Add $455 million to the tab

VENVIDRIO1ICSID has ruled: Venezuela owes a further $455 million for the expropriation of Owens-Illinois’s bottling plants in Los Guayos, near Valencia and in Valera, in Trujillo state.

That may sound like a lot, but you have to set it off against the new, nationalized Venvidrio’s stunning profits.

At last year’s rate, Venezuelan presidents will be taking symbolic Venvidrio dividend checks up to the Cuartel de la Montaña for the next 500 years until the ICSID award is paid off.

And don’t forget Venvidrio’s stellar industrial safety and labour rights records.

Oy vey!

25 thoughts on “Add $455 million to the tab

  1. The ovens and other parts of that company are falling apart. After the takeover, the regime asked Chinese to visit the place and see how the machines could be gradually replaced by Chinese machines. It is extremely hard: almost every screw was conceived to fit Owen-Illinois equipment. Parts still have to be ordered to the US but as Chavistas do not understand they have to order them with months and months in advance, as, on top of that, they don’t get the dollars they need from the slow Bolivarian system, things are falling apart.

    Salaries have stagnated. During the first years the new bosses decided to invited friends of friends of family to the usual Christmas company parties and would give them all kinds of presents before only given to the children of the company’s workers.

    The engineers who were not sacked for political reasons just emigrated and skilled workers – now a minority – still there would go if it were not because there are no jobs anywhere else and for them, without university studies or the like and no dollar account, it is incredibly hard to leave the country.


    • I suppose the revolution was somewhat blind-sighted. They meant to take from those who “have” to give to those who “have not”, but they also took from those who “do” and gave to those who “do not”. That obviously doesn’t work!


    • “skilled workers – now a minority – still there would go if it were not because there are no jobs anywhere else and for them, without university studies or the like and no dollar account, it is incredibly hard to leave the country.”

      But what’s wrong with emigrating to countries like Peru, Colombia, Chile or Mexico? Hot economies, low unemployment, low taxes… Sounds good to someone who can’t move to Europe or the US. It’s probably hard for a leftist to hear this, but the Pacific Alliance is where the future lies.


  2. 455 Million? That’s peanuts, Chavismo probabbly steals more than that every day. Heck, that’s probably Diosdado’s family’s weekly allowance, pocket change.


  3. Another queue (only 2 hours this time) , this time half low middle class and half apparent bachaqueros , one lady told me that her brother in law had a coffee mill but for over a year the govt has prohibitted him from running it , they dont take it over but neither do they allow him to use it , the coffee is left in the yards , cannot be roasted cannot be processed . Understood that there is a way for him to process it every so often , the GNB looking the other way , didnt ask for specifics.

    Info from another person in the queue : Govt inspectors again and again inspect other agroindustrial installations knowing full well that the sheds are empty because with no currency being distributed there is no grain which can be processed . In next two months we can expect wheat products to dissapear from market .

    A month or so ago they found that some 50 tons of product where in the storage bin and claimed that they had found something like 50.000 tons. the traffic controls of shipments are now paranoid to kafkean , all distributors are assummed to have a internet connection allowing them instant confirmation of whats being done with the product in each distribution place.

    They want someone to blame for the disaster and of course its got to be the manufacturers and distributors .!!

    A bachaquero youth said he was a friend of the person in front of me ( which turned out he wasnt) and then just butted in before my turn with three other purchasers in tow . !! He payed for all three in crisp hundred bs bills and left in a hurry.

    Maybe Ill take my family on an extended holiday abroad next month , for a change of air !! the one here is fast becoming rancid !!

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    • By coincidence I was just doing some research on Ugandan agriculture and came across this:

      “Coffee producers, almost all of whom are smallholders, responded rapidly to the liberalisation of the coffee value-chain that began in 1990 and which, among other things, led to a significant increase in the proportion of the export price received by the farmers. The spectacular supply response arising from these changes resulted in national production reaching record levels within four years of the start of the reforms, while the increase in household incomes has led to a dramatic reduction in poverty in the coffee-growing areas (Deininger & Okidi, 2003).”


      • Local Coffee production is being affected by a plague ( aparently brought by beans imported from central america) , not very favourable rain patterns and the govts neglect in helping local planters with the kind of help and assistance they used to get from companies like agroislena ( this last information is from a very hard working former Chavista coffee grower from Trujillo). The products they could buy in agroislena now are only available by buying them from people who have preferred access to agropatria but which rather than using the products themselves sell them with a large mark up.


      • In Vietnam, the French-established coffee growing industry was decimated by the war. Vietnam maintained a centrally-planned economy until 1986. In that year, the Doi Moi reforms allowed for privately-owned coffee plantations.

        From virtually nothing, Vietnam rose to be the second-largest coffee producer in the world.


    • ” Which reminds me of that Yogi Berra line, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

      The lines appear to be a good place to take the pulse of the people. Keep these stories going.


  4. A young repartidor from Catia tells us of him and his wife waiting hours in line for the stores to open, then watching as armed collectives in a station wagon jumped the whole queue , taking first pick of whatever was available and then leaving with their loot . their explanation ‘this is for the colectivos’.


  5. Well then, it appears that those who do, do. Then, those who can’t do, teach, Then, those who can’t teach, administrate, and those who can’t administrate, join the Bolivarian Revolution.


  6. One more judgement against them is the least of their worries. They can always delay it through legal means, so this isn’t a problem for at least another half of a year. Remember, they still haven’t paid the Exxon judgement, and that was Oct. of last year. I doubt that they are paying any attention to that far in the future. They are just trying to deal with next week and next month.



    That stuff just works, it always does. Most people have no idea what that means, it just looks like a big, impressive, pie-in-the-sky kind of number.

    Much less when it comes to foreign currency:

    I remember Huguito firing the PDVSA execs on TV, claiming how they’re salary was: “OOOCHENTA MILLONES, imagínense ustedes”… Not sure what the exchange rate was back then, but let’s say it was 1,000Bs./USD? So about 80K a year? Not a huge number for a high-level executive at any company, anywhere.

    Even last year I remember people saying how much money they’d made because they bought a small moto china for, say, Bs.20,000, and sold it for Bs.40,000 six weeks later… “no joda, mi pana, me metí veinte miiiil bolos así, facilito”.

    It’s so easy to play around with numbers, specially with people of little to no education.


    • There was a salary scale reviewed each year per each job classification , job classifications were defined using certain recognized international methodologies – standards , a survey was done to determine what people of each classification were being paid in the country’s top 20 companies , then a target number was used to anchor the scale applicable to each classification . If my recollection is correct that number was the lowest number of the topmost quartile of the average remuneration paid by the surveyed companies .

      The idea was for the remmuneration to be competitive with that of the top 20 companies in the country so that they would not raid promising people working for the organization . It took a lot of effort time and money to train each manager and technician to the competence level required and replacing already trained personnel wasnt easy.

      Top executives remmuneration was a joke compared to what US companies paid their equivalent personnel , but people thought of their job as a life career within a corporate culture that was a chosen ‘way of life’ to last their whole lifetimes until retirement, Most people entered the company quite young and were expected to become life long employees of the organization.


      • Yup, I wasn’t one of those young employees, but many of my friends were – most found good jobs in big private corporations, some at home and some abroad. But none of them got over the fact that their careers were tripped over by that ‘plumazo vengador’… “están botaos!”


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