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more idiocy from venezuela

Scorpio

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#1
Venezuelan president gives workers weeklong vacation to save energy
Published March 16, 2016
Fox News Latino

  • President Nicolas Maduro on Jan. 15, 2016. (ap)
CARACAS (AP) – President Nicolas Maduro has a new strategy to stave off a major power crisis for Venezuela: a weeklong holiday for all workers.

The extended furlough adding three days to next week's Easter holiday was announced in the official gazette Tuesday. It came a day after the country's electricity minister warned that the water level at Simon Bolivar dam, the nation's largest, has fallen to within just 10 feet of its minimum operating level.

The Guri dam, as it was known before former President Hugo Chavez changed its name to honor Venezuela's independence hero, and two other hydroelectric facilities downriver supply almost 70 percent of the South American country's electricity.

Maduro's socialist administration blames the critical situation on a drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon and what it says is repeated sabotage of the electrical grid by opponents. For months it has been urging Venezuelans to cut back on use of energy-wasting appliances and even reduced work hours for public employees.

But industry experts say the crisis could have been prevented had the government invested in maintenance at Guri and followed through on planned expansion of thermoelectric plants that run on fossil fuels in a country home to the world's largest oil reserves. They warn that electricity rationing will be necessary as temperatures rise and the rainy season remains weeks away.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/ne...ves-workers-weeklong-vacation-to-save-energy/
 

Professur

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#2
Makes sense ... nobody's making anything for anyone else to buy as is.
 

solarion

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#3
Just another socialist blaming the weather for unemployment...sounds just like a US bureau of labor and statistics propaganda minister.
 

Hystckndle

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#4
I ve got a number of friends down here from there.
Totally idiotic situation.
Basic staples short supply.
Some of the vids have been posted here.
Sad sad stuff.
 

dacrunch

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#6
In the news, yesterday, the 'most' cities =

Cleanest? - Calgary, Canada
Most polluted? - New Dehli, India
Greenest? - Reykjavik, Iceland
Most tourists? - London, England
Most dangerous? - Caracas, Venezuela

Already back in 95 & 98, when I visited for 6 weeks each time, it was scary as heck... And that was BEFORE the "Bolivarian Revolution"...

Anecdote... First time I went, wore jeans & t-shirt... Felt like a deer being tracked by lions.... so 2nd time, I wore a black suit, white shirt, black tie, polished shoes, and a "Bogart" hat... and dark glasses... Then, all the looks I got from the local "watchers" was "respect for a mobster"....
 

gringott

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#7
repeated sabotage of the electrical grid by opponents
Reminds me of how the Bolsheviks during Lenin & Stalin blamed the "wreckers" for all the failures.
I read a history of the USSR 20 years ago and it was full of trial after trial of Communists for being "wreckers".
The revolution ate it's own.
 

gringott

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#8
Here's what my wife told me about Poland under the commies.
If you saw a line, you got in it. Didn't matter what was for sale.
If it was for size 20 shoes, you bought anyway.
Then you looked for somebody who needed those shoes so you could trade for something else.
 

dacrunch

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#10
From
http://www.caracaschronicles.com/

English articles from Venezuelan "observers" in the field... Give quite a "perspective"...




Cutting Bone
http://www.caracaschronicles.com/2016/04/13/cutting-bone/

Schlumberger is a firm PDVSA simply cannot afford to stiff, because it can't produce oil without its help. And yet, that's exactly what PDVSA is now doing.

By Francisco Toro -
April 13, 2016



Schlumberger, the giant oil-field services company, announced yesterday it’s cutting back operations in Venezuela, after PDVSA failed once again to settle its accounts payable with the firm.

The company’s decision to pare back its operations in Venezuela is a big deal: oilfield service firms like this do much of the high tech, knowledge-intensive service work it takes to keep PDVSA running. Just about any yahoo can stick a drill bit in the ground, push a button and make it go whirrrrrr! – but the work of making sure that drill-bit is the right one for that geology, of performing the sophisticated maintenance work it requires, of knowing when it needs to be replaced, at what angle it should be put in, how hot it can get for how long, and a very long etc. – that’s all high-tech work that you need firms like Schlumberger to carry out.

In particular since PDVSA’s technical and engineering soul got ripped out following the 2002-2003 strike, the division of labour has become more stark: PDVSA puts in the brawn, the oilfield contractors put in the brains.

The news comes after the latest tiff in Schlumberger’s years’ long tug-of-war with what seems like the Client from Hell. In a brief few grafs, Reuters’s gives you a sense of what dealing with PDVSA’s been like these last few years:

“Schlumberger appreciates the efforts of its main customer in the country to find alternative payment solutions and remains fully committed to supporting the Venezuelan exploration and production industry,” the company said in a statement.

“However, Schlumberger is unable to increase its accounts receivable balances beyond their current level.”

The company said the reduction will take place through this month, allowing for a safe wind-down of operations.

Schlumberger in 2013 gave PDVSA a $1 billion credit line to allow it to continue delivering services despite the accumulating debts. It took a $49 million loss last year due to Venezuela’s currency devaluation and another $472 million in 2014 for the same reason.

PDVSA’s press office, meanwhile, awoke from its decade-long nap to deny that Schlumberger is doing what Schlumberger says it is doing.

>>#PDVSA desmiente categóricamente la información sobre la supuesta reducción de operaciones de la compañía Schlumberger Ltd. en Venezuela.

— PDVSA (@PDVSA) April 13, 2016

Reuters says that, in a statement, the company

…added that “additional work required by the corporation will be distributed to other companies that provide similar services,” without elaborating.

Which, when you think about it, is totally bizarre: “They’re not cutting back on the work they do for us! Besides, we’re hiring other companies to do that work anyway!”

I have a four year old whose arguments make more sense than that.

That PDVSA doesn’t even have the money to pay guys like this– guys they pretty much need to keep the wells running, and not even just in the long term, but pretty much in the short term too – tells you all you need to know about the scale of the cashflow crunch the company’s now facing.

Schlumberger’s not exactly a new kid on the block in Venezuela. They’ve been doing business there since Pompeyo Márquez was seven years old: all the way back in 1929. That’s a long time ago. Even now, Venezuela still accounts for 10% of the firm’s worldwide business. A company like that doesn’t begin to withdraw from a market like this unless things have gotten pretty damn extreme out there.

The press statements about the partial pull-back vaguely noting PDVSA has now transferred ownership of unspecified “fixed assets” to the firm in lieu of $200 million worth of past due bills. Needless to say, nobody bothers to tell Venezuelans which specific bits of our oil industry are being privatized to cover the maula state’s uncollectable debt. But I think it’s safe to say, now: things have gotten pretty damn extreme out there.
 
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Scorpio

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#11
it is going to get much worse if they cannot keep any cash at all moving from their oil,

are the Saudis and Russians giving them the boot ?????

maybe the objective wasn't to get at US shale producers, but the Latin American producers, Vene and Brazil? With shales as a natural byproduct, a 2 for.

Let's face it, both Brazil and Vene have really pissed off the powers that be, of that there can be little doubt.
 

dacrunch

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#12
And since this is a Gold Forum...


from the same source

http://www.caracaschronicles.com/2016/04/06/las-cristinas-us1-386-billion-tantrum/

Las Cristinas: A US$1.386 Billion Tantrum
For the last 49 years, Las Cristinas has been a highly peculiar kind of mine: instead of gold, it yields mostly lawsuits. The latest one was...expensive.

By Francisco Toro -
April 6, 2016



The Las Cristinas gold mine in Bolivar State, Venezuela, is pictured in this undated company photo.

Yesterday, a World Bank arbitration panel ruled that Venezuela has to pay a cool one billion, three hundred and eighty six million dollars to Crystallex, the Canadian mining firm whose rights to develop the massive Las Cristinas mine in Bolivar state were rendered worthless by chavista obstructionism back in 2008. The award piles yet more bad news onto a state hardly able to afford the bad news it already has.

Last month, another Canadian mining co., by the name of Gold Reserve, scored a similar-if-smaller win for its loss of the nearby Las Brisas mine. The government managed to jujitsu those bad news into good news by cutting a deal with Gold Reserve that gave them rights to the very same mine they’d just won a panel for losing the rights to.


""Venezuela could end up paying not one but two separate billion dollar + awards…for the same mine!""

So can’t they just do the same thing again? Promise Crystallex to hand them their old mine back in return for a cash injection? Nope, because the one way the government managed to turn a Las Brisas liability into an asset was by loading handing Gold Reserve rights to Las Cristinas as a kind of ñapa.

How exactly Las Cristinas was still in the government’s gift out beats the hell out of me. It’s not easy to keep up with this stuff unless you make it a full-time obsession – and trust me, some people do – but the last I’d heard the government had sold off rights to Las Cristinas to CITIC, the giant Chinese conglomerate. CITIC, by my count, thus became the tenth concessionary to Las Cristinas since the mine was first apportioned back in the late 1960s, which I guess makes Gold Reserve the eleventh.

Good times!

Amazingly, the Crystallex award isn’t even the only arbitration case proceeding from Las Cristinas. A couple of concessions ago – it really is hard to keep track of all of them – Las Cristinas was awarded to Rusoro, a Canadian-based, Russian-owned gold mining firm, and just as quickly expropriated from them. In 2012, Rusoro also went to ICSID, the World Bank arbitration panel, to seek restitution. That case is still winding itself through the ICSID bureaucracy, which is anything but speedy. Long story short, Venezuela could end up paying not one but two separate billion dollar + awards…for the same mine!

And, come to think of it, how long can it be before CITIC notices its own concession’s been snatched away as part of that Gold Reserve and files another complaint over the mine?

There’s an undeniable air of farce around the whole, six-decade saga of Las Cristinas. Geologically, the place is, well, a gold mine, with 16.9 million ounces waiting to be brought out. That’s almost $20 billion at current prices. 11 concessions and an enormous pile of litigation later, the mine has still never produced a single ounce of gold. At least not legally.

It’s like the place is cursed, I’m telling you. Which, considering it’s all just down the road from Tumeremo, might not be such a bad guess.


----------------------------------------

So, what about "Tumeremo", you might wonder? Have you seen anything in the "news" about it?

Here you go...

From
"Dissident Voice"
http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/03/what-tumeremo-massacre/

What Tumeremo Massacre?
by Clifton Ross / March 30th, 2016

If the Boliviarian government has its way, one of the largest massacres of Venezuelan civilians in recent history will soon be swept under the rug, along with all the other disasters of the country. Indeed, the impending electrical blackout of the country—the shutting down of the Guri Dam’s hydroelectric system which provides some 60% of the nation’s energy is just days away—is only matched by the news blackout of the country’s catastrophic problems. Journalists and other media workers on March 30, 2016 protested all over Venezuela against censorship and the closing of independent daily newspapers. They point out that twenty-one independent, non-government dailies have closed down in Venezuela in the three years Maduro has been president. And when there is no independent press, critical information about the performance of the government, or massacres like the one in Tumeremo, Bolívar, Venezuela, are easily, and quickly, covered up. Those that dare report on the incident might well face severe recriminations such as those that came down on David Natera, publisher of the Correo de Caroni right after the paper began reporting on the Tumeremo massacre.

Residents of Tumeremo, in the area of Sifontes, near the contested zone bordering on Guyana, claim that 28 miners were murdered on the evening of March 4, 2016 by a gang led by “El Topo” (The Mole). “El Topo” is the nickname of Jamilton Andrés Ulloa Suárez, an Ecuadoran miner-turned-gangster who lives from “taxes” on local miners in the shadowy world of the gold mining, and in some cases evidently directly controls the mining itself.

The bodies of the victims were reportedly murdered execution-style, then brought through town, escorted by a a truck of the largest national police force, the Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas, CICPC, and then through three military checkpoints where there were reports of the presence of Bolivarian Intelligence (SEBIN) officers. According to some eyewitness reports, some of the bodies had been sawn up by chainsaws before being taken away for disposal in nearby mine shafts.

The absence of any reports on the massacre in the left press is disconcerting: the popular pro-government site, venezuelanalysis.com made no mention of it, nor, to my knowledge, have reports on the massacre of Tumeremo come out in other international left sites. Contrast this with the impact the 2014 disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students in Mexico had, and continues to have, in left media…

Telesur offered a sparse five-paragraph story after 17 of the bodies were recovered, under the title “Venezuela: Miners Killed in Dispute with Paramilitary Units.” The headline is controversial in at least two respects. Given that the miners were murdered execution style, all shot in the head with their hands tied behind them, the idea of a “dispute” and exchange of hostilities is, at best, inappropriate. Secondly, calling the murderers “paramilitary units” is ingenuous at best, and more appropriately manipulative, fitting the killings into the government narrative that attributes the country’s problems to external forces or internal “fifth columns:” the (U.S.) imperialists, the internal “oligarchy” or, in this case, the Colombian paramilitaries supposedly operating in the country.

This narrative breaks down, however, with Tumeremo. One has only to look at a map to find Tumeremo in the far east of the country, nearest to Guayana, and not too far away from Brazil. For the Bolivarian narrative about “paramilitaries” in “dispute” in Tumeremo to have any credibility, the government would have to explain how (and why) such shadowy forces could have penetrated so far into the country without being detected by their “crack” police forces of the SEBIN and CICPC or the “glorious” FANB.

The PSUV Governor of the State of Bolívar, Francisco Rangel Gómez, when first asked about the massacre adamantly denied it. “Absolutely nothing has happened,” he said, then he conceded that perhaps there had been an “armed confrontation” between gangs. Representatives of the national government also at first attempted to cover up and deny the massacre.

The military (FANB, Bolivarian National Armed Forces) has long been known to be in control of gold mining in the region, with a particularly powerful role granted it in 2010 when Chávez “gave them “the task of stemming Venezuela’s growing problem with illegal mining activities in the south eastern part of Bolívar state.” That the FANB (now evidently in collusion with the CICPC and SEBIN) are working closely with “prans” or Venezuelan gangs appears to be an open secret in the Bolivarian government, given the reports of complicity in the Tumeremo massacre between the CICPC, the SEBIN and the FANB, and the attempts of the Bolivarian government and its allies to sweep the massacre under the rug.

On the other and, opposition National Assembly representatives from the region, especially left party La Causa R (LCR, The R(adical) Cause) members Américo De Grazia and Andrés Velásquez, have taken risks to publicize the massacre and bring the perpetrators to justice. They called on Governor Francisco Rangel Gómez to appear before the national Assembly on March 29th, but he refused, calling it a “media show.” But the real “media show” appears to be the government investigation of the massacre, which took ten days to go into the mines and recover the first seventeen bodies of the slain miners. Eleven more bodies are reportedly somewhere down in the mines like Hoja de Lata (Milk Leaf), a mine under control of El Topo where four bodies were recovered and which Governor Rangel Gómez just a few days before the massacre had qualified as “a model mine.”

De Grazia and Velásquez are backed by others in the opposition-controlled National Assembly, and they seem determined to get to the bottom of the massacre, and the ten other massacres that have taken place over the course of as many years. But it appears they’ll have to fight the Bolivarian police, the intelligence services, the military, as well as the state and national governments to get there.

Clifton Ross is a writer and videographer. His book, Translations from Silence won the 2010 Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence from Oakland PEN and has just been published in Spanish by Editorial Perro y Rana, Venezuela. His film, Venezuela: Revolution from the Inside Out was released in 2008 by PM Press, publisher in 2014 of his Until the Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements, co-edited with Marcy Rein. His most recent book is The Map or the Territory. He’s currently working on Home from the Dark Side of Utopia (due out July 2016 by AK Press), which details his 180-degree turn on the Bolivarian process of Venezuela. He can be contacted at clifross1(at)yahoo.com. Read other articles by Clifton.

This article was posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 at 3:55pm and is filed under Media, Mining, Venezuela.
 
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Malus

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#13
Socialism at work for you. I'm surprised he didn't also decree pay raises for everyone.
I wouldn't necessarily blame socialism. What about America and Europe? Is that socialism's fault? Each "ism" leads to the same place. Quite focussing on the distractions......
 

Ensoniq

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#14
If he had any sense he'd negotiate a percentage of the oil harvest for slumberger.

They'd know what they'd be getting without any currency shenanigans and drilling would continue

Venezuela chose no loaf over half a loaf -.which is why they will starve
 

Libertaurum

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#15
I wouldn't necessarily blame socialism. What about America and Europe? Is that socialism's fault?
Actually, yes. Both Europe and the US have adopted various socialist policies, although notet yet to the same degree as Venezuela.

Each "ism" leads to the same place. Quite focussing on the distractions......
No, not all "isms" lead to the same place. That's a common misconception which, although popular, is overly simplistic. Understanding how important the differences are between different "isms" is not a distraction at all. It is precisely the lazy unwillingness to understand the root of ideas which leads many to the wrong conclusions, including supporting socialism in different forms and under different guises.