By Arturo Rosales and Les Blough in Venezuela
Source: Axis of Logic
2014 was a year filled with the goodness and beauty that has made Venezuela one of the most livable countries on earth for the last 15 years. The music, art, climate, food and the spectacular beaches, stunning mountains and views and expansive plains are part of the charm. But it’s the people themselves, their racial & ethnic plurality, sense of community, warm spirit, patience and the inevitable smile one receives immediately upon eye contact that brings joy to daily life here, even in the midst of adversity.
2014 was also a year here in Venezuela that was scarred by actions of the political opposition, funded by Washington and supported by the Western media. Bereft of support by the majority of Venezuelans and unable to gain power through a peaceful electoral process, the opposition resorted to: sabotage of the infrastructure (e.g. attacks on the electrical grid); hoarding and dumping food and daily household products to keep them off the retail markets; manipulating food distribution to create the appearance of “shortages;’ smuggling subsidized products across the border into Colombia for huge profits; attacks on the economy with speculation and an illegal black-market dollar system, driving up a manipulated rate of inflation with spiraling prices in retail markets; causing capital flight by abusing the government’s system of making dollars available for imports and leisure traveling and the violence we saw for 3 months from February to April in the guarimbas in which more than 40 people were killed under the pretext of “student protests.” The greater violence in 2014 ended with the assassination of the foremost leader of Venezuelan youth, youngest member of congress, Robert Serra along with his spouse in their home on October 1, 2014.
The attacks on the Venezuelan economy are manifold. The attempt to destroy the national currency, the bolivar, began in earnest in October 2012 after the re-election of former President Hugo Chávez Frías. At that time, the bolivar was trading at 13.4 bolivars to the dollar. By means of speculation and the illegal black-market dollar, the official exchange rate for most items was forced to soar to 50:1 and the black market dollar rate is currently at about 200:1 and increasing from week to week. By all these means, high prices, making food and products unavailable, standing in long lines waiting to purchase anything from laundry detergent to corn meal, electrical outages, etc, Washington is bent on making life as miserable as possible for the people to turn them against the government. Moreover, the violence is meant to cause fear and a climate of insecurity among the people – in a word, terrorism, laying blame on the government and to portray Venezuela in the media as one of the most dangerous countries on earth.
Vice President Jorge Arreaza inspecting some of the 814,000 pounds (407 tons) of laundry detergent that has been missing from Venezuela’s retail stores for months.
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2015 promises to bring the same music, culture, climate, and smiling faces in the cities, towns, beaches, mountains and plains as all other years. The people are extremely patient and know the root causes of many problems. But given the US continuing focus to overthrow Venezuela’s socialist government and its unrelenting march for global dominance on other continents, it’s reasonable to expect that their attacks in 2015 will increase.
2015 will be an important nationwide election year for members of the National Assembly (parliament) and the assault on Venezuela this year will focus on turning the people against the government to gain control of the government through the National Assembly in the December elections.
Generally, the US has focused their fury on Venezuela more than on any other Latin American country for two reasons:
- The first is their lust for Venezuela’s natural resources, including the largest proven oil reserves in the world.
- The second is Venezuela’s role in the integration of Latin American countries for regional harmony and economic success under the leadership of late President Hugo Chávez Frías and current PresidentNicolás Maduro to end a century of US domination and exploitation. As such, the fall of Venezuela is viewed as the first “domino” that would bring about the fall of other leftist governments in the region and back into the orbit of US dominance.
The US State Department and their media along with their cohorts in Europe will be watching and reporting problems in Venezuela as a result of corruption and inefficiency of the socialist government. To unmask this diabolical illusion, Axis of Logic aims to record and report the attacks on Venezuela by the US and their minions among the opposition in 2015. We currently have 5 people who are keeping daily records from 4 different cities and towns. They will be reporting on how lives are being affected within their communities and also in other regions across the country. The data they provide to Axis of Logic will be incorporated into this monthly series. Below is the first installment for this series by Arturo Rosales, an Axis of Logic columnist who writes from Caracas.
– Les Blough, Editor
Axis of Logic
Hoarding Products during the First Two weeks of 2015
by Arturo Rosales, writing from Caracas.
The Herrera CA warehouse where tons of illegally hoarded food and personal hygiene products were discovered by the Venezuelan government on Monday of this week. Large corporations like this hide products of basic needs to create the illusion that there are shortages in Venezuela as a means of destabilization. (more photos below)
The company busted yesterday for hoarding in Zulia is called Herrera CA. The holding company is in Barbados, Diamante Trading Investments Ltd, and it has shareholdings in the British Virgin Islands. The main representative here in Venezuela is Peggy Carolina Ordaz Quijada, 39, who is a leading member of the fascist political party Voluntad Popular in the state of Anzoátegui, Herrera CA has its headquarters in Maracaibo and subsidiaries in 8 western states of Venezuela and is the main food and person hygiene distributor in this region where 8.5 million people depend on it for basic supplies.
Herera has exclusive distribution rights in these western states for Kellogg, Nestlé, General Mills for foodstuffs and for Pfizer and Procter & Gamble for person hygiene products.
All the warehouses and administrative offices of this company were occupied by the authorities yesterday and the owners will be liable to prosecution facing 10 – 12 years jailtime. Their assets will also be confiscated as well as vehicles.
Hundreds of thousands of kilos of basic food was discovered hidden in Maracaibo plus more than ONE MILLION products of personal hygiene which are in short supply and not being delivered to supermarkets and pharmacies.
One of the products that has been missing in supermarkets for months has been laundry detergent. In the Herrera CA seizure, 407 tons of the product meant for the retail market was discovered and seized by the government. The government’s report with photos of the hoarded products can be found below. Please note that “mega-hoarding” like this in Venezuela to undermine socialism and destabilize the government are the rule, not the exception. The “shortages” are then reported as failures of the government by the corporate media of the west. The reader may remember such reports of the lack of toilet paper in Venezuelan stores, headlined last year by the US and European capitalist media for its special propaganda value. The government was forced to import the product and later massive seizures were found hoarded in privately held warehouses like this one.
Nearer East Caracas the small Jewish supermarket chain, Klasse, has hardly received any deliveries from its distributors since before Christmas. No cheese or ham. No cleaning products. No tinned foods. This is despite speaking to the local manager who assured me that all this stuff was ordered before the Christmas break and the distributors have simply not turned up.
In this supermarket, before the New Year Break there was plenty of toilet tissue and margarine. When they reopened on Jan 5, all these products had “vanished”.
In other news a Farmatodo pharmacy was looted in Falcón state when the huge line standing for hours in the blazing sun discovered that local management was hiding basic products such as disposable diapers in its storeroom. Arrests were made for hoarding.
Snatched away TONS OF FOOD, diapers, SOAP AND TOILETRIES IN THE Zulia State, reported on Laiguana TV on Monday, January 12, 2015
(Translated by Les Blough, Editor, with metric onversions and notes added in parentheses)
The Venezuelan Government continues to discover employers playing with the welfare of the Venezuelan people. This Monday, the Superintendent of Prices oversaw the search of a warehouse of the company products distributor for first need, Herrera C. A, located in the industrial area of the municipality of San Francisco, Zulia state and discovered a mega hoarding.
Andrés Eloy Méndez, the Superintendent of Fair Prices stated,
|“370 thousand kilos (814,000 pounds, 407 tons) of detergent were seized, in addition to the security personnel found tons of products for cleaning supplies, personal hygiene and food.”|
At the time, Méndez explained that the hoarding is part of a strategy on the part of employers to generate the feeling that there is a shortage in the country, “How is it not so? Here are 370 thousand kilos of detergent. In nine states of the country there are sheds like this one from the company Herrera Company.”
In this company the National Government authorities seized:
- 7 thousand 116 units of Enfamil formula (infant formula), each containing 400 grams (1 pound*) and 7 thousand 188 units of 900 grams (2 pounds*).
- 44 Thousand 940 units of Sustagen* 450 grams (1 pound each) and 5 thousand 760 units of Sustagen of 1.2 kilograms (2 pounds 6 ounces).(Sustagen is a nutritious supplement that helps meet the body’s daily needs for macronutrients and essential vitamins and minerals.)
- 17 Thousand 076 units of beans, each containing one kilogram. (37,576 pounds or 19 tons*)
- 776 Thousand liters of liquid whole milk (81,365 quarts)
- 40 Tons of yellow corn flour. (a daily staple for Venezuelans who use the flour making empanadas and arepas)
- 40 Thousand 240 kilograms of rice. (97,328 pounds)
- 277 Thousand 380 units of bathroom soap.
- 43 Thousand 570 kilograms of fabric softener. (95,854 pounds)
- 561 Thousand 888 units of razors.
- 78 Thousand 770 units of sanitary napkins.
- 61 Thousand 152 units of shampoo and 182 units of aluminum foil.
- 16 Thousand 800 units of deodorant, among others.
Méndez announced that this company has now been occupied by an administrative board composed of officials from the Ministry of Commerce, which will be in charge of the distribution of these products to the public.
It is worth mentioning that the company Herrera C. A has nine other sites in nine states of the country, which are also being occupied and inspected, to assess that they will not be commiting further unlawful acts.
The authority is assuring the public that this company will be charged with violation of Article 60 of the Organic Law of Fair Prices, which establishes prison sentences for 10 to 11 years, confiscation of all the merchandise and the confiscation of all assets.
The superintendent said that consumers can call 0800 FAIR (08005658786) with complaints about situations of hoarding and boycott.
The Minister of Trade
On the other hand, the Minister for Trade, Isabel Delgado, announced that this week the products held by this country and seized by the government will be distributed products to meet the needs of the people:
“In the commercial and communal networks we are going to implement the sale of all these products and the money that is received from sales goes to the fund for efficiency to continue to underpin the productive processes.”
Additional photos of the seizure of products and assets of the Herrera CA distribution company on Monday, January 12, 2015