Daniel wrote an excellent post on why Hugo was simply speaking for the gallery yesterday when he threatened to nationalize banks if they do not comply with the required credit quota for agricultural loans. The punchline is the most important part, Chavez is simply lying, private banks are indeed complying with the quotas, it is the public banks that actually fail to do so, but, of course Chavez does not even suggest he may sell his banks to the private sector.
But it is even worse, Chavez plans to make it obligatory for banks to transfer their agricultural credit portfolio to a fund managed by the Government. Read: credits given out with depositors money will be moved so that they are “controlled” and “managed” by the revolutionary Government, who has shown little ability to control and manage anything. But think about it, if the Government does not ever return the money, the amount “owed” is comparable to all of the banks capital, about US$ 9 billion. You get the picture, no?
What Chavez is actually doing with his lying, is just passing the buck, trying to blame the private sector for the failure of his thirteen years of trying to change Venezuela’s agriculture through idiotic policies. And as if to prove it, Hugo Chavez in the same episode of his variety program Alo Presidente, happened to remove his Minister for Agriculture, reportedly for medical reasons. Even if we give Chavez the benefit of the doubt, we suspect he was mad at Minister Loyo for one reason or another. Chavez’ solution to the problem is even worse: He named his Vice-President Elias Jaua as temporary Minister of Agriculture, as if he did not have anything to do.
This is incredibly stupid, when Chavez already announced a week ago that Jaua will leave the Cabinet in June, to run for Governor of Miranda. When agricultural policy is in such disarray, you want someone that knows his stuff and will be able to be around for quite a while and shape it up. But Jaua will not be. That is simply bad management.
Which raises another question: Why can’t Chavez let the Vice-Minister take the position? Why can’t Chavez even come up with a single name to replace Loyo? Is the revolution so short of “qualified” people?
And we suspect the answer is : Yes it is. The revolution lacks experts who are not fully loyal, rojo rojito inside out, that Chavez can trust. That is why the Cabinet has become such a revolving door of the same incompetent personalities, asked to solve all of the problems. Jaua is after all, a sociologist, who became Ambassador, who became Minister of Agriculture and then Vice-President. And he has not held that many positions so far.
But Chavez moves on using his best Terminator style, trampling over everything and lying to “the people” he claims to love, but cheats at every step. Ready to nationalize the banking system to satisfy his predatory insecurities, no matter what the cost and inefficiencies and using the people’s money.
Hugo is simply clueless, but so far, he is the President, the terminator President, who destroys everything in his path, just because…
Agriculture is just one of his areas of destructive expertise.