Archive for April, 2017

Why doesn’t the government change course?

April 17, 2017

Do you ever wonder why Maduro does not give up?

He could do so many things. But he is not wired that way. He. wants power.

Not since the Ukraine has there been a case like Venezuela and it is evident the government knows history.

A change in style? Regime change.

Change in terms of the debt? Regime change.

Devaluation? Regime change.

The only path that does not lead to regime change is if the price of oil goes back up. And they know it.
When Chavez got to power debt was $22 billion. It rose supported by higher oil prices. That Is all. Chavizmo borrowed right and left as oil prices rose. Debt went from $20 some billion to $70.1 billion while Chavizmo was in power. And with oil at $150 a barrel, it was not only payable, they could skim a little. And they did.

But now with oil back at $50 or less, there is not enough money. So unless oil goes up, Venezuela can’t survive unless there is change, from the top.

But change implies a different model, a devaluation, but it all leads to regime change if you read history. So, they stay the course. Worse case, oil stay at its current level and there is regime change. And unhappy Venezuelans.

Earlier, there was the possibility of an economic stabilization fund but money, which would now be over $200 billion, was not saved. So another opportunity was lost.

Yes, we could default. But guess what: it would lead to regime change. That is history again.

There you have it. Most roads lead to regime change. And with collective clauses on the PDVSA debt, it would be messy for this government to swing a default.

So, they are personally rich, beyond your imagination. And they wait. That is the plan!

If all else fails there is always the money they stole. Just in case!

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Something Has To Give

April 1, 2017

(I wrote this post a week ago, but had no Internet)

 

It’s really a tragedy. The price of oil shot up and Chavez took advantage of it. He also produced more and took advantage of it again, producing heavy crudes. And sent lots to China in exchange for cash. He got more of the oil. And he bartered it, sold it and played with it and the oil companies. He toyed with the exchange rate, making it unsustainably low. He allowed the government to sell US dollars cheap. The government used one rate. Everyone else had to use a different one.

But then he died. And the oil price went down.

Nobody would lend Venezuela money. And everyone seemed against it.

And then Fidel died.

And then Trump won.

Everything changed…

For how long..?

That is the question. Maduro does not have it easy.

His front man got caught. Chavez got away with many, many front men. And he played with the debt, which Maduro can’t.

When will things change?

I don’t know, but they will.

Not enough oil. Not enough money. Just wait. It is a matter of time.

Nobody is Chavista just because. There is money to be made, but it is getting harder. You need know-how, which they don’t have. They had it easy for a while.

So, they start again. Except it is harder this time.

Something has to give.