Venezuela’s “economic war” escalating quickly as Maduro throws 100 business owners in jail

posted at 4:01 pm on November 15, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

In his dauntless, noble commitment to perpetually fighting back the tyrannical forces of supply and demand, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro is upping the ante on punishing those unscrupulous private business owners that would dare to do anything so selfishly shortsighted as to react to changing market forces and actually charge prices high enough to keep themselves operational. Such moral bankruptcies are obvious grounds for imprisonment — at least in whatever socialist fantasyland Maduro is living in at the moment. Via the Financial Times:

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has intensified his crackdown on private businesses by jailing more than 100 “bourgeois” businessmen, the latest salvo in what he calls an “economic war” on alleged unfair pricing.

“I broke the spine of the economic war and the economic coup they were planning,” Mr Maduro said late on Thursday. “We have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment.”

In the past week, the president has sent soldiers to seize electronic stores he has accused of unjustified price rises, hoarding and speculation. Eyewitnesses say bargain hunters then flooded the shops and some looting was reported. Inspectors have been dispatched to about 1,400 other businesses. …

The government says unscrupulous businessmen belonging to the “parasitic bourgeoisie” have been raising prices of certain goods more than 1,000 per cent. Promising to step up an “economic offensive”, Mr Maduro announced that he was to set caps on businesses’ profit margins and extend controls to establish “fair” prices. “They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites,” he said.

The purveyors of this “economic war” on his regime, as ever, are the usual suspects: Shady and conspiratorial forces funded by the United States and his political opposition out to undermine his rule. Unfortunately, as the FT piece points out, only something between 5 and 20 percent of the population believe his various conspiracy theories, so it’s a good thing, then, that the government is about to grant Maduro special powers that will essentially allow him to rule by decree, the better to protect Venezuelans’ interests. Via the BBC:

Venezuela’s National Assembly has paved the way to granting special powers for President Nicolas Maduro.

Under the measures the leader would be able to govern by decree for 12 months.

The bill still needs to be revised by a special commission and debated for a second time, but correspondents do not expect significant changes to be made.

Mr Maduro says he will use it to tackle corruption and the economic crisis. However, critics fear he may use it to silence the opposition.

Silence the opposition? Why, he would never do such a thing! This is only about temporarily doing what’s absolutely necessary in order to expose the perfidious denizens of capitalist imperialism trying to destabilize the country, after all. More price controls!


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Maduro jails the toiletpaper-manufacturing CEOs in prison and then he’ll campaign against a toilet paper shortage among the soiled fools.

Socialism…coming to the US, soon.

Schadenfreude on November 15, 2013 at 4:05 PM

jails = throws

Schadenfreude on November 15, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Obama: “Damn, I’m president of the wrong country.”

BuckeyeSam on November 15, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Toiletpaper = obama’care’

Same schadendfreude, different fools being fooled…

Schadenfreude on November 15, 2013 at 4:06 PM

And he still wonders why there is no TOILET PAPER – idiocy.

LarryinLA on November 15, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Were the 100 “bourgeois” businessmen hoarding toilet paper?

workingclass artist on November 15, 2013 at 4:07 PM

He’ll be lining them up against a wall and shooting them soon, just as Castro and Che Guevara did in Cuba, along with the land owners.

thatsafactjack on November 15, 2013 at 4:07 PM

“I broke the spine of the economic war and the economic coup they were planning,” Mr Maduro said late on Thursday. “We have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment.”

that’s Mad Magazine satire isn’t it? are they still publishing that?

DanMan on November 15, 2013 at 4:09 PM

To allay any confusion… Maduro will be shooting the land owners along with business owners, just as Castro and Guevara did in Cuba.

thatsafactjack on November 15, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Obama’s mentor.

antipc on November 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

As PointnClick said last night:

Socialism in a nutshell: They lock up Mr. Whipple, then wonder why there is no toilet paper…

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Obama is green with envy.

The Notorious G.O.P on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

I found myself increasingly worried about the growing potential for mass murder in this situation. What is Maduro going to do when he runs out of stuff to steal? They’re getting pretty close now with this wide-scale looting of retail. Foot riots will probably also start once they loot the supermarkets.

Doomberg on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

This guy will be overthrown.

Dack Thrombosis on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

The time for honoring himself will soon be at an end.

BobMbx on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Obama’s mentor.

antipc on November 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Obambi wannabee.

VegasRick on November 15, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Venezuela’s National Assembly has paved the way to granting special powers for President Nicolas Maduro.

Under the measures the leader would be able to govern by decree for 12 months.

First comes the Enabling Act; then comes…well, you know enough about history to figure that out.

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:12 PM

When anybody calls it a war against “capitalism,” let them know that that is wrong. It is a war against freedom, against free enterprise, against the only economic system that has been proven to lead to economic vitality for all classes! Socialism and communism lead to stagnation, bread lines, horrible lives, and death. This much we know.

And Obamacare, that’s leading us in that direction. Not good, Democrats. Wait until the next election. You will get your just comeuppance, unlike the Venezuelan despots that are not accountable to the people. Dems, you will be held accountable.

anotherJoe on November 15, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Obama furiously taking notes, whispering “This is how you get things done.”

goflyers on November 15, 2013 at 4:13 PM

The time for honoring himself will soon be at an end.

BobMbx on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

“The folks dislike him because he’s hispanic”
*Oafra

VegasRick on November 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Wow, he’s running an absolute-by-the-numbers socialist playbook. The timeline is unavoidable. Destitution, corruption, and eventually genocide. It’s like watching a train wreck that still has three miles to go before it hits the end of the tracks and derails. You know it’s coming. Everyone knows it’s coming, but it going to keep happening anyway.

Meric1837 on November 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Stupid question: even by Venezuelan standards, is this legal?

jwolf on November 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

This guy will be overthrown.

Dack Thrombosis on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

And his body will be dragged through the streets.

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

As PointnClick said last night:

Socialism in a nutshell: They lock up Mr. Whipple, then wonder why there is no toilet paper…

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

That’s how they wipe away any opposition…

oldroy on November 15, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Directive 10-289 would solve all their problems.

Murphy9 on November 15, 2013 at 4:18 PM

That’s how they wipe away any opposition…

oldroy on November 15, 2013 at 4:18 PM

That was a crappy analogy………

VegasRick on November 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM

“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter.”
— Francisco d’Anconia, Atlas Shrugged

Murphy9 on November 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM

It would be so much easier to be president of China….or Venezuela apparently.

KMC1 on November 15, 2013 at 4:20 PM

At least he hasn’t made certain insurance plans illegal. He hasn’t gone that far.

Akzed on November 15, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Wow, this guy is almost as much a dictator as Obama!

cajunpatriot on November 15, 2013 at 4:21 PM

What amazes me is how many Americans keep saying this could never happen here.

KMC1 on November 15, 2013 at 4:22 PM

“We hid the obama’care’ table from the Rs but now we want them to fix the dinner…and take the blame for all the pap”

Schadenfreude on November 15, 2013 at 4:23 PM

90 Years Ago: The End of German Hyperinflation

On 15 November 1923 decisive steps were taken to end the nightmare of hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic: The Reichsbank, the German central bank, stopped monetizing government debt, and a new means of exchange, the Rentenmark, was issued next to the Papermark (in German: Papiermark). These measures succeeded in halting hyperinflation, but the purchasing power of the Papermark was completely ruined. To understand how and why this could happen, one has to take a look at the time shortly before the outbreak of World War I.

Murphy9 on November 15, 2013 at 4:23 PM

To allay any confusion… Maduro will be shooting the land owners along with business owners, just as Castro and Guevara did in Cuba. thatsafactjack on November 15, 2013 at 4:09 PM

But will leave at least one gold course open for themselves. just like Castro and Che.

Akzed on November 15, 2013 at 4:24 PM

hey who was that whacky kid in here we used to call Che? I miss that whacky kid.

Akzed on November 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

The end result of Populism. Don’t go there, kiddies.

thebrokenrattle on November 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Time to start rounding up the Jews! They’re all rich, aren’t they???

Tom Servo on November 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

¡ernesto! Yeah that’s it, ernesto. I guess he just got tired.

Akzed on November 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

“They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites,”

To be fair they aren’t the ones calling for the looting of stores and jailing innocent people.

antipc on November 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

That was a crappy analogy………

VegasRick on November 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM

I’ll be here all week. Tip your waitress.

oldroy on November 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

When will the opposition begin to take matters into their own hands….oops! This was about Venezuela, my mistake.

d1carter on November 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Time to start rounding up the Jews! They’re all rich, aren’t they???

Tom Servo on November 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Yeah. They usually keep lots of gold and artwork and stuff. You could probably send it all to Switzerland for safe keeping.

oldroy on November 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

The end result of Populism. Don’t go there, kiddies.

thebrokenrattle on November 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

The end result of socialism.

Doomberg on November 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

When will the opposition begin to take matters into their own hands….oops! This was about Venezuela, my mistake.

d1carter on November 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Without toilet paper, it may already be happening.

oldroy on November 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Maduro: Who’s up for another round of pin the tail on the honkies?

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Maduro: Who’s up for another round of pin the tail FAIL on the honkies?

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM

The time for honoring himself will soon be at an end.
BobMbx on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

“Maximus! Maximus! Maximus!”

Akzed on November 15, 2013 at 4:32 PM

That was a crappy analogy………

VegasRick on November 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM

He’ll be the butt of jokes pretty soon.

Mimzey on November 15, 2013 at 4:33 PM

First comes the Enabling Act; then comes…well, you know enough about history to figure that out.

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Right! Before the 12 months of rule by decree expires he will extend the the 12 months by decree. (We have heard of executive extentions by decree before.)

KW64 on November 15, 2013 at 4:33 PM

And his body will be dragged through the streets.
Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Then the Venezualens will go after that Maduro guy.

Wait… who?

Akzed on November 15, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Fascism happens when socialism runs out of money.

EricW on November 15, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Under the measures the leader would be able to govern by decree for 12 months.

Obama: Ha! I’ve been doing that for years!!

AverageJoe on November 15, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Madura is trying to steal a bigger fortune than Chavez’s $2 billion.

Hey Chavez. You couldn’t take it with you.

22044 on November 15, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Master and pupil

kcewa on November 15, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Obama: I dont need no steeeenking Enabling Act.

AverageJoe on November 15, 2013 at 4:48 PM

That was a crappy analogy………

VegasRick on November 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM

He’ll be the butt of jokes pretty soon.

Mimzey on November 15, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Well now – that stinks!

Turtle317 on November 15, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Is Maduro’s hero Lenin?

sadatoni on November 15, 2013 at 4:50 PM

So what’s Numbnuts excuse when NO ONE sells Venezuela anything?

GarandFan on November 15, 2013 at 4:50 PM

President Elizabeth Warren’s Second Term.

thuja on November 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

The time for honoring himself will soon be at an end.

BobMbx on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Maximus! Maximus the merciful!

Oldnuke on November 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Bet Obooboo gives him a big man hug at the next UN shindig.

msupertas on November 15, 2013 at 5:04 PM

So ‘if you like your business, you can keep your business, you can keep your business’ is out?

agmartin on November 15, 2013 at 5:04 PM

The end result of socialism.

Doomberg on November 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Socialism is populism on steroids.

thebrokenrattle on November 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

obama should throw all the insurance execs in jail.

phatfawzi on November 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM

obama should throw all the insurance execs in jail.

phatfawzi on November 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Why? They are part of the new branch of democrat money laundering.

Murphy9 on November 15, 2013 at 5:17 PM

When that socialist fool runs out of things to loot in his own country, he will have to start a war…

Maduro, of course… not that other socialist fool…

Erkenbrand on November 15, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I know somebody who flunked History.

Socratease on November 15, 2013 at 5:42 PM

An American liberal’s dream.

CWchangedhisNicagain on November 15, 2013 at 5:53 PM

This guy will be overthrown.

Dack Thrombosis on November 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

And his body will be dragged through the streets.

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Either that, or Obama will offer asylum.

Socratease on November 15, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Either that, or Obama will offer asylum.

Socratease on November 15, 2013 at 6:00 PM

I think that they will kill him rather than depose him.

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 6:04 PM

My heart goes out to the good, hard-working families devastated by this persecution. It looks like Venezuela went from the frying pan of Chavez into the fire of Maduro.

More and more people are going to be corrupted and co-opted by the corruption until there are too few virtuous people left to rebel.

Terrible.

Whitewolf7070 on November 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Aww Maduro, you pansy…

Just SHOOT them already!!! Frickin entrepreneurs. Show O’Bozo how it’s done! Frickin Insurers!

WryTrvllr on November 15, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Maduro has already nationalized the oil and toilet paper businesses…and Venuzuela now has a critical shortage of both of these items.

Socialism seems to make SLOW LEARNERS out of its practitioners.

…it even seems to be worse than a concussion

landlines on November 15, 2013 at 7:52 PM

What’s Spanish for Crystal Night?

pedestrian on November 15, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Venezuela’s “economic war” escalating quickly as Maduro throws 100 business owners in jail

…did all the insurance executives…make it out of the closed door meetings…at the White House today?

KOOLAID2 on November 16, 2013 at 3:57 AM

But they liked ObamaCare on FB.

Sherman1864 on November 16, 2013 at 9:48 AM