andalusia wrote:I was reading an online forum and a libertarian said this about Venezuela.
" Maduro shut down the political process that was trying to remove him. Nobody made Chavez create government grocery stores that drove the private stores out of business."
I want to know is that statement true? I assume people here on this forum are better educated about the situation in Venezuela.
Is it true that Maduro was trying to shut down the political process that was trying to remove him and did Hugo Chavez create government grocery stores that drove the private stores out of business?
These are the usual drone "thought" processes exhibited by ideology koolaid drinkers. Venezuela was in the toilet before Chavez showed up
even though you hear endlessly about how great everything was. The detail they miss is that it was great for a tiny few like in all 3rd world
countries. Chavez dramatically elevated the standard of living of the vast majority of Venezuelans. I hear also yapping about how
his policies affected some alleged middle class. What!? The only middle class in a bimodal income distribution 3rd world country is in the
form of house maids, gardeners and similar for the filthy rich. Cry me a river if their bosses let them go since they can't make X billions of
dollars and make Y billions of dollars.
Chavez tried the middle of the road approach that kept the rich and their businesses intact. But they serve their one and only
master Satan USA. They have no loyalty to Venezuela and like the liberast 5th column in Russia look down and hate the people
of the country. Humans may be imperfect, but that includes especially the money grubbing rich parasites. So Chavez made the
"mistake" of nationalizing a lot of businesses. This made him a target for removal. Maduro is keeping the policies of Chavez but
is being sabotaged openly by the USA which is using criminals of all sorts to sow discontent. The US also did this in the USSR by
engaging the criminal underworld. The USA uses all species of irregulars including terrorists to pursue its ambitions.
The grocery store claim is ridiculous on its face. If the private grocery stores couldn't sell food to the majority for prices
they could afford, then there was no point for their existence was there. Libertards and similar think that people should starve
en masse as long as some owner sets the prices that he fancies. Liberatard chirping about free markets and economic freedom
is pure lip service. There are capitalists and there are libertards. The latter think that everything should be private including
roads and courts. They are retarded freaks living in a demented bubble.
As for Maduro shutting down the political process. That is a hilarious claim. Since when did some US appointed stooge like
Gauido get any claims on being president. Maduro won elections fair and square regardless of what self-serving US and its
parrots propaganda claims. If Maduro was some dictator (like Putin is routinely accused of being) he would act like a dictator
and that, in Latin America, would mean death squads and disappearances. So where are the "victims of the regime"? Some
few rioters that got shot? Again, cry me a river. If Chavez's policies were genuinely unpopular, there would never have been
a Maduro as president. America has clearly demonstrated what sort of regimes it prefers in Latin America over the last 100+
years (that's right, even before the commie scarecrow). It wants colonies and Bolivia is a clear example. Venezuela's
heavy oil wealth makes it a juicy prize for the yanquis and they are not giving up trying to own it.
BTW, Citgo was a corrupt outfit before Chavez which was running a price transfer racket with the USA. So the profits from
Venezuelan oil were being siphoned into the USA. Chavez dared to use those profits to improve the lives of Venezuelans and
just like with Mossadegh in Iran that is not allowed by the USA. Iran was yet another example of how much the USA really
Are you sure about that KVS? This libertarian did say that if he had just used the revenue to help the country, he wouldn't be in this mess. He used it to create socialized industries that were disasters. Government food stores were the worst, and they drove better-run private grocers out of business.
Here are some good excerpts from this wiki page about Chavez economic policies:
In 2017, Venezuela had the highest annual inflation in the region. Source: CIA World Factbook
The Venezuelan government also set price controls in 2003 on around 400 basic foods in an effort according to the Washington Post, to "counter inflation and protect the poor", and in March 2009, they set minimum production quotas for 12 basic foods that were subject to price controls, including white rice, cooking oil, coffee, sugar, powdered milk, cheese, and tomato sauce. However, the lack of free-floating currency meant that the government was overpaying for these foods, which led shortages as limited amount of these foods began to be imported, even while demand was growing.
From 2003, Chavez set strict price controls on food, and these price controls caused shortages and hoarding. In January 2008, Chavez ordered the military to seize 750 tons of food that sellers were illegally trying to smuggle across the border to sell for higher prices than what was legal in Venezuela. In February 2009, Chavez ordered the military to temporarily seize control of all the rice processing plants in the country and force them to produce at full capacity, which he claimed they had been avoiding in response to the price caps. In May 2010, Chavez ordered the military to seize 120 tons of food from Empresas Polar. In March 2009, Chavez set minimum production quotas for 12 basic foods that were subject to price controls, including white rice, cooking oil, coffee, sugar, powdered milk, cheese, and tomato sauce. Business leaders and food producers claimed that the government was forcing them to produce this food at a loss. Chávez nationalized many large farms. Chávez said of the farmland, "The land is not private. It is the property of the state." Some of the farmland that had been productive while under private ownership is now idle under government ownership, and some of the farm equipment sits gathering dust. As a result, food production fell substantially. One farmer, referring to the government officials overseeing the land redistribution, stated, "These people know nothing about agriculture." Chávez seized many supermarkets from their owners. Under government ownership, the shelves in these supermarkets are often empty. In 2010, after the government nationalized the port at Puerto Cabello, more than 120,000 tons of food sat rotting at the port. In May 2010, after price controls caused shortages of beef, at least 40 butchers were arrested, and some of them were held at a military base and later strip searched by police.
When agricultural measures of the Chávez administration took effect, food imports rose dramatically, and such agricultural mainstays as beef, rice, and milk saw drops in production. With declining oil revenues, food shortages became more widespread. Venezuela faced serious food shortages, as the Chávez government's price controls distorted the market.
In January 2008, Chávez ordered the military to seize 750 tons of food that sellers were illegally trying to smuggle across the border to sell for higher prices than what was legal in Venezuela. In February 2009, Chávez ordered the military to temporarily seize control of all the rice processing plants in the country and force them to produce at full capacity, which he claimed they had been avoiding in response to the price caps. In May 2010, Chávez ordered the military to seize 120 tons of food from Empresas Polar after inconsistencies in reports from the Empresas Polar conglomerate were said to have been detected by authorities.
As part of his strategy of food security Chávez started a national chain of supermarkets, the Mercal network, which had 16,600 outlets and 85,000 employees that distributed food at highly discounted prices, and ran 6000 soup kitchens throughout the country. In 2008 the amount of discounted food sold through the network was 1.25 million metric tonnes, often sold at as much as 40% below the price ceiling set for privately owned stores. Simultaneously Chávez expropriated many private supermarkets. The Mercal network was criticized by some commentators as being a part of Chávez's strategy to brand himself as a provider of cheap food, and the shops feature his picture prominently. The Mercal network was subject to frequent scarcities of basic staples such as meat, milk and sugar – and when scarce products arrived, shoppers had to wait in line.
In March 2009, the Venezuelan government set minimum production quotas for 12 basic foods that were subject to price controls, including white rice, cooking oil, coffee, sugar, powdered milk, cheese, and tomato sauce, which is intended to stop food companies from evading the law. Business leaders and food producers claimed that the government was forcing them to produce this food at a loss. Chávez expropriated and redistributed 5 million acres of farmland from large landowners, saying: "The land is not private. It is the property of the state... The land is for those who work it." But, the lack of basic resources made it difficult or impossible to make full use of the expropriated lands by its new tenants – leading to a lower overall degree of productivity in spite of a larger overall area of land under cultivation.
In 2011, food prices in Caracas were nine times higher than when the price controls were put in place and resulted in shortages of cooking oil, chicken, powdered milk, cheese, sugar and meat. Datanálisis, an independent polling firm found that powdered milk could be found in less than half of grocery stores in Venezuela and that liquid milk was even more scarce in the country. Jose Guerra, former executive of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) explained that Venezuela's large increases on purchasing food in 2012 and reserves that are at their lowest levels since 2004 contributed to dollar shortages that Venezuela suffered in the years following 2012.
In 2007 14,383 tonnes of milk, rice, pasta, beef and chicken, worth $54 million were also abandoned. In 2010, after the government nationalized the port at Puerto Cabello, more than 120,000 tons of food worth 10.5 bolivares sat rotting at the port. In May 2010, during a shortage of beef, at least 40 butchers were detained on charges of speculation for allegedly selling meat above the regulated price; some of them were held at a military base and later strip-searched by police.
KVS: Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that he didn't make some good decisions like withdrawing Venezuela from the IMF since the IMF is a tool of western economic exploitation.
Another one was addressing the extreme land inequality with land reform. However, it could have been implemented better. I also think the price controls on food was unnecessary and it caused more problems.
This still doesn't negate like you alluded to the rich right wing elites who have oppressed the working class for a long time and their support for neoliberal economics.
What I think is what is needed in Latin American countries like Venezuela is to avoid the extremes. No, they certainly don't need right wing Austrian school libertarian economics that benefits the rich and the oligarchy; on the other hand, they don't need authoritarian hard left leaders who don't understand economics like Hugo Chavez. They need pro free market liberals who support the private sector but still care for the interests of the working class.
It seems that Latin American culture is incapable of producing such individuals.