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Venezuela: Latin America’s Socialismo Utopia … How is that working out?

2017/07/23

It wasn’t long ago that the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros, arrived on the island of Jamaica for a luxurious ‘working’ visit/vacation.  All while the Venezuelan people lavished in the extravagant poverty that the Bolivarian Utopia had fully bestowed upon them. — Venezuelan president in Jamaica for working visit

[22 May 2016, Jamaican Observer]

Afterwards,

Venezuela Implements SERFDOM To Cope With Food Shortages

In a desperate effort to cope with worsening food shortages, the government of Venezuela has approved a new law that allows the government to force citizens into agricultural labor. [22 July 2016, Blake Neff via The Daily Caller]

Update: Venezuelan Government: You Are To Leave Your Jobs For 60 Days To Work In the Fields

As for food, hunger has gripped the nation, with shocking footage of people eating from the trash. President Nicolas Maduro continues to be laser-focused on continuing the socialist agenda started by his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez. Maduro has sought to blame the U.S. and the leading political opposition for his economic woes, while the country languishes to recover. Now, to help with food production, the government has decreed that Venezuelans will be removed from their daily jobs for a period of 60 days to work in the fields (via CNBC):

The government of Venezuela has issued a decree that “effectively amounts to forced labor” in an attempt to fix a spiraling food crisis, according to a new report from Amnesty International.A Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment of a “transitory labor regime” in order to relaunch the agricultural and food sector. The decree says that the government must do what is “necessary to achieve strategic levels of self-sufficiency,” and states that workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.

“Trying to tackle Venezuela’s severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, in a statement.

Again, socialism—policies that are so good, they’re mandatory.

Via Townhall | August 1, 2016


So, what is happening there presently?

The Battle for Venezuela, Through a Lens, Helmet and Gas Mask.

CARACAS, Venezuela — Motley throngs of masked antigovernment protesters hurl rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails. The police and soldiers retaliate with tear gas, water cannon blasts, rubber bullets and buckshot.

An uprising is brewing in Venezuela.

Nearly every day for more than three months, thousands have taken to the streets to vent fury at President Nicolás Maduro and his increasingly repressive leadership.

These confrontations often turn into lopsided and sometimes lethal street brawls — more than 90 people have been killed and more than 3,000 arrested.   [22 July 2017, Meridith Kohut via The New York Times]

———–

Violence flares in Caracas at anti-Maduro march, violinist hurt

CARACAS, July 22 (Reuters) – Venezuelan soldiers on motorbikes fired teargas at hundreds of masked and stone-throwing youths in Caracas on Saturday during the latest protest against President Nicolas Maduro.

The Democratic Unity coalition had called a march on the pro-Maduro Supreme Court in support of alternative magistrates appointed by the opposition on Friday. But security forces blocked their way with armored cars and riot shields.

Clashes ensued, injuring several people […]

Since April, more than 100 people have died in the unrest, with thousands injured and hundreds arrested. Five people died during an opposition-led national strike on Thursday. […]

The Maduro Regime  announced that it will put 232,000 soldiers on the streets to ensure the Constituent Assembly goes ahead in a week’s time.  [Additional reporting by Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Efrain Otero, Andres Martinez Casares; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Chris Reese, 22 July 2017 via Reuters (edited)]

———–

The Meltdown in Venezuela’s Currency Is Deepening

The black-market rate for the bolivar plunges beyond 8,700 per dollar for first time.

The meltdown in Venezuela’s currency is deepening as a crippling dollar shortage and a threat of oil sanctions take their toll on the economy. The black-market rate for the bolivar traded weaker than 8,700 per dollar for the first time, according to dolartoday.com on Friday, compared with the official rate of around 10 and a more widely used alternative rate of 2,757. That’s creating an illusion for foreigners observing the country’s stock market, which appears to be valued at $2.57 trillion — bigger than Germany’s, France’s, India’s or Canada’s — but is worth only $3 billion based on the black-market rate.

[Srinivasan Sivabalan, with assistance by Nathan Crooks, Ben Bartenstein, and Brendan Walsh, 21 July 2017 via Bloomberg Businessweek]

“Maduro has long maintained that Venezuela’s triple-digit inflation and deepening recession are the result of a smear-campaign waged by his rivals. Maduro’s opponents counter that the state of the economy is the result of more than a decade of state controls and government incompetence.”

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