Archive for September 26th, 2005

Venezuelan Government reneges on agreement, expropriates Polar plant

September 26, 2005

The Chavez Government is so cynical and false that it can agree on something one week and turn around and change its mind the week after. It just did this today, going back on everything that it had agreed on with the owners of the Polar plant (Remavenca) on Barinas state.

The whole story began on August 31st., when a plant owned by the Polar group was “intervened”by a military force led by the Minister of Agriculture himself. Of course, the concept of “intervention” simply does not exist in Venezuela’s jurisprudence, but the Chavez administration does not even care about the form, what it can not get legally it can get by force. And it can be very scary to have a military battalion take over your property in a country where one no longer knows where the Government begins and the military ends.

The Polar group protested the interventions and went to the Supreme Court asking for an injunction on the matter. The Court has yet to reply, in clear violation of the law. The group also went to the National Assembly and also met with the Vice-President to show that the plant was operational and had been certified as such by the Government itself. The Minister of Agriculture himself announced on September 16th. that the impasse “had been overcome” and while there were delays in having the military leave the facilities as agreed, they were returned to their rightful owners.

Well, today, the Governor of Barinas state signed a decree expropriating the same plant, arguing social interest and public usefulness. The cynicism went even further than that as the Minister of Agriculture, who was present during the reading of the decree, later said that the act by the Governor of Barinas state and its legislature was “an independent decision”. Yes, we are supposed to believe in pur naviety and stupidty that, when the Governor of Barinas state is none other than Chavez’ own father Hugo de Los Reyes Chavez, who does nothing but what the autocrat himself tells him. Yeah, right!

As I said when I first reported in this case, the Law of The Jungle is now the prevailing system of Justice in Venezuela these days. The Government has been trying to intimidate everyone using the military to intervene farms and plants and attempt to get some form of agreement out of the owners. This does not always work, so it resorts then to others mechanisms. In this case, this is what the law says except the law states, except that there has to be compensation first.

But we are beyond that. By now Chavez is out of control and doing whatever he pleases in the name of social justice. But there is no such thing in Venezuela. All we have is an autocrat who is completely out of control, abusing his powers and reneging on agreements in the name of a non-existent independence between the executive power and regional Governments, which Chavez has never respected anyway. But the goal has been achieved; take away the plant form Polar. You can be sure it will be dismantled and there will be nothing there in a couple of years. This revolution only destroys, it does not know how to build or even use the most basic infrastructure.

For some reason Chavez is accelerating the process of taking over private property and he could care less about the law. This is not a random event; it is clearly a planned strategy in the face of a lower popularity and widespread protests. The only question may be who is next, or maybe better, are you next and are you doing anyhing about it?