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 Post subject: Re: More news from the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:26 pm 
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Venezuela's currency is essentually worthless. Things are getting so bad in Venezuela that people are now having to resort to the barter system to pay for things. Mind you this is not just the use of bartering among neighbors to pay each other for things. The government is resorting to barter to pay for things:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cash-strap ... 1515061800

Quote:
Cash-Strapped Venezuela Offers to Pay for Medicines With Diamonds

Pharma executives express doubt over proposal in face of government’s past failure to pay bills; barter spreads among populace for lack of currency


By Kejal Vyas
Jan. 4, 2018 5:30 a.m. ET
71 COMMENTS
CARACAS, Venezuela—With hospital shelves bare and the government stumped on how to settle $5 billion in arrears to pharmaceutical companies, cash-strapped Venezuela recently offered some foreign suppliers alternative compensation: diamonds, gold and coltan, the rare metal used to make cellphones and Playstations.

The proposed exchange perplexed the pharma representatives, whose companies had no policies on accepting precious gems and metals as payment, according to three people familiar with the meeting last month where Venezuela’s health minister made the offer.

While it isn’t clear if any of the companies accepted it, the proposal underscores how Venezuela’s economic collapse is forcing President Nicolás Maduro’s embattled administration to improvise to pay for goods as severe dollar shortages push the country toward a barter society.

Bartering is also creeping into daily street transactions for staples, partly because the government is too broke to print enough currency. The so-called Strong Bolivar, which the government created in 2008 by lopping three zeros off its previous currency, lost 97% of its value in 2017 alone as the oil-rich country plunges further into hyperinflation.

“Money was created so that we could avoid having to barter for basics,” said Caracas-based economist Omar Zambrano. “But we’ve fallen so far that we’re now going back in time.”


Health Minister Luis López, who calls himself a radical anti-imperialist on his official Twitter account, couldn’t be reached for comment. Calls to a ministry spokesman went unanswered.

Using commodities as payment isn’t uncommon for large global companies trading in mining or oil, but is almost unheard of as a way to settle debts to other sectors like pharmaceuticals, according to Caracas-based economic consultant Orlando Ochoa.

Given the country’s opaque finances, it isn’t clear how much Venezuela holds in certified precious metals and stones. The Socialist government unilaterally pulled out of the international Kimberley Process, which certifies the origins of diamonds, for eight years until it re-entered in 2016. Much of the country’s mining of diamonds and other valuable minerals is in the hands of wildcat miners in the lawless, jungle-covered states of Amazonas and Bolívar.

Recently, aides of the president have also discussed the possibility of paying foreign suppliers with an oil-backed cryptocurrency that Caracas says it is developing.

As for the Health Ministry’s proposal to pharmaceutical suppliers, “It feels like a bluff,” Mr. Ochoa said. “It’s as if they want to show off their assets to give the illusion that there’s still an intention of paying even though they can’t pay.”

Lower crude prices and nearly two decades of profligate public spending have left Venezuela’s economy—once Latin America’s most prosperous—in tatters. Gross domestic product shrunk by more than 16.5% in 2016, according to the government, and there is scant evidence of improvement in 2017. The International Monetary Fund estimates inflation will top 2,000% in 2018. The government has defaulted on more than $700 million in bonds in recent months, spurring drastic cuts in imports that have resulted in chronic shortages of food and medicine.

Tito López, head of Venezuela’s Pharmaceutical Industry Chamber, says because companies in his sector haven’t received payments from the government in more than a year, 95% of medications that were available three years ago aren’t now. Antibiotics and treatments for chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes are among those hardest to find.

In the past pharmaceutical companies operating in Venezuela have considered accepting bonds or even oil as payment, but the government has never followed through, Mr. López said. “What we’re missing is a serious system that actually guarantees payments,” he added.

One pharma executive familiar with the health minister’s proposal at the Dec. 12 meeting said he would accept gold because “it’s better than nothing,” but noted he couldn’t get the government to commit to full payment. Two others who work for multinationals said they couldn’t accept commodities without approval from regulators in their home countries.

“I don’t think the Venezuelans understand the mechanisms and compliance issues at hand,” one of them said.

The national government is grasping at a recent tradition in considering bartering its way out of Venezuela’s economic troubles. A decade ago, Mr. Maduro’s late predecessor and mentor, the leftist firebrand Hugo Chávez, urged his compatriots at all levels to shun money as a way to combat capitalism, which he deemed evil.

“The barter is a marvelous community experience,” Mr. Chávez said in a 2008 televised speech.

Today, many of the country’s millions of slum dwellers rely increasingly on exchanging goods instead of money as a survival method. The practice echoes the way barter markets popped up in other countries, from post-War World II Hungary to Argentina in 2001, when hyperinflation left citizens unable to pay for staples.

In this capital city’s sprawling Petare slum, residents like 25-year-old baker Norvis Bracho use Facebook groups—some with more than 100,000 members—to post pictures of sugar and corn flour offered in exchange for beans or blood-pressure pills.

“This is how we get by every day,” said Mr. Bracho, a member of 13 Facebook and WhatsApp networks where he trades everything from bread to computer parts.

On a recent day, Mr. Bracho’s family, thrilled to see hard-to-find Coca-Cola sold on the streets, rushed to purchase a dozen 2-liter bottles with a debit card.

“This will come in handy to exchange later,” his aunt, Ruth Villarreal, said.




Quote:
In the past pharmaceutical companies operating in Venezuela have considered accepting bonds or even oil as payment, but the government has never followed through, Mr. López said. “What we’re missing is a serious system that actually guarantees payments,” he added.

One pharma executive familiar with the health minister’s proposal at the Dec. 12 meeting said he would accept gold because “it’s better than nothing,” but noted he couldn’t get the government to commit to full payment. Two others who work for multinationals said they couldn’t accept commodities without approval from regulators in their home countries.


There is a saying:
" Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me".

The Venezuelan government has no credibility left.

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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:40 pm 
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I was skimming throught the reader comments for the story I posted above.
I found this one of interest:

Quote:
Harry Graff 3 hours ago
@Paul Mcbride

I was in Cuba in December. Another "Worker's Paradise". Free medical care for every citizen...theoretically.



As we passed a pharmacey, I asked the tour guide about the availability of even over-the-counter meds such as aspirin. "They're rarely in stock at the state stores. But you can go down there, pointing to a sidestreet. "You can usually find them if you know who to ask."



Welcome to free universal healthcare.


So much for those that love to extol the glorious Cuban health care system. :roll:

On the other hand, I suppose that you can get by without aspirin. If something really hurts than you can just drink some of the Cuban rum. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: More news from the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:29 am 
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https://news.trust.org/item/20180112035017-q9adf

Quote:
Food riots grip western Venezuela, mob reportedly slaughters cattle in field


by Reuters
Friday, 12 January 2018 03:52 GMT

Unrest over food shortages spreads through the country
By Anggy Polanco and Francisco Aguilar

SAN CRISTOBAL/BARINAS, Venezuela, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Hungry mobs ransacked a food collection center, and a supermarket in Venezuela's western Andean state of Merida on Thursday and reportedly even slaughtered cattle grazing in a field as unrest over food shortages spread through the country.

An opposition lawmaker from Merida, Carlos Paparoni, said four people had died and 10 were injured in the chaos over the last two days, but he did not specify the circumstances.

Four years of recession and the world's highest inflation have plunged millions of Venezuelans into poverty, and President Nicolas Maduro's authoritarian socialist regime faces mounting unrest.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for information about the latest disturbances to rock the nation of 30 million people.

Looters plundered a truck carrying corn, a food collection center, and a state-run supermarket, according to Paparoni, and a vet who witnessed the mayhem.

A video on social media also showed around a dozen men running into a lush pasture, chasing a cow, and then apparently beating it to death.

"They're hunting. The people are hungry!" says the narrator of the video, who filmed the incident from his car. Lawmaker Paparoni said some 300 animals were believed to have been killed. Reuters could not verify the information.

Zuley Urdaneta, a 50 year-old vet in Merida, witnessed the looting of a truck along the highway around 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. About two hours later, he said some 800 people converged on a food collection center and proceeded to plunder it.

"They knocked down the gates and looted flour, rice, cooking oil, cooking gas," said Urdaneta. "The police and the National Guard tried to control the situation by giving out what was left."

Looting has been increasing in the provinces since Christmas, with food shortages and hyperinflation leaving millions of people hungry, though the capital, Caracas, has so far been largely unaffected.

The opposition says Maduro's failed economic policies and rampant corruption are to blame for the meltdown in the once booming country home to the world's largest crude reserves.

"What we're living is barbaric," said opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido in a tweet referencing the slaughter the cattle. "The dehumanizing regime of Nicolas Maduro is turning a blind eye to the tragedy that we Venezuelans are living."

Maduro's government accuses political opponents and business-friendly foreign powers of trying to foment a social uprising against him by stoking inflation and hoarding food.

In what they said was an attempt to combat "speculation," authorities last week forced over 200 supermarkets to slash prices, creating chaos as desperate Venezuelans leapt at the chance to buy cheaper food.

Some supermarkets were sold out of fruit and vegetables, and staff were unsure if the shelves would be replenished.

(Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)


Viva la revolución!

_________________
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
- misattributed to Alexis De Tocqueville

No representations made as to the accuracy of info in posted news articles or links


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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:53 am 
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Quote:
The opposition says Maduro's failed economic policies and rampant corruption are to blame for the meltdown in the once booming country home to the world's largest crude reserves.


I keep seeing a lot of media pinning it solely on Maduro, but he's not the only leader who caused this inevitability. Not even the primary one.

Don't let them forget Chavez started the whole thing with his rampant nationalization. Which ensured the ruin before Maduro took over.

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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:35 am 
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Quote:
Venezuela
The fate of a rogue Venezuelan helicopter pilot nicknamed Rambo remains unknown after a shoot out with the security forces
By Euronews
last updated: 15/01/2018

Oscar Perez took to social media to say he was being attaked in an operation which the government said killed five members of a terrorist cell.
(Continued)
http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/15/the- ... ns-unknown

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