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  #1  
Old 24-12-2013, 10:38 AM
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The Socialist Paradise of Venezuela

Many people have posted on various threads saying how cruel and unjust the current government's policies are and have suggested the government has the solution to all of our problems. Just to give everyone some perspective, here is what's going on in the workers paradise of Venezuela. Maybe Ed Miliband's price controls aren't such a good idea...

From the Economist:

AS A solution to rampant inflation, banning price rises and jailing shopkeepers has limited potential. But President Nicolás Maduro is undaunted. In the past year Venezuela’s consumer-price index has risen by more than 50%, one of the world’s fastest rates. Basic goods such as milk, rice, cooking oil and toilet paper are rarely found on supermarket shelves. With support for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) crumbling ahead of local elections due next month, Mr Maduro decreed on November 8th that as part of an “economic war” with unscrupulous businessmen, prices of electrical appliances were to be cut to their level of a month earlier. For good measure he had a couple of dozen shopowners and managers arrested for “usury”.

Shops were besieged by bargain hunters. In the country’s third city, Valencia, looters ransacked an outlet belonging to the Daka electricals chain. Even members of the national guard, deployed along with partisan militiamen to keep order, were filmed loading looted goods onto pickup trucks. Several days later people were still queuing in their dozens and even hundreds, in the hope of picking up a discounted television or fridge. Mr Maduro’s subsequent announcements that he would extend the decree to other goods, such as shoes, toys and mobile phones, has jangled nerves across the retail sector. The ultimate aim is to impose price controls on the entire economy, as well as placing limits on profit margins. Special courts are to be set up to try usurers.

Henrique Capriles, an opposition governor who lost to Mr Maduro by a thin and disputed margin in April’s presidential election, told Colombian television that the government’s price-slashing was a desperate attempt to avoid defeat in December. “Every time Maduro opens his mouth, investments shift to other countries,” he said. Government spokesmen said the opposition Democratic Unity (MUD) alliance was defending hoarders and speculators. The president even accused MUD leaders of infiltrating queues of would-be shoppers to foment violence. “If you go too far, Iris Varela [the prisons minister] has a cell ready for you,” he warned.

Shopkeepers are not the only nervous ones. Never far from Venezuelans’ minds are the events of February 1989, when fraying living standards and a government austerity plan led to riots and looting in which hundreds were killed. The then-president, Carlos Andrés Pérez, was fatally weakened. Today, each side accuses the other of seeking to create chaos in order to seize or retain power. Just as Pérez was brought down by manoeuvring within his own party, Mr Maduro faces dissent within the PSUV. Some in the regime, including factions of the army, might welcome a chance to “impose order” and rearrange the chairs around the cabinet table.

Mr Maduro looks increasingly out of his depth. “If I’m bringing down the price of appliances by 1,000%, that has to have an impact on November’s inflation figure, right?” he asked during a state-television broadcast at the weekend. “Or not?” The camera panned to government ministers, none of whom moved a muscle.
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Old 24-12-2013, 10:58 AM
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Oh come on. I have also read this article from the neo-liberal, free market American supporting Economist. It is far from a balanced report and reflects its continous attack on Venezuelas' attempt to create a fairer alternative society. America as you would expect is also doing its utmost to destabilise this democratically elected government who like many in South America are trying to free themselves from the tyranny of the imperialist USA.
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:12 AM
Stinger1 Stinger1 is offline
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Originally Posted by radiomike View Post
Oh come on. I have also read this article from the neo-liberal, free market American supporting Economist. It is far from a balanced report and reflects its continous attack on Venezuelas' attempt to create a fairer alternative society. America as you would expect is also doing its utmost to destabilise this democratically elected government who like many in South America are trying to free themselves from the tyranny of the imperialist USA.
That surely isn't a serious post? Chavez somehow amassed a $1 billion fortune from his Presidency despite never having worked in the private sector. You are truly naive if you can't see the left-wing governments of South America are nothing more than self-enrichment schemes for the political elite.
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:13 AM
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:16 AM
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That surely isn't a serious post? Chavez somehow amassed a $1 billion fortune from his Presidency despite never having worked in the private sector. You are truly naive if you can't see the left-wing governments of South America are nothing more than self-enrichment schemes for the political elite.
How is this different to our political elite? There is an old saying you don't see a poor bookie, I cannot remember seeing a poor politician.
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:18 AM
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Agree about The Economist. Poisonous little rag.
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Stinger1 View Post
That surely isn't a serious post? Chavez somehow amassed a $1 billion fortune from his Presidency despite never having worked in the private sector. You are truly naive if you can't see the left-wing governments of South America are nothing more than self-enrichment schemes for the political elite.
Shurely this isn't a serious post....

Where did you get your facts from?...probably the same place as the economist got theirs.

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Old 24-12-2013, 12:20 PM
Stinger1 Stinger1 is offline
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How is this different to our political elite? There is an old saying you don't see a poor bookie, I cannot remember seeing a poor politician.
On a relative basis our political elite are paid pretty poorly and aren't that corrupt. Most of our politicians are well educated and would of done well for themselves regardless of their stint in Westminster. Our politcal corruption is essentially limited by our fair judicial system. The political elite of South America take bribes and back-handed but overpower the courts and media to get away with it.

Take the current scandal of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for example. Her and her former President husband gave one of their friends huge public contracts in return for for his companies spending millions of dollars hiring a third of the rooms in the hotels they own despite most of the rooms never being used. The state-controlled airline Aerolineas Argentinas also hires a third of the rooms and very rarely uses them.


As for those who criticize the Economist for biased reporting despite not being willing to dispute any facts written in the article here is an article from that horrid, neo-liberal, right-wing newspaper the Guardian:

Venezuelan army occupies white goods shops as punishment for 'profiteering'
Goods sold at bargain prices as food shortages continue against a background of oil wealth


Amid galloping inflation and shortages, the Venezuelan government has sent its army to occupy electronics stores that it accuses of profiteering.
Earlier this week long lines of shoppers queued overnight for a chance to get militarily enforced discounts on computers, plasma TVs and appliances. As a washer-dryer was wheeled out of the JVG store in Caracas for its buyer, the crowd of consumers chanted, "si se puede" (yes we can).
Warning in a televised speech that price controls will be increased in coming weeks, President Nicolás Maduro said: "We can't just close the businesses, the owners have to go to jail."

But the socialist government's intervention has raised fresh concerns about an economy that has 50% annual inflation and a currency black market that trades dollars at nine times the official rate. Amid constant price rises, people struggle with shortages of food, medical supplies and other necessities. Maduro, who took over in April after the death of Hugo Chávez, says his country is fighting an "economic war" against the opposition, the CIA and other enemies whom he accuses of trying to destabilise Venezuela.
Underscoring the mood of paranoia, Venezuelan authorities recently detained a US journalist, Jim Wyss of the Miami Herald, for two nights after he tried to cover a border area notorious for illegal currency transactions and food smuggling. He was released last weekend. Facing municipal elections on 8 December, the president appears to be attempting to assert his authority with bold initiatives – and the occasional eccentricity – redolent of his predecessor. He has announced the creation of a ministry of supreme social happiness and stepped up controls on "profiteers".

On Thursday Maduro announced the arrest of more than 100 "bourgeois" businessmen for alleged price-gouging. "They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites," the president thundered in the latest of his lengthy – and daily – speeches. "We have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment." The government is preparing a law to limit Venezuelan businesses' profits to between 15 and 30% , he said. The targets for enforced discounting were three electronics chains: Daka, a retail chain similar to Best Buy or Currys, JVG and Mundo Samira, which both sell household appliances. All are accused of profiteering. Although the government says it granted Daka a preferential exchange rate of 6.3 bolivars to the dollar to import goods, the company's shops allegedly sold the commodities at a similar rate to retailers, who have to rely on higher black market rate.

Maduro said the retailer was guilty of theft and encouraged shoppers to empty its stores. Five shop managers were arrested. "This is for the good of the nation," he said. "Leave nothing on the shelves, nothing in the warehouses … Let nothing remain in stock." Following his call, YouTube clips posted showed people looting a Daka store in Valencia. At the JVG store in Caracas's Los Caminos neighbourhood on Monday, people queued three blocks for goods that were marked down by up to 60% under the supervision of about a dozen national guards in olive green uniforms with assault rifles.

The troops took the names of those waiting and let them in the store ten at a time. One man, who gave only the name Joel Morón, said he had been in the line since Saturday. "Importers have been indiscriminately raísing prices. I wanted to buy a refrigerator for my mum. Before it cost 50,000 bolivars. Today I was told it cost 16,000," he said. "We had given up. We thought prices would continue to hike. These measures make me recover my dignity." Not everyone was happy. An importer, Iván Pérez, was at the shop to collect merchandise he had bought before the mark down. "Everything here works like the rest of the country – like crap," said Pérez. "This is evidently a political move, but I think it's actually just dividing society more. Some will be happy, but others understand it damages us and the economy. This will increase scarcity."

The president of Fedecamaras, the private enterprise chamber, has admitted there have been some cases of overpricing in the retail sector. One of Maduro's likely targets is EPA, the country's biggest chain of DIY superstores. Crowds have already begun gathering outside the company's shops in expectation of price cuts. Maduro said in his evening speech that he would be sending officials to the local operation of US tyre maker Goodyear. "Goodyear has to lower its prices even more, 15% is not enough: the inspectors have go there straight away," he said. The president has also asked the national assembly for the power to rule by decree. If such a law is passed, Maduro has promised to punish currency speculators, control inflation and reduce excessive profits on "everything".

Since Maduro took over from Chávez, Venezuela's economic woes have worsened. Although the country is oil rich, with the world's largest deposits, other industries have collapsed as a result of price controls, government mismanagement and land appropriation. Once a major producer of agricultural commodities, Venezuela has to import most of its food. Even though malnutrition has fallen as a result of state-subsidised food programmes, it has become hard for many people to secure basic necessities because dollars are in short supply. In the past year, residents of Caracas have struggled to buy rice, coffee and cornflour, there has been a run on toilet paper. Wine and bread supplies ran so low that Catholic priests were instructed by bishops to conserve what was left so that they did not run out during mass.

Despite abundant oil, poor infrastructure has also led to power cuts. In September 70% of the country was left without electricity for hours. Although Venezuelan trade is officially in surplus thanks to its oil exports, at least one trade partner is experiencing delays in payments. Uruguay's president Pepe Mujica is reportedly scheduled to meet Maduro early this week to try to resolve his country's late reimbursement for beef, chicken and other goods. The managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, warned this month that Venezuela was under economic stress and would have to take some difficult policy decisions soon because it was running down its currency reserves. Pressure for a hefty devaluation of the bolivar is growing – a move that would make it all the more difficult to bring shortages and rampant inflation under control.

Last edited by Stinger1; 24-12-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:23 PM
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Seriously, what's your problem with Venezuela, nicer people than the States
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:25 PM
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Venezuela doesn't roll over and die when the USA tells it to, so the USA likes to discredit it using propaganda. Funny that everyone queues up to eat the USA's shit when it's one of the most evil and corrupt regimes on the planet.
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Psychokiller View Post
Venezuela doesn't roll over and die when the USA tells it to, so the USA likes to discredit it using propaganda. Funny that everyone queues up to eat the USA's shit when it's one of the most evil and corrupt regimes on the planet.
The USA is a democratic nation.
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:29 PM
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The USA is a demotic nation.
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:31 PM
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The USA is a democratic nation.
In a sense it is. In reality the voting people have little control over what happens in their government.

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I know a comedy site isn't the most credible source, but follow up on all the links before discrediting it.
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:45 PM
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Try looking at income inequality.

Yeah, the rich have lost out but, frankly who gives a frig?
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:46 PM
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Venezuela doesn't roll over and die when the USA tells it to, so the USA likes to discredit it using propaganda. Funny that everyone queues up to eat the USA's shit when it's one of the most evil and corrupt regimes on the planet.
What's the point of commenting if you're just going to make generalized nonsense statements like that. I have posted 2 articles, one from the Guardian which is hardly part of America's propaganda machine which report the problems caused by the idiocy of Venezuelan government. Are you saying there aren't any shortages of basic goods in Venezuela and inflation is not extremely high?
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:49 PM
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What's the point of commenting if you're just going to make generalized nonsense statements like that. I have posted 2 articles, one from the Guardian which is hardly part of America's propaganda machine which report the problems caused by the idiocy of Venezuelan government. Are you saying there aren't any shortages of basic goods in Venezuela and inflation is not extremely high?
Look at what is happening globally. The world's seventh richest nation is having to rely on the Red Cross to feed its citizens. Tent cities are going up in America whilst repossessed homes lay empty and derelict.
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Old 24-12-2013, 12:49 PM
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Try looking at income inequality.

Yeah, the rich have lost out but, frankly who gives a frig?
No actually, everyone has lost out because if you read the article, Venezuela has a huge shortage of basic goods due to price controls making it completely uneconomic for anyone to produce anything.

I thought you of all people would post something at least remotely intelligent as you seem to have some basic understanding of economics.

Last edited by Stinger1; 24-12-2013 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 24-12-2013, 01:01 PM
Stinger1 Stinger1 is offline
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Stinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy dietStinger1 came here looking for the peace and quiet; the healthy air and the healthy diet
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Originally Posted by Psychokiller View Post
Look at what is happening globally. The world's seventh richest nation is having to rely on the Red Cross to feed its citizens. Tent cities are going up in America whilst repossessed homes lay empty and derelict.
I don't disagree with you on US housing, banks are trying to limit the supply of housing to try and get house prices to go up and the government doesn't do anything because it has a vested interest in house prices going up.

I have no issue with people going to a food bank to get food. Society looking after the poor through charity is how it should work, why does everything have to go through the state?
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  #19  
Old 24-12-2013, 01:10 PM
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selhurstparkflyer selhurstparkflyer is offline
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Originally Posted by NorthPalace23 View Post
The USA is a democratic nation.
No, it isn't.

It's most evil mistake was on emancipation, not giving the blacks any land. That is where power lies in any country and, just as in South Africa, they were left with the rump.
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If we can beat the Germans with full employment (albeit, not with 11 men) then why can't we use those men to fight poverty and disease?
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Old 24-12-2013, 01:11 PM
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selhurstparkflyer selhurstparkflyer is offline
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Originally Posted by Stinger1 View Post
No actually, everyone has lost out because if you read the article, Venezuela has a huge shortage of basic goods due to price controls making it completely uneconomic for anyone to produce anything.

I thought you of all people would post something at least remotely intelligent as you seem to have some basic understanding of economics.
er, no they haven't

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If we can beat the Germans with full employment (albeit, not with 11 men) then why can't we use those men to fight poverty and disease?
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