Venezuelan election 2018

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MegB
Venezuelan election 2018

Continued from here. Stay tuned for links to rabble.ca's on the ground coverage of the Venezuelan election!

Issues Pages: 
MegB

rabble podcast Executive Producer interviews Humberto DaSilva about why he's doing video coverage of the Venezuela elections here.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Thanks for starting this, Meg.

MegB

rabble.ca's own Humberto DaSilva has posted this excellent interview with Francisco Torrealba, Vice President of the Central Bolivariana Socialista de Trabajadores, by Raul Burbano. 

Watch it here on rabble tv!

Also, Counting the vote in Venezuela, by Humberto DaSilva, on rabble tv here.

MegB

More fantastic info on the Venezuelan election in this thread.

NDPP

"The President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping congratulated Nicolas Maduro for his reelection as the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the name of the Chinese government, its people and himself. 'I'm willing to work with you to strengthen the exchange between both countries,' wrote President Xi Jin Ping."

https://twitter.com/telesurenglish/status/999515336780087297

 

Congratulations to Nicolas Maduro on his Re-Election as President of Venezuela

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57507

"In his message, Vladimir Putin expressed his confidence that Nicolas Maduro's work  as head of state will continue to contribute to the development of strategic partnership between the two countries..."

NDPP

The Vultures of Venezuela

http://rabble.ca/news/2018/05/vultures-venezuela

"Some vultures just can't wait...Because a lot of corporate oil ended up under the Venezuelan jungle or seabed, something else needs to be done when the electorate continuously votes irresponsibly..."

WWWTT

I’m going to throw some stuff into this thread and wing it as I go along ok?

https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/05/20/americas/venezuela-elections/index.html

and here’s another link

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-10/26/c_136705779.htm

Ok so to me it looks like a lot of countries are out to stick it to Maduros. 

But from that other link I posted from China, these same characters play a different tune when it’s a big player with big pull getting re-elected. 

NDPP

Video: OAS Panel Accusing Venezuela of 'Crimes Against Humanity' is Grilled on Moral Hypocrisy and Open Bias   -  by Max Blumenthal

https://grayzoneproject.com/2018/05/29/oas

"...Rounding out the panel was Irwin Cotler, a former Canadian parliamentarian and veteran Israel lobbyist who recently blamed Palestinians for Israel's killing of 62 protesters in one day in the Gaza Strip. Like a Canadian version of Alan Dershowitz, Cotler reflexively rushes out in Israel's defense whenever it is accused of committing atrocities against Palestinians.

Cotler has also served as a legal advocate for Leopoldo Lopez, the imprisoned right-wing coup leader and orchestrator of Venezuela's violent guarimbas. Sparing no opportunity for hyperbole, he used his time on the panel to accuse Venezuela's government of carrying out the worst humanitarian crisis in the history of Latin America..."

NDPP

Venezuela: Canada Sanctions Violate International Law

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Canada-Sanctions-Violate-Public-I...

"Venezuela has condemned the latest round of sanctions imposed by the Canadian government against several members of the Bolivarian government, calling them a 'blatant violation of the most fundemental rules of international law.'

Venezuela says with the sanctions, Canada has continued 'their foreign policy of humiliating subordination to the racist and supremacist administration of Donald Trump.  Facts suggest that this servile policy of the Canadian authorities is the result of that government's urgency to avoid losing benefits and preferences in the trade agreements with the United States,' the statement added."

What an odious toady Canada is. Welcome to  Chrystia Freeland's 'feminist foreign policy' hard at work for you and America Canucklheads..

NDPP

 Zionist Liberal MP Michael Levitt Agrees with Zionist ex Liberal MP Irwin Cotler. Surprise, Surprise!

https://twitter.com/LevittMichael/status/1002290221122113536

"Liberal MP Michael Levitt, who chairs a House of Commons subcommittee on international human rights, said he agrees with Irwin Cotler's call for Canada to refer the matter to the ICC."

But refer Israel. Never. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Venezuela has condemned the latest round of sanctions imposed by the Canadian government against several members of the Bolivarian government, calling them a 'blatant violation of the most fundemental rules of international law.

These sanctions, against 18 individuals, are actually an UPGRADED version of the sanctions that were described as a "crime against humanity" in the previous Venezuela thread.

That hyperbole brought to us by NDPP, of course.

Maybe I've misunderstood, though.  Maybe the population of Venezuela is those 18 people?  Is that why these sanctions are the "real" reason nobody can buy corn flour???  Why some are suggesting that Venezuela's inflation will soon be hitting [2.5 x 10^4]%?  Sorry for the math puzzle; it's just easier to use scientific notation now.

NDPP

Actually 'Crimes Against Humanity' is hardly hyperbole but the correct term used by the UN rapporteur, a learned expert, after a systematic investigation on the effects of  Western sanctions being applied against Venezuela, as part of a regime change policy designed to deliver Venezuela's oil into Yanqui hands. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
after a systematic investigation on the effects of  Western sanctions being applied against Venezuela

Sanctions being applied against...

Venezuela??

Or 18 citizens?

NDPP

"I can say that the sanctions against Venezuela entail a crime against humanity which could be brought before the International Criminal Court as a violation of Article 7 of the Rome Statute."

Special UN Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
after a systematic investigation on the effects of  Western sanctions being applied against Venezuela

Sanctions being applied against...

Venezuela??

Or 18 citizens?

Sanctions being applied to people ONLY because they are high officials of a government the U.S. wants removed.  Therefore, it doesn't matter if they are applied to "individuals".

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Sanctions being applied to people ONLY because they are high officials of a government the U.S. wants removed.

And this alone is surely not going to remove them.

But gosh, some U.S. parasite can't buy their debt.

Quote:
Therefore, it doesn't matter if they are applied to "individuals".

If nothing else, it should be clear to any honest person that the sanctions aren't being applied to all the people of Venezuela.

Would you agree?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

If nothing else, it should be clear to any honest person that the sanctions aren't being applied to all the people of Venezuela.

Would you agree?

The sanctions are being applied to selected members of the elected government of a sovereign nation. It is an attack on the independence of the government by a foreign power and thus it is an attack on the people at large.

It is clear that despite your rhetoric to the contrary you do not believe in democracy or international law. Targeting people because they are part of a democratically elected government you want to change is the antithesis of the rule of law in the international sphere.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The sanctions are being applied to selected members of the elected government of a sovereign nation. It is an attack on the independence of the government by a foreign power and thus it is an attack on the people at large.

How does it MATERIALLY affect "the people at large"?  What makes that material effect even close to a "crime against humanity"?

Canadians can't trade with 18 Venezuelans.  So?

The guy who could potentially have won the recent Venezuelan election has banned from politics until 2032, and you're OK with that (unless you want to tell me you're not?).  Don't pretend that your interest is "democracy" and international law (in this context) when your definition of democracy and international law (in this context) is "anything Maduro wants or does".

There's a reason why it's actually not just Don Trump, Chrystia Freeland and me saying that something in the milk ain't clean.

NDPP

Venezuela Defies the US Empire Reelecting Maduro

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/01/venezuela-defies-the-us-empire-r...

"The game plan for the US and its funded opposition is:

+ Declare elections that are lost but close as fraudulent

+Boycott elections that they don't have a chance of winning and call these fraudulent

+Then initiate street violence to provoke an over-reaction from the government.

US-aligned big-business in Venezuela has contributed to the opposition offensive by creating selective shortages in consumer goods as part of what has become known as the economic war. The US for its part declared Venezuela an 'extraordinary national security threat' in 2015 and has since piled on ever increasing economic sanctions. US-led diplomatic efforts have been designed to isolate Venezuela and further pressure Maduro simply to give up and resign..."

 

Sanctioning Venezuela: Pain for Pain's Sake

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/01/sanctioning-venezuela-pain-for-p...

"As heart-breaking as it is for [North] Americans to think one country might meddle in another's affairs we've been meddling in Venezuela's. The US wants regime change, and has since Hugo Chavez put most Venezuelans, the poor ones on radar. But on what grounds? Anarchy? Tyranny? Corruption? To read and believe the hype, Maduro has gathered all the power and, simultaneously lost all control.  The resulting 'humanitarian crisis' affects, not only Venezuela, but provides the (notional) threats to US security that premise our sanctions. Sanctions that at least further - likely create - the humanitarian crisis..."

NDPP

All You Need To Know About Luis Almagro and the OAS and Why Canada Belongs There Too

https://twitter.com/rosendo_joe/status/1001969719996506112

"On his first trip to Jerusalem, Organization of American States leader Almagro praises Israel's commitment to democracy and to human rights."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Grapes of Wrath in Rural Venezuela

El Maizal is a productive commune in rural Venezuela, nested between two states in the center of the country: Lara and Portuguesa. Our commune’s land, given to self-organized campesinos by President Chavez, is high-grade. Year after year, we have been harvesting to meet the needs of our community and the people of Venezuela. We believe that, in a global context that is marked by a profound economic crisis, we can help mitigate the impact of that crisis. We do this in (and for) our own communities, and we hope to do so beyond as well. We also have a work ethic and a deep commitment to the land. The craft of agriculture – to plant and to harvest – is our human condition by birth. It is the world that we were born into.

In the last few months we faced a turbulent situation in Venezuela with deep internal and external contradictions. Then, after the May 20 electoral victory, came Nicolas Maduro’s call upon the people to become active subjects in the structural transformations that our country requires. We, who have always taken seriously our roles as subjects of transformation – as Chavista campesinos and as working people – took the president’s words seriously and decided to do our part.

So we turned the page and moved forward with an economic, territorial and organizational plan. However, in doing so, we have had clashes with powerful bureaucrats who administer the state’s resources and funding. In these interactions, we have witnessed time and again the conflict between the old bourgeois state and the emerging future communal and socialist state. This clash has become tangible and material again in the last few weeks.

About a week ago, on May 26, the National Guard’s National Anti-Kidnapping and Extortion Command (CONAS) arrived at the Maizal Commune. Their objective wasn’t to support or encourage the collective project. Could you tell us what happened and, more importantly, why it happened?

The CONAS arrived at our commune supposedly following the trail of a group of illegal traffickers who sell, outside of the regular channels, supplies of Agropatria (which is the government-owned and operated supplier of seeds and other agricultural inputs).

But to understand what happened on that day, we have to go back in time...

On April 28, we received state financing directly from the hands of President Nicolas Maduro in Carora, near the Maizal Commune. This funding was granted so that we could go ahead with the sowing of corn in May.

Most of the month of May went by and still we were unable to purchase the seed and inputs that we need through the regular channels. Why? Because Agropatria does not respond to the needs of small and midsize producers. Thus, we were obliged to purchase inputs outside of the regular channels, as most small producers have had to do. In effect, this is because the government is not solving the problem of the illegal trafficking of these inputs.

In any case, as campesinos we have no option but to produce. So towards the end of May, as the planting season was coming to a close, we were forced to purchase seed from unofficial sellers: some 300 sacks of corn seed (in fact, what we actually need is 1500 sacks for the 1300 hectares of our land that are usually dedicated to growing corn).

The CONAS came to El Maizal on May 26. We were already “guilty” in their eyes, having committed the “crime” of purchasing inputs for the seasonal planting. This national police force came into the commune in their typical bullying style. They confiscated our phones. We were held for some six hours and taken to a National Guard jail in Portuguesa state. Eventually, we were released.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

quote:

Agropatria is in charge of all the state’s importing and distribution of seeds and agricultural inputs. When the company was nationalized by Chavez, he charged it with servicing all agricultural production, from the small to the large producer. But the internal logic of Agropatria makes it almost impossible for the small and medium producer to acquire the seeds and other inputs.

There were always problems, but now the situation has gotten worse. We hear people, government spokespeople, claiming that the problem is the lack of resources or other external factors. That is the explanation they give when asked why the Agropatria stores are empty. But, at the same time, we see illegal traffickers of agricultural material coming through our towns with gigantic trucks loaded with seed and inputs that actually come from Agropatria... and they sell those supplies for a hundred times the official price!

So the question is: who channels the seed and inputs to the illegal market? We want to go to the root of the problem, and we are not afraid of making our accusations public.[3]

The communal project has contradictions with the CONAS and Agropatria, but the problem that you are facing is deeper and more complex.

Right, the problems with the CONAS and Agropatria are not the main issue. Obviously, we will always denounce the CONAS' harassment and the deep corruption that runs through Agropatria. But the problem goes beyond that.

The many politicians who don’t work for the people is what affects us most. Unfortunately, they are politicians associated with the PSUV [United Socialist Party of Venezuela]. Right now, many of our representatives and functionaries are in fact doing the work of the right: installing the logic of corruption, bureaucracy and clientelism (which are all the same thing in the end). Thus, we daily witness moral and material degradation in the governmental sphere. A reformist logic seems to dominate that landscape.

So we have taken up a twofold task. On the one hand, we are denouncing the corrupt and anti-popular logic of the states’ agricultural institutions (not just Agropatria). On the other hand, we are also making an open call – to communards, the common people, and barrio dwellers – to collectively analyze the situation. Most importantly, we want these groups to make specific proposals about how to save our people in the profound economic crisis that faces us.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Embarrassing Defeat for the U. S. in Its Efforts to Expel Venezuela from the OAS

At the OAS nineteen member states voted in favor, four against and eleven abstained when the US tried to have Venezuela sanctioned. US will not hesitate to bear tremendous pressure on member countries to get its way in Latin America. We speak to CEPR’s Mark Weisbrot about the vote and how it came about

NDPP

An Open Letter To Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Venezuela

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/14/an-open-letter-to-prime-minister...

"...So you know how it feels prime Minister to have Canada declared a risk to US security and for that to be used as a basis for tariffs. Perhaps now you could spare a thought for Venezuela that was declared twice 'an unusual and extraordinary' risk to US security?

Venezuela, a country that has never gone to war or invaded any neighbor...Only a thoroughly deluded person could think that Venezuela threatens the security of the world's superpower. Yet your government has joined President Trump in declaring President Nicolas Maduro a dictator. Your Minister of Foreign Affairs denounced - a priori - the May 20, 2018 presidential election as fraudulent despite the assessment to the contrary of 2,000 international witnesses..."

NDPP

[Right-Wing] "Colombia President-Elect Ivan Duque has held a phone conversation with US VP Mike Pence, during which the pair reportedly discussed ways to ramp up the drug war and committed to applying pressure on Venezuela."

https://twitter.com/telesurenglish/status/1010666315504181248

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Only a thoroughly deluded person could think that Venezuela threatens the security of the world's superpower. Yet your government has joined President Trump in declaring President Nicolas Maduro a dictator.

That kind of switched canoes in between sentences, yes?

NDPP

"Why Can't the US Just Simply Invade?' Officials Say Trump Pushed US Military Overthrow in Venezuela

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49787.htm

"Surrounded by his top military aides in a White House meeting less than a year ago, the Associated Press on Wednesday reports that President Donald Trump wanted to know why the US military couldn't 'just simply invade' the country of Venezuela..."

Because the US military knows the Venezuelans would eat them for breakfast. That's why.

NDPP

China To Breathe New Life in Venezuelan Oil Company Despite US Ire

https://sptnkne.ws/hXr7

"China is lending its helping hand to Venezuela to stabilize the country's oil sector, analysts told Sputnik, adding that Beijing's economic activities in Latin America are apparently getting  on Washington's nerves..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Because the US military knows the Venezuelans would eat them for breakfast. That's why.

Americans for breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.  Beats eating zoo animals.

JKR

Venezuela's inflation on track to top 1,000,000%, IMF says; CBC News; July 24,2018;
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/venezuela-inflation-1.4759430

Quote:
Inflation in Venezuela could top 1 million per cent by year's end as the country's historic crisis deepens, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

...

If the prediction holds, Venezuela's economy will contract 50 per cent over the last five years, Werner said, adding that it would be among the world's deepest economic falls in six decades.

...

The IMF estimates Venezuela's economy could contract 18 per cent this year, up from the 15 per cent drop it predicted in April. This will be the third consecutive year of double-digit decline, the IMF said.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Because the US military knows the Venezuelans would eat them for breakfast. That's why.

Americans for breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.  Beats eating zoo animals.

Which would be an amusing statement if either you or the "opposition" had ever proposed anything that would have made food more available.  Besides which, if the "opposition" had won, they'd have made a deal with the IMF which would have required them to reduce domestic food production and import more food, the kind of deal Jamaica was forced to make in the Seventies(and which had no effect other than to make food more expensive for ordinary Jamaicans because that's what always happens when you're made to import most of the food.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Which would be an amusing statement if either you or the "opposition" had ever proposed anything that would have made food more available.

Oh, Ken.  I'm sure that at some point I've said "grow more food".

But the fact that Venezuela is forced to import as much food as it is has nothing to do with me, or the IMF.  Oil just looked like a better use of resources at one point.  The government had to plant that tree years ago for it to be bearing its predictable fruit now.

In other news, I'm reading that Venezuela is planning to Liquid Paper out the last three zeros on their currency (currently the Bolivar Fuerte -- "Strong" Bolivar) and start circulating the Bolivar Soberano -- "Sovereign" Bolivar.

Note that the so-named "Strong" Bolivar was, itself, a new denomination issued the last time Venezuela devalued their currency.  So basically, that means that a Bolivar is worth one one-millionth of what it was worth only 11 years ago.  Honestly, folks, if the U.S. could make the currency of any country they don't approve of worth one one-millionth of its value in just over a decade, we'd be seeing this all over the world.

JKR

Mr. Magoo wrote:

... I'm reading that Venezuela is planning to Liquid Paper out the last three zeros on their currency.

It's actually the last 5 zeroes.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/27/venezuelan-inflation-predicted-to-hit-1-...

Quote:
In an attempt to fight hyperinflation, Maduro announced Thursday plans to cut five zeros off the country's currency, rather than the three he had previously said. The new notes will come into circulation next month.

However, even the highest denomination note will only be worth $6 by the end of August and as little as 20 cents by the end of the year, the Financial Times reported Friday.

As a result, Venezuelans are fleeing the country. According to data from the United Nations, published last May, over 1.5 million people have left the county since 2014.

"Thousands continue to legally enter daily in neighboring countries," the report said, adding that expectations are the flows will continue during 2018.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Venezuela on the Verge of a Social Explosion?

The aggravation of the economic crisis is making life unbearable for working people in Venezuela. The destruction of the purchasing power of wages has been combined with the collapse of all basic infrastructure (water, electricity and public transport). Workers in different sectors have started to organise and protest, demanding higher wages; while peasants in the countryside are fighting attempts to destroy Chavez's agrarian revolution.

I have visited Venezuela every year for over 15 years now, and in my most recent visit this June I was struck by the severe and sharp deterioration in living conditions.

The economic crisis in Venezuela has entered its fourth year, and rather than abetting, it is worsening. Hyperinflation has destroyed the purchasing power of wages – to the point that the current level of the minimum wage, after it was last increased by the government in June to 5 million Bolivars a month – barely buys a kilo of meat or a full chicken, or a little more than a carton of 30 eggs.

quote:

Infrastructure collapse

People have to queue for long hours before they can get onto any form of transport. In the barrios (shantytowns) on the hills of Caracas, transport has almost disappeared and people have to walk up and down the steep slopes that separate their homes from the Metro stations. The Metro is just about the only form of transportation that works, and as of August last year has become free, as the tickets cost more to print than the fare they represent, as well as the fact that there were no longer coins nor notes of low enough denominations to pay for the fares (which had not increased with inflation).

quote:

Class struggle in the countryside

In the countryside, there is a coordinated offensive to dismantle the gains of the agrarian reform that was carried out under Chavez with the expropriation of big landed estates, which were given to peasant communes. Private capitalist landowners buy off local judges, officials at the Land Reform Institute (INTI) and National Guard officers to violently dispossess peasant collectives from land they had been legally granted by the INTI itself. In some cases, peasants have been arrested by the National Guard, in others threatened or killed by the hired goons of the landowners (sicarios), which in some cases are connected to the state bureaucracy and in others to the reactionary opposition.

quote:

Backlash

This whole situation has become unbearable. The government promised measures to deal with the economic war prior to the Constituent Assembly elections a year ago, but nothing was done. Maduro promised to restore “economic prosperity” if he won the presidential election on 20 May, but again nothing really has happened and the conditions for working people have continued to deteriorate.

Recently the government floated the idea of negotiating the prices of 50 basic food products with the capitalists. An announcement was promised but it never came. It is clear that producers will not agree to any form of price controls in a situation of acute hyperinflation. It makes absolutely no business sense to them.

In the last two weeks, a growing number of chavista left intellectuals have published very critical articles, berating government inaction on the economic field and warning of the growing anger accumulating amongst the Bolivarian masses.

Workers and peasants are growing increasingly restless and are starting to take to the streets. The Platform of Peasant Struggle has organised a march by foot to the capital under the name of “the admirable peasant march” in defence of the “agrarian legacy of Chavez” and against “sicariato” (targeted killing of peasant activists).

Nurses at hospitals across the country have been protesting for weeks, some of them on strike, others holding pickets outside hospitals. Their demands can be summed up in the following: “we want a decent wage, we don't want to emigrate”. When the government offered them more regular delivery of CLAP boxes and asked them to make sacrifices, they replied that they didn't want charity but wages they can live on and that they would make sacrifices if they could see high-ranking state officials and ministers suffering the same conditions as ordinary working people in terms of wages, transportation, etc.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more from #35. my bold.

quote:

Economic policy

The question arises, however: from where will the money come to meet the necessary and just wage demands of the workers? This is the crucial issue. There is a sharp debate amongst different trends in the Bolivarian movement about the reasons for the crisis and what economic policies should be used to combat it. Some, like former minister Jesús Farías, argue for a complete abandonment of foreign exchange controls, which he argues have not worked. Others, like former minister Luís Salas and economist Pascualina Curcio, say that the devaluation of the currency is mainly “induced” by a concerted attack on the Bolivar, carried out through websites which act as indicators for the black market exchange rate (like Dollar Today and others).

This is wrong as it confuses the symptom for the cause. The existence of a black market for dollars is not the result of the existence of a website that says dollars are worth 3.5 million Bolivars. On the contrary, it is the scarcity of dollars in relation to the demand that drives its price up. Capitalists engage in a flight of capital because they have no confidence that investing their money in Bolivars in the local economy will guarantee them what they consider to be a reasonable rate of profit. At bottom, the main reason for this is the fact that, in Venezuela, a revolution took place that has encouraged workers to, amongst other things, take over factories. There was also government expropriation in the past. No sane capitalist would invest under these circumstances.

Added to this is the fact that the government, by implementing foreign exchange controls, has been allocating a limited amount of dollars at subsidised prices for importation. The Venezuelan economy, heavily distorted by oil production, is largely reliant on imports. The mechanism of subsidised dollars for importation, however, became a conduit for a massive transfer of the oil revenue to the private sector. Companies that need to import (and others which do not), apply for preferential dollars, which they then exchange on the black market, making a massive profit without the need to produce or import anything. Hundreds of billions of dollars from the oil rent have been handed over to the capitalists in this way.

The Venezuelan economic crisis was triggered by the collapse of the price of oil after 2013, but what the crisis revealed starkly is the impossibility of regulating capitalism. If you attempt to do so, by imposing price controls, foreign exchange controls, tight labour protection laws and so on you will end up with a flight of capital and a capital investment strike.

Of course, the Venezuelan economic crisis is exacerbated by corruption, mismanagement, imperialist sanctions and deliberate economic sabotage. But these are aggravating factors, not the root cause of the crisis.

Farías and others partially identify the problem of controls. Their solution is to lift them all and therefore to allow the ‘normal’ functioning of capitalism. That is one possible way out of the crisis, one in which the workers would be made to pay. If you remove all controls from the economy and allow capitalism to come out of the crisis using its own methods, we know full well how this will be done. There will be mass layoffs of workers, closing down of factories, destruction of the productive forces, the privatisation of state-owned companies and so on.

quote:

The continuation of the present situation in any case already represents a massive adjustment plan, which the workers are paying for through the destruction of the purchasing power of wages.

What is the solution, then? The only way out of the crisis that would benefit the working people of Venezuela would be to expropriate the capitalists, bankers and landowners in order to create a democratically planned economy under workers’ control. Venezuela in the last 15 years has provided many examples of the superiority of workers’ control over both private capitalism and the bureaucratic management in the public sector. However, the state bureaucracy and the government have asphyxiated workers’ control, which is now at its lowest point.

NDPP

Ear To the Ground Podcast #6

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13938

"What is going on with the Venezuelan economy.?"

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Venezuela Introduces New Measures to Halt Hyperinflation: Will they Work?

Venezuela’s hyperinflation is now exceeding 200% per month. President Maduro plans to introduce a new currency that is tied to Venezuela’s oil basket, but will the measures work and how has inflation affected the general population? We discuss these issues with Cira Pascual Marquina of Venezuelanalysis.com and TRNN’s Greg Wilpert

quote:

CIRA PASCUAL MARQUINA: Well, in terms of how the measures have been received, I mean, there have been measures, there have been attempts to put in place measures through the crisis. And so, people are sort of lukewarm every time that there’s a bunch of announcements. Now, Greg was mentioning the measure of tying the Bolivar to the Petrol, and that has generated a little bit of expectations. I personally think that it’s more a symbolic measure than a real concrete measure that will have an impact, for it to actually work, the state, the government will have to be able to place dollars and there would have to be the possibility of circling Bolivars to Petros to dollars with the participation of the state in placing the dollars. So, actually placing the dollars in the market, offering the dollars. But the state has limited dollars.

So, that one measure has created some expectations. What is it to live in life in Venezuela? Well, with an economy that is highly inflationary, basically we see perspectives on the horizon that are not radical in terms of transformation. And later we can go into that. Basically, people are looking for individual solutions. People are making tremendous- people are actually committing themselves, of course, to solving the problems of their families. But the collective solution is that, from my perspective would be, the solution is that we take us out of that kind of crisis, are not kind of in the collective horizon.

And I think they are not in a the collective crisis because the collective solution is the commune and the government does not seem to place a great deal of importance in the communal project in this moment. So, basically, logically, what we see is a great deal of individualism simulaneously wtih sacrifices, family sacrificing themselves. So many people are going out of the country to send remittances to their families. That is of course a sacrifice. Mothers making long queues to get food in supermarkets, that is a sacrifice. But they are sacrifices that are individual or for the family, and the collective horizon is not on the table at this moment.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The Venezuelan economic crisis was triggered by the collapse of the price of oil after 2013, but what the crisis revealed starkly is the impossibility of regulating capitalism. If you attempt to do so, by imposing price controls, foreign exchange controls, tight labour protection laws and so on you will end up with a flight of capital and a capital investment strike.

If the government wants to control the price of a commodity (let's say flour) then it has two options:

1.  Set the price of flour at what it thinks that price should be, and subsidize difference between that price and fair market price.

2.  Produce flour from publicly owned farms/mills, and sell it for what it thinks the price should be.  If that price is less than what it cost the government to produce the flour, subsidize it.

The reason price controls in Venezuela didn't work is because the government seemed to think that private producers would act as charities, and that's likely going to be a non-starter.  They're not going to sell at a loss (or, if you're feeling cynical, "not going to sell for anything less than OBSCENE profits!!") -- that's the government's cue to step in and show them how it's done.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The reason price controls in Venezuela didn't work is because the government seemed to think that private producers would act as charities, and that's likely going to be a non-starter.

..you just made this up magoo. nobody thinks that and that includes the venezuelan government. things are/were much more complex.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

When prices are set by fiat at the cost of production or less (and especially when those prices aren't indexed to inflation) you get a situation where producers no longer see the point in producing.

Are you pretty certain that fiat prices were indexed to inflation, and that they allowed producers to stay in business?  There's plenty about this out there on the web.  You can't say that a dozen eggs must be priced at X Bolivars if they cost more than X Bolivars to produce, and if X Bolivars is actually going to be worth 0.5 X Bolivars in a few weeks.

If you believe that the fiat prices didn't drive producers out -- their own insatiable greed did -- then again, that's a perfect time for the government to step into that vacuum and show those producers how it's done.  With no egregious profit margin to uphold, it should be a cakewalk for the government. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the only way magoo, i figure you can understand what is and has been going on is through the lens of class struggle. and what role the different forces have and are playing. not by arguing economics.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm suggesting "economics" answers to "economics" questions.  You cannot reverse rampant monetary inflation by discussing "class war".

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..of course you can. in fact it's the only way forward in this case mainly because economics is directly related to class war. how things came about and once that is understood how to move forward. for instance in the piece i posted which you quoted from..it's answer is a collective solution..workers control. 

WWWTT

In the Iran thread I posted a couple links about the recent top 10 oil producers in the world. Brazil is on there but no Venezuela? To me this economic crisis is due to lack of oil production. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

FWIW, epaulo, I'm not even arguing against collectivist organization in Venezuela.  I just think that whether it's a centralized government overseeing monetary policy or a collective of the people overseeing monetary policy, it's a change to monetary policy (or, policies) that's needed in the context of inflation.

Maybe collectivism could help out in the context of domestic food production.  I wouldn't argue against that idea. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..and fwiw i'm not arguing that the monetary policy is a correct one. just that it's a part of a larger problem and that as long as those conditions remain changing it will resolve little. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Fair enough.  Though if something could fix just ONE of Canada's problems, I'd call that a good start.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Fair enough.  Though if something could fix just ONE of Canada's problems, I'd call that a good start.

It's a lot easier to solve your problems when you're country hasn't been the subject of a foreign military intervention since 1814.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If you're referring to the U.S., Ken, I don't think the U.S. could -- or has tried to -- prevent Venezuela from having one official exchange rate for everyone, nor from not printing currency to pay IOUs.  Why do you blame the U.S. for all of Venezuela's sovereign decisions?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..if you look at what happened to greece and they get the exchange rates right, in the way you think it should be magoo. there is no way you can say this will fix a small part of the problem. why? because your not even looking at the problem.

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