Venirauto, Veniran, a flop revisited in the Cargo Cult Land

Chávez's useful idiots abroad talked quite a bit about how the military president was working - for the first time in Venezuela, mind! - to promote economic diversification ando get off our oil dependency.
Would you go for a drive again, comandante?

They often mentioned such projects as Veniran and Venirauto. In the last few years different bloggers have been reporting about how these attempts have become a complete failure. In fact, we are now more dependent on oil than ever before.

The dynamics and the people who manage those projects are simply wrong.

Now there are apparently over one thousand vehicles imported from Iran and left to rot in the industrial area of Maracay. Veniran was founded in 2006 and it has been struggling since shortly after that. It almost closed down in 2008 and it is basically for any real purpose a Potemkin village. Same thing goes for Venirauto.

The opposition deputies have been trying to launch an enquiry into this scandal but the Chávez representatives at the National Assembly are blocking any such procedure. Venirán owns 109 million dollars to the Iranian exporters, according to Venirauto's head, Rafael Bolívar, and it won't be getting any missing parts until it pays off that debt. The payment problems, he said, are due to the devaluation that took place in Venezuela between 2009 and 2010. For those of you who do not know: that was a controlled devaluation in a system of rigid currency control that has been in place since 2004 and our currency is still highly overvalued.

In reality the reasons are more complex than what Mr Bolívar said. State companies in the times of Chavismo are much more inefficient than they ever were. For starters, many posts are filled by people because of purely political stance. Political posts were always the case, but not in such a massive scale. Most people coming in are unskilled workers in a country where education has been deteriorating by the day. Then there is no real demand for those vehicles: Venezuelans who still can pay don't see why they should pay so much for vehicles that use decades-old Western technology resold by Iranians.

If you visit Venezuelan forums, you can start to understand the cargo cult mentality that is so widespread in Venezuela:

"buenas tardes quisiera saber los requisitos y el procedimiento para obtener un turpial o centauro , estoy inscrito en el PSUV y necesito un carro."

"Good afternoon. I want to find out about the requirements and procedure to obtain a Turpial or Centauro model, I am registered in the PSUV* and I need a car"

hola buenas noches estoy interesada de optener un vehiculo,centauro soy docente del ministerio de educacion popular para la educacion y me gustaria saber que tengo que realizar para obtar a este carro como tambien necesito los requisitos

"Good evening. I am interested in optaining (sic: obtener>optener) a vehicle, centauro, I am a teacher of the Ministry for the Popular Education for education (sic) and I would like to know what I need to do to have a chance for that car as (sic) well as I need the requirements"

 * Chávez's party