Sunday, July 20, 2014

Can Venezuelan "ruling" party PSUV avoid division?

Red tide coming?
I suppose that one week ago writing about the opposition MUD trying not to fall in the sinkhole was going to bring karma to hit me with writing a post about the PSUV fate. Indeed one week without writing brought me today in front of the PSUV holding internal "elections" for its political congress starting in a very few days (July 26) (1).

I am not going to go into the diatribe of obvious low electoral participation (the PSUV has only itself to blame for reporting unrealistic high membership numbers, far higher than its actual average voting record). I am not going to go into all the electoral propaganda to make the country believe these elections are meaningful (Globovision looked today like a more behaved state TV propaganda). No, the true meaning of these elections is what it is trying to hide outside of the electoral contest.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Can the Venezuelan opposition MUD recover?

The question is not idle: two of its "major" directors are forcing us to question thoughtfully not only whether the MUD can renew itself or if it has any strategy against the regime, but if its actually intending to fight the regime, amen of being able to understand what is going on in the country. As for its alleged leader, Capriles Radonski, by now I am afraid I am through with him.

Ramon Jose Medina cynical callousness (redundancy of sorts intended)

This happened:

In this video Ramon Jose Medina says that the MUD has no plans to bring out of jail Leopoldo Lopez, that he put himself into that mess, and we assume from his amused, scornful look, that this is not MUD 's problem. You do not need to understand Spanish, just look at his facial expressions. And now he is trying to back track, but it'aint flying and Voluntad Popular, Lopez's party, has demanded his resignation as second secretary of the MUD, which means second in charge after Aveledo. The communique of VP goes as far as suggesting that Medina is in fact collaborating with the regime (1).

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Unificación cambiaria" for dummies

I have been meaning for a few days to write up a simple way for people to understand why the country seems to have been frozen the last few weeks, even though Giordani is out, Lopez still in, and Capriles remains deaf mute. You may think that it seems a lot of stuff is going on but this is not the case, no matter what glaring headline stares at you. The reason is quite simple; the country is waiting at three real questions that need answers. The first one is will the regime increase gas prices. The second one is will the regime devaluate at around 15 or at around 25 for the USD. And the third question, maybe the more important one, but that NO ONE dares to touch politically, will the regime amend the labor law of 2012, a regulation that is choking all, ALL business in the country, be they state or private owned.

As long as these questions are not answered neither chavismo can plan for its post Maduro nor the opposition find again some form of political coherence. We are all silenced by the catastrophe about to fall on us.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Normal Heart

I watched last night on HBO the film version of the famous Larry Kramer play of 1984 about the AIDS crisis in New York. That sent me for a time warp spin.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Empty hospitals, empty airports

While Capriles and the MUD keep gazing at their navel and while chavismo tries to find a novel idea, the country keeps sinking at a steady pace. Today we had two gems that speak volumes about what await us.

A noisy silence upon our corruption

Silence like a cancer grows.

For the last time maybe I read my Sunday edition of El Universal.  I suppose that the new owners still did not have time to change the contains significantly but I am more than certain that within weeks major journalists will be leaving the paper, that the editorial line will go from confrontational to bland if not outright supportive of the regime. It happened with Ultimas Noticias, it happened with Globovision, it was such since day one at Tves.  And more minor examples that I could list. Today we are left with only two national papers that publish it all, El Nacional and Tal Cual; some local papers like El Carabobeño and El Impulso; some AM radio here and there. Period.  If you live in Yaracuy State, you need to make a significant effort to get news that are not filtered to support the regime in its main points (even though the red page cannot hide the whole truth). The hoi poloi cannot be bothered.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Tourism in Venezuela, uncomfortable and tacky, with the occasional glimpse of past splendors

So, I decided that I had to use my resort week now because I risked not been able to use it later this year.  The S.O. being stable, work crisis being their chronic self, I left for Margarita, alone, for exercise and "me" time. A chronicle of sorts follow.

Fading paradise...

--- --- --- --- --- ---

The first thing is that my plane fare was cheaper than the cab ride between Caracas and its airport. I know, I use a safe taxi system which is somewhat more expensive. But even if I used an airport taxi or teletaxi , it would have been almost the same and when I add the cab fare in Margarita, I do spend 1.6 times in cab fares than air fare. That tells you about the distortions in prices in Venezuela.