Hugo Chavez leveled a threat against Venezuelan farmers over the weekend, another step in creating his socialist paradise. He called farmers who sell abroad to gain a better price for their goods “traitors”, and told his ministers to identify them so that he could send the Army to confiscate their property:
President Hugo Chavez threatened on Sunday to take over farms or milk plants if owners refuse to sell their milk for domestic consumption and instead seek higher profits abroad or from cheese-makers.
With the country recently facing milk shortages, Chavez said “it’s treason” if farmers deny milk to Venezuelans while selling it across the border in Colombia or for gourmet cheeses.
“In that case the farm must be expropriated,” Chavez said, adding that the government could also take over milk plants and properties of beef producers.
“I’m putting you on alert,” Chavez said. “If there’s a producer that refuses to sell the product … and sells it at a higher price abroad … ministers, find me the proof so it can be expropriated.”
Addressing his Cabinet, he said: “If the army must be brought in, you bring in the army.”
On Saturday, he made similar threats against bankers. He wants them to set aside a third of their loans as low-cost agricultural, residential, and small-business loans. If they fail to do so, Chavez will nationalize them as well, continuing his confiscatory practices and intimidation.
In the end for all Socialists, the Army takes property away from the people. Everyone who opposes them are traitors. The state must run all to achieve ultimate “fairness”.
Chavez needs this more than most because his status as president-for-life could not get secured in last year’s flop of a referendum. Food and milk shortages that have predictably arisen from state control of the markets have created anger and opposition to his socialist plan for Venezuela. He cannot afford now to allow for the proper solution, which is to reduce state interference in the markets and allow prices to normalize on their own.
Chavez has chosen the Mugabe way of state confiscation of farms, and will eventually get the Mugabe result — taking his nation into poverty and starvation on land that should produce enough for export. (via QandO)