Chavez expands nationalisation agenda
With President Hugo Chavez’s recent decision to take control of food distributors,
Chavez’s government announced a decree last week giving officials the power to take control of food distributors caught hoarding or halting supply, a move aimed at easing severe shortages of meats, milk and sugar in
The president says he will nationalise any privately-owned supermarkets and food storage facilities caught hoarding supplies or violating price controls imposed on basic goods.
"If they remain committed to violating the interests of the people, the constitution, the laws, I’m going to take the food storage units, corner stores, supermarkets and nationalise them," Chavez said.
Privately-owned supermarkets suspended sales of beef, milk and sugar in recent weeks after one chain was temporarily shut down for pricing meat above government-set levels.
Since early 2003, Chavez began regulating prices for 400 basic products as a way to counter inflation and protect the poor. Producers say that price controls have left them unable to make their businesses profitable, despite subsidies for producers and the government’s recent elimination of value added tax on basic goods.
Controlling the food supply sector and taking a firmer hold of strategic economic sectors are part of an intensive programme of nationalisation that the Chavez administration has pursued.
Since being re-elected in December last year, Chavez has moved to quickly buy out private interests in leading electricity and telephone companies. The president moved closed to achieving his target when the all-Chavista National Assembly gave him authority to enact sweeping measures by decree and accelerate the country’s socialist transformation.
The government has taken over oil and gas fields, giant cattle ranches, power utilities and
Last week, Chavez put up US$1.4 billion to take over US companies’ assets in a push to exert increasing state control over
Like big oil-producing
Renegotiating contracts with foreign energy corporations is set to bring a greater share of the revenue from natural resources for
With superabundant petro dollars, President Chavez has in the past years steered his country towards a socialist society in which generous social and welfare spending has brought about a better life for the majority poor and working class in
Marco Antonio Esteban writes in the Monthly Review magazine that
For that, Esteban says, it is essential to take advantage of the endorsement of the majority that the government has acquired and immediately erect popular power structures, nationalise the main means of production, expropriate big monopolies and fortunes, uproot the influence of multinationals, democratise companies and the mass media, clean up the police and the secret services, create a popular army, universalise health and education at all levels, and set up a revolutionary judiciary.
Chavez seems to be taking these steps to build his country.
‘Year of engagement’
With Latin America’s politics and economy shifting further towards the left, the
The White House confirms that President George W Bush is scheduled to travel to
It has become conventional wisdom that the Bush administration’s fixation on
From Vietnam News