Tag Archives: Venezuela

You’re nothing, but suddenly you’ve got what everyone wants

7 Jul

Venezuelan prostitutes

 

 

Without judging, blaming, or saying I wouldn’t do it, the standard model for business is that those who dominate the financial markets rig them in their favor. That’s really not a shocker. The shocker is that once in a great while something occurs in the market place that benefits those of little means.

 

Right now the beneficiaries of fate’s largess are the prostitutes of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.

 

Not long ago, Venezuela was flush with petro-cash and acted brashly and boldly on the world scene. Under socialist President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela even helped 400,000 poor Americans pay their winter heating bills. Chavez, however, is dead and gone and the Venezuelan economy has all but collapsed. People can no longer find things like cooking oil and flour in their local stores.

 

Spared from this hardship are the prostitutes of Puerto Cabello. This has not so much to do with the sex trade as it does with the currency trade.

 

An article by Anatoly Kurmanaev in Bloomsberg Businessweek explains the scenario.

 

The Venezuelan currency is the bolivar, and it has taken a nosedive. The official exchange rate is 6.3 bolivars per dollar but the going rate on the street is 71 bolivars and climbing. Either way, dollars are very hard to get. The government restricts their circulation.

 

But foreign sailors, the primary customers of prostitutes in Puerto Cabello, a port town, pay in dollars. This means the prostitutes now possess the most sought-after item in the country. Currency traders seek them out and lavish them with bolivars in exchange for their dollars. This enables them to purchase whatever they want on the black market.

 

By the way, the prostitution is legal but the currency trading is not.

 

Sailors are charged a flat rate of $60 an hour. With the new market conditions, one trick is equal to the monthly wage of some people. But the prostitutes also book hotels and taxis for the visiting sailors. They charge them in dollars and pay for the rooms in bolivars. This increases their salary another 50 percent.

 

So here’s to the horizontalists of Puerto Cabello. I think they deserve this unexpected turn of events. No word yet on anyone rushing in to deny them their windfall. That’s noble. I sense in the United States the good times wouldn’t last long. If something the poor had became valuable it would be taken away. If a commodity as unwanted as, say, rat droppings was needed to make a new cancer drug, rich investors would quickly buy up the dropping rights at all the infested slums of major American cities, leaving the tenants unable to benefit from a sad condition turned bright.

 

On this score, the Venezuelan elite seem much better sports than their American counterparts. The extra money earned by the prostitutes, incidentally, goes for things needed by their families. But as a prostitute named Elena points out in the article, she still has to sell her body.

 

By Lanny Morgnanesi

 

(Photo by Vladimir Marcano /Bloomberg)

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Meanwhile, the world is burning

8 Nov

Mannequin

When we think of Venezuela, and we often don’t, we think of a socialist country that makes trouble for the U.S. What we should think of is a South American nation obsessed with beauty queens and curvaceous figures.

To attain the ideal look in Venezuela, surgery of various sorts is employed.  Females who have it performed are known as “operated women.”

This is a bit of background for the success story of Eliezer Álvarez, who makes mannequins. (Can you see what’s coming?) His story was told yesterday in the New York Times.

Business was off for Mr. Alvarez. He analyzed the situation and realized his mannequins were not a fair representation of the model Venezuelan woman. So he augmented them, according to the Times, with “bulging bosom and cantilevered buttocks, a wasp waist and long legs.”

It worked. Business picked up. In fact, his “operated” mannequin has become the standard for all clothing stores in Venezuela.

We could look at this turn of events and conclude that such a nation, socialist or not, cannot possibly be a threat to us. Or, we can withhold judgment until the operated mannequins hit our own stores.

As a cultural influence, politics and religion cannot  compare with the undertow of forceful, tenacious displays of sexuality. In the presence of such displays, the intellect of men evaporates. I sense women fall prey to these traps for reasons beyond love, affection, attention and advancement. But I don’t know what they are.

The utter ridiculousness of it all is told in a joke that I don’t think was meant to have much meaning, but in a way it gives a subtext to all of history. I’ll sum it up:

Three women apply for a single bank teller job. The manager tries them out for a day. At closing time, the cash draw of the first is $50 under, the draw of the second is $50 over, and the draw of the third balances perfectly. Who gets the job? The one with the big ….

In the online comments section to the Venezuelan story, and Asian woman who said she is proud of her small breasts wrote:

All I can imagine is someday, future archaeologists will be able to find out so much about our civilization from all the surgical implants and devices found in our empty coffins.

Lanny Morgnanesi

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