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Socialism relief valve: Venezuelans to be allowed to shop in Columbia

Socialism relief valve: Venezuelans to be allowed to shop in Columbia

Socialism sucks.

The Colombian and Venezuelan governments have agreed to partially open their border as Venezuelans need food and basic goods for survival.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro closed the border last year to prevent smuggling, but with his people literally starving to death due to his socialist policies, he had to change course.

Maduro agreed to the change after meeting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos:

“We’re interested in a new beginning in economic and commercial relations with all of Colombia’s productive sectors,” said Maduro, seated next to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in front of a picture of Latin American independence hero Simon Bolivar, who dreamed of integrating the region.

The presidents agreed on give checkpoints with guards that will remain open from 6am to 9pm.

Hundreds of citizens illegally crossed into Colombia in July, which led to the governments temporarily opening a checkpoint. Over 100,000 people crashed through just to buy toilet paper and little things we take for granted in America.

Those who cannot make it to Colombia have spent eight hours in food lines. At the end of July, Maduro resorted to forced farm labor:

In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

. . . . President Nicolas Maduro is using his executive powers to declare a state of economic emergency. By using a decree, he can legally circumvent Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly — the Congress — which is staunchly against all of Maduro’s actions.

According to the decree from July 22, workers would still be paid their normal salary by the government and they can’t be fired from their actual job.

It is a potent sign of tough conditions in Venezuela, which is grappling with the lack of basic food items like milk, eggs and bread. People wait hours in lines outsides supermarkets to buy groceries and often only see empty shelves.

It has become too dangerous in Venezuela for trucks and people to deliver food to supermarkets.One council member told the Times that food delivery trucks cannot reach their destination because “people follow them and loot them.” The member, who did not want the publication to identify them, said “[T]here’s a danger of civil war here.”

Maduro took over private food companies, but the government does not have the resources to make everything work. Only Polar Enterprises remains, but if Maduro snatches that, his country will run out of the small amount of food they have.

In Catia, residents lined up for hours just to receive small packets of flour. The government quickly ran out, which led to riots against the “police with riot shields and national guardsmen with rifles as members of government-run armed gangs known as colectivos.”


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I recently vacationed in the Bahamas and did the super touristy swim with the Dolphins activity. As the guide had the group go around and introduce ourselves, one couple said they were from Venezuela. They were a young, attractive pair. I had to bite my lip to keep from asking if their parents were in government there or just some type of connected elite, because no average or even relatively successful Venezuelan can currently dream of affording such a trip. It’s disgusting to me to read reports of people literally starving there while these two are living a fairytale existence. Probably not their fault, but I’ve seen plenty of the corruption in South America firsthand, along with the suffering and poverty it creates. It gets to me.

I heard Bernie just bought a nice piece of lakefront property for $600k. It will happen here more and more as long as progressives keep getting their way. Republican or Democrat, progressives are the true enemy.

    Exiliado in reply to Zachary. | August 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    While it could be, that the young couple is related to corrupt government officials, it is not true that successful Venezuelans cannot afford that trip.
    There’s still a large number of wealthy Venezuelans that can afford that and much more.
    In fact, here in Miami there’s a growing Venezuelan community. Many of them can afford to buy their houses CASH, something that has made real estate prices here soar back to pre-bubble-burst levels.
    Some of them could be chavistas, but most are refugees who fear going back.

      Zachary in reply to Exiliado. | August 13, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Yeah that’s money flight, and they had an offshore account. When your currency is worthless you’re not spending it frivolously on vacations.

Great to see William Shatner working again. So he’s President of Colombia now?

    persecutor in reply to tyates. | August 13, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Priceline dropped him and he needed a quickie source of income to pay for him to send his hairpieces in for their 30K mile checkup, so the Colombia gig was a lifesaver.

Here we go again.

The name of the Latin American country is Colombia.

There’s no letter U.

Huh, in that top photo he looks shockingly like William Shatner.

Things are probably even worse than they appear.

The goods available in Colombia or Brazil aren’t subsidized by government oil money, so they can be expected to cost something fairly close to Venezuela’s black market prices. But Venezuelans seem enthusiastic to pay such (to them) shockingly high prices in Colombia or Brazil. So why aren’t they just buying black market goods at home? Costs would be as high, but transportation would be much easier.

Probably because the Venezuelan black marked has also collapsed. And that means that things are double-extra-special bad.

Venezuela isn’t facing collapse, it’s facing catastrophe.

It’s hard to see even an improbable path to recovery. Assume arguendo that, by some impossible miracle, the oil revenues resumed their old pace tomorrow; if the production and distribution channels are gone, the situation won’t improve.

Although resumption of revenues is what they’re probably hoping will happen