Sunday, 21 September 2014

New Maduro strategy: physicians as terrorists

Ángel Sarmiento, head of the Physicians' Association in Aragua, a state not far from Caracas, declared on 12 September that 8 people had died in Maracay in the previous 72 hours of an unidentified disease. He said there were no facilities in Aragua to investigate what the cause of death was and that the physicians had sent the probes to Caracas but they hadn't got the results yet. He asked the government to speed up things. He asked international organisations to help.

Dr Sarmiento is very close to the opposition and he is befriended with Mardo. You just need to look at his Twitter account.

The governor of Aragua, Tarek El Aissami, announced now there is an order of capture against Sarmiento for "terrorism". El Aissami said there is an investigation against the vice-president of the Medical Association as well. The vice-president had expressed support Sarmiento's statement. Just one day earlier the police had got into Sarmiento's house and visited that of his mother.

Let's remind peole who Tarek El Aissami is. He was born in Venezuela of Syrian parents. During his "studies" at the Universidad de los Andes he was mostly busy with organizing political activities and, some say, illegal businesses. His father apparently belonged to the Baath party in Iraq. His family is the typical group of socialist pan-Arabists who supported Saddam Hussein. The father was busy in extreme left actions for years in Venezuela. They have strong links to the Syrian regime. People of Syrian-Lebanese extraction are over-represented among the Chavista honchos.

Maduro had previously said the opposition is trying to carry out a "bacteriological war". He also said the regime-critical media was developing a psychological war. As you can see, for Maduro's brain, it's both: it's a lie that there are unknown bacteria or viruses killing people but if they exist, it's the opposition that is spreading them and, anyway, it's all fibs from the remaining government-critical newspapers.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Venezuela, September 2014

Things have continued to deteriorate, there is nothing new there. Still, let's try to see what can come next. Before that, we can recapitulate a little bit.

  • The government has to pay a lot of money it got for its bonds in October. There is a lot of discussion about whether it will default but most consider it won't default on foreign banks' obligations, it will "only" default on Venezuela's population.
  • The government is desperately trying to sell CITCO, one of its chicken of the golden eggs, one that is more dear than its share on Ruhr Öl it sold some years back. That money will go to pay what is due in September
  • Repression goes on unabated: small student protests in Caracas and Barquisimeto were met with detentions. In poor areas were opposition people distribute flyers, they are being detained even if distributing flyers as they are doing is something allowed by law. 
  • Nationalized companies keep deteriorating. The article you see here in Spanish is just a tiny example of one single problem at one single company, Venvidrios (formerly Owens-Illinois of Venezuela). The same company has many other problems and the same goes for every single company that was taken over by Chavismo.
Oil prices have kept more or less around the $100 barrel level since 2011. In fact, they are lower than at the maximum of 2012. Even if the current OPEC price is just 4.6% lower than two years back, that's already ominous news for an incredibly corrupt and utterly incompetent regime as that of Maduro.


  • repression will increase for every opposition action
  • opposition actions will be harder to organise as a lot of highly skilled young people who were taking part in these actions are emigrating
  • the security agencies will infiltrate in a much more thorough way the opposition groups, planting anything, provoking the most stupid
  • more tension will increase among the military at the border because some part of the smuggling business has to be "controlled". Still, the main change here will be a shift from non-military smugglers to military ones and higher prices of petrol and other products on the Colombian/Guyana/Brazilian/Trinidad side because the Venezuelan military need more money
  • At the end of this year, some time in November or beginning of December, mayors Scarano and Ceballos are supposed to be set free. This will be a new moment of tension and Maduristas will try to throw them in jail as soon as possible or neutralize them by going fully against their private businesses (Scarano is a construction company owner) or against their relatives.
  • Governments of neighbouring countries will remain silent as long as they see they can keep the positive trade balance with Venezuela and/or get their money back from debts Venezuela has with them.

All in all, this looks very bleak for the opposition. And yet: the government's popularity, already rather low, is deteriorating further. The regime is running on borrowed time.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Treibsand in der Karibik

Ach, Venezuela: ich habe Schwierigkeiten, einen Ausdruck zu finden, der den Prozess beschreibt, in dem sich das Land befindet. Venezuela sinkt. Seine Lage schleppt vor sich hin. Es taumelt nur so. Es versinkt unaufhaltsam. Die ganze Infrastruktur fällt auseinander. Die Mangelwirtschaft wird akuter. Viele Sektoren sind paralysiert. Wichtige Oppositionsführer sind im Gefängnis, die Studenten, die monatelang protestiert haben, müssen nun immer wieder vor der Polizei erscheinen, um nicht festgenommen zu werden. Nur die Schurken scheinen richtig aktiv zu sein. Dieser Zustand kann sich aber schnell  ändern, denn der Regierung geht das Geld aus.

Maduro ist seit April 2013 an der Macht. Die Tabelle unten zeigt, wie viele Minister er seitdem gewechselt hat. Das Staatsoberhaupt ist ahnungslos, die Einstellung ist aber genau dieselbe wie zu Zeiten des verstorbenen Caudillos: Minister ständig wechseln, um zu sehen, ob es irgendwie gelingt. Mehrere Ministerien haben 3 Minister in 17 Monate gehabt. Das Handelministerium hat sogar vier Minister gehabt: Alejandro Fleming, José Salamat Khan, Dante Rivas und nun Isabel Delgado. Das Land hat sehr seltsame Ministerien wie das Ministerium der Volksmacht für die Elektrizität (es gibt ein anderes Ministerium für Energie) und das Ministerium für die revolutionäre Verwandlung von Caracas, das in Wirklichkeit eine parallele Lokalverwaltung ist, um die Arbeit des oppositionellen Bürgermeisters Ledezma zu torpedieren. Es gibt auch zwei Ministerien für Verkehr und eins für die Gefängnisse (wir sprechen nicht vom Ministerium für Inneres, Justiz und Frieden). Zuletzt wurde aber das Umweltministerium abgeschafft.

Rafael Ramírez, ein sehr inkompetenter Mann, ist weg von seinen verschiedenen Wirtschaftsposten. Er muss auch die Leitung von PDVSA verlassen. Er wird jetzt Außenminister. Diejenigen, die ihn bei der Wirtschaftspolitik ersetzen sind aber Militärs, die genauso inkompetent sind wie er. Asdrúbal Chávez, Cousin des verstorbenen Caudillos ist der jetztige Vorsitzende von PDVSA.

Vor kurzem erklärte Maduro, man habe einen neuen vereinigten Fonds geschaffen, der die sagenhafte Summe von....$750,000,000 hat. Das ist nichts für ein Land mit fast 30 Millionen Menschen, die fast alles importieren. Anscheinend ist das meiste Geld, das Venezuela aus dem längsten Erdölboom seiner Geschichte bekommen hat, einfach verpulvert.

Minister Venezuelas seit April 2013

Ministerien 19-4-2013 7-2013 9-1- 2014 15-1-2014 30-1-2014 27-3-2014 4-4-2014 17-06-2014 02-09-2014
Angelegenheiten der Uramerikaner Aloha Núñez

Frauen und Gleichberechtigung Andreína Tarazón

Tourismus Andres Izarra

Sport Alejandra Benítez
Antonio Álvarez

Verteidigung Diego Molero Carmen Teresa Meléndez Rivas

Handel Alejandro Fleming

José Salamat Khan Dante Rivas

Isabel Delgado
Kommunikation & Information Ernesto Villegas Delcy Eloina Rodríguez Gómez

Ausländisches Elías Jaua Milano

Rafael Ramírez
Revolutionäre Verwandlung von Caracas Francisco Sesto Ernesto Villegas

Lebensmittel Félix Osorio

Hebert García Plaza Yván José Bello
Kultur Fidel Barbarito

Reinaldo Iturriza
Gesundheit Isabel Iturria Francisco Armada

Nancy Pérez
Straßenverkehr Juan de Jesús García Haiman El Troudi

Wasser- und Luftverkehr Hebert García Plaza

Luis Graterol Caraballo Giuseppe Yoffreda
Bildung Maryann Hanson
Héctor Rodríguez Castro

Verwaltung Wilmer Barrientos
Hugo Cabezas

Carlos Osorio

Landwirtschaft Iván Gil

José Luis Berroterán
Elektrizität Jesse Chacón

Arbeit María Cristina Iglesias
Jesús Martínez

Planung Jorge Giordani

Ricardo Menéndez Prieto
Industrie Ricardo Menéndez
Wilmer Barrientos

José David Cabello

Wissenschaft Manuel Fernández Meléndez

Gefängnisse María Iris Varela Rangel

Inneres Miguel Rodríguez Torres

Umwelt Dante Rivas Miguel Tadeo Rodríguez

Erdöl und Bergbau Rafael Ramírez Carreño

Asdrúbal Chávez
Kommunen Reinaldo Iturriza

Elías Jaua Milano
Wohnungen Ricardo Antonio Molina Peñaloza

Universitätsbildung Pedro Calzadilla
Ricardo Menéndez Prieto

Jason Guzmán
Wirtschaft Nelson Merentes

Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torres

Jugend Héctor Rodríguez
Victor Clark