Caracazo en Gotas: San Felix Edition

clp1hpgxaaqfl8qRumors of widespread looting in San Felix, in Bolivar State, spread through Social Media today, suggesting a complete breakdown in order in the city.

Correo del Caroni’s report makes it all sound quite serious: one person died, four food shops were looted – three of which were totally cleared out – and sixty people were arrested, following two outbreaks of looting between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. this morning.

So bad, yes, but not quite the MadMax hellscape some of the more sensational oppo blogs were painting.

The information chasm left by the State’s takeover of almost all the independent media is really notable on days like this. Many, many Venezuelans outside Guayana probably heard nothing about this, because state media reported on the riot sparingly, and then only to play it down, claiming not much had happened beyond a single chinese store being robbed.

Right then, my confidence is restored.

Woo hoo...corn flakes!!

Woo hoo…corn flakes!!

52 thoughts on “Caracazo en Gotas: San Felix Edition

  1. “Eso ej curpa de Uribe y la guerra der imperio de la urtra=derecha imperialijta.”

    Y 8 Millones y Millonas de venezolanos alphabrutisados se lo creen.


  2. But that dude George Cinderello said that everything was fine in Venezuela, that the country was an example to the rest of the world. Where’s Eva Golinger, btw?


    • She is in Nueva York. This morning she accused striking Bolivian miners of staging a coup against the Glorious Socialist Presidente Morales.

      Hopefully she is now sweating in a traffic jam on the way to the Hamptons and she is missing her dinner reservations and some ridiculous trendy restaurant and they bang out her Putin funded credit card because she ordered a $400 bottle of nasty French Muscadelle to be delivered to her table. The trendy restaurant can’t even get a coked up and drunk 24 year old Morgan Stanley trader to buy it at a discount.


      • Good resume of a day in the life of Eva “Golightly”! hahahaha!

        Those folks see South America as some sort of exotic safari, but instead of using a car in the ride they prefer an airplane to stay 10,000 m away from the natives.


    • But that dude George Cinderello said that everything was fine in Venezuela, that the country was an example to the rest of the world.

      Yup, he’s still at it.

      George Ciccariello retweeted
      Embassy of Venezuela ‏@VenezuelaInUS Jul 18 Washington, DC

      Importance of the Bolivarian Revolution on the development of social changes in Latin America @vencancilleria
      Embedded image permalink

      George Ciccariello retweeted
      Embassy of Venezuela ‏@VenezuelaInUS Jul 18 Washington, DC

      Poverty and Extreme poverty were reduced dramatically thanks to economic politics with social content @vencancilleria
      Embedded image permalink 12:40 PM – 18 Jul 2015 · Details

      GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $) , 1998-2014, % increase
      Latin America & Caribbean (developing only) 31.5%
      Venezuela 8.5%
      1998 was the year that oil fell to $10/BBL.

      Please, Georgie boy, inform me how poverty reduction can occur with a stagnant economy.

      Life expectancy at birth, total (years) 1998
      Latin America & Caribbean (developing only) 70.2 years
      Venezuela 72.1 years

      Life expectancy at birth, total (years) 2013
      Latin America & Caribbean (developing only) 74.58 years
      Venezuela 74.58 years

      Please inform me, Georgie Boy, how if there is the “Importance of the Bolivarian Revolution on the development of social changes in Latin America,” Life Expectancy in Latin America has increased faster than in Venezuela.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know that I immediately think of my local Chinese food outlet when my family runs short of corn flakes!


    • Some day someone will write a book about what a particular hell it is growing up Chinese in a rural area of Venezuela.


  4. I think that one dead and 4 shops cleared is a pretty serious event not to be understated. Is not a regime changer but it is a worrisome warning of things ahead.


  5. You hear about this kind of incident all the time , relatives acquientances and friends keep reporting about shots being fired in some store as peope queue , or people getting into fitsfights or shouting matches , accusing each other of queue jumplin , the queues everywhere are now practically taken over by Bachaqueros , they pay people inside for information on what may be arriving , they travel in bunches and swipe the stores clean . when you get close to where the stuff is being handed over or grabbed there is a crazed run for it where old ladies get pushed aside or run over , where people desperately (pinata style) grab for what is being distributed , shouting with anger and glee . its the final stage , the bestification of Venezuela !!


    • I don’t blame the people as much as I blame the policies that created it. Smuggling, hoarding, and black marketeering, are all rational human responses to artificial economic controls and impediments to free markets. When the laws are irrational, society becomes lawless.


  6. So, managed to track from the Twitter rumor mill the spark that started the fire. Yep, you guessed it, public transport prices:

    In short, when the public buses suddenly tried to charge what the private buses were charging for the ride from San Félix to Puerto Ordaz* (5-10 times more), there was a mutiny. Right next to it there was a huge line to a couple of chinese supermarkets and people organized and said “might as well”, since the chinese supermarkets** were selling from behind to the black market.

    *We are talking about a ride that is a must for people that live in San Félix and have to work in Puerto Ordaz, got to be up at 4-5 am to take it.
    **The chinese supermarkets aren’t the only ones that do this, but they are the more evident.


    • The Chinese in Venezuela have for decades been regarded as dirty, usurious, devil worshippers. So look forward to more Chinese grocery store sackings. By people driving Cherys.


      • It puts the regime in an interesting bind. On one hand, the Chinese could serve as sacrificial lambs to let the public vent their frustration on. On the other hand, they are counting on the Chinese government for more financing. What to do…?


        • I don’t think mainland China gives a crap about how Chinese immigrants in Venezuela fare. The immigrants are from a different class than the communist regime. So there is a scapegoat here to exploit….


  7. A relative lives in Puerto Ordaz, and told me that almost all the products are hoarded by two or three buhobasuras, who sell them at truly outrageous prices (And I mean three or four times the rest of the black market in other places)


    • Sounds like an arbitrage opportunity for me: Get a truck, buy from bachaqueros at Caracas prices, drive to Pto. Ordaz, sell for twice as much…


      • Trucks have to carry guias which control all food movements inside the country and which start from the factory or storage place until they reach their intended destination , alcabalas dot the roads asking all trucks for their guias , any error in the guias the trucks are either sent back or even demobilized for long periods during which their contents are often ‘seized’ . Even people carrying food or other stapples in their private cars are often stopped in these alcabalas and frequently have their food and stapples ‘seized’ , Part of the stuff is robbed by the guards be it for their own use or to resell at the black market and sometimes part of the seized stapples are distributed to locals ( for propaganda purposes / to keep them quiet) .All factories and storage places are routinely inspected to ensure every single truck carries a guia which contents are informed to a central govt agency , any failure to produce a guia is fined and punished , any mistake or omision in the guia is also fined and punished.


  8. A relative of my wife died in Tachira a couple of weeks ago , he was diabetic and needed a particular drug to keep it under control , the drug went missing and couldnt be found , relatives if they found the drug couldnt send it via local courier because the sending of medicines from one part of the country is prohibitted , he developed a gangrene which led to part of his feet being amputated , while recovering he had a heart attack and died.

    This is no isolated story it happens all the time . His relatives have little sympathy for the govts explanation that its all due to an economic war being waged against the regime by commercial producers and distributors instigated by the govt political opponents .


    • my condolences for that death and thanks for this kind of comments… they enrich what is said in the blog posts…


    • A terrible thing and unnecessary death. But why in God’s name is it unlawful for Venezuelans to help other Venezuelans by sending medicine inside the country?


      • Like so much else, its an unintended and yet completely foreseeable consequence of the government’s battle against the imaginary economic war. After all, moving medicines anywhere other than from the store to your home means you must be selling them, right?

        The more the government tries to assert control, the more apparent the lie of “defending the people” becomes.


      • Two reasons, one really stupid, and another that’s plain evil:

        The stupid one: maburro and his minions claimed that transporting medicine and other regulated products was part of the so-called economic war: According to them, you could buy cheap, regulated goods in, let’s say, Valencia, and then, send them by MRW to aby border city to be smuggled to Cúcuta. Yeah, plain stupid.

        The evil reason: The fuckers actually want to FORCE people to buy from bachabasuras, which are part of the chaburro-sponsored mafia-monopoly (Lines are useless 90% of the time because the products are all hoarded by bachabasuras anyway)


  9. After more than 25 years presenting El Caracazo as a glorifying revolutionary spark by the revolting people of Caracas against el paquete hambreador de CAP you might think that it should be difficult for a Chavista to explain lootings like the ones in PDVAL Monagas and in San Felix. And yet it is not. According to a typical Chavista or VTV commentators, looters are just paramilitares Uribistas trying to destabilize the Maduro’s Gvt under a well designed plan drawn in Miami/Bogota/Madrid. We must recognize how much has learned the Gvt from the Cubans who have mastered the art of writing a narrative suitable for any occasion. Chapeau!


  10. I think people are starting to go hungry in Venezuela, more than this government realizes. A friend in Zulia (who once would have been considered lower middle class socio-economic level but now is, well, pretty much getting poorer by the day) shared some distressing news with me this week. She is normally upbeat, a luchadora at heart and always has a funny story to share, but when I asked her if she and her household of four were actually finding enough to eat, she quietly answered no.


  11. On the bright side, only 40% of the “alphabetized” Venezuelan populace still believe in Axis of Evil Imperialistic Ultra-Derecha economic Star Wars. And Uribe’s paramilitary thugs have kidnapped all the food, naturally: Just over 10 Million alert, modern citizens believe that and much more. (The Draconian exchange rates are still very popular though, as is El Comandante Supremo Hugo Chavez Frias.)

    Who said education has anything to do with anything?


    • El Comandante Supremo still commands a nostalgic following which however is not shared with the current leaders of the regime , the soy chavista pero no madurista is a very popular refrain among die hard chavistas , the current leaders are very unpopular as they are blamed by a large percentage of chavistas for the current crisis and the pain its inflicting on everyone , they are directly seen as corrupt which is the easiest way primitive minds have of gauging something that mixes delusional ideology , incompetence, ignorance and corruption proper. Being unpopular they will not attract the automatic votes of many people who would otherwise have found no problem in voting for the Comandante Supremo . Some of them have woken up to the fact that something else may be needed and turned to the Oppo , others will just abstain from voting unless the regime has some direct way of pressuring them to vote for them.

      Its been noted before that many people deeply disenchanted with the regime will answer as ni nis or even as chavistas because they fear that a regime as uncrupolous as this will enage in fraudulent polling and then take reprisals agaisnt people who have switched sides and now are no longer among their followers. This is bound to distort the polling result somewhat in favour of the regime .

      I suspect that if we go back Chavez was for a long time much more popular than the govt he headed , people in Venezuela have made a habit of hating their govts and blaming them for anything that goes wrong in their lives , that tendency is still very much alive today even if the memory of the dear defunct comandante may still make it unsavory for some of them to openly take the side of the oppo.

      I think that if the regime makes a flagrant move towards distorting the electoral results so that they turn out with a bigger voting margin than expected that will not remain hidden and people will take it out on them at the very first opportunity . People disliked being fooled and their resentment festers and grows until it produces consequences which render any fraudulent manipulation utimately self defeating . The regime has to watch out for not releasing this boomerang effect among both the domestic population and international opinion.


      • My point was completely different. It’s about the Galactic lack of Education people seem to take of granted and greatly under-estimate.

        Most people, especially on these “intellectual” blogs, keep talking about Economic theories, elaborate Financial international plans and sound Policies. We keep talking about how wrong this or that measure was, or how the government should do things. Waste of time. 2 things override everything else.

        Massive Ignorance.
        Massive Corruption.

        These 2 are of course intrinsically related, it’s a 2 headed Monster, in fact, roaring on Oil.

        The fact that after almost 17 years the majority of the populace still Loves Chavez and Chavismo doesn’t seem to Shock most observers, like the readers of these blogs, and the 1 Million professionals who left, with our fancy theories and infallible solutions..

        The fact that Millions still believe in Laughable Economic Wars, or that Cuba is wonderful, while the rest of the developed World is wrong, or similar to Murderzuela. That’s simply Gargantuan, Mega-Ignorance !!

        The fact that people have not Revolted in the streets much more often and effectively, and massively, after all the flagrant Constitution violations, constant abuses, after all the misery, escasez, deaths from lack of medicine, after One Quarter Million people have been murdered, and the place keeps getting worse. Worst country on the planet, rich with oil, and 30% still support even Masburrismo?!

        Massive Ignorance: Alphabrutized, greatly under-educated populace.
        Massive Corruption: Grand Theft and Special Favors at all levels of society.

        Forget about the fancy macro-economic theories or any quick fixes. Kleptozuela is deeply, deeply screwed.

        There’s not much at all the Chavista-light MUD that will follow can do, with another corrupt wave of ad/copey/chavista government mixes, with the same corrupt, ignorant Pueblo. Chavismo and the current Disaster is an image of its uneducated people. The result. What happens when you add oil to ignorance to a “democratic” putrid government or, even worse, to a populist, disguised dictatorship. We are all at fault, for not educating those people a lot better in the last 7 generations. They are all part of the same Stuff. Chavismo and Chavistas, and others: Ignorance, Corruption. That’s it. Vicious circle.

        And it’s not gonna get much better at all in long Decades to come, unless some sort of authoritarian regime, a Pinochet, MPJ or Singapore leadership stops the bleeding.


        • There are a lot of educated people of my acquientance who believe in all sort of irrational things , who indulge in all kinds of superstitions, not because they lack an education but because they find certain silly beliefs or notions entertaining or exciting or emotionally comforting or gratifying to their self esteem , their view of reality is blinded or obscured or distorted by fanciful or warped passions and conceits . People who followed Hitler or Mussolini or Stalin where not always uneducated . Sometimes a persons character or life experiences are really the fundamental factor that guides peoples attitudes and behaviour whatever level of education they have achieved . Of course education can help many attain a more rational credible balanced view of reality, but thats not always the case. Also education can be very mediochre or if given a mediochre mind (not necessarily stupid) result in a a view of the world which is filled with errors or extravagant delusions. Education is coloured by the cultural setting in which it is imparted which also brings about quite a few mistaken notions in the way what is taught is commonly interpreted and understood .

          I am surprised that according to the polls there are so many people still taken in by the stupid explanations the regime gives to blame the current crisis on its enemies ‘wicked’ plots and conspiracies , It doesnt take that much education to realize that those explanations are false and unworthy of belief. What I surmise is that those people are emotionally wed to a certain fanatical outlook with which they identify because it gives them an enhaced sense of collective identity that caters to their ‘complejos’ and which allows them the sensation of being superior and stronger because of their fanatized beliefs . I heard a most lucid explanation of how the crisis had come about from the lips of an old taxi driver whose educational level could not have been very high. Its what weve discussed before in this blog that deeply sectarian or partisan passions make people adopt and follow stupid beliefs whatever their intellectual or educational level.

          I do feel ( as do many others) that Chavez was very cunning and talented in causing people of a certain cultural level and of a certain origin to strongly identify emotionally with him so that what he said became believable not because of the reasoning that supported it but because they felt good in believing him , in sharing his ideas , in part because as said before he catered lavishly to their often sordid resentments . Now that he is gone his designated succesors use his voice and words and gestures and rethorical quirks to try and persuade his old followers to believe the lies and misinformation they use to exculpate themselves ( and chavez himself) from their catastrophic failures.

          Going on to corruption , its not proven that education makes people less inclined to the practice of corruption , all men are naturally venal and unless their character is formed ( at home , thru the social environment in which they live) to eschew corruption they will always be tempted to practice it if the temptation or inducements are there and if socially organized controls are ineffective or dont exist. Do note that character formation is not necessarily tied to education , but having an education is a marker for coming from well constitutued homes or for having the means to live a good life so that the inducements for corruption have to be stronger to attract people to it . The kind of corruption which prosperous people indulge in also are more easily concealed or even given an institutional mask so that it is less noted.

          As a famed Spanish filmaker of the last century once observed , poverty fosters corruption as does affluence with the difference that afflunece sometimes makes it easier for some people to avoid it.


          • Bill Bass, I agree with you.

            We must differentiate formal education from a more comprehensive concept of what comprises education (morality, values, “wisdom” we get from our families, books we choose to read, museums we decide to go, international travels, movies, music, google, talking to common people every day, it’s an endless list. I remember back in 1998 how my father, a godamn engineer who couldn’t care less about Venezuela, and spent most of his time designing subestations, was worried about the ascension of Chavez in that country, when most of the intellectuals of that time with formal education in the fields of political science, history, philosophy, and even economics (!), the guys who should know better than the rest of us, were dancing in the streets celebrating the rise of the ones “who would put an end to the capitalism excesses”. I remember my father and my grandfather talking about how that shit would probably end, what is the mayhem we see today, while highly educated people like F-Toro was dancing in the streets hugged with F-Rod: “THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWA NOW, WE F… WON!!!”

            Formal education means shit to prevent the rise of these maniacs, I dare say that the highly toxic socialist environment of Latin American tertiary education even aggravates the problem further by fostering new George Cinderellos and Eva Golightlys every single day, and they accomplish that by brainwashing the useful idiots that don’t have the cultural baggage that only a minority in this sad continent possess. I witnessed my own professors saying the most absurd things at University about Venezuela, USSR and Cuba. And many of my colleagues believed them, unfortunately.

            What can really change our countries is not formal education, but education as a more global concept. Compare a highly uneducated country like Colombia to a similarily highly uneducated country like Venezuela, for example. Why did these two countries followed different paths? Whatever you answer, it can’t be formal education, given that its nonexistent in both countries. It’s much much deeper than that.


  12. Once looting starts happening on a wide scale, how can civil war or at any rate, a free for be avoided? Polar, for all of their profiteering and shenanigans, served as a semi-reliable food distribution outfit. But by nabbing their Caracas wherehouse for a housing project (which will never happen in 1,000 years), and threatening the Polar leadership (who will probably shut down or dial off their business tillsomething gives), the gov has few options for getting comida to the outlying states, at least on any kind of scale. If history serves, the government will start having to circle the wagons to keep control of Caracas as the fringe of the country falls into anarchy.

    Problem is, Ven’s only significant income is oil, and most of the oil is extracted out in bumfuck (where I have family working), and those operations can hardly keep doing business as usual when the surrounding areas are all going to hell.

    This feels like a critical stage, a line crossed beyond which looms the Thunderdome. Hope to hell I am wrong.



  13. I maintain that the 2 basic, most formidable, underlying causes of massive disasters like Vzla are profound lack of education linked to profound corruption.

    And I do mean profound, on both counts, at all levels of society.

    When I write “alphabrutized”, I mean that basic reading and writing skills could be even worse than total, savage or pure ignorance. There are Levels of Education, quite different from each-other. There is a big difference between well-rounded, top-notch Education (what you can get in Europe, and good Colleges) and what most people claim to have, which is only basic math and/or a few skills. Most “educated” people in the world, especially the Third World, still do not know how to think critically, analyse situations for themselves. They lack basic knowledge of basic History, basic Economics, etc, etc. All brain-dead Zombies, in the end.

    That is painfully OBVIOUS for the vast majority of the so called “alphabetized”, 95% of “educated” Venezuelans. They obviously have ZERO ability to think for themselves, zero knowledge of basic world History, just to mention a couple of things. They believe in the INCREDIBLE CRAP that they still do, because of it. Otherwise you would have to say that they are utterly Stupid, unintelligent apes, retarded: after 17 years of Chavismo, 60% still Love Chavez and believe in Uribe’s or Obama’s “Wars”. I rest my case.

    Their kind of Massive Ignorance is still worse than no schooling at all: They are mentally corrupted from a young age by example, nasty family values (no father, machismo, viveza, a bunch of Flojos and Leeches, Leeching from the government, stealing all they can. Plus putrid “populism” and now 16 years of Socialistic Crap, Massive Brain-Washing of what’s left after the Massive Brain-Drain (1 Million educated Professionals Gone, all we had in Vzla of Truly educated people)

    That’s what’s left in Vzla: Massive Brain-Washedand Brain-Drained Ignorance. But hey, they can read&write a bit!! Look at their president: high-school dropout, bus driver: better “educated” than most of what’s left.

    Galactic Mega-Corruption naturally ensues, like mold over wet, old cheese. Especially when you Add all that easy-to-steal Oil, and all the soft, corrupt “democratic” Kleptocracies we have had since MPJ.

    (Your German post World War I, post Massive Depression examples are completely different situations. You can only compare massive disasters like Guisozuela to Nigeria, perhaps, and few other places or times in History, especially when you cherry-pick 1 aspect of that disaster for your single purpose/argument).

    It’s a Combination of Factors, a series of rotten ingredients that destroy countries in the end.

    The combination of Massive Ignorance (the kind I explain here, worst of the worst), Plus the wicked “Democracies” or disguised populist dictatorship, even worse, Plus the Oil curse (not Norway, sorry) it’s a recipe for Disaster. Each and every time. It amounts to a Huge Cancer, contagious, unstoppable, deadly: Galactic Corruption. Massive Theft. Everywhere you look. Kleptomania Galore. Contagious Pest, now evident at all levels of Vzla’s putrid society. Every “institution”, every “industry” left, from the poor to the rich, from Caracas to the Jungle. Todo Podrido, comenzado por los cerebros, hasta el Alma del pueblo: Corrupta.

    Todos LADRONES, todos IGNORANTES, (ok, el 95% nada mas. . estan J. Guerra y Giordani)

    Ladrones, e Ignorantes in the profound ways I barely begun to explain.

    So I reiterate my previous post, adding these clarifications.

    The MUD that will follow now will not be able to save this mortally sick patient for decades to come. Because it will be another MUD of the same, putrid stuff we have had for decades, further corrupted by 17 years of our still beloved Chavismo. They are Royally Screwed. Most observers know that. That’s why we got the hell out of there by the millions, those who could. How many will even consider going back with your families from the USA or Europe before 2050?? Kleptozuela is soooooooo screwed, for sooooooo long, unless…

    The people of Singapore feel real bad for the folks in this profoundly Ignorant and profoundly Corrupt Vzla.

    We remain at your service, whenever you are ready for TOUGH corrective measures.


  14. Congratulations , your view of education has become quite enriched from that advertised in your previous post , and yet regretably it remains a tad simplistic and poor , Just read a lovely phrase from Kafka: that “some people cant breathe not for lack of oxigen but from having shrunk lungs’ , yeah that happens a lot, people even if exposed to education dont make good use of it because of other factors that influence their capacity to profit from such exposure , things like their inborn character, their intellectual temperament , the social habits of the culture or social environemnt in which they are raised or live in , additionally there is a big factor that few mention and thats having accesss to that kind of learning you achieve from being inside the work culture of certain organizations , with other people who together have created a knowhow of how to produce certain results from Doing things rather than from reading about them or hearing a lecture about them . Its called expertise and its never the result of going to any university . Its not only about people being smart individually but how smartly they can do things using their own expertise and the accumualted collective expertise and capacity of the organization they work in, Today learning team work and routinely working with others who know their jobs is better than a dozen university lectures . Hey you should put that in your equation !! expertise and the accumulated know how and work culture of organizations .

    Now first things first , you cant even start to think of building the kind of organizational capacity described above unless you have a different kind of gobt than the one you have now , the MUD is simply part of a long bridge we must build to get to where we want to go . Have you read anything about how nature created seeing eyes thru evolutionary , processes , at the beginning you dont develop an eye but only some tissue which is more sensitive to light then from there nature thru evolution gradually develops the eyesight we currently posses . The start is always full of limitations , but if you are constant you can end up by doing something thats worth the effort and the wait . Dont be too pretentiously demanding of inmediate perfection in human endevours , thats intellectually inmature , expect initially for there to be a lot of deficiencies when you start but also go for gradual inteligent improvements as you go forward, cant reach the goal if silly love of perfection disheartens you from trying (‘because if its not perfect then I will scornfully not give it a shot’) .

    This last thought was one of the first I had on my own when I was 14 years old on reading my first book by Mariano Picon Salas , so I have had a lot of time to think about these things , you are starting a bit late but you can yet achieve a more complete understanding of what education stands for , youre a smart boy/gal so go for it !!

    Meantime I would suggest you read what some of our fellow bloggers have writtten today on the subject , you might learn something from it . !!


    • I stopped reading after the 1st line of your condescending crap, granpa. Waste your time it on someone else.


      • Thats all right sonny , guess kids like you are as easy to offend as they are enthusiastic about offending others , in any event have something saved up about people like you , which I will post later when I have more time to waste . Dont worry it will not be condescending !!


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