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  • Chavez’s Nationalizations May Spell His Doom

    Hugo Chavez

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rose to power by tapping into populist and nationalist sentiment. Blaming the problems facing his country on western superpowers, Chavez portrayed himself as a man of the people who would bring the wealth of Venezuela to the people.

    The pie-in-the-sky rhetoric does not jive with cold, grounded reality, however. As Hugo Chavez has nationalized foreign owned grocery stores in a protectionist wave encapsulated best by the state slogan “Food Sovereignty! All power to the people!,” supplies of food have only become lower. During Chavez’s ten year reign, the production of fruit in Venezuela has declined by 25% and the production of beef by a whopping 38%.

    Food supplies are not the only goods being rationed in Venezuela. Rolling blackouts led to the forced resignation of Chavez’s energy minister and flirtation with Cuban-styled communism to steady the ship. Energy problems, bad economics, and erratic investment policies further threatened an already fragile Venezuelan economy, which experienced a 5.8% decline late last year. By contrast, the more free market economy of Brazil expanded by 4.3% in the same period.

    Although populism brought Chavez into power, it could subsequently be what sweeps him out. Polls show Chavez’s policies to be increasingly unpopular among Venezuelans. According to the researcher DATOS, 58% disapprove of Chavez’s takeover of grocery chains. As Chavez has continued to embrace the Cuban regime, 86% have said they believe the Castro model is inappropriate for Venezuela.

    As alluring as Chavez’s populism was at the time of his rise to power, only the ideologically pure will support him when he fails to deliver the daily necessities of life to ordinary Venezuelans.

    Michael Orion Powell is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/About/Internships-Young-Leaders/The-Heritage-Foundation-Internship-Program

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Chavez’s Nationalizations May Spell His Doom

    1. Leanne Benjamin, Lak says:

      I think we see now where we are headed.

    2. Joe Cool says:

      If the Venezuelans think that Chavez will go quietly, they are living in the Land of OZ. He is certainly looking to be in power for the next thirty years like his good friend Fidel.

    3. Rod, New Zealand says:

      hahaha, i find it funny, you know all the propaganda on this article, such a biased, capitalist view on venzuala. when in fact America hates revolutionaries that want to help people like Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez, Malcolm X ,Dr. King, so on. but have you noticed that they dont care when a dictator kills poeple, Sudan, Cambodia, Zimbabwe. Mostly because their doing their job for them.

    4. luke weyland, Sydney says:

      People have been fortelling Chavez's demise ever since he was first elected.

      No doubt should he loose the elections in 6, 11, or 16 years time, ( or US President Palin launch an invasion) such people will say I told you so.

      It is a bit like those who prophesy Fidel Castro's demise – In the 1950s newspapers anounced his death. Someday, within a decade or maybe two, he shall.

    5. Ron, Fort Collins, C says:

      Yikes! My opinion of New Zealand just went down a couple of notches. Please do not lump Martin Luther King in with the other critters you listed. Che' was responsible for the deaths of thousands of his fellow countrymen. Chavez is a thug in the truest sense of the word and Malcolm X advocated violence to achieve his goals. Dr. King achieved much more with non-violence due to the fact that he appealed to our better natures. And we hate him? Good grief, we have a national holiday dedicated to him!

      Chavez has encountered the problem that all socialist dictators eventually do, he has run out of other peoples money.

    6. pablo martinez says:

      excuse me rod from new zealand sir you are an idiot or a fool che was not a revolutionaire he was an assassin a contributor , to the despair and suffering of the cuban people. i hate when socialist like you who live and a free society talk a lot s— but dont have any facts to back up what you are spewing , next time talk to a proud cubanamerican like myself to get your story straight and fi love castro so much move to CUBA and live under the same conditions as cubans there dont hide behind a kangaroo and show some balls

    7. Joe, KY, USA, says:

      Poor Rod from NZ, not only does his total ignorance show through in his basic thinking but in his obvious illiteracy also (maybe just not familiar with a spell checker?). Facts always confuse delusional individuals of such limited intellect. I do not think Dr. King would appreciate being categorized with Communist dictators and radical anarchist.

      Also, if it was not for a lot of free American courage and blood New Zealand would be speaking Japanese, twice!

      Of course Rod is probably deficient in his history also. Pitiful deluded twit.

    8. Joe, KY, USA says:

      Reduce name, address please.

    9. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Rod, don't confuse we conservatives with the current administration. But to list Dr. King with Hugo Chavez displays a profound ignorance of Dr. King. Foreign policy is a tough road to go down – damned if you do and damned if you don't. One thing is for sure, Obama's apology tour has done more harm than good.

    10. ATB2 says:

      Luke: from your keypad to God's ears – you have hit on the only sure answer to international gangsters such as Chavez. Invasion authorized by President Palin – cue up the Valkyries, smells like…Victory!

    11. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Ron, Fort Collins – You should read more history of Martin Luther King. The

      history that has been erased from most of our history books. King, and his

      movement was fully supported and funded by the Communist Party in USSR

      and attended "Party" meetings. He may have not openly preched violence, but he belongs with the others listed in this group.

    12. Derek, Pittsburgh PA says:

      Hey Rod, there is nothing wrong with wanting to help people. However, Leftists the world over have been doing the exact opposite for all of history. Fact of the matter is that in Venezuela their are still poor people, and people that need health care, and food, and water, and entertainment, etc… I think you are confusing good intentions for good results. I want all people to have 3 square meals a day, a nice fulfilling Job and a beautiful spouse. How do we get their from where we are today? Is taking the labor of those who use their energy and their time (both finite resources) to create wealth for themselves and those in their immediate sphere of influence the way to do that? Maybe, JUST MAYBE, that doesn't work. Take for example Cuba (You know, the wonderful Island that Che Guevara and the Fidel Bros took over and made a veritable paradise), or Lenin's/Stalin's/Gorbochev's Soviet Union (officially now defunct), Or perhaps Hugo Chavez's Venezuela who's problems where nicely detailed in this well thought out article? Here is an idea, instead of confiscating wealth, create wealth. So instead of fighting for a peace of the pie you can enjoy your own. All that being said, you sound like a committed leftist who's mind is already made up. I hope someday you understand that Individual liberty is the solution to the human condition.

    13. Dennis Social Circle says:

      Venezula is in a mess, they too voted for a socialist government, so goes chavez as goes obama. The dems and obama have nationalized many business in this country, GMC, Governemnt Motor Company, Government banks, Government run utilitie Companies soon, name any thing you want, obama will soon have controll of all, and we the people have sat on out butts and alloweded it to happen. Wake up people, this can be stoped, but we have to vote on Novemeber and do it by huge numbers.

    14. Don Harper, Lubbock, says:

      "Although populism brought Chavez into power, it could subsequently be what sweeps him out." This is a lesson I hope the Republicans have learned by now. The conservative coalition of Republicans, Democrats and independents that swept the Republicans into power in 1994, swept them out when they turned away from their smaller government pledge. Interestingly, the radical leftward plunge of Obama and the Democrats is causing this coalition to reform in the Tea Party movement. I hope there are still enough of us smaller government types around to sweep this mess out of power.

    15. Tim AZ says:

      Sounds like the state of America in less than two years. Mao-Bama has already shut the water off to the farmers in California. Oh I forgot he turned the valve on a 1/4 of a turn for the district's in of the two congressmen who voted for his health care what a teddy bear.

    16. Spiritof76, NH says:

      Venezuela, here we come! The US is on its way.

      How about the deal that Venezuela and Cuba struck to pay for the latter's import of oil? Cuba sent their doctors to treat people to pay for the oil. Doctors and nurses are being paid pittance (slave labor) so that the benefit to Cuba can be maximized. Their living quarters and their food allowances are so meagre that a few doctors escaped and have asked for asylum with the US. The documents that they carried with them brought out the facts on slave trade.

    17. Jackson, Denton, TX says:

      Great dialogue folks. This is the kind of stuff that Venezuela and other countries "wish" they had. No matter how you slice it, the people of VZ are in dire need, and likely to stay that way until that fat-ass commie bastard is ousted.

      By the way, is it just me, or does that red beret soldier in the background look really pissed-off?

    18. Pingback: The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Venezuela: Ruled By A Complete Madman

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