Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Poverty from the dictator

Venezuela is getting billions in oil revenues. But Venezuela has a dictator who is squandering it for his personal gain and spreading his form of Communism around Latin America. Poverty is the result. Stores have no eggs, milk, sugar and cooking. That is, the stores not reserved for his political cronies. Guardian (U.K.)
Welcome to Venezuela, a booming economy with a difference. Food shortages are plaguing the country at the same time that oil revenues are driving a spending splurge on imported luxury goods, prompting criticism of President Hugo Chávez's socialist policies. Milk has all but vanished from shops. Distraught mothers ask how they are supposed to feed their infants. Many cafes and restaurants serve only black coffee. Families say eggs and sugar are also a memory. "The last time I had them was September," said Marisol Perez, 51, a housewife in Petare, a sprawling barrio in eastern Caracas. When supplies do arrive long queues form instantly. Purchases are rationed and hands are stamped to prevent cheating. The sight of a milk truck reportedly prompted a near-riot last week.

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