Chavez: “Give it to me, buddy”

Monday, January 22nd, 2007 2:53 pm by Neal

“Give it to me, buddy,” says Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

Or he’ll seize it.

As we’ve predicted, the demise of Venezuela into a socialist, Marxist hell-hole is accelerating as Chavez, not content nationalizing private corporations, is now seizing individual holdings in order to “give to the poor.”

We’re just waiting for Hugo to announce that “money is the root of all evil.” This will be the one sure sign that the end is at hand.

If you ever hear a capitalist talk about “legalized theft” then remember this extreme example from Chavez:

CARACAS, Venezuela: Holding on to the family nest egg has suddenly become much harder in Venezuela, where inflation and uncertainty reign as President Hugo Chavez says “nothing and no one” can stop him from transforming the country into a socialist state.

The economy is booming, flush with oil money and government spending, but the usual options for protecting personal wealth don’t apply.

Trading bolivars — worthless outside Venezuela — for another currency is costly and mostly illegal.

Put it in the bank? With inflation running at 17 percent and bolivars plunging on the black market, savings lose value by the day.

Buy a property? It might get expropriated. Chavez, who will soon begin changing laws by presidential decree, announced Sunday that a new “luxury tax” will redistribute wealth to communal councils in poor neighborhoods. He didn’t spell out the details, but said second homes, art collections and expensive cars would be targeted.

“Oh, you have a yacht? Perfect, give it to me, buddy,” Chavez said. “You go around Caracas in a tremendous car. You have a house where you live and another one by sea… You have some marvelous art collections — come here, buddy.”

But the CANTV route is closing down now that Chavez is intent on nationalizing the phone company. CANTV shares plummeted 14 percent on the NYSE to $11.57 a share mid-day Monday, after Chavez said shareholders including New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. will get less than a market price for their stakes, arguing that CANTV was practically given away in a 1991 privatization.

Chavez’s supporters believe the economy remains healthy and credit investor optimism for the vibrant consumption and surging demand for government bonds. And they generally dismiss fears about increasing state control, saying revolutionary changes are needed to direct more resources to the poor.

Armando Monsalve, a 60-year-old Chavez supporter who sells industrial-grade refrigerators, says those who are upset about the economy now are the wealthy elite who have lost their dominance.

When the producers are targeted and demonized, the slide into oblivion is underway. The life blood is leaving the body, and a slow death by hemophilia becomes inevitable.

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master.”
— George Washington

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