Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Price Controls

Venezuela’s Marxist Dictator Orders Arrest of Bakers Making Croissants

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 17, 2017:

Português: Brasília - O chanceler da Venezuela...

Four bakers trying to make ends meet were arrested earlier this week in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, a country that was once one of South America’s premier economic powerhouses. Venezuela’s ruler, Nicolas Maduro, mandated that 90 percent of scarce flour be turned into bread, which must be sold at a loss, rather than higher-priced sweet bread, ham-filled croissants, pastries, and cakes.Two bakers apparently broke this law, and two used out-of-date wheat for brownies. At least one baker will have his bakery taken over by the government for 90 days. The bakers, operating under Maduro’s mandates that they use government-imported wheat for flour to bake bread and sell it below their costs, were on survival mode, as are most of the people living in Venezuela’s socialist paradise.

Maduro, rather than to take the justified blame for the economic malaise that his socialist policies have caused, has dreamed up all manner of straw men to blame for the country’s woes, starting with

Keep Reading…

Venezuela’s Dictator Fires Head of Central Bank; Inflation at 1,600 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 23, 2017:

Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela’s Marxist dictator, Nicolas Maduro (shown), fired the head of his country’s central bank on Friday. Without fanfare or any public statement from either Maduro or his banker, Nelson Merentes, the firing is the latest move by the president to place the blame for the collapse of his country anywhere but where it belongs: on his socialist policies.

For months The New American has tracked the retrogression of a country which was once one of the leading economies in South America to a banana republic where people are starving, sick people are dying for lack of care, and a black market has replaced a once-thriving free economy. Last June, the New York Times was finally forced to admit the cause:

Keep Reading…

Venezuela: Some Lessons Must be Learned Over and Over Again

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 23, 2017:

George Santayana most famously said: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” But he wasn’t the only one. Aldous Huxley put it this way: “That men do not learn very much the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” Said Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind.”

There’s a lesson being taught to the hapless and now helpless citizens (shown above) of Venezuela. It’s a lesson so often taught but not learned that one may, with great confidence, predict the final outcome.

On Friday Venezuela’s Marxist dictator, Nicolas Maduro, fired his banker,

Keep Reading…

Venezuelan Currency Lost Half Its Value in November

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 28, 2016:  

Português: Brasília - O chanceler da Venezuela...

Nicolas Maduro

Bloomberg reported last Thursday that Venezuela’s currency — the bolívar fuerte or “strong bolivar” — has lost 45 percent of its purchasing power so far this month, with six days to go. The underlying cause was put simply by Professor Milton Friedman, a member of the “Chicago School” of economic free market thinking and winner in 1976 of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences: “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon … and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.”

On the other hand, Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro,

Keep Reading…

Multi-nationals Are Leaving Venezuela, Selling Out at Fire Sale Prices

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 16, 2016:  

Over the last year, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, auto parts maker Dana, Clorox, Kimberly-Clark, Bridgestone Tire, and Liberty Mutual have either sold out their Venezuelan interests at huge losses, have given their factories and properties away for free, or are planning to. Those who used to work for them are now working in another profession: as bachaqueros. This is slang for “giant ants,” used as a pejorative to describe street vendors offering their wares in the black market.

General Mills sold its operations at half the assessed value, while Dana was lucky

Keep Reading…

What Does “Collapse” Look Like? See Venezuela.

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 19, 2016:

State flag of Venezuela.

State flag of Venezuela.

The term “economic collapse” has been bandied about for so long by so many that the phrase has largely lost its meaning. Michael Snyder has been able to make a living from his blog, “The Economic Collapse,” and there’s even a feeble attempt to define the term by contributors to Wikipedia:

Keep Reading…

Venezuela’s Collapse: Horror Beyond Belief

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 18, 2016:  

The Coat of arms of Venezuela

When Matt O’Brien updated his previous article on the slow-motion collapse of Venezuela on Monday for the Washington Post, he reviewed the symptoms achingly familiar to those following the events: the collapse of oil prices; the incompetence of the cronies running the state-owned oil company (former Marxist Hugo Chávez replaced the workers who knew what they were doing with political cronies who didn’t); the inflation of the currency followed as night follows day, with price controls to mask the resulting inflation; inflation, as measured by the black market’s pricing of the Venezuelan bolivar, causing the bolivar to lose more than 90 percent of its value in just two years; the empty supermarket shelves; the oppression by police of those standing in long lines to purchase whatever might be left in those stores; and on and on. As O’Brien lamented:

Keep Reading…

Venezuelans Pour Into Colombia to Buy Food; Staples Not Available at Home

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 15, 2016:  

Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro

Marisol Sayago, a 65-year-old pensioner living in San Cristobal, Venezuela, traveled 40 miles on Saturday to buy 15 rolls of toilet paper. Crossing the border into Colombia, she did what shopping she could on her limited pension check in shops in Cucuta, saying, “It’s not economical, but what else can I do? Over there [pointing back across the bridge to Venezuela] you can’t find anything.”

Sayago was joined by an estimated 54,000 other Venezuelans suffering under the socialist regime of her country’s Marxist president, Nicolas Maduro (shown).

Maduro closed the border with Colombia last August, claiming that

Keep Reading…

A Lesson in Free Market Economics – from Venezuela?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 15, 2016:  

Over the weekend, some 54,000 Venezuelan citizens living near the country’s border with Colombia poured over the Simon Bolivar Bridge so they could buy toilet paper, cosmetics, vitamins, and tires. Many brought empty suitcases, others brought packets of the nearly worthless Venezuelan bolivar currency, still others brought gold earrings, necklaces, and other personal valuables to exchange in local pawn shops for Colombian currency so they could spend it.

They were there to buy. And the merchants were ready to sell. As they exited the bridge on foot (cars won’t be allowed for at least another month) they were greeted with friendly Colombians

Keep Reading…

Brazil’s Senate Votes to Begin Impeachment Trial of President Rousseff

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 11, 2016:  

Português do Brasil: O presidente Lula partici...

Rousseff and Lula before they were exposed as crooks

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Brazil’s upper house, following 16 hours of speeches and rancorous debate, voted 59-21 to begin the impeachment trial of the country’s president, Dilma Rousseff (shown). The senate has 48 hours to prepare the impeachment papers, Rousseff has another 48 hours to prepare her defense, and then the actual date for the trial will be set, likely the week after the Rio 2016 Olympics have ended.

For all intents and purposes, however, the trial is already over.

Keep Reading…

Venezuela Now a Military Dictatorship

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 13, 2016:  

Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela’s Marxist President Nicolás Maduro closed the loop on Monday night, declaring under powers granted to himself by his “emergency decree” announced in January (later to be declared “constitutional” by his hand-picked Supreme Court) that his new Great Sovereign Supply Mission would be run by the country’s defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López .

Maduro put everything that moves into the hands of Padrino: “All the ministries, all the ministers, all the state institutions are at the service [of] and in absolute subordination [to the new mission].”

Padrino, the head of Venezuela’s armed forces, now will be in charge of transporting and distributing what’s left of products supplied by the crippled economy, enforcing price controls, and “stimulating” the economy.

A former head of the armed forces commission in the now emasculated congress, Luis Manuel Esculpí, said, “This is now a completely militarized government. The army is Maduro’s [sole] source of authority.”

Juan Pablo Olalquiaga, president of Venezuela’s chamber of commerce, Conindustria, sees what’s coming: “If all the factories now have to run everything by the military, this isn’t going to make raw materials appear all of a sudden. The president is showing [instead that] he does not understand how to manage the economy.”

What it does show is that Maduro has learned how to cement his administration into place, to the detriment of Venezuela’s suffering citizens. By concentrating all power in the military, Maduro needs only to watch Padrino instead of the hydra-headed monster of government agencies and ministers that has continued since the days of Hugo Chávez.

Those who pose any sort of threat are jailed without charge and without end. Example: Antonio Ledezma, former mayor of Caracas and now a guest of SEVIN, Venezuela’s state security police. Late in the afternoon of September 19, 2015, his offices were raided by 80 members of SEVIN, some carrying automatic rifles, and the others armed with semi-automatic pistols. They smashed through the glass door of his office on the sixth floor of a downtown office building and, when confronted with the outraged mayor who demanded they show him a search warrant, they beat him mercilessly and then hauled him away in a black Humvee.

It was a setup from the beginning. Maduro, in explaining how this “threat” to his administration had been neutralized, referred to a full-page ad that Ledezma and two other “troublemakers” allegedly ran in a local paper that challenged Maduro’s authority and called for an election to oust him.

Observers said that coup-plotters rarely signal their intentions with a full-page newspaper ad and then wait around to be arrested.

All public references to Ledezma — his whereabouts, the status of his so-called “trial” that opened a year after his arrest — have disappeared.

Venezuelan resident Nelson Agelvis — a college professor, business consultant, and travel expert — recently described what life is like there:

In Venezuela, what Nicolás Maduro dictates gets done, period. There are no checks and balances; there is no division of power. There is no organ of the state that will tell him “No, you can’t, it’s against the constitution.” [His] PSUV government party controls all organs of the state including the Supreme Court and the Electoral Council — yes, the vote counters….

 

Any ruler who is all-powerful, who controls all instances of power … the executive branch … the judicial and electoral, and who keeps the military happy … is a dictator. He dictates, and it gets done by any means, and citizens are defenseless against him. That’s a dictatorship.

 

According to this definition, Venezuela is a dictatorship.

In Venezuela, the Elite Meet to Eat While the Masses Starve

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 17, 2016:  

Another version of the flag of Animal Farm, ba...

Another version of the flag of Animal Farm, based on the flag of the Soviet Union. Hoof and horn symbol created by Al2.

On Monday OPEC gave Venezuela more bad news: Oil production fell another 120,000 barrels a day in May, putting further pressure on the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro to pay its bills and maintain order. On Tuesday more than 400 citizens of Cumana, a city of 800,000 a few hundred miles west of Caracas, were arrested following another food riot.

On Thursday the British tabloid Daily Mail published a dozen pictures of the wealthy elite enjoying themselves at the opulent Caracas Country Club where membership costs $110,000. The slums where the masses are starving can be seen in the background.

The contrast, startling as it was, illustrates how socialism — called Chavismo in “honor” of former president Hugo Chavez — ultimately decimates the middle class and

Keep Reading…

Edict From Venezuela’s President Maduro: Grow Your Own Food

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 27, 2016:  

                            No Hay Comida is translated: There is no food

Word got out that there would be chicken for sale at the Central Madeirense supermarket in Guarenas, Venezuela, on Friday, so Kattya Alonzo got there at 4 a.m. The line of others already snaked around the block, waiting for the delivery trucks to arrive.

But when the trucks arrived at 6:30, the national guardsmen monitoring the crowd sensed the possibility of a riot and ordered the trucks to move on. The people waiting in line turned ugly and

Keep Reading…

Brazil’s Interim President Says “Trust Me,” Installs Corrupt Bureaucrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 16, 2016:  

Upon taking over Brazil’s presidency from disgraced former President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday, interim president Michel Temer asked his skeptical citizenry to “trust” him, saying that his new administration would be Brazil’s “salvation”:

Trust me. Trust the values of our people and our ability to recuperate the economy…. It is essential to rebuild the credibility of the country abroad to attract new investments and get the economy growing again…. It is urgent to restore peace and unite Brazil. We must form a government that will save the nation…. It’s urgent to seek the unity of Brazil. We urgently need a government of national salivation.

Even if he truly intended to do any of that, the challenges he faces almost defy description.

Keep Reading…

Nothing is Likely to Change in Brazil

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 20, 2016: 

One of Warren Buffett’s favorite expressions is “when the tide goes out, everyone will see who’s been swimming naked.”  In Brazil the tide went out at the start of the Great Recession and now the whole world can see who was swimming naked.

When President Lula was elected in 2002 the commodity boom was underway, and Brazil was enjoying the ride. Its major exports are soybeans, sugar, and iron ore, and under Lula Brazil’s GDP was running 10 percent a year. Lula implemented major expansions of the welfare state, including putting in place such generous pension plans that state workers could retire at age 54 for men and at age 52 for women at 90 percent of their final pay. The average Brazilian’s household income rose, and statists worldwide pointed to Brazil’s success story, naming it as one of the BRIC countries that would soon overtake the developed nations of the world, and doing it while expanding government spending.

But when Dilma Rousseff took over in 2011 the Great Recession was revealing the true nature of spending far beyond the ability of the economy to sustain it. In 2014 the government’s finances were in such dreadful shape that

Keep Reading…

Regime Change in Brazil is Imminent

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, March 16, 2016:

More than three million Brazilians, fed up with corruption that goes all the way to the top, went to the streets last Sunday to protest Dilma Rousseff’s regime and to demand her removal. This is likely to signal the end of Rousseff, who has steadfastly declared her innocence in the Petrobras scandal that has rocked the country for years.

Dubbed “Operation Car Wash” and driven by Judge Sergio Fernando Moro, the first break in the case came with a phone call two years ago from a local car wash and currency exchange business owner to police that he thought

Keep Reading…

Brazil’s Bovespa Index Jumps 32 Percent in five days: Better days Ahead for Brazil?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 7, 2016:  

The assumption is that, once President Dilma Rousseff is out of office and her mentor, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, known as Lula (shown above), is in jail, everything in Brazil will be just fine, back to normal, regular programming to resume shortly.

That’s not likely. The corruption being exposed by “Operation Car Wash” goes clear to the bone. New suits will replace the old in Brazil, but little else is likely to change.

The big news driving the index higher was

Keep Reading…

Maduro’s Venezuela: Proof that Socialism is a form of Mental Illness

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 19, 2016:  

Craig Andresen, writing for the National Patriot, described socialism as a mental disorder:

Socialism is a disease. It’s a mental affliction and it causes those infected with it to lose their minds.

 

It’s also contagious.

Now there’s proof positive:

Keep Reading…

Venezuelan President Maduro Raises Gas Prices 6,000 percent, Devalues Bolivar

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 18, 2016:  

During a five-hour TV speech on Wednesday that turned into a harangue against capitalism and President Obama, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro exercised the powers granted to him in January to deal with the country’s economic crisis. He did what most socialists do when their policies don’t work:

Keep Reading…

Question: What Happens when Socialists and Marxists Are Put in Charge?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 5, 2016:  

Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Answer: Venezuela.

The Marxist president (and student of Venezuela’s previous president Hugo Chavez) Nicolas Maduro has just administered the coup d’état: ordering the printing of so many bolivars that his own country’s printing presses could not handle the order. So he went to Germany, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom to place it. The initial supply – five billion of them! – arrived late last year in the holds of 36 Boeing 747 cargo jets, with another

Keep Reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.