When You thought Chavismo Had Legislated Everything, Family Values Becomes The New Target

April 14, 2012

Chavismo has a remarkable ability to invent and create new concepts and structures that are simply unworkable or are incredibly simplistic. They legislate and legislate, without asking anyone about it and just moving forward, despite their so called belief in “participative” democracy. But only high ranking Chavistas seem to really “participate” in the truly important things. The Constitution be damned.

By now, Chavismo has created a few monsters that the country has become accustomed to. People accept these things as if  they were “normal”, forgetting how perverse the system has become.

For example, the Government imports food without control at the official rate of exchange, destroying local production which “enjoys” 25-30% inflation while the official rate of exchange is held constant. Seems logical? Yeah, sure!

Then there is CADIVI, which magnanimously presides over exchange controls. Huge bureaucracies have been created on both sides. The Government’s to stop you at each instance from importing things, the private sector to weave around the tapestry of requirements in the hope that some official dollars will come your way. If you are out of luck, you can still try SITME, where you deal with the bureaucracy of the private or official banking sector, to see if you can scrape some greenbacks your way.

CADIVI is so perverse, that the President of the Venezuelan Central Bank said this week, without being bashful: “Exchange controls will be removed when the revolution can not be reversed”. Read what he says: I restrict your rights, so that the right to choose will no longer be available in the future. At that point, I will, in my benevolence, return some smaller important rights to you, but you would have lost the freedom to choose.


Then there is price, earnings and everything control, now encompassed under the SUNDECOP (sounds like a suppository or a fungus medicine, no?), a new bureaucracy established to control prices, costs and margins. So, in  a country with unpredictable inflation and soon, retroactive severance pay, a whole bunch of untrained incompetents, will now try to calculate everything that is so hard for you to do in the business you have worked in all your life. All to establish a regime of price controls, which has been shown not to work anywhere in the world. In fact, Venezuela, one of the few countries with price controls today, has the top or one of the three top inflation rates in the world. But they just don’t get it.

But these guys don’t understand the word “evidence”. If inflation jumped to 100% in Venezuela, they would blame everything but their idiocy. They just don’t know better.

So, in the absence of the All Mighty Hugo, who is taking care of more transcendental things, a new Labor Law has been cooked up barely four weeks before Chavez plans to enact it. This Bill not only returns severance pay to the original system, which was shown not to work, but a novel concept is once again created: Severance does not belong to the worker, but to the family.

These guys want to legislate and promote the family. In a country where practically nothing works, they want to set up a system to promote, legislate and control “family values” as a goal of a “socialist” society.

Of course, the story is told from the side of the irresponsible father. If the wife, or the kids are let out…yadda yadda yadda. But in the machista country of “ciudadanos y ciudadanas” I can already imagine what will happen when the working woman is taken to Labour Court by the unemployed, irresponsible husband. As a matter of fact, imagine also the working kid who lives at home, whose severance will now be at the mercy of his or her parents.

Not pretty.

But what Chavismo does or thinks about, has nothing to do with reality. They represent a world of ignorants who have a lot of initiative and power, but who have no clue as to how economies and societies work. Thus, in a country without practically any  functioning institutions, they create new ones to oversee how families values function.

Chavista Family Values. Look at the leaders of the revolution, who spouses them? tell me just one, please…

36 Responses to “When You thought Chavismo Had Legislated Everything, Family Values Becomes The New Target”

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  10. Roger Says:

    I agree that this is a marxist (sic) power grab and an excuse to create more government jobs for Chavistas. That said. I think it is also a move to get more women voters for the election.
    There is no doubt that Venezuelan men have Family Values. So much in fact that many have to have more than one family! While there have been laws about this in Venezuela for years they are seldom inforced and the problem is passed on to the Church. You married them you deal with it.
    My favorite example was mi Patron Pedro. Pedro had 3 sons who all went to US Universities and had Green Cards. One day Pedro comes in with his other family who are quite young and much darker skinned than their older brothers. As much as I like to think that they got to come to the US for University, get Green Cards and share in their fathers wealth, I know better.
    We can only see if this becomes an election issue. Also, funny they did not mention that a high percentage of Venezuelan women suffer physical abuse from their husbands. Wonder if the have a program for that?

  11. Carlos Says:

    Great post..as usual…
    I just want to remark my opinions about the upcoming “new” labor law…
    The government is offering severance packages updated according to the last salary .. just to make it appealing to workers. This is the selling point.
    In the blunt side the government just want to take control of private labor trusts (fideicomisos), ie put this money in a big big bag adn then will use it for any other purposeS far away from REAL investment and productivity FOR THE WORKERS.. That’s it!!

  12. Isa Says:

    That’s precisely the point of this post. Venezuelan legislation can be very protective, but it is irrelevant. The law makes it impossible to fire people, but Chavez, Ramirez and Ali Rodrigues fired 20,000 people without a care in the world and stole their savings in the process. Where were the “Labor Courts”? precisely the same ones that will now decide how to divy up the prestaciones. It’s all a Chimera, fantasy laws of the stuff they imagine n their brains, but impractical bullshit in the end.

    Legislation is very protective of the children, slips a few hundred Bolivars and uups, there goes the protection.

  13. Bruni Says:

    Miguel, the Venezuela legislation is very protective of children and the children’s mother in the event of a divorce. A lawyer once gave me an example that I thought completely off…something like the new wife not being able to remove the mother of her husband’s children from her house to protect the children. That is prior to what you are mentioning. So I am not at all surprised.

    • moctavio Says:

      So? The severance should belong to the worker. Again, what happens if the woman is the bread winner? (which I bet occurs more often in stable marriages). This is much more than that, this is wishful, social experimenting by ignorant social idealists, who truly believe they can micromanage society to be what they think it should be, even if their own life and family is a mess.Like most of them. (Again, give me an example of family values among, for example, those that can run for President, Maduro, Jaua, Diosdado, Isturiz, Adan) They really think we are Swiss, their mental image of the ideal society has little to do with Venezuela.

      • Carolina Says:

        And what happens when the woman is the cheater??

        • Bruni Says:

          No idea, Carolina. It was a lawyer that told me the story some years ago to exemplify how protective of children Venezuelan law is.

      • Bruni Says:

        I am not justifying the measure. My point is that the law has always been very protective of children. This is just an extension.

        Living in Québec, I have realized that in countries with a civil code, one can very often find aberrations. I was told, for instance, that in a divorce here in Québec, the individual with the higher income gives a large part of his/her RSP and worker’s pension to the other. This is pretty similar to what you are describing, Miguel.

        Other measure is the responsibility of parents. In Québec, parent’s responsibility over children never prescribes! (And vice-versa!).

        • moctavio Says:

          The point is that it is inpractical, the labor courts dont work, people have multiple families, it is stupid and will not lead to “socialist family values”. In the end it will just restrict the use of severance, make life more difficult. Remember according to the Venezuelan laws, severance is protected even in bankruptcy (except for that of oil workers which was taken by the Government without even going to Court).

        • Bloody Mary Dry Says:

          Exactly, you have a Civil Code which rules have served, more or less, since the Roman Times…. If you have a functional and healthy legal system, no problem, you make society to comply with the rules already established, and you will do well. But nations that have been used as laboratories have failed. Society has evolved thanks to the use of the rule of law that has worked over time. If you try, for whatever reason, to change those rules, you can bet you will fail as a society. Of course, accountable countries may try eventually new things, little by little, that’s how society progress.

        • syd Says:

          I was told, for instance, that in a divorce here in Québec, the individual with the higher income gives a large part of his/her RSP and worker’s pension to the other.

          Bruni, I’d be interested in knowing if this holds true, where the prenup contract (under Quebec law) deemed, “Lo que es tuyo antes del matrimonio, es tuyo cuando ocurre separación legal y divorcio.”

  14. Albionboy Says:

    Control and more control, all of Chavez failure is in his eyes is from not enough control.Now its relationships, added to food, work, education, housing, the one thing he cant’t and everyone begs him to control is crime.

  15. NET Says:

    And the even bigger question–“the leaders of the revolution, who spouses them”–rather, the leaders of the Chavista Revolution, who spawned them???!!?

  16. Carolina catala Says:

    The bigger question, whominherits the morrocoyes from la casona?

  17. CharlesC Says:

    Jose, that was lovely prose.

  18. Jose Says:

    The point must be to delay the payments, indefinitely if possible. You will have to prove which of your women fits more closely the definition of a wife, while the others take you to court. This could take years, of course. Then come the children. You will have to count them first, and then decide which of them you would like to share your money with. Then comes your mothers in law (or out of law). They all hate you, some more than others, and all want your money. After battling for some more years to define your family to the exclusion of all others, you will have to pay off the rest to keep them quiet. And all this before you see your first Bolivar, fuerte or otherwise. The government stands to save the nation a lot of money in severance payments. If you go on hunger strike over government delays in payments, you will also be helping the nation in reducing food imports.

    On the other hand, if you are single (really single), you will have to invent a family to be able to fill the forms. The danger is that your proxy family might be tempted to run away with your money and leave you in an involuntary hunger strike.

    It has to be a good policy.

  19. Jeffry house Says:

    A payment cannot be made to a family. It can be made to an individual only, or an individual corporation, only. Who gets to cash a cheue made out to “la familia Reyes?”

  20. Rafael V. Lozano Moreno Says:

    Family law, welfare benefits, friends, this only has an end, and is the ruling Communist nomenclature interest of expoliarnos the 20,000 million dollars of our services, the aim is to ruin us, make us miserable, poor and dependent, limiting its use to whim of officials, a way of submission and dependence Communist state, only they will be allowed to tell you what, where, when, where and how to use your money, here I propose, I list the requirements for retirement:
    1. Notarized authorization from your: spouse and children, parents and grandparents, for you to deliver your assets.
    2. The original award of benefits in the event of termination of labor, but those of paragraph 1.
    3. In home buying cocoa contract of purchase and original sale, assessment, record of castrato, plus the: 1.
    4. In case of illness: Analysis of Blood, Urine, Esses, Chest and brain CT, psychiatric examination, but the numbers: 1.
    Gentlemen Venezuelan finish convinced that this government fills us to Communism

  21. HalfEmpty Says:

    Friction in supposed to be a bad thing in an economy, amazingly it seems that half of Vz real GDP is friction based. Making money the old fashioned way, by stealing it, or borrowing it at negative interest.

    (I made up the half number out of thin air) so sue me, and good luck with that too. 🙂

  22. Máximo Alfonzo Says:

    Interesting. Sad, but interesting.
    Specially the comment about the words of Central Bank President,
    And the last paragraph…an overlooked fact, what is the rationale behind it?

  23. CharlesC Says:

    This is yet another example of your excellent writing. I wish some
    newspapers would publish what you are saying here.
    This article is chock full of “quotable quotes”-ie. people should
    repeat these things everywhere.Not trying to be overly personal,
    I know you are an humble person, but this is another great article.

  24. m_astera Says:

    Dating from the Magn Carta, the most important purpose of a constitution is to *limit* the powers of the rulers and controllers. Not to limit the power of the people, but to protect the rights and property of the people from being trampled on or stolen by those who legitimize their actions by calling themselves the government, and who enforce their actions by force or threat of force, imprisonment, or confiscation.

    Once more: The most important purpose of a constitution is not to control the people, but to control the government.

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