Venezuela’s unique situation. On the one hand, President Maduro is waging the war of caricature with baking cakes in favor of bread and the shortage and lack of money has brought the population to handle. On the other, the rating of the opposition has fallen sharply, although six months ago it seemed that the heirs of Chavez are about to lose power. Why is the country bread lines no longer waiting for the revolution?
The food crisis in Venezuela has reached the “bread wars”. It’s not even a metaphor, and the definition of President Nicolas Maduro, which hit bakers, have the audacity at such a difficult time for the country to bake cakes and croissants is the national bread. Thus these “fascist bourgeoisie” (another definition of Maduro) increase your profits while depriving ordinary Venezuelans cheap bread at state-guaranteed prices.
“Officially, one dollar is worth ten bolivars, in reality the dollar has allowed more than 4,400 bolívares”
Critics of Maduro have managed to make a joke that he is with Venezuelans worse than Marie Antoinette with the French: “If they have no bread, let them not eat cake” (though now historians believe that Marie Antoinette was simply lied). The trouble is that the jokes seem to have run out after the bread – Maduro determined. In the Venezuelan capital Caracas has already begun arrests. In particular, the prison was four bakers. Two accused of baking bread out of poor flour, and two in that instead of bread they baked cupcakes. The bakeries stopped.
The war against bread croissants makes you look like a caricature, but this is one of the real manifestations of the class struggle that is tearing apart now Venezuela.
The vast majority of citizens, which savitskie the government at the time pulled out of absolute poverty, in the days of acute crisis is vital cheap bread cost a few cents. For its production, the state provides bakers with flour at a special price, 90% of which should be used for baking cheap bread, and the remaining 10% can go to croissants, cakes and pastries.
In fact Maduro accuses of entrepreneurs is that they do not observe this proportion, and let the cheap government flour for the production of cakes, which are then sold for “crazy money” – from 30 to 50 cents apiece. As a result, bakers, rising profits, and buyers were forced to endure hours-long queues for subsidized bread.
Bakers have the answer: to buy flour at the government price, they are forced to give bribes to officials, while the less flour than you need. The remaining flour you have to buy on the black market at $ 80-100 per bag. These costs are bakers and are forced to fight off, selling cakes, or they simply go bankrupt. According to the Federation of bread producers Venezuela, 8000 bakeries of the country receive from the state only 30 thousand tons of flour per month. It’s only a quarter of the amount needed to provide bread to the population affected by the deficit of the country.
However, Maduro reasoned in his own way, strengthening control over the bakeries and sending on the cities of the Bolivarian Republic of authorized inspectors of the National office for the protection of socio-economic rights – this formidable organization ensures that the profits of private producers did not exceed the standard established by the state. Inspectors invariably accompanied by armed military and police. In some bakeries they find hoarded bags of flour and sugar and present them on camera as proof of a conspiracy of the bourgeoisie.
Meanwhile, the poor majority of the population is really on the verge of starvation and forced to stand in queue for hours to get scarce bread, oil and flour at state prices. And the middle class, which are the same bakers, and gradually ruined or forced to emigrate, or to fight against “the regime of chavistas”. And one of the means of this resistance is the organization of scarcity.
The situation with bread and croissants in Venezuela in places like the bread crisis in Petrograd before the February revolution. However, it is unlikely that all will end as tragically.
Despite all the discontent of the middle class and small proprietors, the ruling United socialist party of Venezuela retained control over the situation on the ground. President Maduro previously arranged to provide the poor people basic the electorate of chavistas – cheap products. Tellingly, almost all of them are imported – the government buys them for dollars or oil, and sells to residents at a reduced rate, under which one us dollar is worth ten bolivars.
In reality the dollar has allowed the more than 4,400 bolivars. If this complex distribution system, controlled by the Ministry of defence, will suddenly collapse and the Venezuelans will have to buy food at market prices, they are waiting for the queue for the deficit, but a real famine. Therefore, despite all difficulties, the majority of citizens feared any sudden movements – overthrow of the power of chavistas can lead the country to a severe crisis.
Another thing is that the popularity of President Maduro, which the Venezuelans considered personally responsible for the monstrous inflation and the deficit is falling every day. It is opposed even by many colleagues in the socialist party. Their slogan – “We are chavistas, but not maturity”. But at the same time decreases and the popularity of right-wing opposition. Support them today only 38% of the population is twice less, than six months ago.
The opposition bloc of Venezuela have more than twenty political parties whose leaders are constantly sorting out their Affairs and are unable to reach agreement on any important issue. Leading the opposition, Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez, Maria Carina Machado – belong to the richest families in Venezuela. Lorenzo Mendoza, whom the world’s media are earmarked for Nicolas Maduro, with a fortune of half a billion dollars is the richest man in the country.
Mendoza keeps repeating that he has no political ambitions. But in fact his Corporation Empresas Polar is actively involved in a food war against the socialist regime. Power their factories idle. Polar produces only 60 percent of the volume of food that could release. Venezuelans have not forgotten the “beer shortage”, organized by the same Mendoza. He threatened that he will stop the production of beer, if the government will not give him the currency for the purchase of raw materials.
The decline in popularity of right-liberal opposition is connected with the understanding that their rate will return to Venezuela in the pre-socialist times, when more than half of the population lived below the poverty line. Thing of the past and free education, and free medical care and free housing. At the same time will disappear and the queue – but only because people just do not have anything to buy bread.
In the face of such prospects for a unified socialist party can long retain power in Venezuela, even if Nicolas Maduro will be forced to leave his post. Venezuelans continue to stand for hours in queues to scold the authorities and hope for a better future. In a country whose GDP is 96% composed of revenues related to the oil industry, only the increase in energy prices could rescue the struggling economy is a strange symbiosis of socialist distribution and capitalist production.