Devil Meets The Devil, As Little Happens in Venezuela

March 29, 2016

IMG_0388                                                             The Devil met the Devil on his vacation

Yes, I have been away, I went as far as Tasmania, where the Devil had the chance to meet the Devil (above) a gentle creature compared to Venezuelan politicians, all of which seemed to go away for Semana Santa (on both sides of the equation) And as Venezuela deteriorates, the stories are either static on important issues or making you wonder what the hell politicians are thinking.

One of the few things to change was the price of oil, which bounced back over 50% from its bottom. Yes, it is only at US$39 for WTI as I write this, but that is an extra US$ 10 billion than what it was at the bottom in February, which certainly works in the Government’s favor. It also works against those that think that the strategy is to wait out the deterioration, rather than take the initiative, a strategy that seems to be the main one, as the National Assembly will be in session again tomorrow and the only topic for discussion will be “the Pope’s exhortation for dialogue and peace in Venezuela”.

Go Figure!

And speaking of deterioration, the level at the Guri dam is 245 meters plus a few centimeters, as the Government admits that giving the whole country a week’s vacation during Easter, did not provide the benefits expected, something that could have been predicted by anyone with a little knowledge of the matter. People went home, turned on the air conditioners and TV full blast, using almost as much electricity as if they had been going to work. Much like so many other things that did not have the expected effect in the last 17 years, but Chavismo insists in running the country by the seat of their pants.

Meanwhile, there was a serious report today from Merril Lynch that the National Assembly would propose a Bill that contemplates, among other things, to recognize the debt the Government has with the private sector issuing US$ 23.6 billion in new Sovereign bonds, which would represent an increase by 75% of the country’s debt. Why this would be (could be?) a priority in the midst of the current crisis is beyond me, as such an act would have to be included in an overall economic plan/adjustment, but seems kamikaze-like as an isolated measure given the shortage of foreign currency in 2016. Bonds need to be paid, something the AN seems to not be considering in this proposal.

Meanwhile pro-Chavismo General Rodriguez Torres comes out and publicly backs a Constitutional Amendment to shorten the Presidential period and limit the Presidential term, the first openly Chavista leader to back such a proposal. He also supported the possibility of a recall referendum, calling it part of the Constitution that Chavismo proposed and saying that if the opposition gathers the required signatures, Chavismo should not fear it.

Maybe the opposition should just convince many Chavistas to come out in favor of this position, rather than act in such a timid manner so far in proposing new laws that confront the Executive and Legislative branches.

So, not much happened in Venezuela in the last few weeks. It did not rain, as the Government seemed to be resigned to the possibility of shutting down Guri if necessary. Meanwhile the opposition appears to be banking on the strategy that “God’s time is perfect” and somehow the economic/electric/political crisis will be Maduro’s demise. But somehow, I get the feeling that Chavismo only cares about its own survival and if it can reach January 10th. 2017 in power, it will get  rid of Maduro and complete his Presidential term.

Which makes the Devil above a gentle creature, compared to the usually devilish plans of Chavismo.

34 Responses to “Devil Meets The Devil, As Little Happens in Venezuela”

  1. M Rubio Says:

    As I’ve been mentioned before, this pueblo’s electricity is hooked directly into a PDVSA pumping station about 10 kilometers from here and we’ve had few outages since the hookup. Yesterday the pueblo got word that we too would be facing rationing and, like clockwork, we were cut off for 2 hours midday.

    I don’t know if they’re throwing a switch to cut us off at the PDVSA station or if PDVSA too is now on the ratio list. I’ll try to find out.

    No rain in sight.

    • Ira Says:

      Where you live, do you have any arrangements for solar at all?

      I have 4 panels from Harbor Freight, and if you’re not familiar with them, they sell the cheap versions of everything. Spent around $200, two deep cycle batteries to store the power, and a regulator/controller.

      I got it for hurricane outages, and while it won’t power your fridge, it’ll handle lights, fans, tv, etc., at zero cost.

      • Ira Says:

        By arrangements, I mean do you have access to a roof to secure them to so they won’t be stolen, and run a cable down to the house.

        • M Rubio Says:

          Nice offer Ira, thanks. I’ve got a diesel generator for the place. Share electricity with the pólice station next door so no one bothers to complain about the noise. As long as I can find diesel fuel, I’m good.

          On another note, rooftop installation hardly slows the malandros down. A lot of AC compressors get stolen right off roofs during the night, especially in the cities.

  2. Rory14 Says:

    Did you take that picture? That would have been a little too close to that devil for me. Or did you see one in a reserve?

    I read an article, apparently they are going extinct due to less places to live and a deadly virus.

    • moctavio Says:

      The place I stayed at had a fenced area for “old” Devils, I took the pic through glass. They have a cancer that is spread by biting, first time that has happened in nature. They isolate healthy ones like those I saw. 80% have died. They are quite scary.

  3. The Shadow Says:

    Blimey!! Am I seeing things?? Looks like the Devil is chewing on another Devil!!

  4. Mike Says:

    Can you please provide the link to the Merrill Lynch report mentioned that suggests that $23.6Billion in Sovereign bonds are going to be proposed today?
    Many thanks,

    • moctavio Says:

      I dont have a link, the link only works for clients of ML (Of which I am not one)

      • Mike Says:

        Thank you for your reply. Could you elaborate on details of this report and do you know if the bill was proposed and passed in the house? Thank you. I ask because I may have more info that would make sense of this bond issue IF it is indeed passed
        Thanks again.

  5. Shrillary Clinton Says:

    well hey buckaroos….put some ketchup on that thick oil and those russian tanks and dine well …oh wait…do they even make ketchup in Venz ?

  6. Xavier Says:

    10bn? Esa matematica esta chimba unas semanas no se anualiza 🙂 y igual solo llegamos 7bn mas si fuese anualizada.

    • moctavio Says:

      Bueno, el problema es que la gente anualizaba en Febrero, diciendo que a $26 WTI, ingresos en $ serian 20 billion en el 2016. De repente, el WTI se dispara a 38-39, una subida de 50%, que bajo el mimso frameowrk, representa mas o menos 10 billion, porque tampoco en el minimo era anualizado, el minimo fue un minimo. El punto s, que si el WTI se dispara a $45, contar con que Maduro se va porque no va a tener plata es una estupidez, hay que ser agresivos y no lo estan siendo.

      • Xavier Says:

        En eso estamos de acuerdo. Mientras la gente este acostumbrada a la cola y pasar hambre y la asamblea no hace nada no va pasar nada. Divertidamente si emiten bonos en la cantidad de la acreencia de comercio el mercado se les cierra a maduro y co por un buen tiempo asi que esa estupidez pudiese ser mas eficiente en auto destruirse 😁

  7. moses Says:

    Increased electricity demand is not only due to air conditioners that are being used more, especially in the Zulia, Bolivar and coastal cities; it is all the refrigerators in all the country that have more work to do due to increased outside temperatures.

    I am sure that the Government will ration electricity used to pump water to Caracas, better have people without water than without Subway service …

  8. Ira Says:

    Were you able to hear any of those devils howling at night?

    I heard it’s the creepiest sound ever.

  9. Ira Says:

    Raul gave Maduro another medal last week, so everything must be fine.

  10. Lee Kuan Yew Says:

    It might take some serious black-outs, “apagones”, or Financial Default with severe economic sanctions, or who knows what for “el pueblo” to get really upset and overthrow the regime in the streets.

    They have endured 17 (Seventeen) years of Chavismo, including the last 5-7 years of crisis after crisis, no more freebies.., “salario minimo’ (that supposedly buys only 3 arepas per month, go figure..) . Somehow the Venezuelan people “se calan lo que sea”. They endure whatever is thrown at them. Worst Inflation on the planet, worst economy, very worst Crime rate, worst Corruption ever seen on planet earth, lack of food, long lines, water shortages, heavy traffic, electricity blackouts, you name it, they put up with it. No food, no toilet paper, no medicine? They still put up with it. 17 years, and counting, y no pasa nada.

    Granted, you risk jail and beatings if you protest, but how much more can they take. And the interesting part is that over 6 MILLION people just for even for Maduro, and over 50%, if not 60% is still Chavista, they still worship and adore Chavez. (How wise are they, huh..) Then again you have a world-record 37 “Ministries” of who knows what, with about 6-7 Million public employees with special privileges, “enchufados” if you ask me, almost all of them (or how do they survive with “sueldo minimo?? Corruption, everywhere)

    So things need to get even worse, before the regime can be overthrown, by the very same people that elected it, and somewhat deserves it. Not all, buy many. Rest assured, there will be no peaceful, “democratic” exit for the Chavista Thugs, no Maduro resignation, and any “elections” or “referendum” will be fraudulent, rigged. It’s not going to be pretty.

  11. IslandCanuck Says:

    “is there less demand for dollars all of a sudden?”
    Actually it’s the opposite.
    Taxes have to be paid by March 31 so companies & individuales are selling dollars for Bs. to pay the bills.

    Give it a couple of weeks & the trend will go back to normal.

    There are few available dollars in the country.

  12. pookeye Says:

    so I noticed that the price of bolivars have held steady in the past 2-3 weeks, any idea what is going on? is there less demand for dollars all of a sudden? is the government selling USD to keep the price in check?

  13. Lee Kuan Yew Says:

    Perfect report and updates from Mr. Devil. “And as Venezuela deteriorates, the stories are either static on important issues or making you wonder what the hell politicians are thinking.”

    I’ll tell what they are thinking.. as I predicted long ago, they are cooking deals, compromising, the “opposition” MUD is getting to know their Chavista counterparts.. cafecito, whijquisito, “bueno vamos a ponernos de acuerdo”. “Yo te ayudo y tu me ayudas”, “Cuanto hay pa’eso?”.. “Como quedo yo ahi?”

    It’s a power struggle between the Chavista Crimanal Thugs that still control 4 of the 5 powers, and the MUDdy new comers, thirsty for power, and most of them for Money too. Nothing new in Kleptozuela, remember AD/Copey?

    The Chavista thieves will not relinquish power or let the few Honest MUD politicians do anything, like get rid of exchange control, raise gas prices, abolish “precio justo” crap, get an FMI loan, or even liberate political prisonners. Nope.

    Why? They risk JAIL time, extradition and/or loss of their stolen Billions, frozen bank accounts, a life with new identities in Uruguay, Cuba or Australia or St Vincent, when they can’t even speak English.. se acabo la arepa..

    So the fight for Power and Money is fierce. “Quitate tu pa’ poneme yo” is what most Muddy diputados are saying.. Bribes, left and right, favores, privilegios, secret deals, money transfers, extortion, you name it.

    THAT is what’s happening at the “Parliament”, and that’s why nothing has happened in Vzla lately, as the Devil accurately reports. Hasta que “el pueblo” termine de arrecharse.. Until people hit the streets and the shit hits the fan.

  14. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Little happening? The turbines of the Guri dam are about to start grinding, massive power outages are imminent, inflation is picking-up steam and, well, how about this for a knee slapper (?). There is a group out of London, La Rue, DEMANDING payment from the BCV of 260 million dollars for, get this, printing Bolivar notes! They, the Chavistas, probably expected La Rue to pilfer some of this currency as payment. This is just so weird. Perhaps we need to let loose 5 Tasmanian Devils in the BCV lobby? That’ll stir things up.

  15. Red Flowers Says:

    As oil inches up in price, wells that were capped due to low prices will be reopened, especially like the ones that rely on fracking. The capacity to produce worldwide exceeds potential demand at this point, and price will determine who decides to produce. There will probably be no big increase in demand until western economies start to boom again, plus you have the uncertain but growing influence of alternate energy sources as well and a slow but steady increase of alternative fuel transportation. With the size of the economic mess the Chavistas have caused, small increases in oil revenue won’t help much and they will need to fabricate other scapegoats. The big fear, of course, is that the Castro-induced ideology of the Chavistas will turn increasing murderous and repressive as their revolution fails and that China will ultimately tighten the financial stranglehold that it already has on Venezuela and continue to expand its presence in Ecuador, where it is making loans and drilling for oil that will go exclusively to China.

  16. IslandCanuck Says:

    Direct from the Corpolec website:
    Level for Guri.

    Al 29 de marzo de 2016:
    244,89 m.s.n.m.

    • Daveed Says:

      Yay, between 17-Mar and 29-Mar the level dropped at 14cm a day instead of 16cm a day, an improvement of 14.6%! If the same rate continues, we will drop under 244 on 4-Apr and under 240 on 3-May. Then again, will a rainstorm or two save the day? Or will the cone shape of the reservoir be a greater factor?

  17. moctavio Says:

    I also believe oil is moving up, but people seem to be counting on Maduro’s Government dissolving, the higher oil is, the more likely the possibility that they will survive until Jan. 2017 and Chavismo stays until 2018. I see no sense of urgency on the part of the AN and time is ticking. People going on strike requires leadership, I just dont see it.

  18. MO, worldwide oil production capacity is dropping steadily. We are also seeing a small increase in demand. It’s important to note that many information sources mask the current market conditions by adding natural gas liquids (NGL) to a total figure they usually label “petroleum liquids).

    However, NGL streams don’t compete much with crude oil and condensate. Some light USA condensates have had trouble finding a market (there’s too much of it in the new production stream from “fracked” wells).

    The oil market is really complex, but most signs are that, if the world economy grows at – 3 % per year, oil prices should rebound, and could average between $60 and 70 per barrel from April 2015 though March 2016.

    Take the previous outline with a kg of salt, but i would never count on oil price to develop a polítical strategy.

    The key question is whether the Unity faction and the Venezuelan people are willing to go to a national strike to get the recall referendum kicked off by the CNE.

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