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Venezuela – Murders, electricity rationing, and now food rationing 2010-Sep-06 at 13:23 PST

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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We already know that Venezuela, under scumbag dictator Hugo Chávez, has become the world’s most violent place to live, with four times the number of civilian deaths from violence in 2009 than Iraq, and 63% more homicides since 2007 than even Mexico, with its out-of-control drug-related violence.

Caracas itself is almost unrivaled among large cities in the Americas for its homicide rate, which currently stands at around 200 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to Roberto Briceño-León, the sociologist at the Central University of Venezuela who directs the violence observatory.

That compares with recent measures of 22.7 per 100,000 people in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, and 14 per 100,000 in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city. As Mr. Chávez’s government often points out, Venezuela’s crime problem did not emerge overnight, and the concern over murders preceded his rise to power.

But scholars here describe the climb in homicides in the past decade as unprecedented in Venezuelan history; the number of homicides last year was more than three times higher than when Mr. Chávez was elected in 1998.

Chávez’s official response to newspapers reporting that story was to order them to stop publishing photographs of the murders, but what would you expect from an incompetent government whose only remaining backer is the equally confused Oliver Stone?

"Forget the hundreds of children who die from stray bullets, or the kids who go through the horror of seeing their parents or older siblings killed before their eyes," said Teodoro Petkoff, the editor of another newspaper here, mocking the court’s decision in a front-page editorial. "Their problem is the photograph."

The electricity rationing is starting to ease, but in a nation that previously was prosperous, and is one of the largest energy-producers in the world, it’s an embarrassment and a symbol of the incompetence that Chávez brings through his dictatorship.

Now, however, we move to an even deeper sign of desperation and grasping at control… and one that all dictatorial regimes eventually turn to: food rationing.  From Venezuela introduces Cuba-like food card, by Antonio Maria Delgado, 03-Sep-2010

Presented by President Hugo Chávez as an instrument to make shopping for groceries easier, the "Good Life Card" is making various segments of the population wary because they see it as a furtive attempt to introduce a rationing card similar to the one in Cuba.

The measure could easily become a mechanism to control the population, according to civil society groups.

"We see that in short-term this could become a rationing card probably similar to the one used in Cuba," Roberto León Parilli, president of the National Association of Users and Consumers, told El Nuevo Herald. "It would use more advanced technological means [than those used in Cuba], but when they tell you where to buy and what the limits of what you can buy are, they are conditioning your purchases."

And although the cards were introduced [in Cuba] as a mechanism to deal with scarcities, Suchlicki said, they later became an instrument of control.

"People depended on the government to eat, and nothing gives you more power than having people depend on you to get their food quota," he said.

As I frequently point out… it’s just a matter of time until Venezuela becomes a state like North Korea or Zimbabwe, thoroughly controlled by an oppressive regime, economically and socially run into the ground, and desperately in need of international intervention to save its population.  The sooner we deal with him, the less the damage, and the suffering, will be.  And the suffering is already great.

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