Venezuela Jails Over 100 "Bourgeois, Barbaric, Capitalist Parasites"

Tyler Durden's picture

"It's time to deepen the offensive, go to the bone in this economic war," warned Venezuelan President Maduro - echoing Hugo Chavez's iron fist of socialism (and nationalization) before him - as his decision to jail over 100 businessmen is "defending the poor." As Reuters reports, plenty of Venezuelans have applauded his measures, saying price hikes were out of control, while others have expressed fears that Maduro could be uncorking dangerous forces as opposition forces note Maduro's economic policies were "chillingly similar" to those of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Officials say unscrupulous companies have been hiking prices of electronics and other goods more than 1,000 percent. Critics say failed socialist economic policies and restricted access to foreign currency are behind Venezuela's runaway inflation. No matter which, Maduro thundered "They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites!"

 

 

Via Reuters,

Venezuela's socialist government has arrested more than 100 "bourgeois" businessmen in a crackdown on alleged price-gouging at hundreds of shops and companies since the weekend, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.

 

"They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites!" Maduro thundered in the latest of his lengthy daily speeches. "We have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment."

 

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Officials say unscrupulous companies have been hiking prices of electronics and other goods more than 1,000 percent. Critics say failed socialist economic policies and restricted access to foreign currency are behind Venezuela's runaway inflation.

 

"Goodyear has to lower its prices even more, 15 percent is not enough, the inspectors have go there straightaway," Maduro said in his evening address, sending officials to check local operations of the U.S.-based tire manufacturer.

 

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Like Chavez, Maduro says he is defending the poor.

 

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"It's time to deepen the offensive, go to the bone in this economic war," he said.

 

Only a few of the hundreds of shops targeted with surprise inspections had been found to be offering "fair prices," officials say. Some businesses are voluntarily lowering prices - or staying closed - in case the inspectors come.

 

"We've reduced everything by 10 to 15 percent, but it's not fair. I can't make a profit now," said the owner of one small electronics store, who asked not to be identified.

 

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Venezuela's official inflation, 54 percent annually, is the highest in the Americas.

 

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Prominent pro-opposition columnist Nelson Bocaranda said Maduro's economic policies were "chillingly similar" to those of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. The African leader also used security forces to enforce a price crackdown in 2007.

 

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"This shows the economic chaos Maduro has got us in where prices have no logic. The government created this monster and now tries to pretend it will control it, but Venezuelans cannot be deceived by this electoral show," Justice First said.

Still, on the bright side, look at their stock market this year! That must mean things are going great, right?

 

Think of the wealth effect?