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Since the Venezuelan consumer economy is entirely in private hands (unlike the former Soviet Union or Mao-era China), this sounds like what happened in Chile in 1973, when the CIA persuaded anti-Allende forces to withhold goods from the market and lay people off (in a so-called "capital strike") in order to discredit Allende. For those of us who remember 1973, this looks like a rerun. Remember: the Venezuelan government does NOT control the consumer economy. So who's causing the shortages?
It is not US-influenced. Just look at the 80s in our country to see the issue (ie milk crises). The Venezuelan government has intervened in consumer business, that is the reason for the shortage. With govt price controls, businesses cannot make goods within the price that is being set by the government. They are not being reimbursed for the difference. They are losing money. Many businesses have gone out of business and the only ones that are still in business are govenment run, which we all know is not efficient. There is no incentive for business creation. It is socialism. Take a look at the oil. Venezuelan's pay 7 cents a gallon. Oil companies (govt run) are not making money on gas in that country.
People are leaving the country left and right, if they can. Look at immgration from Venezuela and that should be a clue.
"Venezuela's shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government's controls on foreign currency" Funny, that quote from the article doesn't sound like the consumer economy is entirely in private hands to me...
Something stinks in the Government of Venezuela
You all owe it to yourselves to read up on the history of U.S. involvement in Latin America. It's a shameful history, one most North Americans know nothing about, because all we get in our newspapers and TV reports is pronouncements from U.S. embassy spokesmen.
I used to think that the U.S. was devoted to spreading freedom and progress in Latin America, and it was hard for me to accept the truth, that both Republicans and Democrats love it when Latin American countries let American multinational corporations call the shots and hate it when Latin American governments actually want to run their own countries.
I'll get a lot of "no" pokes from people who still believe in the fairy tale of the U.S. as a beacon of freedom and peace and good will, but I don't care. Maybe some of you will be prompted to do a little background reading.
stifanoam: The farm crisis of the 1980s in the U.S. was caused by a double whammy of high interest rates (farmers have always borrowed against the coming year's crops and livestock sales) and low market prices (no price controls were in force then). If the Republicans and Democrats had actually cared about the farmers, they would have allowed them to refinance at low interest rates, but no, they were both in thrall to agribusiness firms, which bought up the land at bargain basement prices at bank auctions and created the giant factory farms we see today.
No doubt there are some issues with the current Venezuelan government. But when the right-wing was in charge, things were much worse...unless you were among the privileged class. As was and still is in much of Latin America. If the right-wing were still in power, I've no doubt the average to below average Venezuelan would have toilet paper. They just wouldn't have a house or a toilet to use it in. And that is the way the U.S. has been going for the last 30 years.
Price inflation from Govt money printing in April of 29% + Govt mandated price controls = shortages. QE to infinity means this will be coming to the US.
Pretty heated comments about toilet paper? FYI most of the world uses bidets, doing more than wiping their poopy bottoms with dry paper. Venezuela will survive this crisis.
In Somalia the U.S. has intervened continuously for the last thirty years leading to a famine that killed 260,000 people in the last year. And the AP corporate press worries about toilet paper in Venezuela.
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