Saturday, April 21, 2012

Treasures from the threads number 77 - The Chavez lesson for the EU

The following comment comes (strangely enough) to an article in the Daily Telegraph on the extra UK payment to the IMF. (I blogged on that last evening, and threatened to make it my last post which following the kind comments to that idea, and surprisingly also the urging of Mrs IT, I have withdrawn).

CARACAS, Venezuela — By 6:30 a.m., a full hour
and a half before the store would open, about two dozen people were already in
line. They waited patiently, not for the latest iPhone, but for something far more basic: groceries. “Whatever I can get,” said Katherine Huga, 23, a mother of two, describing her shopping list. She gave a shrug of resignation. “You buy what they have.” Venezuela is one of the world’s top oil producers at a time of soaring energy prices, yet shortages of staples like milk, meat and toilet paper are a chronic part of life here, often turning grocery shopping into a hit or miss proposition Some residents arrange their calendars around the once-a-week deliveries made to government-subsidized stores like this one, lining up before
dawn to buy a single frozen chicken before the stock runs out.  A couple of bags of flour.  A bottle of cooking oil. The shortages affect both the poor and the well off, in surprising ways. A supermarket in the upscale La Castellana neighborhood recently had plenty of chicken and cheese — even quail eggs — but not a single roll of toilet paper. Only a few bags of coffee remained on a bottom shelf. Asked where a shopper could get milk on a day when that, too, was out of stock, a manager said with sarcasm, “At Chávez’s house.” At the heart of the debate is President Hugo Chávez’s socialist-inspired government, which imposes strict price controls that are intended to make a range of foods and other goods more affordable for the poor. They are often the very products that are the hardest to find. Those are the  hardest to find. The once-a-week deliveries made to government-subsidized stores like this one, lining up before dawn to dawn. “It was good for me,” she said drily, pushing her 14-month-old daughter in a stroller. “I lost several pounds.” Tell me where the sub Sahara people will do, as they are the poorest lot and totally depend on the donations (at time fabricated that I ought to point out as I have stayed there. There is power, water, shortages and no one cares. The cities are filled with dirty water as the drainage is blocked and the water them stinks that make a man wake up to say where id this pong coming from? To think that we are complaining in the sub Sahara is of no use at all. We at this arena are a lost tribe. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA


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