Venezuela: Rigged Election, Cuban Style ?

September 27, 2010

OK, let’s see how this works out, 52 % of the vote goes to opposition candidates, there are 165 seats in the parliament … So opposition to Chavez should then have 52% of the 165 seats, or about 85 seats. Nope, rigged elections always produce funny results … Chavez gets 90 seats, phtttt … Sounds like an Obama deal to me, where the results end up screwing the people.

Hey look at the bright side, he fell short of decree power, so like Obama he will take that as a yes.

Opposition candidates, who boycotted the 2005 congressional race, secured 52 percent of the overall popular vote, giving them enough seats to force Chavez to negotiate on key decisions, said Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, head of the Democratic Unity Table alliance. Election officials didn’t provide a tally of the overall vote.

Chavez’s party, while securing at least 90 of 165 seats in the National Assembly after redrawing electoral districts, fell short of the 110-seat threshold needed to be given decree powers, approve the national budget and pass new laws single- handedly. Opposition candidates won 61 seats and non-aligned indigenous candidates won 3 seats according to the results announced at 2 a.m. local time, eight hours after polls closed. Another 11 seats remain to be decided.

“This is a tremendous defeat of the Bolivarian project,” said Friedrich Welsch, political analyst at the Simon Bolivar University in Caracas. “Chavez built his campaign on a vote of confidence in his socialist project and the majority of the people gave their votes to forces opposed to it.”

Venezuelan Hyperinflation: The Spiral To The Bottom, Now It Begins

September 12, 2010

I wrote a piece Friday about hyperinflation. In it some articles were referenced as reading that explains how commodity pricing interacts with hyperinflation. Venezuela has crossed into the twilight zone. A place that if it weren’t for Paul Volker and his hyperinflation choking money policy prevented, would have likely led Jimmy Cart’s economy over the hyperinflation cliff… For the first six months of 2010 inflation in Venezuela was a little under 30%, so you can see where that is headed. LAHT has the story:

Read the rest of this entry »

Oh My: Socialism Shrinks Your Economy, At Ever Increasing Rate

August 22, 2010

Venezuelan Economy Shrinks 3.5% in First Half of 2010 — The economic decline in the first six months was the product of a 5.2 percent drop in the nation’s gross domestic product in the first quarter and a contraction of 1.9 percent in the second quarter, the BCV said.

Socialism shrinks economy faster than a Kenyan witch doctor.

Venezuela’s Inflation Lower In June, But Still Highest In Latin America At 31 %

July 10, 2010

31% inflation, prices for everything goes up at 31% a year. Sinking in the muck, Just what Obowma wants. President Hugo Chavez’s commie government has set a goal of inflation ranging from 20 percent to 22 percent this year. Analysts predict more than 30 percent, about where it is now. But there is always hope in commie countries, right?

The Venezuelan Central Bank says consumer prices rose 1.8 percent in June, a slight drop from the previous month though annual inflation still stands at 31.3 percent — by far the highest in Latin America.

The June inflation figure released Thursday was down from the 2.6 percent rise in prices during May.

Analysts say a devaluation early this year is still having an effect, and that other factors pushing up prices include shortages of some foods and also increases in some government-set controlled prices for food.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Venezuela’s FCC

June 12, 2010

How it works in Venezuela, Obama wants the same in America. He is a car dealership owner and was arrested for ‘hoarding cars’ … as opposed to what, one might ask. We can’t have people who talk bad about Chavez, hoarding cars, now can we?

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP)Venezuelan authorities issued an arrest warrant Friday for the owner of a television channel that takes a critical line against President Hugo Chavez.Intelligence agents arrived at a home owned by Guillermo Zuloaga seeking to arrest him and one of his sons Friday night, but their whereabouts were unknown, defense lawyer Perla Jaimes said.

Zuloaga is president and majority shareholder of Globovision, the country’s only remaining channel on the airwaves that is stridently opposed to Chavez.

A court issued the warrant for the businessman and his son, also named Guillermo, citing accusations of illegally keeping 24 new Toyota sport-utility vehicles stored at a home owned by Zuloaga, Attorney General Luisa Ortega said. Zuloaga and his son are charged with usury and conspiracy.

How To Recognize — EPIC FAIL ?

June 7, 2010

Caracas stocks reached a record 52 week high on essentially very little volume, as financial stocks rose, but the absence of most brokers after the largest and most important were taken over by the government has ground activity to a halt, making specific changes in prices essentially irrelevant.

Volume was so low that just a few thousand dollars were traded all week for any local issue.

Three stocks moved up: Banco Provincial, Sivensa and Mercantil Servicios Financieros.

The Caracas Stock Index closed at 63,281, up 14.90% for the year, but down -42.55% in US dollar terms after a January devaluation.

Any similarity to Obammunsim is purely accidental.

Venezuelan “Preventive Confiscation” Program

May 24, 2010

(Caracas, Venezuela) President Hugo Chavez is disturbed that price controls on food in his nascent socialist utopia have resulted in empty store shelves reminiscent of the former Soviet Union. To correct the situation, Chavez has launched a “preventive confiscation” program, using the Venezuelan National Guard.

Armed guardsmen now forcefully seize merchandise (foodstuffs) from producers to prevent empty shelves, presumably. The official reasons for the confiscation program are arguably innovative.

Socialism has started the slide — The long slide to the bottom has begun. Other people’s money has run out.

Venezuelan Socialism, Epic Fail

May 17, 2010

Venezuela Stocks Down 43% in Official Rate US Dollar Terms for the Year.

Ran out of other people’s money to give to their voters. Always happens.

Some people never learn

Chavez’s Socialist Utopia Is Falling Apart

May 14, 2010

Venezuela’s economic misery has inflamed anti-Chávez sentiment and fueled large-scale protests. Ordinary Venezuelans are mad about food and water shortages, power outages, and surging crime rates. There are national legislative elections scheduled for September; unfortunately, many Venezuelans fear those elections will never take place. It’s possible that Chávez will manufacture a phony “security crisis” and suspend the voting indefinitely. It’s also possible that he will permit the elections to go forward but disqualify certain candidates from running or preemptively arrest them on trumped-up charges.

A crisis is never to be wasted, sound familiar.

Venezuela’s economy is in trouble despite the country’s huge oil reserves. Blackouts plague major cities. Its inflation rate is among the world’s highest. Private enterprise has been so hammered, the World Bank says, that Venezuela is forced to import almost everything it needs.

The situation is creating a serious challenge to President Hugo Chavez’s efforts to transform his country into a socialist state.

Take, for instance, the Three M metal works, tucked into an industrial zone in San Cristobal, the capital of Tachira state in western Venezuela.

On a recent day, big machinery stamps out sheet metal. For a moment, things seem normal in the plant. But more often than not these days, the contraptions are dead quiet — shut down.

– Marta Medina, sheet metal plant manager

“Just like us, everyone is suffering,” says manager Marta Medina. She reels off a list of problems the company faces: lack of spare parts, power shortages and falling orders.

The workforce is down to just eight, from more than 50 people employed a year ago.

It’s a common experience in Venezuela, where the economy contracted 3.3 percent in 2009 and is expected to shrink further this year. Few business owners see a rosy future, at least in the short term.

Jose Guerra, a former Central Bank economist, says state intervention in private businesses is hitting the economy hard.

“The government is nationalizing, expropriating, or confiscating,” he says. “They are not creating new wealth; this is wealth that was already created.”

If that weren’t bad enough, another factor is hobbling the economy — an unprecedented energy crisis.

Critics say a lack of investment, coupled with government ineptitude, left Venezuela without the electrical generation capacity it needs. The government blames a brutal drought.

Whatever the reason, cities such as San Cristobal go dark every day — sometimes for four hours or more, as the government uses rolling blackouts to save energy.

On a recent morning at Zambrano auto works, the compressors and power painters come on after a blackout. Workers have been at a standstill for an hour, says Jesus Yanis, who paints cars. He adds that he expects the power to go out again later in the day, for another two hours.

The blackouts have hurt business, Yanis says.

Chavez believes in the old-fashioned socialism. This kind of socialism is dead, definitely dead, it doesn’t apply to any country in the world.

– Jose Guerra, a former Central Bank economist

This is not the way it was supposed to be. Venezuela is one of the world’s great energy powers. Its oil reserves are among the world’s largest and its hydroelectric plants are among the most potent.

But these days, Venezuela is being left behind: The rest of Latin America is expected to grow at a healthy rate this year, according to the World Bank.

Guerra, the former Central Bank economist, says the government must reconsider its policies — and drop the statist socialist model that Chavez adopted.

“The government has to consider that the socialist point of view is not so good for the economy,” Guerra says. “Chavez believes in the old-fashioned socialism. This kind of socialism is dead, definitely dead, it doesn’t apply to any country in the world.”

In a recent speech, Chavez acknowledged the economic troubles, but he said he wasn’t worried.

Instead, he spoke of a worldwide capitalist crisis, which he said provided a marvelous opportunity for Venezuela to push a new model.

Many Venezuelans are simply adapting.

The grill at Landi Nieto’s burger joint still works: It runs on gas. But customers eat in the dark, Nieto says, if they venture out at all in the first place.

He says you just get used to it and you accept it. But he hopes the government resolves the problem, some day.


Obozo Has A Plan For Your Internet: Tax It, Limit Use and Censor It, Just Like They Do In Red China

April 8, 2010

Democrats, if it moves TAX IT.

The Obama administration has a plan to expand online innovation and boost national public safety. And it wants to do it with more taxes and higher fees.

The massive national broadband plan the Federal Communications Commission released last month proposes creating a national framework for the taxation of digital goods and services and imposing a fee to establish and maintain a national public safety wireless broadband network.

The FCC says the national tax would eliminate the headaches that come with varying state and local taxes on digital goods and services. And the public safety network would help avoid the communication failures among first responders to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

But the proposals are already drawing fierce criticism.

Where exactly in the Constitution is the power to regulate the Internet?

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