Real life: Venezuela’s Maduro orders military occupation… of electronics stores

posted at 6:01 pm on November 9, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Well. This just gets more and more Orwellian by the day, doesn’t it? Via Reuters:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the military “occupation” of a chain of electronic goods stores in a crackdown on what the socialist government views as price-gouging hobbling the country’s economy.

Various managers of the five-store, 500-employee Daka chain have been arrested, and the company will now be forced to sell products at “fair prices,” Maduro said late on Friday. …

On Saturday morning, hundreds of bargain-hunters flocked to Daka shops to take advantage of the new, cheaper prices.

“We’re doing this for the good of the nation,” said Maduro, who accuses rich businessmen and right-wing political foes backed by Washington of waging an economic “war” against him.

“I’ve ordered the immediate occupation of this chain to offer its products to the people at fair prices, everything. Let nothing remain in stock … We’re going to comb the whole nation in the next few days. This robbery of the people has to stop.”

Ah, yes — because as we all know, the determination of what kinds of prices are “fair” based on the arbitrary standards and political calculations of Venezuela’s venerable and equality-minded overlords is precisely what the country needs to help put it back on the path of economic stability and curb its annual 50+ percent inflation rate. Or, something along those lines, anyway.

Maduro and his government are still blaming the disastrous economic scenario into which they have rapidly been hurtling on the nefarious machinations of private-sector hoarding and speculation, on top of a probable plot cooked up by the United States government and opposition agitators attempting to wage “economic war” against him. Outright military occupations and takeovers are nothing that his predecessor Hugo Chavez hasn’t done before in times of political trouble, but Venezuela has municipal elections next month and Maduro really needs to do something to bolster his credibility/popularity before then. Scrapping the price controls and government interventions actually crippling the Venezuelan economy are evidently out of the question, but super-awesome ideas like deciding Venezuelans are in for an early Christmas? Totally legit. Via Mac Margolis at the Daily Beast:

Last week he created a Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness, perhaps hoping that true contentment in the crumbling Bolivarian republic could be conjured with a pen stroke. And now Maduro’s latest move has been to declare an early Christmas.

As exotic as it sounds, getting the jump on Father Christmas has its logic. In a land where prices are rising at a blistering 50 percent per  year, street crime is raging, and blackouts are commonplace, Venezuelans could use some holiday cheer. The fact that the season’s greetings come with an advance bonus on government paychecks only sweetens the pot.

And Maduro’s hoping it will help the government, as well. On December 8, Venezuelans will go to the polls yet again to vote in municipal elections. With the gathering economic mess, which has depleted supermarkets of household goods and sent the price of the dollar skyrocketing to six times the official rate, government approval ratings have sagged. By fattening paychecks before the polls, Maduro clearly is hoping to heal the country’s wounds and buoy the fortunes of Chavista candidates, many of whom are trailing rising challengers.


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Did he order them to “Charge”?

Flange on November 9, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Barky could accomplish virtually the same thing without using the military by simply creating a permanent “glitch” in the EBT system …

ShainS on November 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM

He’s worse than Chavez.

22044 on November 9, 2013 at 6:13 PM

We are living through Atlas Shrugged right now. :(

Theophile on November 9, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Did we not just do the same thing with Health Insurance?

dirtseller on November 9, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Does anyone seriously believe that President Obama and the rest of the left would not think this a good idea? Perhaps they’ve like to accomplish it by passing laws and issuing executive orders rather than using the military, but I guarantee you that they think having the national government set prices would be good for the nation.

Shump on November 9, 2013 at 6:18 PM

This robbery of the people has to stop.

Irony is flabbergasted.

Count to 10 on November 9, 2013 at 6:19 PM

So are people being forced to purchase electronics with toilet paper?

Or is it the other way around?

ajacksonian on November 9, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Meh, this kind of stuff has been going on here in the US for decades.

Why does Radio Shack ask for your phone number when you buy batteries?

Del Dolemonte on November 9, 2013 at 6:22 PM

We are living through Atlas Shrugged right now. :(

Theophile on November 9, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Well, Venezuelans are. We’re still working on it.

Count to 10 on November 9, 2013 at 6:22 PM

http://www.foxnews.com/science/interactive/2013/11/08/track-europe-falling-2000-pound-satellite-in-real-time/

this might be the only thing to save OBlundercare now..
if it hits the HHS Building it might bring down the servers..
act of God and all that…
or..
we might need a HA pool on time/date/location…??

going2mars on November 9, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Socialists think they can repeal gravity with the stroke of a pen.

Reality will really bite hard when it finally gets to Venuzuela!!

landlines on November 9, 2013 at 6:29 PM

I’m sure the owners of Daka will be placing a large order with their suppliers to restock their inventory after the fire sale this week gets all of their current stock sold. Watch out Apple, Samsung, LG, and all you other evil manufacturers.

NOMOBO on November 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Obama and staff intently studying this and furiously taking notes…

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM

This reminds me of the EPA conducting an inspection like a SWAT Team raiding an armed drug dealer’s home.

Wigglesworth on November 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Do these people not have guns?

Bishop on November 9, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Come to Crazy Nicky’s Discount Electronics Confiscations. Our prices and policies are insane!

JSchuler on November 9, 2013 at 6:35 PM

So what happens when El Jeffe runs out of money or other people’s property to hand out?

GarandFan on November 9, 2013 at 6:35 PM

So what?

Venezuela is not a FREE country, but America is SUPPOSED to be, and yet, obama has ordered his personal military, the IRS and HHS, to occupy every doctor’s office and medical facility, across America, and we are told that it’s for our own good.

Pork-Chop on November 9, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Silly Maduro! You should learn from Obama. “Fair” prices are achieved through legislative and executive fiat.

Glenn Jericho on November 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM

obama’s hero…wait, there are NO mandates in Venezuela, China or Russia, yet, there’s no obama’care’ in all the world either.

Schadenfreude on November 9, 2013 at 6:46 PM

So what happens when El Jeffe runs out of money or other people’s property to hand out?

GarandFan on November 9, 2013 at 6:35 PM

He’ll blame it on the capitalist in the U.S.

Mimzey on November 9, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Interestingly, this popped up on my twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/CaracasChron

It’s in Spanish but the cartoon – a “short and concise picture of Socialism is easily understood. His blog is in English.

Blake on November 9, 2013 at 6:53 PM

The minimum wage is based on the same ignorant thinking used here.

mankai on November 9, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Shite! We missed the revolutionary leg-of-pork giveaway. &%^(#

http://caracaschronicles.com/2013/11/08/the-communicational-hegemony-cookbook/

Blake on November 9, 2013 at 6:57 PM

“I’ve ordered the immediate occupation of this chain to offer its products to the people at fair prices, everything. Let nothing remain in stock … We’re going to comb the whole nation in the next few days. This robbery of the people has to stop.”

I wish our President had the balls to do this (instead of what he’s doing now). Maduro clearly shows here that he knows the basic principles of price, supply, and demand. Price fixing and unchanged supply will inevitably lead to empty shelves, and Maduro knows it.

It’s sort of refreshing to see a dictator demagoguing out of pure self interest, rather than alleging that he’s acting out of some sound economic principle, like Obama tries to do. (“Healthcare is an exception to market rules”; “costs will go down by $2500 on average”; “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”)

Glenn Jericho on November 9, 2013 at 6:58 PM

This is the endgame for entitlement culture.

mintycrys on November 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Now I would support this if it was an ice cream store…I hate the fact that “1/2 gallons”, are not anymore.

right2bright on November 9, 2013 at 7:03 PM

I’ve ordered the immediate occupation of this chain to offer its products to the people at fair prices, everything. Let nothing remain in stock …

This would make an awesome commercial for a sale.

RINO in Name Only on November 9, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Soon Obama will have Homeland Security guards and body scanners at the entrance of all doctor’s offices and clinics checking to see if all that enter have ObamaCare…..

albill on November 9, 2013 at 7:08 PM

And to think the people of Venezuela voted for this. I don’t know how honest/corrupt their elections are there. But then again, I’m not sure how honest/corrupt our elections are in the U.S.

They have Maduro, we have Obama. They have the Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness, we have the MSM. They have a crazy dictator who takes over whole industries, and we have . . .

Oh. Crap.

the_moll on November 9, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Obama took over the civilian healthcare industry . . . what’s the difference?

rplat on November 9, 2013 at 7:17 PM

This time it will work. And if not, then the next time it’ll definitely work. Or maybe the time after. Most definitely the time after the time after that. Definitely.

NotCoach on November 9, 2013 at 7:17 PM

…he is JugEars hero!

KOOLAID2 on November 9, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Maduro and his government are still blaming the disastrous economic scenario into which they have rapidly been hurtling on the nefarious machinations of private-sector hoarding and speculation, on top of a probable plot cooked up by the United States government and opposition agitators attempting to wage “economic war” against him.

Probably has nothing to do with investments not being safe in Venezuela, right? lol
Socialists aren’t too bright.

Murf76 on November 9, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Did he order them to “Charge”?

Flange on November 9, 2013 at 6:03 PM

lolz.

SparkPlug on November 9, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Somewhere in China an 11 year old electronics assembler just got screwed out of their Christmas bonus.

As if they celebrate Christmas in communist China.

popup on November 9, 2013 at 8:15 PM

When Obama does this to ammo stores be frosty. I don’t think we have long.

jukin3 on November 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Idiots. That will work great until that stock is gone from the shelves. Then the store owners will either close up shop or move to the black market. Artificial pricing never works.

What do you expect from a country with a bus driver for a President, though?

crosspatch on November 9, 2013 at 8:21 PM

In that photo, Maduro looks like Saddam Hussein dressed up for Halloween… as a drug cartel kingpin.

Which probably tells you all you need to know about him, and his IQ.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 9, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Mustn’t let the peopns have radios…….

WryTrvllr on November 9, 2013 at 8:29 PM

peons

WryTrvllr on November 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Last week he created a Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness…

Venezuelans best be happy and smile…or Maduro might wish them into the cornfield.

JetBoy on November 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM

One has to wonder if the new Mayor of New York is taking notes.

KW64 on November 9, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Venezuela = Zimbabwe on the Caribbean.

dissent555 on November 10, 2013 at 12:31 AM

Sooner or later, they are going to run out of toilet paper again and realize a higher use for Maduro’s paper currency.

Venezuela should be one of the richest countries in the hemisphere. Their current state is entirely due to socialist policies.

We should not see them as a tragedy, but as an object lesson.

Adjoran on November 10, 2013 at 1:20 AM

What’s scary is not the government doing this — it’s the response of the people, lining up to take advantage of what they know is thievery.

But we’ve seen the same from the people touting Obamacare, so I guess they exist in every country.

unclesmrgol on November 10, 2013 at 1:44 AM

Hey, in Argentina the government mandates the price of the Big Mac (yes, the actual Big Mac) so people don’t realize the skyrocketing rate of inflation.

In short, economically many governments and economists use the price of a Big Mac to determine a country’s rate of inflation due to the detailed -and very accurate- analysis Mc Donald’s does to set its prices in each region, and it is the one product that is universal around the world.

So, that’s how upside down so much of central and South America is.

ptcamn on November 10, 2013 at 6:59 AM

They have arrested and detained reporters covering the economic crises there. An American was just released, however, I don’t think his Venezuelan buddies are as lucky.

Blake on November 10, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Amerikazuela!

Who would have thought we could sink this low……but wait….

PappyD61 on November 10, 2013 at 1:35 PM