Rubén Rivero Capriles

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July 2009 - Posts

Ejemplos de escasez causada por el control de precios

La teoría económica predice que si un gobierno impone un techo para el precio de venta de cualquier bien o servicio, por lo común debajo del precio de mercado que resultaría de la interacción competitiva entre proveedores y clientes, habrá escasez de bienes ya que menos vendedores estarán dispuestos a vender al precio menor, mientras que más compradores tratarán de comprar a dicho precio menor. La demanda excedentaria que no puede ser satisfecha por la oferta existente se contabiliza como la cantidad de escasez.

La Venezuela de hoy se ha convertido en un ejemplo para libros de texto de este axioma macroeconómico. Hace poco en el supermercado no fui capaz de encontrar azúcar ni huevos. Todavía queda algo de café en los anaqueles, pero factores exógenos tales como la falta de lluvias durante 2009 y el anormalmente elevado costo para el productor colombiano de granos de café, están exascerbando la alarma. Venezuela, que fue el principal exportador cafetalero durante el siglo XIX, prontó estará importando café para su consumo interno.

Existe una larga lista de artículos cuyo precio de venta es regulado por el gobierno, a menudo por debajo de los costos de insumos para el fabricante. Además del café, los huevos y el azúcar, la regulación dictamina un precio máximo de venta al público para la leche completa, leche en polvo, pollo, carne, arroz, cerdo, harinas de maíz y de trigo, papel higiénico y mucho más. La mayoría de los bienes anteriores han estado intermitentemente dentro o fuera de los anaqueles durante períodos extensos, y el gobierno ha tratado de solventar la situación por medio de operativos urgentes y esporádicos que consisten en importaciones administradas por el estado para ser vendidos con enormes pérdida para los contribuyentes y para la compañía pètrolera estatal. Estos bienes importados son a menudo de calidad inferior y hasta llegan dañados en ocasiones. Dichas importaciones a menudo son transportadas desde su país de origen por mar, en contenedores sin un apego estricto a los estándares y procedimientos internacionalmente establecidos para este tipo de embarques. Luego se venden al público en condiciones poco higiénicas en tiendas propiedad del estado. Los clientes allí deben hacer colas durante horas antes de ser atendidos.

Muchos establecimientos al detal han sido forzados a cerrar durante algunos días por tratar de vender bienes producidos nacionalmente por encima del precio regulado. Estos establecimientos al detal argumentan que si cumpliesen con la regulación se verían obligados a vender a pérdida. Muchas fábricas procesadoras de alimentos están a punto de ser nacionalizadas, bajo la acusación de acaparamiento, ya que se niegan a vender sus productos a los mayoristas por debajo del precio de costo. Ello ha conllevado en que muchos proveedores han suspendido la producción por completo y la han transferido a países vecinos. Por consiguiente la capacidad industrial venezolana se ha encogido por un alto porcentaje cuya estimación cuantitativa varía según diversas fuentes. Como la capacidad se ha reducido estructuralmente, el movimiento clásico en los libros de texto de la curva de oferta agregada para la economía venezolana continúa ocurriendo. Esto resulta en aún menores cantidades ofertadas a un precio mayor, asumiendo que la demanda agregada sea constante. Sin embargo, la demanda agregada de hecho se mueve a su vez hacia la derecha (pero quizás en menor magnitud que la del movimiento hacia la izquierda de la oferta agregada), debido a extensas pagos por transferencias gubernamentales y debido a la tasa natural de crecimiento de la población. El resultado final es una de las mayores tasas de inflación (aunque menor a la de Zimbabwe) durante el siglo XXI a nivel mundial.

Tal es el contexto con el que aquéllos que todavía creemos en el potencial de nuestro país debemos lidiar diariamente para crear y mejorar las condiciones para los negocios.

Caracas, 28 de julio de 2009

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.     rroopstr    

 

 

Examples of shortages caused by price controls

Economic theory predicts that if a government imposes a ceiling for the sales price of any good or service, usually set below the market price that would result from the interaction of competing suppliers and demanders, there will be shortages of goods because less sellers will be willing to sell at the lower price, while more buyers will try to buy at that lower price. The excess demand not being met by existing supply can be counted as the shortage quantity.

Today's Venezuela has become a textbook example of this Microeconomics axiom. A while ago at the supermarket I was unable to find any sugar or eggs. There is still some coffee on the shelves, but exogenous factors such as the lack of sufficient rain during 2009 and the unseasonably high producer cost of Colombian coffee beans, are only accelerating the alarm. Venezuela, the world's leading coffee exporter during the 19th century, will soon be importing coffee for domestic consumption.

There is a long list of items whose sales price is regulated by the government, often below manufacturer's input costs. Besides coffee, eggs, and sugar, the regulation mandates a maximum sales price for raw milk, powder milk, chicken, meat, rice, pork, corn and wheat flour, toilet paper and several other items. Most of the aforementioned goods have been on and off the shelves for extended periods of time, and the government has tried to solve the situation through urgent, isolated one-time operatives consisting of state-managed imports to be sold at a huge loss for taxpayers and for the state oil company. These imported goods are often of lower quality and even rotten at times. Such imports are often carried by ocean on containers from their source country without strictly following the usual procedure standards internationally set for such transportation. They are sold to the public later on, in non-hygienic conditions at state-owned stores. Customers there must spend hours waiting in queues to be serviced.  

Many retail stores have been forced to close for a few days for attempting to sell domestically-produced goods above the regulation price. These retail stores claim that if they comply with the regulations they would be forced to sell at a loss. Many food processing factories are on their way of becoming nationalized, on the accusation of hoarding, as they refuse to sell their products to wholesalers below their input costs. This has resulted in many suppliers closing down production altogether and transfering it to neighboring countries. As a result, Venezuela's industrial capacity has shrunk by a significant percentage whose quantitative estimation widely varies among various sources. As capacity becomes structurally reduced, the classic textbook leftward shift of the aggregate supply curve for the Venezuelan economy takes place. This results in even less quantity supplied at a higher price, assuming aggregate demand is fixed. However, aggregate demand actually shifts simultaneously to the right (but perhaps to a lesser extent than the aggregate supply curve's leftward shift) due to extensive government transfer payments and due to the natural population rate of increase. The end result is one of the world's highest rates of inflation (though not as much as Zimbabwe's) in the twenty-first century so far.

It is in this context that those of us who still believe in our country's potential must deal on a daily basis to create and improve business conditions.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.                  rroopstr                    

Comparación entre Facebook vs. Linkedin vs. Xing vs. Twitter 23julio2009

La movilidad internacional en un abrir y cerrar de ojos se ha vuelto la norma en un mundo globalizado para las nuevas generaciones. Hasta hace poco uno pensaba que estaba al día con la tecnología disponiendo de un correo electrónico y un teléfono celular. Ya no. Ahora el registrarse en la página web anteriormente mencionada o en un servicio similar de otra marca es cada vez más indispensable para permanecer interconectados en esta era de la información, y la información en el siglo XXI, como sabemos, en un sinónimo del poder.

No conocemos a nuestros vecinos físicos ya que nos mudamos de una casa a otra, de una escuela a otra universidad, y luego a un trabajo, a otro estado y finalmente a otro país. Perdemos constantemente el contacto con nuestros mejores amigos. Llegamos a la mediana edad con múltiples memorias y súbitamente nos damos cuenta que no tenemos a nadie con quien compartirlas a menos que nos conectemos en línea, escondidos con un seudónimo, e intentamos mostrar nuestra personalidad real pero ocultando nuestra verdadera identidad por temor a los spammers.

Facebook pudiera ser una solución a nuestra alienación personal. Compensa nuestra falta de interacciones personales verdaderas con nuestros vecinos físicos y abre oportunidades que nuestros padres y abuelos nunca pudieron soñar. El año pasado logré unir almas compatibles de Chile, Haití, Colombia y el Reino Unido, que de otro modo nunca se hubiesen conocido. Ahora tienen una gran oportunidad de compartir sus vidas de una manera completamente inesperada. Nosotros, la generación del internet, tenemos una herramienta formidable para expandir nuestros círculos y posibilidades sociales para llegar a niveles sin precedentes en la historia humana. A través de nuestras relaciones internacionales cada vez más complejas podemos efectivamente romper las barreras de la guerra y la ignorancia mucho más eficazmente que cualquier tipo previo de diplomacia pudo alguna vez lograr. Por favor traten de crear maneras de mejorar el uso de esta magnífica herramienta. Nosotros ni siquiera imaginamos las excelentes capacidades en interacción humana a las cuales somos capaces de evolucionar. Después de todo, los seres humanos somos todavía unos animales sociales, y apenas estamos aprendiendo una de las formas de socialización más eficientes jamás inventadas.

Recientemente noté, sin embargo, que Facebook es insuficiente para las necesidades de hoy. Como adultos hemos logrado contactar de nuevo a los amigos de la infancia. Sin embargo después de estar conectado por más de un año con la mayor parte de mis amistades, y luego de haber obtenido suficiente información sobre sus vidas actuales, me doy cuenta que Facebook cada vez más se confierte en una plataforma de juegos interactivos. Ciertamente es divertido jugar con todas esas aplicaciones de Facebook, pero las mismas no ayudan a explotar la oportunidad de convertir a esos amigos de vieja data en nuevos contactos comerciales claves. Por esa razón actualmente transcurre una migración desde Facebook hacia la plataforma Linkedin. Los usuarios de Linkedin incorporan su currículum y sus actuales metas profesionales y luego pueden expandir su red a través de un sistema de presentaciones que permite a un usuario ser presentado a una tercera persona que no conozca, siempre y cuando ambos compartan un contacto común. De este modo he podido en los últimos días expandir mi red profesional, ojalá se presenten nuevas oportunidades de negocios a través de este proceso de reducción de los grados de separación entre la gente en cualquier parte. Todavía es temprano para concluir cuál de estas dos plataformas, a largo plazo, habrá resultado más útil. Sólo comento que Facebook me ha ayudado bastante hasta los momentos, pero sus limitaciones me motivan a utilizar ahora algunos servicios de Linkedin que no están disponibles en Facebook.

En muchos países de habla hispana, sin embargo, Linkedin no es ampliamente conocido. Me sorprende que mis contactos en Canadá y los Estados Unidos tengan cientos de otros contactos, lo cual permite a muchos usuarios estar fácilmente al alcance de una red de millones de personas. En cambio, muchos de mis contactos venezolanos (y yo mismo) apenas hemos sido invitados a unirnos a Linkedin y sólo tenemos un puñado de otros contactos quienes a su vez poseen sólo uno o pocos contactos. Por lo tanto un usuario Linkedin promedio en Venezuela tiene acceso a una red bastante pequeña dentro del país, que sólo llega a algunos miles de personas... Por otra parte Xing se ha arraigado más. Me parece que Xing es muy complicado para añadir contactos. Nunca publica ninguna dirección de correo electrónico y sólo te permite enviar un comentario a alguien una sola vez a la semana. No debería sorprender que yo todavía no tenga contactos en Xing a pesar de haber abierto mi cuenta hace ya varios meses. En muchos grupos locales de Xing, gran parte de los usuariso sólo cuentan con pocos contactos. Por eso con Xing usted se puede enterar que existen determinadas pero no hay modo de contactarlas a menos que alguna de esas personas resulten disponer de su propia página web o blog donde usted podrá remitirles comentarios.Lo que prefiero hacer es revisar quiénes están en Xing que yo desee contactar y posteriormente trato de contactarlos por Linkedin. No me sorprende haberme enterado que el crecimiento de Xing se ha estancado.

El peor de todos, por supuesto, es Twitter. No he logrado averiguar para qué sirve Twitter. Teniendo ya que lidiar con cuentas de Hotmail, de Gmail, de Yahoo, del proveedor de servicios, cuentas de correo del sitio web, páginas web para el estado de cuenta de las tarjetas de crédito y de la cuenta corriente, y múltiples otros nombres de usuario y constraseñas, el tener que conectarse también a Twitter es una inconveniencia redundantemente innecesaria.

De todos modos, a pesar de estos adelantos tecnológicos, la economía no se recupera. El uso de estas redes de hecho no está mejorando las condiciones para los negocios. Quizás estas diversas redes sociales y empresariales simplemente ayudan a moderar la caída económica. Es demasiado común ver a muchas personas con impresionantes contactos, a quienes a su vez les resulta muy difícil convertir sus iniciativas en ventas.

Rubén Rivero Capriles. Caracas, noviembre 2008 - julio 2009

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.                                     Rroopstr

La gasolina más barata del mundo 21julio09

Cuesta menos de 2 centavos de dólar por litro, o menos de medio centavo de dólar de dólar por galón a la tasa de cambio paralela; o alrededor de 4 centavos de dólar por litro, o alrededor de 1 centavo de dólar por galón a la tasa de cambio oficial. Los precios de la gasolina expedida en Venezuela durante décadas se han mantenido indiscutiblemente como los más baratos a nivel mundial. Ningún otro país de la OPEP vende la gasolina tan irrisoriamente para el consumo interno. La tasa de inflación venezolana durante los últimos doce años se ha mantenido en dos cifras medias, pero el precio de la gasolina sigue fijado en el mismo valor nominal que tenía durante el gobierno de Rafael Caldera en los años 90. La gasolina en este país se vende casi de gratis, y este precio de venta ni siquiera compensa los costos fijos para operar una estación de servicio o gasolinera. Si consideramos que la cuota de mercado venezolana respecto a las ventas petroleras de la OPEP se ha desmoronado debido al estancamiento de los niveles de producción y los problemas financieros experimentados por PDVSA, la cual fue una vez la envidia de la industria petrolera, y que el número de automóviles que ruedan en las calles del país se ha incrementado conjuntamente con la población, es muy fácil cocluir que esta situación es insostenible.

En muchos de mis artículos anteriores he mantenido un tono con cierto exceso de optimismo. Pero no es éste el caso. No veo solución a este problema. Más bien lo veo emperorar mientras pasa el tiempo. En 1989, la primera vez que se tomó la decisión de incrementar significativamente los precios del petróleo, la población produjo disturbios y la crisis evolucionó hacia la revocación del mandato del entonces presidente Pérez en 1993 y hacia la elección de Chávez en 1998. El gobierno está consciente que si eleva los precios de la gasolina, nuevos disturbios iguales o peores pudieran ocurrir de nuevo. La oferta de estaciones de servicio o gasolineras ha disminuido ya que no es negocio operarlas. Nadie ha propuesto ningún procedimiento para aumentar los precios de la gasolina a un nivel realista. Simplemente pareciera que los precios actuales se mantendrán excesivamente subsidiados indefidamente o hasta que ocurra una enorme catástrofe. Cabe destacar que los automóviles son caros debido a los aranceles, las carreteras no presentan un adecuado mantenimiento, los repuestos son caros y difíciles de conseguir. Por ello el poco dinero que se ahorra surtiendo los vehículos con gasolina se gasta muchas veces más en otros productos y servicios automotrices, debido a este desajuste económico estructural crónico.

El hecho más preocupante es que no existen esfuerzos para educar a la población acerca de estas contradicciones, y los venezolanos sienten que es su derecho otorgado por Dios para seguir disfrutando de los precios de la gasolina más irrisorios por siempre. El país parece estar a merced de continuar con gasolina gratis o experimentar enormes disturbios por parte de la población durante los años venideros.

 

RROOPSTR       Rivero & Cooper, Inc.

The cheapest gasoline in the world 21Jul09

At about less than 2 US cents a liter, or about less than one half of a cent per gallon at the parallel market rate; or at about 4 US cents a liter, or about 1 penny a gallon at the official exchange rate, Venezuelan gasoline prices have for decades remained the cheapest in the world. No other OPEC country sells gasoline so cheaply to its domestic market. Venezuelan inflation rate in the last twelve years has consistently ranged within the mid 2 figures, but the gasoline prices are still set at the same rate they were during Rafael Caldera's government in the mid 1990s. Gasoline in this country is sold almost for free, and this sales price does not even compensate for the fixed cost of operating a gasoline station. If we consider that Venezuela's market share within all OPEC sales has plumetted due to a stagnant production and the financial problems experienced by PDVSA, which was once the envy of the petroleum industry, and that the amount of cars used in the country have increased along with the population, it is very easy to conclude that this situation is unsustainable.

In many of my previous articles I have held a somewhat overoptimistic tone. Not in this case at all. I see no solution to this problem, I actually see it getting worse over time. In 1989, the first time when there was a decision to significantly increase oil prices, the population rioted and the crisis evolved to the impeachment of then President Pérez in 1993 and to the election of Chávez in 1998. The government is scared that if the gasoline prices are increased, a similar or worse popular riot could occur again. The supply of gasoline stations has dwindled as it is not much of a business to operate one anymore. Nobody has proposed a procedure to lift the gasoline prices to a realistic level. It just seems that the current prices will be maintained indefinitely or until some sort of major catastrophe gets into scene. It is interesting to note that cars are expensive because of tariffs, roads are not well maintained, spare parts are expensive and difficult to find, so that the little amount of money that is saved in gasoline prices is spent several times more in other car related products and services due to this chronic structural economic imbalance.

The most worrisome fact is that there are no attempts to educate the population on these contradictions, and Venezuelans feel it is their god given right to continue enjoying their cheapest gasoline price forever. The country seems at a ransom of either free gasoline or major population upheavals for many years to come. 

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.                              RROOPSTR

 

 

Venezuelan trickster, historical but not eternal (Full version as of July 18, 2009)

I have read Axel Capriles' book whose title into English could be translated as "The Venezuelan trickster or the triumph of Uncle Rabbit", and I find it quite interesting. I have reasons to believe that in the future, due to globalization, massive internet access and as many political sectors from all trends are increasingly fed up due to current events, maybe in the near future there could be, if not an abrupt cultural change, at least a national evolution leaded by some Venezuelans who not necessarily function as individuals bound by the trickster archetype. For example, Venezuelan-Americans living in Florida as a whole do boast a significantly higher educational level than the average North American of Caucasian descent, as reported by Wikipedia. Perhaps this assertion of mine will only confirm; however, the eternal duality of the trickster archetype.

RROOPSTR                Rivero&Cooper, Inc.

 

The historical description of the causes and manifestations of the Venenezuelans' double personality, friendly but distrustful, is pertinent and adjusted to our reality. However the author Axel Capriles on the first chapter, on page 34, comments what some of us Venezuelans have already concluded, once we have managed to transfer this historical experience from our collective unconsciousness toward our individual consciousness:
 
"Even though we may be extremely attracted to the romantic argument according to which it is preferable to live intensively during a brief timeframe for a great achievement instead of having a long, irrelevant life, it is a must to considr that human progress and welfare is much more due to the slow consolidation of institutions and to the accumulation of small inputs derived from the formation of social networks and the cooperative work, rather than the solar shine from the great geniuses and cultural heroes."
 
The question I ask myself, since paper and imagination can handle anything, is if due to various causes of the most diverse nature, a significant portion of Venezuelans, all of us tricksters according to our collective unconsciousness, would be able to become aware that it would convenience us to prefer that underestimated, long and safe irrelevant life. If we were to address such an alternative at a massive level, a social change could be generated at a conscious level already, because of a hypothetical but enormous sum of behavioral individual changes, so that our future actions would become more profitable to us, our culture, our development and our offspring.
 
I am not suggesting that it would be possible to remove ourselves from our national archetype. However; at the individual level many persons who repond to other types of more productive personality, are anyway bound to follow the trickster pattens in order to survive in this society. 
 
The trickster has completely kidnapped our national psychology the same way than addictions have wholly sequestered many people's individual psychology. Whenever recovering addicts consciously acknowledge their illness, they learn how to act soberly and sustainably throughout a longer timeframe. In spite of this they do not overcome their addiction, but they significantly improve their behavior and in some cases they manage to go on with their lives more fully and supported by unsuspected positive changes.  
 
Therefore, as our national addiction consists in performing everything through tricks, disdaining hard and productive chores, we could similarly make a conscious effort to lower our aggregate tricksterness to a statistically less sickly level, and empower future successive generations so that they release from their individual consciousness toward the future national collective unconsciousness, other kinds of behavior in accordance to the remaining archetypes. There are individual Venezuelans whose individual unconsciousness is better suited to the animus, the anima, the self, the shadow, the persona, the child, the hero, the great mother or the wise old man (senex). The bloated Venezuelan trickster is currently kidnapping us and. Our various individual personalities, once taken to our collective behavior, are not fully manifested because we are compelled to act as tricksters in order to survive in our current social environment.
 
Dating back to our independence days through today, spanning two full centuries, we have been victims and perpetuators of the trickster hypertrophy. By gaining consciousness that these long centuries of trickster excess have motivated a major portion of our underdevelopment would be the first step to transform our society in favor of greater welfare and progress, featuring better consolidation of institutions and accumulating cooperative inputs to the benefit of our offspring.
 
A voluntary awareness of the trickster stored within our national collective unconsciousness would only be possible through the synergy of several slow individual processes. Any exogenous event that may occur could actually accelerate or impair this awareness process. In any case our greater interaction with the psychology of the rest of the world through globalization and the internet could make us discover the existence of more effective ways to live our existence more fully and with less contradictions. Each one of us individually, Venezuelan "wild birds", could actually learn to acknowledge that we are not bound to constantly lie among ourselves for survival.

Rubén Rivero Capriles. Caracas, July 18, 2009

RROOPSTR               Rivero&Cooper, Inc.

 

La picardía venezolana, histórica pero no eterna (actualizado 18julio2009)

He leído el libro de Axel Capriles sobre La Picardía del venezolano o el triunfo de Tío Conejo y me parece muy interesante. Aun cuando el libro habla de la cultura histórica del pasado venezolano, tengo razones para pensar que el futuro, debido a la globalización, el acceso masivo a internet y el hastío de todos los sectores políticos de todas las tendencias por los sucesos actuales, me hacen pensar que quizás pudiese en un futuro cercano haber, si no un brusco cambio cultural, al menos una evolución nacional liderizada por algunos venezolanos que no necesariamente en lo personal funcionan bajo el arquetipo del pícaro. Por ejemplo, los venezolanos que viven en Florida tienen en conjunto un mayor nivel educativo que el norteamericano blanco promedio. Quizás esta afirmación mía confirme sin embargo la eterna dualidad del arquetipo del trickster.

RROOPSTR              Rivero&Cooper, Inc.

La descripción histórica de las causas y manifestaciones de la doble personalidad del venezolano, amistoso pero desconfiado, es pertinente y ajustada a nuestra realidad. Sin embargo el autor Axel Capriles en el primer capítulo, en la página 34, comenta lo que hemos concluido algunos venezolanos, una vez que hemos logrado transferir esta experiencia histórica desde nuestro inconsciente colectivo hacia nuestro consciente indivuidual:

"Aunque puede atraernos sobremanera el argumento romántico según el cual es preferible vivir intensamente un breve tiempo por un gran logro que tener una larga vida irrelevante, es preciso considerar que mucho más debe el bienestar y el progreso humano a la lenta consolidación de las instituciones y a la acumulación de pequeños aportes mediante la formación de redes sociales y el trabajo en cooperación que al destello solar de los grandes genios y héroes culturales."

La pregunta que me hago, pues el papel y la imaginación lo pueden todo, es si por diversas causas de las más variada índole, gran parte de los venezolanos, todos pícaros en nuestro inconsciente colectivo, logramos concientizar que nos convendría más preferir esa menospreciada larga y segura vida irrelevante. De plantearnos esta alternativa a nivel masivo, pudiese generarse un cambio social ya a nivel consciente, debido a una hipotética pero enorme sumatoria de cambios de conducta individuales, para que nuestros futuros actos sean más provechosos para nosotros, nuestra cultura, nuestro desarrollo y nuestra descendencia.

No estoy sugiriendo que sea posible desligarnos de nuestro arquetipo nacional. Pero a nivel individual muchas personas que responden a otro tipo de personalidad más productiva, de todos modos están obligadas a seguir los patrones picarescos para sobrevivir.

La picardía ha secuestrado por completo la psicología nacional del mismo modo que las adicciones han secuestrado por completo la psicología individual de muchas personas. Cuando un adicto en recuperación reconoce a nivel consciente su enfermedad, aprende a actuar sobriamente y sostenidamente a lo largo del tiempo. No por ello deja ser un adicto, pero mejora significativamente su conducta y en algunos casos logra continuar su vida con plenitud y con cambios positivos insospechados.

Por lo tanto, si nuestra adicción nacional es hacerlo todo con viveza, desdeñando el trabajo arduo y productivo, de igual modo pudiéramos bajar nuestro nivel agregado de picardía a un nivel estadísticamente menos enfermizo, y dar rienda a futuras generaciones sucesivas para que liberen de su inconsciente indivual hacia el inconsciente colectivo futuro nacional, otros modos de actuar concordantes con los demás arquetipos. Hay venezolanos individuales cuyo inconsciente individual es más acorde con el ánimus, el ánima, la cuaternidad, el héroe, la madre, la mándala, el padre, la persona, el puer aeternus, el sí mismo, la siombra o el viejo sabio. El hipertrofiado trickster venezolano nos tiene actualmente secuestrados y nuestras variadas personalidades individuales, llevadas a nuestro comportamiento colectivo, no se manifiestan con plenitud porque seguimos obligados a actuar como tricksters para sobrevivir en nuestro medio social actual.

Desde la independencia hasta nuestros días hemos sido víctimas y perpetuadores de la hipertrofia del trickster. El tomar conciencia de que estos largos siglos de exceso picaresco han motivado gran parte de nuestro subdesarrollo sería el primer paso para transformar nuestra sociedad a favor de un mayor bienestar y progreso, con instituciones más consolidadas y con acumulación de aportes cooperativos en beneficio de las generaciones futuras.

Una concientización voluntaria de nuestra picardía almacenada en nuestro inconsciente colectivo nacional sólo es posible a través de la sinergia entre numerosos y lentos procesos individuales. Algún evento exógeno por ocurrir pudiese acelerar esta concientización. En todo caso nuestra mayor interacción con la psicología del resto del mundo por la globalización y el internet, nos puede hacer descubrir que existen modos más efectivos de vivir nuetra existencia con mayor plenitud y menos contradicciones. Indvidualmente cada uno de nosotros, venezolanos pájaros bravos, podemos aprender a reconocer que no estamos obligados a mentirnos constantemente entre nosotros mismos para poder sobrevivir.

On Foreign Minister Maduro's reaction to Hillary's Globovisión interview

Dear Minister of the Popular Power for Foreign Relations of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro:

I would like first of all to thank you for having favorably received, toward the end of last year, my opinions regarding the restablishment of diplomatic relations with the United States of America, as also did the team of the then President elect of that country, Barack Obama. On behalf of many Venezuelans and of many U.S. citizens of both Hispanic and Anglo descent, I sincerely value your efforts to improve the relationship between both governments.

In the United States there has certainly been a misunderstanding not only about the Venezuelan reality, but also about the reality in the rest of the planet until quite recently. The acceleration of globalization during the last two decades; however, has already started reversing their unawareness for all things foreign. Every time more U.S. citizens learn languages such as Spanish or Chinese and submit their passport applications in order to travel to foreign countries. The most recent example of this learning process can actually be seen on the Globovisión news network interview to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who documented herself before the interview, learn the exact date of our independence and congratulated us for our most important national holiday at the beginning of her interview. I consider this detail as friendly toward our country.

The U.S. Secretary of State explicitly acknowledges the right that Venezuela and other countries have to maintain relations with other nations, particularly with Iran and Cuba. What she clarifies is that there are issues on Venezuelan foreign policy that the United States do not agree with. Similarly, the Venezuelan government emits opinions against or in favor of specific actions regarding U.S. foreign policy. Both nations sovereignly have spaces to emit either their support or opposition toward a number of issues in foreign policy. Furthermore, in the United States they could argue that in Venezuela continues the generations old practice of discrediting anything that may come from the United States democracy.

I agree with all of you that is is quite difficult to believe in the sincerity of the intentions to restore any bilateral relationship as so many previous misunderstandings persist. However, as the legitimate diplomats representing all Venezuelans, including those who openly sympathize with the U.S. institutions and economic and technological achievements, and also those who amply question them, you at the Ministry of the Popular Power for the External Relations of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela have the duty of not being afraid to the negotiations that you are undertaking with the U.S. authorities. You have the duty to clarify which kinds of future signals from the United States would not be qualified as awkward and aggressive towards Venezuela, Latin America and the Caribbean.

We maintain the hope that once more frequent clarifications and amendments are proactively established among both parties, we will approach the common objective that you seek: “for the good of the relationship bewteen the government of the United States and the Bolivarian government of Venezuela.”

 

Mayor Antonio Ledezma's Hunger Strike

Caracas, July 8, 2009

Mayor Ledezma is already getting the attention of OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and of the press. I back the suggestion from Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski, who advises Ledezma to immediately suspend his hunger strike. Small businesses located on Orinoco Avenue in Las Mercedes commercial district have already lost much patronage in the last few days. In the current economic juncture it is completely out of place to harm the little business that is still left.


Mr. Ledezma, citizens voted for you so that you work and preoccupy yourself about the city's many problems, if you rest on a stretcher you aren't doing that. This is similar to when the opposition withdrew from the legislative elections on 2005 and was left without a space at the National Assembly. If you conclude this hunger strike alive, you will have to undertake extensive medical treatment in order to recover your health. These are no longer Ghandi's times when events occurred slowly and people could afford the luxury of wasting their time. Please do not waste your time any longer, be creative and find solutions. If you are unable or do not have the time to find any solutions, I see no reason for voting for you again in future elections. You also chose a terrible moment for this strike, because Honduras will continue grabbing headlines for a long time to come.

            Rivero & Cooper, Inc.            RROOPSTR

 

Caracas, July 10, 2009


Dear Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas, Mr. Antonio Ledezma:

Thank you for having considered the request from so many people who are genuinely worried for your health and for your life. We are now waiting for your full recovery in order to retake the leadership of the Mayor office. You have demonstrated much creativity in the past and many achievements; however, it is necessary to be even more creative in order to obtain further achievements, despite being slight. I am asking you, more than ever before, to look for ways to meet the city's needs despite any new obstacles. Maybe the moment has arrived for you to concentrate on the needs of the city of Caracas and therefore I propose you to momentarily leave the political and ideological struggles as a second priority. Please manage this city, do the exercise on a daily basis of designing the solution for any specific problem concerning the citizens who are not involved in politics, so that by the end of 2010 you will have already achieved solving 500 specific problems. In order to accomplish that you may consider delegating the political and jurisdiction struggles on your legal advisers.

Mayor Ledezma, we need you today as an efficient manager, not as a politician. I augur that if you make your energies available to constantly back upon your management creativity, you will be able to solve many petty problems in the present, which will imply further political achievements for you in the medium run.

 

My proposal for business between Venezuela and the United States

Dear English-speaking reader:  We are very interested in your comments, points of view and disagreements. Your replies and propositions might actually change the scope of this proposal to the benefit of both of our countries. Please find below my translation of my view on future business possibilities between Venezuela and the United States, as I view them today before getting your input.

We can be contacted at http://www.riverocooper.com

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. is a company incorporated in Florida, USA, specialized in meeting the needs of Venezuelan companies that are interested in locating specific products and services anywhere in the world. In the medium run we intend to open branch offices in Brazil and Colombia in order to increase our capability of locating automotive and textiles that are needed by the Venezuelan consumer, and also in order to offer to Venezuelan exporters a friendly platform to access our main commercial partners in South America. The import, nationalization and distribution in Venezuelan territory is performed by one of our Venezuelan business partners such as Packaging Supplier, C. A.

We export from Venezuela petroleum derivate products, jet fuel, D2. Sales of scrap iron and scrap aluminum from different alloys, including transformers, normal steel, navy steel and wires. Financial consulting services: swaps, placements, account openings. Representation services before CADIVI and MILCO government agencies. Quick obtaining of licenses. Export and import agents. Customs consulting services and product research.

We import into Venezuela, quickly per our customers's request, all kinds of auto parts: engines, brakes, transmission, body and spare parts in general. We also import computer and audio cabling, semiconductors, tools and electronic components. For exporters we offer security seals and polymer bags.

Today's Venezuelan market urgently requires a greater supply of auto parts for all kinds of vehicles, in order to reduce the repair time of so many automobiles that are stranded for during months inside repair garages. Since many of these parts are unavailable in the United States because many car models differ from country to country, we intend to incorporate branch companies at the Federative Republic of Brazil and at the Republic of Colombia.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. also commercializes intermediate goods used by the Venezuelan exporting industry for an adequate protection and identification of containers, and so facilitate to these exporting companies compliance with the international regulations concerning illicit traffic prevention. We further offer logistical support to Venezuelan enterprises for their export procedures from Venezuela and to their subsequent import and nationalization at the world markets.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. has a leading ability to research and establish new international contacts, geared to our clients' specific requests, in order to distribute any product or service that is difficult to find in today's Venezuela. We also have a fast ability to translate documents and technical specifications between the Spanish and English languages.

IMPORTING AUTO PARTS INTO VENEZUELA:

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. locates original spare parts through a number of wholesalers, mainly in the United States and Colombia. Due to the United States incorporation of this business, we have the ability to obtain U.S. dollar financing and we perform foreign exchange conversion from and into the bolívar fuerte. Therefore our transactions and shipments are distinguished by their speed.

We work with a number of spare part suppliers in the United States and our research department is constantly looking for additional providers in order to always obtain competing additional quotes for the same product, with the goal of translating the savings into our final clients in Venezuela, all of whom are invoiced in bolívares fuertes through one of our Venezuelan business partners.

We specialize in all brands of Asian vehicles (Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Hyundai, Honda, etc.) and American ones (Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep, etc.). We can locate parts for a number of requirements, including brakes, body parts, engine parts, filters, pumps, alternators, and in general any specific part that the client's vehicle may require. Once we become able to consolidate operations in Brazil and Colombia, we will also provide service to the demand of parts for European car makes.

We request clients to supply us a listing of the auto parts that they wish us to find and import for them, including the VIN number of the vehicle's chassis and other specific details that may help us locate that part more quickly. We then make our best effort to provide them a doo-to-door quote, expressed in Venezuelan bolívares fuertes, within two or three days.

For small deliveries we perform the imports through a courier system. We can also combine various orders to bring them into the country inside containers. We have developed a close relationship with a reputable Venezuelan customs agent who will then take charge of the quick nationalization of the company, always complying with the pertaining legal regulations

YOUR IMPORTS AND EXPORTS INTO AND FROM VENEZUELA:

If you represent a U.S. company that is interested in expanding your business by investing in Venezuela, by all means we would like you to contact us. We have already set a complex legal infrastructure in order to start operations immediately. We are actively seeking financing in order to expedite the incorporation of our branch offices in Brazil and Colombia, so that you as a North American investor will shortly count on a family of businesses spannning the Western Hemisphere.

We envision a long term scenario where Venezuela can reclaim the status it used to enjoy as an exporter of quality coffee, quality chocolate and selected quality manufactured goods.

We envision a short term scenario where North American exporters regain confidence in the ability of entrepreneurial Venezuelans who have not fled the country, and who are eager to seek new business opportunities regardless of anyone's political spectrum.

During times of crises such as today's, those of us who actually hold their entrepreneurial spirit, will set the standards that will be followed by competitors during a future recovery. Specific articles on our world vision for the decade of the teens of the twenty-first century may be found at http://www.rroopstr.com

Thank you for your supporting Rivero & Cooper, Inc. 

Mi propuesta para el comercio entre Venezuela y Estados Unidos

Existe una enorme necesidad para muchas empresas venezolanas en localizar productos y servicios específicos en cualquier parte del mundo, e importarlos legalmente aun cuando existe un régimen de control cambiario. Para lograr ese objetivo se ha registrado en Florida, EE.UU. la compañía Rivero & Cooper, Inc. A mediano plazo abriremos sucursales en Brasil y Colombia para incrementar nuestra capacidad de localización de productos automotrices y textiles que requiere el consumidor venezolano, y podremos ofrecer a los exportadores venezolanos una cómoda plataforma de acceso hacia nuestros principales socios comerciales en Suramérica. La importación, nacionalización y distribución en territorio venezolano también la gestionamos.

Exportamos desde Venezuela productos derivados del petróleo, jet fuel, D2. Venta de chatarra de productos derivados del hierro y de aluminio de diferentes aleaciones, como transformadores, acero normal, acero naval y guayas. Servicios de asesoría financiera: permutas, colocaciones, apertura de cuentas. Servicio de gestoría ante CADIVI y MILCO. Rápida obtención de licencias, gestiones de exportación e importación y agencia aduanal.

Importamos hacia Venezuela rápidamente según su solicitud todo tipo de autopartes: motores, frenos, cajas, carrocería, transmisión y repuestos en general. También importamos cableado de computación y sonido, semiconductores, herramientas y componentes electrónicos. Para los exportadores ofrecemos precintos de seguridad y bolsas de polímero.

El mercado venezolano en la actualidad requiere de un mayor surtido de repuestos para todo tipo de vehículos para reducir el tiempo de reparación de los automóviles que están varados en los talleres. Dado que no todos los repuestos están disponibles en los Estados Unidos, estamos en el proceso de registro como personas jurídicas en la República Federativa del Brasil y en la República de Colombia.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. comercializa insumos utilizados por la industria exportadora venezolana para una adecuada protección e identificación de los contenedores y para cumplir con las normativas internacionales en la prevención del tráfico ilícito. También ofrecemos apoyo logístico a las empresas venezolanas para los trámites de exportación sus productos desde Venezuela y su posterior importación y nacionalización en los mercados mundiales.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. es líder en la investigación, búsqueda y establecimiento de nuevos contactos internacionales, según solicitud del cliente, para distribuir cualquier producto o servicio difícil de conseguir en Venezuela. Igualmente efectuamos traducciones de documentos y especificaciones técnicas entre el inglés y el español.


IMPORTACIÓN DE AUTOPARTES HACIA VENEZUELA:

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. ubica repuestos originales por medio de diversos mayoristas, tanto en Colombia como en los Estados Unidos. Debido al carácter norteamericano de la empresa, trabajamos directamente con dólares y financiamiento americano propio, por lo que nuestras operaciones y transacciones se distinguen por su rapidez.

Trabajamos con varios proveedores de repuestos y autopartes en los EE.UU. y siempre nuestro departamento de investigadores está en búsqueda de proveedores adicionales para siempre poder obtener varias cotizaciones por el mismo producto y así trasladar los ahorros a nuestros clientes finales en Venezuela, a quienes se les factura en bolívares a través de alguna de nuestra empresas corresponsales en Venezuela.

Nos especializamos en todas las marcas de vehículos asiáticos (Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Hyundai, Honda, etc.) y americanos (Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep, etc.). Podemos localizar piezas para los más variados requerimientos, incluyendo frenos, faros, latonería, piezas de motor, filtros, bombas, alternadores, y en general cualquier parte específica que necesite su vehículo. Una vez consolidemos operaciones en Brasil y Colombia, también prestaremos servicio a la demanda de autopartes para marcas europeas.

Para sus pedidos sólo requerimos un listado de las partes automotrices que ustedes deseen que nosotros les coticemos, incluyendo en la medida de lo posible, que suministre el número específico del vehículo en cuestión ubicado en la puerta izquierda, ya que con ese número nos aseguramos de localizar el repuesto exacto requerido. Una vez recibido este listado por Rivero & Cooper, Inc., nuestro corresponsal en Venezuela Packaging Supplier, C. A. se compromente a ofrecerle una cotización puerta-a-puerta, en bolívares, en un lapso no mayor a 48 horas.

Para pedidos pequeños efectuamos las importaciones a través de un sistema de courier. Podemos también juntar varios pedidos para traerlos en contenedores, y tenemos un eficiente servicio de agencia aduanal que se encargará de la rápida nacionalización de la mercancía, siempre apegados a la normativa legal vigente.


IMPORTACION DE COMPONENTES ELECTRÓNICOS HACIA VENEZUELA

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. ubica más de de 500.000 artículos electrónicos, eléctricos, industriales, para mantenimiento, reparaciones y operaciones (MRO). Ofrecemos a los ingenieros de diseño y mantenimiento un amplio rango de productos de automatización y control de procesos, baterías y cargadores, cables, hilos eléctricos y ensamblados, productos químicos y adhesivos, protección de circuitos, conectores, cristales y osciladores, accesorios y conductos eléctricos, gabinetes y racks, ventiladores y reductores de calor, implementos de mecánica, piezas de hardware para informática, optoelectrónica, LEDs, fibras ópticas, componentes pasivos, prtoección de potencia y línea, semiconductores de tipo discreto, IC, módulos, para comunicaciones y redes, sensores, transductores, control de estática, switches y relays, equipos de prueba y laboratorio, transformadores y otras herramientas e insumos electrónicos en general.

 

Entre los fabricantes para estas tecnologías se encuentran Agilent Technologies, Alpha Wire, Amphenol, Analog Devices, Avago Technologies, AVX, Belden, Brady, Bud Industries, Bussmann, Crydom, Dialight, ebm-papst, Fairchild Semiconductor, Freescale, Fluke, IDEC, International Rectifier, Kemet, Linear Technology, Littelfuse, Maxim, Microchip, Molex, Multicomp, National Semiconductor, ON Semiconductor, ST, Tektronix, Texas Instruments, Tyco Electronics, Sola HD, Vishay y muchos más.

Para sus pedidos sólo requerimos un listado de las piezas, partes electrónicas o instrumentos que ustedes deseen que nosotros les coticemos, incluyendo en la medida de lo posible, que suministre las siglas y número específico de la parte en cuestión. Una vez recibido este listado por Rivero & Cooper, Inc., alguno de nuestros corresponsales en Venezuela se compromente a ofrecerle una cotización puerta-a-puerta, en bolívares, en un lapso no mayor a 48 horas.

Para pedidos pequeños efectuamos las importaciones a través de un sistema de courier. Podemos también juntar varios pedidos para traerlos en contenedores, y tenemos un eficiente servicio de agencia aduanal que se encarga de la rápida nacionalización de la mercancía, siempre apegados a la normativa legal vigente.

Para mayor información nuestra información de contacto se encuentra en nuestra página web http://www.riverocooper.com

En el corto plazo abriremos sucursales en Brasil y Colombia para incrementar nuestra capacidad de localización de productos automotrices y textiles que requiere el consumidor venezolano, y podremos ofrecer a los exportadores venezolanos una cómoda plataforma de acceso hacia nuestros principales socios comerciales en Suramérica. La importación, nacionalización y distribución en territorio venezolano es gestionada por alguno de nuestros corresponsales venezolanos.

Importamos hacia Venezuela rápidamente según su solicitud todo tipo de autopartes: motores, frenos, cajas, carrocería, transmisión y repuestos en general. También importamos cableado de computación y sonido, semiconductores, herramientas y componentes electrónicos. Para los exportadores ofrecemos precintos de seguridad y bolsas de polímero.

El mercado venezolano en la actualidad requiere de un mayor surtido de repuestos para todo tipo de vehículos para reducir el tiempo de reparación de los automóviles que están varados en los talleres. Dado que no todos los repuestos están disponibles en los Estados Unidos, estamos en el proceso de registro como personas jurídicas en la República Federativa del Brasil y en la República de Colombia.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. comercializa insumos utilizados por la industria exportadora venezolana para una adecuada protección e identificación de los contenedores y para cumplir con las normativas internacionales en la prevención del tráfico ilícito. También ofrecemos apoyo logístico a las empresas venezolanas para los trámites de exportación sus productos desde Venezuela y su posterior importación y nacionalización en los mercados mundiales.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. es líder en la investigación, búsqueda y establecimiento de nuevos contactos internacionales, según solicitud del cliente, para distribuir cualquier producto o servicio difícil de conseguir en Venezuela. Igualmente efectuamos traducciones de documentos y especificaciones técnicas entre el inglés y el español.


IMPORTACIÓN DE AUTOPARTES HACIA VENEZUELA:

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. ubica repuestos originales por medio de diversos mayoristas, tanto en Colombia como en los Estados Unidos. Debido al carácter norteamericano de la empresa, trabajamos directamente con dólares y financiamiento americano propio, por lo que nuestras operaciones y transacciones se distinguen por su rapidez.

Trabajamos con varios proveedores de repuestos y autopartes en los EE.UU. y siempre nuestro departamento de investigadores está en búsqueda de proveedores adicionales para siempre poder obtener varias cotizaciones por el mismo producto y así trasladar los ahorros a nuestros clientes finales en Venezuela, a quienes se les factura en bolívares a través de alguna de nuestra empresas corresponsales en Venezuela.

Nos especializamos en todas las marcas de vehículos asiáticos (Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Hyundai, Honda, etc.) y americanos (Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep, etc.). Podemos localizar piezas para los más variados requerimientos, incluyendo frenos, faros, latonería, piezas de motor, filtros, bombas, alternadores, y en general cualquier parte específica que necesite su vehículo. Una vez consolidemos operaciones en Brasil y Colombia, también prestaremos servicio a la demanda de autopartes para marcas europeas.

Para sus pedidos sólo requerimos un listado de las partes automotrices que ustedes deseen que nosotros les coticemos, incluyendo en la medida de lo posible, que suministre el número específico del vehículo en cuestión ubicado en la puerta izquierda, ya que con ese número nos aseguramos de localizar el repuesto exacto requerido. Una vez recibido este listado por Rivero & Cooper, Inc., nuestro corresponsal en Venezuela Packaging Supplier, C. A. se compromente a ofrecerle una cotización puerta-a-puerta, en bolívares, en un lapso no mayor a 48 horas.

Para pedidos pequeños efectuamos las importaciones a través de un sistema de courier. Podemos también juntar varios pedidos para traerlos en contenedores, y tenemos un eficiente servicio de agencia aduanal que se encargará de la rápida nacionalización de la mercancía, siempre apegados a la normativa legal vigente.


IMPORTACION DE COMPONENTES ELECTRÓNICOS HACIA VENEZUELA

Rivero & Cooper, Inc. ubica más de de 500.000 artículos electrónicos, eléctricos, industriales, para mantenimiento, reparaciones y operaciones (MRO). Ofrecemos a los ingenieros de diseño y mantenimiento un amplio rango de productos de automatización y control de procesos, baterías y cargadores, cables, hilos eléctricos y ensamblados, productos químicos y adhesivos, protección de circuitos, conectores, cristales y osciladores, accesorios y conductos eléctricos, gabinetes y racks, ventiladores y reductores de calor, implementos de mecánica, piezas de hardware para informática, optoelectrónica, LEDs, fibras ópticas, componentes pasivos, prtoección de potencia y línea, semiconductores de tipo discreto, IC, módulos, para comunicaciones y redes, sensores, transductores, control de estática, switches y relays, equipos de prueba y laboratorio, transformadores y otras herramientas e insumos electrónicos en general.

 

Entre los fabricantes para estas tecnologías se encuentran Agilent Technologies, Alpha Wire, Amphenol, Analog Devices, Avago Technologies, AVX, Belden, Brady, Bud Industries, Bussmann, Crydom, Dialight, ebm-papst, Fairchild Semiconductor, Freescale, Fluke, IDEC, International Rectifier, Kemet, Linear Technology, Littelfuse, Maxim, Microchip, Molex, Multicomp, National Semiconductor, ON Semiconductor, ST, Tektronix, Texas Instruments, Tyco Electronics, Sola HD, Vishay y muchos más.

Para sus pedidos sólo requerimos un listado de las piezas, partes electrónicas o instrumentos que ustedes deseen que nosotros les coticemos, incluyendo en la medida de lo posible, que suministre las siglas y número específico de la parte en cuestión. Una vez recibido este listado por Rivero & Cooper, Inc., alguno de nuestros corresponsales en Venezuela se compromente a ofrecerle una cotización puerta-a-puerta, en bolívares, en un lapso no mayor a 48 horas.

Para pedidos pequeños efectuamos las importaciones a través de un sistema de courier. Podemos también juntar varios pedidos para traerlos en contenedores, y tenemos un eficiente servicio de agencia aduanal que se encarga de la rápida nacionalización de la mercancía, siempre apegados a la normativa legal vigente.

Para mayor información nuestra información de contacto se encuentra en nuestra página web http://www.riverocooper.com

Hillary en Globovisión

Estimada Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretaria de Estado de los Estados Unidos de América:

Quisiera primeramente agradecer a su equipo por haber tomado en cuenta favorablemente, a fines del año pasado, mis opiniones respecto al restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas con la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Tales opiniones fueron también transmitidas a la atención del Presidente Chávez y el Canciller Maduro y fueron bien recibidas luego de un rechazo inicial. En nombre de numerosos amigos venezolanos y de los Estados Unidos, tanto hispanos como anglosajones, con sinceridad valoro sus esfuerzos para mejorar las relaciones entre ambos gobiernos.

Para la fecha usted se habrá enterado que el Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela recientemente emitió un comunicado de cuatro párrafos en rechazo a su reciente entrevista con la cadena televisiva Globovisión. Le agradezco referirse a dicho comunicado al leer mis comentarios siguientes, los cuales ya envié al Ministro Maduro y su equipo.

En los Estados Unidos ciertamente ha existido un malentendido no sólo acerca de la realidad venezolana, sino también acerca de la realidad del resto del paneta hasta muy recientemente. La aceleración de la globalización durante las últimas dos décadas, sin embrago, ha empezado a revertir dicho desconocimiento norteamericano hacia todo lo extranjero. En los últimos tiempos cada vez más ciudadanos estadounidenses han ido aprendiendo idiomas como el chino y el castellano, y han solicitado sus pasaportes para poder viajar al exterior. El último ejemplo de este proceso de aprendizaje es su propia admisión, estimada Secretaria de Estado Hillary Rodham Clinton, que usted de hecho se documentó antes de su entrevista, usted aprendió la fecha exacta de la Declaración de Independencia en Venezuela, y nos felicitó en nuestra más importante efemérides al comienzo de su entrevista. Yo considero este detalle como amigable hacia mi país.

En mi carta mencionada hacia el Canciller Maduro, yo le sugerí que usted, como Secretaria de Estado de los Estados Unidos, explícitamente reconoce el derecho de Venezuela y los demás países para mantener relaciones con otras naciones, particularmente Irán y Cuba. Interpreté sus palabras en la entrevista y emití esta interpretación al Canciller Maduro, que más allá de tal reconocimiento existen asuntos de política exterior venezolana que no concuerdan con el gobierno de los Estados Unidos. Similarmente, el gobierno venezolano pudede argumentar opiniones en contra o a favor de asuntos específicos relativos a la política exterior norteamericana.

El favor personal que yo le solicitado, señora Secretaria de Estado Hillary Rodham Clinton, consiste en que el gobierno que usted representa se abstenga de criticar a aquellos individuos en Venezuela y otros países quienes han sido educados para siempre reaccionar de una manera antiyanqui. Por favor comprenda que la imagen negativa de los Estados Unidos en el resto del mundo tomará timepo para diluirse. Por favor comprenda que la reciente indisposición de los Estados Unidos para aprender algo acerca del resto del mundo lamentablemente sigue arraigada en muchos sectores de su país.

Yo estoy de acuerdo con la posición del gobierno venezolano que es difícil creer en la sinceridad de las intenciones para reconstruir cualquier relación bilateral luego de muchos malentendidos de peso. Sin embargo, ellos son los legítimos representantes diplomáticos de todos los venezolanos, incluyendo tanto aquéllos que abiertamente simpatizan con las instituciones estadounidenses y sus logros económicos y tecnológicos, como también aquéllos que cuestionan ampliamente la mayoría de los procedimientos estadounidenses. Por lo tanto yo solicité a mis representantes en el Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela para que honren su misión, y que no tengan temor hacia la dificultad del trabajo que ellos están efectuando para restaurar una confianza mutua. Ellos nos deben clarificar qué tipo de señales adicionales procedentes del gobierno de los Estados Unidos no pudiesen ser calificadas como poco claras y agresivas hacia Venezuela, América Latina y el Caribe.

Nosotros confiamos que mientras se busquen proactivamente clarificaciones y enmiendas más frecuentes, nos pudiésemos aproximar al objetivo común para el bienestar de la relación entre los gobiernos de Venezuela y de Estados Unidos.

Rubén Rivero Capriles

Caracas, 14 de julio de 2009

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.                  RROOPSTR

 

comentario procedente de Nebraska:

Me gustan los puntos que definiste y estoy muy agradecida que nosotros finalmente tenemos una admionistración más responsable que nos represente ante al mundo. Ellos seguramente no irán lo suficientemente lejos para establecer políticas equitativas, con seguridad, pero con algo de suerte ellos pavimentarán el camino para futuras políticas más sensibles y razonables. Parece que a los norteamericanos nos toma más tiempo en encontrar un nuevo modo de pensar que el tiempo que le toma al resto del mundo.

Sin embargo, esas mejores políticas se están establecimiento con lentitud a nivel mundial, pero son frágiles y sujetas a fracasar debido a un pequeño estornudo. Aún si una administración logra objetivos, la siguiente los puede revertir. Aparte que existen tantas concesiones que deben hacerse para lograr la aprobación de una mínima porción de una reforma, por lo que al final, la mejor de las intenciones termina diluyéndose horriblemente. Es increíblemente frustrante –tanto en los asuntos domésticos como internacionales...”

 

 

Official exchange rate of the bolívar fuerte vs. the parallel rate

On his article last Friday, Miguel Salazar claims that the official exchange rate will suffer a modest devaluation from Bs.F 2.15 up to Bs.F 2.90 per U.S. dollar. It is laughable that this devaluation will only reach up to Bs. 2.90, but I suppose that such will be their limited action in order to try to simultaneously satisfy everyone, but at the end of the day no one will really have satisfaction.

During the initial five years of the exchange control regime the differential between the official exchange rate and the parallel exchange rate averaged below 100%. Nowadays this differential, regardless of an official exchange rate of either Bs.F. 2.15 or Bs.F 2.90 per U.S. dollar, easily exceeds 100%. It would be more correct to say that it would not consist in a devaluation but rather in a mitigation of the increasing trend of a sustained greater devaluation of the bolívar fuerte, in other words a technical rebound. If there were not a prohibition to publish the parallel exchange rate, I would gladly elaborate with charts, statistics and percentages, well supported with comparisons with the local inflation rate, international inflation rates, and the exchange rates of the Colombian peso and the euro against the U.S. dollar, how this absurd exchange rate situation has quantitavely devastated Venezuelan exports and has promoted unnecessary imports, to the detriment of the really needed imports that cannot take place. This only causes a chronic shortage of most goods and services.

The prohibition to publish the parallel exchange rate is, to my viewpoint, one of the worst features of the silencing laws, as we are not even able to quantify how deeply have we plunged, and we cannot even calculate realistic estimates on the number of years that must ellapse in order to revert the macroeconomic misadjustment. At least during previous exchange control regimes (RECADI – OTAC) it was possible to establish these sorts of projections with a certain degree of reliability.

 

Caracas, July 14, 2009

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.         RROOPSTR

Conflict in Honduras & its background in Chile and Venezuela

Below I synthesize the various arguments against and in favor of the recent events in Honduras, supported by the Chilean and Venezuelan experiences. I am thankful for the ideas provided by my friends Hillel Soifer and Alexander Wisch, without them it would have been impossible to write this article claiming any objectivity.

Rivero&Cooper, Inc.      

AGAINST:

Even though there may be limits to the majority rule, or to the power of a president elected with popular approval, even though there may be talk about the criminalization of the opposition, illegal actions are not the correct way to dispose of a president. A revocation process would have been far more legitimate. A concern about the silencing of the popular voice can only justify legal actions and protests, but not a military coup.

The conflict in Honduras is a class conflict. The popular governments in Latin America are more widely accepted than what the medium and upper class owned press would like us to believe. Instead of dealing with the causes. Latin American elites choose to boycott, to sabotage and to violently overthrow the democratically elected popular regimes.

It is not feasible to compare a facto president with a democratically elected president. If the Venezuelans elect Chávez, the Hondurans elect Zelaya or the Bolivians elect Morales, that happens because of a class struggle which does not end. This popular option triumphs due to the failure of the political, economic and social elite in promoting development for the poorest, and due to the failure of such elite in selling their social achievements to the majority of the population.

In the case of Chile, such class conflict has expired due to the killing of the left wing leaders during the seventies and by the support of the liberal model on the part of the center-left. In Chile the extreme poverty is maintained and criminality has increased in comparison to the eighties. Beans are cooked everywhere. The Honduran domestic press is dominated by the elite or by the upper middle class, which is trying to show the world that the coup is a defense of democracy against Zelaya's excesses. The same argument was used by Pinochet to be able to rule over 17 years. Many Chileans supported his coup at that time, which may not be justified because of its cost of thirty thousand dead afterward. Ends do not justify means.

IN FAVOR:

Honduras is showing the world new ways to let the people's voice be heard once the anachronistic democratic systems perpetuate people in power. Although no posture represents the voice of a whole population, the opposition has been criminalized as theyu cannot express themselves through official venues, as it has occurred in Cuba through its government's monopolized media.

Honduras le está mostrando al mundo nuevas formas para dejar que la voz del pueblo sea escuchada cuando los sistemas democráticos anacrónicos perpetúan a la gente en el poder. A pesar que ninguna postura representa la voz de todo un pueblo, se ha criminalizado a la oposición que no se puede expresar por vías oficiales, tal como ha ocurrido en Cuba por medios oficiales.

If the events on the early morning of June 28, 2009 had not occurred, that day a systematic fraud would have been approved with the support of both the OAS and the UN, organizations which in turn are financed by and therefore respond to the interests of the oppressing regimes, instead of responding to the needs that those who are ruled cannot effectively voice due to the censorship coming from the regimes in power.

We cannot determine whether more people died due to the military repression in Chile or due to the rampant crime rate in Venezuela. Nevertheless, Chile today boasts better macroeconomic indices and Venezuela shows them worse than during the seventies. All Venezuelan media, almost every night, are kidnapped for a few hours by government imposed programming. Even some radio and television stations have already been forced off the air.

People who inadequately perform their jobs are fired with no contemplation. Why would presidents have to be so untouchable? Presidents should efficiently accomplish their task of providing well being to their populations or instead should comply with the consequences for commiting crimes against their citizens. The end has now become to reinstate Zelaya into power by any means such as landing an airplane in violation to the sovereign airspace of a country, while placing his supporters as human shields. Both parties have used unjustifiable means. In this context, the designation by the Venezuelan government of a new authority for Caracas, in detriment of the democratically elected mayor Antonio Ledezma, also constitutes a coup.

CONCLUSION:

As properly expressed by the mediator Oscar Arias, president of Costa Rica, both parties hold convincing arguments which have not been reconciled up to now. We hope that the mediation process currently being held in San José will provide results that may help healing some of the wounds inflicted to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Rubén Rivero Capriles

Spanish original completed in Caracas on July 13, 2009

English translation completed by the author in Caracas on July 14, 2009

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.    

Time Zones and their countries

 

An essay by Rubén Rivero Capriles

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.                RROOPSTR

Time zones have the function of fixing the time at any point in the planet within just 24 hourly zones, one per each hour on the day. Due to the roundness of Earth, all time zones begin at the North Pole, they widen to a maximum on the Equator, and they narrow back until converging at the South Pole. Hence their shape is similar to a spindle or an orange cross section.

Over a century ago every city used to have its own solar time, assigning to the midday (12 noon) the moment when the sun would be at its highest point or zenith. Such system brought issues concerning railroad transit since it was not possible to publish timetables, schedules and itineraries with precision, as cities relatively close to each other were several solar minutes apart.

A major legacy from the former British Empire is the widespread adoption of the Greenwich meridian, passing through London, as the zero meridian. The zero meridian begins at the North Pole, passes through Greenwich and the Equator, ends at the South Pole, and divides planet Earth in two hemispheres: Eastern and Western. Any point on Earth nowadays is measured at a given number of degrees of longitude East or West of Greenwich. Caracas is located 67 degrees west of Greenwich, Asunción is 57 degrees west of Greenwich, Djakarta is located 107 degrees East of Greenwich, and Moscow is 37 degrees East of Greenwich.

The equator line is a circle whose distance to the North Pole is equal to its distance to the South Pole. Unlike the zero meridian, the equator is not an arbitrarily designed line, it is derived instead from the Earth's rotation movement. The equator divides the Earth on two hemispheres: South and North. Any point on Earth is measured at a given number of degrees of latitude North or South of the Equator. Caracas is located 10 degrees North of the Equator, Asunción is 25 degrees South of the Equator, Djakarta is located 6 degrees South of the Equator, and Moscow is 55 degrees North of the Equator.

All circles are divided in 360 degrees. Therefore the Earth's equator, whose latitude is zero degrees, or any line parallel to the equator whose latitude may reach up to ninety degrees North or South, are all divided into 360 degrees of longitude. Each one of those degrees represent a specific meridian which perpendicularly cuts the equator or ant parallel of higher latitude. Hence 180 degrees are located to the East of Greenwich, on the Eastern Hemisphere, and the remaining 180 degrees are located to the West of Greenwich, on the Western Hemisphere.

After dividing the 360 possible degrees between the 24 hours of the day, we obtain that each time zone has a width of 15 degrees. Due to its shape, the width of any time zone close to the equator is about 1,665 kilometers wide, and that width is reduced to 1,085 kilometers in such places as central Canada, Europe or the far South of Argentina and Chile. This is because on the equator the Earth's movement occurs more quickly as the solar disc takes one hour to travel those 1,665 kilometers. At the higher latitudes of Canada and Chile the Earth's movement occurs more slowly as the solar disc also takes one hour to travel only 1,085 kilometers.

Due to sovereign nature of nations, the limits of the time zones may be modified upon convenience. Due to political and commercial motives, and even because of the change in seasons, the standard 24 time zones in practice have been increased to approximately 40. A number of jurisdictions are ruled by intermediate time zones, differing either half an hour or a quarter of an hour with respect to the original time zone.

The international date line is at the other extreme of the planet, opposed to the Greenwich meridian. It corresponds to the 180 degrees East meridian which is actually the same as the 180 degrees West meridian. It is the place where East meets West and vice versa. Ideally it corresponds to a time zone twelve hours ahead of Greenwich (GMT+12). From now on we will refer to each time zone according to its abbreviation: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), the plus sign and a number corresponding to the hours and minutes ahead of the time in Greenwich; or instead GMT, the minus sign and a number corresponding to the hours and minutes behind the time in Greenwich.

The Republic of Kiribati, in the middle of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, spans three time zones due to the enormous distances between its various atolls consisting in several tiny islands. Kiribati's capital, Tarawa, on the Gilbert islands to the West of the country, rests on the GMT+12 time zone. In order to unify the date throughout the whole national territory, since 1995 the international date line was shifted eastward, and now the Phoenix islands, to the center of Kiribati, are located on the GMT+13 time zone and the Line islands, in easternmost Kiribati, are on the GMT+14 time zone. Inhabitants of the Line islands are always the first ones in the whole planet to celebrate the arrival of the new year.

Prior to 1995 the Phoenix islands were regimented by the GMT-11 time zone, and the Line islands were on the GMT-10 time zone. This meant that when in Tarawa it was 8 am on September 27, 1994, on the Phoenix islands it was 9 am on September 26, 1994, and on the Line islands it was 10 am on September 26, 1994. Due to the eastward shift of the international date line within Kiribati's territorial waters, nowadays these islands conserve their time as the previous time is increased in 24 hours, but the date is changed to the following day, so that the date is the same as in the capital, Tarawa. The Line islands (GMT+14) also have the same time as the Hawaii islands (GMT-10), as will be detailed later on, but the date in the calendar is always one day ahead.

The kingdom of Tonga, in Oceania, is also located on the GMT+13 time zone. Other nations regimented bu the GMT+12 time zone are Nauru, Tuvalu, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, as well as the U.S. island of Wake.

The Chatham islands, off the east coast of New Zealand, also shifted the International Date Line forty-five minutes ahead. During the austral winter they are on the GMT+12:45 time zone and during the austral summer they shift further into the GMT+13:45 time zone. The rest of New Zealand, during the austral winter, is on the GMT+12 time zone, and during the austral summer the country forwards into the GMT+13 time zone.

Due to its location in the Southern hemisphere, midway between the equator and the South Pole, the difference in solar lighting between the austral winter (from June through September) and the austral summer (from December through March) is substantial. During the austral winter, the sun rises approximately at 7 am and sets around 5 pm. During the austral summer in New Zealand, they advance their clocks one hour ahead, so the sun rises at 6 am but sets at 9 pm. This time shift ahead is mandated in order to save electricity during the austral summer evenings.

Antarctica is crossed by every single time zone, all of which progressively narrow down to converge at the South Pole. The South Pole is no longer as remote as it was during the 20th century, there is a building for a modern U.S. scientific base where hundreds of people live together. At the South Pole it is daylight during the six months that elapse between October and March and it is nighttime during the following six months between April and September. The only noontime during the whole year happens in December and the only midnight occurs in June. For this reason at the South Pole it is irrelevant to choose any time zone in particular in order to count the hours and minutes corresponding to any arbitrary 24-hour period of either continuous daylight or continuous darkness. In spite of this, at the South Pole scientific base a convention was adopted to adjust clocks according to the GMT+12 time zone during the austral winter and according to the GMT+13 time zone during the austral summer. This convention of following the New Zealand time was adopted because the supplies transported by air to the South Pole come from the McMurdo base on the Northeastern Antarctica coast. In turn, the McMurdo base is directly to the South of New Zealand, the country where those supplies are ahipped from, by either air or ocean.

Moving westward, the Solomon islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and the French New Caledonia share the GMT+11 time zone during the whole year. The Republic of Papua New Guinea, Micronesia and the U.S. islands of Guam, Saipan and Northern Marianas share the GMT+10 time zone throughout the whole year.

Australia is a continent spanning three time zones. During the austral winter (from June through September), Sydney in eastern Australia is located on the GMT+10 time zone, Adelaide in central Australia is on GMT+9:30 and Perth in western Australia is on GMT+8. The major cities within Central Australia are close to the boundary with the Eastern Australia time zone, thus it was decided that they would be half an hour behind the Pacific coast and one hour and a half ahead of the Indian Ocean coast. In Australia clock are also forwarded one hour ahead during the austral summer (from December through March). As a consequence, during the austral summer Sydney forwards its time zone into GMT+11, Adelaide in turn forwards it into GMT+10:30 and Perth forwards it into GMT+9.

However, in the state of Queensland in Northeastern Australia, due to its tropical location closer to the equator, the GMT+10 time zone is maintained throughout the whole year. Similarly, in the Northern Territory the GMT+9:30 is maintained all year long.

In Japan, North Korea and South Korea, in the Northern hemisphere, they are always set nine hours ahead of Greenwich (GMT+9). In these countries clocks are not forwarded one hour ahead during the boreal summer (from June to September); instead, they maintain their time zone corresponding to the boreal winter (from December through March) throughout the whole year. Thus all year long they share the GMT+9 time zone with Southern hemisphere locations such as the Democratic Republic of Timor and the western section of the island of New Guinea which belongs to the Republic of Indonesia.

The time zone that regiments the greatest amount of population is GMT+8 by far. Billions of people living in such densely populated locations as Brunei, the central islands of Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Mongolia and the People's Republic of China share this time zone.

China is a country which theoretically could span four time zones due to its enormous territory. However, the entire country is regimented by the time zone that corresponds to its easternmost part, eight hours ahead of Greenwich (GMT+8). In this area are located its most populous cities. Similarly to Japan, China does not observe boreal summer daylight savings time.

In Tibet, located in western China, during the boreal winter the sun rises at 9 am and sets at 7 pm. During the boreal summer in Tibet the sun rises at 7 am and sets at 9 pm. In Shanghai, located in Eastern China, during the boreal winter the sun rises at 7 am and sets at 5 pm. During the boreal summer in Shanghai the sun rises at 5 am and sets at 7 pm.

Most of Southeast Asia uses the GMT+7 time zone, including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and the islands of Java and Sumatra in Western Indonesia. The neighboring Myanmar uses the GMT+6:30 time zone. Bangladesh, Bhutan and eastern Kazakhstan are regimented bu the GMT+6 time zone, while Nepal uses the GMT+5:45 time zone.

India's case is similar to China's. The official time is five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich for the whole country during the entire year (GMT+5:30). Due to the extensiveness of its territory, there are also wide differences between the time of sunrise and sunset if we are located in eastern cities such as Calcutta, where sunrise and sunset occur earlier; or if we travel westward towards Bombay, where sunrise and sunset occur later.

In Pakistan during the boreal winter the GMT+5 time zone is used, and during the boreal summer it is forwarded ahead to GMT+6. In this exceptional case despite traveling westward the clock is forwarded. Even though Pakistan is located to the West of India, Pakistan is half an hour ahead of India during the boreal summer. The Republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as Western Kazakhstan use the GMT+5 time zone during the whole year. The Republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan also use it during the boreal summer. During the boreal winter both Republics switch their clocks back to GMT+4.

Russia, the world's largest country, is spanned by eleven time zones, all of which are narrow due to Russia's geographic location close to the North Pole. In Moscow the boreal winter time is GMT+3, and the boreal summer time is forwarded ahead to GMT+4. In Vladivostok the boreal winter time is GMT+10 and the boreal summer time is forwarded ahead to GMT+11. The variations of the sunlight period depending on the seasons are quite noticeable; however, due to the quite rigid compliance to the time zone boundaries, unlike India or China, the Russian noontime generally occurs between 1 pm and 2 pm official time. This is due to the fact that Russia decided to add, on average, an extra hour to each of its original time zones during the boreal winter. Russia consequently decided to add, on average, two extra hours to each of its original time zones during the boreal summer.

The trend for many countries to forward their clocks ahead of their original time zones, we may recall, is due to many people's desire to postpone sunset time in order to save energy during those early evening hours. As a consequence, an artificially late sunrise is noxious for children who must wake up early and travel to school in darkness.

It is interesting to notice that during the boreal summer, the city of Vladivostok (GMT+11), in Easternmost Russia, is two hours ahead of Japan (GMT+9), and during the boreal winter Vladivostok (GMT+10) is one hour ahead of Japan (GMT+9). This fact is curious if we observe that Vladivostok is to the west of Japan, so we would have expected that this part of Russia would be behind the Japanese time zone. We should remind ourselves that it is not an official policy in Japan to forward the clocks ahead for energy savings reasons.

When comparing the summer and winter times between the Northern and southern hemispheres, we may also notice a few curious facts. For example, during December Vladivostok (GMT+10) is one hour behind Sydney (GMT+11), and during June Vladivostok (GMT+11) is one hour ahead of Sydney (GMT+10). This is due to the fact that the boreal summer occurs simultaneously with the austral winter, and conversely the austral summer occurs along the boreal winter.

Iran and Afghanistan both share the GMT+4:30 time zone. However, Iran forwards its clocks one hour ahead (GMT+5:30) during the boreal summer. We also observe here the peculiar case that during the boreal summer, in Iran the time is ahead of Afghanistan's, even though Iran is located to the West of Afghanistan.

In the Arabian peninsula, the countries to the East such as Oman and the United Arab Emirates share the GMT+4 time zone. The former Soviet Republic of Georgia also uses the GMT+4 time zone during the whole year.

The rest of the Arabian peninsula, including Bahrein, Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, shares the GMT+3 time zone. Further North, the Republics of Irak and Kuwait also share the GMT+3 time zone. None of these countries observes boreal summer daylight savings time.

Neuralgic points in the Middle East such as Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Jordan also share during the winter the GMT+3 time zone in accordance with the rest of the region. However, during the boreal summer the forward their clocks one hour ahead and located themselves on the GMT+4 time zone. This situation, as we previously observed, is identical as in Moscow, Russia.

Due to the presence of the equatorial line on African soil, almost all of the continent is regimented by uniform time zones throughout the year. Only Egypt (GMT+2) and Tunisia (GMT+1) observe the boreal winter time while Namibia (GMT+2) observes the austral summer time. During the other half of the year, Egypt (GMT+3) and Tunisia (GMT+2) observe the boreal summer time while Namibia (GMT+1) observes the austral winter time.

The majority of East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Madagascar and the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo) is regimented the whole year by the GMT+3 time zone. Most of Central Africa (Angola, the Western portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the Central African republic, Nigeria, Benin, Chad and Algeria) switch directly their clocks two hours behind towards the GMT+1 time zone during the whole year. That is, when crossing the border between some countries in Central Africa and East Africa, the clock must be adjusted for two hours instead of one, as it would be usual.

The intermediate time zone in Africa is GMT+2, and takes a hold throughout the year only in Southernmost countries such as Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa. Finally, countries in West Africa such as Togo, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Western Sahara and Morocco share with Greenwich the base time zone GMT+0.

Due to its small territory, Europe is spanned by just three time zones. All European countries observe boreal winter time and an additional hour during the boreal summer. Easternmost Europe (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus) all share with Egypt the GMT+2 time zone during the boreal winter and the GMT+3 time zone during the boreal summer. Another valid comparison would be that these countries during the boreal winter share their time zone with the Southern African countries and during the boreal summer they share their time zone with most Arabian peninsula countries.

Almost all countries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe share with Tunisia the GMT+1 time zone during the boreal winter and GMT+2 during the boreal summer. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Italy, the Vatican City, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Monaco, Andorra and peninsular Spain, including the Balearic islands, share their time zone with Southern Africa (GMT+2) during the boreal summer and they share their time zone with Central Africa (GMT+1) during the boreal winter.

Only the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal along with the Madeira islands, and Spain's Canary islands are regimented during the boreal summer by the base time zone GMT+0, but during the boreal summer they forward their time zone ahead to GMT+1. Therefore, these three countries share their time zone with the countries of Western Africa (GMT+0) during the boreal winter and these three countries share their time zone with the countries of Central Africa (GMT+1) during the boreal summer. Iceland, in turn, is regimented by GMT+0 during the whole year as is the case of Western Africa.

The following time zones belong to islands located on the Atlantic Ocean. GMT-1 is used in Cape Verde throughout the year, as well as in the Azores islands and easternmost Greenland during the boreal winter. The Azores islands and easternmost Greenland forward their time zone ahead to GMT+0 during the boreal summer. The South Sandwich islands, as well as the Brazilian island Fernando de Noronha, are located on the GMT-2 time zone, as well as most of Greenland during the boreal summer. During the boreal winter, most of Greenland switches its clocks back toward the GMT-3 time zone. The island of Newfoundland during the boreal winter is on the GMT-3:30 time zone and during the boreal summer forwards its clocks ahead towards the GMT-2:30 time zone.

Southeastern Brazil is the country's most populous region. During the austral summer they are on the GMT-2 time zone. There are located Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Brasilia. During the austral winter their clocks are switched back one hour in order to arrive to the GMT-3 time zone. During the austral summer Southeastern Brazil (GMT-2) is two hours behind the United Kingdom, which in turn is experiencing the boreal winter time zone. As seasons are opposite in the Southern and Northern hemispheres, during the austral winter Southernmost Brazil (GMT-3) is four hours behind the United Kingdom (GMT+1), which in turn is experiencing its boreal summer time zone.

Northeastern Brazil maintains its GMT-3 time zone throughout the whole year. There are located Salvador de Bahia, Recife, Fortaleza and Belém. The Republic of Suriname and the French Overseas Department of Guyane also share this GMT-3 time zone. Northwestern Brazil, bordering Venezuela, Colombia and Peru maintains the GMT-4 time zone throughout the whole year. There are located the cities of Boa Vista, Manaus and Rio Branco. Southwestern Brazil, specifically the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, as well as the Republic of Paraguay, observe the GMT-4 time zone during the austral winter and they forward their time zone ahead to GMT-3 during the austral summer.

The province of San Luis in Argentina uses the GMT-4 time zone during the austral winter. That is the only part of the country where the solar time corresponds with the official time set for the time zone. During the austral summer clocks in San Luis are forwarded one hour ahead towards GMT-3. The rest of the provinces in Western Argentina use the GMT-3 throughout the whole year, which results in the solar noontime occurring around 1 pm. The most densely populated part of Argentina, to the East, as well as the Eastern Republic of Uruguay use the GMT-3 time zone during the austral winter and forward their clocks toward the GMT-2 time zone during the austral summer. As a consequence, solar noontime in the cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo during the austral summer really occurs around 2 pm.

In Chile the time zone coincides exactly with San Luis Province in Argentina. They are both regimented by GMT-4 during the austral winter and by GMT-3 during the austral summer. However, since Chile is to the west of Argentina, the solar noontime in Chile is analogous to that of Buenos Aires, because the sun reaches its zenith at 1 pm during the austral winter and at 2 pm during the austral summer. Both in Chile and Argentina these clock forwarding policies are motivated by energy savings issues. Easter Island, a Chilean territory on the Pacific Ocean, is always two hours behind continental Chile, therefore they are regimented by the GMT-6 time zone during the austral winter and during the austral summer they are regimented by the GMT-5 time zone.

The Republics of Bolivia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the Dominican Republic; as well as Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles of Curacao, Bonaire and Saint Marteen; the French Overseas Departments of Guadeloupe ans Martinique; the British possessions of Montserrat, Anguila and the British Virgin Islands; the U.S. associated commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all share the GMT-4 time zone throughout the whole year. The Atlantic Provinces of Canada, as well as the British posession of Bermuda also use this time zone during the boreal winter, but they forward their clocks ahead towards the GMT-3 time zone during the boreal summer.

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has established its legal time the one corresponding to the GMT-4:30 time zone. This happens because the 67 degrees and 30 minutes meridian West of Greenwich, which constitutes the ideal boundary between the GMT-4 and GMT-5 time zones, happens to divide our national territory in two almost equal halves. Therefore the solar time at the Center of the country is now quite similar to the legal time. In Caracas the solar noontime happens at around 11:55 am. throughout the year. We have already noticed that this case is not a common occurrence in the rest of the planet, where there is a widespread tendency to shift most time zones eastwards. In Eastern Venezuela the solar time does not exceed being half an hour ahead of the legal time, and in Western Venezuela the solar time does not exceed being half an hour behind of the legal time. Due to the country's proximity to the equatorial line, the difference in sunlight between the various months of the year is small, therefore a forwarding of the legal time is not justified for energy savings reasons.

The Republics of Colombia (including the San Andrés archipel), Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Haiti and Jamaica, as well as the British possession of the Cayman islands, all share the GMT-5 time zone throughout the year. The Republics of Cuba and the Bahamas, as well as the British possession of Turks & Caicos and Eastern United States of America and Eastern Canada all share the GMT-5 time zone during the boreal winter and forward ahead to GMT-4 during the boreal summer.

The Republics of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belice, as well as the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan, all share the GMT-6 time zone throughout the year. Most of the Mexican United States, the Central United States of America, the provinces of Manitoba and the Western portion of Ontario in Canada also use the GMT-6 time zone during the boreal winter and forward their clocks one hour ahead towards GMT-5 during the boreal summer.

The Mexican state of Sonora and the U.S. state of Arizona maintain the GMT-7 time zone throughout the year. The Mexican states of Nayarit, Sinaloa, South Lower California and Chihuahua, the U.S. states close to the Rocky Mountains with the previously mentioned exception of Arizona, the Canadian province of Alberta and the easternmost portion of British Columbia and the Canadian Northwest Territories all share the GMT-7 time zone during the boreal winter and forward their clocks ahead towards the GMT-6 time zone during the boreal summer.

The British possession of the Pitcairn islands on the Pacific Ocean uses the GMT-8 time zone throughout the year. The Mexican State of Lower California, the U.S. Pacific coast and Nevada, most of the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Canadian territory of Yukon all share the GMT-8 time zone during the boreal winter and they forward their clocks one hour ahead toward GMT-7 during the boreal summer.

The archipelago of the Gambier islands, within French Polynesia uses the GMT-9 time zone throughout the year. The U.S. state of Alaska (excepting the Aleutian islands) uses the GMT-9 time zone during the boreal winter and forward their clocks one hour ahead to the GMT-8 time zone during the boreal summer. The Marquesas islands, also belonging to French Polynesia, use the GMT-9:30 time zone throughout the year.

The French Polynesia islands of Tahiti and Bora-Bora, the New Zealand islands of Cook and Tokelau, and the insular U.S. state of Hawaii all share the GMT-10 time zone throughout the year. The Aleutian islands of Alaska also use the GMT-10 time zone during the boreal winter and forward their clocks one hour ahead towards the GMT-9 time zone during the boreal summer.

Before crossing again the international date line, we finally arrive to the last established time zone, GMT-11. No other part of the world has its date and time any earlier. In this area of the Pacific Ocean, the U.S, islands of Midway and Samoa, as well as the New Zealand island of Niue, share this time zone throughout the year. These islands are close to the Phoenix islands in Kiribati (GMT+13). When in Midway, Samoa and Niue it is April 22nd at 2:30 pm, on Kiribati's Phoenix islands, as well as in the Kingdom of Tonga, it is also 2:30 pm. but the date is one day ahead, on April 23rd.

In our today's globalized world, we can see the differences between all the aforementioned time zones as an opportunity to distribute the time in the whole planet to the benefit of the entire humanity. For example, the software creation teams in California (GMT-8 or GMT-7, according to the season), during the early evening communicate with their colleagues in Bangalore (GMT+5:30) while in India it is early in the morning, so they may exchange information. Then the Indian engineers follow up on the work and meet again through teleconferencing at the end of the afternoon with the Californians, who are in turn arriving to their workplace in the morning. Thus many companies may double up their productivity because their global workforce is on duty 24 hours a day. While some people are resting, the others are perfecting the task and pass the baton again every 12 hours.

Due to Venezuela's geographic location, the most convenient schedule for us to communicate with Europe, Africa and the Middle East is during the morning, since our remote partners are working their afternoon shift. The most convenient time for us to communicate with Western North America is during our afternoon time, because for them it is the late morning. Our communication with Oceania is optimized when the sun is setting for us, because it is already the mid morning for Oceanians. Our communication with East Asia is more challenging, we must plan our conferences with them either during our sunrise, when the Sun has already set for East Asians; or alternatively we must wait until our evening when in East Asia the Sun is just rising. Even though adapting our local schedule for global relationships may proved uncomfortable, the benefits we reap through an interconnected world are worth the effort of transcending different time zones, climates, languages and cultures.

Rubén Rivero Capriles

Spanish original completed in Caracas, on April 23, 2009.

English translation completed by the author in Caracas, on July 14, 2009.

Rivero & Cooper, Inc.                      RROOPSTR

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