May 6, 2017

"Venezuela Is Starving."

WSJ reports.

159 comments:

The Godfather said...

I propose we airlift an emergency Obama to Venezuela. It's about time he earned his Nobel Peace Prize.

LarsPorsena said...

Obviously the fault of agribusiness.

Big Mike said...

Maybe Cookie can explain how this happened.

tcrosse said...

I propose we airlift an emergency Obama to Venezuela.

There's not much meat on him.

Original Mike said...

Bad luck...

CWJ said...

Unexpectedly.

Richard Dillman said...

Let's see, Venezuela has a year round growing season, a temperate climate, some of the best tourist locations on Earth, and some of the
largest proven oil reserves on the planet. So what is missing in this equation? Could it be socialism? Or maybe its the anacondas?

buwaya said...

Venezuela also has a tremendous amount of excellent agricultural land.

Anyway, the biggest problem here is that there is no easy way out of their trap. The people havent got the guns, and foreign food aid is just going to entrench their new oligarchs. I bet they will shortly use their starving people as emotional blackmail to extract aid from the civilized world, who will thus give them the resources to hold on. They can keep power for as long as they control the food.

This is a good argument for international aggression, a Cortez, to colonize and make something out of a failed state.

Ambrose said...

Bunch of hoarders and kulaks trying to give socialism a bad name.

traditionalguy said...

All the Marxist Tyrant needs now is nuclear weapons.

What an example of Castro/Obama style destruction of a country under cover of a ten times discredited ideology from hell. We used to fly to Aruba in the 1990s and half of the tourists were wealthy Venezuelans on vacation. Aruba is their holiday Island just offshore. The Dutch have governed Aruba well while criminal Marxists with Jimmy Carter's help have stolen Venezuela since then.

buwaya said...

A large part of the problem, it should be kept in mind, pre-existed the Chavez-Maduro governments. Oil, especially in government hands, was a curse as it created a source of income for government social spending that sustained the progressive centralization of the economy long before Chavez.
Agriculture was priced out as there was plenty of money for cheap imports and oil-fueled personal incomes that crashed agri prices and thus the old farm economy.
Chavez & co made it all much worse of course. But that the economy was extremely vulnerable to the fortunes of a single industry.

Michael K said...

It is amazing to see how rapidly this occurred. Venezuela has gone down much faster than Argentina did and I wonder why. I remember when Argentina inflation was so bad that people would buy TVs in Miami with their Argentine money as quickly as they got it.

Chavez made Peron look good.

buwaya said...

Another way to put it is this is what happens when a society thinks it no longer needs to work for a living. Make nothing, grow nothing, and when the money stops you have nothing.

Michael K said...

"Oil, especially in government hands, was a curse as it created a source of income for government social spending that sustained the progressive centralization of the economy long before Chavez. "

That, of course, is true, It used to be called "The Curse of Natural Resources" which Argentina did not have.

Maybe that is the answer.

Lewis Wetzel said...

One way Trump could get along better with the Dems, the MSM, Hollywood, and academia, would be to copy Madura's policies.

buwaya said...

Argentina didnt live off oil, but agriculture. A fundamentally more diverse basis for wealth also. A healthier state of affairs, if of a limited upside. At least there will be food, whatever else happens.

mockturtle said...

Elections have consequences.

Rene' Saunce said...

Sweet sweet progressive dream, that Venezuela.

ObamaCare would fit right in.

Robert Cook said...

"Maybe Cookie can explain how this happened."

A quick glance at NBC online provides an answer: a fall in crude oil prices. Also, Maduro is using the country's reduced income to pay off international debts rather than on food and medicine. This is a choice that our neoliberal masters would surely applaud.

For a more nuanced answer, look to buwaya 4:51 PM.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Also, Maduro is using the country's reduced income to pay off international debts rather than on food and medicine. This is a choice that our neoliberal masters would surely applaud.

No, they wouldn't. And not just because I haven't heard anyone called "neoliberal" since Gary Hart, more than thirty years ago.

I do see the point of paying down debt. But you don't do it when you have high-triple-digit inflation and rampant food riots.

buwaya said...

Paying debts in order to maintain a line of credit, as their borrowing is increasing.

The alternative is international aid or debt relief/forgiveness.

Also previous governments managed with lower oil prices for much longer, as the economy had not been driven to quite such a degree of dependence on that one industry. Real oil prices were lower through most of the 80s-90s, to 2003, and yet Venezuela survived.

The truth is that Chavez-Maduro took advantage of a decade and a half of high prices to squash what there was of a non-oil economy and put a very large part of the population effectively on the dole.

FullMoon said...

For months, I have seen vids and pics of lines around the block at food stores in Venezuela. Schools closing so teachers can get to the store before food is all gone.
People crossing border to buy food. Very sad situation for average people. No doubt the strong will take from the weak.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Buwaya said: Another way to put it is this is what happens when a society thinks it no longer needs to work for a living. Make nothing, grow nothing, and when the money stops you have nothing

I wonder if this disaster is country wide or if it is more concentrated in the cities. During our "Great Depression" the people who lived in the countryside, had farms and gardens didn't suffer as much, because they were always making do, growing, harvesting and able to hunt. Things were a bit harder, but not noticeably so. Times were already hard, supplies were always scarce but food was available. This...according to relatives and Great Grands who lived through those times when a brand new pair of shoes, that no one had worn before you, was a miracle. You never threw anything away, because you might need it some time.

IF/when we have an economic collapse for whatever reason or the Zombie Apocolypse occurs, those people that buwaya referenced who live mainly in the cities are going to have a bad time of it.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

Also, Venezuela crude, as I understand it, requires more refining and Chavez drove off the skilled workers just as Alberta with also heavy crude (actually tar sands) was coming on line.

A friend's son, who was an engineering undergrad when my daughter graduated from U of A, took my suggestion to major in Petroleum Engineering and, when fracking slowed a couple of years ago, he stayed for a Masters. He should be doing well now.

Etienne said...

We should buy their Russian fighters. We need more out at Nellis in Nevada. They are excellent for war games.

Should trade them a shit-load of cup of noodles for them!

Michael K said...

"the people who lived in the countryside, had farms and gardens didn't suffer as much"

Some of my great uncles lost their farms then because of bank foreclosures. Also Roosevelt was trying to prop up farm prices by cutting production. Milk was thrown away. He was almost as stupid about economics as Chavez.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

The Godfather said...
I propose we airlift an emergency Obama to Venezuela. It's about time he earned his Nobel Peace Prize.

Don't forget Sean Penn, he did a lot of shilling for Chavez back in the day.

mesquito said...

The Nation magazine is on it!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I should add that though Venezuela has huge oil reserves, they are of low quality, and most of the refineries actually equipped to process them are, er, in the US. Quel dommage.

Look, this is what you get when you have avowedly socialistic government. Cuba had it and still does, and they remain pissed off that they couldn't trade with the US, although that left them the entire rest of the world. You get the USSR to arm you with a bunch of nuclear weapons, we cut you off. You're free to trade with anyone else you like, just not with us.

So, now Maduro, who is consolidating his power and basically making himself another Peron or Pinochet, only vastly dumber than either when it comes to economics. At this point the civil war question is "how soon?"

Francisco D said...

Socialismo para todos, para siempre!

David said...

Where is the United Nations? Brazil? Argentina? Mexico? Canada? USA? China for that matter?

I don't think their buddies the Cubans are going to be very helpful.

Time to get together and feed people. We have done it for a long time for places like Egypt and Ethiopia.

This is a chance for Trump to show some leadership. It's in our national interest not to let this get worse.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Michael K,

Don't forget Wickard, in which a farm family was dinged for producing wheat to feed its own livestock on its own farm. This, Heaven knows why, was held to affect interstate commerce.

I suppose if I made my own toothpaste or my own soap or my own candles or my own socks, these also would affect interstate commerce. Because there is literally nothing that doesn't affect interstate commerce. I'm growing vegetables in my own garden; don't they affect interstate commerce, as they mean there are out-of-state vegetables that I will be subbing with my own in-state tomatoes?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Neoliberals love strong, centralized governments like Venezuela's.
If you are a neoliberal banking or aid outfit, you want to have the ability to modify the client state's internal and external policies. You want to be able to condition aid or debt relief on, say, the client state's emphasizing tourism over slash and burn ag as an economic policy. This works with a strong central government, not so much with a weak central government. The aid agencies can't enforce the law within a country.
Neoliberals hate low oil prices because, they believe, these encourage nations to follow unsustainable growth paths.
Neoliberalism exists for a reason. It exists because the old-style development aid didn't work. Encouraging economic independency led to bankruptcy, e.g., the loans weren't repaid. When the loans weren't repaid, the loaner nations understandably grew concerned and wanted reform at the local level as a price for continued aid.
If you are going to criticize neoliberalism, you need to take a path forward, not a path backward.
Venezuela's failure can be seen as an endorsement of neoliberalism: Venezuela thinks that its natural resources can make it free of control by the janquis and its Western co-conspirators against them. Failure and disorder ensue, and Venezuela goes to the janquis with a hand out. This was what happened in the 70s and 80s. This is what led to neoliberalism in the first place. This is probably the future of Cuba.
It seems to be a Latin American/Caribbean thing.

Bad Lieutenant said...

This is a chance for Trump to show some leadership. It's in our national interest not to let this get worse.

5/6/17, 5:47 PM

Au contraire, David, our national interest would appear to be served by having every Chavez / Maduro voter starve to death.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

David,

Time to get together and feed people. We have done it for a long time for places like Egypt and Ethiopia.

I'm not sure. At least, not if you mean that any basket-case socialist nation can always count on the US to rush in with food aid. I mean, we do, of course, in cases of natural disaster or civil war. Cf. Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, respectively. But I don't think we do in a case where the country has deliberately voted itself into its own predicament. Here, I think, we have the civil war first, to put it as crudely as possible.

Yancey Ward said...

They aren't starving, they are getting healthily thin and diabetes free. I am sure the NYTimes will rapidly correct the WSJ on the matter.

buwaya said...

I predict ...

The new basis for the Venezuelan economy, soon enough, wont be oil but international charity. The principal national resource will be international pity for its starving people, and the government will maintain itself in power by being the principal dealer of food aid.

I also expect a horde of entrepreneurial NGOs like Oxfam will cut deals with Maduro. A food emergency means contributions, which mean income for NGO management, which mean cuts for the local regime.

There will be politically correct branding for all this of course.

And very likely refugee camps in Colombia, which wont help their political stability.

Btw, Colombia, next door to Venezuela, has much less significant oil (though relatively much better exploited) and has yet managed a reasonably diverse economy with decent median incomes and standards of living vis Venezuela, which should by all other measures be better off. They also have not had ideal leadership over the last 50 years, but the difference in degree of resilience is startling.

Yancey Ward said...

With the joke out of the way, here is what is going/is happening. Maduro will continue to arm his strongest supporters while do all this is possible to keep the opposition disarmed. I give you one guess to decide who gets to keep eating.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Lewis Wetzel,

So you're using "neoliberal," too! What do you and Mr. Cook mean by it? Again, I literally haven't seen the word since the mid-80s, when Gary Hart(pence) was getting up to "Monkey Business." Suddenly it means something to both of you. What?

Bad Lieutenant,

Even in a best-case scenario, many, many people who never voted for either would starve to death. And probably will, now that access to Colombia appears to be being cut off. Which is why I'm conflicted about relief -- we don't want to dump food and toilet paper on every basket-case state, but we don't want them starving in the streets, either.

Gahrie said...

It's in our national interest not to let this get worse.

I disagree, but perhaps.

The real question though...is it in the best interests of the Venezuelan people to prop this regime up?

Perhaps instead of providing aid to the corrupt regime who caused the problem in the first place, we should consider regime change.

eric said...

And yet, if you look at GDP per nation, it's #43, which actually isn't that bad.

How are you #43 in the world for Gross Domestic Product but your people are starving?

Oh, that's right, your government.

Arthur James said...

Liberals should wait until the USA has corrupted them into wealth before they come in and save the poor ones. It does not work out so well when they save it before the evil capitalist come in and improve their way of life.

eric said...

IF/when we have an economic collapse for whatever reason or the Zombie Apocolypse occurs, those people that buwaya referenced who live mainly in the cities are going to have a bad time of it.

This is one of those things that you think would be obvious and true, but it's completely wrong.

Several things end up happening when you get a Venezuela type situation.

1) The have nots aren't too concerned about the lives and welfare of the haves. So they go and take. Robbery/theft become rampant and you're much safer in the populated areas than when you're alone out on a farm.

2) The government decides what's best for everyone and takes from those who have and gives to those who don't. So if you're growing your own food and living better than others, even if only nominally, the government punishes you for it.

I've always thought that it would be better to live rural when the big one hits, because it is coming. American is only a few steps away from becoming Venezuela. And it isn't because we don't have the energy we need, or the resources, but it'll be because of the government policies we decide to allow. But a few years back I read a book about the fall of, I think, it was Argentina. I'm not sure I recall which country it was, but this was before Venezuela. Anyway, the author went to great lengths to talk about how much more dangerous it was to live away from the cities.

retail lawyer said...


"the people who lived in the countryside, had farms and gardens didn't suffer as much"

I read the story on the front page of today's WSJ. Heartbreaking photo of starving child and mother.

The Urban / Rural suffering comparisons are not made, but the point was made that the rural people were the "base" of the Bolivarian kleptocrats back in the days when one could vote. They are indeed suffering, and cannot farm, ranch, or garden because the inputs are not available and their neighbors loot and steal, rendering agriculture on any scale impossible. It is a different culture that the US during the Depression.

But there is a way out: Refugees! First World, ready yourself for yet more "heartbreaking" 3rd-Worlders without any educational or cultural attributes useful to the First World, demanding free stuff because they rendered their homeland unlivable through the exercise of massive stupidity and ignorance.

This is the inevitable and widely forecast result of Socialism. And yet the US Supreme Court has a Justice who said, repeatedly, that Wise Latinas make better decisions than White Men!

Steven said...

David, you can only "come together and feed people" if either the local government allows you or you overthrow the local government.

Right now food distribution in Venezuela is directly in the hands of Marudo's supporters in the military, and that allows them to exercise power by feeding its friends and starving its enemies. If we just handed Venezuela's government a lot of food, the military would maintain control of distribution in order to maintain that power. And while some of that food aid might reach some of the people in order to buy support for Marudo, a significant amount will get diverted for sale on the black market, or even sold to other countries in order to allow the people in power to buy luxuries. It's the universal pattern, see most recently in Zimbabwe and North Korea, but repeated in too many other countries to list.

And because this starvation isn't a matter of a temporary crop failure but purely an effect of systemic issues, any relief achieved through the donation of food would only last as long as we kept giving over free food. We can't donate food temporarily to relieve things for some of the people until a few years of good crops feeding subsistence farmers undermine government control of the food supply, like happens with your usual African drought-initiated famine.

madAsHell said...

I give you one guess to decide who gets to keep eating.

That 2nd amendment is looking better all the time.

Sam L. said...

Has been for some time, too. I agree with Steven @ 6:22PM.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Michelle Dulak Thomson said...
Lewis Wetzel,

So you're using "neoliberal," too! What do you and Mr. Cook mean by it? Again, I literally haven't seen the word since the mid-80s, when Gary Hart(pence) was getting up to "Monkey Business." Suddenly it means something to both of you. What?


The term is used a lot in academic political discourse. This investopedia article gives the economic def: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/neoliberalism.asp
But it has a strong cultural aspect. In trade, it is pro-globalism. In the 60s,70s and 80s, many developing countries adopted "anti-colonialist" trade and internal policies. They looked around and saw that most of the industrial and tech goods they had were imported. They thought that this made them poor -- they were sending all of their money to the janquis! So they used international loans and aid to try and develop their own industries. make their own trucks, refrigerators, televisions, etc.
They went bankrupt, and the "neoliberals" came to the rescue. Globalization, not economic independence, was the answer. And it worked, but it exacerbated the tendency, in many Latin American countries, for wealth to accrue at the top. Big Ag means land-owning peasant farmers are replaced by hourly employees, and so on.
One typical example is Guatemala, where the tradition of small, subsistence farming is disappearing. Big local landowners are buying out the small farmers, and planting monocrops that can be used to create ethanol to mix with gasoline in the US.

Owen said...

Very sorry that this is happening but it is inevitable. The choice now is stark: prop up the regime by answering the call for charity, or turn away and let it burn. The strong temptation is to answer the call, because most of the sufferers are innocent and the damage to them and their country (and to our conscience) is enormous. But the aid will be confiscated and the people will be used as hostages to squeeze the donor community forever. See Somalia, North Korea, etc etc.

The alternative seems no better. Let it burn. Ideally one could identify a credible and more worthy opposition group to which one could deliver the weapons and training needed to evict the thugs. But that looks doubtful. We always get played.

So I see this lurching on for a while yet, until even the army runs short of rations. Then the thugs will turn on each other. I am sure that Maduro keeps a private jet on 5-minute alert.

Arthur James said...

Doesn't anyone see the beauty of Christianity, the persevering and importance of the poor establishing integrity in their own lives. It is truly revolutionary, the Beatitudes, the idea that internal peace and harmony surpasses all needs. To bring dignity to poverty is truly the Christian way, and the highest of spiritual ideals. Forget all exterior means of happiness and sustenance, concentrate upon the interior, amassing presence and vitality. It is truly the difficult way, yet Christianity truly offers such blessings.

Steven said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson --

Historically, "liberal" as a political term meant pro-free-market. While the meaning changed in US English (and then gradually in other dialects of English), it never changed meaning in most languages, particularly Spanish -- even though the politics went into eclipse throughout Latin America.

Then, as a result of the events of the 1980s -- end of economic malaise in the US/UK under Reagan/Thatcher, South Korea and Taiwan becoming fully-developed countries and democratizing, the Soviet Union failing, China reforming -- free-market policies got a new credibility worldwide. In the Spanish-speaking countries, this revival was called "neoliberalism", reflecting a new era of an ideology that had been in eclipse.

Recently, it's mostly used as a swear word by the same socialist tyrants and their enablers who used "capitalist" as a swear word. Like Chavez, Marudo, and their apologists. Though it also has some currency among the neoreactionaries.

Arthur James said...

Intellectuals never solve anything. Intellectual words boiled down to essence are just a selfish means of enriching one's self, intellectual words feed no one spiritually or practically. They create complexity to work through. I always felt one of the greatest statements on intellectualism was Nietzche succumbing to insanity, Bela Tarr's film 'The Turin Horse' a movie on so many levels.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Lewis Wetzel and Steven, thanks to both of you for telling me things I didn't know.

Tarrou said...

Every nation has the government it deserves.

holdfast said...

We'll trade them a few hundred thousand tons of grain in return for a bucket containing the severed heads of Madura and his cabinet.

You want food? Time to work for it.


Oh and Cookie? Not ever petro-state collapsed when oil prices did. Only the Commie Kleptocracy which was eating their seed corn and driving out all their skilled workers.

I am not a wholly disinterested observer - I used to have cousins living there, but some were driven out and the others bailed (taking harsh losses) when they saw how Chavez was evolving.

Oh, and to show I am not heartless, I am prepared to deliver them Chavez super-fan Michael Moore - his bloated body should feed the country for a few weeks.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

They are getting what they deserve. They supported socialism and elected Chavez.

Good for them.

Arthur James said...

Final word, a story about Puerto Rico. I was working with a gentleman from Puerto Rico as an electrician. He was a kind gentle man. We came into confidence when he called me over to the viewing of his smart phone. He wanted me to watch a video posted on Youtube. I watched the video, suddenly shocked, forced to back away. The brutality of what I was watching stunned me. He told me it was a video of a machete attack, four men hoping out of a vehicle and assaulting a man with machetes. He continued to tell me about machete attacks. They were a reality within his upbringing.

Michael K said...

"making himself another Peron or Pinochet, only vastly dumber than either when it comes to economics."

Pinochet saved Chile by bringing in the U of Chicago economists who set up a system that makes Chile the richest country in south America.

Naturally, once they are well fed and prosperous, they start electing Socialists again.

Don't lump Pinochet with Peron or Chavez. He is hated by he left but that is one of his virtues.

Arthur James said...

He told me about as a young boy coming across a neighbor who suffered a machete attack. Enduring a machete attack, the natural instinct is to hold your hands up in defense, however the machetes just hack through your wrist, severing your hands. Yet it is your only means of defense. Listening I understood how pampered I was in the USA.

Michael K said...

though Venezuela has huge oil reserves, they are of low quality, and most of the refineries actually equipped to process them are, er, in the US. Quel dommage.

Yes and the people who might have helped Venezuela adapt back when Chavez began his rampage were driven out. Fortunately, Canada was just beginning to exploit the Alberta oil sands and the same skills were in demand.

Paddy O said...

I don' think the Left hates Pinochet for his economic policies. They hate him because he's a vile human being who did vile things. And tarred his economic policies along the way.

Maybe I've not read enough U of C economists, though.

Virtually Unknown said...

Castro and Che have done vile things, left don't care.

mockturtle said...

But the aid will be confiscated and the people will be used as hostages to squeeze the donor community forever. See Somalia, North Korea, etc etc.

And Haiti.

mockturtle said...

I should think NGOs like World Vision will help.

AReasonableMan said...

Paddy O said...
They hate him because he's a vile human being who did vile things.


This is a fair assessment.

n.n said...

Oil for Food. This can be sustained.

Or perhaps immigration reform for the survivors, the select.

dbp said...

"I don't think the Left hates Pinochet for his economic policies."

They tell themselves it was because Pinochet was vile, but he was a lot less vile and less deadly than Castro, but they don't hate Castro. They hate Pinochet because he prevented Allende from turning Chile into Cuba. Chile is now one of the wealthiest and freest places in Latin America and Cuba among the least free and poorest.

Pinochet took quick and brutal measures to end the civil war started by Allende. Of course he will be held guilty of each death while the left will pretend nobody would have died the the civil war he prevented.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Socialismo o muerte!"

And one day 'o' becomes 'y'

Fernandinande said...

People have right to food, even more-so than to medical care, much less insurance.

So the government needs to control prices, production and access to insure everyone can afford to eat a healthy diet.

Fernandinande said...

Ha ha, stupid Venezuelans! That never works very long for anything.

Clyde said...

From August 2015:

The daughter of Hugo Chavez, the former president who once declared 'being rich is bad,' may be the wealthiest woman in Venezuela, according to evidence reportedly in the hands of Venezuelan media outlets.

Maria Gabriela Chavez, 35, the late president's second-oldest daughter, holds assets in American and Andorran banks totaling almost $4.2billion, Diario las Americas reports. 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3192933/Hugo-Chavez-s-ambassador-daughter-Venezuela-s-richest-woman-according-new-report.html

Now, that was a couple of years ago, but I doubt that she and similarly well-connected members of the regime are suffering. Some animals are more equal than others.

cubanbob said...

Paddy O said...
I don' think the Left hates Pinochet for his economic policies. They hate him because he's a vile human being who did vile things. And tarred his economic policies along the way.

Maybe I've not read enough U of C economists, though."

The only good Communist is a dead Communist. For that alone, Pinochet is the savior of his country. Then read what implementing the Chicago Boys did for the Chilean economy. Salvador Allende destroyed the Chilean economy and had he not been deposed and killed along with the Communists Chile would have been lucky to have just have been level with the Cuba of that era in terms of vileness.

Venezuela prior to Chavez was fairly productive in agriculture production. Leave it to Communists to take a country drowning in oil and rich in farmland to bring it to it's knees and to the verge of starvation.

Paddy O said...

dbp, that just shows the Left are hypocrites, not that they don't hate Pinochet because he genuinely was vile.

The trouble with the Left is they overlook the vile people who share their economic policies. In saying that Pinochet was vile, I'm trying not fall into the same trap.

Had Pinochet been less of a horrible person, it would have gone far in ending communism throughout Latin America. He gave an excuse for continuing opposition by allowing other vile leaders to take advantage of idealists for their own bank accounts.

dbp said...

Paddy O,

I have the greatest respect for you due to the writing you've done here on this blog. I have to disagree though. Pinochet was no saint, but by the standards of "men-who-have-seized-power", he is really a gold standard: His policies brought order and prosperity, he voluntarily stepped-down from power and re-established democracy. Who else in his place has done these things?

DanTheMan said...

>>Maria Gabriela Chavez, 35, the late president's second-oldest daughter, holds assets in American and Andorran banks totaling almost $4.2billion, Diario las Americas reports.

Charity for Venezuela should start just about $4.1999 billion from now...

And not one dollar before.

Jack Wayne said...

One big irony: the refinery for Venezuelan oil was on St. Croix. Obama's EPA effectively shut it down by demanding a lot of unreasonable "improvements". A lot of people on St. Croix lost their jobs and Venezuela lost a refinery. Venezuela, killed by fellow lefty Obama.

glenn said...

They (the Venezuelans) voted for this. Leave them alone.

Bob Ellison said...

Leftism destroys everything, and then blames the destruction on others.

David said...

Steven said...
David, you can only "come together and feed people" if either the local government allows you or you overthrow the local government.


You are correct in all you say about that. But the point of leadership is to overcome obstacles. The corruption of the regime and their willingness to use food as a way to consolidate power are serious oracles. But obstacles can be overcome. It's no the easy tasks that make the most difference.

David said...

We fed Europe after WWII, the Germans included. The effort was massive and effective but still there was starvation. We did not stop to worry about who deserved to be fed and who did not.

Rene' Saunce said...

But everything is nationalized in Venezuela... how can the socialist Bernie-way be such a disaster?

Bob said...

MDT,

"Don't forget Wickard..."

5:51 PM

The reason it became an issue for Filburn (but not for you) is that he was in violation of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, which limited acreage farmers could devote to wheat production (I'm practically quoting Wikipedia here). Filburn was penalized, he appealed, and the Supreme Court ruled he wasn't exempt from the law just because he was not selling his excess wheat.

Now, there may be some Federal law against growing your own vegetables, but I'm not aware of it, so you have no issue. But, you can be sure that Wickard vs Filburn enables Congress to make it an issue for you should they so choose.

A few years ago I was avidly reading The Volokh Conspiracy in the run-up to the Sebelius decision regarding the Obamacare mandate. To one commenter, I pointed out his argument led to the conclusion the government could force people -- suburban residential people, not just farmers -- to grow wheat if it chose. He agreed the government had the power to do that. I was astonished at the audacity.

But then again it was the Age of Obama, so...

Rene' Saunce said...

DantheMan --


No kidding.

This is why leftists like Hillary, Obama and Bernie (and hollywood's elite) love socialism and the total destruction of private property. They can hoard it all for themselves. Socialism is awesome at the top 1%.

Michael K said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
Paddy O said...
They hate him because he's a vile human being who did vile things.

This is a fair assessment.


Of course ! He was an enemy of the left and therefore had to be destroyed.

Castro was a saint.

Che has thousands, if not millions, of tee shorts with his handsome visage,

No surprise from ARM.

Michael K said...

Tee shirts but probably shorts, too.

Paddy O said...

dbp, thanks for the kind words. I understand your position, but I think we are best served by not defending human rights violations but calling them out and calling for better. There were genuinely vile people opposing Pinochet, but people who were trying to live their lives as best as possible were caught in the middle, and defending vile behavior even towards enemies lessens the possibility of persuasion of a better way, either socially or economically.

I also think that Diocletian was a vile person, even though he was a decent emperor in much the same ways that Pinochet was good. But, for both, do enough bad it tarnishes a reputation in society and history.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Bob,

Now, there may be some Federal law against growing your own vegetables, but I'm not aware of it, so you have no issue. But, you can be sure that Wickard vs Filburn enables Congress to make it an issue for you should they so choose.

Well, that's just what I object to. It shouldn't be within the purview of the Federal government to make anything "an issue for me" at whim.

I'd forgotten that the AAA was as far in as 1938, though.

holdfast said...

Pinochet made one simple mistake: He thought that commies could fly!

Michael K said...

"I think we are best served by not defending human rights violations but calling them out and calling for better."

The generals in Argentina committed major human rights abuses but left the country a mess.

Pinochet saved Chile but committed human rights abuses, although I;m not sure his were comparable.

Castro killed tens thousands, thousands of whom were murdered by Che with a baseball bat, They are heroes to the left.

mockturtle said...

Castro killed tens thousands, thousands of whom were murdered by Che with a baseball bat, They are heroes to the left.

My brother named his son Che.

DanTheMan said...

>>Socialism is awesome at the top 1%.

I think Maria Chavez would be grievously insulted by you putting her in the "1% club" with all those millionaire riff-raff.
She's THE richest person in a country of 30 million. She's in the 0.00001% club.

DanTheMan said...

I forgot... what did she invent to become a billionaire?
Oh, right... same thing Hillary invented. Corruption.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Blogger Paddy O said...
I don' think the Left hates Pinochet for his economic policies. They hate him because he's a vile human being who did vile things. And tarred his economic policies along the way.

Maybe I've not read enough U of C economists, though."

Or heard of Mao or Marx, two horrible people who did and taught very horrible things still celebrated, even as a favorite philosopher in Mao's case by the official Obama regime.

But Pinochet isn't loved by proggies because he did vile things huh? Only if contra your link you recognize vile to proggies is anything not advancing utopia by especially eliminating many millions of deplorables, not a few thousand subversives as vile and horrible as that is in itself, nearly inconceivable to most Americans.

Has Margret Sanger done vile things and is she celebrated by Hillary and proggies?

Teddy Kennedy?

Terry said...

The intellectual Left today believes that there are only two options: neoliberalism and Marxism. What both the neoliberals and the Marxists cannot see is that the struggle is not between labor and capital. The struggle is between the nationalists and the internationalists. In that battle, the neoliberals and the Marxists are on the same side.

Guildofcannonballs said...

It is not a defense of anyone to claim proggies attack them based on a method used in service only of the gaining of power for themselves, not any attributes the person in question possessed or not.

Proggies are proggies because in large part their lies are covered in kinda sympathetic-worthy, if childish on many levels, ideals decent people would really like the world to be able to someday achieve, however less-than-a-chance's-chance chance of actualization.

Proggies hated Reagan for the same reasons they hated (and hate of course) Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, and Pinochet, even though they did very different things to be considered vile and hated, none of which mattered at all compared to being on the wrong oppositional fashion team, which is all that matters.

Guildofcannonballs said...

As I have said before at this very blog, whether it is a high top or high heel or shit kicker or ski boot or Doc Martins or Prada etc.: the thing is the heel of it on your neck, you see? Not what is covering up,the heel, it's the heel.

The heel, when on your neck, believe me, okay, believe me, it doesn't care about fashion at all. Nobody in that position does, they care only about their heel being on your neck, and it not being vice versa, okay. Believe me. So ignore the fashion talk, it is all a cover up, okay, literally, it's a cover up, okay. Trust me.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

dbp,

His policies brought order and prosperity, he voluntarily stepped-down from power and re-established democracy. Who else in his place has done these things?

King Juan Carlos of Spain does come to mind.

William said...

I'm sure Pinochet like Franco had more qualities to revile than to celebrate. Same thing with Chiang and the South Korean generals. The fact remains that their countries are now all democracies with a high standard of living. They did something right.......I don't think you can say the same thing about Castro, Lenin, Tito and many others that the left celebrated in their day. If the choice is between a Commie and an authoritarian, the left, i.e. the media, invariably choose the Commies. What's that saying about those who ignore the lessons of history.....Don't expect any major motion pictures detailing the wrong turns and sorrows of Venezuela any time soon.

narciso said...

The reverse is true, if someone had the gumption in 2002 to pull the trigger on Chavez, the people wouldn't be starving now. The left couldn't win through force of arms in central or south America, but they won through subsequent lawfare.

narciso said...

The truth commissions which purged the bulk of their political opponents by contrast very few east bloc figures were driven from public life,

narciso said...

There are rare exceptions like Andy Garcia's the lost city, that took 15 years to be produced, but you more often end up with gary webb' s black legend coming to fx this summer.

chickelit said...

mockturtle said...Castro killed tens thousands, thousands of whom were murdered by Che with a baseball bat. They are heroes to the left.

Batter up

narciso said...

El proceso (The argentine junta) might have prevailed had they not gone after the Falklands somewhat their Greek counterparts re cyprus.

narciso said...

And no, le pen doesn't have anymore of a clue than macron, re communism in the America's, neither did degaulle.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Bob Ellison

Leftism destroys everything, and then blames the destruction on others.

5/6/17, 8:43 PM

------------------------------

An important truism. After Stalin, after Mao, after Pol Pot, after Castro, after Chavez - you would think the Left in America and Europe would begin to see the light, but they don't.

narciso said...

There are reports that the Cuban puppet regime in Venezuela may have killed the leading opposition leader (faustablog has the details) hence the phony prison tape.

David Begley said...

I sure haven't seen much on .TV about this.

NPR interviewed the NYT's man there. He could not say the word socialism.

narciso said...

The Washington posts man, miroff is married to the daughter of a Cuban spymaster who was involved in directing guerillas like the Mir in both Venezuela and chile.

narciso said...

Take Jacob Zuma, a former leader in umkhonto du siswe, the guerilla arm of the Anc and what he is planning to do.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger narciso said...
The truth commissions which purged the bulk of their political opponents by contrast very few east bloc figures were driven from public life,

5/6/17, 11:20 PM

In Russia, high ranking Soviet managers of industries became the new Russian oligarchs. No one could replace them. They were the only people who knew how the system worked. There was no conquest, so you couldn't start over from scratch.

buwaya said...

King Juan Carlos never had the power to relinquish to the opposition, he had no real executive authority as the head of state. He was not truly Francos heir. He could and did help though.

The authority to transfer power was in the hands of the conservatives in the Cortes, Francos political heirs.

The man who actually managed the transition to free elections was Adolfo Suarez, appointed by Juan Carlos. Suarez was a member of the FET y las JONS, the Fascist-Carlist union party Franco had formed forty years before. It was Suarez, of a new post-war generation, that negotiated the new democratic system. Juan Carlos furthermore did all he could in support behind the scenes.

During the coup attempt in 1981 he decisively lent his moral authority to the by then democratic government of Suarez, soon to be replaced by Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo.
The coup was in essence an attempt to head off the consequences of the splits and a looming electoral defeat of the governing coalition.

The real transition of power, arguably, came in 1982, when after the election the PSOE (Socialists) under Felipe Gonzalez were permitted to form the government and the Francoist heirs relinquished control.

narciso said...

And Putin was the senior vor, going back to st. Petersberg in 91, for a fictional treatment look at Alex dryden's red to black.

buwaya said...

Its notable that the Francoist heirs were well rewarded for the transition to democracy. Suarez was made a Duke, with a hereditary title, and a Grandee of Spain, and a wealthy man. He, at least, unlike many others so distinguished, deserved the honors.

Juan Carlos was in the end shabbily treated by the government, forced to abdicate over petty matters ultimately stemming from underfunding of the royal establishment.

narciso said...

Pinochet stepped down on the promise they would not go after him, as with quadaffi this a lesson the next leader considering a transition will take to heart.

eddie willers said...

In the immortal words of Vin Scully:

“Socialism failing to work, as it always does, this time in Venezuela. You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat. And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez.

Hello!

Anyway, 0-and-2.”


buwaya said...

Guild is right. Pinochet wasnt a fraction as bad a tyrant as any number of leftist dictators. The bien pensants chose to persecute him, personally, and none of the rest, because they wanted reveǹge for his political and social success, that most wounded them.
Had he been a socialist, while burying as many bodies, he would have been acclaimed a hero.

buwaya said...

The Venezuelans stopped voting for this a long time ago.
As I understand it the voting had been very questionable even while Chavez still lived.
Its now unquestionably a dictatorship.

Bob Loblaw said...

It really is a question of the curse of oil. When you can pump money out of the ground, you don't have to have a real economy. You can pay people to do nothing. You can create a vast security apparatus and not worry about how to pay for it. You don't need to worry about what the people think, because the oil provides enough money to pay the army regardless of whether or not anybody does anything. It's not just Venezuela - it's nearly every country with sizable oil reserves save Finland and arguably the US.

The Venezuelan government would have been okay, at least in the short term, if oil prices had stayed high. But they didn't, and while the government was able to stave off the end game by stealing businesses from their owners, at this point they've run out of things to steal. There's only enough money to pay the army now, and Maduro knows he's a dead man if he stops paying the army.

Kirk Parker said...

Jack Wayne,

Huh? Lots of the refining of Venezuelan oil is/was done on Curacao.

AReasonableMan said...

Speaking of socialism. Today is day three of RyanCare. I love the smell of quagmire in the morning.

Ross Douthat has some thoughts on the AHCA:

the American Health Care Act, a misbegotten Obamacare quasi-replacement with the favorable ratings of diphtheria and the strong support of almost nobody on the right who cares about health policy.

the bill [is] a self-parodic exercise in cutting Medicaid to fund tax cuts for the rich.

The Republicans were given a gift by Trump’s campaign, a grace they did not merit: the gift of freedom from the trap of dogma, from the pre-existing condition of zombie Reaganism, from an agenda out of touch with the concerns of their actual constituents. Nominating Trump wasn’t as suicidal as it seemed only because he had the political cunning to run against the party’s ideological enforcers, while promising working-class voters not just cultural acknowledgment but material support.

As written, the A.H.C.A. basically takes Trump’s gift to the party and hurls it off the highest possible cliff. It is not just the scale of the likely insurance losses, or how much the rich benefit from repeal relative to everybody else. It’s also the gulf between that reality and what Trump and various Republican leaders explicitly promised — insisting that their plan would deliver better coverage, lower premiums, and a lot of other things that have since taken a back seat to making room in the budget for more tax cuts.

Rene' Saunce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rene' Saunce said...

ARM you that stupid? "Ryancare" is not a law.

The ACA is, and its cruel, expensive and a pack of lies. But hey - you like that, right ARM?

Nancy had to pass it to find out what is in it.

Rene' Saunce said...

ARM laughs at ordinary Americans who thought "if you like your plan you can keep you plan" - Obama's promise, was the truth.

ARM laughs at suckers.

Rene' Saunce said...

Don't forget who ObamaCare hurts.

Rene' Saunce said...

The never ending campaign.
I thought she'd disappear. I thought if Donald Trump became president Hillary Clinton would recognize her error, would spend more time in the woods. Maybe she'd give some thought to why she lost: How she blindly followed Barack Obama and traded the traditional Democratic message of working-class security for professional-class diversity financed by Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley. What Clinton and her lieutenants never realized was that the success of Obama's message was unrelated to its content. The message worked because of the messenger. And when that messenger changed, when the suave, eloquent, dapper, youthful Obama was traded for a woman who was none of those things, the inevitable occurred. The Democrats capsized.


LOL - ARM voted for that fraud.

Rene' Saunce said...

Never ending Hillary campaign

Rusty said...


ARM laughs at suckers.

ARM likes the heavy boot of government on the neck of working people.

AReasonableMan said...

Rusty said...
ARM likes the heavy boot of government


The AHCA is the light jack boot of government?

Rene' Saunce said...

"Venezuela is starving" - ARM laughs, blames the GOP.

Rene' Saunce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

The best part of ObamaCare was the $2500 per year in savings.

Rene' Saunce said...

Obama raided the treasury to pay off mega-insurance companies. Why - Obama via Gruber cut smaller insurance providers off at the knees, but it had to be done. For the greater good of the big lie.

Even the silly NY Times admits it.

NY Times - What the Republican Health Care Plan Gets Right.

Leftists like ARM do not want to solve healthcare, they want to use it as a cudgel to beat and manipulate Americans into submission. ARM approves of the punitive failure that is the ACA. Go D-team go.

AReasonableMan said...

Crazy old April is doing her best to block out the fact that the AHCA is an abomination, indefensible from any sane perspective. She keeps on yelling about the past, afraid to acknowledge the present.

Rene' Saunce said...

AHCA is an abomination?

How? Did you actually read it?

Rene' Saunce said...

ARM - ObamaCare is the law. It's a disaster.

Do you admit that? Never. Why? You are a partisan hack and you desperately cheer that Ryan has saved your economically inept party from themselves.

Rene' Saunce said...

Thing is, even your precious NYTimes is saying that ObamaCare could use some fixes.

Oh no!

AReasonableMan said...

Day 2, and a little bit, of RyanCare. I love the smell of quagmire in the morning.

Rene' Saunce said...

Quick ARM - go look up an opinion from a paid D-hack, so you can serve it up as proof!

Rene' Saunce said...

Day 2 of Ryan Care- Why it's killing people already!

Rene' Saunce said...

Partisan liars like ARM don't care who the ACA hurts.

A reminder.

AReasonableMan said...

Day 2, and a little bit more, of RyanCare. Who doesn't love the smell of quagmire in the morning?

Rene' Saunce said...

Don't be an idiot, ARM. RyanCare is a bill, not a law.

PackerBronco said...

I don't know how this happened, but I'm sure that heterosexual Christian white men are to blame.

Rene' Saunce said...

The evergreen backbone of the ACA:

Gruber, architect of ACA: "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,”... “Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”


PackerBronco said...

Socialism works everywhere it's not been tried.

Rene' Saunce said...

School for ARM.

tcrosse said...

Day 2, and a little bit more, of RyanCare and the streets are piled high with the rotting corpses of the dead.

AReasonableMan said...

crosse said...
Day 2, and a little bit more, of RyanCare and the streets are piled high with the rotting corpses of the dead.


If true, things are going even more poorly than predicted.

Gahrie said...

By the way, Milo is still hanging out with Wiener.

narciso said...

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/05/hillary_the_girl_cant_take_it.html

SMURF said...

Well....yaknow, elections have consequences. Venezuelans have chosen for more than a decade. Tough to work up much sympathy.

JAORE said...

No worries. The Clinton Foundation has collected $172,000,000 for the suffering people of Venezuela. They have used this money to equip Sean Penn with a john boat, two cases of bottled water and a videographer.

I Callahan said...

Speaking of socialism. Today is day three of RyanCare. I love the smell of quagmire in the morning. Ross Douthat has some thoughts on the AHCA:

Of course you do. You aren't interested in doing the right thing when it comes to healthcare in this country - you just want revenge against the GOP. But since we are speaking about socialism in particular - the people running Venezuela are your people, ARM. The difference is that they had the power to put their views in place. You're reduced to dropping turdlets into a blog comment thread.

Take that for what it's worth.

exiledonmainstreet said...

does ARM know "Ryancare" is not law?

The dude is losing it.

0_0 said...

I recall that Chavez was the annointed one because he was brown, and represented more of the People of Venezuela than the in Bogota.

Perhaps someone's color is not the best criteria to use when selecting a leader.

Bob Loblaw said...

What Clinton and her lieutenants never realized was that the success of Obama's message was unrelated to its content. The message worked because of the messenger. And when that messenger changed, when the suave, eloquent, dapper, youthful Obama was traded for a woman who was none of those things, the inevitable occurred. The Democrats capsized.

That was part of it. The other part was the fact that every election is a moment in time. Clinton may have won in 2008 if she'd been the nominee purely as a result of what was happening at that time. And McCain was an absolutely horrible candidate.

Paddy O said...

"They are heroes to the left."

Uh, okay, I don't know what that has to do with anything.

The argument for Pinochet seems to be other people were worse. Which isn't a good argument. It's a justification.

"Screw you, Left, I'm jumping off the building, because that's what you do too!"

Kirk Parker said...

Paddy,

That's not the argument for Pinochet. Rather, the argument is that he prevented Allende from going full Chavez on the country.

"Others were worse" is just Yet Another Complaint about the hypocrisy of the left.