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It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion (UPDATED)
Posted by: McQ on Monday, January 08, 2007

You remember the post a little while ago about our boy Hugo Chavez, ruler of all Venezuela and champion of the poor and downtrodden, deciding that an opposition TV station's license was up for renewal when it wasn't? The purpose, of course, was to tell the TV station that it would be "legally" shut down because he wasn't going to renew it on it's new and recently fabricated renewal date.

Ah the joy of pure autocracy. The man who railed against the oligarchs has made himself one through manipulation, intimidation and plain old deceit and fraud. And should anyone have the temerity to criticize him, even those outside the country, well, they're idiots:
Also Monday, Chavez called the chief of the Organization of American States an "idiot" on Monday and urged him to resign.

Chavez lashed out at OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza for questioning his government's decision not to renew the license of an opposition-aligned TV station.

"Dr. Insulza is quite an idiot, a true idiot," Chavez said in a speech after swearing in new Cabinet members. He used a vulgar Spanish term that translates roughly as idiot.

"The insipid Dr. Insulza should resign from the secretariat of the Organization of American States for daring to play that role."

On Friday, Insulza warned that Chavez's decision not to renew the broadcast license of Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV, in May would be seen as a "form of censorship against the freedom of expression."

Chavez has said his government's decision is final on the TV station and that it will not renew the license of a channel that he says has been involved in subversive actions against his government.
In other words, the "idiot" is right.

Then to add to the fun, Baby Hugo announces that its time to nationalize the country's electrical and telecommunications companies:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Monday that he plans to nationalize the country's electrical and telecommunications companies, his boldest move yet to transform Venezuela into a socialist state.

"All of those sectors that in an area so important and strategic for all of us as is electricity — all of that which was privatized, let it be nationalized," Chavez said in a televised speech after swearing in a new Cabinet.

"C.A. Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV), let it be nationalized," Chavez said. "The nation should recover its property of strategic sectors."
Since they don't hand out economic degrees in the slums of Caracas, I'm sure his merry band of Chavistas will be delighted.

Of course, his announcement immediately sent the value of these companies plummeting on the NYSE:
American Depositary Receipts of CANTV immediately plunged 14.2 percent on the New York Stock Exchange to $16.84 before the exchange halted trading. The ADRs had been moderately higher before the announcement.

A NYSE spokesman wasn't immediately able to say whether trading in ADRs of other Venezuelan companies might be halted.
Chavez is another in a long line of bully boys from South America but in his case, one who seems to think he has found the key to making socialism actually work on a national level, something which has escaped every other country that has ever made a serious attempt at implementing it. Apparently his visits to the socialist paradise of his hero Fidel Castro never managed to deter him from a desire to duplicate Cuba in Venezuela.

Oh, and to all of the Chavistas that normally beam in to defend their boy, please, do come on in and do so. I'm dying to hear about the paragon of freedom and how the things he's doing will help the country in the long run.

All I have to say is you had damn well better hope that the price of oil stays near its present level, because if it drops precipitously, Venezuela is going to be in deep economic trouble.

And yeah, that's just how these things work out when you do economically idiotic things like nationalizing private companies.

Now who's the "idiot?"

UPDATE: Nice roundup here.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
With inflation there running just under 20% and Hugo throwing more and more price controls onto the fire, ensuring a distorted market and tons of shortages, are you really sure it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion and not fast forward?
 
Written By: Gerry
URL: http://
... are you really sure it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion and not fast forward?
I was really alluding more to the whole process since he’s shown up on the scene, but you’re right it is beginning to speed up.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
HUGO was elected in a land slide. US-GA certified by the peanut patrol I presume. Thanks be to Jimmy.

The Carter center. Saving dictatorships one country at a time.

You would think the JC would get the picture and retire from "public service" (i.e. screwing up the world) and leave it to people who have a shred of sense.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
It is unfortunate that South America still holds so many uneducated people that they will fall for this type of 1930’s clown and his half baked rhetoric.

At least our modern day socialists have to be a little more circumspect.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
American Depositary Receipts of CANTV immediately plunged 14.2 percent on the New York Stock Exchange to $16.84 before the exchange halted trading. The ADRs had been moderately higher before the announcement
Maybe a nice ad campaign starring Joe Kennedy will revive their fortunes.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
You’re obviously right about Chavez. He thinks he’s found the magic formula that makes socialism work.

Now that the price is 20% off its peak, it’s going to be fun watching him pump more and more oil as the price continues to fall. He’ll single-handedly drive the price back to the mid-$40/bbl range.

Not so fun if you have a career in the oil-drilling business, perhaps.
 
Written By: Geardaddy
URL: http://grindinggears.blogspot.com
Apparently his visits to the socialist paradise of his hero Fidel Castro never managed to deter him from a desire to duplicate Cuba in Venezuela.
I suspect that Mr. Castro has been living quite well in the worker’s paradise; why wouldn’t Mr. Chavez want to copy that?

As for the workers themselves....at least they won’t have to swim to GTFOD (aka "get the *bleep* outa Dodge").
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"Of course, his announcement immediately sent the value of these companies plummeting on the NYSE:"

This sure dosn’t say much for the analytical skills of those Wall St. wizards. The price should have gone down to almost nothing after the first couple of years of Hugo, but I just ran across a "Strong Buy" recommendation from 2004, at $23.+, with a target price of $29.+. I mean, really, who didn’t see this coming? But of course, I am sure all those brokers are worth every penny of the millions in bonuses they will make this year.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
?Quién es John Galt?
 
Written By: chtorr
URL: http://
"HUGO was elected in a land slide. US-GA certified by the peanut patrol I presume. Thanks be to Jimmy.
The Carter center. Saving dictatorships one country at a time. "

Well, he may have been elected legitimately. Legit elections don’t necessarily result in freedom or good. It is also essential to have checks and balances, something I wish the fanatical supporters of any president (though especially the current one) would remember that. Not saying Bush is anywhere near as bad as Chavez, but we have witnessed a striking loss.
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
He’s following my Ten Step Plan to being a Dictator to the letter.
 
Written By: Foobarista
URL: http://
Well, he may have been elected legitimately.
Or perhaps not.
Legit elections don’t necessarily result in freedom or good. It is also essential to have checks and balances, something I wish the fanatical supporters of any president (though especially the current one) would remember that. Not saying Bush is anywhere near as bad as Chavez, but we have witnessed a striking loss.
Ahh—-BDS.

Do you have a nifty tin-foil hat?

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
He’s following my Ten Step Plan to being a Dictator to the letter.
Well except the "grow a beard and look good in green" bit. Clean shaven and prefers red.

Aw well, close enough for dictator work.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
Diablo. ;)
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com

 
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