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Latest update : 2016-01-16
Venezuela’s socialist government decreed an “economic emergency” on Friday that will expand its powers and published the first data in a year that shows the depth of a recession fueled by low oil prices and a sputtering state-led model.
The central bank, which has been lambasted by critics of President Nicolas Maduro’s government for hiding statistics since the end of 2014, said the South American OPEC nation’s economy shrank 4.5 percent in the first nine months last year.
Inflation soared in that period to an annual rate of 141.5 percent, the world’s worst.
Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy is forecast to perform abysmally again in 2016. Maduro lost control of the National Assembly in a December election due to voter ire over the crisis.
When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced last Tuesday the imposition of new price controls on a long list of consumer items, he expressed optimism that they would help curb inflation:
This is a law to protect the people from capitalism. We have a tough battle ahead [because] inflation is one of the biggest problems we have.
I’m at the front of this operation, and we’re going to occupy factories and companies. We’re going to nationalize what needs to be nationalized. The bourgeoisie hoard milk, sugar and cooking oil and then [they] blame me. But it’s their fault, the hoarders.
originally posted by: greencmp
Well, now that the government is in control things should get much better.
World | Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:18pm EDT
Venezuela bans another opposition politician from holding office
- Former Venezuelan state Governor Pablo Perez said on Saturday he had been barred from holding public office for 10 years, the third ban on an opposition politician in the last week.
The comptroller's office this week also disqualified former legislator Maria Corina Machado and ex-mayor Vicencio Scarano, both candidates in Dec. 6 parliamentary elections, from holding office. In their case the ban was effective for 12 months.
Critics says President Nicolas Maduro is seeking to clamp down on opposition leaders and discourage voters ahead of an election polls forecast his party is likely to lose.
A Decade under Chavez...
II. Political Discrimination
Political discrimination has long plagued Venezuela. For decades, government patronage and spoils were divided along party lines at the expense of large sectors of Venezuelan society. Chávez assumed the presidency in part on the promise to free Venezuela from its entrenched patterns of political exclusion. While his government managed to uproot the established system of political discrimination, it has replaced it with new forms of discrimination against real and perceived political opponents.
The Chávez government proclaims a commitment to political inclusion, but has openly discriminated against those who do not share its views. Government officials have removed scores of detractors from the career civil service, purged dissident employees from the national oil company, denied citizens access to social programs based on their political opinions, and denounced critics as subversives deserving of discriminatory treatment. The Chávez administration’s exclusion and harassment of those who voice their dissent belie its banner of democratic pluralism.
Last Friday, during a nationally televised cabinet meeting, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela made a striking assertion. He
called on officials in government to “bury [pro-Chávez deputy Luis] Tascón’s famous list.” This was a reference to the list of Venezuelans who had signed the petition to hold a recall referendum last year against Chávez, and which was widely used by government officials and backers to pressure opposition supporters into changing their political position. Across the nation, Tascón’s
list was drawn on by government officials not only to screen applicants for government jobs, but also to determine access to a wide range of public services including food and unemployment subsidies, government-subsidized credit, and issuance of passports and
Chávez’s reference to Tascón’s list is startling because it is the first public assertion by a government official that the list was indeed used to intimidate Venezuelans who opposed his government.
originally posted by: theultimatebelgianjoke
What he skipped in his analysis is the fact that the lifting of the sanctions against Iran is making even more oil available for the markets, driving the prices even further down.
Oil is main source of income for the Venezuelan state.
Venezuela rations electricity as demand soars amid hot weather
Measures include cutting the workday for public officials and inspecting malls and factories to ensure they meet reduced power consumption targets
Venezuela’s socialist government on Tuesday announced a nationwide electricity rationing plan to tackle a surge in demand caused by rising temperatures.
The measures include cutting the workday for public officials to six hours, asking private companies to boost energy efficiency and inspecting malls and factories to ensure they meet reduced power consumption targets.
“Within a week, power demand has risen 1,500 megawatts,” the electricity minister, Jesse Chacón, said on state TV. With demand at 18,000 megawatts, he said, “the system begins to have stability problems”.
Peak temperatures have risen to 34C (93F) in Caracas, the capital, and have hit 37C (99F) in the sweltering western city of Maracaibo.
originally posted by: greencmp
I'm a little disappointed that my snark isn't obvious.