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Thread: Dark Humor from the Socialist Hellhole of Venezuela

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    Dark Humor from the Socialist Hellhole of Venezuela

    More like gallows humor.

    Dark Humor from the Socialist Hellhole of Venezuela

    Back in 2015, I mocked Venezuelan socialism because it led to shortages of just about every product. Including toilet paper.

    But maybe that doesn’t matter. After all, if people don’t have anything to eat, they probably don’t have much need to visit the bathroom.

    The Washington Post reports that farmers are producing less and less food because of government intervention, even though the nation is filled with hungry people.

    ...Here’s where we get to the economics lesson. When producers aren’t allowed to profit, they don’t produce.

    And when we’re looking at the production of food, that means hungry people.

    Even the left-wing Guardian in the U.K. has noticed.

    Hunger is gnawing at Venezuela, where a government that claims to rule for the poorest has left most of its 31 million people short of food, many desperately so. …Adriana Velásquez gets ready for work, heading out into an uncertain darkness as she has done since hunger forced her into the only job she could find at 14. She was introduced to her brothel madam by a friend more than two years ago after her mother, a single parent, was fired and the two ran out of food. “It was really hard, but we were going to bed without eating,” said the teenager, whose name has been changed to protect her. …Venezuela’s crisis has deepened, the number of women working at the brothel has doubled, and their ages have dropped. “I was the youngest when I started. Now there are girls who are 12 or 13. Almost all of us are there because of the crisis, because of hunger.” She earns 400,000 bolivares a month, around four times the minimum wage, but at a time of hyperinflation that is now worth about $30, barely enough to feed herself, her mother and a new baby brother.

    This is truly sad.

    Our leftist friends like to concoct far-fetched theories of how prostitution is enabled by everything from low taxes to global warming.

    In the real world, however, socialism drives teenage girls (or even younger) to work in brothels.

    That’s such a depressing thought that let’s shift the topic back to hunger and toilet paper.

    ...
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Red face

    Maduro claims his government would initiate a restructuring and refinancing of the country’s foreign debt...

    As a Debt Deadline Looms for Venezuela, Maduro Is Defiant
    NOV. 2, 2017 — With the threat of default looming over Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro said late Thursday that his government would initiate a restructuring and refinancing of the country’s foreign debt.
    The announcement came at the deadline for a $1.2 billion payment by the state oil company on a maturing bond, which Mr. Maduro said his government would instead deliver on Friday. Speaking on national television, Mr. Maduro said that his government was fighting “a battle for the financial stability and tranquillity of Venezuela.” “We’re going to win this battle,” he vowed. The move is an acknowledgment of how serious the government’s financial problems have become, and throws further into doubt the future of the country, which has been grappling with an economic crisis that has caused dire shortages of food and medicine.


    President Nicolás Maduro said his vice president, Tareck El Aissami, left, will lead the restructuring effort.

    Mr. Maduro has blamed the crisis in part on the Trump administration, which he has accused of leading an “economic war” against his country through economic sanctions intended to prevent Venezuela’s government from contracting new debt. Given the sanctions, however, it remained unclear how Mr. Maduro intended to restructure the government’s debt. “There’s no way to restructure under existing U.S. sanctions, but the government may be hoping that bond holders now pressure the Trump administration to create an exemption to the sanctions,” said Risa Grais-Targow, director for Latin America at Eurasia Group, a political risk analysis firm.

    In a challenge to the Trump administration, Mr. Maduro also named Vice President Tareck El Aisammí to lead the efforts. Mr. El Aisammí has been sanctioned by the United States over allegations that he is a narcotics trafficker, which blocks Americans from doing business with him. There was no grace period for the loan payment due on Thursday, and it remained unclear how investors would react to the failure of the state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, or Pdvsa, to make the payment on time.


    Venezuela’s state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, or Pdvsa, has offered leasing deals to Russian and Chinese companies.

    But Diego Ferro, co-chief investment officer at Greylock Capital Management, a New York hedge fund that invests in distressed high-yield bonds, said the restructuring announcement could buy Mr. Maduro some time with bondholders and the Venezuelan people. “People were expecting the payment late anyway,” he said. “As of now they have at least a few months to come up with an offer to put off litigation in the United States. It will depend on what they offer” in terms of payments of principal and interest.

    MORE

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    Quote Originally Posted by waltky View Post
    Maduro claims his government would initiate a restructuring and refinancing of the country’s foreign debt...

    As a Debt Deadline Looms for Venezuela, Maduro Is Defiant
    NOV. 2, 2017 — With the threat of default looming over Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro said late Thursday that his government would initiate a restructuring and refinancing of the country’s foreign debt.
    Resister say's "possum better be damn careful, if he visits, dey's hungry" !

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    We dodged this bullet by electing President Donald Trump. Ultimately, either Bernie or Hillary would have brought us to the same state, although I do think Bernie would have gotten us there quicker.
    Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
    Robert A. Heinlein

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    resister (11-03-2017),waltky (11-03-2017)

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    Cool

    Following King Salman's example to purge corruption...

    Venezuela seizes former oil bosses in graft purge -sources
    November 30, 2017 - Venezuelan authorities have detained two once-powerful officials who had both run the oil ministry and state oil company PDVSA as a part of a deepening anti-corruption purge, three people familiar with the situation said on Thursday.
    It was not immediately clear why Eulogio Del Pino and Nelson Martinez, who have held both posts at different times recently, were in custody. One source in PDVSA said it appeared they were taken for questioning, while another company official said they were “implicated” in the graft investigation. Their detention is the biggest development to date in a months-old probe at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries member. Venezuela’s Information Ministry, PDVSA, and the Oil Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    State prosecutor Tarek Saab was due to hold a news conference to announce new arrests later on Thursday. Sources within the industry say President Nicolas Maduro is using the graft purge to sideline political rivals and consolidate his grip on a sector that brings in more than 90 percent of the cash-strapped country’s export income.

    The two men, both widely seen as capable executives, had been removed from their posts on Sunday and replaced by a major general, giving the already powerful military further clout, albeit in a sector reeling from under-investment and sliding output.

    Attention is also on Rafael Ramirez, who was Venezuela’s oil czar for a decade and under whom both Del Pino and Martinez ascended. Maduro fired him from his job as representative to the United Nations on Tuesday, according to sources with knowledge of the information, and summoned him back to Caracas.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-v...-idUSKBN1DU1X4

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    Angry

    Venezuela's Ruling Socialists Sweep Mayoral Races Amid Opposition Boycott...

    Venezuela's Ruling Socialists Sweep Mayoral Races Amid Opposition Boycott
    December 11, 2017 - The ruling party of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has won more than 90 percent of the country's mayoral races, after the opposition boycotted the election. Maduro said parties that sat out Sunday's vote will be barred from next year's presidential election.
    Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela won more than 300 of the 335 mayoral offices. "We have obtained a big victory!" Maduro said in a speech in the capital's Bolívar Plaza late Sunday. "A popular, democratic, free, sovereign victory of an independent country!" "The imperialists have tried to set fire to Venezuela to take our riches," Maduro said. "We've defeated the American imperialists with our votes, our ideas, truths, reason and popular will," he told the crowd, which chanted, "Go Home, Donald Trump."

    About half of eligible voters cast ballots in Sunday's races. After casting his ballot, Maduro announced: "A party that has not participated today cannot participate anymore." "They will disappear from the political map," he said of the opposition parties that boycotted Sunday's vote. After the opposition unexpectedly lost most of the regional races in October, it cried foul. An alliance of parties have labeled Maduro a dictator and refused to participate in the mayoral races.


    The president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro makes a speech after casting his vote for municipal elections at a polling station in Caracas on Sunday.

    As The Associated Press reports:

    "The elections played out as Venezuelans struggle with triple-digit inflation, shortages of food and medicine, and charges that Maduro's government has undermined democracy by imprisoning dissidents and usurping the powers of the opposition-controlled National Assembly. "... The struggles have caused the president's approval rating to plunge, although the opposition has been largely unable to capitalize on Maduro's unpopularity."

    In July, Maduro called a referendum on rewriting the country's constitution to give him near-dictatorial powers. The referendum easily passed despite an unofficial vote held earlier by the opposition that overwhelmingly rejected the changes. Washington responded to the vote with a new round of sanctions on Maduro, freezing his U.S. assets and prohibiting U.S. citizens from having any dealings with him.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...sition-boycott

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    Angry

    Granny says, "Dat's right - da fix is in...

    Venezuela bars opposition from presidential race
    Tue, Dec 12, 2017 - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday announced that leading opposition parties would be barred from taking part in next year’s presidential vote after they boycotted mayoral polls, in a move set to further consolidate his grip on power.
    That includes the groups of key figures who have led street protests against his rule, such as Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez and others, Maduro told reporters after casting his vote in the municipal polls. “That’s what the National Constituent Assembly set out,” he said, referring to a controversial Maduro-allied special powers legislature, whose legitimacy has been questioned by many in the international community. “If they don’t want elections, what are they doing? What’s the alternative? [Civil] war?” Maduro said, visibly angry. While municipal elections were under way across the country, Maduro clearly had his mind on next year’s presidential race, in which he plans to seek re-election, despite an approval rating of about 30 percent. Meanwhile, crisis-weary voters appeared to be staying away in droves from mayoral elections that the opposition was already boycotting.

    Maduro said his party won more than 300 of Venezuela’s 355 mayoral races. The president said that 9.3 million people voted, which he called a record for a municipal vote. In terms of politics, the local election stakes might seem low, but a failure in municipal votes could be seen by many as a sign the government had lost the support of the massive lower-income base it relies on to stay in power and in charge of the state-led economy. Electoral board member Luis Emilio Rondon said there were some irregularities involving pro-government candidates who are running some polling stations. Voting “cannot be restricted, obligatory or supervised by people with political interests” therein, Rondon told reporters.

    He also said he had received reports that in some polling stations run by the ruling socialist party, officials were making sure that those who have a special social benefits card get out to cast their votes. He said some of these voters’ Fatherland Card, an electronic card that helps them get scarce food and medicine, were being scanned. “There has been some confusion on voters’ part about whether they have to go to the polls with their regular ID card and the Fatherland Card. This is not needed to vote. You only need your regular national ID,” he said.

    These are the last elections before presidential voting scheduled for late next year. Some analysts said it would be moved up to the early months of next year. The lack of a serious challenge on Sunday to Maduro-aligned candidates led to skepticism in the main cities of Caracas, Maracaibo and San Cristobal. Maduro’s ruling socialist party was aided by the refusal of the three main parties in the opposition coalition Democratic Union Roundtable to participate, although smaller parties decided to contest the election. The balloting station where the president himself voted, in a poor area of Caracas called Catia, also looked deserted, a reporter said.

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/worl.../12/2003683854

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    Red face

    Four Venezuelan officials sanctioned by U.S. Treasury Dept. over corruption claims...

    U.S. Treasury sanctions four Venezuelan officials over corruption claims
    Jan. 5, 2018 -- The U.S. Treasury Department issued sanctions Friday against four Venezuelan government officials accused of having associations with corruption and repression.
    "President Maduro and his inner circle continue to put their own interests above those of the Venezuelan people," Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in the announcement. "This action underscores the United States' resolve to hold Maduro and others engaged in corruption in Venezuela accountable. We call on concerned parties and international partners around the world to join us as we stand with the Venezuelan people to further isolate this oppressive regime."

    Executive Order 13692 targeted Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torres, Francisco Jose Rangel Gomez, Fabio Enrique Zavarse Pabon and Gerardo Jose Izquierdo Torres. The sanctions will freeze all assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction of the four military and government officials and prohibits U.S. persons from dealing with them.


    Four Venezuelan military officials were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department over allegations of corruption and repression.

    Torres has been linked to corruption schemes related to food imports, which are controlled by the Venezuelan government, while Gomez is linked to a network of corrupt military officials. Pabon is allegedly responsible for acts of repression by members of the Bolivarian National Guard against street protesters in the country and Torres has allegedly used his military positions to profit from corruption.

    According to the treasury report, the four officials "have forsaken the professional republican mission" found in Venezuela's 1999 Constitution which states that military officials should work "with no political orientation ... and in no case at the service of any person or political partisanship." The designations against the military officials illustrate the "corruption and repression" that has continued to grow under the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-N...&utm_medium=17

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    Question

    Venezuela calls early election by April 30th... Venezuela calls early election, Maduro to seek second term Venezuela's Constituent Assembly has backed plans for a presidential election before April 30, months ahead of schedule. But neighboring countries say the move to allow Nicolas Maduro a second term lacks legitimacy.
    Venezuela's National Election Council has been authorized to set an exact date for the next presidential election after the Constituent Assembly — a body dominated by supporters of current leader Nicolas Maduro — approved plans for an early vote. Delegates ordered the election to take place before April 30, seven months ahead of schedule — a move widely seen as allowing Maduro to take advantage of disarray in the country's opposition despite a worsening economic crisis. The 55-year-old's opponents, who have called for his resignation over what they call his power grab and mismanagement of the country's oil wealth, said the decision came as a surprise. Maduro confident Maduro said on Tuesday he was ready to seek re-election if the ruling United Socialist party selects him at a convention on February 4. "They (National Election Council) should find the closest date, to get this out of the way so we can begin to make a great revolution," he told supporters. The vote had been slated for December, to allow the government and the opposition to agree a peaceful atmosphere, following months of angry and at times deadly protests.
    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
    Maduro was handpicked by his longtime predecessor Hugo Chavez, who ruled Venezuela from 1999 until 2013, and who died from cancer while in office. Top party official Diosdado Cabello confirmed to the Assembly that Maduro would be the party's sole candidate. But the former bus driver and union leader's unpopularity rating has risen to 70 percent after inflation in the oil-rich country climbed to double digits which led to shortages of food and medicine. Struggling opposition Despite the opposition forming a coalition called the Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD), it has been unable to capitalize on Maduro's woes, and suffered defeats in regional and municipal elections. Several prominent politicians were barred from office or forced into exile last year following deadly protests seeking the president's removal, which resulted in the deaths of 125 people. Nonetheless, opposition leaders say they will field a single presidential candidate to challenge Maduro. Venezuela's constitution demands a new six-year presidential term begins in January 2019. The opposition and government have been holding talks in the Dominican Republic for several weeks to try to agree a free and fair election, complete with the participation of foreign observers. MORE

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    Does anyone else think this guy looks like Saddam Hussein?
    Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
    Robert A. Heinlein

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