Socialist Venezuela Spirals Into Chaos as Troops Seize Companies

By:  Alex Newman
11/13/2013
       
Socialist Venezuela Spirals Into Chaos as Troops Seize Companies

Amid sky-rocketing inflation and escalating shortages sparked by socialist policies, the authoritarian regime in Venezuela ordered a military “occupation” of certain businesses in a bid to force them to charge what authorities deem “fair” prices.

Venezuelan rulers also vowed this week to intensify the ruthless assault on “bourgeois parasites,” also known as productive businesses in countries unlike Venezuela and Cuba.

Store managers are already being rounded up and jailed, as the formerly prosperous nation’s economic implosion accelerates. Venezuelan “President” Nicolás Maduro also promised that the business seizures and military occupations would be just the “tip of the iceberg,” telling the public that others would be next in the crosshairs if they refused to comply with the regime’s economic decrees.   

Of course, socialist strongman Maduro, who succeeded the infamous Hugo Chávez earlier this year, is following in the footsteps of his late predecessor with wild claims that Venezuela’s ongoing descent into chaos is a result of “Yankee imperialism” and “economic sabotage.” He alleges that the “right-wing” domestic opposition is conspiring with Washington, D.C., and market-oriented forces in Latin America to spoil what would have otherwise been the wonderful fruits of his brilliant central planning.   

Economists almost universally acknowledge that the regime’s increasingly fiendish efforts to control the economy are the source of the escalating economic turmoil ravaging the people of Venezuela. For self-styled socialist rulers, however, capitalism simply must be to blame — it always is, even for bad weather or the alleged extinction of supposed alien life on Mars, as Chavez explained. After having already expropriated and nationalized huge swaths of the economy, driving away capital and productive citizens, even Venezuela’s massive oil reserves cannot conceal the damage. Unsurprisingly, authorities responded with more of the same. The regime’s latest targets: electronics stores.

Appearing on the government’s propaganda TV outlets, “President” Maduro told desperate Venezuelans late last week that he was sending troops to “occupy” retail outlets belonging to Daka, an electronics chain compared to BestBuy in U.S. media reports. “This is for the good of the nation,” the hardline socialist ruler claimed as images of his minions checking flat-screen TV prices flashed by. “Leave nothing on the shelves, nothing in the warehouses.... Let nothing remain in stock!”

Maduro said Friday he had ordered “the immediate occupation” of the stores to ensure that their products — “everything” — would be offered “to the people at fair prices.” “We’re going to comb the whole nation in the next few days,” he added. “This robbery of the people has to stop.” The alleged thievery he was referring to, of course, did not include the myriad businesses and industry sectors confiscated by the regime. 

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Photo: AP Images

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