Free Markets, Free People

Chavez tightens grip on Venezuela

In all the hype about the McChrystal story and the focus on the Gulf spill, you may have missed this story about Hugo Chavez’s continued destruction of the Venezuelan economy:

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.

How dare they not heed price controls? Meanwhile, in the ultra-efficient state machine bureaucracy, things are going swimmingly:

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.

120 tons confiscated. 80,000 tons allowed to rot. You can do the math.

“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.”

Food prices are up 41% this past year. Price controls. If you don’t think you’re paying enough now, try them.



13 Responses to Chavez tightens grip on Venezuela

  • “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.

    Ah, the cry of the totalitarian.  EVERYTHING is a “matter of national security” to these clowns.  Witness the attempt to make “global warming” into a matter of national security in our country.

    I heard a talk show host the other day, allegedly citing Woodrow Wilson.   Wilson apparently lamented the fact that that the progressive agenda lacked the urgency and visceral appeal of actual war.  In other words, he lamented that, while it was easy to get people to fight and sacrifice to defeat the Hun, it was diffcult to get the same type of enthusiasm to fight and sacrifice to defeat Wall Street.  This is how “progressives” see the world and how they seek to gin up phony emotions and twist them to suit their own ends.


    • There are many parallels between W. Wilson and B. Obama.  Wilson was  an evil SOB, IMNHO, and no friend of the Constitution.  He was also perhaps the first…but certainly the foremost…proponent of rule by “smart people”, in place of “the people”.  All too familiar now…

  • Venezuela elected him, let Venezuela endure him.

    • I wonder if any of those voters scoffed at the notion that a duly elected official might try to game the system in order to establish a dictatorship?

    • That’s questionable.  Even more so after the Jimmah Seal of Approval. 

  • One wonders how many lives will be crippled or ended by this Venezuelan incarnation of the Collective before it fades away?  Quite a score-sheet already.
    But then, we have our own branch to worry about…

    • To my mind, this has finally gotten to the point where the continuing attempts to build a socialist utopia is like a group of people proposing to leap off 10 story buildings sans gravity defying/evading/reducing devices, and, after 30 attempts, all failures (ya think?), they conclude the problem is either THIS 10 story building has something wrong with it, or that the 30 previous jumpers didn’t jump right, assuming they are really dyed in the wool socialists at heart (The Scott Erbs are good examples of this thought process).
      The fact of the matter is the leaders of these  ‘socialists’ (Castro, Chavez, Kim) understand the common man and their useful idiot socialist followers will sign up neither for a dictatorship, nor an aristocracy, so those two forms of government have  a nice shiny new coat of ‘socialist utopia paint” applied to them as camouflage.   Eventually the paint wears off, by then (North Korea, Cuba) it’s too late to mention.

      • I read somewhere that Lenin, on his death-bed, acknowledged that communism was a failure, BUT he knew how to fix it.
        The usual formulation is that we didn’t spend enough, or were otherwise too weak in our commitment.  You can read it today, no doubt, somewhere in the opinion pages of the MSM.

        • Yes, always the conviction that “we” (whoever we may be) will get right what the others couldn’t get right.   It never dawns on them, it seems, that the results from previous attempts are always positively disastrous to a large portion of the population, not merely discomforting.

          • There was never a time when the evils and structural contradictions of collectivism were not known to thinkers.
            But now, after decades of experience and empirical knowledge PROVING the evils and structural contradictions, there can be no excuse for playing with that particular form of misanthropy.  None.