Posts Tagged ‘Hugo Chavez’

Venezuelan Socialism Out-Grinches Itself

Monday, December 26th, 2016

The ongoing failure of socialism in Venezuela is one of those continuing stories that always threaten to turn post-worthy. This week’s Christmas season hook: the government’s Grinch-like seizure of toys:

Caracas, Venezuela (CNN)Venezuelan officials have confiscated nearly 4 million toys from a toy distributor, accusing the company of planning to sell them at inflated prices during the Christmas season.

On Saturday, the government initially said it had confiscated 4.8 million toys. It revised the figure Sunday, putting it at 3.821 million.

Critics say the consumer protection agency, which targeted the toy warehouse this week, has become “the Grinch that stole Christmas” because many families won’t be able to buy the confiscated toys for the holiday.

Agency head William Contreras disputed that, saying executives at toy distributor Kreisel-Venezuela, the largest of its kind in the country, “don’t care about our children’s right to have a merry Christmas.”

Lack of toys are not the biggest problem for children in Venezuela. Thanks to the Magic Power of Socialism™, a child’s scrapped knee can mean death. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

Last month’s death of Cuba’s communist dictator Fidel Castro shouldn’t eclipse the ongoing collapse of Venezuela, Latin America’s other failed socialist state:

Except for Nicaragua in the 1980s, Venezuela has more wholly adopted Castro’s economic and ideological model than any other Latin American nation. The late Hugo Chávez took his cues from Castro on everything from his fondness for army fatigues to his 10-hour speeches. Chávez also adopted the Castro model of seizing private property, suppressing the independent media, hounding political opponents and making cause with rogues in Damascus and Tehran.

For a while Venezuela escaped some of the inevitable consequences thanks to a flood of petrodollars. That’s over. Inflation is forecast to reach 1,640% next year. Caracas is the world’s most violent city. Hospitals have run out of basic medicines, including antibiotics, leading to skyrocketing infant mortality. There are chronic and severe shortages of electricity, food and water, as well as ordinary consumer goods like diapers or beer. Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s handpicked successor, has put his leading political opponents in jail.

And there’s hunger. An estimated 120,000 Venezuelans flooded into neighboring Colombia to buy food when Mr. Maduro briefly opened the border in July. Desperate Venezuelans are trekking through the Amazon hinterlands to make it to Brazil. And, like Cubans, they are taking to boats, risking their lives to make it to the nearby Dutch colony of Curaçao. Where there’s socialism there are boat people.

Zero Hedge has been keeping track of the twists and turns of Venezuela’s ongoing hyperinflation:

  • First Maduro’s idiot socialist government threw in the towel and announced they were printing currency with denominations 200x larger than the previous currency.
  • The results were swift: The bolivar crashed 22% in one week.
  • Then, following the moronic lead of Narendra Modi’s India, Venezuela announced that they were pulling 100 boliver notes from circulation, ahead of larger bills being available.
  • Then they closed the borders to prevent “currency smuggling.”
  • And yet, despite all this, despite children starving to death in the street, opposition parties cannot get their act together to oppose Maduro’s socialists. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    As long as the government keeps failed socialist policies and printing money, the economic nightmare plaguing the people of Venezuela will continue.

    Venezuela Says “No Mas” To Socialism

    Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

    It turns out that 100% inflation, widespread repression and corruption and endemic shortages of basic consumer goods are not a recipe for electoral success:

    Electoral authorities in Venezuela say the opposition coalition won a key two-thirds majority in the National Assembly in legislative voting.

    The National Electoral Council has published on its website the final tally of results from Sunday’s elections showing that two previously undecided races had broken in favor of the opposition, giving them 112 out of 167 seats in the incoming National Assembly. The ruling socialist party and its allies got 55 seats.

    The supermajority gives the opposition a strong hand in trying to wrest power from President Nicolas Maduro after 17 years of socialist rule. It now has the potential votes to sack Supreme Court justices, initiate a referendum to revoke Maduro’s mandate and even convoke an assembly to rewrite Hugo Chavez’s 1999 constitution.

    Sooner or later, socialists always run out of other people’s money.

    Though Maduro is still President, there are a lot of things the new government can do to improve the lives of their citizens:

    To end food shortages, the new congress can immediately lift price controls so entrepreneurs have an incentive to produce or import. The only way to strengthen the “strong bolivar,” as the late Hugo Chávez named the currency, is to make it valuable enough for people to hold. That means lifting capital controls and ending the central bank’s multiple exchange-rate system so business can get access to dollars. On current course Venezuela will run out of international reserves and face default in 2017. Restructuring debt now with creditors would make that prospect less painful.

    Which brings us to oil. Chávez used the country’s energy wealth to buy permission in Latin America—and Massachusetts; remember Joseph Kennedy’s Citgo PR campaign—for his many human-rights violations. As long as governments in the Caribbean were getting low-priced petroleum from Venezuela, they voted with the military government in Caracas at the Organization of American States.

    Chávez and Mr. Maduro have also traded oil for security help from Cuba’s intelligence apparatus. Putting an end to these trades would retain more resources inside Venezuela and send a signal that the days of government repression are numbered. Meanwhile, rejoice that one of this hemisphere’s lost countries has a chance at revival.

    Hugo Chavez Now Deader Than the Fifth International

    Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

    Venezuela’s leftist dictator Hugo Chavez dead of cancer.

    All the usual leftists are talking about how “his people” loved him. Well, not the political prisoners or the ones whacked in extrajudicial killings, but, you know, eggs, omelets, death squads. Stuff happens when you’re building a people’s republic.

    Which might explain why he was the least popular leader in Latin America. (Though I doubt they do polling in Cuba. Is it too much to ask that Fidel Castro now die of a broken heart?)

    But what I want to know is: Now that Hugo Chavez is dead, who will lead the Farm Workers Union?

    Delahunt to Checkmate Self Over Bishop?

    Sunday, February 14th, 2010

    So, let’s see if we can detect a pattern in the following events:

    1. On Friday, Biology professor Amy Bishop goes on a shooting spree over being denied tenure at University of Alabama in Huntsville, killing three people and wounding three others. (It’s interesting to note that spree killers (or, as the police call them now, “active shooters”) are almost never women.)

    2. On Saturday, it comes out that Bishop had shot and killed her own brother in 1986, but had been released even before facing charges. Why? The police received a phone call from then-district attorney William Delahunt telling them to let her go. That would be the same William Delahunt who is currently a U.S. congressman from Massachusetts. Oh, and did I mention that all the files on the case are now mysteriously missing?
    3. Later that same Saturday, Congressmen Delahunt says he’s considering retiring. Strangely, the article announcing this in the Boston Globe makes absolutely no mention of Delahunt’s role in the still-hot Bishop case. As the Church lady would put it, “How con-ven-ient.” And did I mention that congressmen Delahunt gets an F from the NRA and a 100% rating from the gun control enthusiasts at the Brady Campaign? Not to mention his penchant for palling around with Hugo Chavez.

    Following Scott Brown’s campaign victory, Delahunt was already considered vulnerable, but the timing on this seems just a little too convenient, don’t you think?

    Then there’s this paragraph from that LA Times story about Bishop and her husband: “They were outspoken Northeastern liberals whose political yard signs stood out a little on their suburban lot.” If we were just discussing the Alabama shooting itself, i would call it dirty pool to bring that information up; I don’t think being a liberal makes you any more or less likely to become a spree killer; some people just snap, and politics has nothing to do with it. But I can’t help wondering whether politics may have played a role in her not being charged in 1986. Was she not charged because she, or more likely her relatives or friends, were somehow politically connected to Delahunt? Why is the case file missing, and who took it?

    Why did William Delahunt let Amy Bishop get away with murder?

    Updated: Belmont Club has more on the story, including links to the DA report in the comments sections, and critiques of same.