Hugo Chávez, back when he was alive, seized farms from their rightful owners in the interest of his “Bolivarian revolution.” He started small,
A group of red shirt-wearing Chavista thugs show up at a farm and seize the farm in the name of the government, under the pretext that the 103 hectare [254 acres] farm is “idle land” and that the law allows them to take it over for “food production.”
And worked his way up,
Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, ‘has ordered the confiscation of 717,000 acres from a British company amid a disagreement over compensation for earlier seizures of ranchland from the firm.
717,000 acres is nearly the area of the state of Rhode Island (776,957 acres). Soon enough, Hugo ran out of land to seize.
The results are food shortages, rationing, black markets, empty store shelves, and long lines, as it still happens in Cuba, and as it happened in the Soviet Union and its satellites, and in every other Communist state.
Since of course the Venezuelan regime is not going to recognize the fact that Communism doesn’t work, they blame everyone else (another Communist trait), including hoarders,
In March, Venezuelans were so worried about food shortages and diminishing stocks of basic goods, fingerprint scanners were installed in supermarkets in an attempt to crack down on hoarding.
Now, looking at that statement, a couple of things stand out:
- Individual Venezuelans weren’t the ones installing fingerprint scanners; it was the Communist regime.
- Venezuela’s shortages are not caused by hoarders; its shortages are caused by failed economic policy. For instance, if I felt a need to hoard toilet paper, I could drive to Costco and spend $200 on a year’s supply, and Costco would still not run out.
- Venezuelans’ rights are down to nothing – the government even keeps count of their grocery purchases and penalizes those who don’t meet the criteria.
Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores.
“Told to supply” means “to hand over.”
You’re probably thinking, “But Fausta, we have bigger things to worry about: ISIS, border crime, Iran nuclear deals. Why are you carping about Venezuela?”
Because, my friends, Venezuela is showing that free markets and free peoples go together:
markets—the mind of free millions—allocate scarce resources more efficiently and fairly than do committees in Congress; that the collusion of government with either big business or big labor stifles competition and leads to political cynicism; that government will be respected more when it does a few things well rather than too many poorly; and that innovation and human progress spring not from bureaucratic elites but from the genius of individuals.
That is what dictatorships – whether they name their agendas “Bolivarian revolution”, Marxist, Communist, or whatever new term – don’t want you to know: free markets, free peoples.
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.