Archive for the 'Pictures' Category

Pictures from disqualification march

July 13, 2008

Acting kids have the devil Ruffian killed as the amoral people look on. On the right Jesus Torrealba from Radar de Los Barrios interviews what’s his name

Family pic with the heavily armed cops behind. It was a bit excessive, cops, national guardsmen and army guys blocking the way not only into the National library but also the street. On the right a pensive lady cop is probably hoping it will be peaceful.

On the left, cop taking pictures of marchers. On the right while the mom takes our picture, daugther waves flag.

On the left, people at the end of Avenida Panteon cheering us. On the right, it is hard to get used to a MAS poster backing Leopoldo Lopez.

Kid having fun.

A picture is worth 10,000 words : CPI shows failed policies

July 9, 2008

Despite changing the definition, reporting it differently, keeping monetary liquidity constant, intervening massively in the parallel market and otherwise attempting to show that inflation is down, the results are not great as shown in the chart above, where I plot the 12-month accumulated inflation for each of the last twelve months. Inflation for the last twelve months has been running at over 30%, about the worst possible thing that can happen to the less well to do. Note the perverse effect last November of the financial transaction tax, as predicted here in an article called “The new magical transaction tax“. The only good news is that the CPI should slow its growth since that tax was finally eliminated. It only took the Government eight months to realize what a stupid idea it was!!!

A picture is worth 10,000 words #37: Oil GDP and production

March 24, 2008

Former PDVSA Economist Ramon Espinasa updated his graphs on oil GDP and oil production and they were publsihed in today’s El Nacional, they paint a grim picture:

In the top panel, he shows Oil GDP/Total GDP for the last few years, which dramatically magnifies what has been going on as oil GDP has been halved as investment and production has dropped.

The bottom panel shows total oil production in the black line, PDVSA production in the gray line. The bottom line shows internal consumption. A picture is indeed worth more than thousands of words. The question is whether the Ministers can even understand them…

A picture is worth 10,000 words #36: The country registers eleven consecutive quarters of contraction of oil GDP

January 6, 2008

No graph better depicts the depths of incompetence and lies of the Chavez administration than the one above, where I have plotted the  quarterly change on Venezuela’s oil GDP for the last twelve quarters, using data from the Venezuelan Central Bank. With the fourth quarter of 2007, we now have had 11 quarters in a row of contracting oil GDP in Venezuela, now that “PDVSA es de Todos” (PDVSA belongs to all of us, Government slogan since the oil strike in 2002/03). Even more worrisome, note that there seems to be a very clear trend down in the graph above.

When you combine the graph above with my estimates of the country’s gasoline consumption, the picture gets even scarier: In a country where we have always been dependent and have become even more so on oil income, we are producing less oil and using more ourselves as the Government irresponsible subsidizes the price of gasoline at 1.7 US$ cents per liter (6.4 cents per gallon at the swap rate or 16.6 US$ cents per gallon at the official rate of exchange) as well as the price of cars, which are imported at the official exchange rate for the benefit only of the well to do.

The graph above also proves in very direct fashion how the Government continues to deceive and lie about the status of the Venezuelan oil industry. While the IEA and OPEC give lowering estimates of Venezuela’s oil production, the Government maintains that production is stable at 3.3 million barrels of oil a day, which contrasts with OPEC’s 2.386 million barrels for November and IEA’s 2.43 million barrels for the same month.

The graph above presents a very bleak picture for the future of our country. Those that support Chavez should open their eyes in the face of such lies and deceit. It is quite simple, the Venezuelan oil industry is being damaged and destroyed for the sake of politics and we are not being told the truth. For those that do not support the Government, the message is also simple: Getting rid of Chavez will not solve the problems magically, there is real and serious damage being done to the country’s production capabilities and PDVSA’s financial situation is strained at a time that little is being invested in maintenance and increasing production. In fact, from the 2006 financials (what little is published these days by PDVSA) it would appear as if most of the “investment” that year was the purchase of the oil service partners, which in the means there was little investment.

Ironically, Minsiter of Oil and Energy Rafael Ramirez who holds also the Presidency of PDVSA was ratified this week in both positions by President Chavez, despite the fact that he has singlehandedly presided over the management of the country’s oil resources during these three years of contracting oil GDP.

Chronicle of a No vote in the Venezuelan referendum

December 2, 2007

I went around and there are some small lines left, not worth taking pictures of them. Then I decided to go and vote at 2 PM, the time when reportedly the stduents were planning to go out. Below, the chronicle of my vote:

There were five lines, fairly crowded as I got there, uneven, but roughly 40 people ahreadd of everyone in eachg line. On the left an overview of the school where I vote, on the right the people waiting in line.
It started raining, so they moved us under the roof which made it seemed more crowded. On the right the infamous fingerprint system.

On the left: Gotcha!                                On the right, the schoolroom where I voted, noted the lady on the right voting, the ballot box also on the right. The lady on the right explained the process to each voter.
On the left the screen before I had chosen by vote. On the right a picture of my ballot. I can prove I voted NO on both blocks.

Finally, the terrible indelible ink on my finger. Yuk!

Not just a day in the life…

December 2, 2007

8:30 AM Reports are that voting is light everywhere, pro-Chavez or pro-opposition.

12:00 AM I took spin around Caracas from one end to the other and it is better than people had told me but it is also a very mixed and somewhat confusing picture.

First I went to my voting center upper middle class and anti-Chavez and lines were not long but it would have taken me about half an hour to vote so I decided to postpone it. I then did a spin nearby and all seemed similar lines maybe 20-50 meters long in definitely pro-Chavez areas.

Then I went towards Petare along the Romulo Gallegos. Near Boleita a lower middle class area that tends to go slightly pro-Chavez (55-60% in his favor), there were longer lines maybe 100-200 meters in length.

Then came the surprises. I went to Petare, pro-Chavez territory and saw four schools, three had no lines whatsoever. In fact I almost missed one because it was empty and was able to park the car and take a picture in the middle of the road (below). The fourth one, by contrast, had the longest lien I saw today about three to four hundred meters.

Then I went the other extreme towards Caricuao, another pro-Chavez area and there were no lines anywhere.

Top left: Center in Petare, extreme East of Caracas, absolutely empty. Right: Center in Caricuao, armored truck and all, also absolutely empty.

I also saw empty centers in Avenida Urdaneta near downtown and Avenida Sucre towards the West.

Left: Instituto de Nuevas Profesiones between Dos Caminos and Boleita and Upel on the right near Boleita.

Left: I think this was Dos Caminos, bad picture taken through the window of the car. Right: Colegio Cervantes en Las Palmas with some lines about 20-50 meters long.

Left: I went this way to take a picture at this school where I took a picture with soldiers in line two years ago, but the street was blocked and the line was all the way down the street, about 200 meters. This is near the Ministry of Education in downtown Caracas, the street goes towards Avenida Baralt. Right: The guy with the motorcycle and the nuns with the shopping bags seem oblivious to the electoral event as a Chavez sign with scribbled No’s on it stands behind them.

Revolutionary Last Supper Mural

December 1, 2007

M sends this wonderful picture of a mural in Caracas that is as screwed up as the revolution. You can see Andres Bello, Mao, Chavez, Jesus of course, Che Guevara, Simon Bolivar, Guicaipuro and Lenin. (If you recognize more let me know). Funny that Castro is missing and that Chavez does not occupy Jesus’ place. I guess the painter needs more revolutionary education. By the way, Chavez is painted holding the “old” and by now terrible 2000 “blue” Constitution. How passe!

More pictures from the NO closing rally

November 29, 2007

People filled all spaces on the side too, as shown on the left.(Impossible to translate the poster). On the right people dancing and singing in the middle of the crowd.

Pictures taken from the middle of Avenida Bolivar showing how crowded it was back (left) and front (right)

Lot’s of creativity on the posters side as usual. On the left a very good one: “Let’s vote, it’s the only way to shut Chavez up”

On the left “Bolivar already said NO and you?. On the right, just about any space was good enough to advertise the NO vote

Left: Two girls got up on the stone in a park to take a break. On the right, as I was leaving after two hours at the rally, crowds were still moving in.

Another shameful day in Venezuela’s democracy

October 23, 2007

It was typical of the discrimination and repression that has characterized this Government during the last eight years as student marched to the National Assembly today to present their comments on the proposed Constitutional reform and ask that the process be delayed so that the reform can be discussed and modified to satisfy the largest possible percentage of Venezuelans.

But you can not even find democracy in the country’s Parliament. Despite the rain (top left) and their buses being detained outside Caracas by the National Guard, students marched massively. They had the required permits to march all the way to the Esquina de Sociedad near the National Assembly, but pro-Chavez groups (not students) who had no permits were allowed to gather all morning near the Capitol building as the police set up a barricade to block the students from even reaching the end of their authorized march. (Top right).

The cops were very ready to repress (Middle left) and for a while there was a stand off, but the students had sworn that they would not allow their rights to be violated and if blocked they would push thru (Middle right), which they managed to do because of the sheer size of the crowd (Bottom left) and as they went thru, both cops and Chavistas ran back (Bottom Right). Later, to insure the safety of the students, the National Guard had to transport the delegation with their documents to the Capitol building  in an armored car. Thus, only the safety and the voices of pro-Chavez supporters can be guaranteed in this fake revolution and empty democracy.

To make matters even worse, the pro-Chavez groups blocking the way included a couple of Deputies of the National Assembly, demonstrating that democracy is not alive and well in Venezuela. As the representatives of the students went into the Capitol building, only the pro-Chavez media was allowed in and even more remarkably a group of pro-Chavez “students” who had nothing to do with the march were also allowed in. Deputy Calixto Ortega won the day in terms of shame, when he said he did not understand why these students required “special” treatment, since the reform has been discussed extensively (!!!) and the students were getting “too much coverage” from the press. I guess the right to express yourself has now become a “special right” in Venezuela.

Truly a shameful day for the country’s democracy.

October 16, 2007


On the left, the Government’s voracity as it increased the budget from 17% of GDP to 30% last year. (GDP is up!). Despite this, Government’s statistics reveal that the average salary of employed workers adjusted in real terms, has not increased at all!!!

Thus, there is voracity, but the inefficiency is even worse!!!