13 January 2010

Idiocracy Alert! OIl-rich Venezuela Hit by Power Blackouts

Socialism has a way of tearing down economies that have every reason to prosper. Despite enormous oil wealth, Hugo Chavez' Venezuela is on the brink of massive power blackouts. The government recently devalued the Venezuelan currency. The Venezuelan economy is undergoing significant contraction at the same time as inflation threatens to rocket out of control.
Venezuelans are already suffering widespread water rationing and increased power cuts and could punish the socialist president for the problems in September elections for lawmakers.

Chavez must navigate a number of issues, including price rises after a devaluation and high crime, if he is to maintain his approval ratings above 50 percent this year. _reuters

Venezuela appears to be following in the path of formerly wealthy Zimbabwe, which recently issued a $1 trillion bank note.

"The typical Venezuelan is saying, 'My savings are going to be worthless,' " said Robert Bottome, editor of the business newsletter Veneconomia in Caracas, the capital. "The store shelves are pretty much empty right now."

The energy shortage has affected industrial hubs and far-flung hamlets. On Tuesday, the government announced rolling blackouts in big cities to prevent what Electricity Minister Angel Rodríguez called "a total shutdown of the country." _WaPo
Meanwhile in the US, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi see much to admire in the ideas of social justice as practised by world leaders such as Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez. They intend to emulate the success of the two leaders, who were received with exceptional respect at the recent Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change.

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