It’s crazy numbers day at Caracas Chronicles

So I realize it’s Friday night and nobody’s reading blogs right now, but I couldn’t let this item pass un-commented… Venezuelan oil firm to inject $45 billion into refineries Venezuela’s state owned oil company, PDVSA, announced it will invest $45 billion this decade maintaining its existing refineries and building new ones… You’ll note the article…

Math Fail

So, according to El Mundo, Venezuela spends some $3 million per day on diesel for electrical generation, since 200,000 barrels of the stuff is being devoted to thermoelectric plants every day. Right. Now, let’s puzzle this one through. Crude oil prices are over $80 a barrel now, and diesel – a refined product – obviously…

Global Barrel of Laughs

If you don’t already check Setty’s blog compulsively, here’s another reason to. Setty’s especially good at ferreting out online material that ought to be getting much more exposure than it does, and this one’s a real find: a three part series by gringo academic Tom O’Donnell (part 2 here, part 3 here) on the Venezuela-China oil relationship that’s…

El Tigre and the opposition mononeuron

Over on the Spanish site, Raul Aular bucks Caracas Chronicles’s anti-dinosaur orthodoxy with a post making the case for Eduardo Fernández’s candidacy. It’s a neat piece of conventional wisdom-shredding, and makes a cogent case for bumping Fernández up from No Hoper to Second Tier status. Certainly, his campaign videos are rather more serious than some…

The Red Apertura and the forgotten art of disarming atomic bombs

Here’s a factoid you’d do well to squirrel away: through a crazy quirk of geology, there’s more recoverable oil under Southern Guárico, Anzoátegui and Monagas States than anywhere else in the world. 296 billion barrels or so. At current prices, that’s worth something in the order of $25 trillion: a crazy number, almost twice the US’s…

Setty takes me to Scam Academy

Oh man I laughed with this one. Arevenca’s scam is too baroque to summarize here: let’s just say that they make Ovarb look like Lloyd’s of London. Be sure to read Setty’s hilarious fisking of this whole preposterous affair. For now, I loved this bit (picked almost at random) from their Press Release: This agreement, which…

Winning, yet losing

I’m not feeling too optimistic about the whole Leopoldo López saga. Last week, the Interamerican Court for Human Rights decided that López had been unfairly barred from running in Venezuela’s elections. In a binding decision, it ordered Venezuela’s institutions to allow him to run for the office he chooses. López was ecstatic, understandably so. The…

¡Que Ovarbaridad!

What do you call a firm that had existed for less than three months when it landed a $252 million contract to sell a PDVSA-subsidiary (Bariven) equipment that usually sells for $112 million? A firm whose sole legal representative gives her address as  4023 West Davis Street, Conroe, Texas, which is the address for a car…

Nine Years

On September 20th, 2002, the very first Caracas Chronicles post hit the interwebs. Today, just like back then, …the slow-motion train-wreck that is Venezuela under Chávez is full of little, slightly absurd side-shows, newspaper stories that teeter on the border between alarming and just plain silly. Honestly, if you’d asked the guy who wrote that…

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Just when you thought there weren’t any rhetorical depths left for chavismo to plumb, we get this: “Miranda deserves a governor with a wife and daughter.” -Elías Jaua Yup, Jaua’s going there: the new stage of the anti-Henrique Capriles campaign is to slyly suggest he’s gay. Or that he’s anti-family. Or that he’s weird for…

Bs.564 million, down the toilet

On Saturday, Chávez announced another Bs.564 million rescue to try to plug the neverending financial shortfalls facing the Nationalized Guayana industries. There’s enough candy for everyone in that piñata: Alcasa gets some, Bauxilum gets some, Venalum too, and Ferrominera and Sidor get rather a lot, actually. But it’s not just the big boys; even the bit players…

Electric Kool Aid Acid Guiso

You remember Chávez’s Electrical Emergency Decree, right? Signed during the blackout-prone days of early 2010, it allowed state agencies to circumvent normal public sector procurement processes to obtain new generating equipment. Ever wonder what happened with that? Well, thanks to some enterprising reporting over at Ultimas Noticias, we’re starting to find out. For one thing, it…