Watching Venezuelan Dysfunctionality From Afar

May 10, 2015


As you may have guessed, I have been away (Still am). The picture above, taken by me a couple of days ago in Northern Italy, depicts what I did for the last week, after celebrating an important birthday in Spain the previous one. So, I have been mostly out of touch with Venezuela, if that is ever possible, more so when you are traveling with a group of Venezuelans. And all we hear simply reflects that Venezuela has become a very dysfunctional country in all aspects of a daily life, led by an incompetent Government that despite its few successes, insists in continuing on its path which leads to mostly failures.

-Nothing shows this dysfunctionality more than the electric crisis. When the current Minister for Electric Affairs Jesse Chacón assumed the post in 2013, he said he would stabilize the system in 100 days. Two years and who knows how many billions later, the system is as unstable (or more) than two yeas ago and as usual Chacón and the Vice-President blame nature and the weather, but nt their blatant incompetence. And to prove their point the come up with the brilliant solution of having pubic workers work only in the morning to save electricity.


I can think of two immediate effects this will have: 1) Many of these workers will join the ranks of the bachaqueros in the afternoons, promoting arbitrage, longer lines and higher prices. 2) The rest will go home to watch TV, turn on air conditioners and use more electricity than its used in public offices where thee same workers share the offices.

This was probably decided by Arreaza and Chacón without consulting any experts or even knowledgeable people, much like everything is decided in Venezuela by Chavismo.

-And in his infinite wisdom Maduro honored five Cubans whose main accomplishment was to get caught and be jailed in the US for spying. Quite an example. I guess Maduro would like to have some glorious past, other than being a bus driver, sucking up to both Chávez and Cilia. But I think he will not have time now. Remarkably, Leopoldo’s jail time is worth more than the five Cubans put together in terms of being repressed, harassed and the comforts of Ramo Verde.

-And only in a Dictatorship can the National Assembly decide that previously elected positions will no longer be voted for (Parlatino). No scandal, no noise as the Electoral Board agrees with this without even a discussion. I wonder what Dilma, Correa, Cristina and the rest of the the mercantile gang have to say about this…

-And despite cards, biometrics and increased Government controls, the lines are shortages are still there. But instead of reducing controls, Maduro wants to control the whole distribution system. I wonder if at that point, everything will be stolen and sent to Colombia and the country will stop functioning.

-And in a weird twist, the Government has decided to ignore certain problems it can not solve by dollarizing. Can’t figure out how to solve the problem with the airlines?: Dollarize and allow ticket prices in foreign currency. Don’t know what to do about the auto sector?: Allow Ford to dollarize prices. The good thing is that if you extrapolate, everything will be dollarized at some point, since they are incapable of solving any problem.

-And yes, the Government announces with pomp and circumstance that all cars in Tachira State now have a chip to control their purchase of gasoline. Of course, the Government says nothing about whether gasoline smuggling has gone down. They probably have no clue.

-And the new clown in the Government is the Minister of Health. When papers said that 13,000 medical doctors had left the country, he said that only 320 had left in the last six years. Never mind that graduate programs have no students, hospitals no Doctors and 90% of graduating classes have left the country. This guy is the new Chavista “expert” someone who has no clie but can make up stories as he goes along.

He could be a good replacement for Chacón in the Electric Ministry, he seems to be very good about inventing excuses.

And so it goes, back soon…

19 Responses to “Watching Venezuelan Dysfunctionality From Afar”

  1. Miguel Octavio: Here’s a link to a piece by The Chemist in Langley, it’s a masterpiece

    The chemist doesn’t answer comments, but if you like it leave him a comment, he should be encouraged to write. I have him linked in my blogroll. He focuses on enviromental issues, but when he writes about politics they are masterpieces.

  2. Boludo Tejano Says:

    I wonder what Dilma, Correa, Cristina and the rest of the the mercantile gang have to say about this…

    Your inclusion of the word “mercantile” answers the question. As long as Chavismo continues paying for imports, all is “non-interference.”

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      But, are they really ‘paying?’ How far behind in their payments are they to, say, the Brasilian company Odebrecht? Just imagine how much they probably owe to such a major contractor doing business in Venezuela. Pay them in Bolivars? Ridiculous. Or how much do they owe to any of companies from Brasil, Argentina, Russia and China doing business for the Chavistas? All of this is being kept very, very quiet for obvious political reasons.

  3. Ira Says:

    Did anyone catch that video of the truck accident?

    Poor driver laying dead or dying in the gutter…and a disgusting mob trampling over him to steal the Harina Pan in the truck.

    • Paul Says:

      Nothing new …..I remember passing an accident on the way to Cumana where the injured couple were stripped of all their valuables and left severely injured in the car. It’s like the lottery for the locals. Disgusting excuse for human beings.They deserve to live in misery under this regime.

  4. Paul Says:

    On the electricity issue….what happens when the ridiculous reduction in working hours does not alleviate the electric generation problem? I guess it follows with their logic that you continue to reduce public employee working hours…5 hours then 4 hours, etc. If you thought colas were grueling for everyday necessities, just try to get a passport, cedula or anything required from the government if that happens.What a bunch of incompetent morons. Better off to just give it up and let the Chinese run the country.

  5. Maybe the Pope told Raul it was time to dump Maduro? I hear the Cubans think Maria Gabriela Chávez should get married to Raul Castro Espin to join the royal family lines. Afterwards they can take Maduro out and place Maria Gabriela as nominal president.

  6. Bieler Says:

    Miguel, I really missed your posts. Isn’t amazing how one can disconnect from Venezuela for few weeks, to find out later that nothing has changed. Hopefully one day we will be surprised by the “breaking point day”

  7. Floyd Says:

    “Venezuela has become a very dysfunctional country in all aspects of a daily life, led by an incompetent Government that despite its few successes, insists in continuing on its path which leads to mostly failures.”

    What are the “few successes”??

    • bythefault Says:

      There have been successes. The literacy rate is up. The Hospital Cardiológico Infantil de Caracas is a model world-wide. A million homes have been distributed for free.

      The crisis in Venezuela predates chavismo though the incompetency of the Maduro regime is by far the worse in a long long long time. Chavismo is what Venezuela has always been, a caudillo-led kleptocracy.

      Venezuela was the poorest country in South America in the 19th century, a basket case. Economically backward and destitute, the discovery of oil changed its fortunes but not its work habits. As opposed to the rest of Latin America where even elites have to work to create wealth, in Venezuela you just had the Americans pump it out of the ground for you and then cut you a cheque. Under chavismo, Venezuela is simply returning to what it has always been, a poor backwater country led by a corrupt military regime.

      Replace the Maduro regime, and the economy will work better because let’s face it this is a bigger bunch of crooks than the last regime (1958-1999) but Venezuela’s brief experiment in liberal democracy was a rotund failure too. Venezuela is a failed state because it alone among Latin American countries is a failed culture with the worst work ethic on the continent.

  8. Ronaldo Says:

    It would be so easy for Maduro to make rational leadership decisions and keep the country going. This would insure future support for Chavismo.

    Why then does this idiot always act like a thug and make decisions that end up hurting the country and especially the poor? He is totally incompetent and afraid of his own double. Even if Maduro is Castro’s lap dog, the Castros must be looking for a replacement.

    • Noel Says:

      I don’t think it would be so easy, because Maduro’s and Chavismo’s ideology drives them to meddle in everything, and since they do not accept the alternance of political parties at the head of the state they have no recourse but manipulate everything.

      Even what could be called Chavismo lite, the PT in Brazil, has imploded under the weight of massive economic distortion, statism gone wild and breathtaking corruption.

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