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Teodoro y dos taxistas, Naky Soto Parra

Teodoro y dos taxistas

“Con Teodoro Petkoff, me voy a encontrar siempre
en la defensa de las libertades”
Felipe González

“Tengo el país por cárcel”, dijo Teodoro Petkoff en video. Su ausencia fue un elemento clave en la 32ª edición de los Premios Ortega y Gasset de Periodismo. También dijo que Tal Cual es “vocero de los mejores intereses y aspiraciones de los venezolanos que queremos vivir en un país democrático, abierto y seguro para todos”. No habló mucho, pero lo que dijo fue contundente, como él, como siempre: “Este es un premio a la Venezuela luchadora, empeñada en vivir democráticamente”.

Lejos de apagar el foco de Teodoro, su ausencia obligó a muchos a mirar con mayor interés lo que nos pasa. Felipe González fue el encargado de recoger su premio, que presumo traerá en la maleta el próximo 17 de mayo, cuando vendrá a colaborar en la defensa de los presos políticos. En palabras de Felipe González: “Teodoro es la conciencia crítica irreductible de la izquierda, que cree en la libertad de los lectores y de los electores. Por eso molesta tanto y a tantos (…)Teodoro Petkoff es la bestia negra de Diosdado Cabello (…) Cada vez que opina Teodoro Petkoff, tiembla el régimen. Este premio a Teodoro le da oxígeno a mucha gente en Venezuela que quiere defender la libertad”. Fue un discurso breve, emotivo, respetuoso.

Mario Vargas Llosa hizo lo propio, considerando que: “es un premio muy justo para alguien que es un símbolo de la resistencia democrática a un régimen que va cerrando cada vez más los espacios pequeños donde todavía podía funcionar un periodismo independiente y crítico. Nadie ha utilizado con más valentía y lucidez las convicciones democráticas”. El Nobel repasó la trayectoria de Teodoro, y dijo: “es un hombre de pensamiento y acción que ha sido capaz de mostrar distancia con la acción que él mismo protagonizó y escribir sobre ella con lucidez”. Señaló que Teodoro ha demostrado grandeza y valentía, y enfatizó que “este premio tiene una significación muy especial y que va a trascender largamente las fronteras de la propia Venezuela”. Agradeció a Teodoro su causa y la de todos los venezolanos que trabajamos por la defensa de la democracia.

Con la hermosa imagen de Teodoro viendo la entrega desde una computadora, repasé las palabras de González y Vargas Llosa. Hay trayectorias que hacen converger a divergentes, hay historias que fomentan consensos, la unanimidad de la coherencia.

…..

Hoy tuve el placer de conversar públicamente con Héctor Torres sobre su libro “Objetos no declarados”. Pasé varios días tratando de hilar mis impresiones con sus historias, su urbanidad con la mía. Un choque las alineó. Les cuento.

Un par de taxistas chocan en una calle de Chacao. El frenazo del primero, le hizo imposible al segundo recortar la velocidad para no llegarle. El que frena apaga el carro y abraza el volante. Yo estoy a su lado. El que lo chocó, se baja como una fiera y grita: “Pero bueno, maldito mamagüevo, ¿qué coño de la madre es lo que te pasa a ti? ¡Bájate de esa mierda y arreglamos este peo ya!”. No pude moverme. La ira de ese Hulk me hizo temer el destino del señor que veía a mi lado. Hulk golpea la maleta del carro. Otros transeúntes se detienen expectantes. El primer taxista no soltaba el volante, mantenía en su mano derecha un teléfono celular. La fiera revisaba su parachoques, sus luces. Negaba con la cabeza y decía más groserías. Así hasta llegar a la puerta del delantero y patearla. Nadie interviene. Todos vemos.

El taxista delantero abrió lentamente la puerta. Su rostro estaba enrojecido, sudado. Una suerte de gemido acompañaba sus movimientos. Negaba con la cabeza. Hulk abre espacio como para estudiarlo. El delantero muestra su celular y le dice llorando: “Perdóname. Me acaban de avisar que se me murió mi vieja”. Un sonido común rompió el silencio. Hulk se humaniza en un nanosegundo, se hace Bruce Banner. Abre sus brazos al delantero y dice: “Coño, hermano, qué desgracia. Ven acá”. Con la mano derecha le envuelve el cuello, con la izquierda lo abraza. El delantero llora con desconsuelo. Nadie tocó corneta. Los que van pasando respetan la escena, la intuyen. Bruce Banner se aleja por momentos para preguntarle por su mujer, por sus hijos. El delantero responde bajito, gimiendo. Banner palmea su espalda y le abre la puerta del carro. Le indica que dejen eso así, que él resuelve; que trate de irse directo a la casa, pero que se serene, porque si sus hijos lo ven así “se jode todo”, que no olvide que él es un padre de familia, el hombre de la casa y ahora es que empieza lo más duro.

El delantero arranca y Bruce Banner recoge su parachoque. Algunos testigos le agradecen lo que hizo, lo miran con amor. Banner suspira antes de arrancar y todos vuelven a sus propias historias.

La compasión es una emoción arrolladora, difícil de declarar.

Naky Soto Parra.
Derechos de publicación cedidos por la autora a Infovzla.

UN PAÍS POR PEDACITOS

UN PAÍS POR PEDACITOS

 Recopilación realizada por: Guaritoto González

Abril 13, 2015

 

1. Así como pena ese señor en Panamá representando a Venezuela. Mejor hubiese ido una Miss! Isabel Hernández

2. ¿Doble? Sí, imbécil por partida doble. María Gabriela Méndez

3. ¿Cuál es la actitud sana ante la charada patética del doble de Maduro: llorar, vomitar, ca—rse de la risa? Boris Munoz

4. A Maduro lo recibió el ministro del trabajo, ni siquiera el canciller, además del desplante, nótese la fina ironía de los panameños. Erik Del Bufalo

5. Cumbre borrascosa. Jean Marc Tauszik

6. El Gobierno venezolano se ha convertido, con esfuerzo y tesón, en una pesadilla cotidiana. Miguel Mariano Arias

7. En 1998 con mi sueldo de HBO y unos piches ahorritos, me compre un Volkwagen escarabajo… Sin ninguna complicación, hoy con dos sueldos no puedo ni arreglar mi cacharrito. Francisco Murmullo García

8. ¡Nikolái vamos a tener un problema! ¡No hay mayonesa! Vicente Corostola

9. Quién te hubiera dicho, padre
que la tierra que escogiste
iba a ser terco estiércol
mierda roja
y soberana? Sonia Chocrón

10. Estoy muy comprometida con ser venezolana pero cuando las naciones se convierten en cárceles es legítimo pensar en el propio destino. Gisela Kozak Rovero

 
Bonuscrack
“Mientras los gobiernos van de cumbre en cumbre, los pueblos van de abismo en abismo” Chávez. Ana Chinaloy

DEADLY WEAPONS AUTHORIZED TO CONTROL DEMONSTRATIONS

By Edgar López.  El Nacional – Published January 29, 2015

ELOPEZ@EL-NACIONAL.COM. JANUARY 29, 2015 – 12:01 AM

Minister of Defense, Vladimir Padrino, declares that the military must intervene to “avoid disturbances”

Resolution 008 610 of the Ministry of Defense, published in the Official Gazette of January 27, 2015, establishes a new model for the military to control public order, which includes the “use of potentially lethal force, through the use of firearms or other potentially lethal weapons, as a recourse of “last resort” to prevent public disorder, support the legitimately constituted authority and reject any aggression, confronting it immediately by all necessary means.”

The new rules undermine the guarantees described in Article 68 of the Constitution, which states: “the use of firearms and toxic substances to control peaceful demonstrations is prohibited. The law shall regulate the actions of the police and security forces when they control public order.”

The resolution signed by the Commander in Chief Vladimir López Padrino is not a law as such, as required by the Constitution, and does not distinguish between peaceful and violent demonstrations, only describing deadly violence briefly as the “creation of a life-threatening situation.” The safeguards seem insufficient, as they only state that “when the use of firearms is unavoidable” the military should take precautions to reduce damage.

Moreover, international standards are also ignored, including those set out in the 2009 Report on Citizen Security and Human Rights prepared by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: “… as armed forces lack the proper training to control public order and safety, the fight against insecurity, crime and violence in the domestic sphere should be the responsibility of an efficient civilian police force, respectful of human rights.”

In so far as training the military to try and avoid the use of excessive force, a second temporary provision of the resolution indicates that within the next three months “instructions will be given for the preparation of a ‘Manual of Standards and Operating Procedures of Security Services in the Field of Public Order, of common use for members of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces. However, the authorization for the military to intervene in protests and use deadly weapons has come into effect immediately.

 

Original source: López, Edgar. “El equipaje es una cosa infinita” (Baggage is infinite). El Nacional. January 29, 2015. C.A. Editorial El Nacional. January 29, 2015.

http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Autorizan-uso-armas-mortales-protestas_0_564543734.html

Photo: Omar Véliz / Archivo. Represión a manifestantes en Venezuela

Rights granted byEdgar López to infoVnzla

#infoVnzla

 

100 euros for a Zara queue number

By Daniel Lozano

ElMundo.es – Junio 07, 2014

The first thing you ask yourself is when Venezuela got screwed. Vargas Llosa’s quote has an immediate response for the opposing half: 15 years ago with Hugo Chavez’ victory. Erika Farías, a governor and a follower of the deceased president, sets the crack in the distant past: 3,000 years ago. And the radicals of the revolution, who believed they lived in a paradise for a decade, have their own bar: the day the “supreme commander” died. Amid bickering among Bolivarians, a phrase is repeated as a weapon: “We have a homeland”. Some say they feel the revolutionary soul, others reject it with all of their hearts. But all suffer it turned into endless queues, relentless rise in prices, wild urban violence and the deterioration of basic services such as health. Day by day, every day.

Venezuela is now living the new version of the Cuban Special Period from the nineties, when suitcases arrived to the island full with staple products. But with a crucial difference: Cuba was adapting to a new life without Soviet subsidy, while Venezuela is the richest Latin American country with the largest oil reserves on the planet. It produces over 2.5 million of barrels per day, in a black-gold bonanza: almost $ 100 per barrel.

Wednesday

No deodorant, or coffee, or cancer drugs

A long list of requests from friends, something unthinkable in the past, fills my suitcase when returning from Colombia. The “beautiful revolution”, if it ever was, shows today its most gaunt face once you land at Maiquetia airport. Nobody asks for García Márquez books, Evelio Rosero’s boom novel or Juan Valdez’ new coffee creation. Not even the tricolor jersey, so trendy these days thanks to James Rodriguez’ goals in the World Cup. Only what is really needed, Latino shame doesn’t matter right now.

Like Alex Vasquez, a star reporter for El Nacional, who couldn’t find a simple deodorant spray for weeks. “I have one that is running out”, he recalled before I left. “Who would have imagined this happening in Venezuela?”, he questioned after incorporating the Colombian product to his toiletries bag. Teresa wanted a deodorant, an intimate soap “that I can’t find anywhere” and “tasty coffee from Colombia”. She owns a spa, but the steam bath doesn’t work (one mechanical piece is missing). The hydro tub was dry for six months for the same reason. Now in her free time she jumps from one side to another in the city in search for the basic food basket for her family.

According to a research done by a local newspaper, it takes three days and seven hours in line to buy it. Alexandrina Rodriguez was missing a bulb for her Samsung TV, but it was “impossible to find it in Caracas”. She also receives with joy items that have become a luxury: condensed milk, olive oil, cereals with oats and brown sugar.

Others chose medicine: there is a shortage of antibiotics. Not to mention antiretrovirals (between 11 and 19 are missing every month) or cancer drugs (17 of the most important are missing). There aren’t any reagents, needles are missing and Mrs. Rosita, an old lady from the neighborhood, couldn’t get a simple x-ray. Women might as well forget about fighting urinary tract infections.

Fortunately, none of my friends asked for toilet paper. In recent weeks you can find them at supermarkets, but for many days planes arrived with those surprising additional packages. Venezuela hits you right at the airport, so you have a clear idea where you arrived. The air conditioning fails and so does the water for several hours. The hole in the sink is huge, there are cracks on the ground, shops closed … But, of course, the government is preparing a tax for breathing ozone air: 127 bolivars to be charged with each airplane ticket.

Thursday

Four exchange rates for the bolivar and 60% inflation

Taxis in Caracas have new fees that no one authorizes. After haggling, the average fee is around 150 bolivars. Explaining how much is that in euros supposes another chronic in itself, because Venezuela has four different exchange rates: the official (at 6.30 bolivars per U.S. dollar and 8.55 per euro), Sicad 1 (an alternative auction, ranging around 10 bolivars per dollar), Sicad 2 (a second auction of around 50 bolivars per dollar) and the black market (about 70 bolivars per dollar).

Therefore, the taxi ride would cost, at the official price, about 17.50 euros, a real nonsense. “But we all know that the economy here runs by the black market”, argues the driver, taking advantage of the maddening control exchange imposed by Chavez 11 years ago. Don’t forget that the minimum wage is 4,251 bolivars (497 euros) in a society so battered by inflation (annual inflation exceeds 60%, the highest in the world) that any increase gets devoured.

Traffic jams are never lacking in a country where it costs more to buy bottled water (also not found lately, half-liter containers are missing) than to fill a car with gas. The novelty in the street is a new urban scene that gets repeated every day: hundreds of people wandering around like zombies with plastic bags in their hands. Bags of food they were able to snag. As a friend describes it on his Twitter account, which has become a spillway for Venezuelan hardships: “I feel like I’m in The Walking Dead with my bag of corn flour and cooking oil in the Metro”.

Friday

Surgeons operating with their cellphone flashlights

Upon arriving home, another welcome: a national blackout. The third largest this year, in addition to hundreds of local ones that happen every day. In the land of energy, there is none. This time it affects 70% of the country for at least three hours. In some cities it takes days to recover. The Government defends itself accusing conspirators, iguanas or hurricane winds that only attack pylons. But a revolutionary union embarrasses the minister: the infrastructure was not well maintained “because it was very expensive”. In a hospital in Caracas, surgeons are forced to operate using the flashlight in their cellphones. It’s as if one of the Latin American capitals with the most beautiful light filtering through the majestic El Ávila mountain, was bent on being in the dark. Even in daylight.

Saturday 

7,000 euros for an airline ticket to Spain

A friend alerts that kilometric queues have returned to Berskha. Zara broke records a few days ago with the arrival of new affordable clothing. Experts say that the Government sought a “Daka effect” —referring to socialist sales in appliance stores last November, which enabled their victory in the municipal elections. The queue starts at five in the morning. Then positions can be sold at 800 bolivars (about 100 euros, always at the official exchange rate). Pants costs 1,200 bolivars (140 euros) and shoes between 500 and 800 bolivars (60 to 100 euros); while shoes in regular stores sell for more than 2,000 bolivars (230 euros). Each person buys up to six pieces of clothing.

A large part of the middle class wants to flee, but even that is an illusion. The multi billion dollar debt that the government has with the airlines reduced airplane seats available and prices raised. Travelling to Spain, if you were able to find a ticket, cost 60,000 bolivars (7,000 euros), but it is so complex to find one …

Sunday

Panic rooms for fear of stray bullets

Caracas has its own wailing wall, an imaginary wall soaked in tears daily: Bello Monte’s morgue. We are at the epicenter of violence that has turned Venezuela into the second most savage country in the world: nearly 25,000 homicides last year, according to independent sources. The balance from the first months of 2014 confirms similar figures.

Here you can smell death, the same death two former policemen, members of a paramilitary gang that sympathizes with Chavez, sought in a surgery room of the University Hospital. It seems like a movie: the former agents kill a thug who they had previously shot. Afterwards, they kill his brother who was waiting outside and a worker. Thirty bullets are scattered between the operating room and the adjoining room.

Reality is so hard that the country no longer finds more synonyms for its criminals, no matter how much you look them up in the dictionary: “malandros”, “choros”, “azotes”, “antisociales”, “bichos”, “hampones”… Many of those fleeing the country do so because of the violence. Those who have not, changed their ways of life. Nightlife is completely different from the past. Nobody dares to park on the street. Merchants pay policemen to accompany them to the banks. Only a fraction of the kidnappings is reported. In poor neighborhoods there’s a curfew and some families have built panic rooms, reinforced with concrete, in fear of stray bullets.

Monday

Anorexic newspapers and a TV without series or movies

A breakfast at a fruit store and a Portuguese bakery are as expensive as the Ritz hotel in Madrid. An orange juice (30 bolivars), a cup of oats (18 bolivars), coffee (25 bolivars) and a ham and cheese sandwich (105 bolivars). At the official rate, a total of 20.8 euros. The only advantage is that the newspapers are so anorexic that in half hour you are able to read the entire press and eat. Maduro’s government decided to strangle independent media by impeding their access to paper, in addition to buying out the most popular newspaper read in Venezuela.

Public television is managed as if Cuban channels: pure propaganda and a discharge of insults and threats against the opposition. Weekdays, Venezolana de Television doesn’t offer series or even films. Only propaganda or Maduro’s constant interventions. One of the few breaks Venezuelans had was a comedy latenight show, created by comedian Luis Chataing. But even that was taken away from them. Government pressure ended with his wits after satirizing the conspiracy assassination attempts against Maduro.

Tuesday

Five months waiting to get a Passport

Finally, after a month without finding it, I bought milk. It comes from Chile, it’s a bit yellow, but as to complain. A friend has been waiting five months to get her passport. She’s been informed that she should travel to another state to obtain it.

“I took the initiative to create ‘@mamiencontro’ (mommy found) because I had the difficult task of being a mother in this time of scarcity. I always ran into friends and even family who told me to warn them if I found certain product. It was word of mouth”, described Dayimar Ayala, a young and brave journalist who has created a twitter account as a public service, a GPS for parents in distress.

Tuesday is also the day chosen by Maduro for his radio show (which also airs on TV). Today it will be aired from Catia, a traditionally pro-Chavez area. The presenter follows the exploits of the revolution and asks a lady about the presidential proposals.

– They have failed here in everything, we don’t have water, we don’t have casks … I don’t have anything, not even a pension.

Trapped on a live broadcast, the host swallows his nervousness and asks another woman. The response causes an immediate transmission cut: “We hope the president helps us, because there are problems with the water …”.

 

Source: Lozano, Daniel. “El Mundo”. 100 euros por un número para la cola de Zara. Junio 06, 2014. Unidad Editorial Información General S.L.U.

http://www.elmundo.es/cronica/2014/07/06/53b7e16822601d87028b456e.html

 

Translated by #infoVnzla

@infoVnzl

UN PAÍS POR PEDACITOS

Recopilación realizada por: Guaritoto González

Julio 08, 2014

1. “Este primer cambio no vendrá de la oposición, sino del instinto de conservación, viveza y de cierta sensatez, de aquellos del gobierno decididos a cambiar el reaccionario modelo cubano” Padre Luis Ugalde vía Iruña Urruticoechea

2. Esos “compañerismo” y “lealtad” que tanto exige el poder, son los viejos “complicidad” y “encubrimiento” que tanto nos han jodido.  Héctor Torres

3. Cada vueltica de los Sukoy se gasta en combustible un bojote de dólares, que se pudieran estar usando para comprar los reactivos para el Cáncer. Marianella Torres Wagner

4. Anoche una amiga le pide a un mesonero que nos tome una foto, el mesonero enfoca y nos dice: “a reírse como si consiguiéramos azúcar en el mercado y viviéramos en un país perfecto!”. Reír o llorar?  Graisa Molina

5. ¿Cuánto tiempo debo esperar para sacar del “favoritos” del teléfono a un amigo que hoy se va del país? ¿Cuánto dura ese luto en que no terminas de aceptar que otro pana más se hartó de este peo y busca en otro país lo que hoy día Venezuela no le puede ofrecer? Gustavo Alemán

6. CAPITALISMO SALVAJE el nuevo IMPUESTO. Llevo una hora en la cola para pagar el “AIRE” que respiramos en el aeropuerto. VERGÜENZA! Corrupción! están quebrados. Daniela Tugues Correa

7. El medio es el chantaje. Erik Del Búfalo

8. El socialismo es medio-monopólico…  Nacho Suárez

9. Todo parece indicar que sí es cierta la venta de EL UNIVERSAL por medio de un consorcio español y pagado con dinero del chavismo en 90 millones de Euros. Aún la empresa no informa nada a los trabajadores y estamos en espera de un comunicado oficial. El duelo será profundo y doloroso para todos los trabajadores (…) Por el momento sabemos que el hombre invisible compró el periódico donde trabaja Clark Kent con la ayuda de un consorcio Mandrake y el dinero de Al Capone y el Wason. Rayma Suprani

10. Será que El Universal quedará sólo para ver Los Obituarios … Leopoldo Díaz

Bonuscrack
Hoy el señor José Correia, dueño de la famosa panadería El Faro de la Candelaria, tenia previsto regresar a su Portugal natal agobiado por la inseguridad, la incertidumbre y el caos que se vive en el país, pero el martes pasado, dos delincuentes se lo impidieron al asesinarlo a las 6:30 AM cuando se disponía a abrir la panadería para robarlo. Rafael Soteldo

Producido por #infoVnzla

@inoVnzl

Venezuela Is Running Out of Cookies and Coffins

By Boris Muñoz

vocativ.com – June 17, 2014

On the morning of June 6, 1958, an engineer named Samuel Burkar went to a local market to buy a bottle of water in Caracas. He needed to wash his face after shaving, but the city was in the midst of a terrible drought, and even the faucets were dry. In the end, Burkar couldn’t find what he was looking for, and was forced to use a bottle of peach juice to rinse away the foam.

Much has changed in Venezuela since Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez shared that anecdote in an article he wrote at the time. But these days, life in Caracas seems even more dire. For a year and a half now, crippling shortages have plagued Venezuela and the capital in particular. In many parts of the city, there’s no running water, let alone peach juice or razor blades. The shortages are so bad that one of the country’s biggest producers of spring water and sodas announced on Monday that it was closing because of lack of materials. Every day, it seems the list of things you actually can buy in Venezuela gets shorter.

The shortages began in early 2013, not long after President Nicolas Maduro became interim president and devalued the country’s currency by nearly 50 percent. Maduro was trying to protect the country’s dwindling national treasury and curb its crippling inflation. But the strategy backfired, and the currency controls spooked foreign companies.

desabastecimiento

Don’t let them eat cake: Workers stand in a bakery with empty shelves in Caracas. REUTERS/JORGE SILVA

Because Venezuela is so dependent on bringing goods into the country, the result has been a daily struggle to buy ordinary items such as cornmeal, oil, coffee, sugar, milk, deodorant and toilet paper. Take the case of bread, for example. Bakers have found it very difficult to acquire flour because Venezuela imports most of its wheat. Local mills have virtually stopped functioning. Bakeries have reduced their production to peak hours and many ration their bread, selling just two baguettes per customer to those willing to wait in long lines in the hot sun. The shortages, coupled with the government’s decision to regulate the price of bread, have forced bakers to stop making products the government doesn’t control such as cakes, cookies and pastries.

More recently, Venezuela’s shortages have expanded beyond basic goods to affect the country’s health and transportation sectors. The government admitted in May that there isn’t a single new car for sale in a country that boasts the cheapest gas prices in the world. Meanwhile, products for treating hypertension and circulatory diseases, stents and reagents for blood tests and cancer treatments have become difficult to find. “I can still find…drugs for my mom’s chemotherapy with no problem,” says Adriana Pardo, 42, who works in the music industry in Caracas. “But I have to tour a dozen pharmacies to find general medications to relieve the side effects like vomiting and diarrhea.”

urnas

Rest in peace: A worker makes a floral arrangement at an undertaker’s showroom in Caracas. Venezuelan funeral homes are struggling to find enough coffinsREUTERS/CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS

For those outside big cities, the situation is even more dramatic. And it became clear last week that Venezuela was experiencing a coffin shortage. Metal for caskets is in short supply, and demand has been rising in a country that now has the world’s second highest homicide rate. Juan Carlos Fernandez, the director of Ataúdes Venezuela, one of the largest coffin manufacturers in Caracas, told The Associated Press that his company has been forced to lower production. And if the shortage continues, he said, within three months “there will be no coffins to bury people.”

Since the shortages began, the Venezuelan government has claimed that the country’s business leaders, who mainly support Maduro’s rivals, are sabotaging the country, waging economic war to keep products off the shelves. More recently, the government has been trying to import massive amounts of basic products and rely on a single type of currency exchange rate (the country currently has three) in an effort to stop the bleeding.

cola

Breadlines: People outside a supermarket to buy food in CaracasAFP/GETTY IMAGES//FEDERICO PARRA

These steps may help put more goods on the shelves, but many economists think they won’t be enough to stop spiraling inflation and help the economy grow. So going forward, Venezuelans may not have to use peach juice to wash their face after shaving, but they will certainly have to live with a dramatic decline in their standard of living. And not even a quasi-biblical flood, like the one that saved the day back when García Márquez’s was on the ground, can rescue the country from its uncertain fate.

 

Source: Muñoz, Boris.”Venezuela Is Running Out of Cookies and Coffins”. vocativ.com. June 17, 2014.

http://www.vocativ.com/world/venezuela-world/venezuela-running-cookies-coffins/

Main photograph: Cooling off: Children swimming in a public fountain in Caracas in 2013 before the shortages began.

REUTERS/JORGE SILVA

Publication rights granted to #infoVnzla by Boris Muñoz

@infoVnzl

 

 

We are in a state of shock

By Axel Capriles

Dinero – June 6, 2014

INTERVIEW

Venezuelan Jungian psychoanalyst Axel Capriles believes the Government has led Venezuelans to fend for themselves, relying on selfishness and trickery, which in turn has led to a fractured and dismembered society

Economic statistics in Venezuela are as clear as can be: inflation has reached 57%, the scarcity index hovers around 28%, and the murder rate stands at 39 deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants. These figures speak of a country immersed in one of the worst socioeconomic crises of recent years, one that in the opinion of Axel Capriles, a social psychologist and PhD in Economic Sciences, will be very difficult to overcome because “the government knows that the measures needed to correct this situation contradict the political system it has been implementing.”

However, despite Capriles recognizing that the country is suffering a severe economic crisis, he does not believe that a social uprising is on the cards right now given that people are looking to adapt to the situation through individualistic anarchism in order to solve their particular problems. In his opinion, Venezuelans are trying to get by through a mix of selfishness and trickery, something that translates into a fractured and dismembered society.

Are Venezuelans getting used to scarcity and survival?

I don’t think we can talk of becoming accustomed to the situation, because it is quite unique for Venezuelans. I think it is more a matter of perplexity. We are confronting a new experience and we do not know how to react, which is why sometimes we feel enraged and take part in demonstrations, but also why we sometimes seem passive or rely on cunning. It is premature to say we have become used to this, because we have not become Cuba yet, although this is a possibility we cannot rule out.

Generally speaking, we are in a state of shock facing an experience that we did not believe was possible. No one could have imagined that in this oil-rich country people were going to suffer the level of shortages we are currently witnessing, queuing for hours just to find basic staples. This state of perplexity demands an examination of our cultural identity. We are experiencing a situation of collective paralysis, perplexity, fear and uncertainty, a situation in which the collective actions that could pave the way for a transformation have yet to materialize in definitive terms.

So is Venezuela still far from a scenario of social upheaval?

Many people are expecting a social outburst. The thing is the government has made Venezuelans fend for themselves and find the solution to their problems individually. People have become used to arbitrariness, relying on cunning to get what they need. Everyone is increasingly looking to adapt to these situations through a sort of individualistic anarchy, where we all partake in a survival-mode selfishness to satisfy our needs.

In this context, Venezuelans have resorted to finding a contact person at the supermarket to tell them when a given product has arrived, or to paying tips to receive preferential treatment. Alternatively, street vendors make their families stand in line to buy food that they will later re-sell at higher prices. This has led to the emergence of an underground economy that revolves around shortages and the related street smarts necessary to confront them. This is the formula people are using to adapt, but it cannot be seen as the solution because every country needs a level of production that is solid and large enough to satisfy its domestic demand.

Why haven’t the poor joined the recent demonstrations on a massive scale?

For the underprivileged, scarcity isn’t such a big deal as it is for the middle classes because they have always lived in precarious conditions and are more used to these difficulties. Venezuelans have been mistreated by all their governments and the popular classes have endured hardship generation after generation so, in spite of these new difficulties, they are already used to standing in line and suffering to get hold of water and food. Also, even though they suffer shortages and insecurity, the poor still receive some benefits from oil income through so called missions and other social programs.

On the other hand there is a problem of identity, there is a sense of belonging that certain groups feel towards Chavismo, which sells itself as the representative of the popular sectors. It could be that these segments of the population feel a sense of belonging towards Chavismo that is greater than the economic hardship they are suffering.

That sense of security and collective identity that certain people feel towards their particular political group has yet to break down. However, I feel that in the case of Chavismo this sense of collective identity is hanging by a thread and is about to break; reality is so bleak that things can start to turn against them.

Source: Capriles, Axel.”Estamos en estado de shock”. Dinero. June 6, 2014. Dinero. June 9, 2014.

http://www.dinero.com.ve/din/destacados/axel-capriles-estamos-en-estado-de-shock

Translated by #infoVnzla

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Translating López

By Alberto Barrera Tyszka

El Nacional – June 8, 2014

In a magnificent chronicle, published this week in this newspaper, Hernán Lugo-Galicia states that “a 120-page report, prepared by a former official Minci (Ministry of the Popular Power for the Communication) expert in semiotics, is the key to the process followed in court against Leopoldo López”. On February 19, a few days after the events, the General Attorney Luisa Ortega Diaz said that they would investigate the “subliminal messages” to catch the “masterminds” of the protests that, of course were, no longer protests but crimes.

The transit from justice to interpretation is a symptom of the institutional collapse that we are going through. To find the truth it is not necessary to inquire the facts and present evidence; you only need to know how to interpret what the suspect said, what he meant, what he actually said as subtext, what was not said but is saying otherwise … Given the lack of factual proof, in the absence of decisive evidence, we turn to a peculiar interpretation so eventually his own words accuse him. To convict Lopez, Lopez has to be translated.

It is a fatal precedent, a step forward in the authoritarian government’s project. Chavez regime has been building a new kind of dictatorship, a disciplined society, governed by mutual surveillance and fear. It is a form of taking self-censorship into the intimacy. Be careful with what you say. It can be interpreted in any way. Careful. You do not even control your own language.

Seen from any distance, it is a delusional process. At some point in some future, a future Inés Quintero will investigate the ruins of these days and be amazed. A self-appointed Political High Command of a self-proclaimed revolution sits in front of a microphone and alleges an attempted Presidential assassination and coup d’état. The evidence is, once more, an exercise of interpretation of language. Loose e-mails with fragments highlighted in yellow, transformed those in power into a committee of literary analysis. But they do not present any factual sentence, a concrete plan, any reference to the location of the headquarters, the name of a general or a commander. In some cases, frankly, it is rather a typical exchange between two citizens of a country that is an expert at talking bullshit.

But the Political High Command suddenly becomes an alumnae club of the Ursuline nuns and shows the scandal of the verb “annihilate”. They wave the word in the air like a murder weapon. The issue would not be so paradoxical if Chavez´s regime was not well known precisely by the use of a belligerent and excessive language, in a permanent state of threat. It would not hurt to prepare for the government its own anthology of hazardous verbs, phrases worthy of any suspicion. In February 2012, not to go too far, the then President Chavez on national television said he would “crush” Henrique Capriles. Where was the prosecutor that day?

We could also help “justice” in its hunt for “subliminal messages”. I give as an example one that continues to amaze me: when Ernesto Villegas, after his electoral defeat, was appointed Minister for Transforming Caracas, Maduro threw a huge subliminal slap in the face to all of Caracas´ citizens. Beyond the conscious threshold he tells us: Your votes matter a damn to me. I am Democracy.

The industry of the official truth is back on track. Without showing strong evidence, from one day to the next they talk as if they had proven over and over again all accusations. They transform the truth into a sensitive issue that is unrelated to rationality. No matter what the opposition says. The government reiterates that, in essence, the opposition is saying something else. Even before you talk, the power has already translated your message.

 

Original Source:  Alberto Barrera Tyszka,  “Traduciendo a López” . El Nacional. Junio 8, 2014.

http://www.el-nacional.com/opinion/Traduciendo-Lopez_0_422957747.html#.U5P8KwD43lA.facebook

Publishing rights granted to #infoVnzla by Alberto Barrera Tyszka

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