Friday, May 15, 2009

Two examples of state sponsored highway robbery

The English section of El Universal carries two briefs notes that illustrate how the Chavez government is simply robbing the private sector.

The first note is about how the banks are owed hundreds of million or dollars. According to foreign exchange regulation banks are allowed to issue 2,500 USD credit on MC or VISA to Venezuelan nationals traveling overseas. The banks advance the cash and CADIVI/Forex pays back the bank for the justified expenses. Well, first the quota was lowered from 5,000 to 2,500 last December, but right now there are moves to lower it further, if not suppress it all together. That is, you will be allowed to travel outside of Venezuela but you will need to get foreign currency on the black market which is illegal. Let me make that clear: if the government does not allow you to change legally any BsF and yet finds at the airport that you have with you 1,000 euros, you can be penally investigated and condemned for it. Kafka would have had that easy....

But I digress. the point of that note is that the government is seriously considering defaulting of that currency exchange debt leaving the banks to foot a bill that might be as high as 400 million USD. Nothing is officially said of course, but all points out to such a move. Technically it is not a robbery since Forex will not cash in those 400 million but it would still be a net loss for the banks, white crime style.

The second note is about the take over of the Cargill pasta plant in La Guaira. The rice plant was seized about a month or so ago. Now it is the pasta plant, for 90 days. Then the government will decide what to do about it, but meanwhile it will be working the plant, free of charge, to produce whatever it can to sell through Mercal and PDVAL. One can spin that anyway one wants, it will remain plain robbery. If indeed Cargill broke any law there is something called due process that eventually ends up in a sentence and a fine. Now chavismo cannot be bothered by such niceties even though it disposes of a servile judiciary. Well, it is still good to have a servile judiciary because poor Cargill will not be able to appeal anywhere.

The Spanish note carries further interesting information (El Universal does not translate all articles and often only a summary of the main ones). Apparently it is the workers and the communal councils who will decide of the future of the Cargill plants. All power to the Soviets! I love it!

We also learn that apparently Cargill had stopped producing the money losing regulated pasta presentation. Maybe, but it is still a hypocrite move. Was it not Chavez that bemoaned more than once that it was scandalous that Venezuelans ate so much wheat pasta when our natural tropical cereals are corn and rice? If Chavez had any consistency in his speeches and ideology he would have allowed for unregulated wheat pasta prices and subsidized and controlled corn and rice pasta for "el pueblo", whatever this term means today.

Again it is just a case of plain robbery as the state will use the supplies of Cargill without any compensation. And then some chavistas have the chutzpa of saying that investors are welcome in Venezuela!

PS: as a bonus in my research I came on yet another Marxist site which would be rather funny if it were not for what it stands for. However apparently they are not aware of the close links of Chavez and the Iran regime repressing workers... Is it worth letting them know?

-The end-

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