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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Will Chavez self destruct?

Venezuela may control food distribution By CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER, Associated Press Writer
Sun Feb 11, 11:25 PM ET

President Hugo Chavez's government has drafted a decree allowing officials to take control of food distribution chains, including supermarkets and storage depots, if services are interrupted, officials said Sunday.

Industry and Commerce Minister Maria Cristina Iglesias said the decree would help curb supply problems that have caused severe shortages of meats, milk and sugar in recent weeks.

Industry officials blame the shortages on price controls that oblige retailers to sell at a loss, while the government says the fault lies with unscrupulous speculators, including supermarket owners and distributors, who hoard food or boost prices.

The National Assembly, which is entirely controlled by a coalition of pro-Chavez parties, approved legislation last month granting the Venezuelan leader authority to enact sweeping measures by presidential decree as his government steers the poverty-stricken South American country toward socialism.

Chavez vowed after winning re-election in December to nationalize Venezuela's largest telecommunications company and the electricity sector and impose greater state control over the oil and natural gas industries as part of his socialist revolution. His critics, however, fear he is steering the country toward communism.

Iglesias did not provide specific details of how the decree could be implemented, saying only it would "permit, in extreme cases, the re-establishment of an essential public service" if private companies such as supermarket chains halt operations.

Supermarkets suspended sales of beef last week after one chain was shut down for two days for pricing meat above government-set levels. Most items can still be found, but only by paying higher prices at grocery stores or on the black market.

Authorities have raided warehouses and confiscated tons of food — mostly beef and sugar — from vendors unwilling to sell inventories at the official price.

Full-page government advertisements published in newspapers on Sunday showed a fake mug shot under a banner title reading "The Hoarder Is A Criminal," and warned consumers not to purchase foods at exorbitant prices.

Shortages of items ranging from milk to coffee have occurred since early 2003, when Chavez began regulating prices for 400 basic products as a way to counter inflation and protect the poor.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 01:13 AM
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Yes he will, but not soon enough.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Shane
Yes he will, but not soon enough.
You're talking about FoTL's hero ya' know..............................

"Negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon, the pigeon knocks over all the pieces, on the board and then struts around like it won the game."
Vladimir Putin

"They have gun control in Cuba. They have universal health care in Cuba. So why do they want to come here?"
Paul Harvey 8/31/94

"The only people who have quick answers don't have the responsibility of making the decisions."
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 04:38 AM
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So long as he does right by the majority -- the poor underclass -- he'll stay in power. The poor have been screwed-over for generations and are intent on getting a piece of the action, come what may. Chavez will give it to them.

Mexico is getting fair warning from this. Will Mexico listen?

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Botnst
So long as he does right by the majority -- the poor underclass -- he'll stay in power. The poor have been screwed-over for generations and are intent on getting a piece of the action, come what may. Chavez will give it to them.

Mexico is getting fair warning from this. Will Mexico listen?

Will we listen?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2007, 05:55 AM
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All these guys eventually do. But he so far is the democratically elected leader of a free country, so I could give a fuck what he does, his people have given him the right to do it. Our best policy is to butt out and let it run it's course. In the long run, it will do this country nothing but good, since the right wing ruling class in VZ have never been much more than a bunch of murdereing theives.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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