Venezuela Goes From Bizarre To Bizarro

January 10, 2015

The word bizarre is no longer enough to describe what has been going n in Venezuela in the last few days. As the country was expecting for the much needed economic measures to be announced, instead, President Maduro announces that he is going on a trip. As he leaves, the usual shortages seeing in the country in the last two years intensify to the level of being widespread with long lines everywhere.

The solution? In a country with the second highest homicide rate, the Government sends the military and the police to supermarkets and stores, as there are threats of looting reported by social media, while stores ban picture taking in their locales, under pressure by Government officials. This only increases tensions, as people are arrested for protesting and complaining in lines. Meanwhile, it turns out that Maduro took his family sightseeing to China on Government planes, which only irks people more.

As tensions rise, with the threat of social unrest quite real and explosive, Maduro does not return to Venezuela but continues to Teheran, where he made this statement, talking about Iranian pharmaceuticals, tourism between the two countries and saying that everything in Venezuela is normal and this is all the fault of the opposition trying to make a big deal out of nothing

This simply echoes what his Ministers have been saying in Caracas for days. The leader of the farce is the Minister for Feeding Carlos Osorio who went as far as saying that the lines are there because people have stuff to buy in the stores. Then why do they create a rule that people must have a Venezuelan ID card to buy stuff?

This is Osorio in a store trying to calm the people down, as you can see there are not that many chickens left and the people just overwhelm him, rushing to get the last chickens.

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And lest you think that the lines are localized, the website http://www.runrun.es did an interactive map showing how the huge lines were widespread from West to East in Caracas, independent of the standard of living of the people in the neighborhood.

In Maracaibo the best idea is to write numbers of people on their arms to certify your location in the line.

B7A3Ur5CYAADRt7And people put up with it, as long as they can have some hope of getting the food they are seeking. Of course, the People’s Ombudsman, called the People’s Defender, says nothing about this, Human Rights be damned, they have been suspended in Venezuela for too long already.

And the lines are not only widespread, but also huge. This was the Government’s Bicentenario Supermarket in Plaza Venezuela this morning:

B66l3p7IQAAyRAmThis was taken from afar, not only to attempt to get the magnitude of the line, something never seen in Venezuela EVER (before or after Chavismo), but also because if you take pictures up close you can be detained. Like this reporter in Valencia (Andres Abreu @Andresabreu) being searched by the glorious Bolivarian National Guard for taking pictures of the lines in Valencia.

reporter

And Abreu showed us how, when the lines became embarrassingly long, they moved the people inside:

B7A8ovNIgAEEAHFThe whole thing has become so ridiculous that this guy (His name is Rafael, he builds kites with anti-Government sayings all the time) was detained for going to the line with a kite saying: “I will get in line like a “pendejo” (idiot) so I can find food”

B7BX1edIQAEvlio

Never mind the guarantees of free speech in the 2000 Venezuelan Constitution written by Chavismo. As if this was not enough, the Vice-President, who has the charisma of a featureless rock, says on TV that there are plenty of empty cells in Ramo Verde, where Leopoldo Lopez is being held, for those that dare to use political violence to upset the peace of the Republic. When pressured these guys can’t hide their fascists streak. Fascist is, fascist says.

The result is that people are really pissed in Venezuela today. At Maduro, at the military, at the cops, at the supermarkets and their owners, at scarcity and at all the lies they keep feeding them in Government media.

But Chavismo thinks that a President with 20% popularity can continue getting away with blaming the opposition for all the problems. Because this is not going away anytime soon. Price controls, exchange controls, absurd economic policies are coming home to roost. What is going on, is a reflection of the lack of foreign currency, for a Government used to solving supply problems with massive imports of scarce items. Except that the too many items are now scarce, national production has been decimated and the biggest scarcity is that of foreign currency. And neither the Chinese, nor the Russians, nor the Iranians, will give Maduro much at this time.

And Maduro was really wasting his time in Saudi Arabia, rather than being in Venezuela facing and dealing with the real problems. He was not only undiplomatic, but also stupid, making this statement right before going to visit the Saudis. You don’t make a statement against your host, right before arriving to visit him. The Saudis have been repeatedly been very clear as to their intent to let the price of oil fall, come what may. I am sure the Saudis were nor precisely happy with Maduro aligning himself with their enemy to object the Saudi stance on oil production cuts. Maduro learned little while being Chavez’ Foreign Minister for seven years.

And you really have to wonder if Maduro is so out of touch, or somebody or a group of somebodies is setting a trap up for him, telling him things are normal. Very few times have i felt Venezuela so close to turmoil and social unrest. Maduro is playing with fire and now reportedly he will not be back until Wednesday, as he continues touring OPEC countries in a hopeless cause. Who advised him to do it? How can he hope to get anything out of this, while things are almost out of control in Venezuela?

In November I said that I feared we may be going into a period of chaos, unless the Government wants to use brutal repression to stop it. All signs point to that concern becoming a reality, but I would hate it to be the case. By now, even if the Maduro Government were to make the right decisions, it could take weeks for things to go back to normal. But either Maduro is more limited than I thought, or someone has been setting a trap for him ever since he was elected in 2013.

And thus Venezuela has gone from being bizarre to bizarro, but where this all leads to is quite tricky and dangerous. With millions (yes, millions) of guns floating around the country and a disgruntled and hungry population, civil unrest and chaos could break out at any time.

After that, it is anybody’s guess.

(And dont forget to think of contributions to the previous post)

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94 Responses to “Venezuela Goes From Bizarre To Bizarro”


  1. […] Venezuela, protestors are being arrested as people deal with massive food shortages across the […]

  2. mcleod Says:

    Arrived here a few weeks ago armed with pain killers, antiinflammatories, ibruprofen creams and so on. Yep, I’m a hypochondriac.
    And I’ve met a number of people dealing with the consequences of chikunchunga. I’m now down to my last packet and tube having given that which I thought would help to those I have met and those I know.
    There is nothing here.
    Absolutely nothing and if you are on minimum wage less than nothing.
    My simple over the counter medicines have brought a LOT of relief very quickly to a number of people in pain. Pain and discomfort that has lingered unnecessarily for months.
    Simple and inexpensive.
    The situation her is deteriorating by the day. I used to think a bunch of idiotic left wing/Cuban/chavista/psuv/ corrupted general shts ran this country but now it is obvious those same characters are in the employ of unnamed highly organised criminal gangs.

  3. Ira Says:

    Good news!

    VZ is going to export food to Qatar!

    Wait…

    What the FUCK!?

    • FrankPintor Says:

      It’s a crying shame, I come from a country with one climate and one growing season. Venezuela has a range of climates and 2 or even three growing seasons. It could be the breadbasket of South America, instead it’s the basketcase.

    • Roy Says:

      Cuéntame de vaqueros…

    • Ronaldo Says:

      Ira,
      Nice comment. So True.
      Essentially, this is a non-agreement since Vzla is not a food exporter.

      Moreover, Qatar can probably grow food in the desert cheaper than in Vzla.

  4. Dr. Faustus Says:

    A ‘must read’ on the current state of affairs in Venezuela.
    http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article6031989.html
    I understand that the Financial Times is now saying that a default is now unavoidable. Wow. This thing sliding downhill fast….

  5. Ira Says:

    Wow:

    My wife tells me the latest Facebook thing in VZ is for people to make requests for medicine.

    Her niece just posted an urgent request for 2 tablets of betametasone(a) or betagen, for another pregnant family member. After researching the drug, aside for its “minor” uses to alleviate itching, rashing, etc., it is to be taken by expectant mothers expecting pre-term delivery (I guess), to aid in the baby’s lung development.

    Can you imagine being an expectant mother or father, your doctor tells you that you need this medication to save your child’s life, and you can’t have it because of Chavismo?

    I have some very perverse and evil thoughts going through my mind now, and maybe some of you can guess their nature, but I can’t help it.

    • Island Canuck Says:

      Ira,
      This has been a Twitter thing for more than a year now.
      Some days it seems that ever 3rd Tweet is looking for medicine.

    • FrankPintor Says:

      Having taken everything from pampers and baby milk to vitamin B injections (for a cancer patient) to Venezuela over the past year and a half, yes, this is the way it is.

      A very few years ago Chavismo, under Chavez, did at least supply medicines and drugs at very low cost or even free to most people. It’s only in the past 18 months that the wheels have come off in this very stark way.

      By the way, there will be more expectant mothers shortly since it’s also very difficult to find contraceptive pills or injections there.

      The government blathers about the economic war, to shift the blame from their own ineptness to the opposition’s supposed sabotage, and their case is unfortunately strengthened by large scale hoarding:

      http://dinero.univision.com/economia-y-negocios/noticias-economicas/article/2015-01-13/incautan-en-venezuela-15-millones-de-panales

      I understand most of the milk sold in Caracas over the past few days was from a discovered hoard of ZuliMilk?

      Perverse and evil people are on all sides.

  6. Edgar Says:

    Venezuela Rating Cut to Caa3 From Caa1 by Moody’s 13:57
    The principal driver of decision to downgrade Venezuela’s sovereign rating is a marked increase in default risk owing to lower oil prices, Moody’s says.
    • The recent oil price shock has exerted pressure on Venezuela’s balance of payments and dwindling foreign reserves, Moody’s says.
    • Outlook revised to stable from negative

    But we have PATRIA!!!

  7. GeronL Says:

    This is what socialism looks like. We don’t have these problems in the US, our biggest problem is people who work being robbed in taxes to feed the half that refuse to work.

  8. mick Says:

    Face it, the oil bubble has burst. By the time oil goes to $150, a dollar will have a third of its current purchasing power. In a free market, all things go through cycles, that includes market corrections. When prices go up, more people compete and the price comes back down. Then that skill and technology moves to locations where is more economically feasible. In places where land and labor are dirt cheap, a shale oil well is still very profitable. Maduro is short sighted enough to believe that $100 is a “fair” price when in fact it is 4-5 times what the price has been for decades. The saddest part, is that Chavez is not around to see his ship sink.

    • Ira Says:

      I don’t know if it was a matter of translation, or whether Maduro used this exact expression, but in one of his interviews, he mentioned wanting to bring the world back to “Economic Equilibrium.”

      I found this very funny.


    • It will go to $150. Adjust it by inflation. You can assume 2035 as an approximate target date. Why? Because that’s what it takes for indians to drive electric cars with electricity generated by nuclear power.

  9. CarlosElio Says:

    Miguel, how does on edit comments here? I made a typo “severa” instead of “severe” but could not find the edit button.

  10. CarlosElio Says:

    Why would a joint Venezuela-Iran project on pharma work when the track record is one of uninterrupted failures? In this 2010 video chavez visits the Veneiran assembly plant and talks about domestic manufacturing “because we have the raw material and production facilities to make the sheet metal.” Of course, today Veriauto is dead and Sidor is moribund.
    A bonus of the video is the illustration of chavez severe ADD. In min 5:08 he asks about production levels and gets the number “48 unit per shift” Then he deviates and begins talking about a soccer game where Brazil won, forgetting the talk about productivity.

  11. Ira Says:

    Can’t understand the Saudi visit at all. Going to Iran might make him feel better (scumbags of a feather stick together), but what the hell did he expect in Saudi Arabia?

    They’ve eloquently stated that not only do OPEC members cheat anyway, but that there’s too much oil from elsewhere for OPEC to manipulate prices. And too little demand.

    One of the Saudi Princes was recently interviewed, and he explained what the deal is. That $100 oil is a thing of the past, it is VERY possible that it will go much lower than $50, with minor fluctuations bringing it above and below 50, but not by major numbers.

    And that oil-producing countries better learn to live with these new, lower incomes.

    • Miguel Octavio Says:

      Not only that, but before taking off for Saudi Arabia, he made statements with Iran about supporting a strategy to increase prices. Dumb and dumber.

    • Valued Customer Says:

      If Saudi Oil is going down to $40bbl, the muck that Venezuela dredges out of the ground will be $35bbl. Hasn’t the government already admitted that oil averaged about $42.50 last week?

    • HalfEmpty Says:

      $100 oil is a thing of the past.
      Anybody wanna buy a nice bridge?

      • Ira Says:

        It’s simple math, barring a nuclear or other war catastrophe. Which of course is always possible.

        • FrankPintor Says:

          The reasoning being, from what I read, that $100 oil is worth nothing to the Saudis if it’s stuck in the ground because their customers have come up with alternative energy sources (gas, shale oil, tar sands, lithium, etc). They have to extract it and sell it before the market goes away.


          • They don’t have the production capacity to jeep oil prices that low. It’s mind games. Prices will start increasing by the fall and will eventually return to $100. By 2035 they should be $150. The renewables just don’t work at large scale below $100 to $120 with current technology.

            • FrankPintor Says:

              Apparently CitiGroup believes the Saudis will run out of oil by 2030, in part because they use 25% of their production themselves, so using your numbers they should be able to get all they can out of the ground and sell it before renewables become a viable option.

              They just had to set the renewables (and other oil competitors like the Arctic, US shale oil, the Brazilian Atlantic, Canadian tar sands) back by 20 years or so, which they’ve now done.

              Of course they’re also playing geopolitical games with the Russians and the Iranians, and yhey’re not going to be worried about the collateral damage to Venezuela.


            • Frank, when you think about Saudi oil running out assume it will climb to 12 million barrels per day, hold there for a while, and then decline in a fairly monotonic fashion (we call it exponential decline). If you want to play with it multiply the previous year’s production by 0.97 and that gives you the year’s production. Just draw that out year after year.

  12. jak Says:

    I hope that when Venezuela finally has to beg the international community for food basics that they make maduro and chavistas pay homage to whoever delivers it. It may sound outdated but unless this group is subdued in public they will be preparing to fight for a return to power. I have an aweful feeling that what we are about to see in Venezuela will be a bloodbath because the current government is dragging things out to the edge of an abyss. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Roy Says:

      When that time comes, they will not “beg”. They will “demand” it, as though it is their right to receive aid. They will claim that that the conditions were created by “Economic War” and that it is the obligation of the world to help them. Humility is not their strong suit.

  13. Kepler Says:

    OT but never so OT:
    Fernando Leanme, do you know of a good book about the Cuban secret service? One not about a special operation but rather about that agency’s working?
    Thanks

    • Daveed Says:

      “Castro’s secrets” by Brian Latell provides some historical insight.

    • BoludoTejano Says:

      Not quite to your request, but related: Georgie Ann Geyer was a journalist of some note who spent a lot of time covering Latin America. In her autobiography Buying the Night Flight, she had an interesting story about Manuel Piñeiro, who at the time was the head of Cuba’s secret police.Manuel Piñeiro became infatuated with Georgie Ann Geyer, and tried to develop a relationship with her. Talk about fear factor: becoming the lover of the head of the secret police. She was able to extricate herself out of that, but with a consequence: subsequent request for visas to Cuba were denied.

      The secret police is perhaps the only institution in Cuba that functions.

    • BoludoTejano Says:

      I highly recommend Georgie Ann Geyer’s book. She has some interesting stories about Allende and Chile. And many other places.

  14. FrankPintor Says:

    You could see this coming, over Christmas and New Year everybody went crazy emptying their bank accounts and buying new clothes, presents, and so on. No shortage of liquor either.

    And I mean emptying their accounts, on most days in Higuerote you would have to queue for 45-60 mins at Mercantil to withdraw cash (VEF 4000 limit per day). I should have taken a photo.

    Now the hangover is setting in, the accounts are empty, and people are very nervous. I don’t know if it’s panic buying, hoarding or if people’s stocks of food are really running out, but the queues at supermarkets in Caracas are impressive. The Excelsior-Gama in front of the Miranda metro station is one of the most expensive in Caracas, and still the queue was almost 2 blocks long to get in when I passed in late December. I’m sure it’s not any better now. To me it looks like February and March will be a more violent and more desperate reprise of last year.

    The shortages are just random, from day to day it’s different. Trivial observation: in November I could get Pirulines at the airport, though they were rationed to two boxes per person… I was able to get some more at a different shop (yo traficante en Pirulines :-), I’m lucky I wasn’t detained). Now they’re not available at all.

    • DGomez Says:

      That’s exactly why I didn’t go on my annual 3-month visit to Venezuela! Too many signs of shortage problems and violence early in 2015.

  15. John Says:

    Pillow talk between Commander-in-Chief Cilia and Maduro was/is at a minimum or none while on tour

  16. John Says:

    Saudi Arabia had the Venezuelans under close eye. Mobile and Internet communications by the Venezuelan delegation where filtered by the Kingdom. I assume the Venezuelan party was given precautions and gag order prior to deplaning in the Kingdom. Stuff like “don’t mention the problems back home”

    • moctavio Says:

      You think the Saudis don’t know exactly what is going on back home? Or Maduro’s stupid statement when departing Iran to Saudi Arabia? How do you think the Saudis keep control of everything? Unprofessional they are not.

  17. John Says:

    The women will go to spas for beauty treatments. They will get their hair and nails done.

  18. John Says:

    note Qatar stop not on original schedule but added at last minute. Yeah you sure fooled us.

  19. John Says:

    They are in Qatar for 3 days of R&R. Check out the shopping malls:

    http://www.qatartourism.gov.qa/en-us/thingstodo/shopping/shoppingmall.aspx

  20. Charly Says:

    I must congratulate the author of this article on his mastery of the language. Twice he uses the word “chaos” where generally one would find instead the word “anarchy” which for a libertarian and in this context would represent both a prostitution of ideas and an insult. And yet it happens all the time.


  21. I must admit that I get a perverse pleasure of reading the Venezuelan press. This article from Notices 24 is a case point. With fanfare, it notes that 415.000 of foodstuffs are being distributed today in Caracas. How is this newsworthy anywhere else? It’s not. It’s a mundane every day occurrence the world over even in Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Haiti or anywhere else on this planet.

    As I am in Colombia, I love comparing similar stories in the respective presses. President Santos went late last year to Europe to seek support on the Colombian Peace Process and to discuss the drug trade. His trip was a success for the most part but the Colombian press reported it critically and with analysis. I look at the Venezuelan press and how it is covering Maduro’s trip now and it is all one glorious achievement after another. A brief paragraph about how Maduro did this and said that followed by a stream of irrelevant photographs. It’s laughable. Who falls for such crap?

    http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/270099/distribuyen-40-000-kg-de-alimentos-en-jornada-a-cielo-abierto-en-el-23-de-enero/

    • Ira Says:

      The Soviets fell for it for decades.


    • I’m sure the 85000 citizens of 23 de Enero parish will enjoy the 40000 kg distributed in their area. That’s a bit more than 400 grams per person. Eaten with a generous muddy water supplement and a stray cat it can last until next week. I should know, I lived in Cuba. When things got bad we ate all the cats, pigeons, dogs…I even had an sob trying to sell me a vulture albóndiga.

      • Ira Says:

        A vulture meatball?


        • Yes sir. We had a guy selling vulture at 12th ave and 23 st. Right in front of the large cemetery entrance. People claimed it was making them sick, so I didn’t buy it. But I did eat cat. I wrote about it in my blog. That was a real story.

          • Ira Says:

            There was a huge, well-known Chinese restaurant in NYC’s Chinatown that my friend always went to. This is the 70s. Can’t remember the name because I’m an old fart.

            When a bunch of us all went out together, we always outvoted him and went elsewhere, but man, did he brag about the ribs at this place!

            Imagine his surprise when the lead news story was that the place was closed down by the authorities–for trapping local cats and serving them, especially the ribs!

            I myself have no problem or cultural outrage at consuming domesticated species like dogs and cats.


            • Ira, when you go hungry like we did in Cuba you get the “Oreo syndrome”. This is a disease which strikes people who lack food. The name was invented by American expats working in Iran many years ago. The spent all the time complaining because they couldn’t find Oreos on Kharg Island.

              Anyway, I don’t think it’s the same. When one goes hungry like we did in Cuba thoughts about food become obsessive. Especially greasy food, sweets and things you never ate. I think venezuelans are just getting into that zone, but they got a ways to go.

              And by the way, cat doesn’t taste like chicken. A properly fed dog tastes ok. Pigeon is fine. And you can eat fish bones if to burn them to a crisp.

            • Ira Says:

              Yeah, I wouldn’t say the Oreo Syndrome is the same thing.

  22. Robbie Says:

    Maduro is travelling on a Cuban plane. He might as well end his trip in Havana and start his retirement.


    • He is traveling on a Cuban plane out of necessity. The Airbus that the Venezuelan government owns is unable to fly due to a dispute with Airbus. The Venezuelan government claims that Airbus damaged the plane last year when it received scheduled maintenance. The truth is far different of course. The plane can’t fly because Airbus is demanding payment before it releases the required parts that will enable the plane to fly.

      It’s really quite something to see the Venezuelan government in action. The level of corruption is unequaled in the annals of Latin American dictatorships. The Duvailers in Haiti at least kept money in the bank for such niceties as a presidential plane. Telling that Venezuela can not.

      • John Says:

        Charles, can you elaborate on the Airbus issue or are you just making this up from something you read. You think the regime does not have the money to buy a few aircraft engines? What can cost more?

        • Valued Customer Says:

          Venezuela says that the Presidential plane is defective (wings) and it’s Airbus’ job to repair the entire plane. Airbus says Venezuela hasn’t maintained the jet properly so parts have broken through neglect.

          As usual, it will all end up in some court within the next twenty years or so.

      • John Says:

        You do know he had the money to buy a lot of jets, turboprobs and helicopters but he does not have the money for “spare parts” for his Airbus. This analysis is flawed Charles.

      • John Says:

        He has a nice Embraer VIP bird bought used second hand. that bird is for continental and regional travel

        • FrankPintor Says:

          The Airbus dispute is old news, and I read that the Embraer was painted in Conviasa colours so as not to attract attention, is that correct?


          • Has to do with air transit rights for non comnercial craft.

            • FrankPintor Says:

              OK, I’ll bite, I know as much about the air industry as I do about oil… does painting the VIP plane in Conviasa colours, i.e. making a non-commercial VIP aircraft look like a commercial one make certain things easier?


  23. I wonder if the way chavista ministers are insulting and making people angry may not be a step in a well calibrated plan to cause scattered protests. This will allow them to arrest the hot heads and make a show of power.

    Don’t ever underestimate Raul Castro and his son Alejandro Castro, his heir about to sit on the cuban dictatorship throne. If they allow Maduro and his ministers behave this way there has to be a subtle reason.

    I also understand you don’t think the Maduro regime is a cuban satrapy, but the whole set up tells me they are indeed entrenched, and the G2 is very much on top of things.

    I would discourage protests or anything extemporaneous which allows regime agents to arrest you or mark you down. The day you are ready to protest then you had better be ready to protest in Petare or La Cañada de Urdaneta with the poor. If they kill you then at lease you know you did it to achieve some thing. And if the barrio people join you then maybe, just maybe, you can achieve Solidarity without Lech Walesa and a decent Pope back int your question for freedom.

    The only way the cuban g2 will let go of Venezuela’s throat will be by force, and the only force can only come from within chavismo and with the poor people in the barrios ask int for it. Cabello is clearly blackmailed by the Cuban G2, so he’s a non entity. Other than being a loud mouth and serving as an instrument for the dictatorship’s gutting of institutions, Cabello is nothing. This means protests also have to focus on Cabello’s resignation and departure (or capture and trial).

    Finally, if you want to put pressure on, to have things change, you also need to focus on Havana.

    Obama’s poorly timed foreign policy is about to hand you over as slaves to the Castro family to own, and do with you as they please. So you really ought to consider whether strengthening the Castro family dictatorship benefits anybody, other than the rotten oligarchs who surround the ruling Castro, and the corporate interests pushing for allow bank loans and all sorts of business, with what is looking more and more like a fascist hereditary dictatorship with imperial ambitions.

    • Valued Customer Says:

      About the President of the United States:
      > Is the embargo over?
      > Is there open tourism to Cuba?
      > Is there actually ANYTHING that Cuba gains other than silly diplomatic points.

      In reality. the only thing that will happen is that there will be a dialog between embassies. In fact, I can’t even remember if President Obama mentioned actual ambassadors except to say they were a possibility at a later date.

      The United States has relations with all kinds of repulsive regimes. Just because we talk to them doesn’t mean we play nice.

      If the United States wants to make change they may need a hammer, but what is it if all the nails are already driven in?

      • John Says:

        Cuba gains more dollars from lowering of trade and communication barriers. There are two schools of though on this. What Obama did is defensible.

        • Valued Customer Says:

          Yes, you’re right. There will be more humanitarian aid, but I doubt if anything other than superior cigars and inferior Rum will be exported, and that will be at $100 per tourist. Tourism itself won’t be affected, you still can’t fly from the US for a vacation, it has to be one of those education and people to people tours where you get to look at faded wall art of Che and a 40 year old Fidel.

          One thing about the cigars, is there any “big shot” Republican or Democrat who can’t already get their hands on a nice Cuban?

          As far as communications, both sides come out ahead. US funds will flow in to upgrade Cuba’s decrepit grid and internet, but more people will have smart phones and Internet Access.

          I think it all hinges on Raul’s son. I don’t know how the Cuban people will accept what will basically be an hereditary monarchy. It also looks like the guy is totally devoid of personality let alone charisma.


          • Osama implied he was removing all economics sanctions. The problem I see is that Venezuela is about to crash, Fidel is about to die, and they are working fast to place a third Castro, Alejandro, as the hereditary dictator. The circumstances are way too dicey for a weakling president, whose main focus is starting trouble with Russia, to be getting weak knees when the dictatorship may be about to fold due to Venezuela’s economic crisis. If he wants to establish relations with the dictatorship, fine.

            But the economic sanctions should be negotiated in exchange for the terms requested by Yoani Sanchez and the cuban dissidents. Otherwise what Obama is doing is planting North Korea smack in the middle of USA navigation lanes. It’s utter nonsense. Another in a long list of usa foreign policy blunders.

    • John Says:

      Fernando, great until the last paragraph. The question of G2 grip on power is valid. Regarding the last paragraph, IMO too soon to pass judgement and I’m in the thick of it and have been for decades. I support Obama’s decision.

    • John Says:

      Lets wait till the Casto brothers die. We are in holding pattern till then. Yes the Castro bros. won the status quo remains. Get over it.


      • They are preparing Alejandro Castro to take over after Raul. It’s looking like they want to copy North Korea. Get over it my behind. They haven’t won yet, if they win they’ll have Venezuela bent over for decades. Get used to being second class colonized subdits ruled by the Castro dictatorship.

  24. captainccs Says:

    URGENTE:GNB destruye momumento a los caídos en plaza Altamira

    Are these goons scared or what?

  25. m_astera Says:

    What I find most entertaining is that obviously no one is in charge. Maduro can’t do anything even if he had a clue what to do, he has no power.

    • Valued Customer Says:

      It will only be “entertaining” until the motorcycles and the Kalashnikovs come out early in the second act.
      Then the opera buffa becomes a tragedy.

      • Charlie Says:

        At a supermarket, eastern Caracas, apparently there were bikers blocking the entrance to the establishment and only letting in those they thought were chavistas.

        • Dr. Faustus Says:

          Oh my. This could be a growing trend. Only those who ‘support the revolution’ are entitled to benefits (food?), the others must fend for themselves. Wow. This could really get crazy now….

  26. luis Says:

    it’s showtime bitchez! the wheels are coming off………

  27. Noel Says:

    It is indeed weird that Maduro appears to be such a clueless president. Have the Cuban minders gone home already? And if someone is setting a trap for Maduro to fall in, is that someone so sure that, after the fall, he can control the chaos he has triggered or let fester?

  28. Island Canuck Says:

    I think he’s outside the country with 22 family members waiting for the explosion to happen. He’s a coward and afraid.


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