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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:05 am 
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http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/op ... 66069.html

Quote:
05-18-2010 16:24

Venezuela: misrule and mismanagement

By Dale McFeatters
Scripps Howard News Service

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves outside the Mideast and some of the largest known natural gas deposits. Yet the country is an economic shambles thanks to the mismanagement of its buffoonish and authoritarian president, Hugo Chavez.

This past week he further crippled the economy by effectively banning private bond trading in order to stop Venezuelans from sequestering their savings in dollar accounts.

He instituted currency controls of 2.60 bolivars to the dollar for priority goods and 4.30 for nonessential items. The black market rate is 8.20 bolivars to the dollar. Not surprisingly, there is a thriving black market, widespread shortages and soaring inflation of over 30 percent.

In 2003, when Chavez began experimenting with price controls, Venezuela was self-sufficient in beef. Last year it imported over half of what it consumed. After his police began rounding up butchers for selling beef at more than the state mandated price, beef disappeared almost altogether from the stores.

The same has happened with coffee. After expropriating roasting companies, coffee warehouses and plantations, production in coffee-producing Venezuela fell by over 16 percent last year and continues to decline.

Because of lack of investment in the national grid ― and with some help from a drought ― electricity is rationed and there are frequent blackouts and mandatory power cuts. Similarly, since he barred Western firms from participating in Venezuela's oil industry, investment has fallen and has turned to the Chinese for help.

Chavez has been incapable of dealing with the country's chronic crime and the Economist newspaper describes Caracas as ``the most violent capital in South America."

He has spent $4 billion on Russian weapons against the imaginary threat of a U.S. invasion. His foreign policy consists of trying to build an anti-U.S. alliance of ``21st century socialists" like Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran Bolivia.

He has been accused, convincingly in the case of Colombia, of aiding communist guerrillas and harboring violent Basque separatists from Spain.

In advance of next September's congressional elections, he has begun jailing opposition leaders on assorted trumped up charges such as the crime of spreading false information, the false information being criticism of Chavez and his policies.

Venezuelans, to their credit, stubbornly cling to democratic traditions. Despite his control of the judiciary, suppression of the opposition media and lavish spending on his base in the sprawling slums, his reelection in 2012 is no foregone conclusion. There may be a limit to Venezuelans tolerance for lowered standards of living and diminished freedoms.

Chavez' explanation: ``There's an economic conspiracy against the revolution to boost inflation, increase shortages and malaise among the people." We know who the conspirator is.

Dale McFeatters is an editorial writer of Scripps Howard News Service (http://www.scrippsnews.com).

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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 4:03 pm 
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there's gotta be a way to whack this guy and still get "plausible deniability"...he's got enuf enemies in his own country.
where's that tall appartment building with the right window waiting for the right sniper at the right time?


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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 6:29 pm 
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NATO wrote:
there's gotta be a way to whack this guy and still get "plausible deniability"...he's got enuf enemies in his own country.
where's that tall appartment building with the right window waiting for the right sniper at the right time?


I thought the best way to assassinate someone was to push them from a tall building. That's how they do it at the UN offices, anyway. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:55 pm 
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Price controls DON'T FUCKING WORK.

How hard a lesson is this? Why is it that do gooder Socialist morons like FDR, Carter, Chavez, Castro, and on and on don't seem to understand? What is wrong with these people?

WTF?

:roll:


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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:24 pm 
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NefariousKoel wrote:
NATO wrote:
there's gotta be a way to whack this guy and still get "plausible deniability"...he's got enuf enemies in his own country.
where's that tall appartment building with the right window waiting for the right sniper at the right time?


I thought the best way to assassinate someone was to push them from a tall building. That's how they do it at the UN offices, anyway. ;)


I was always a fan of Rods From God

ZF-


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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 2:59 am 
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http://cbs2.com/wireapnational/Workers. ... 12571.html

Quote:
May 24, 2010 2:51 pm US/Pacific

Workers In Venezuela On Alert After Chavez Warning

FABIOLA SANCHEZ, Associated Press Writer

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) ― Venezuela's socialist president is threatening to "go after" the country's biggest food producer, and the corporation's workers are not happy about it.

Union leader Richard Prieto says employees of Empresas Polar held meetings Monday and agreed to "defend our jobs throughout the country."

Chavez on Sunday called for authorities to investigate whether the company has been hoarding food, saying if it continues "we will have to go after Polar."

Employees say they fear a government takeover would leave them worse off.

That's a twist on the situation in many Latin American countries, where workers have often protested efforts to privatize state-owned companies.

"All the companies the president ... has expropriated, all those companies have gone bust," Prieto said in a telephone interview from the northwestern city of Barquisimeto.

He cited the example of Vengas, a natural gas company that was seized by the government and is now called Gas Comunal.

"That company was the best gas business here in Barquisimeto," he said. "Now you can't get gas."


And the workers of that company have been at loggerheads with the government on a new union contract for four years, Prieto added.

At Polar, "we're the best-paid of any company in the country" and have good benefits, said Prieto, who is president of the union at Cerveceria Polar, the group's beer-making unit. "We feel proud to work for this business."

Chavez wondered aloud Sunday what the government would do with Polar's brewery in the event of a takeover, and said he would shut down the beer-making operation.

Last week, National Guard troops seized 132 tons (120 metric tons) of food that officials accused Polar of hoarding in storage. And last month, Chavez ordered a state takeover of property in Barquisimeto where Polar has warehouses and offices. Workers have protested that decision.

The government's tough stance against Polar comes as the country is struggling with sporadic shortages of some food, including sugar, corn meal, beef and butter. Analysts blame government price controls for the shortages.

Chavez has called Polar a monopoly and has accused it in the past of evading government price controls on basic foodstuffs by producing fewer of the price-controlled items.

Polar has denied wrongdoing and called the recent seizures of its merchandise an arbitrary "confiscation" by the government — which has nationalized other businesses in areas from cement to telecommunications in recent years.

Polar's president, Lorenzo Mendoza, is one of the country's wealthiest men. He said last week that "private investment has no substitute, and that's been shown not only in Venezuela but in the world."

Empresas Polar produces food made from grains, margarine, sauces, vinegar, ice cream, sea food, sodas, jams, animal food and Polar beer, among other items. It has 17 plants across the country and employs about 32,000 people.


How is it that workers in the worker's paradise could be upset with Dear Leader Chavez? Siding with the evil capitalistic slave-driving corporation?

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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:12 am 
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http://www.cnbc.com/id/37786852

Quote:
Hugo Chavez Spearheads Raids as Food Prices Skyrocket

Reuters | 18 Jun 2010 | 05:18 PM ET

Mountains of rotting food found at a government warehouse, soaring prices and soldiers raiding wholesalers accused of hoarding: Food supply is the latest battle in President Hugo Chavez's socialist revolution.

Venezuelan army soldiers swept through the working class, pro-Chavez neighborhood of Catia in Caracas last week, seizing 120 tons of rice along with coffee and powdered milk that officials said was to be sold above regulated prices.

"The battle for food is a matter of national security," said a red-shirted official from the Food Ministry, resting his arm on a pallet laden with bags of coffee.

It is also the latest issue to divide the Latin American country where Chavez has nationalized a wide swathe of the economy, he says to reverse years of exploitation of the poor.

Chavez supporters are grateful for a network of cheap state-run supermarkets and they say the raids will slow massive inflation.

Critics accuse him of steering the country toward a communist dictatorship and say he is destroying the private sector.

They point to 80,000 tons of rotting food found in warehouses belonging to the government as evidence the state is a poor and corrupt administrator.

Jose Guzman, an assistant manager at a store raided in Catia, watched with resignation as government agents pored over the company's accounts and computers after the food ministry official and the television cameras left.

"The government is pushing this type of establishment toward bankruptcy," said Guzman, who linked the raid to the rotten food scandal. "Somehow they have to replace all the food that was lost, and this is the most expeditious way."


Wasted Food

Much of the wasted food, including powdered milk and meat, was found last month in the buildup to legislative elections in September. The scandal is humiliating for Chavez, who accuses wealthy elites of fueling inflation and causing shortages of products such as meat, sugar and milk by hoarding food.

"They are not going to stop us in the plan, which is to give the people what is their right," Chavez said Friday during the inauguration of a supermarket chain the government bought this year from French retailer Casino.

Food prices are up 41 percent in the last 12 months during a deep recession, government figures show, despite the government's growing network of state-run supermarkets that sell at discounts of up to 40 percent and are popular with his poor supporters.

South America's top oil exporter, Venezuela imports about 70 percent of its food and analysts say the economic hardships could give the opposition a boost at the ballot box—although most expect Chavez to retain a reduced parliamentary majority.

Fighting back, Chavez says he is in an economic war against the "parasitic bourgeoisie" that tries to convince Venezuelans that socialism does not work by twisting facts and taking advantage of honest mistakes.

"They know where we are headed, we are going to take from the Venezuela bourgeoisie the hegemony of dominance in this country," Chavez, who calls himself a Marxist, said to applause from supporters on his TV show on Sunday.

He has also revived threats to take over the country's largest private food processor, miller and brewer, Polar.

The president rushed to give public support to Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who as the boss of PDVSA is also responsible for food unit PDVAL, over the case of the rotting food.

Two former PDVAL managers have been jailed in the scandal, but that has not stifled opposition charges of government incompetence.

A string of expropriations and buyouts of companies during the last couple of years means the government now controls between 20 percent and 30 percent of the distribution of staple foods.

"We are bringing order to prices," Trade Minister Richard Canan told Reuters during the Catia raid. "There are traders who are taking these products to the black market ... That is a crime and our government will continue to target these stores."


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- misattributed to Alexis De Tocqueville

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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:19 am 
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When you get what you ask for. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:55 am 
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... d-war.html

Quote:
Chavez pushes Venezuela into food war

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has pushed his country into a perilous food war that has seen prices rocket amid shortages and scandal over shipments left rotting at the docks.

by Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Published: 4:03PM BST 23 Jun 2010

Venezuelan bishops gave warning yesterday that the consequences of President Chavez's drive to control the distribution of food would be to jeopardise supplies to ordinary citizens.

Church leaders said the failure of the state-owned PDVAL, a subsidiary of the national oil company, to distribute food imports that rotted at the shores was "a sin that Heaven is crying over."

Several thousands tons of rotting meat was among 80,000 tons left to go bad at the Puerto Cabello seaport.

One local worker said that the stench at the docks indicated the meat had been festering for weeks. He said: "It stank like 100 dead dogs."

The scandal emerged just weeks after Mr Chavez launched an "economic war on the bourgeoisie owners" of supermarkets, mills, rice plants and food distribution companies.

The "battle for food" coincided with a botched devaluation in January that pushed up the cost of imports.

The result has been an economic catastrophe in the only Latin American economy in recession. Inflation leapt to 21 per cent in May as food prices rose 41 per cent over the level of a year ago. Soldiers have been deployed to raid private homes for food stores. Long lines regularly form on streets for basic commodities.

Mr Chavez is undeterred by failure. Last week he relaunched a chain of supermarkets his government had expropriated from a French-Colombian joint venture. He boasted that the 40-strong chain, Bicentennial Supplies, was already operating at a higher profit margin that under Western management.

The former paratrooper, who is an avowed fan of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean dictator, and Fidel Castro, Cuba's Communist tyrant, boasted that he has launched a new era of socialist supremacy. He said:

"Socialism is necessarily better than capitalism across the board and, that's what we're proving,"

The shortages have a sharp drop in Mr Chavez's popularity ratings to 45 per cent a rare poll in March, from more than 70 per cent three years ago. "I am so fed up with these food shortages," one shopper who had failed to reach the head of a queue for sugar reportedly said. "People get desperate and start behaving like animals."

As complaints grow louder Mr Chavez has turned on the few remaining bastions of opposition in the country he has led since 1999. Guillermo Zuloaga, the owner of Globovision TV network, was forced to flee the country last month after he was charged with offending Mr Chavez by spreading false information.

The Caracas regime has threatened to move against billionaire Lorenzo Mendoza, owner of the Emprasas Polar, which owns the last significant supermarket rival to the Cuban-inspired state system. It has rejected Mr Chavez claims that it is profiteering from hoarding of food as "absurd and senseless."

But the 55-year old leader regularly threatens Mr Mendoza on his weekly television show Alo Presidente. "Mendoza if you keep messing around I'm going to take Polar away from you, every last plant," he said in March.

Venezuelan suffering has not hurt the overseas adoration that Mr Chavez attracts. Ken Livingstone, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bolivian leader Evo Morales are avowed cheerleaders for Mr Chavez in his confrontation with capitalism.

Oliver Stone, the US film director, will this week publish South of the Border, a documentary about Latin America that critics described as a hagiography of Mr Chavez.


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- misattributed to Alexis De Tocqueville

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 Post subject: Re: More news from a the people's paradise.....
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:01 am 
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So, Frons - do you truly believe that Chavez's socialism has helped the lot in life of the average Venezualan?

I know jollypillager asked already, but you have been curiously silent. ;)

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