Weekend Recap

Bad Ink Caracas

We couldn’t help ourselves, and had to join in on the free tattoo story. In the end, the whole event made sense to us when we found out where the funding had come from: the Ministry of Education.


Several pieces were published on the subject, including some with interviews as to why someone would get a tattoo of another person’s signature (well, not another person: the Eternal President). But the most heartwarming of all was that of the 76-year-old woman who tatooed Chavez’s signature on her arm: “this doesn’t hurt, what hurts is not having Chavez alive.” (Here’s the link to Aporrea’s post).

Anyway, it was a good story to take our mind of all the body-part hacking and corpses floating in Caracas’ Guaire river.

Guaire Tattoo

This, too, has Chavez’s signature on it.


Ramon Guillermo Aveledo resigned from his post as Executive Secretary of the opposition coalition “MUD.” There have been a couple of closed meetings between MUD members to determine who will replace him.

As a side note, Ramon Jose Medina sent a long letter in support of Aveledo, and placed his resignation as well (la cual fue aceptada).

Universal Censorship

The first thing Abreu Anselmi said when taking over as head of El Universal newspaper was that the editorial line would stay put. Well, this week, several Op-ed collaborators reported they had been cut off or suspended due to a restructuring of the paper’s editorial line. That was fast.

We’ll see where these people end up. CC posted Daniel Lansberg’s censored piece yesterday.

Chronicles of Cheverito

Minister Andres Izarra launched a new campaign to promote tourism in Venezuela based on a comic-book character named “Cheverito,” pictured below. In terms of publicity, we can say it was a massive success. Cheverito went viral hours (not so say minutes) after his release. This subject has been as widely covered as the tattoo affair, so there’s nothing left to say…

Cheverito fascistoide

Nah, there’s always something left to say! The above, showing Cheverito making fun of the oposition “squalid ones,” is the Ministry’s response to all the memes and jokes that made Cheverito viral. A little exclusion here, a little discrimination there, fascism everywhere.

This, too, has Chavez’s signature on it.

The wolf is-a-comin’

For the past couple of years the government has been flirting with the idea of the idea of maybe, perhaps, pretty pleasy, not really, raising gas prices. Ok, not raising, but cutting the subsidy that allows Venezuelans to fill up their tanks with a quarter. In a huge step forward, on Wednesday, the PSUV Congress discussed and approved the revision of gas prices – not that we know this for sure, since it was done behind closed doors. As you can see, all the big decisions are taken within the government party and not the National Assembly, for instance.

On Twitterland, that small piece of virtual territory dominated by the other half of the country,  the discussion within the opposition (or whatever it is right now) has been divided between those who say that “before raising the price they should stop giving away oil and such and such,” and those who believe it’s been a necessary measure since 1999 or 1989. (Please go at it in the comment section!)

By the way, as Henkel Garcia says, in 1999 those same four bolos Venezuelans use to fill up their cars, bought what now 110 buys. PDVSA is now receiving from sales at gas stations only 3% of the cost to produce a liter of gasoline.

Maduro said he would create several funds to invest the “surplus” that would be received. Perhaps they should invest those funds in, uh, covering the cost.


Although Carvajal was freed some chavista officials may feel reluctant to travel abroad these days. The US finally revoked visas for certain unnamed government officials. The crooks have been confined to the same jail as their victims. Yep, Venezuelans may find it a tad hard to travel since some tickets to the US are being sold at the absurd price of 3,000 green bucks (to Miami this is).

Minister Izarra sort of made a follow-up to Ramirez’s outrageous comment (flights were being detoured to Brazil because of the World Cup) on the lack of flights to and out of Venezuela by saying that the problems that exist in the sale of tickets are due to the raspacupos (those guys that supposedly bankrupted the country by using their credit cards), since they booked all flights in advance. Also, he said the government’s subsidy -yep, he used that word- of last year to -middle class- travelers had been around 5 billion green bucks, and that the glitch was corrected, oops.

Despite the economic problems, people have enough purchasing power to allow them to travel.

Andres Izarra

On related news, the folks stuck at Barajas Airport in Madrid made it back, and got robbed when arriving to Maiquetía.

Diosdado’s menace of the week

Lastly… (Drumroll)

While Argentina rejects its default and blames someone else, there are rumors (because that is all you have when official sources refuse to publish economic data) that Venezuela’s GDP had a dramatic drop of -5.5%. Suck on that tangerine…

This too has Chavez’s signature on it.

30 thoughts on “Weekend Recap

  1. One additional juicy item:

    The rumored sale of CITGO and its assets which started making the press at the beginning of the week but has been floating around for two or so. Scraping the bottom of the barrel for cash? Check. Dumping foreign assets to avoid possible seizure/injunctions in the event of arbitration losses and/or defaults? Check. Allows the regime to limp along a bit longer without directly impacting domestic events/awareness while maintaining the hemorrhaging economy through stupid subsidies and graft? Check.

    Because nothing says defending and enhancing sovereignty like selling…. sovereignty.


  2. It is amazing that the free tattooing of Chavez face and signature comes out of the Ministry of Education budget. Maybe two years ago, Juan Nagel and Francisco Toro reported from a public school they visited; it was frighteningly undersupplied.

    How are tattoos more educational than books?


    • Remember that its Orwellian Venezuela. So while it is indeed called the Ministry of Education, anywhere else in the world, it would be considered the Ministry of Reeducation.


      • We can all agree that Orwell was a genius that left us simple folk a guide to cope (or at least understand) with the future of government/society/civilization.
        I just hope we don’t end up being a Winston Smith. After all, it’s not a happy ending.


    • Small caveat, it comes from the Ministry of College Education, which is a separate one.

      Doesn’t make it any less disgusting, since public universities are on a pitful state, but is more accurate.


    • I am only surprised they did not offer incentives to get the tattoo like future promises of free stuff……


        • My initial thoughts were people with these tattoos should be moved to the front of the food lines and perhaps given priority in the auto market (if it ever exist again) or discounts on buchanan 18


          • No way, José. Diosdado would explain that to you. There aren’t enough Chinese cars for all those who want to tattoo themselves. The same goes for the boligarch’s favourite nectar.

            I could see tattoos indeed good for queuing up in Bicentenario: those with a tattoo in a visible part get 1 kilo more.


  3. Has anyone located Marc Rubio’s list of people recommended for sanctions? Apparently it was part of a speech he gave in May and mirrors the current visa bans but I’m not able to locate this. So which officials are banned?


  4. It’s no surprise that the testicle-pulling fiasco of the tatoos is sponsored by the ministry of children brainwashing, a.k.a. ministry of education, a.k.a. héctor “no sacaremos a la gente de la miseria porque se vuelven escuacas” rodríguez, a.k.a. jorge rodríguez’s son and the moron who got ridiculed along pedro “seething homophobia” carroña by Globovisión journalists several years ago when they pointed their luxurious choices of clothing in live TV.

    Also, I forgot that hectorcito also made a passing by the sports ministry, the same where the fascist porno swordswoman said once that she simply wouldn’t address a single word to any escuaca and also covered the 200 million dollar theft scandal.

    Dude, and people still says that there’s anything actually good made by chavismo? Damn, all of their controllers are sick haters to begin with!


  5. In some US states, a successful strategy for avoiding traffic tickets involves the open display of Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association decals on your automobile. In Venezuela, a personal tattoo might provide similar benefits, including treatment in criminal cases.


    • Not happening. That tatoo is a huge neon sign that say: “I’m a sucker that is willing to prostrate himself to goverment thugs”.

      I mean, have you seen how the chavista base is treated when they “get out of line”? Or when economical interests become involved? I have, and the answer is: Like used condoms.


  6. Raul thnx for the weekend update, a great way to read about my increasingly, sadly crazy country. Sólo falta que pongan barberos en las esquinas para que corten el pelo a lo chavez por no decir kim jong un.


  7. i must be behind the times. I did NOT know about the bodies floating in the Guaire! is this something new or did I just miss it? Yuck.


  8. Raul, thanks and please keep up the good work–even more important now that “El Universal”, minus its valuable op-ed contributors, and unbiased news, is no longer readable.


    • I am not a huge fan of the Bible (nor religion, in general) but it does contain some real gems that are timeless.

      Psalm 146:3-5: “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.”


  9. More weekend recap: Venezuela oil price down almost 10% from 2012 (94 now /103 then) and Venezuela / Colombia agree to set an exchange rate that is convertible to international currency to offset the 70% drop in trade. (what’s the common denominator? USD? Euros?). I guess they are not counting the smuggling as trade.


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