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Tags Nicolas Maduro , Venezuela economy , Venezuela issues , Venezuela politics

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Old 3rd October 2013, 03:28 AM   #121
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Old 3rd October 2013, 03:52 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That's the version of events Maduro is going with:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/wo...wo-others.html
Hey, he says he had proof several months ago that it was the CIA. And hey, he should know -- he's in Venezuela and we are not.
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Old 4th October 2013, 04:14 PM   #123
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tim, the core question I have is:

Why would anyone in the CIA spend the time and effort to mess with the Venezuelan technocracy when, left alone, they are fully capable of gumming up the works themselves?

Guessing there are more pressing problems to solve for the folks in Langley ...
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Old 4th October 2013, 05:23 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
tim, the core question I have is:

Why would anyone in the CIA spend the time and effort to mess with the Venezuelan technocracy when, left alone, they are fully capable of gumming up the works themselves?

Guessing there are more pressing problems to solve for the folks in Langley ...
I think tim was being facetious.
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Old 6th October 2013, 02:29 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
I think tim was being facetious.
What could possibly have given you that idea?
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Old 6th October 2013, 10:26 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
What could possibly have given you that idea?
Because it seems ludicrous to me that the CIA is the cause of Venezuela's infrastructure issues, when it's well known that the Venezuelan government has been diverting maintenance and repair funds to other programs for the poor to solidify their political support.

I predicted here years ago that this would happen, no CIA conspiracy needed.
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Old 6th October 2013, 12:11 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Hey, he says he had proof several months ago that it was the CIA. And hey, he should know -- he's in Venezuela and we are not.
Quote:
Mr. Chávez had already expelled the American ambassador, Patrick Duddy, in 2008, saying that his government had discovered an American-supported plot by military officers to topple him. Mr. Duddy was later allowed to return to Caracas
.

Wait.. Chavez finds out an American "ambassador" is plotting a coup in Venezuela, expels him, and then welcomes him back?

Talk about forgive and forget.
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Old 6th October 2013, 12:32 PM   #128
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Aa-HA! Now we know who gave him cancer! Duddy, that's who.

The evidence is compelling. Duddy was there, and then Chavez got cancer.
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Old 6th October 2013, 12:46 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Because it seems ludicrous to me that the CIA is the cause of Venezuela's infrastructure issues, when it's well known that the Venezuelan government has been diverting maintenance and repair funds to other programs for the poor to solidify their political support.
Actually, if the information coming out of their dollar auctions and other news is correct, they're diverting a very substantial portion of the funds to well connected individuals within the party. The actual funds that reach the poor are marginal at best.

Take this as an example:
http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/...as-gone-astray

Venezuela bought factories to produce prefabricated houses from Iran. It turns out Iran was just an intermediary, the actual technology was actually brought in from Canada and USA. This drove the price up considerably, since Iran took their cut, and doing business with them has extra expenses due to US sanctions. Furhtermore, Iranians weren't even paid the full amount, several million got lost in the transactions. Then once in Venezuela, the factories haven't even started production in many months, and there is no indication they ever will.

Corruption in layers of graft and wrapped up in kickbacks, topped off by a large amount of theft. That's the most accurate description of Venezuelan government I can imagine.

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Old 6th October 2013, 03:10 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That's the version of events Maduro is going with:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/wo...wo-others.html
Quote:
“Get out of Venezuela! Yankee go home!” Mr. Maduro shouted as he announced the expulsions at a military event to commemorate the bicentennial of a battle in Venezuela’s war of independence.
The Chavismo strategy for handling the inevitable results of their profound incompetence appears to involve an overweight gasbag screaming "Yankee go home!"
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Old 6th October 2013, 06:18 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
The Chavismo strategy for handling the inevitable results of their profound incompetence appears to involve an overweight gasbag screaming "Yankee go home!"
What's even more interesting was the the battle in the war for independence was fought against linguistic fellow travelers: the Spanish crown.

It wasn't fought against anything approximating a Yankee. Interesting he used that occasion to make the usual noise. Almost ironic.
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Old 6th October 2013, 11:42 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
The Chavismo strategy for handling the inevitable results of their profound incompetence appears to involve is an overweight gasbag screaming "Yankee go home!"
FTFY

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Old 9th October 2013, 06:04 AM   #133
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How many of you would be surprised, if I told you that Maduro seeks an Enabling Act of his own to combat the economic sabotage that is threatening the glorious Bolivarian revolution?
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Old 9th October 2013, 07:13 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
How many of you would be surprised, if I told you that Maduro seeks an Enabling Act of his own to combat the economic sabotage that is threatening the glorious Bolivarian revolution?


It's his second attempt in as many months. The first one was aimed only at corruption, but he failed to secure the needed majority.

It's quite likely that Venezuela will implode at a certain point in the future. How far that point is depends mostly on the price of oil.

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Old 10th October 2013, 11:11 AM   #135
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In a somewhat related and funny matter, Maduro just called the bourgeoisie parasites who only import and not produce anything. Yeah. It's that bad.

http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/...private-sector

Note to uninitiated, Venezuelan economy is in the gutter precisely because his government undercuts domestic producers via cheap imports. He then blames those producers for destroying the economy by imports from oil revenues.

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Old 1st November 2013, 06:40 AM   #136
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All will soon be well.

Venezuela Government Creates Happiness Agency

"Housewife Liliana Alfonzo, 31, said that instead of a Supreme Happiness agency she'd prefer being able to get milk and toilet paper, which disappear off store shelves minutes after arriving at stores."

Liliana is obviously a Capitalist saboteur.
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Old 1st November 2013, 06:48 AM   #137
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Well, duh. All they need is a National Milk Agency and a Bolivarian TP Bureau, and everything is swell. Or would be, if the CIA just left them alone.
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Old 6th November 2013, 10:41 AM   #138
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To the surprise of no one with a clue, Venezuela's vaunted health care system is collapsing.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...11-06-00-10-00
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Old 6th November 2013, 01:31 PM   #139
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Damn you, CIA.
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Old 6th November 2013, 07:08 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Damn you, CIA.
I think that one was a Mossad operation.
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Old 6th November 2013, 07:27 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
I think that one was a Mossad operation.
The enemies of the glorious Bolivarian Revolution are everywhere and will stop at nothing!
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Old 7th November 2013, 07:01 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
The enemies of the glorious Bolivarian Revolution are everywhere and will stop at nothing!
They might if it gets really dark, so naturally all those power outages are just the Glorious Bolivarian Revolution defending itself.
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Old 8th November 2013, 12:15 AM   #143
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The tragedy of Venezuela is in that most countries that face problems try to stop them. That's why we see collapses as a more or less sudden events, when the whole thing is already so in the gutter the government can't do anything to prevent it any more.
In Venezuela however, the decline is gradual, and nothing is done to stop it. This health crisis has been brewing for a decade, it started to erupt about a year ago with a malaria epidemic and now this. The all government does about it is keeping it out of news and pimping the marginal reduction in poverty up to maybe 2006 as the reason it should stay in power indefinitely.

It's quite depressing. They also keep more a fair number of shills abroad, from Wikipedia to this: http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...ca-oil-poverty

Barring tectonic shifts in governance, Venezuela will become a failed state a la Congo - probably by the end of this decade, or sometime within the next at the latest, depending largely on oil price fluctuation and politics in China, Cuba and elsewhere.

McHrozni

Last edited by McHrozni; 8th November 2013 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 8th November 2013, 12:19 AM   #144
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I have to post this as well ...

http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-...p-in-the-slums

Maduro: air defense systems to be set up in the slums

The goal, said Maduro, is to "prevent any enemy, foreign, and imperialist military aircraft from entering the city. It is about securing life peacefully"


Is this about propaganda 1984 style, or just plain corruption to skim off some of the money that will be wasted on it? Or maybe is it to bring heavy duty guns to where a revolution would most likely begin, to do another Ghadaffi? Total paranoia maybe? A bit of each?

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Old 8th November 2013, 12:50 AM   #145
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(apologies, didn't realize I was in non-USA section)

Do we also need to mention that beyond socialism, the entire country mentioned in the OP is rife with payola, corruption, drug money, cartel money, and would-be strongmen hither and yon. Kind of like what happens when the rule of law and the laws of the central government are nullified?

Last edited by jj; 8th November 2013 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 8th November 2013, 12:53 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Is this about propaganda 1984 style, or just plain corruption to skim off some of the money that will be wasted on it? Or maybe is it to bring heavy duty guns to where a revolution would most likely begin, to do another Ghadaffi? Total paranoia maybe? A bit of each?

McHrozni
Well, they are always at war with EastAsia, it's a way for corrupt contractors to skim money, and a way to put military installations where they can crush the people's will.

So which were you complaining about?
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Old 9th November 2013, 05:33 PM   #147
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Now Maduro's government is going after electronics retailers:
Quote:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government "occupied" a chain of electronics stores on Saturday in a high-profile crackdown on what it views as price-gouging hobbling the country's economy.

Authorities arrested various managers of the five-store, 500-employee Daka chain, sent soldiers into the shops, and forced the company to start selling products at cheaper prices.

.."The ones who have looted Venezuela are you, bourgeois parasites," Maduro said, accusing Daka of raising some prices of products beyond 1,000 percent of cost. He showed particular astonishment at a washing-machine on sale for 54,000 bolivars ($8,571 at the official exchange rate of 6.3 to the dollar).

"We're going to comb the whole nation in the next few days. This robbery of the people has to stop," Maduro said. "You've not seen anything. This is the just the little tip of the iceberg."

At Daka's flagship store in Caracas, soldiers organized hundreds of people into queues, making lists before calling them in one-by-one. Rangel had waited overnight, with various relatives, and was hoping to find a cheap TV.

...Under price controls set up a decade ago, the state sells a limited amount of dollars at 6.3 bolivars, but given the short supply, some importers complain they are forced into a black market where the price is nearly tenfold higher.

"Because they don't allow me to buy dollars at the official rate of 6.3, I have to buy goods with black market dollars at about 60 bolivars, so how can I be expected to sell things at a loss? Can my children eat with that?" said the businessman, who asked not to be identified.
Looks like soon there will be no electronics on the shelves of stores in Venezuela either. Maduro, of course, will blame the USA and the Jews for this when in reality he's fighting basic economic principles.
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Old 9th November 2013, 06:42 PM   #148
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Maybe if Maduro wasn't sapping the life out of his country's own currency the inflation wouldn't be so ridiculous and he wouldn't feel the need to raid retail outlets for "price gouging". Damn those j0000z!!!!
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Old 9th November 2013, 07:37 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
(apologies, didn't realize I was in non-USA section)

Do we also need to mention that beyond socialism, the entire country mentioned in the OP is rife with payola, corruption, drug money, cartel money, and would-be strongmen hither and yon. Kind of like what happens when the rule of law and the laws of the central government are nullified?
Probably not, but it never hurts to re-establish the context.
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Old 10th November 2013, 11:37 PM   #150
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Pure electioneering, the elections are four weeks away and it looks like the opposition got the upper hand in governments' back yard. This is desperate damage control, with emphasis on desperate.

Venezuelan oil basket is down to about 92$/barrel, which is complicating their finances. A year ago, facing the same issue, the government simply bought and distributed appliances for "reduced cost" - though using the same standards as they applied here, still made a hefty profit. That's another story.

I'm really looking forward to what the 8th December elections will bring. Remember, the legislative elections, where opposition won the popular vote but gerrymandering gave the government almost 60% of deputies, are just over a year away. It's doubtful they can clean up their act at all, let alone in a single year. This desperate fight will leave them weakened for the one to come, and they may still loose it.

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Old 12th November 2013, 04:40 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
Well, they are always at war with EastAsia, it's a way for corrupt contractors to skim money, and a way to put military installations where they can crush the people's will.

So which were you complaining about?
In regards to these AA systems ... there is a distinct possibility Maduro is planning on going to war - much like Argentina back in 1980 with the Falklands. Venezuela is claiming something like 2/3s of Guayana. The claim is illegal by international standards, but that hasn't deterred them from pushing it more and more recently. Between the Su-27s, Bolivarian militia and these AA systems (presumably to protect them from US/UK aiding Guayana), I have a nasty feeling they could try it.

It would serve the purpose of rallying the population behind the president, give Maduro some credibility among the military. It would be a campaign aimed at securing domestic situation, surely, but I see it as a dangerous possibility. It would also explain the offensive and defensive weapons purchases of the last few years.

What do you guys think? Plausible?

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Old 8th December 2013, 06:26 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Now Maduro's government is going after electronics retailers:

Looks like soon there will be no electronics on the shelves of stores in Venezuela either. Maduro, of course, will blame the USA and the Jews for this when in reality he's fighting basic economic principles.
Now cars:
Venezuela: Maduro signs decree to control car prices

Quote:
New cars are currently hard to find, and Venezuelans often have to pay very high prices for an used car.

Mr Maduro, who previously legislated on the prices of electronics, toys and clothes, has accused criminal gangs of creating artificially high prices in the used car market.

The legislation says old cars cannot be sold at prices higher than new cars.
Quote:
Those who break the new law will face jail sentences of six to 12 years, Mr Maduro said.

The government hopes that the regulations will put a halt to a popular loophole used by Venezuelans to guard against one of the world's highest inflation rates (21.1% in 2012), says the BBC's Irene Caselli in Caracas.
Also this:
Venezuela's President Tightens Grip on Media

Quote:
Between January and September, the number of attacks on journalists, cases of harassment and reports of censorship has risen 56 percent compared with the first nine months of 2012, according to a complaint filed by press freedom groups in October to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Even more damaging has been the sale of several media outlets once critical of the government to owners who more closely follow the official line.

Capriles calls it an "information blockade," and warns that President Nicolas Maduro's alleged attempts to silence the opposition signal a more authoritarian style of rule to come unless resoundingly reject his policies at the ballot box this Sunday. The election for mayors and city councils is a dogfight in this deeply polarized country. It is also Maduro's first electoral test since he defeated Capriles in April by a razor-thin margin following Hugo Chavez's death from cancer.

"Without a doubt this is one of the toughest moments in our history to get our message out," said Capriles, who has been crisscrossing the country stumping for opposition candidates.

Yet for all the opposition complaints, analysts say the government's biggest trump card going into the vote isn't its grip on the media but rather Maduro's political instincts. Facing a steady decline in the polls, Maduro on Nov. 9 seized control of several retail outlets, arrested dozens of store managers and slashed prices on plasma TVs and fridges to strike a blow against opponents he accuses of waging an "economic war" against his government. The measures have led to a steady improvement in the president's approval rating, said Luis Vicente Leon of Caracas-based pollster Datanalisis.

The most likely result from Sunday's vote, Leon said, is the opposition winning in Caracas and other big cities while the government remains dominant in the countryside, giving each side a claim on victory.
Any chance the opposition could win here? Some people might have been happy to get some cheap appliances, but where will they come from in the future?
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Old 8th December 2013, 09:46 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Any chance the opposition could win here? Some people might have been happy to get some cheap appliances, but where will they come from in the future?
The Chavistas only see the next election, apperantly. There is one going on today, for mayors and whatnot. These instances of government-sancioned looting might score them a few points. We'll know in about 12 hours. The next election is another 20 months or so from now.

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Old 8th December 2013, 10:41 AM   #154
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Are the lights back on yet, or not?
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Old 8th December 2013, 03:20 PM   #155
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Violent crime skyrocketing in Venezuela.

Quote:
Welcome to Venezuela - a country which has the highest kidnapping rate in the world and where law and order are failing so badly that even the criminal gangs are scared.
To say the South American nation is undergoing a kidnapping epidemic is an understatement...

Venezuela has the highest murder rate in South America - 55 for every 100,000 people.
He (director James Brabazon) said kidnapping crimes had skyrocketed a decade ago after late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez freed thousands of violent prisoners as part of controversial criminal justice system reforms.
Kidnapping and ransom is also big business for criminals.
"The Socialist government showed little interest in the plight of the middle class - and many criminals felt they could operate with near-impunity," he said.
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Old 8th December 2013, 11:30 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
Are the lights back on yet, or not?
The blackout lasted almost 48 hours, so yes, they're back on by now

The local election results are out, after an unexplained and technologically unnecessary six hour delay. It looks like the opposition scored a few minor wins, but no major upheavals. Most likely scenario right now is that both sides will claim this to be a victory of some sort.

Well, I certainly hope the electoral solution remains viable for Venezuela for another two years or so. If the shift doesn't happen then, the country is doomed.

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Old 9th December 2013, 08:01 PM   #157
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Maybe this is just a trend following the path of least resistance, but it seems that kidnapping for profit has become the Latin American get rich quick scheme.

Popular in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, a few other places ...
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Old 9th December 2013, 08:19 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
Maybe this is just a trend following the path of least resistance, but it seems that kidnapping for profit has become the Latin American get rich quick scheme.

Popular in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, a few other places ...
It's been the happening for some time now. On a related note, I recommend News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
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Old 9th December 2013, 08:39 PM   #159
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I wonder what the real rate of inflation is there. The BBC article I linked above said the official rate was 21.1% in 2012, but in November it was up to 46.85% according to Trading Economics. They give their source as Banco Central de Venezuela, so I assume that's the official rate too. As far as the exchange rate of the Bolivar to the dollar, the official exchange rate is 6.3 to the dollar, but on the black market people paid as much as 57 per dollar according to a Nov. 1 article.

Bitly gets caught in Venezuela's crackdown on websites that track black market exchange rates

Quote:
CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelans have been scrambling for dollars for weeks, taking refuge in the greenback as their own currency is in free fall. Rather than address the economic imbalances behind the bolivar's plunge, the government is going after the bearers of the bad news — it's taking down websites people use to track exchange rates on the black market.

Cyber-activists say the crackdown goes to absurd lengths, even targeting Bitly, the popular site for shortening Web addresses to make it easier to send them as links via Twitter and other social media. For more than two weeks, access to the service has been partially censored by several Internet service providers in Venezuela, apparently because Bitly was being used to evade blocks put on currency-tracking websites.
This article, published Dec. 5th gives the current black market exchange rate as "10 times the official rate" which would be 63/dollar.
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Old 9th December 2013, 11:31 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I wonder what the real rate of inflation is there. The BBC article I linked above said the official rate was 21.1% in 2012, but in November it was up to 46.85% according to Trading Economics. They give their source as Banco Central de Venezuela, so I assume that's the official rate too.
Cato institute had an interesting article on it.
http://www.cato.org/blog/venezuelas-house-cards
The implied (e.a. real) inflation rate is well over 250%.

Quote:
As far as the exchange rate of the Bolivar to the dollar, the official exchange rate is 6.3 to the dollar, but on the black market people paid as much as 57 per dollar according to a Nov. 1 article.
The unofficial exchange rate differs from who you ask. I use http://www.paralelovenezuela.com/, which provides several. The average was above 60:1 from early December, and indeed hovers around 63 to the dollar in the past two weeks.

Tragically, neither matters all that much. Venezuela government has a lid on the media, they own the most important media outlets and will strangle those they don't own if necessary. They've been known to press advertisers to pull ads from media not friendly to the regime, withhold printing paper imports for papers and so on. Self-censorship is rife as a result. Plus they obscenely abuse the power to command all airwaves for hours on end with important messages, mostly about how evil the opposition is and how the future is bright and so on. It's a tad hard to expect positive change in such environment.

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