You have to wonder where some of the Chavista “leaders” get their ideas. Reading the daily newspapers of Venezuela is truly a veritable Ripley “Believe It or Not” adventure into harebrained ideas. Today Chavismo was quite generous in its outpouring of ideas that would amaze anyone.
First it was the President of the National Assembly Fernando Soto Rojas. Fresh from telling us last week that there is no separation of powers in Venezuela and Chavez has a say on everything, he calls and tells us that:
“The Lybian conflcit is seen by Venezuela as a political opportunity to project Chavez image both within and outside the country and attempt to avoid a defeat in the upcoming presidential elections”
He even says that Chavez PSUV party “approved” a plan to position Chavez’ image in the context of the Middle East crisis.
“We need a worldwide political victory to win the Presidency in 2012”
Jeez, where do I start on the venerable (by age) Soto’s words? First, he is recognizing that the number don’t look very good despite the affable Jesse Chacon telling us today Chavez would win running away. Second, Chavez, Soto and the party appear to be more involved with worldwide politics than doing something for the people or perhaps they realize the people are so pissed (See this video for example) that there is little they can do for them that would change their opinion. But more importantly, political issues continue to dominate what the party and Chavez discuss. The strategy is to position Chavez in some international conflict because the task of doing something nationally looks sort of difficult at this time. Too much time has been wasted on politics, rather than doing something.
And then, today’s El Nacional where Soto’s words were quoted, aslo has a strong statement by none other than Minister of Feeding Carlos Osorio.Osprio says that wheat imports will be centralized by the Government, so that there are no excess imports that have to be sold to other countries (read Colombia). Osorio added: “We can’t continue with this vision of teh private sector and capitalism of seeing foodstuffs as a business”
As if this was not enough, Osorio said that all purchasers must be made from countries who are “allies” of Venezuela
Where does one start? First I would love to see the list of “allies”. It would be interesting to make it public. The fewer the providers, the more expensive importing stuff will be, but that does not seem to matter anyway, after all, we have the highest inflation in the world, there is nobody left to beat.
Second, this “import only what is necessary: simply does not work. This is what leads to shortages and the problem with the stuff sold to other countries is not because there is an excess, but because it is cheaper in Venezuela, where purchases are mad at the subsidized rate of Bs. 4.3 per US$ and the price of wheat flour is subsidized. But what is hard for me to figure out is where does this guy get the idea of excesses? There have been two or three shortages of wheat flour in the last two months.
But what I really wonder is if this guy knows what “capitalism” and the private sector have done, for example, in Brazil in terms of food, not only producing cheap foodstuffs but making Brazil a powerhouse producer for the world. And ot was the private sector, not the Government who did it.
It is incredible how these guys use their home made “wisdom” to make up political and economic models that are known to have failed, while failing to even study or look at the successful ones. Chile and Brazil would be a good place for them to start with. But I know, I know, it’s hopeless.
Note added: Well, according to the Association of Wheat Workers, the “excess” supply will not last until the end of march.