You know the Bolivarian Revolution is toast when….

Most economists attribute Venezuela\’s soaring inflation to loose monetary policy, exchange controls, devaluation and anaemic domestic production, dynamics that show no sign of abating.

\”The government has boxed itself in with a misguided policy mix of rampant spending and price and foreign exchange controls that has resulted in a growing output gap and galloping inflation,\” said Patrick Esteruelas, of Eurasia Group political consultancy. He added that the government, unwilling to risk austerity measures in the run-up to September\’s congressional elections, was deflecting blame. \”It has found it highly convenient to persecute private food retailers.\”

Venezuela\’s authorities disagree. They say private firms are cheating customers with unjustified price rises that are driving 30% inflation, Latin America\’s highest. Food prices are rising even faster, at 40%. According to Chávez, it is part of a plot by US-backed \”fascist oligarchs\” to destabilise his leftist experiment.

\”Do you know why capitalist prices are so high? Because they are thieves, stealing from the people. Don\’t let them trick you,\” said the president during a TV broadcast last week. He promised to crush speculators and lower prices in what he termed an \”economic war\”.


But problems are mounting. In the name of \”nutritional sovereignty\” the government seized 6m hectares (about 15m acres) of farmland, expanded cultivation and set up socialist co-operatives. Results are poor: beef, sugar, coffee and fruit production plunged. Grain and rice output initially rose, but fell last year.

When even The Guardian is running reports on how socialism makes the food supply go tits up then yes, you\’re toast.

11 thoughts on “You know the Bolivarian Revolution is toast when….”

  1. I’m sure Atlas Shrugged is available in Spanish. I think some copies should be airlifted in.

  2. Now we’ll find out what happens when Cuban-style socialism is attempted in a country which is not an island prison but a country with a long land frontier, from which it will be easy to escape and to which it will be easy to smuggle goods.

  3. Ah, Jim, we already know. It’s just unfortunate that Venezuelans are going to find out the hard way – again.

  4. True, Peter, but the Iron Curtain that may well fall around Venezuela will be hard to enforce with terrain like that, and without the Red Army on their side.

  5. Jim, but we have seen it all before – Mugabe, Chavez. Two cheeks of the same arse as far as I can see and the Zim border is probably ten times more porous than the Venezuelan one.

    The really sad thing is this will keep repeating itself time after time after time yet supposedly clever people (yep, Toynbee, Monbiot, Blair, Brown and the rest, I’m looking at you) will still keep praising the perpetrators until its too late. Then they’ll do a double take and don the famous “who me?” expression as they ask how such terrible things can ever happen.

  6. Did not that paragon of Socialist virtue, Stalin, manage something similar in Russia by forcing folk to farm the land according to commy principles thus dooming half his population to starvation?

    Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes…add this chav to the list.

  7. To be fair,which is something Rory Carroll never is, there is going to be inflationary trouble when all that oil revenue is circulated in Venezuela instead of being exported to foreign contries as it was under the free market system.

  8. “Military police recently seized Cedeño and dozens of other butchers on suspicion of overpricing.
    Cedeño was handcuffed, stripped, interrogated at an army base and charged with speculation.
    If convicted he faces up to six years in jail.”

    The Human Rights crowd @ The Grauniad don’t seem too concerned about this.

  9. I’m sure Atlas Shrugged is available in Spanish. I think some copies should be airlifted in.

    Come on now, haven’t they suffered enough?

  10. Pingback: Big day for Ken’s mate | The Louse & the Flea

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