June 13th, 2016

Rumblings in Venezuela

Oh-oh—in Venezuela, the fact that they may have run out of other people’s money seems to have trickled down:

Party officials stressed to The London Times that Maduro’s distribution system has “broken down and that conditions are ripe for civil war.” He hoped the system would end the long lines “and black marketeers at state-subsidised supermarkets.” Riots have exploded in these areas:

“What is striking is that the riots — sometimes half a dozen a day in the capital — are in working-class slums far from the middle-class areas where support for the opposition has traditionally been strongest. The opposition, which controls congress, is trying to push through a referendum to remove Mr Maduro but that will take time and hungry people are more concerned about procuring food.”

These economic conditions are an absolute outrage in a country that had everything going for it just a few decades ago.

I wonder, though, what the rioters think is the cause, and what the remedy. They were susceptible to the pie-in-the-sky promises of socialism before. Do they still remain susceptible, and do they just think that Maduro isn’t a very good practitioner of socialism? Or do they blame the entire mess on the socialist system of government itself? And what do they want to replace it?

20 Responses to “Rumblings in Venezuela”

  1. Big Maq Says:

    Very much the questions I have.

    Thing is, they perhaps have the excuse of a lack of education and, therefore, an understanding of the history of these political systems.

    We don’t and we still hear calls for folly on both left and right.

  2. T Says:

    Clearly, it’s not the fault of sccialism as a social system; it just wasn’t executed properly in Venezuela.

    Don’t worry, next time we”ll get it right. (/sarc off)

  3. Japan Says:

    I wonder, though, what the rioters think is the cause, and what the remedy.?

    Rumsfeld seems to be taking a hands-off approach to that possibility.

    “While no one condones looting, on the other hand, one can understand the pent-up feelings that may result from decades of repression and people who have had members of their family killed by that regime, for them to be taking their feelings out on that regime,” he said. “And I don’t think there’s anyone in any of those pictures … (who wouldn’t) accept it as part of the price of getting from a repressed regime to freedom.”

    Rumsfeld said in the United States there has been looting and riots and they eventually come under control.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Scapegoat time. The last thing the campesinos will do is look in the mirror and say, I voted for this… acceptance of personal responsibility is a cultural value on life support among North America’s younger generations. It is non-existent in Central and South American cultures.

    Then there is the oligarchic tyranny of the upper classes, who see their wealth and status, as only their due. It is they who lay the foundation for acceptance of socialism’s mirage of illusions.

  5. Matt_SE Says:

    The only thing I’m hoping for is that the people of Venezuela confiscate all of Chavez’ daughter’s ill-gotten wealth.

  6. Yancey Ward Says:

    I would keep a close eye on Venezuela- I could easily imagine far, far worse things occurring than just riots over scarce resources. The people directly responsible for Chavez and Maduro won’t like having to admit their responsibility for the present situation, and such things often explode into mass pogroms on “the other”.

  7. AesopFan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    June 13th, 2016 at 4:37 pm
    Scapegoat time. The last thing the campesinos will do is look in the mirror and say, I voted for this… acceptance of personal responsibility is a cultural value on life support among North America’s younger generations. It is non-existent in Central and South American cultures.
    ***
    This is true of all the interest groups exploited by the Democrats – they vote in the policies that sound so good at the time, but never admit that the bad results followed from their votes (it’s all the fault of the people who DIDN’T vote for the disastrous policies, donchaknow — funny how that works.)

  8. Gringo Says:

    Do they still remain susceptible, and do they just think that Maduro isn’t a very good practitioner of socialism? Or do they blame the entire mess on the socialist system of government itself? And what do they want to replace it?

    Many of those who would be considered right-wingers in Venezuela would be considered Democratic Socialists elsewhere. I am continually amazed at all the oppo people in Venezuela- and some very well educated people- who consider Republicans to be as bad as Chavez.

    Hugo Chavez didn’t invent government ownership in Venezuela. As the distributor of oil revenues, the government has long been the leading engine of the economy. “Sembrar el petroleo”- sow the oil- meant that the GOV would invest in various non-petroleum projects, such as telecommunications, and the production of such industrial raw basics as aluminum and steel.

    Government investment meant government ownership. The low price of oil in the 1990s forced the GOV to privatize some of its businesses, as it no longer had the dosh to subsidize money-losing operations. Telecommunications got privatized and, surprise of surprises,costs went down along with increased coverage.

    Juan Bimbo, the Venezuelan equivalent of John Smith, has long had a pragmatic attitude towards the Petrostate. The more money the Petrostate delivers, the better it is. From 1973 through the early 1980s, increasing oil prices meant that there was more revenue for the Petrostate to deliver. Increasing petroleum revenues to distribute meant that Juan Bimbo had a positive attitude towards the GOV.

    Oil prices started to fall in late 1983 from nearly $40/BBL. and got to as low as $10/BBL in 1986. From 1986-1998, the price of oil was around $20/BBL. With less revenue to distribute, Juan Bimbo had an increasingly negative attitude towards the GOV. It is no accident that Chavez was elected in 1998, a year when the price of oil averaged around $10/BBL, a price in real terms which hadn’t been seen since 1972.

    As has already been documented, Chavez rode an oil boom and squandered the money.

    Some Juan Bimbos will make the connection that in 1998, with oil around $10/BBL, there was much more food available than today, when oil is around $30/BBL. But quite a few won’t.

  9. Gringo Says:

    For those who want some background on Venezuela, I strongly suggest Venezuela for Beginners.
    http://www.caracaschronicles.com/2015/10/18/venezuela-for-beginners/
    I highly recommend The Petrostate that was and the petrostate that is , which you can also find at the link above.

  10. Gringo Says:

    London Times quote @ the link:

    The opposition, which controls congress, is trying to push through a referendum to remove Mr Maduro but that will take time and hungry people are more concerned about procuring food.

    The GOV is stalling the Recall Referendum as much as possible. If the RR takes place after Jan 1, the new President will not be elected but will be the current Vice President. Which explains why the GOV is stalling as much as possible. The head of the TNE, the national electoral council which is inventing stall after stall, is Tibisay Lucena, a graduate of The New School in NYC. At one time The New School was a refuge for those fleeing tyrants such as Hitler. Now it is a refuge for tyrants’ bureaucrats – at least judging by Ms. Lucena.

    London Times quote @ the link:

    To put an end to the vast queues and black marketeers the government recently started distributing food directly to local community councils.

    Comités Locales de Abastecimiento y Producción, translated a Local Committees for Provision and Production, and known in Venezuela by the acronym C.L.A.P. , are an attempt by the government to monopolize food distribution. C.L.A.P. delivers bundles of food to households. However, it distributes food to households that support the government. Many view C.L.A.P. as an attempt to starve out the opposition.
    Caracas Chronicles June 2:CLAPs’ Move to Take Over Food Distribution Sparks Disturbances in Fuerzas Armadas Avenue. There have been more an more such protests.

    CLAP- what an acronym!

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    They got what they voted for, let them burn. The only people that should receive sympathy are the fools that believed in the US as a leader of the free world, and of course the people who saw Chavez, socialism, for what it was and fought against them. Or self exiled themselves first.

    Probably the best balance would be another French Revolution. Because I think they’ve killed all the Pinochets.

  12. Ymarsakar Says:

    I wonder, though, what the rioters think is the cause, and what the remedy.?

    Wasn’t J that socialist who supported Chavez for being anti American? Would be pretty ironic, right.

  13. Frog Says:

    There are genuine principled heroes in Venezuela, like Leopoldo Lopez,the major oppo leader, who voluntarily surrendered to prison on bogus charges rather than flee. It’s been 3years now, no trial.
    Wonder what Jimmah Carter thinks about how the “fair” Chavez elections turned out for Venezuela. Carter is a pig. And he is a model for BHO, of whom we will never be rid.

  14. Ymarsakar Says:

    And he is a model for BHO, of whom we will never be rid.

    Hussein changed the SS to ensure life service for his family and former Presidents. That means he’ll be on the public bankroll until he dies, just like FDR.

  15. Sergey Says:

    It seems that Venezuela now is exactly where Chile was days before Allende was ousted by military. This and only this could have saved Chile from bloody civil war. But I doubt Venezuela have military leaders capable to repeat this tour de force.

  16. Gringo Says:

    For another link on CLAP, courtesy of Breitbart:
    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/06/07/venezuela-socialist-party-control-food-supply/

  17. Tom G Says:

    I sure wish somebody would create a more limited, focused set of policies enacted by the Venezuela gov’t, in a timeline.
    Mostly economic, rather than political, altho some political is important for changing leaders or new poli policies.

    Maybe I’ll check the 90 min Frontline documentary for PBS:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hugochavez/
    (wish there was a transcript).

  18. Tom G Says:

    Oh, here is that transcript I wanted:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hugochavez/etc/script.html

  19. Ray Says:

    As Frédéric Bastiat pointed out, socialism is theft. It is based on plunder you neighbor. They just ran out of people to plunder in Venezuela.

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