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Dec 04 2017

Central America Could Follow Venezuela Down the Drain

The cancer metastasized from Cuba to Venezuela. From there it spreads further. Left-wing candidate Salvador Nasralla, who apparently lost the November 26 presidential election in Honduras to center-right incumbent Juan Orlando Hernández, is belligerently contesting the results.

In the USA, they quack forlornly about Russian collusion. Here’s how leftists take defeat in Honduras:

When the electoral tribunal did not give the victory to Mr. Nasralla immediately, he called for rebellion. His supporters have blocked highways with burning piles of debris, destroyed cars, trashed storefronts, set highway tollbooths ablaze, and rampaged through the residential neighborhoods where electoral authorities live.

Refusal to accept the election results reportedly came at the direction of former President Manuel Zelaya, who was thrown out of the country in 2009 after trying to set himself up as a dictator, despite efforts by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to keep him in power.

Once back in the driver’s seat, Zelaya, Nasralla, et al. may not need to worry about elections anymore:

The process is simple: win one election, then consolidate power and never leave. The strategy has been successful in Nicaragua, where Sandinista Daniel Ortega has been in power since 2007. He is as corrupt as any caudillo and has handily put an end to political pluralism, competitive elections, transparency and institutional independence.

The situation is not much better in El Salvador:

Former leftist guerrillas of the FMLN party, who are also allies of Venezuela, have governed since 2009. The party moderated its image to get to power, but last week the party secretary announced that its goal is to end capitalism—including the right of private property.

To the delight of progressives, the squalor, misery, and tyranny that characterize socialist Cuba and Venezuela creep ever closer to our back door.

On a tip from J.

Nov 15 2017

Venezuela Staggers Toward Default

Recently, Venezuela was the wealthiest country in South America, largely because it is afloat on a sea of black gold. Then came socialism. Now it demonstrates why you do not lend money to socialists:

On Monday Caracas missed interest payments due on two government bonds and one bond issued by the state-owned oil monopoly known by its Spanish initials PdVSA. Venezuela owed creditors $280 million, which it couldn’t manage even after a 30-day grace period.

Venezuela can’t pay its debts because it is broke. Here’s where all the money went:

[I]n 2005 the socialist Hugo Chávez declared that the central bank had “excessive reserves.” He mandated that the executive take the excess from the bank without compensation. Today the central bank has at best $1 billion in reserves.

Remember when Barack Obama proclaimed that “at a certain point you’ve made enough money”? Venezuela presents the results of letting ham-fisted ideologues determine what is enough money.

Faced with expropriation, hyperinflation, price controls and rampant corruption, human and monetary capital has fled Venezuela.

The country has not been officially declared in default, but it won’t be long. Restructuring the debt won’t work, because it requires the economy to grow again, which will never happen with Big Government affixed to it like a facehugger from the Alien movies.

Venezuela is what Bernie Sanders supporters want to reduce America to. They are becoming the base of the radicalized Democrat Party.

On a tip from Bodhisattva.

Oct 11 2017

Applied Socialism: 2,300% Inflation in Venezuela

It doesn’t matter that the U.S. national debt has rocketed past $20 trillion (not counting unfunded liabilities) with no indication that spending will slow down in the foreseeable future, because the government can always just print more money to pay off what it owes, right?

Not exactly. Once again Venezuela offers a stark warning as to what awaits us if we continue down the path of ever-bigger government:

[T]he IMF is now estimating that Venezuela’s inflation rate will soar to 2300% in 2018. Of course, the IMF did have to put in some work to come up with this number, because Venezuela’s central bank gave up even trying to publish inflation data back in 2015. If you’re wondering how bad 2300% is, for or a point of reference, the Congo was number 2 on the IMF’s inflation scale and they are supposed to increase by 44% next year.

Resource-rich Venezuela is collapsing. People are starving. The murder rate is estimated to be over 17 times as high as America’s. Now the currency is becoming worthless, just as it did in socialist Zimbabwe.

Bernie Sanders and his many supporters want to do to the USA what Chavez and Maduro did to Venezuela. Or we could stay the course and get to the same point a little more gradually.

On a tip from Torcer.

Sep 10 2017

Socialism in Venezuela

Venezuela, formerly the wealthiest country in South America, has been utterly destroyed by socialism.

The popularity of Bernie Sanders indicates that many would inflict the same miserable fate on the USA.

On a tip from Jester.

Jul 23 2017

The Venezuela Diet

Remy recommends a diet guaranteed to take off extra pounds — unless of course you are a member of the ruling class:

On a tip from Torcer.

Jun 08 2017

Socialism Offers Free Ride in Venezuela

The appeal of socialism is that it offers people a free ride. But in the end, the free ride always ends up looking like this scene from the crackdown on resistance in socialist Venezuela:

On a tip from Torcer.

May 17 2017

Venezuela’s Socialist Regime Forces Protesters to Eat Excrement

Before the collapse of Louis XVI’s regime, Marie-Antoinette allegedly said of the peasants who had no bread, “Let them eat cake.” People are also without bread under the socialist regime in Venezuela, which has a different idea regarding what they should eat:

Venezuelan security forces have increasingly detained and arrested innocent protesters in the latest wave of demonstrations against Nicolás Maduro’s regime, which began 46 days ago.

The Chavista government has also stepped up its use of torture against members of the opposition. …

Luis Betancourt, head of Foro Penal, an NGO based in the city of Carabobo, reported that he has received “many complaints” from victims of government officials’ “brutal treatment.” …

Betancourt also mentioned other cases of torture against detainees. “One victim said he had a cigarette buried in his arm, while 15 reported that they were forced to eat pasta with grass and excrement. The regime’s officials forced dust from tear gas canisters up their noses to pry open their mouths. They then shoved the pasta with excrement in their mouths and made them swallow it,” he said.

If the people won’t swallow socialist crap on their own, they have to be forced. Otherwise, how is utopia to be achieved?

arrested-venezuela
I hope she brought along a healthy appetite.

On a tip from Torcer.

May 07 2017

Venezuela National Guard Running Over Protesters

The moonbat tactic of blocking roadways — used heavily by Black Lives Matter types — does not work so well when the moonbats themselves have consolidated control, as in socialist Venezuela:

Via Weasel Zippers, on a tip from Torcer.

May 04 2017

Surreal: Maduro Dancing While Venezuela Collapses Into Violence

Nothing could better sum up the disconnect between socialist rulers and the hell they inflict outside their palaces than this surreal video of Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro dancing on TV while his goons face off against his victims on the streets:

On a tip from Torcer.

Apr 22 2017

Bernie Sanders on the Collapse of Socialism in Venezuela

Wondering what socialist Bernie Sanders might have to say about socialism collapsing into utter disaster yet again, this time in Venezuela? Here is what he had to say about it a year ago:

As you can see, he had nothing to say. Now that it has characteristically degenerated into starvation and blood on the streets, he probably still doesn’t.

However, you can guess what he’s thinking. “Venezuela isn’t doing it right. I would crack down so hard on the counter-revolutionaries, they wouldn’t dream of dragging me out of my palace to string me up from a lamppost like they are on the verge of doing to Maduro.”

Bernie-Sanders_Venezuela
This goes for anyone else pushing his agenda.

On tips from Jester.

Apr 21 2017

Fake News in Overdrive: MSNBC Suggests Venezuelan Uprising Is Against Donald Trump

Due to the tyrannical and dysfunctional nature of precisely the sort of regime MSNBC exists to impose on the USA, Venezuela is in an ongoing state of revolt. People driven to desperation by hunger are facing death on the streets to oppose the government. Rather than admitting that scenes of rebellious Venezuelans discredit their ideology, MSNBC propagandists repurpose the images:

venezuela-msnbc

When MSNBC presented a guy carrying an AR-15 as evidence of dangerous white racists, carefully framing the video so that viewers could not see that he was black, it seemed this disgraceful outfit would never be able to outdo itself in the field of fake news. Yet it has.

You could almost admire the chutzpah:

[Shrill ideologue Rachel] Maddow tried to claim on her show Thursday night that the streets of Venezuela had exploded with protests and marches in response to recent news surrounding a subsidiary of a major Venezuelan oil company that donated half a million dollars to the Trump campaign.

Seriously? It’s pretty clear the citizens of Venezuela had other priorities, like making sure their children do not die of hunger or illnesses.

April 19 marked 207 years of Venezuelan independence from Spanish colonialism, and with that date in mind, both the political opposition and President Nicolás Maduro planned rallies that ultimately clashed and, the next day, saw military force used against unarmed citizens.

Yet the banner caption running on MSNBC read, “Unrest In Venezuela Over Trump Donations” — what many following the events in Venezuela criticized as sloppy reporting to the point of fake news.

Calling the deliberate lies served up by MSNBC “sloppy reporting” is overgenerous.

The channel has zero credibility. Those running it don’t care. The target audience wants reinforcement of its loony-left viewpoint, not inconvenient facts relating to a real world that they dismiss as irrelevant.

Hardcore moonbats may be a small demographic, but the money rolls in regardless. If you have a cable or satellite package, chances are high that you are funding MSNBC every time you pay your bill.

On a tip from Torcer.

Apr 15 2017

Video of Venezuelan Government Thugs Beating Girl

Leftists often denounce their opposition as sexist, often on the most absurd grounds imaginable. Then they take over a country, and we see this:

On a tip from Torcer.

Mar 26 2017

Gasoline Shortage in Oil-Saturated Venezuela

Milton Friedman sure had this right:

milton friedman shortage sand sahara

Presumably he wasn’t referring exclusively to the U.S. federal government, but to any gang of coercive oligarchical collectivists — like the one running socialist Venezuela, home to the largest proven oil reserves in the world. Speaking of which:

Venezuela’s state oil company was rushing to replenish gasoline supplies in various neighborhoods of Caracas on Thursday as drivers lined up at filling stations amid a worsening shortage of fuel.

While Petroleos de Venezuela SA says the situation is normalizing and blamed the lines on transport delays, the opposition says the company has had to reduce costly fuel imports as it tries to preserve cash to pay its foreign debt. …

As the company’s crumbling refineries fail to meet domestic demand, imports have become a financial burden because the country buys fuel abroad at market prices only to sell it for pennies per gallon at home. PDVSA, as the state-run producer is known, has been reducing the money-losing imports as it prepares for $2 billion in bond payments due next month, said Jose Brito, an opposition lawmaker on the National Assembly’s oil commission.

“They’re not importing enough because they are saving up to pay the debt,” he said in a telephone interview. …

Venezuela has been forced to increase imports of finished gasoline and components over the past years as its refinery utilization rates declined because of deteriorating infrastructure and under-investment. The country imported about 75,000 barrels a day of refined products from the U.S. in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Privatizing the oil industry would solve the problem quickly. But rolling back Big Government is easier said than done.

If socialists ever take over the North Pole, there really will be a shortage of ice up there, just as foretold by Al Gore.

On a tip from Torcer.

Mar 23 2017

Venezuelans Arrested for Baking Sweet Rolls

When it comes to socialism and ham-fisted government intrusion in the economy in general, one country or one generation learns nothing from another, so we keep making the same senseless mistakes again and again. In the dark days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, tailor Jacob Meged of Jersey City was actually thrown in jail for changing only 35¢ rather than the government-mandated 40¢ to press a suit. That’s the sort of tyrannical lunacy that kept the Great Depression going for so long. These days similar lunacy keeps the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela humming along:

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

In a statement, the government said the bakers had been selling underweight bread and were using price-regulated flour to illegally make specialty items, like sweet rolls and croissants.

Price-regulated flour = flour in short supply.

The solution to Venezuela’s woes is simple: radically reduce the size and scope of the government. The same could currently be said for healthcare insurance in the USA. But just because something is simple doesn’t mean it is easy.

arrested-baker-venezuela
When Big Government gets out of control, you can be arrested for most anything.

On a tip from Torcer.

Mar 20 2017

Socialist Regime in Venezuela Responds to Bread Shortage by Attacking Bakers

Venezuela is responding to severe food shortages just as you would expect of an authoritarian collectivism regime — by cracking down on people who produce food and seizing the means of production:

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

According to Juan Crespo, president of the Industrial Flour Union, the actual problem is that the government isn’t importing enough flour. No doubt the Maduro and his bureaucracy can fix this by issuing a decree that bread will henceforth be made without flour. That would be consistent with Maduro’s approach to the long lines of people waiting to buy bread:

[Last week] Maduro launched “Plan 700” against what he called a “bread war,” ordering officials to do spot checks of bakeries nationwide. In the plan, the government said it would not allow people to stand in line for bread but it’s unclear how it might enforce the order.

Plan 701 might entail employing machine guns to do away with bread lines. Venezuela is reaching that stage of socialism.

At least the authorities may have finally resolved the shortage of toilet paper. They had already tried confiscating stockpiles and then seizing control of toilet paper factories. Taking over bakeries may prove more effective regarding the T.P. shortage, because if you don’t have food, what do you need toilet paper for?

empty-toilet-paper-roll
Maduro finally solves a problem.

On tips from Lyle and Torcer.

Mar 15 2017

End Stage Socialism: Watch Venezuelan Soldiers Dig Through Garbage for Food

The nice thing about socialism is that even though it is not an efficient economic system and does not allow for individual liberty, it guarantees that things can never get too bad, because the government will always take care of you. Or maybe not:

In Venezuela, it’s now common to see people rummaging through the garbage to look for food. However, a new video reveals just how extreme the crisis is, as low-ranking soldiers were also caught on camera looking through trash bags for food.

Have a look:

Army officials have been arrested for stealing goats because they had nothing to eat.

If that’s how socialism treats its servants, imagine being a capitalist exploiter who commits the sin of trying to create wealth.

On a tip from Torcer.

Mar 13 2017

Mass Grave at Venezuelan Jail

Marx believed that the transition from freedom to communism occurs in historically inevitable stages. Like Russia, China, Cambodia, and many other countries have before, Venezuela could be reaching the mass grave stage:

The number of bodies found in a mass grave in Venezuela’s largest prison has risen to 14, the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The General Penitentiary of Venezuela in central Guarico state was closed in October after violent clashes between inmates. …

Forensic experts are continuing with their search and have not ruled out finding more bodies buried on the prison grounds.

Maduro and the rest of Hugo Chavez’s successors will never reach the stratospheric body counts run up by Stalin and Mao. But Pol Pot’s total is conceivably attainable.

http://moonbattery.com/graphics/cambodia-killiing-fields
Remnants of Cambodia having reached a characteristic stage of socialism.

On a tip from Torcer.

Mar 01 2017

Rule by Thugs: Venezuela’s New Supreme Court President Is Convicted Felon

The farther left the government, the more it is about the expropriation of wealth — that is, the more it is a criminal enterprise. So this comes as no surprise:

Venezuela’s new Supreme Court President is Judge Maikel José Moreno Pérez, a convicted felon.

Moreno, who was previously Vice President, was convicted of the murder of Ruben Gil Márquez in 1989 while serving as a Director of Intelligence and Prevention Services official.

He said he will work “24 hours a day” to end impunity and corruption in the country.

Is that all? He should have said 25.

Let’s have a look at his curriculum vitae:

Moreno, the new president of the court, served one year in prison after being granted a procedural benefit in 1990. After three months, he entered the Judicial Branch as a secretary of a court in Caracas despite having only studied one semester of law at Santa Maria University, where he graduated in 1995. …

According to several investigations, Moreno has also been accused of “forging records and procedural documents,” but these charges were dismissed by the country’s highest criminal court.

He is also involved in Danilo Anderson’s murder proceedings, as many claim to have seen him the same night of the murder.

Anderson, a radical leftist and Hugo Chavez supporter, was a state prosecutor investigating people accused of crimes against the state when he was assassinated in 2004. It is unclear who killed him and why; a court convicted apparent scapegoats. Anderson seems to have been as corrupt as Moreno, and may have been killed by fellow members of an extortion ring.

Already Democrats are feverishly pursuing voting rights for felons. Follow Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, et al. down the path Venezuela took, and within a generation we too may see convicted criminals on the Supreme Court.

Maikel-Jose-Moreno-Perez
Maikel José Moreno Pérez. They say clothes make the man.

On a tip from R F.

Feb 20 2017

Formerly Prosperous Venezuela Is Now Poorest Country in Western Hemisphere

Thanks to its abundant natural resources, Venezuela used to be the richest country in Latin America. That was before socialists took power. Now,

In 2016 Venezuela became the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, sinking below Haiti and Cuba, according to new statistics released by la Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida (Encovi).

According to these statistics, 82% of Venezuelan households are poor.

If Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro could do this to Venezuela, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren and whoever comes next could do it to the USA by applying the same devastating ideology.

socialism-dinner

On a tip from J.

Jan 19 2017

Venezuela Creates Legions of Impoverished Millionaires

Through the power of socialism, Venezuela has been creating large numbers of millionaires. However, being a millionaire in Venezuela is about as meaningful as the government’s collectivist rhetoric.

Amid rampant inflation, widespread shortages of everything from toilet paper to medicine and a failing economy, the Venezuelan government recently introduced three new bank notes into the market ranging from 500 to 20,000 bolivars.

You could easily carry a million bolivars in your wallet. It would be the equivalent of $300.

“That won’t get you very far,” Chris Sabatini, a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, told FoxNews.com. “It’s like the government has almost given up. They are just adding zeros to the end of these bills and they don’t mean anything.”

Socialists often give up on presiding over functional economies. However, they never give up on what socialism is actually about — power. Hugo Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro isn’t going anywhere until he is dragged out of the Presidential Palace, hopefully feet first.

The effect of socialism on the value of money.

On a tip from R F.

Dec 25 2016

Socialism Is the Grinch That Stole Christmas in Venezuela

If you are able to celebrate Christmas in some degree of comfort, be thankful you don’t live in a country that has succumbed to socialism to the extent of Venezuela:

As a harrowing economic crisis makes food scarce for millions of Venezuelans, many families cannot buy their children Christmas presents, decorate their home, or even host a holiday dinner.

The oil-rich country is suffering the third year of a recession that has sparked product shortages and galloping inflation. With a recent currency depreciation pumping up prices even higher, some parents are simply canceling Christmas.

“Last year I bought everything for my daughter,” said Dileida Palacios, a 40-year-old hairdresser dressed in black to mourn her son killed in crime-rife Venezuela a few weeks ago.

“This year I had to tell her everything is tough and Santa Claus isn’t coming.”

Yuletide cheer is not in evidence in what until recently was the wealthiest country in Latin America.

Once merrily decorated during the holidays, Caracas looks shabby. Many stores are empty, closed or selling cruelly expensive toys…

Speaking of scarce, unaffordable toys, President Nicolas Madura, who blames businessmen for ruining Christmas, has stepped forward to solve the problem his coercion has caused with more coercion, in the time-honored Big Government tradition:

His government confiscated 3.8 million toys from importer Kreisel, accusing the company of hoarding and price gouging.

Two Kreisel executives have been jailed, and Socialist Party committees have been distributing the toys to children.

“That’s what you call a reinforcement for Father Christmas, right?” the president laughed, stroking his mustache during a recent speech on state TV. “Saint Nicolas without a beard; Saint Nicolas with a mustache!”

Nicolas Maduro is no saint. His commie Christmas is no Christmas.

After the Regime has confiscated and redistributed all the toys, throwing the distributors into prison for being capitalists, where will the toys come from next year? Likely they will be even more scarce — unless Venezuelans find a way to make socialism scarce.

grinch
Socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro pretending to be Saint Nick.

On a tip from Torcer.

Dec 15 2016

Socialism Always Devolves Into Dictatorship … Just Ask Venezuela

Did anyone expect the socialist populism instituted by Hugo Chavez to end differently?

Please help get this information to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supporters, to help prevent America from following down the same highway to hell.

On a tip from Torcer.

Dec 12 2016

Commie Christmas in Venezuela

Venezuela differs from other countries run on Marxist principles in that people are allowed to celebrate Christmas. However, Christmas under socialism is not quite the same as under economic freedom. It is not so much about giving as it is about taking:

Seeking to spread some cheer, President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government has set aside its distaste for consumerism and sent a small army of bureaucrats and soldiers to force more than 200 retail stores in Caracas to hold Christmas sales.

The coercive sales require businesses to sell their merchandise without making the profit they require to survive. Fumes Juan Vieira, owner of a shoe store,

“If we keep going at this rate, I’ll run out of shoes this month. I’m about to go bankrupt and close.”

Vieira, 54, already lost one shoe store in 2010, when the government of Maduro’s late mentor, Hugo Chavez, expropriated the building where it was located.

Maduro has imposed Christmas sales before:

In 2013, he forced a household appliance chain to slash its prices by up to 70 percent. The company survived, but some stores’ shelves were still bare as much as a year later.

Sometimes you could almost get the impression that it’s not wise to let a strongman meddle in how private companies do business.

More yuletide tyranny:

Venezuela’s socialist government has seized nearly 4 million toys from a private company and says it intends to hand them out as Christmas gifts to poor children this holiday season.

The country’s fair pricing authority seized the toys from three warehouses run by Kreisel, Venezuela’s largest toy distributor, on Friday. Two company executives were detained on suspicion of promoting price speculation.

Trying to make a profit can get you in big trouble under collectivist regimes.

Agency director William Contreras … said the seizure would teach companies “that you can’t play with the rights of Venezuelans.”

Such as everyone’s right to everyone else’s property.

Authorities said local supply committees will be in charge of distributing the toys “fairly” to children.

Among leftists, “fairly” always means that someone else pays.

In the short term, unprincipled people will be pleased to receive discount shoes and free toys, regardless of the injustice. But if this continues, before long there won’t be any shoes or toys, since Big Government doesn’t permit making a profit by providing them. The only real equality under socialism is that in the long term, everybody except the government loses.

It would be nice to think the rest of the world is learning from Venezuela’s lesson regarding letting government grow too large and powerful. But the lesson has been taught many times before, and still people believe that unfettered centralized coercion only hurts others and will benefit themselves.

pregnant-shopping-venezuela
Socialist shopping. Only garbage stays free.

On tips from Torcer, Bodhisattva, and R F.

Dec 07 2016

Socialist Venezuela Plunges Into Zimbabwe-Style Hyperinflation

You don’t have to be in Sub-Saharan Africa to turn your country into Zimbabwe. All you have to do is let government grow big enough. The bigger it gets, the more it spends. The more it spends, the bigger it gets. Eventually this vicious cycle leads you somewhere like here:

Venezuela said it will issue higher-denominated bills as triple-digit inflation and a currency meltdown leave the country’s largest note worth just around 2 U.S. cents on the black market.

The central bank said in a statement Saturday that six new bills ranging from 500 to 20,000 Bolivars will begin circulating on Dec. 15. Currently the largest-denominated bill is 100 bolivars, while a 2-liter soft drink bottle can cost 25 times that amount.

Let’s hope Venezuela can afford to have the new bills printed —which has been an issue.

How did one of the most resource-rich countries in the world get into such a state? Government spending:

There is, certainly, a serious macroeconomic problem underlying the bolivar’s collapse: an enormous, unmanageable fiscal deficit nobody in their right mind would finance. That has led an irresponsible government to create huge amounts of new money out of thin air to cover its spending needs.

Speaking of enormous, unmanageable fiscal deficits that nobody in their right mind would finance, the U.S. national debt is quickly closing in on $20,000,000,000,000.00, not counting unfunded liabilities. The incoming administration promises not to reform runaway entitlements, but rather promises a new one. One of its first orders of business will be to blow another $1 trillion that we do not have on infrastructure boondoggles, similar to what Obama did when he took office.

Venezuela won’t be the last country that will have to make room on its currency for more zeroes.

zimbabwe-100-trillion
We might get there not long after Venezuela.

On tips from Torcer and Lyle.

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