President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela is out of touch with reality even by Socialist standards. Not only would his economic plans make even Paul Krugman wince, but he claims to be receiving messages from dead Venezuelan Socialist overlord Hugo Chavez in the form of a small bird and a stain on a subway wall.
It’s hard to know whether Maduro, who had taken to sleeping in Chavez’s mausoleum, is in more desperate need of an economist or a psychiatrist.
After sending the army to occupy and loot electronics stores, he’s forcing them to sell plasma televisions at the price that he thinks is fair. This is a problem because of runaway inflation and wacky economic policies.
Boleíta, a neighborhood of warehouses, workshops and unattractive buildings in eastern Caracas since last Friday has became ground zero for the “economic war”, says Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro .
The evening of that day, he gave the green light to start an operation to lower inflation. The first objective of this ” economic offensive ” was Daka , a chain of appliance stores with five locations across the country, one in Boleíta . Its goods were confiscated and immediately put on sale with discounts of 50 % to 70 % from its original price of sale.
The following Monday the maneuver was repeated in all home appliance stores at the edge of the main avenue of Boleíta.
After the occupation of one of these establishments, Army Gen. Herbert Garcia Plaza, head of the newly created Superior Body for Popular Economics, delivered a speech of victory that was televised . In it, he remembered that he too had been a poor boy who got frustrated without a television.
These experiences inspired him , he said, to support the measures of “inspection” of businesses ordered by Maduro. ” We must ensure that all Venezuelans have a plasma TV ,” said the president.
When the Venezuelan president ordered the live auction of Daka inventories and other stores, the first reaction came from frenzied shoppers by the hundreds who gathered that night in front of the stores.
In locations inside and Upata , Los Teques, Puerto La Cruz and Ciudad Ojeda , there were serious public disorders.
The leaders of the crowd blackmailed shopkeepers so that anyone could enter to sack. Others drew up shopping lists and numbers written on their skin indicating the order of arrival.
General García Plaza harangued, “Nobody criticizes camping for days in capitalist countries to purchase high-tech equipment,” referring to the Apple fans vigil for the last iPhone launch .
Fifteen years of expropriations , unfinished industrial projects and, above all , of distortions favorable to corruption and speculation, caused by a control system of foreign exchange managed by the State , emasculated the productive apparatus of Venezuela.
The country imports more than half of what it consumes . The revolutionary government continues to print local currency but increasingly falls short of hard currency to pay for imports.
The forced discount shopping and seizure was made without search warrants . Although the sale of appliances not subject to the local law of consumer protection, Maduro proceeded to the confiscation and auction for the greater good.
Every night of the week; Maduro launched on radio and TV accusations against the merchants : “Parasites” , “viruses” , “bloodsuckers” and “termites of evil.”
On national television , the president also told of how he sent police officers to arrest another store manager. The store owner is now ruined or imprisoned , he takes refuge in hiding or exile , raising serious questions about how appliance stores will replenish their inventory.
They won’t, of course. Certainly not LGs. That just means the home appliance market will collapse into “used” sales the way that Venezuela’s automobile industry did, turning Venezuelan used cars into hot commodities. Shortages will follow, just like with toilet paper, and Maduro will nationalize more stuff and try to build local industries, like he did with an attempt at constructing a local car using Iranian technology.
But Maduro is priming his base of stupid government class thieves for elections… like Obama did. We’re talking about people who don’t understand that if you do this, there will be no more TV’s. They just know that they want free stuff now and the “rich people” are keeping it away from them.
Maduro, like Obama, is trashing the economy to further take over everything, destroy the Middle Class and build another defunct Socialist state with 1,000 government employees to one worker.
Maduro can’t guarantee a Plasma TV for all. No matter how many stores he takes over. Just like Obama can’t guarantee health care for all.