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Venezuelans oppose Chávez attempt to nationalize private food company (Hugo starts to teeter)
Washington Post ^ | 9 July 2010 | Juan Forero

Posted on 07/10/2010 12:26:49 AM PDT by Stultis

As in all major government takeovers of private companies in Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez declared that seizing beer-and-food giant Polar's facilities here would mark another victory for the poor in the country's march toward socialism.

"Why is it that Polar has so much money?" Chávez asked in a February speech

...

Except this time, the president's plans went badly awry,

...

Polar [fought] back by taking its case to the Supreme Court, [and] its employees have risen up, too, rallying in opposition to Chávez's edict and holding all-night vigils to prevent a takeover.

...

employees said they oppose the government intervention because they think workers have fared badly at nationalized companies, where they have faced reduced wages and been unable to bargain collectively.

"At no time have we been taken into account and asked to say if we agree," said Richard Prieto, head of one of the two unions that represent more than 800 workers here.

Workers also said Polar offers wages and benefits that far outstrip those of other employers in Venezuela, including the state.

"We are saying no because we have seen the experiences of other expropriated companies," said Juan Tacoa, president of the other union. "Here in Polar, we have benefits we know we would not have with the government."

...

The revolt against the president's plans has been particularly embarrassing because it has come during a roiling scandal involving the state's mismanagement of food distribution. Over the past two months, tens of thousands of tons of imported food bound for state-subsidized markets has been found rotting at ports and in warehouses. Petróleos de Venezuela, the state oil company, was responsible for distributing the food, which included chickens, cereal and powdered milk.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: attempt; chavez; company; food; foodsupply; gloriesofcommunism; hugochavez; hugoland; nationalize; oppose; polar; private; socialism; venezuela; venezuelans
Strongly recommend reading the full article. It's an eye opener. And moving. Some of these Polar workers are putting in a full shift, going home for dinner, and then returning to man the barricades all night, protecting their jobs and their futures.

It's probably not too far off the mark to say the all Venuzuela is behind these workers. The article compares Polar to Proctor and Gamble in America. It produces dozens of beloved and/or staple products which Venezuelans have to know would rapidly disappear from store shelves if Hugo "Epic Fail" Chavez is allowed to succeed in his attack.

The case against the opposition in Venezuela has long been that it represents a rich elite.

If that ever was true, it is certainly no longer the case. The working class is turning against Hugobozo in droves.

Baby Huey will have to openly steal, or outright cancel, the election in 2012 in order to retain power.

Oliver Stone is deeply saddened.

1 posted on 07/10/2010 12:26:53 AM PDT by Stultis
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To: Stultis

Vaya con Dios, Venezuelans. I’ll be praying for you.


2 posted on 07/10/2010 12:32:11 AM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: Stultis

So the debate (at least insofar as the article addresses it) is between the state and the workers at the company. No word on what the owners and investors think (as if that’s a mystery). This isn’t good news but it is instructive in illustrating the new terms of our (soon to be) existence.


3 posted on 07/10/2010 12:32:30 AM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: Stultis

It won’t matter. Chavez will do it anyway.

That’s what dictators do.


4 posted on 07/10/2010 12:38:08 AM PDT by Tzimisce (No thanks. We have enough government already. - The Tick)
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To: saganite
The article says the company is taking their case to the courts. But it also notes the owner has not otherwise responded to Baby Huey's ever escalating smears and threats. I imagine that's probably his best strategy. Makes him look responsible and sagacious, and Baby Huey crazed. He also has to be careful he doesn't give the government any excuse to arrest him.
5 posted on 07/10/2010 12:39:18 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis
BTW, did I mention that Polar makes beer?

Now that'll generate some solidarity, right there.

6 posted on 07/10/2010 12:48:13 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis

“bourgeoisie” wouldn’t that include workers with a good wage and benefits? What did the former supports expect?


7 posted on 07/10/2010 12:49:48 AM PDT by enduserindy (Conservative Dead Head)
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To: Stultis

One of the ‘fakest’ of fake breasts, if there is such a word.

Flat-chested women who ruin themselves completely with such contraptions are clinically insane. What a waste of an otherwise beautiful physique!


8 posted on 07/10/2010 12:52:38 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Stultis
We gots what you needs:


9 posted on 07/10/2010 12:54:23 AM PDT by raygun
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To: Stultis
Muy mas Chicas Polar aqui!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk5kXGvdDxM

10 posted on 07/10/2010 1:00:10 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis

Imagine what they could accomplish with a Second Amendment.


11 posted on 07/10/2010 1:16:23 AM PDT by E Rocc (The Census form says to use blue or black ink. Methinks *red* ink is more apropos.)
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To: Tzimisce

He’s due for the Ceaucescu treatment, and his failure will be an anti-socialist talking point for many years. It will also provide much psychological trauma to the likes of Sean Penn and Michael Moore, and allow the rest of us plenty of opportunities to jeer the empty headed Hollywood Left.


12 posted on 07/10/2010 1:17:52 AM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: Stultis

this is not a “major victory for the poor”
but a major lost for the poor.
Washington Post thinks, stealing from the rich, makes the poor better


13 posted on 07/10/2010 1:34:18 AM PDT by 4rcane
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To: 4rcane
Washington Post thinks, stealing from the rich, makes the poor better

Yeah, don't doubt that's the general opinion at the ComPost. But this reporter, at least, does not push that view. If anything the opposite. Polar is described as large, profitable and a company that treats both it's customers and employees well. The employees are characterized, and quoted, as recognizing that their interests are far better served by this capitalist company than by Hugo's inept, corrupt and dishonest socialist government.

14 posted on 07/10/2010 1:55:27 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis
Some of these Polar workers are putting in a full shift, going home for dinner, and then returning to man the barricades all night,

Eff em.

They voted for this communist POS, that the way the cookie crumbles.

They want to stop it, bullets cost a nickle apiece, cause that the only way its not going to happen.

15 posted on 07/10/2010 2:04:05 AM PDT by Rome2000 (OBAMA IS A COMMUNIST CRYPTO-MUSLIM)
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To: Stultis

I buy lots of Polar items that are in a can at the local market.

Such as Polar Shrimp in a can.


16 posted on 07/10/2010 2:06:08 AM PDT by dila813
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To: Rome2000

You guys voted for Obama.

So I guess whatever happens to you is ‘the way the cookie crumbles?’

Right?

The Tea Party, Arizona, Sarah Palin, the Supreme Court standing up for the 2nd Amendment - none of it means anything, because America voted for Obama and whatever happens is ‘the way the cookie crumbles?’

Right?

You should be cheering the people at Polar, but you prefer to betray them. Got it.


17 posted on 07/10/2010 2:28:12 AM PDT by agere_contra (Obama did more damage to the Gulf economy in one day than Pemex/Ixtoc did in nine months)
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To: Stultis

Maybe Chavez is their Obama.

Turning people against socialism for twenty years.

It seems the people are waking up in Venezuela. It’s a shame Chavez has caused so much damage in the meantime. Let’s hope Americans get smarter, faster.

The amazing thing is that people like Sean Penn and Stone really can’t see the tyrannical dictatorship for what it is. I would never have thought people would have been so stupid.

Chavez is so much like Hitler, and people don’t recognize it.


18 posted on 07/10/2010 2:34:07 AM PDT by I still care (I believe in the universality of freedom -George Bush, asked if he regrets going to war.)
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To: Rome2000
Eff em.

Yeah. Real nice. So, you're "effing" off those actively opposing the depredations of a tyrant, while you're doing what exactly?

Eff em, if they're not willing to pick up guns right now. Says, you, distant and safe, sitting at your effing keyboard.

Well, I say, unless your standing with these men, go eff yourself.

19 posted on 07/10/2010 2:37:27 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis; agere_contra
I don't feel sorry for these idiots, they voted him President for life.

Plenty of petty tyrants and local communists to deal with right here in Miami, where people aren't afraid to call a commie a commie, and worse, ask Emilio Milian where his legs are.

20 posted on 07/10/2010 2:51:36 AM PDT by Rome2000 (OBAMA IS A COMMUNIST CRYPTO-MUSLIM)
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To: Rome2000
here in Miami, where people aren't afraid to call a commie a commie, and worse, ask Emilio Milian where his legs are.

Are you expressing approval of the car bombing of Milián?!

21 posted on 07/10/2010 3:09:23 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: I still care
The amazing thing is that people like Sean Penn and Stone really can?t see the tyrannical dictatorship for what it is.

They can see it for what it is. They like it. Tyranny always has its supporters.

22 posted on 07/10/2010 3:16:06 AM PDT by Lazamataz
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To: Stultis

We can only hope that this attitude goes viral and that it becomes deadly for chavez. It also may give US workers a hint of things to come with obami leading the way.


23 posted on 07/10/2010 3:20:25 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: Stultis

Limbaugh’s trenchant construction yesterday,paraphrased: Nobody questions that Chavez is trying to destroy capitalism, they just report it as fact; why do people question what Obama is trying to do?


24 posted on 07/10/2010 3:26:22 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Stultis
How did this make it into the Washington ComPost?

The analogy to U.S. health care are startling.

25 posted on 07/10/2010 3:27:59 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The naked casuistry of the high priests of Warmism would make a Jesuit blush.)
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To: Stultis
Don't Mess With The Beer!

I downed many a Polar beer when I worked In Venezuela. Good stuff.

26 posted on 07/10/2010 3:38:28 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: freeangel
We can only hope that this attitude goes viral and that it becomes deadly for chavez

When you go to the store and can't get eggs, milk, chicken or rice -- which private store owners won't put on the shelves, or wholesalers won't supply, because Hugo's put them on price controls, at prices below the cost to produce; so he nationalizes the stores and/or the distributors and producers; but then the government does an even worse job of producing and distributing the food -- there's no need for anything to go "viral".

Same as here in Obamaland. There ain't nothing "viral" about losing your job, losing your health insurance, losing your home. EPIC FAIL always ends up right in your face.

27 posted on 07/10/2010 3:46:45 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: I still care
BTW, it seems there's talk that Polar owner, Lorenzo Mendoza, might run against Chavez for the Presidency in 2012. Stupidly, Hugo broached that possibility himself, in the course of railing against Mendoza as a Yankee Imperialist Stooge.

So now Mendoza has the opportunity to stand up against Baby Huey, and do so in towering, if quiet, dignity, while Huey plays the idiot.

There's a very good chance, best I can tell as complete outsider, that Mendoza could win this current showdown, further embarrassing Huey in the process.

It would talk some real balls for Chavez to fully nationalize Polar. Per the article, Polar employs 30,000 in Venezuela (providing better pay and benefits than the government does) and is singularly responsible for 2.5 percent of the non-petroleum economy. It produces or distributes many very popular products and, even more important, gets them onto store shelves. Meanwhile, Hugo's nationalized stores can't stock their shelves, and his mismanaged government warehouses are filled with rotting food. (Polar warehouses and distribution facilities are clean, modern and efficient.)

All this is establishing quite a marked contrast between the two men.

Of course Chavez will just try to steal the election in 2012. But the more popular his opponent, and the more unpopular Chavez, the harder that will be. If Chavez lets the remaining fig leaf of democracy slip far enough, it will justify violent resistance.

28 posted on 07/10/2010 4:09:43 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Rome2000

How do you know they voted for that a-hole?


29 posted on 07/10/2010 4:11:46 AM PDT by Jacob Kell (For he is B. Hussein Obama, King of the RDDBs, and may all lesser RDDBs bow before him!)
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To: Jacob Kell; Rome2000
My guess: He doesn't know, and I don't think he cares. He's just taking an opportunity to posture.

See, if Rome2000 was down there in Venezuela, by God he'd march right down Main Street Caracas with his six gun strapped to his side and call out Hugo in front of the Presidential palace. Anyone (with their ass actually, as opposed to imaginatively, on the line) who does less is a p*ssy.

30 posted on 07/10/2010 4:25:42 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis

“Why is it that Polar has so much money?”

LOL....BO’s hero.


31 posted on 07/10/2010 4:51:48 AM PDT by exPBRrat
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To: Stultis
Baby Huey will have to openly steal, or outright cancel, the election in 2012 in order to retain power.

Free and fair elections are essential to the integrity of a democracy. Will Jimmy Carter be available to certify them?

32 posted on 07/10/2010 4:52:12 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine (REAL)
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To: Stultis

Does the military back Chavez? It always gets real dicey when the dictator calls out the military, and the military finds it’s facing relatives, neighbors and friends at the barricades.


33 posted on 07/10/2010 5:10:47 AM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: I still care
The amazing thing is that people like Sean Penn and Stone really can’t see the tyrannical dictatorship for what it is. I would never have thought people would have been so stupid.

The Stone and Penn types expect that under the “New Order” they will be among the “New Order Elites” and thus will be protected against the depredations inflicted on lesser beings. Life will be good for those who steer the New Order and those who get to whisper in the ear of the Great Steersman.
34 posted on 07/10/2010 5:31:18 AM PDT by Cheburashka (Stephen Decatur: you want barrels of gunpowder as tribute, you must expect cannonballs with it.)
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To: sergeantdave
Does the military back Chavez? It always gets real dicey when the dictator calls out the military, and the military finds it’s facing relatives, neighbors and friends at the barricades.

Expect that Chavez has been busy for the last 10+ years reviewing the officer class for political reliability. Those that would not do whatever he wants will have been shunted aside and their miltary careers terminated.
35 posted on 07/10/2010 5:37:35 AM PDT by Cheburashka (Stephen Decatur: you want barrels of gunpowder as tribute, you must expect cannonballs with it.)
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To: sergeantdave
Chavez has reportedly been purging the military, and moving loyalists up in the ranks. But, as you say, if they need to act against their countrymen, there's always the possibility the military, at least the rank and file, will refuse.

Unfortunately Baby Huey has the Cuban military to fall back on. Castro provides this service in exchange for free oil needed to prop up Cuba's excuse for an economy.

Don't have any idea how many Cuban soldiers are in Venezuela, but I would expect the number is significant. And they will likely be "surged" for elections.

But still, if Chavez has to go that route, all protective impostures of democracy will be forever lost to him. He will be forever hated by those he rules. The threat of ending his career at the end of a rope will thenceforth hang over him.

So he'll try to avoid that. I suppose the hope is that, in the process, he'll lose his nerve and concede to losing power.

36 posted on 07/10/2010 5:43:16 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: James C. Bennett

You’re correct of course! Therefore, I hereby expropriate her in the name of the revolution!!


37 posted on 07/10/2010 5:52:31 AM PDT by pingman (Price is what you pay, value is what you get.)
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To: Rome2000

(ad hominem attack alert) Douchebag says ?


38 posted on 07/10/2010 5:55:13 AM PDT by pingman (Price is what you pay, value is what you get.)
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To: Cheburashka
Of course I just said much the same. But, OTOH, as Huey's popularity plummets, as the economy collapses, as his antics continue clownish and embarrassing, as his edicts continue arbitrary, or grow even more so, he's begun to see former loyalists turn against him.

The article mentions one such case. The governor of the state where these facilities are located decided to support Polar:

Among those who joined the uprising was Henri Falcón, the popular governor of Lara state, a former ally of Chávez's who says the president has not considered long-term consequences when nationalizing companies.

"The president arrives and it occurs to him to say, 'This has to be expropriated,' without taking into account the technical or legal criteria," Falcon said in an interview last week. "We oppose this because it does not make sense. It is more an impulse of the president."
I believe I saw another press account noting that governor Falcón had a meeting (or meetings?) with Polar owner Mendoza. I don't recall whether that was after this most recent crisis developed, or sometime before. (Chavez has been threatening Polar/Mendoza since February or April, IIRC.)

When you have the richest man in South America on one hand, and on the other hand you have a lunatic who appears to be losing his grip, you gotta at least think about changing sides.

I'd bet Mendoza, and others like him, have been taking lots of interesting meetings in recent months.

39 posted on 07/10/2010 6:02:23 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis
Just discovered that Hugo tried to expropriate a Polar owned Pepsi-Cola warehouse back in May. It was the same crap. Baby Huey signed a decree, on the same bs pretense that the property was needed for the construction of government housing units. (In the middle of an industrial office park?)

Don't know how that one came out.

Anyway, it was in the same state, and was when the governor resigned from Chavez' party.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/la-fg-venezuela-vigil-20100512,0,6693834.story

40 posted on 07/10/2010 6:51:26 AM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis

Noticing those *object* on her....umm...waist, I’ll pass.


41 posted on 07/10/2010 12:50:33 PM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: Stultis
It is hard to know who to root for - the labor union or the Communist government. Not much difference.

The revolt against the president's plans has been particularly embarrassing because it has come during a roiling scandal involving the state's mismanagement of food distribution. Over the past two months, tens of thousands of tons of imported food bound for state-subsidized markets has been found rotting at ports and in warehouses. Petróleos de Venezuela, the state oil company, was responsible for distributing the food, which included chickens, cereal and powdered milk.

I guess the food wouldn't go though the pipelines.

42 posted on 07/10/2010 1:37:50 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
You gotta understand the way Baby Huey works. He's never responsible for the food rotting in the warehouse. Some minister is responsible in that case. Huey is responsible for upbraiding the errant bureaucrat and getting the problem fixed.

Problem is it's only the upbraiding, and never the fixing, which ever gets done.

43 posted on 07/10/2010 2:13:07 PM PDT by Stultis (Democrats. Still devoted to the three S's: Slavery, Segregation and Socialism.)
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To: Stultis

How high up the ladder does one have to be to decide that the oil company will distribute food? Seems one would have to be pretty high.

I do get your point, though. Huey is only responsible for the good things. When things go awry some minor dolt was in charge.


44 posted on 07/10/2010 2:30:22 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)
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To: Stultis
ya mean they are hungry and beer-thirsty and don't want the last places to go down the tubes like everything else the little cokehead touches??? no.
and the RATS, take another one in the..............................HA ha!!!

and so it begins...

45 posted on 07/11/2010 8:36:01 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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