Sunday, 21 December 2014

The spread of diseases in Venezuela of Maduro


Almost all of my relatives - we are talking about many dozens - are suffering from the effects of chikungunya. The same goes for neighbours and friends in several Venezuelan cities. We suspect one of our uncles died from it but we cannot be sure: the labs didn't have the required material to perform the necessary tests on his blood sample.

The sequels for almost everyone who gets chikungunya are tough. Once you get over the fever severe rheumatic-like pain keeps striking every so often for a couple of years. There are days when you cannot even hold a cup in your hands because your joints are so sore you can only twist your fingers in pain. The same pain appears in your legs, in your feet, in your hips. You cannot go to work.

The costs of this for a nation are enormous. The worst thing is that Venezuelans are having a hard time finding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Paracetamol, the only ones that provide with some relief.


In Venezuela that is happening to a large amount of people and we hardly hear about them unless we know them. If you have families and friends who live in areas outside Caracas and the coldest regions of Mérida and Táchira, you know about this. If your news about Venezuela come from the newspapers, you will only see isolated and very vague reports here and there.


On 17 September 2014 the government reported 398 confirmed cases of chikungunya.
On 27 October 2014 the government admitted to about 7072 cases. Last November an opposition politician from Western Venezuela said the cases would be around 25556.

Alejandro Ríguez, epidemiologist of the Universidad Central de Venezuela and not precisely an amateur, declared on 11 December at least over one and a half million people are suffering from chikungunya in Venezuela and that figure, he said, would be extremely conservative. He based his estimates on reports from the Ministry of Health, reports that are now arriving later and patchier than ever.

The Venezuelan regime will probably say the already long-standing shortages of paracetamol and similar drugs are due to the "economic sanctions" the US government just introduced against a bunch of government honchos. That's how it goes.






Sunday, 14 December 2014

Don't mess up with my Bolibourgeois! - and other crazy things from Venezuela

Bed bug, just like your favourite Chavista honcho

The Maduro government is organising a march for Monday 15 December in order to protest against the "economic sanctions from the USA against Venezuela". This means the government will get thousands of public employees to walk through the Caracas streets less they lose their jobs. To make the event more palatable, they say it is also "to celebrate the 15 years of the new constitution".

In reality there are no economic sanctions against Venezuela. The measures approved by the US Congress are aimed at very specific individuals within the top echelons of the current Venezuelan government - for their involvement in the violation of human rights. Whatever one's opinion might be about the double-standards of such measures, one has to admit they do not affect the lives of ordinary Venezuelans. And yet: Maduro wants to make Venezuelans believe that the hardships they are going through have something to do with the fact Diosdado Cabello, Elías Jaua and other honchos cannot use property in US territory or travel to the USA or the like. 

Venezuela's GDP is likely to shrink more tha 4% in 2014. Merentes, president of the Central Bank of Venezuela, had said last March the GDP would grow 4% this year.

Today Maduro also declared he doesn't break relations with the US because of "Chavista wisdom"...talking about oximorons. In reality he doesn't do it because his regime is so incredibly dependent on the US dollars for the dwindling oil exports Venezuela has.

This is curious: Maduro spent a lot of time today telling us how irreplaceable he is. He also announced the creation of a "general staff of economic war". It couldn't get more preposterous...or perhaps it can. After all, it's Venezuela.


To be continued...

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Venezuela und das nicht so ewige Erdöl: wer hat was getan und warum?


Ein Artikel in der NZZ hat interessante Daten über Venezuelas wirtschaftliche Elend. Der Autor, Tjerk Brühwiller, hat eine gute Beschreibung des Stands der Dinge geliefert. Allerdings hat er bei seiner Analyse der Lage vergessen, ein paar Details zu nennen: dass die Korruption in Zeiten des Chavismus noch grösser ist als die schon legendäre Korruption der vorigen Jahrzehnten und dass die jetzige Wirtschaftspolitik nicht nur ideologische - oder eher pseudoideologische - Motivationen hat, sondern vor allem vom Wunsch geleitet wird, die Interessen dieser sehr starken Mafiosostrukturen zu verteidigen. Vor allem das Zweite hat folgen: die Militärs, die Strukturen um den Wahlrat und die "Justiz" werden diese Regierung nur weiter unterstützen, wenn das Geld zu ihnen weiter fließt.

Wie der Bonze Aristóbulo Istúriz einmal sagte: wenn das bestehende Währungssystem werden würde, würde der Chavismus fallen.

Einfach hier gucken: Corrupción en Venezuela. Oder auch hier: Viajes de Familiares...oder hier.

Brühwiller scheint die Erdölpreisentwicklung vor allem auf Chávez Tun bei den OPEC Verhandlungen zurückzuführen. Und das ist meiner Meinung nach nicht ganz korrekt.


Venezuela fährt jetzt gegen die Wand, wie seit Jahren aber nun bloß schneller.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The military regime in Venezuela and beer for the People


I kid you not: the minister of Industry, David Cabello, just announced beer won't be taxed as it is the People's drink. This man is a former military and coup monger and he is the brother of Diosdado Cabello, another military and coup monger currently president of the National Assembly. They have several other family members in the government.

So: now Venezuelans will be able to buy more cheap beer.

Mind: A kilogram of tomatoes in tropical Venezuela costs now about 120 Bolivars. According to the official rate, the one used to calculate the minimum wage - for information purposes only as normal workers cannot buy euros at that rate -, that would be equivalent to €15.22 or more than 14 times the price for those tomatoes in Western Europe.  

If someone would sell euros in the black market in Venezuela, he could get the same amount of tomatoes for less than a dollar. In reality if you spent the minimum wage for one month in tomatoes, you could buy a total of 35.4 kilograms of tomatoes. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Harina PAN en Europa - una primera visualización


En este mapa pueden ver una primera visualización del precio en Europa de la harina PAN - la más conocida marca para preparar arepas -.



En rojo están aquellos sitios donde el paquete de un kilo cuesta entre €3 y €3,55.
En naranja se muestran las ciudades donde el precio es mayor de €2,5 y menor a €3.
En marrón claro se pueden ver los lugares donde el precio va de €2 a €2,5.
En azul están los sitios donde cuesta ese paquete entre €1,5 y €1,99. Hay dos lugares en Europa donde los venezolanos han encontrado la harina PAN por menos de ese precio: en Figueres, España, justo en la frontera con Francia y en Margburg, en el centro de Alemania.

Los venezolanos que viven en Venezuela y desconocen el poder adquisitivo en Europa pensarán que estos precios son altos. En realidad, dado el poder adquisitivo, un trabajador europeo puede comprar, en promedio, más kilos de harina PAN con su sueldo que uno venezolano...y eso pese a que la harina PAN es un producto importado de Colombia - ya Venezuela apenas produce harina PAN para el mercado interno -, un producto traído de otro continente.

Una de las cosas curiosas que pueden ver en este mapa es que el precio promedio de este paquete en la Bénelux es menor que en Alemania, aunque los costes de la comida en Alemania suelen ser menores que en Bélgica, Luxemburgo o los Países Bajos. En parte esto se puede explicar porque en Bénelux se encuentran Amberes, Rotterdam y Amsterdam, puertos reciben cargamento de Colombia primero que Hamburgo.

Otra cosa que puede sorprender es que en Estocolmo la harina PAN es más barata que muchos sitios de Europa Central.

Si Uds. tienen datos sobre el precio de la harina PAN en otras ciudades europeas o en otros lugares del mundo, pueden agregarlos a los comentarios o enviarme un mensaje a desarrollo.sostenible.venezuela arroba gmail etc.

Gracias.

También les agradecería si participan en la encuesta que ven en el margen superior derecho de este blog. No escriban lo que desean que ocurra, sino lo que sus instintos les indican que va a ocurrir.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Wahnsinn in Venezuela - Teil MCCVIII


Delcy Rodríguez, ehemalige Ministerin "der Volksmacht für Information" und Schwester des Bürgermeisters von Westcaracas, Jorge Rodríguez, bewirbt sich zur Zeit um eine Stelle beim Bundesgerichtshof Venezuelas. Sie hat gute Chancen, denn sie ist absolut parteitreu und Parteitreue ist, was man vorzeigen muss, um die Justiz in meinem Land zu vertreten.

Eine frühere Vorsitzende des Bundesgerichtshofs, Estela Morales, erklärte den Journalisten im Jahr 2009, dass die Gewaltenteilung den Staat schwäche. Die gegenwärtige Vorsitzende des Obergerichts, Gladys María Gutiérrez Alvarado, hat während der Unruhen am Anfang 2014 zwei oppositionelle Bürgermeister verhaften lassen. Sie war früher Kandidatin von Chávez für die Stelle des Gouverneurs eines Bundesstaates.

Die Inflation ist mit über 65% die höchste der Welt, auch wenn es seit langem keine amtlichen Daten gibt. Die Zentralbank, die seit Jahren von der Regierung völlig abhängig ist, veröffentlicht ihre Statistiken immer später und immer knapper. Auch wenn Maduro behauptet, die Venezolaner hätten den höchsten Mindestlohn Lateinamerikas, kann der durchschnittliche Venezolaner mit seinem Lohn nur ein Bruchteil der Lebensmittel kaufen, die ein Chilener kaufen kann - was vor 15 Jahren undenkbar gewesen wäre.



Die Maduroregierung ist unruhig, denn der Preis für ein Fass Erdöl aus Venezuela liegt bei etwa $70...viel mehr als im Jahr 1998 aber viel weniger als 2010, als der Preis um $100 lag. Venezuela ist eines der Länder, die ein Erdölpreisniveau von über $100 pro Fass nötig haben, um über die Runde zu kommen . So dramatisch hat die Korruption in diesen Zeiten zugenommen.

So schlecht steht es mit dem Land...aber die Opposition weiß zur Zeit nicht wohin.


Friday, 7 November 2014

Venezuela's military, November 2014


The Maduro regime has appointed Wilmer Barrientos ambassador to Canada. Wilmer Omar Barrientos was born 14 June of 1959. He went to the military academy and graduated in the same class as Hugo Chávez. 

Barrientos was active in the bloody coup of February 1992. He was one of the officers who took over the Paramacuay military base located north of Valencia. You can read more about that here (in Spanish).

Lucas Rincón Romero, another military, is Venezuela's current ambassador to Portugal. The ambassador to Russia, Juan Vicente Paredes Torrealba, is another military honcho. Molero Bellavía, former defence minister and one of the worst students of his class at the military academy, is ambassador in Brazil. Military man Alí Uzcátegui Duque is ambassador in Austria. Arévalo Méndez Romero, another man of the guns, is the ambassador in Chile. Hugo García Hernández is the one in Mexico. There are many more like that. Basically if you are a military and you got close to Chávez, you have chances of becoming an  ambassador even if or particularly if you are an idiot.

A large amount of Venezuelan diplomats at the embassy in the UK are military, not just the military attaché. 

Meanwhile, Venezuela is getting $72.8 for each oil barrel it exports. That's a drop of over 25 dollars per barrel compared to 2013.