Tagged Hugo Chavez

Speaking of Curbs on Freedom . . .

The onetime fans of the Hugo Chávez regime in Venezuela–the ones who thought that the regime was filled with wonderful people and ideas and who thought it was just marvelous that Chávez went to the United Nations to call George W. Bush “the devil”–have been rather quiet (as noted many times on this blog), now that it is clear that the regime is responsible for an economic catastrophe and the decline of political freedoms. One would think that they might say something about how they now regret having supported Chávez and his gang, but thus far, most of the past…

Marxist Economist Begins to Realize that Marxist Economics Does Not Work

You’d think that the lesson would have taken earlier: Venezuela’s economic failings are turning it into the “laughing-stock” of Latin America, according to late president Hugo Chavez’s top economic planner. Former Finance and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani, who was sacked in mid-2014 by Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, said in an interview this week that reforms in the South American OPEC nation are years overdue. “We should have taken measures from Oct. 7, 2012,” Giordani told local website notitimes.com, referring to the date of Chavez’s last presidential election victory. Chavez, who was president for 14 years, died of cancer in 2013.…

The Failure that Is the Venezuelan Economy

I still recall the days when many a pundit in the United States expressed at least mild admiration–and oftentimes, significant admiration–for Hugo Chávez’s socialist project. Behold what it hath wrought: Shoppers thronged grocery stores across Caracas today as deepening shortages led the government to put Venezuela’s food distribution under military protection. Long lines, some stretching for blocks, formed outside grocery stores in the South American country’s capital as residents search for scarce basic items such as detergent and chicken. “I’ve visited six stores already today looking for detergent — I can’t find it anywhere,” said Lisbeth Elsa, a 27-year-old janitor, waiting…

Behold the Fruits of a Chavista Economy

Venezuela’s economy has gone into recession. The gory details: In a statement, the bank said GDP contracted 4.8 percent in the first quarter, versus the same period of last year, then it fell a further 4.9 percent in the second quarter and shrank 2.3 percent in the third quarter. The statement added that 12-month inflation, which is the highest in the Americas, reached 63.6 percent in November. The central bank statement, confirming an economic contraction widely forecast by analysts, came just before President Nicolas Maduro was about to start a news conference in which he was expected to announce economic…

A Modest Endorsement of the Venezuelan Regime

Behold. Of course, in a better world, we could spend less time parodying failed regimes and instead, spend our time implementing political and economic policies that actually do serve to alleviate immiseration and provide others with political freedoms. But the Venezuelan regime–and all those who enable its existence–is utterly uninterested in helping the people it supposedly represents. Its interests lie in enriching and empowering those at the top of the political heap, at the expense of the Venezuelan people themselves. As such, it is necessary to oppose the regime–and others like it–however one can. Parody helps.

Meanwhile, Tyranny Continues in Venezuela

I don’t believe for a single moment that there was a plot afoot to kill Nicolás Maduro, but of course, the Venezuelan regime pretends conveniently that there was. This makes it easier for the government to suppress protest and dissent, and allows the government to try to distract Venezuelans from the existence of truly awful economic conditions and living standards. Of course, I am not writing anything that anyone doesn’t know, but it is worth emphasizing that the Venezuelan government’s response to the problems afflicting the country–problems the Venezuelan government itself was responsible for having created–is to constantly exclaim “Squirrel!” No…

Venezuela’s Disastrous Economic Situation

Behold what Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro hath wrought: The sprawling street market that radiates outward from the metro station in Petare, Caracas’s largest slum, is the retail equivalent of an anti-Target. There’s no organization to it. Tube socks and school supplies are sold beside giant pyramids of pineapple and piled yucca. Leopard-print hot pants stretch over mannequin buttocks next to the stinky stalls of fishmongers. The bazaar was known until this month as one of the city’s biggest open-air black markets, the place to find all the scarce items that shoppers must queue up for hours to get in…

In Venezuela, the Catastrophe Continues

Behold: Alvaro Villarueda starts his morning the same way every day — putting in a call to his friend who has a friend who works at a Caracas, Venezuela, supermarket. Today, he’s looking for sugar, and he’s asking his friend if he knows if any shipments have arrived. As he talks on the phone, his wife Lisbeth Nello, is in the kitchen. There are 10 mouths to feed every day in this family — five of them children. The two youngest are still in diapers. “The things that are the scarcest are actually what we need the most,” Nello says.…