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Two graphs on the failure of Chavez’s socialism

10 Mar
From the Market Monetarist

Hugo Chavez’s economic legacy – the two graph version

Today (March 5th) – on the 60 year anniversary of Stalin’s death – Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez passed away.
I think Chavez’s economic legacy can be pretty well-illustrated by two graphs comparing Venezuela’s economic performance from 1999 when Chavez became president with three ‘neo-liberal’ Latin American countries – Chile, Peru and Colombia.
We start out with the real GDP level (Index 1999 = 100)

And next the price level (GDP deflator, Index 1999 = 100)
LATAM inflation
I leave it to my readers to judge whether Hugo Chavez’s death is a positive or a negative shock to Venezuela’s economy.
PS I am not claiming that Venezuelan economic statistics has not been manipulated. My source is IMF.
Related posts:

Hugo Chavez looted 1 billion in petro dollars for private off shore account

7 Mar

Hugo Chavez net worth: Hugo Chavez was a Venezuelan politician who had a net worth of $1 billion at the time of his death on March 5th 2013. A 2010 report from Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA), a global risk assessment and threat mitigation firm estimated that the Chavez family assets totaled between $1 and $2 billion USD. The vast majority of these assets are oil related and were controlled by Hugo himself prior to his death. The head of the CJIA, Jerry Brewer, asserted that since Hugo’s rise to power in 1999, the extended family has amassed its fortune through both legal and illegal methods. Brewer further estimates that the Chavez family and hundreds of other criminal organization have “subtracted $100 billion out of the nearly $1 trillion in oil income made by PDVSA (Venezuela’s state controlled oil company), since 1999.”
Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias was born in was born July 28, 1954 in Sanbaneta, Venezuela. When he died, Chavez had been the President of Venezuela since February 2, 1999. At age 17, Chavez enrolled in the Venezuelan Academy of Military Sciences, graduating in 1975 as a sub-lieutenant with a degree in Military Arts & Sciences. Upon completing his studies, Chavez entered active military service as a member of a counter insurgency battalion stationed in Barinas. His military career lasted 17 years throughout which he held various positions, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Hugo also held a variety of teaching positions. In 1983 Chavez held the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement and in 1998 Chavez began to campaign for president. His public speaking style was noted for his flamboyancy and colloquialisms. He worked to gain the trust of primarily poor working class citizens. Chavez went on to win the 1998 election with 56% percent of the vote. Chavez was married twice. His first marriage to Nancy Colmenares lasted 18 years, during which they had 3 children. He was also divorced from his second wife, Marisabel Rodriguez de Chavez, and they also had one daughter together.

Chavez critics indefinitely detained, raped

6 Mar

Hugo Chávez’s treatment of his opponents will come under renewed scrutiny this week at the trial of a woman judge who was arrested for handing down a ruling that angered the Venezuelan leader, and was then allegedly raped while behind bars.

Maria Lourdes Afiuni’s case has become a rallying point for human rights campaigners who accuse President Chavez’s government of abuses. Noam Chomsky, the American linguist and political activist often cited by the veteran Socialist leader as a source of inspiration, is among those who have called for Ms Afiuni, 49, to be freed.
The saga began in 2009 when the judge granted bail to a banker facing trial on charges of subverting the nation’s currency controls. Angered by the move, the government had her arrested. Mr Chavez – who yesterday announced he was returning to Cuba for more medical treatment following his cancer therapy there – ranted on national television that she should face 30 years in prison for making the ruling. The President, who was elected in October to a fourth, six-year term in office, also called the judge a “bandit”.
Ms Afiuni, who has been in pre-trial dentition for nearly three years, latterly under house arrest, has repeatedly protested her innocence and refuses to co-operate with prosecutors or appear in court. A new criminal code, which allows for defendants to be prosecuted in absentia, could allow her trial to begin as early as today.
A book published last week claimed that, in addition to being wrongly imprisoned, Ms Afiuni was raped in a women’s jail near the capital, Caracas, in 2010 and then had an abortion. The account was confirmed by her lawyer, who claimed Mr Chavez was informed of the rape but took no action.
“Neither the President personally, nor the government, did anything,” Jose Amalio Graterol told The New York Times. “The mistreatment of Ms Afiuni continued.” He said she was cut with blades and burnt with cigarette butts. The rape was not made public earlier for fear that doing so would be psychologically harmful to Ms Afiuni, he said, adding that the decision to reveal it now was an act of courage.
Another of Ms Afiuni’s lawyers, Thelma Fernandez, demanded an investigation to identify those responsible for the rape. She reiterated that the government was informed about the incident, and details were also conveyed to the UN, the Associated Press reported.
Officials in Caracas have denied the claims in the book The Commandante’s Prisoner by Francisco Olivares, a Venezuelan journalist who worked with Ms Afiuni’s co-operation. Isabel Gonzalez, a former director of the prison where the judge was held, has called for an inquiry into the claims, which she denies. She also plans to sue for libel.
As the Afiuni case comes to trial, opposition politicians are compiling a list of prisoners they believe have been wrongly detained, and of exiles they say should be allowed to return home. On Friday, Congressman Edgar Zambrano said the list ran to 22 prisoners and 87 exiles.

Hugo Chavez Now in Hell

6 Mar
He died on the 60th anniversary of Stalin’s death.

According to the neo-Stalinist magazine The Nation:

Chávez was a strongman. He packed the courts, hounded the corporate media, legislated by decree and pretty much did away with any effective system of institutional checks or balances. But I’ll be perverse and argue that the biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough. It wasn’t too much control that was the problem but too little.