Monday, April 13, 2015

Socialist success in Venezuela is near-starvation

Venezuela Angel Falls

It’s sad. The socialism of Hugo Chavez bankrupted the oil-rich country of Venezuela. Of course he always found an enemy to blame for all problems  - usually foreign.

Today the grocery shelves are almost empty. While millions of barrels of oil are being pumped and shipped every day, people are near (or past near) starving. The government has taken action — the military took over Dia a Dia supermarket chain’s 35 stores in early February, 2015. Fox News

The government arrested drug store managers and made illegal sales on the street of coffee, eggs, shampoo and some 50 other “regulated” items. Tico Times

And the situation is getting worse. Latin American Herald-Tribune

Venezuelans – who have been waiting in long queues to get into supermarkets and purchase basic products – have not yet seen the worst part of the shortages issue caused by a collapse in the chavismo-sponsored populist model, but they may do so shortly in the face of the warnings of the alarming levels food stocks have fallen to in the country, according to local industry groups and experts.

"Inventories, including those of the pharmaceutical and food industries, are hitting critical levels," said Eduardo Garmendia, head of the Venezuelan Confederation of Industries (Conindustria), a business association, in a recent interview with local radio station Unión Radio.

"The entire industrial system has been affected by the difficulties in acquiring raw materials, but it is worse in essential products because these are receiving a greater direct impact; we are talking about medicines and food," said Garmendia.

In the case of food, stocks of the country’s main industries will last less than a month, according to data released by the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber (Cavidea).

"There are food companies that haven’t been allocated a single dollar so far this year," Pablo Baraybar, president of Cavidea, told the local press. "In some production lines, we only have stocks for 10 or 20 days."

This will surely make things exponentially harder for those Venezuelans trying to put food on their tables every day.

"There is a real storm developing due to the lack of dollars. The situation is desperate and may get a lot worse," said Russ Dallen, head of local investment bank Caracas Capital Markets, who has spent several years keeping a close eye on the behavior of the Venezuelan reality.

"In the next two or three months we are about to see a situation of terrible shortages, much worse than we have seen so far.

Photo: Angel Falls, Venezuela. How can a huge waterfall come from near the top of a mountain? A wonder of the world.


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