Is anyone surprised at this news?
One of the dissonant rhymes of history is at this moment taking place in Venezuela. If you listen closely, you will be able to hear the repugnant sounds of a familiar oppression in Hugo Chavez' "socialist paradise."
He is clamping down on the press; he is nationalizing all the industry; he is threatening jail to anyone who opposes him. Things are beginning to fall apart, so the solution for thugs like Chavez is to just get more control. As once was pointed out to Darth Vader in a similar context, I believe, "The more you tighten your grip, the more people will slip through your fingers."
Faced with an accelerating inflation rate and shortages of basic foods like beef, chicken and milk, President Hugo Chávez has threatened to jail grocery store owners and nationalize their businesses if they violate the country’s expanding price controls.
Food producers and economists say the measures announced late Thursday night, which include removing three zeroes from the denomination of Venezuela’s currency, are likely to backfire and generate even more acute shortages and higher prices for consumers. Inflation climbed to an annual rate of 18.4 percent a year in January, the highest in Latin America and far above the official target of 10 to 12 percent.
Like the 20th century's experiment with socialism/communism, the 21st's will only lead to even more poverty and misery. The smart ones escape while they still can (soon it will be forbidden, I'm sure).
And, listen to the clang associations of the communist apologists:
Chávez victory paves the way for fresh progress. The revolutionary nationalist masses in Venezuela continue to take great strides forward, in the teeth of imperialist and comprador bourgeois opposition ....
It continues ad nauseum, and you'll have to read it all, because you just can't make up this kind of unbelievable rhetoric. It hasn't changed in the slightest since the time of Stalin, and any normal person--but definitely not a totally brainwashed dupe like the nitwit who wrote it-- would fall on the floor howling with laughter. What such nitwits and their handlers did in the last century is far from funny, however; being directly responsible for the deaths and misery of millions. Communist robots like "dido" should be embarassed to even show their faces even briefly in the civilized world, but his type are incapable of taking responsibility for the consequences of their ideology; nor do they feel any shame or remorse. They are too busy basking in the glow of their sociopathic selflessness.
Like all varieties of tyrantosaurus rex throughout history, Chavez will lay the blame for the failure of his "reforms" externally, and plunge his countrymen and women into a paranoid hysteria. Undoubtedly, it will be America's and Bush's fault when the "successes" he flaunts today magically disappear and people find that they are worse off under his socialist "paradise". Meanwhile, the usual useful idiots encourage and enable Hugo's insanity.
The Chavez / Venezuela story is just the most recent edition of Animal Farm ; Awash in collectivist fervor, it won't be long before the Venezuelan people will begin to realize they have been conned by an expert. They will have to be diverted from this realization, and Chavez, like all the pigs who have gone before (an I am grossly insulting pigs, I realize), has the appropriate enemy all picked out and is preparing the diversion, even as he sucks up to his fellow four-legged tyrants (see here and here).
Yes, history is rhyming again--ideologically speaking, Hugo Chavez is starting to rhyme very well with Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro and all the other dictators of the 20th century who imposed their ideology on a population and dragged them down into poverty,misery, and eternal servitude to the state.
The only "fresh progress" that is ever made is the accelerating cognitive decline of the true believers like "dido", who never acknowledge the destructive, envious and over-riding desire for power and control that drive them to enslave others to their ideology.
UPDATE: Today's news: Chavez now to nationalize all private oil fields by May 1. As Captain Ed notes:
Interestingly and not surprisingly, the Venezuelan strongman didn't mention how he planned to compensate these companies for 60% shares of their projects. Instead, he told them that he didn't want them to leave, and take all of their expertise and technology with them. Chavez wants them to accept the fact that they would do all the work while he gets most of the profits.
These projects were the only privately-financed oil production facilities in Venezuela, and their worth is estimated at $17 billion. Will Chavez send them a check for the $10.5 billion he owes for his share of their operations? Don't bet on it. Chavez has offered compensation for other business assets that he has nationalized, but he has tried nothing on this scale so far.
Chavez's diktat will take legal effect in four months, although Chavez says he'll seize the projects by May 1. The companies have that long to negotiate terms with Chavez, who has an army to occupy the oil fields, making negotiations somewhat one-sided. The oil producers will likely try to strike a bargain with Chavez, but it makes little sense to do so. They will only be delaying the inevitable; Chavez will eventually steal it all from them. They should dismantle their operations and leave forthwith, taking the losses now and leaving Chavez to explain why the workers have lost their jobs as well as the expertise necessary to produce their primary export.
Venezuela's descent into further poverty and dysfunction is assured.