Category Archives: South America

Socialism Nightmare: Venezuelans Now Eating Dogs, Cats and Pigeons to Survive

At the start of 2014, Venezuela’s GDP stood at $371.34 billion, with nearly half of that coming from oil (it accounts for almost 100% of exports). But after a year-high of $105.54 in June, crude plummeted by more than 50% to $48.51 by the end of the year. Oil has held steady in the $50-a-barrel range since, allowing the country’s socialist policies to materialize without the guise of high crude–and economic disaster has ensued.

Just this year, Venezuela has faced shortages in toilet paper, diapers and milk (and more) forcing more than 6,000 people to cross the border in Colombia to purchase necessities. The country had to ration its electricity use because of severe power shortages. It also could no longer afford to print its own money. Come 2016, the IMF forecasts Venezuela’s inflation rate to exceed 1,600%.

A Bolivarian Republic, Venezuela turned to socialism in 1998 when Hugo Chavez was elected president after two unsuccessful coup attempts to oust his predecessor. The new regime brought not only a new constitution, but higher oil prices as well. The following year Chavez passed laws redistributing land and wealth, which he followed in 2005 with a land reform decree that would eliminate larger estates to the benefit of the poor in rural areas.

In 2007 the government took control of important oil projects in the Orinoco Delta and later expropriated two U.S. oil companies, furthering Chavez’s nationalization plans.

Nationalization continued with the Bank of Venezuela and household fuels distributors and petrol stations. In 2011, with a 27% annual inflation rate, the Venezuelan government introduced price controls of some basic goods (they would extend to other products in the following years).

By the time of Chavez’s death in 2013, inflation had grown to 50% and rose to 63.4% in the following year. Towards the end of 2014, the country entered into a recession.

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Present-day Venezuela is facing a humanitarian crisis and Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s hand-picked successor, and his socialist regime is rightly shouldering the blame. The country’s emphasis on oil exports, price controls and a heavily-controlled economy are all features found in other current and former socialist countries–features that have contributed to the demise of whole economies, or brought them close to it.

Perhaps the most obvious example of economic failure is the Soviet Union (or USSR), With its highly centralized government and economy, the USSR survived for 69 years until its collapse in 1991, representing the longest time a state has been led by a Communist Party (China comes in second at 67 years).

While oil prices were high, the Soviet Union appeared to have a strong economy and could maintain its focus on increasing its military power. But when oil prices fell towards the end of the 1980s, the USSR found itself forced to borrow from Western banks. Its sluggish economic system and dependency on the West also weakened the control that it had over countries under the USSR’s control and eventually led to its demise. Venezuela now finds itself in the same difficult position.

Venezuelan officials like to blame the crisis on the United States and right wing business owners aiming to sabotage the system, it seems obvious that the heavily centralized state-run system inherited from Chavez is what is driving Maduro’s country to ruin. With a GDP percent change of -8% from 2015 to 2016 and an unemployment rate of over 17%, the only thing that can save Venezuela is ditching socialism.

The opposition has called for a referendum to oust Maduro this year, but the process is still in limbo–meaning relief for the Venezuelan people might not come until 2018, the next scheduled presidential election.

Even then, change can never be promised in the world’s 9th most corrupt country.

Brazil admits Zika is not causing birth defects

Main Source: Natural News
Date: 14 September 2016
Author:Samantha Debbie

(NaturalNews) Allegations made by the government and establishment media that birth defects in the form of microcephaly in the Americas are caused by the Zika virus are quickly waning. Doctors in Brazil are “quietly acknowledging” that Zika may not be responsible for causing birth defects after all. Continue reading Brazil admits Zika is not causing birth defects

Argentine farmers dismantle Monsanto facility in act of defiance, refuse to continue being poisoned

Main Source:Natural News
Date: 17 August 2016
Author: Julie Wilson staff writer

(NaturalNews) A coalition of farmers, activists and citizens has successfully stopped the expansion of a Monsanto seed facility in Malvinas, Argentina. Tired of being poisoned by GMOs, the activists managed to stop construction of the plant by descending on the property in masses and refusing to leave. Continue reading Argentine farmers dismantle Monsanto facility in act of defiance, refuse to continue being poisoned

Argentine and Brazilian doctors name larvicide as potential cause of microcephaly

Source:GM watch
Date:10 February 2016

Are the Zika virus – and GM mosquitoes – being wrongly blamed? Report by Claire Robinson

report from the Argentine doctors’ organisation, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns,[1] challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns. Continue reading Argentine and Brazilian doctors name larvicide as potential cause of microcephaly

Zika HOAX exposed by South American doctors: Brain deformations caused by larvicide chemical linked to Monsanto; GM mosquitoes a ‘total failure’

Source:Natural News
Date: 11 February 2016
Author: Mike Adams, the Health Range

(NaturalNews) Despite all the public hoopla, all the cases of microcephaly being discovered in Brazil have never been scientifically linked to the Zika virus. A group of doctors from South America are now saying the brain deformations the world is witnessing are caused by the mass fumigation of low-income Brazilian people with a chemical larvicide, not by mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.

What we’re seeing with the brain deformations of children, in other words, is more like the history of thalidomide, a prescription medicine given to pregnant women that caused children to be born with limbs missing. But the official narrative on all this is pushing a false link with Zika in order to justify more chemical fumigation, more vaccines and more genetically engineered mosquitoes. Continue reading Zika HOAX exposed by South American doctors: Brain deformations caused by larvicide chemical linked to Monsanto; GM mosquitoes a ‘total failure’

Zika: Why Biotech is Imperative to National Security

Source:New Eastern Outlook
Date: 8 February 2016
Author: Ulson Gunnar

When we think of national security, we think of tanks, jets, missile defense systems and more recently, information space. But what about the realm of the microscopic, the biological or the genetic?

Whether you think biotechnology, genetics and microbes constitute another plane upon the modern battlefield or not is irrelevant. Someone else already does, and they have a head start on the rest of the world. Continue reading Zika: Why Biotech is Imperative to National Security

Monsanto Works Hard to Evict Argentinian Protesters

Source:Natural Society
Date: 16 January 2016
Author: Christina Sarich

As groups block completion of toxic GMO plan

Monsanto is trying to evict a bevy of protesters who have gathered in an agricultural province of Cordoba, Argentina. The protesters aim to stop a massive GMO seed plant which would spew vast clouds of toxic fumes and leave regular spills of the neonics, fungicides, and numerous other poisons that would be applied as seed coatings.

A Monsanto-friendly judge armed the monopolizing company with permission to evict the group, so now goons from Monsanto are trying to drive off the camp which is blockading further progress of the plant.

The protesters also argue the plant would add to the already-devastating poison burden the people of the soy zone must endure every day. Citizen groups are rallying to the support of the people of Malvinas, shouting slogans like “Monsanto, get out!”

Activists set up the blockade in 2013, self-organized under the banner of being “in favor of food sovereignty and life” in the Malvinas Argentinas Municipality. The camp has successfully blocked the completion of the GMO plant to date, but with the group’s eviction notice, new developments are sure to arise.

With further ‘friends in high places’ throughout South and Central America, Monsanto seems unphased by the hatred offered to them by so many people. Buenos Aires Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal recently appointed former Monsanto executive Leonardo Sarquis as the Minister of Agriculture in the province.

Sarquis was the general manager of Monsanto’s vegetable seed division for Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay from 2005 to 2007. This might be how Monsanto has been able to keep plans for the seed plant moving forward despite such vehement protests.

Argentina is the world’s largest soybean producer, and Monsanto sees the country as a target for future growth, but activists see Cordoba and the likely site of Monsanto’s GM plant as an “environmental emergency.”

Sources:

Telesurtv.net

Featured image credit: AFP

Red death: Toxic Brazilian mud reaches Atlantic Ocean

Source:RT
Date: 24 November 2015

An aerial view of the Rio Doce (Doce River), which was flooded with mud after a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd burst, at an area where the river joins the sea on the coast of Espirito Santo in Regencia Village, Brazil, November 23, 2015. © Ricardo Moraes
An aerial view of the Rio Doce (Doce River), which was flooded with mud after a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd burst, at an area where the river joins the sea on the coast of Espirito Santo in Regencia Village, Brazil, November 23, 2015. © Ricardo Moraes / Reuters
Toxic mud from a collapsed iron mine dam in Brazil has travelled 500 kilometers down the Rio Doce and reached the Atlantic Ocean, threatening endangered leatherback turtles and the river’s other aquatic wildlife.

Brazil’s biggest environmental disaster ever occurred on November 5 when a Samarco iron mine dam collapsed, releasing sixty million cubic meters of toxic waste. Continue reading Red death: Toxic Brazilian mud reaches Atlantic Ocean

Food seizures begin: Venezuela farmers ordered to turn over their food to the government

Source:Natural News
Date: 7 August 2015
Author: Daniel Barker

(NaturalNews) As Venezuela’s economy continues to worsen — its currency having entered “free fall mode,” according to the Financial Times — the desperate Maduro government has taken the extreme measure of nationalizing the nation’s food industry.

Venezuelan farmers and food producers are now required to sell anywhere from 30 percent to 100 percent of their products to state-owned stores. The order covers staple foods such as rice, milk, oil, sugar and flour.

Shortages and long lines in stores have become common since Venezuela’s economy began sliding into inflation — a situation that placed them at the top of the list in the world for inflation in 2014. The official inflation rate was 65 percent last year, and in the last month the currency has lost another 43 percent of its value. Oil prices once again have dropped, causing further strain on Venezuela’s struggling economy.

The recent free fall of the country’s currency — the bolivar — is evidence, according to FT.com, of “the growing inability of Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, to stabilise the country’s fast deteriorating economy.”

Maduro's Leftist government has attempted to cover its debts by printing money, a move which has pushed the country towards a state of hyperinflation, according to leading economists. Venezuela's money supply has increased 85 percent in the last year, while the currency continues to devalue. The black market value of the bolivar has nearly reached the 700 to one dollar mark -- a figure roughly one-hundredth of the official government rate of 6.3 bolivars to the dollar.

Many observers believe that the move to nationalize the food supply will only worsen the situation, especially for Venezuela's lower income citizens.

Pablo Baraybar, president of the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber, says the order is "illogical"
and will harm consumers:

Taking products from the supermarkets and shops to hand them over to the state network doesn't help in any way. And problems like speculating will only get worse, because the foods will be concentrated precisely in the areas where the resellers go.

Speculation and exploitation

The "speculating" that Baraybar refers to is the widespread practice of private retailers in Venezuela purchasing and hoarding cheap food products from the state-owned markets for resale at greatly inflated prices in the private stores.

The speculators, nicknamed "bachaqueros" (giant ants), buy goods from the three state-owned store chains, then resell them at a profit.

The nationalization will also lead to even longer lines in the markets, according to Baraybar, because "goods will be available in fewer stores."

From the Telegraph.com:

The state owns 7,245 stores, compared to more than 113,000 in private hands. Mr Baraybar said that many of the private shops were in densely-populated areas, meaning that people will now be forced to make longer journeys to the state stores.

Solution: increased production, not nationalization

Baraybar says that the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber was not informed about the order and has called for a meeting with the government to discuss the plan. He says that the move "does absolutely nothing to help with the shortages" and that increased national production is the solution.

For years now, Venezuela has exercised strict price controls on many basic goods in an effort to keep them affordable for the country's poor, but manufacturers claim that high production costs make it impossible to for them to operate, leading to further shortages.

Meanwhile, the government accuses the producers of greedy speculation and trying to undermine the revolution.

The socialist model has proven to be disastrous to Venezuela's economy, as it has in other countries which opted for the same approach. Simply taking over the private sector will never be a formula for economic success.

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

http://www.ft.com

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

GCSB spying reports: Brazil demands an explanation from New Zealand

NZherald
27 March 2015

Brazilian diplomat Roberto Azevedo

 Brazil has demanded an explanation from New Zealand after reports New Zealand’s foreign intelligence agency the GCSB spied on its campaign to get Brazilian diplomat Roberto Azevedo elected as Secretary General of the World Trade Organisation in 2013 – successfully.

Brazil media have reported that New Zealand’s ambassador in Sao Paulo, Caroline Bilkey, was summoned by the Secretary General of Brazil’s foreign ministry (MRE), Sergio Danese, to explain. Continue reading GCSB spying reports: Brazil demands an explanation from New Zealand

A freedom to exist both ecological and economical