Tag Archives: Crackdown

Venezuela orders soldiers armed with assault rifles to impose price controls

Venezuela: price controls don't work
Assault weapons vs Amazon and Ebay: socialism in practice

From the left-leaning USA Today.

Excerpt:

 Thousands of Venezuelans lined up outside the country’s equivalent of Best Buy, a chain of electronics stores known as Daka, hoping for a bargain after the socialist government forced the company to charge customers “fair” prices.

President Nicolás Maduro ordered a military “occupation” of the company’s five stores as he continues the government’s crackdown on an “economic war” it says is being waged against the country, with the help of Washington.

Members of Venezuela’s National Guard, some of whom carried assault rifles, kept order at the stores as bargain hunters rushed to get inside.

[…]Images circulating online as well as reports by local media appeared to show one Daka store in the country’s central city of Valencia being looted.

“I have no love for this government,” said Gabriela Campo, 33, a businesswoman, hoping to take home a cut-price television and fridge. “They’re doing this for nothing but political reasons, in time for December’s elections.”

Maduro faces municipal elections on Dec. 8. His popularity has dropped significantly in recent months, with shortages of basic items such as chicken, milk and toilet paper as well as soaring inflation, at 54.3% over the past 12 months.

Economists are expecting a devaluation soon after the election, likely leading to even higher inflation.

This will surely encourage more businesses to come to Venezuela to create jobs, and compete with other businesses in order to lower prices and increase quality for consumers. Oh wait, no it won’t. It’s just going to causes businesses to scale back, expand in other countries, and go out of business entirely – taking jobs with them.

The real face of communism
The real face of communism

Earlier, Venezuela nationalized some oil drilling plants, as well:

Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state oil company, seized about $1 million worth of equipment from Superior Energy Services Inc. (SPN:US), the Houston-based company said.

PDVSA expropriated two hydraulic units that were idled after the Caracas-based company missed payments, Greg Rosenstein, head of corporate development, said by phone from New Orleans. The units operated in eastern Venezuela’s Anzoategui state, Associated Press reported Nov. 1.

[…]Under President Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in March, Venezuela initiated a nationalization process, seizing assets from companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US) and ConocoPhillips. (COP:US)

Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB:US), the world’s largest oil-services company, said in March it would reduce work in Venezuela because of mounting overdue payments from PDVSA. Schlumberger subsequently reached an agreement and announced on May 24 that it would provide a $1 billion rolling credit for a joint venture in Venezuela.

That will encourage oil companies to come to Venezuela and pay royalties to the government, and give jobs to more Venezuelans. Oh wait, no it won’t. It’s just going to cause companies to scale back their investments, expand in other countries, stop hiring, lay off more people, and pull out of Venezuela. I’m sorry but this is standard leftist economic policy.

Are Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez very different?
Are Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez very different?

Remember the last time that Venezuela seized privately-owned oil companies? They eventually had a nice explosion at the oil drilling facility, because the government doesn’t know how to run a business better than the people who created that business. You can see it today here, as Obama nationalizes the health care industry and tries to substitute his own web site. He thinks he knows how to create web sites. The man who has never run so much as a lemonade stand in his entire life, and is an authority on how to read a teleprompter and play golf. You do NOT put people like this is in charge of the economy.

Comparing Chile to Argentina and Venezuela
Comparing Chile to Argentina and Venezuela

The strange thing is that the economies of Chile embraced free market capitalism, free trade, private property, and the rule of law. Unlike Venezuela and Argentina, they are doing vastly better economically. Look at that chart, which I got from libertarian economist Dan Mitchell. You can’t refute that, because economics is real. No one can hide from the facts.

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Socialist government of Venezuela announces devaluation of their currency

Are Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez very different?
Are Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez very different?

From the Boston Globe.

Excerpt:

Venezuela’s government announced Friday that it is devaluing the country’s currency, a long-anticipated change expected to push up prices in the heavily import-reliant economy.

Officials said the fixed exchange rate is changing from 4.30 bolivars to the dollar to 6.30 bolivars to the dollar.

So, if you are earning and saving Bolivars, you just got a massive cut to your earnings and savings.

More:

By boosting the bolivar value of Venezuela’s dollar-denominated oil sales, the change is expected to help ease a difficult budget outlook for the government, which has turned increasingly to borrowing to meet its spending obligations.

[…]Economist Jose Guerra told The Associated Press that given the devaluation, he predicts inflation of more than 25 percent this year.

The announcement of the devaluation came after the country’s Central Bank said annual inflation rose to 22.2 percent in January, up from 20.1 percent at the end of 2012.

The oil-exporting country, a member of OPEC, has consistently had Latin America’s highest officially acknowledged inflation rates in recent years. Spiraling prices have come amid worsening shortages of some foods.

[…]It was the fifth time that Chavez’s government has devalued the currency since establishing the currency exchange controls a decade ago in an attempt to combat capital flight.

[…]The government’s announcement drew strong criticism from opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who said that the government’s heavy spending was to blame for the situation and that officials were trying to slip the change past the public at the start of a long holiday weekend.

The opposition party explains why this is happening:

‘They spent the money on campaigning, corruption, gifts abroad!’’ Capriles said in one of several messages on his Twitter account. Capriles was defeated by Chavez in an October presidential vote that was preceded by a burst of heavy government spending.

Who else do we know who likes to spend money and borrow from future generations? Someone whose economic policies are similar to Chavez? Who could it be? Increasing inflation is a very attractive policy to socialists who want to spend more money without raising taxes. It’s a hidden tax on those who try earn more and save their money. It punishes independence and makes dependence on the government inevitable.

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Obama’s buddy Chavez nationalizes an American company

CBS News: Chavez orders expropriation (nationalization) of American company Owens-Illinois. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday ordered the expropriation of U.S.-based glass maker Owens-Illinois Inc.’s unit in the South American country.

Chavez announced plans to expropriate the company in a televised speech, saying it operates in western Trujillo state.

The leftist leader criticized the company’s practices in the country, saying it had been “taking away the money of Venezuelans” and exploiting local people. Chavez did not detail his complaints about the company.

There was no immediate reaction from the company, based in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Owens-Illinois also has operations throughout Latin America in Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and the Caribbean, focusing on the manufacture of glass containers.

It was unclear how the government would handle compensation for the company’s assets in Venezuela.

Chavez has nationalized or expropriated a wide range of companies, including cement makers, retail stores and steel mills, while seeking to lead Venezuela toward a socialist system.

He said in his speech that more expropriations are planned.

“There’s another list around here,” Chavez said, but added that he would save additional announcements for later.

Here’s the Republican response to Hugo Chavez’s latest anti-American aggression.

Excerpt:

Republican U.S. Rep. Connie Mack targeted Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez on Tuesday — and ripped into the Obama administration for not standing up to him.

Mack, the ranking Republican on the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, noted that Chavez was continuing a world tour to push his country’s oil exportation.

[…]“While Chavez reaches out to nations across the world to explore and refine Venezuelan oil, what is the Obama administration doing?” demanded Mack, who is rumored to be running for the U.S. Senate in 2012. “The administration is failing to protect U.S. national security interests by ignoring the fact that we currently rely upon Venezuela for approximately 10 percent of U.S. oil imports. Instead of strengthening oil reserves or working with important U.S. allies such as Canada – which is well-poised to increase the flow of crude oil to our refineries – the Obama administration has not made it a priority.

“What’s more, as the administration sits idly by, Chavez continues his quest to nationalize key private-sector industries,” continued Mack. “During his trip to Belarus, Chavez announced the nationalization of two gold mines in Venezuela, and just yesterday Chavez announced the expropriation of the local affiliate of U.S.-based glassmaker Owens Illinois. Chavez acknowledged that his government has “a list with more names” of companies in Venezuela that will be expropriated.

“The Obama administration must get serious about dealing with the inherent threat that Chavez poses to our nation and the region,” concluded Mack. “We must take a hard look at our current energy portfolio and invest in energy projects with countries that respect international legal standards. And finally, for the security of our economy and the free market, Congress must support the pending free-trade agreements by passing them without delay.”

Where is Obama? Shouldn’t he be saying something about this?

Hey Obama! I can nationalize more private corporations than you can!

Oh. I guess they are having some sort of communist competition or something. Maybe trying to see whose country can hit 20% unemployment first?

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