Venezuela’s Pathetic Decline Continues

Venezuela, one of the world’s most oil-rich countries, can’t keep the lights on. The country’s socialist government has announced that Venezuelans will now be entirely without power for four hours a day.

But that’s not the worst of it: they will have to sit in the dark without beer:

As Venezuelans digest news that they’ll have no power for hours a day, they also may have to do without beer from the country’s largest brewer, Polar.

In a statement, Empresas Polar SA says it has enough raw materials to last only until April 29, because a dollar shortage is keeping it from buying foreign grain. The company says it is suspending production of beer and malt, which will impact 10,000 employees.

Polar “produces 80% of the country’s beer,” according to the BBC.

Let’s hear it for socialism!

This story hasn’t gotten as much publicity, but is just as revealing: “Venezuela runs up $1 billion debt for late shipping containers.”

Venezuelan state agencies have run up close to $1 billion (695 million pounds) in debts with shipping firms due to delays in returning containers, potentially boosting the cost of importing staple goods as the country struggles with product shortages and an economic crisis.

The agencies have held containers for months or simply never returned them, at times leaving the truck-sized steel boxes for years in oil industry facilities or on provincial farms even though this costs $100 per day per container, according to industry sources.

The debts have piled up over the last six years, coinciding with a steady rise in the role of state agencies in importing goods to Venezuela, particularly food.

Of course! Government employees don’t bother to return containers, because it isn’t their money. Moreover, they know that the government will blame whatever goes wrong on “wreckers and saboteurs,” not them. And we haven’t even mentioned the joys of waiting in line for hours in reliance on a rumor that a store might have toilet paper for sale.

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No form of socialism has ever worked at any time or in any place. Socialism is, always has been and always will be a disaster. People like Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and their voters need a remedial course in history. Or maybe they should just read a newspaper now and then.

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