• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chavez punishes Corporate Criminals with Expropriation

The News: Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has ordered the expropriation of food producer Cargill's rice production facilities. Under Venezuelan law, certain staple foods, such as rice, must be available to ordinary citizens and are therefore subject to price controls. Cargill, a trans-national U.S. corporation which produces oil, rice, wheat, pasta, milk, margarine and coffee, sought to avoid the price controls by dedicating 90% of its rice production to exempted rice and by mislabelling the prices on controlled rice. A shortage of affordable rice was the inevitable result. Calling Cargill's action a bald-faced violation of law, Chavez ordered the summary expropriation. Chavez also warned another rice company, Alimentos Polar, to get its act in order and not to "play the clown." Polar purchases state-subsidized rice at low prices which it then falsely repackages as "special" rice, exempt from price controls, and sells at four to five times cost. Chavez warned that the Government would not tolerate such chicanery.

The Note: The "trouble" with Hugo Chavez, the New York Times intones [here ] is that his government's "investments" in public welfare aren't subject to "transparent" accounting. Tsk. Tsk. A true hand-wringer that -- which is why the Times has diligently informed the U.S. public on the plundering-tactics of U.S. companies abroad. As previously reported, [here] Cargill, Arthur Daniel Midland, Tyson, Conagra, Birdseye and other U.S. transnationals have taken advantage of "free trade" to undercut local producers and once these have been destroyed to stick it to the further impoverished locals. This social criminality delights NAFTA shills, like Eduardo Porter, the New York Time's resident tio taco liberal, who "packages" the destruction of Mexico's peasantry as a "win-win" situation. False packaging seems to be a Yankee predilection. Meanwhile, in the land of hucksters and cheats itself, the New York Times reports that executives of Countrywide, the mortgage company that triggered our happy-world sub-prime crises are back in business buying up foreclosed properties for pennies on the dollar with government assistance. Another "win and win" stituation, no doubt.

©WCG, 2009