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Bryan Preston

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December 2, 2013 - 8:25 pm

This is one of those “read the whole thing” posts. As bad as Chavez was, his successor, Nicolas Maduro, is worse.

Since Chávez’s death, the situation has changed in Venezuela. Nicolás Maduro lacks Chavez’s brain-power and charisma and has become completely dependent on Cuban advice. The relationship with Cuba has also changed: Havana is an imperial capital, and Caracas is merely the viceroy’s seat of power. Maduro and his vice-president, Chávez’s son-in-law — a true Marxist fanatic with a degree from Cambridge University — know that merely tweaking electoral rolls and voting machines will not win them elections a-la Chávez. They need to enter the Fourth Stage and achieve the revolution now. The latest news out of Caracas is simply the attempt by Maduro’s and Chávez’s family members to keep hold of power despite their evident lack of popularity.

Thus, during the last few weeks, Maduro has decided to have his Kristallnacht. This time it is not the Jews that are persecuted, as in Hitler’s Germany (although Chavismohas always been openly anti-Semitic), but the entire business class of Venezuela — from small shop owners to executives from large companies. In the initial opening of Maduro’s declared “Economic War” against the business community, he accused all merchants of price gouging, and he forced shops to lower their prices by 70 to 30 per cent.

Many citizens think it is immoral for a merchant to price his goods according to his rational expectations of what the exchange rate will be in the next few months, and not at the exchange rate artificially set by the government today. Only last January, the currency was devalued 48 percent, and yet the average consumer does not understand the concept of pricing to replacement cost. Thus, Maduro has achieved a great initial success. People are happy with his decision, only two weeks before Municipal elections take place. No one is thinking of what will happen in January when most of the shops do not reopen as they have been forced to liquidate their inventories below replacement values. No one, except Maduro and his vice-president, that is.

Last Friday, Maduro approved two laws that finally ended free markets in Venezuela.

It’s a bit glib to say that we’re heading in the same direction, but we are. Next year’s midterms are mighty important.

Read the rest.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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"It’s a bit glib to say that we’re heading in the same direction, but we are. Next year’s midterms are mighty important."

You are very right. Consider that there are three groups of people who voted for Obama:

1. Died-in-the wool liberals who would vote for O and his policies no matter what.
2. The 'Obamaphone people' who are going to vote for the party that keeps there gravy train - free phone, food stamps, section 8 housing, WIC payments, SS Disability payments - ruling. They are going to vote for O, the Dems, and their policies no matter what.
3. The 'Blue Pill People' (aka Low Information Voters) who simply don't pay attention and make their political decisions based upon what they see on TV.

The question is: Will the Obamacare debacle wake this third group up? The 2014 elections will tell us.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bryan,

I don't know if you're aware, but this portion of the original article is really telling:

"Last Friday, Maduro approved two laws that finally ended free markets in Venezuela. The first law, with the Orwellian name of “Law for the Protection of the Venezuelan Family and Control of Costs and Prices,” requires all businesses in Venezuela, large and small, to submit their price mark-ups for approval with the head of Venezuela’s newly created Economic Council (whose leader happens to be an army general)."

Friedrich von Hayek once described what it was like in Poland just before the government there collapsed and the Communists took over. He described a situation where inflation had gripped their economy. To gain control over the inflation rate, the government imposed a law stating all shop owners had to submit price increases to the government for approval through a very bureaucratic process.

The hope was the bureaucracy would slow down the price increases. But shop owners weren't stupid, so they'd submit huge increases knowing that by the time they were allowed to raise their prices, their costs would have already skyrocketed, and the inflation REALLY took off at that point and became much worse!

That's when Hayek fled to America and when the Communists took over.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course we all realize when we decry the incompetence of the Boy King that what we really mean is that he is incompetent from the perspective of an honest and honorable American. From the perspective of a narcissistic communist, his five years in office have been one triumph after another.

If you set aside his mastery of the Art of In-your-face Lying, probably his greatest success has been in knowing exactly how far he can go at any point in time with his stealth war on truth, morality and values. The marxist stew has been bubbling along at just the right temperature to cook his enemies (i.e., us), without alarming the country enough to jump out of the pot.

The jury is out whether he has overplayed his hand with obamahillarycare, but based on the array of assets in his favor, beginning with pravda and ending with John McCain, it seems to me that the Liar in Chiefs method of imposing dictatorial rule will be more successful than Venezuela's.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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