Venezuela Megathread - Mercenaries 2 references galore! Cubanodun is MVP

mindlessobserver

kiwifarms.net
With respect to transformer stations exploding, "the grid" is exactly like your house, only at a meta level. There are electrical lines going through it, and shunted through key nodes. Like your fuse box. If you plug your computer, your TV, coffee maker and Stove into one single electrical socket you know what will happen. Everyone knows what will happen. Either the safety breaker blows, or the socket catches fire.

An electrical grid functions under the same principles. In the United States, we have three separate grids, (necessitated by the physical speed of light and the need for Texas to Special) That are supported by primary power stations all over America and Canada. In the event of an Emergency (i.e, a power station shutting down) the other power stations within the grid or in an adjacent grid can pick up the slack. And this is done in much the same way you throw a circuit breaker in your house. They are already running, but the power is not flowing until the breaker is engaged and the electrons can flow. This is done automatically by computer in America which is why you almost never see random black outs that are the norm in the third world who do not have redundancy built into the system or computers running emergency algorithms.

So what happens with a grid like Venezuelas where 80% of their power is reliant on a single location? Well if something happens at that location the system hard crashes. There is no redundancy. Worse, after it crashes it cannot be restarted without power flowing through the system. The US has three separate grids for this reason. If one of the three goes down it can rely on the other two to jump start the system that crashed, or even better, mitigate the spread of the blackout by throwing emergency breakers to isolate the emergency and rerouting power through the hard line to the separate grids. Which is what we did in 2003.

Venezuela does not have a diffusion of power supply. Its self contained with no links to any other power grids. So when their primary power supply went down, their auxillary plants blew as well. Much like how your own circuit breaker would blow if you plugged 6 items into the same socket. After those plants hard crashed Maduro, in his infinite wisdom demanded that his state owned power company get the power back on RIGHT FUCKING NOW!. So they tried to do just that. But due to the blackout, Everybody in Venezuela had turned all their electrical shit on. Their fridges, computers, air conditioners, coffee makers, lights, etc etc etc. So as the system was attempted to be brought back online ALL AT ONCE, the power surge got fed through a few key nodes and immediately exceeded their tolerance levels for the amount of electrons flowing and KABOOM. This also helps to crash the system AGAIN, only with dramatic twitter videos this time.
 

AnOminous

do you see what happens
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
kiwifarms.net
So as the system was attempted to be brought back online ALL AT ONCE, the power surge got fed through a few key nodes and immediately exceeded their tolerance levels for the amount of electrons flowing and KABOOM.
I'd bet any amount of money some poor guy tried to tell the dumb motherfucker that exactly this would happen.
 

Pixy Misa

kiwifarms.net
I've got a question that, maybe, our friends in Venezuela can answer.

My curiosity about Venezuela has made me notice a certain trend. Venezuelan YouTubers are often traveling all around the world, one, in particular, is even showing off eating food in other countries. But, right now, they are making videos exposing the current crisis with their iPhones and somehow able to afford mobile internet, with these blackouts, to upload data heavy youtube videos. It's expensive to manage videos with cellphone data, isn't it?

So, how can they afford to do this in the middle of this crisis?

I mean yeah, I get, it's obvious they're from middle-class families. But, if I were them, even if had the money to travel around the world, I wouldn't be using the money to move the hell out to another country. Or if I decided to stay in Venezuela, I would be saving as much money as possible to, you know? survive?

You would think that times were your country isn't even able to properly provide food and clean water, and with a huge risk of a civil war or of having a military intervention, it would be the worst time for wasting money like that.

What am I missing?
 
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Ghostse

Waffle SS Untergroupenfurher
kiwifarms.net
I've got a question that, maybe, our friends in Venezuela can answer.

I've noticed a certain trend of Venezuelan YouTubers that are traveling all around the world, one, in particular, is even showing off eating fast food in other countries. But, right now, they are making videos exposing the current crisis with their iPhones and somehow able to afford mobile internet, with these blackouts, to upload data heavy youtube videos. It's expensive with cellphone plans, isn't it?

So, how can they afford to do this in the middle of this crisis?

I mean yeah, I get, it's obvious they're from middle-class families. But, if I were them, even if had the money to travel, I wouldn't be using it to move the hell out to another country. Or if I decided to stay in Venezuela, I would be saving it to, you know, survive?

You would think that times were your country isn't even able to properly provide food and clean water, and with a huge risk of a civil war or of having a military intervention, it would be the worst time for wasting money like that..

What am I missing?
The Youtube ad revenue pays for the bandwidth and also gives them US dollars they can use to actually buy things since, as seen above, Bolivars are too worthless to pick off the street.
 

Pixy Misa

kiwifarms.net
The Youtube ad revenue pays for the bandwidth and also gives them US dollars they can use to actually buy things since, as seen above, Bolivars are too worthless to pick off the street.
Thanks. That definitively explains the bandwidth, but, thinking about the luxury travels around the world, those seem like a really bad idea given the situation. Gladys Seara is the youtuber I'm thinking about in particular, but I've seen a couple of others.

She was literally having a nice vacation in Miami 5 days ago, and she was in Orlando 3 weeks ago, but right now she is complaining about the blackouts in Venezuela.


edit: Or maybe my Spanish isn't as good as I thought it was and I'm missing something.
 
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JosephTX

Tex. Penal Code § 9.42(b) (1994) Enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
Thanks. That definitively explains the bandwidth, but, thinking about the luxury travels around the world, those seem like a really bad idea given the situation. Gladys Seara is the youtuber I'm thinking about in particular, but I've seen a couple of others.

She was literally having a nice vacation in Miami 5 days ago, and she was in Orlando 3 weeks ago, but right now she is complaining about the blackouts in Venezuela.


edit: Or maybe my Spanish isn't as good as I thought it was and I'm missing something.
Because they can't claim asylum while engaging in international travel.
 
Reactions: Ghostse

Ghostse

Waffle SS Untergroupenfurher
kiwifarms.net
Thanks. That definitively explains the bandwidth, but, thinking about the luxury travels around the world, those seem like a really bad idea given the situation. Gladys Seara is the youtuber I'm thinking about in particular, but I've seen a couple of others.

She was literally having a nice vacation in Miami 5 days ago, and she was in Orlando 3 weeks ago, but right now she is complaining about the blackouts in Venezuela.


edit: Or maybe my Spanish isn't as good as I thought it was and I'm missing something.
Its not really "luxury travel" its "getting the fuck out of dodge".
Anyone in any S.A. Country with any means and any brains has significant foreign cash & investments set up for exactly this sort of situation, where the local tin pot tanks the economy and currency, or generally gets over thrown by the miliary and they need to go somewhere else until the shooting stops.
And given their tendency to breed like mice, they likely have some Tia or family friends or friends of family friends living in the destination country and willing to put their kids up for a few weeks to keep them safe, which really reduces the cost of travel.

They are likely back in Venezuela cooling their heels and resetting the tourist visa counters, also probably bringing in some undeclared US currency.

All the streaming while they're on "flee-cation" is again because as I understand it, YouTube gives you the option of being paid in USD to a US bank account, and the "street rate" for 1USD is something like 400,000 Bolivars to the dollar, so even a few hundred bucks from the YouTube ad revenue would go far back home.
 
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AlexJonesGotMePregnant

and gave me aids
kiwifarms.net
I'd bet any amount of money some poor guy tried to tell the dumb motherfucker that exactly this would happen.
It's like that scene in {{any action/horror/disaster movie}} where there's an awkward engineer begging a government official to please listen and don't do X but then they do it and thus the plot is advanced. No one ever listens to engineers lol.
 

Azovka

I coulda been a contender
kiwifarms.net
Don’t know if it has already been posted, but 2 Russians fooled US diplomats and Guaido’s government into believing they were the Swiss President and Secretary of Treasury, congratulating them on the recognition of his Venezuelan presidency, and stating the absolute need for the establishment of Switzerland - Venezuela relations by giving them the Swiss bank accounts of Maduro’s regime.

Link

'Freeze all Venezuelan assets' – US regime-change hawk tells pranksters posing as Swiss president

US special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams failed to provide any legal reasons for Swiss banks to freeze Venezuelan government-linked accounts in a prank phone call placed by a famous Russian comedic duo.
"I think everything should be frozen," the voice, allegedly belonging to Abrams, told pranksters Vovan and Lexus who were posing as the President of Switzerland and the chief of the nation's Department of Finance, Ueli Maurer. The men, whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Aleksey Stolyarov, are known for pulling off successful pranks on high-ranking politicians and public figures. They told the media that the conversation with Abrams was recorded in February.

The prankers told their interlocutor that the accounts of Venezuela's state-run oil company, PDVSA, as well as assets belonging to President Nicolas Maduro's inner circle, were discovered in "several large banks," including the made-up Limpopo Bank (named after a river in South Africa featured in a popular Russian children's story). However, Switzerland would need "serious" legal grounds to freeze the assets, they explained, asking Abrams to provide proof that the assets in question were "created by crime."

"It's kind of obvious in this sense,"
the US special envoy for Venezuela replied.

"If you are a public servant in Venezuela, there's no possible legal way that you could have acquired these amounts of money," he said.

Washington, along with its allies in Europe and South America, have been openly backing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself 'interim president' in January. The move was denounced by current President Maduro. The US has stepped up the pressure and sanctions on the Maduro government, while urging other nations to back Guaido and seize the assets of senior officials and state-run companies.

In the phone call, the pranksters repeatedly pressed the man they said was US envoy Abrams to present some sort of data indicating that Venezuelan foreign assets were generated via corruption or other illicit activities. He failed to provide any concrete evidence but, nevertheless, insisted that they should block access to the accounts anyway.

The man acknowledged that the situation on the ground in Caracas is a "dispute"with "most Western governments having taken a side" in it. His ultimate advice was: "The better wisdom would be to freeze the accounts."

Vovan and Lexus also told the media that after speaking with Abrams, they were contacted by Venezuelan politician Carlos Vecchio, who Juan Guaido appointed as his envoy to the US. Vecchio was snooping for Maduro's personal assets and wanted to find out when his 'government' could "gain access" to them, the pranksters claimed.

According to them, they told Guaido's envoy that Maduro keeps his money in the Fund Nurlan Baidilda (which actually exists and is owned by a Russian citizen). Vecchio took this information as truth and later shared it with Bloomberg and posted it on Twitter.

A veteran politician with the Department of State, Elliott Abrams was heavily criticized for his role in shaping the US policy of interventions in Central America during the Cold War.

In 1991, he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his role in the Iran-Contra Affair, the covert program of supplying weapons to right-wing rebels seeking to overthrow the socialist government in Nicaragua. Abrams was also accused of facilitating Washington's involvement in civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, where the US-backed forces committed a number of massacres.
694507


Tweet by Carlos Vecchio, Guaido’s envoy to the US.

Edit : Second link, even better + recording

“Assuring Bern that the U.S. asset freezes against Venezuelan government-related entities and individuals were aimed at “just trying to preserve assets,” Abrams seemed particularly interested in Swiss efforts to block individual accounts, disclose their contents, and transfer them to Guaido’s allies.“
 
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Glad I couldn't help

Now with edge anime avatar
kiwifarms.net
The Grauniad has an interesting article on the informal dollarization of the Venezuelan economy. I think it is correct in predicting that whatever regieme comes out of the crisis, it will have to make such a change official.

Barter and dollars the new reality as Venezuela battles hyperinflation

As inflation soars, Venezuelans have been forced to find new ways to pay for essentials – when the power supply allows

Emma Graham-Harrison and Patricia Torres in Cupira and Joe Parkin Daniels in Caracas
Thu 14 Mar 2019 06.00 GMT Last modified on Thu 14 Mar 2019 15.45 GMT


“Barter” reads a simple sign on Angelica Monasterios’s stall in Cupira, a town on the main road east from Caracas. Her niece painted the sign for her in early February, after spiralling inflation and vanishing reserves of hard cash made it hard to do business.

“We accept dollars and euros as well,” she said with a grin, sitting beside rows of handmade yucca wafers, the town’s speciality, balls of pure cacao farmed nearby and hand-carved toys.

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, and was once one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America, but its economy has been ravaged by years of runaway inflation. The devastating blackout that struck last week has pushed it to the verge of collapse.

Venezuela officially entered hyperinflation at the end of 2016, and has now endured one of the longest runs of warp-speed price rises in the world, according to Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University and one of the world’s leading experts on the phenomenon.

Hanke has logged 58 historical episodes of hyperinflation around the world, and says Venezuela’s is the fourth longest, though nearer the median for rate of price rises. That does not mean an end is in sight. The longest episode Hanke has recorded, in Nicaragua about three decades ago, lasted nearly five years.

The cliched image of hyperinflation is of people rushing to the shops with cash in wheelbarrows. In Venezuela, however, while the value of money crashes, so does the ability to get your hands on it.

Bolívar banknotes are increasingly scarce, probably because cash itself is one of the many things Venezuela is struggling to pay for. The government’s mint no longer works, so it gets banknotes from abroad, and manufacturers expect to be paid in something other than the fast-devaluing notes they produce.

There are a few things in Venezuela for which cash is indispensable, such as bus fares and supplies in very remote areas, but for almost everything else people have found a workaround.

Venezuelans are using barter, dollars and – when the power supply allows – online transfers, debit cards and even cryptocurrencies to scrape together what they need to survive. They can sometimes go for weeks without touching banknotes.

Before the power cut, most people in urban areas relied on online transfers and debit cards to make payments, leaving anyone without a card or internet banking dangerously vulnerable.

Gindel Delgado spent two months excluded from the system, spending all his spare time on Kafkaesque efforts to be able to use money again. He needed a new bank card to access his account, but a shortage of plastic meant his bank refused to issue one.

His salary was paid into his father’s bank account, and the pair sat down every evening to make a list of online transfers to people he owed money to.

“I gave up until I had a week off work,” Delgado said of his long quest to get a new card. He spent that week trekking from branch to branch to find someone who could finally issue him a new card.

Thursday’s devastating blackout – which still afflicts much of the country – has only accelerated Venezuela’s creeping unofficial dollarisation.

With ATMs and card-readers rendered useless, many hotels and shops now only accept dollars. At a supermarket in the wealthy Chacao district, security guards turned away customers without US currency to pay with.

“All this government talk of American imperialism and now we have to use dollars,” said Celina Bareto, whose daughter was inside buying vegetables with the few dollar bills she had lying around the house.

Others without dollars were not so lucky. “I have some dollars saved at home,” said Trina Cedeño, a publicist looking to buy food for her husband and their toddler. “But I was saving them for emergencies, not to buy groceries.”

One butcher in central Caracas said he now makes up to 10% of his sales in dollars, even though they are not technically legal tender. Much of that is from bulk purchases by Venezuelans abroad supporting family back home, but some is cash.

Inflation has made it hard to break even, even with dollars. “Sometimes I will buy a kilo of meat at 10,000 bolívars, sell it in the shop for 14,000, then go back to restock and the wholesale cost is 15,000,” he said. “You can’t keep going like that.”

The scale of price increases is a problem even for economists who want to study them, because systems for measuring inflation in a normal economy stop working as costs spiral, Hanke said.

People’s spending priorities shift toward food and other basic necessities as their salaries lose value, so the basket of goods used to calculate inflation, which in the UK includes everything from quiche to sports leggings, becomes less relevant.

Economists would also conventionally spend several days putting together an index of prices, but in Venezuela these are creeping up every day.

“In the normal environment it doesn’t matter if they measure the prices of bread in the beginning, middle or end of the month. With hyperinflation, you’d have to measure them all simultaneously on the same day,” Hanke said. “It becomes almost unfeasible to do it.”

He believes the best way to measure the true level of inflation is to look at the foreign exchange rate, because that now is the basis of the economy. Even prices quoted in bolívars are based on an assessment of the black market exchange rate, he said.

Hanke said: “The measuring rod has already been changed to the US dollar.” The only way out for Venezuela, whether under the government of Nicolas Maduro or his challenger Juan Guaidó, will be making that unofficial measuring rod official, he said.

That could either be by overt dollarisation, or pegging the bolívar securely to another country’s money with hard currency reserves backing every note issued.

“There usually is some end point [to hyperinflation] because one of two things happens. You get a political change, and then you get a currency reform. Or you get the same guy in power and you get a currency reform.”
 
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