Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: Of planes and clouds, debacle and loyalty, outdated lefties and pragmatist delusions
Of planes and clouds, debacle and loyalty, outdated lefties and pragmatist delusions
It seems that suddenly things are speeding up. On one side the government keeps proving that it cannot produce a single fresh, novel idea, on the other side rats are having trouble abandoning ship. But they are trying hard.
To amuse you let's start with the regime, once again, caught pants down on something that it should know better by now. I mention here this year "El Niño" and how the expected, predictable drought will catch the country as unexpectedly as it caught it already twice under Chavez tenure. Electrical plants are not finished to supply a possible lack of hydro power. The electrical grid seems as chaotic as it was 4 and 8 years ago. There are now small but significant power outages in Caracas, and in Margarita we had two outages of more than an hour the week I was there, in spite of the hotel' own generators...
But also the drought will affect agriculture and water supply to cities. So, what does a foolish government do when it trips for the third time on the same stone? Promote seeding clouds, with the help of Cuba, of course. The remedy is promptly decried by people who know best, that accuse the regime of distraction for not having done what it was supposed to have done years ago, from building new dams to stop the illegal stealing of water that happens all around (and that is by definition wasteful as poorly executed). But "Mision Vivienda" to build sub par housing does win elections whereas "repression" in forcing people to pay for water and electricity does not bring in votes.
Amusingly that we are speaking of planes to seed clouds, there will be less planes in the skies of Venezuela. The reason is that the government owes billions of dollars to airlines and these ones are tired of waiting. And nobody will come to replace the departing airlines because no one is going to risk it, because the companies that left will pressure their governments to block new routes toward Venezuela, etc. I read and hear in some sectors that airlines did make a mint during the fixed currency period, but what good it does them if they cannot repatriate their benefits. And besides, it is not their fault that the regime set up such devastating policies... Airlines are willing to negotiate to cut down their profits, but not to transform them in losses.
But does this matter anyway? Today I learned that after July 1 when the travel currency will go up to 50 Bs for a single USD, my planned trip to Europe this fall for work will cost me two month basic pay check. Two months. Off season. Plus my expenses there of course. If it were not a travel for business purposes, I could not travel. Period. Truly, it does not really matter that there are less flights, people are going to travel less anyway and the regime knows that and plays with it. Drought and travel are just two markers of the economic crisis.
Which brings us to the economy which some still try to point at the root of the Girodani affair illustrated in the last two posts. Well, in all fairness there is chance of some improvement now, but all for the wrong reasons, and thus it will be short term improvement if anything.
Today we had yet another minister of Chavez coming out in support for Giordani and another for Navarro, same difference. Plenty for Maduro too, strictly on obedience lines, on loyalty excuses. For me all should go to jail together but that is another story. Whatever it is, the debacle inside chavismo seems to go crescendo, forcing Maduro to pitifully demand loyalty to the army and to his followers, and come out as the sole decision maker in economical matters when we all know he knows nothing on economy and does not take any decision without the permission of at the very least Cuba. Yet, he went as far as stating that it was an outdated left attacking him. Say what?
Bien desconsiderados son algunos de estos trasnochados de izquierda, atacando en el momento en que el enemigo busca cortarnos la cabeza y destruirnos.
Very ungrateful are some of the old fashioned lefties, attacking at the moment in which the enemy is trying to chop off our heads and destroy us.
Truly, the cliché "all revolutions eat their children" is alive an well.
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