But first a little bit of background.
Last Wednesday as evidence of food shortages increased I wrote a template for people to understand what is going on (it is my line of work, you know, and in all modesty I think I know better than Maduro). Not wanting to be repetitive, in a nutshell, the regime controls the distribution of food in Venezuela, and the supply of raw materials to food manufacturers, either through access to currency, or by simply authorizing who gets what of each crop, or deciding what raw material can be imported regardless of the country rel needs. To this you had disastrous expropriations of productive lands, labor laws that make it very difficult to get a stable working schedule, the poor state of infrastructure from terrible roads to frequent power outages and you can guess why is it that the country needs to import straight half of its food at least.
All of this is not news but since the disease of Chavez the only care of the regime has been to survive and thus economic matters have simply not been dealt with. Period. As a consequence in the last two months the scarcity crisis has started to take a dangerous turn and the difficulty to get the basic corn flour for the "arepa" is becoming fast a political problem for the regime, as if it needed yet one more.
Anticipating an attack from the regime, Polar has already being preparing itself. After all, Polar is tired of all the attacks that Chavez himself did, but always balking once at the edge. After all, Chavez had the required intelligence to understand that his expropriations were a failure and that he simply could not afford to starve the country if he dared to take Polar. I am afraid his heirs have no such notion and may be willing to take that chance, in particular the idiot serving as Vice President, Arreaza, just because he nailed one of Chavez daughters, el bragetazo, the zipper flash, you know what for....
The market share for corn flour by Polar, Harina P.A.N., is roughly half of it. Certainly if the regime would let it be so, Polar has the technical expertise to grow all the required corn and produce 100% of corn flour required in Venezuela. I am willing to wager that in half a decade Polar could reach that goal if it wanted to and were allowed to do so, and we would all be the better for. But Chavez has hated Polar always because Polar is the symbol of what is good in Venezuelans that we can be successful and productive and honest and creative when chavismo is neither of those, plus a few tares of its own. I apologize for the chauvinistic tone of this paragraph but sometimes things need to be spelled out for the idiot chavista that still visit this blog. Thus Chavez has tried to counter Polar by taking over or pretending to build the competition of Polar, going as far as taking away grain producers from Polar so that it would not have access to corn. Polar let it be, knowing full well that the inherent chavismo incompetence would show sooner or later.
Sure enough, we got that show this week.
Thus, perhaps unwisely but knowing that the regime would attack anyway, Polar in its official tweet states that the problem is not Harina PAN which is working full speed but the other brands that are not produced anymore. I pick a couple of the tweets for your information.
Harina PAN atiende el 48% del mercado y se está produciendo al 100% de capacidad. ¿Dónde están las demás marcas?
— Empresas Polar (@EmpresasPolar) May 9, 2013
Harina PAN se produce al 100% de su capacidad, pero no alcanza para todos por la insuficiente oferta de otras marcasMaduro coming back from a not very successful foreign tour finds this mess and decides to take the offensive. In the video below you see the moment in today's cadena when he grotesquely demands that Lorenzo Mendoza, CEO/owner of Polar, comes next Tuesday to the office of Arreaza to account on why is Polar not producing as much as "it is supposed", why it is dropping production and all sorts of other stuff which the readers by now know are not the fault of Polar but of the regime which controls are simply suffocating all. Polar has accepted the challenge. And Arreaza is an idiot for suggesting such a scene (I am sure he did, he is mean and idiot enough for that mistake, for giving Polar a platform to criticize visibly the regime policies if it wishes so).
— Empresas Polar (@EmpresasPolar) May 9, 2013
I am not concerned about Polar whatsoever: I know that they have ALL the paper trail from the regime itself that can prove that not only they cannot hoard shit, but that they produce as much as they are able to do. It is possible that Polar has "decreased" its production artificially because its corn supply is not enough and on their own they have started a mild form of rationing by becoming on purpose and provisionally less productive. But even if this were to be true, can we blame Polar? Would it be a good idea to pull it all out of the silos in a couple of weeks and then wait for the next harvest starting at best in July?
What I am concerned with is the regime, that it is clearly losing its senses, if it had any left. In Maduro demands against Polar today we even learned that the regime had already sustained meetings with Polar, so we wonder why is it they want Lorenzo Mendoza Tuesday in Arreaza's office. But one of these meetings was with the dense Rafael Ramirez, the one that has ruined PDVSA, the biggest enabler of corruption himself in Venezuela. So we learn that he met "cordially" with Polar's Mendoza himself, that he told him collaboration was possible but that they would never sign a pact with the bourgeoisie. Huh? I wonder if really Ramirez is that stupid, though I can believe that he has become that stupid, that he now believes that threats against the last person able to help him out in Venezuela are going to stimulate Mendoza.....
I am telling you, this show today worries me because the regime feels cornered and it is thus becoming mental. In their pathological need to prove that they won in April, that they are able to rule and do as they please, they are willing to put the country in starvation......