the first time, I counted with this one some 7 times. I registered high correlation between any time he mention “fiscal revolution ” and not appearance to explain it. I guess he is trying to figure out something about “tax reform”. I would like some one there amends him, explaining that there are not “fiscal reform or revolution” but tax reform. He might be thinking on increasing rates of VAT, income tax, tariffs, and bring some new taxes as luxury and financial transactions, socialist tax following continuous fall in oil rent, a way of diminish the oil fiscal income “dependence” . Or any flat tax as Cuban one, how knows?.
    AG

  20. Kepler Says:

    Well, Miguel will get his beer from me. I was really astonished. I thought he would announce at least some tiny measure, after talking for an hour about capitalists, that he would say petrol prices would rise 10% or the like. Nothing, absolutely nothing!

  21. m_astera Says:

    “In between he had a guy who has been Chavista like three times and opposition twice in the last fifteen years, tell us how wonderful agriculture is doing”

    I noticed the last few days there has been plenty of frozen chickens available in the store. Want to guess from where? Brazil. Any country that has millions of arable acres and can’t even grow its own chicken feed and raise its own chickens is not doing well in agriculture. It is pathetic.

    As a side note, I would guess that most of the maize for flour is also imported, either from the United Satan or Brazil or Argentina. The soy used for fake powdered milk is no doubt imported from the same countries. All three countries grow predominantly GMO maize and soy crops heavily sprayed with Roundup. The most popular strain of GMO maize is one with Bt genes from bacteria, which causes each and every cell of the plant to produce an insecticide. Chances are that is what the Venezuelan people are eating, when they can find maize flour or soy milk, that is.

    If they haven’t paid the airlines or the retail sectors, what are the odds they are paying the “subsidized” food growers?

    • Ira Says:

      The way Chavismo rolls is that they pay their FRIENDS, so my guess is that anything coming from Argentina or Brazil is fully paid for. It’s disgusting enemies of the Fatherland, like North American and European democracies, who get screwed—because the Chavista mindset is that “they deserve it.”

      It’s the same kind of mentality that someone who gets himself in trouble with the credit card companies has. It’s the credit card companies’ fault for these huge bills and don’t deserve to be paid. It’s not THEIR fault, even though they signed that agreement for 20% APR.

      I know nothing about Arentina, but I have a friend from Argentina who there who says that you would be amazed at the lack of produce they eat there. It’s all beef and poultry. And a salad with avocado is rare before your entree.

  22. Ira Says:

    On August 11th, he’s going to announce that he meant August 11th, 2015.

  23. xp Says:

    and I don’t even look like him!

  24. Island Canuck Says:

    I saw about 5 minutes of the live broadcast but when he started talking about the odio of the opposition I’d had enough.
    I followed the rest on Twitter.
    Couldn’t believe that there were no announcements.
    No gas increase. No exchange changes.
    Nothing.
    What a loser.


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