Sunday, May 15, 2016

Venezuela Seizing Factories, Arresting Owners

Thomas Lifson writes:

Socialist Venezuela is so bankrupt that it is unable to import key commodities and unable to supply electricity to factories, so scapegoats have become necessary. The situation became critical when the country’s largest beer producer, Polar, halted production a couple of weeks ago because it was unable to import barley, owing to Venezuela’s lack of foreign exchange. Venezuelans are among the world’s heaviest consumer of beer, and with the summer coming upon them, the lack of the cooling beverage became intolerable to the “masses” that are supposed to support the government on Nicholas Maduro.

Valentina Oropeza of AFP reports:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a sweeping crackdown Saturday under a new emergency decree, ordering the seizure of paralyzed factories, the arrest of their owners and military exercises to counter alleged foreign threats.
The embattled leftist is struggling to contain a raging economic crisis that has led to food shortages, soaring prices, riots, looting and vigilante justice, pushing Venezuela to the brink of collapse.
He accused the United States on Friday of destabilizing the country at the behest of the "fascist Venezuelan right," prompting him to declare a state of emergency.
Addressing his supporters at a rally in central Caracas on Saturday, Maduro announced some of the actions to be taken under the decree, which has not yet been published.
"We must take all measures to recover productive capacity, which is being paralyzed by the bourgeoisie," he told the cheering, red-clad crowd.
"Anyone who wants to halt (production) to sabotage the country should get out, and those who do must be handcuffed and sent to the PGV (Venezuelan General Penitentiary)."
The emergency decree may well be used to prevent a recall vote, being pushed by the opposition.

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