Autarky in Venezuela: cement versus submarines

Regular long time readers of this blog know full well that I consider the bolivarian pseudo revolution as actually being a reactionary movement that aims at supposed virtues of the past that never existed, or at least not in the form that Chavez think they did. In Venezuela it applies to a military tradition that we thought we had grown out of it in the last half century. It also looks at other details such as an alleged native American past which is neither documented nor true. No matter what, it is a reaction of fear form uneducated people that do not understand the workings of science, of numbers and modernity. They prefer passé and archaic models or values than to try to grasp the future and control it.

Today to this drive to an imaginary past we must add autarky. I suppose that in the sick minds of those planning the future, they actually think that when Venezuela did not export anything of great value and thus could not pay for imports, we were all happy and free from merchants. That we also were dirt poor and sickly does not seem to enter the equation. After all the leaders of the regime live in royal splendor, why should they care?. As usual the only imports that are really important are guns: today we receive the announcement that indeed Chavez will be buying 9, NINE submarines in Russia, acquiring at a single stroke the largest submarine fleet in the Americas after the US. I am sure that Mexico and Brazil are going to be overjoyed by the news....

Last night in yet another lengthy cadena (more about this in next post later) Chavez complained that we, Venezuelans, are falling for consumerism, that we do not save, that we buy too many trinkets from overseas, that we should stop doing this. Which of course does not stop him from buying NINE very expensive trinkets that are of no use for Venezuela, and will bring only trouble down the road.

But it got worse, he announced that all the cement industry of Venezuela will be nationalized because, I kid you not, they export too much. Today of course the minister in charge slavishly demonizes the three cement concerns of Venezuela, from Mexico, Switzerland and France. None of them took the news very well.

Of course, all the sins that the cement companies are accused of could have been solved with adequate legislation, opening for imports from elsewhere, or even tax measures. But no, all will now belong to the state and imports will cease until all of Venezuela gets all the housing it needs (do not hold your breath!). Apparently no one told the government that the houses will hardly be cheaper if the cement belongs to the state, but I suppose that once again I will be accused of nitpicking.

No, what is going on here is, besides the usual suspects trying to make a buck out of the financial transaction that this will require, is that Chavez wants to control everything, export only oil and eventually import nothing but guns.

We are back somewhere in the primitive economic jungle of colonial mercantilism against which we had to rise to get our Independence in 1811..... a reactionary revolution indeed....

-The end-