Wednesday, August 05, 2009

From the "Government Knows Better Than You" Department

Venezuela may have to import coffee for the first time ever. The harvest is down by about 20% and a lot is being smuggled over the border. No one knows how much, but coffee sells in Colombia for twice as much as Venezuela, due to Chavez' strict price controls. "Venezuela is known to produce some of the best quality Arabica coffee anywhere and, unlike many countries in the region, traditionally consumed most of it itself."

So how does Chavez react to the news? He nationalizes the two biggest coffee producers. They are going to investigate for three months to see if these coffee producers have "any irregularities" and could face nationalisation if these were proved.
"If at the end of the audit, we can show there has been smuggling, hoarding, disloyal and monopolistic practices, we could consider nationalising the companies," he said. The companies had said they would be forced to close because they were running low on supplies of coffee to be processed. Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered the expropriation of a rice mill, owned by a subsidiary of US food giant Cargill, accusing the company of not distributing rice at government-set prices.

Of course, there are those that say But the Government Really Does Know Best. Chavists like Mark Weisbrot that support socialism with phony research. According to Weisbrot, Hugo Chavez is a miracle worker. Really? Then why are even the coffee beans trying to escape Venezuela?

Even as we speak freely about it today here in the US, Chavez is shutting down media critical of his actions as quickly as he can. This weekend, Chavez supporters stormed the last remaining TV station willing to air criticism of Chavez.
The raid came amid a government crackdown on critics of Chavez's socialist revolution, a campaign which human rights groups have condemned as an attack on free speech. In recent days the government has revoked the licences of dozens of radio stations and proposed a law which would jail people deemed guilty of "media crimes" for up to four years.The intruders, led by a prominent "Chavista" named Lina Ron, waved banners and reportedly injured a guard and a police officer while tear gas seeped through the complex.

Chavez has repeatedly assailed Globovision – the South American country's last opposition TV network – as an instrument of oligarchs and US imperialists who are waging "media terrorism".
When you read something like that from a liberal platform like The Guardian, well you know Chavez is out there.

Where does President Obama stand on all this? What is his position on Chavez interference with the economy and nationalization of industry after industry? He defends Venezuelan positions. At the same time, Chavez calls President Obama "ignorant". Perhaps one of them is right.

(H/T Calafia Beach Pundit)


Anonymous said...

Our leaders in Washington must seriously consider new and innovative policies that promote a better, more confident, prosperous, and secure America in the 21st century. One of the things I think we can do to help make that happen is support American businesses and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ( They're doing things to reach out and show people that they can get involved, too.

suek said...

Not only is the Obama administration refusing to recognize the Honduran president appointed by their lawful government, but I heard on the radio this am that Obama's administration also won't recognize the president who wins as a result of the January elections, since the "illegal" government was in power when the election occurred.

Truly truly deeply shameful. Unbelievable. I can't think of words to describe this. Well, maybe I can.

Marxist thuggery.

OBloodyHell said...

> I can't think of words to describe this. Well, maybe I can.

Two words:

Bovine Feces.

Covers it like, ummmm, brown on unbleached rice...

suek said...


Regardless of what you personally think of the "birther" issue, IF it could absolutely be shown that O was born elsewhere than Hawaii, and IF in fact, as a result of this, he was determined to be ineligible (in a court of law) to be President of the US, what do you think would result?

I had this discussion with my husband, and he kept coming back to "someone in Congres has the job of determining eligibility, and Congress approved the electoral college results" and "the supreme court can't overrule the vote of the majority".
It seems to me that number 1 eliminates the possibility of corruption, and number 2 fails to address the fact of law. Neither addresses the "what if" original question.

It's never happened before, so there is no process. So...what would happen "IF"?

Any thoughts?

Remember - to answer you have to accept the IF - no "but it isn't true" etc. I know that's entirely possible. What I'm concerned about is that nobody seems to be willing to consider the possibility that it _is_ true - and what would happen then.

By the way - it seems to me to possibly parallel the Honduran situation - except the congress would be on the ineligible's side

Bob in Los Angeles said...

Great point about a parallel to the Honduran situation -- who will decide what is right in Honduras, will it be Chavez, Obama, the UN, the OAS, the legislature of Honduras? It seems likely to be the latter.

Here in the US, well all I know is that I had to provide a copy of my passport when I accepted my most recent job. How is the job of the President -- arguably more important than my job -- exempt from providing proof of eligibility for employment?

OBloodyHell said...

I believe that the presidency of Obama would be rendered invalid, and thus Biden would take his place as PotUS. Not a particularly wonderful thought, but a PotUS less effective at arm-twisting would be... um... interesting.

In reality, it's not about the likelihood of Obama's ineligibility. It's more a question of what he's trying so desperately to hide. My own guess would be that the document says "father unknown" or something to that effect.

suek said...

Father unknown would be to his benefit - then his citizenship would definitely be US, and he'd be natural born. Really, the questions this issue has raised are really fascinating and educational. The other possibility is that Frank Marshall could be named - that too would mean that he was natural born.

I like the snark that the only reason Biden was chosen as VP was to provide protection for O against assination...!!

I don't know. I don't think Biden would be in line, simply because if the presidential nominee on the ticket is ineligible, it seems to me the entire ticket would be ineligible. But...I don't know.

How would he be ousted? would he actually step down if the SC found that he was ineligible? I wonder... Fortunately, he hasn't especially won the loyalty of the military to him personally.

suek said...

>>It seems likely to be the latter.>>

Let's hope so - they _are_ a sovereign country after all. Or doesn't that count any more?