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Le respect de la démocratie selon Chávez...

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  • 2 weeks later...
First, it was not the same question. In the referendum of 2007, the proposals were clearly directed to establish a socialist, militaristic, centralist state, and eliminating the rule of law. So, the opposition was more clear eighteen months ago. Now, there was only one question, and that one question was formulated in a very confusing way. He didn't ask the people, 'Do you want all elected officials to be elected in a continuous, indefinite, and permanent way?' That's the result. No, the question was, 'Do you want to expand the political right of the citizens as a whole.' So, in fact, it was very difficult to find from the question submitted to the voters the real intention. So that factor also contributed to the change of votes in one year and a half.



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Stanford Bank Collapse Threatens Venezuela



The collapse of a Venezuelan bank owned by R. Allen Stanford, the Texas financier accused of fraud, is raising concern that the run on its deposits could spread to other banks, threatening the nation's economy.

On Saturday, President Hugo Chávez blamed his political enemies for rumors about mass withdrawals, and urged depositors not to pull their savings from domestic banks.

"If there were any reason to do it, I would be the first to act," Mr. Chávez said, in statements distributed by his press office. "I refute these rumors that attempt to sow panic among savers, not just regarding what happened with Stanford, but about the Venezuelan financial and banking systems."

Mr. Chávez moved to restore confidence a day after speculation spread among brokerage-house trading desks and businessmen that at least one major bank had faced unusually large deposit withdrawals. The speculation is difficult to confirm because it is too recent to be reflected in the latest official bank data.

While Mr. Chávez may succeed in restoring confidence, the concerns underscore the problems facing the 54-year-old, anti-American former soldier, who recently completed a decade in power and last month won a referendum to alter the constitution to permit indefinite re-election.

Mr. Chávez's ability to fund welfare programs and other subsidies at the core of his popularity is undercut by plunging oil prices. Increasingly, residents of Venezuela say they believe Mr. Chávez will have to devalue the "strong bolivar" currency he introduced last year. Price controls meant to contain 30% inflation have led to food shortages. On Saturday, Mr. Chávez dispatched troops to force rice makers to boost production.

Mr. Chávez has even lost his longtime foil, former President George W. Bush. In recent days, Mr. Chávez has tried tirades against President Barack Obama, who nonetheless remains a popular figure among Venezuelans.

The U.S. fraud allegations against Mr. Stanford are a recent addition to Mr. Chávez's woes. In February, Venezuelan authorities seized Stanford Bank, which is owned by Mr. Stanford, after a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit accused the Texas financier of fraud. A spokeswoman for Stanford Group Venezuela declined to comment on speculation about other banks.

The U.S. lawsuit triggered a run on deposits at the bank -- a small retail operation in Venezuela with about 20 branches. The Venezuelan government guaranteed the deposits of Stanford Bank and says it will sell the bank.

Observers say the bank's problems revive memories of a mid-1990s banking crisis that wiped out the savings of many in the middle class.

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Serait-ce à dire que Chavie a beaucoup de thunes dans les banques ? :icon_up:

Peut-être que de poser sous une toile du Suisse Hodler ça lui donne des idées de destination pour son argent…

Amusant, on avait fait le même coup à Blocher :doigt: . Mais bon, la toile était dans son bureau, avant de rejoindre le museé d'Orsay…

Du reste, je me demande si Chavez n'a pas été prix en photo au même endroit ? Il est venu en visite en Suisse en 2001,


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Venezuela's Hugo Chavez tightens state control of food amid rocketing inflation and food shortages


"revenez, bordel! revenez que je vous coupe la tete! "


President Hugo Chavez is tightening state control over Venezuela's food supply, setting quotas for food staples which are to be sold at government-imposed prices.

By Jeremy McDermott, Latin America Correspondent

Last Updated: 11:47PM GMT 04 Mar 2009

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez tightens state control of food amid rocketing inflation and food shortages

Hugo Chavez is seeking to ensure that his core support, the poor, can still fill their shopping baskets with food Photo: REUTERS

Venezuela's public finances are unravelling, with oil prices at $40 a barrel, while the national budget is calculated at $60 a barrel. Inflation is running at over 30 per cent, yet with the new measures Mr Chavez is seeking to ensure that his core support, the poor, can still fill their shopping baskets with food.

"If any industry wants to ride roughshod over the consumers, with a view to getting better dividends, we are going to act," said Carlos Osorio, the national superintendent of silos and storage. "For the government, access to food is a matter of national security."

Production quotas and prices have now been set for cooking oil, white rice, sugar, coffee, flour, margarine, pasta, cheeses and tomato sauce.

White rice, the staple for many Venezuelans, can now only be sold at a price of 2.15 bolivares (71p) per kilo. Private companies insist that production of that kilo costs 4.41 bolivares (£1.46) and that government regulations are impossible to fulfil and companies will quickly go broke. Companies that are dedicated to rice production must ensure that 80 per cent of their efforts are dedicated to white rice. The new regulations set production percentages, as companies were rebranding their products to avoid the government controls, like flavouring the rice, as the price restrictions apply only to white rice.

"Forcing companies to produce rice at a loss will not resolve the situation, simply make it worse," said Luis Carmona of Polar, a rice company that has been singled out by the government for trying to sidestep restrictions.

Government price controls on basic goods have been in place, in various forms, since 2003. But the restrictions have forced Venezuela to become increasingly reliant on imports of these products as local farmers will not supply the selected food staples at government prices.

Mr Chavez last month won a referendum allowing him to stand indefinitely for re-election. With that now achieved the Venezuelan leader, who has vowed to turn his South American nation into a model Socialist state, is now taking some unpopular decisions needed to stabilise his floundering economy.

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Mr Chavez last month won a referendum allowing him to stand indefinitely for re-election. With that now achieved the Venezuelan leader, who has vowed to turn his South American nation into a model Socialist state, is now taking some unpopular decisions needed to stabilise his floundering economy.

A la couler complètement oui tu veux dire… Même si le Venezuela n'est pas encore une dictature, il va le devenir très vite maintenant que le pétrole bas ne lui donne plus les moyens d'acheter la clientèle électorale pauvre.

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ou alors, Chavez ayant bien attise les pulsions revolutionnaires de sa population va se faire virer manu-festiviti par l'amicale des joyeux chapeaux peruviens.

C'est un militaire et l'armée l'a soutenu lors d'une tentative de coup d'Etat, ça m'étonnerait qu'il en perde le contrôle.

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  • 2 months later...
Chavez and the Power of the State

Between 2002 and 2004 millions of Venezuelans signed petitions calling for a vote to remove Hugo Chavez from office. Signatories were not anonymous and during the petition campaign Chavez supporters hinted darkly that there would be retaliation. Chavez was in fact forced into a recall election, but unfortunately he won (not one of democracy's better moments). After the election, the list of signatories was distributed to government agencies in an easy-to-use database. The database included the names and addresses of all registered voters and whether they had signed an anti-Chavez petition. Technology thus provided Chavez supporters the information they needed to retaliate.

Technology cuts both ways, however, and in a truly remarkable paper, Hsieh, Miguel, Ortega and Rodriguez match information in the petition database to another database on wages, employment and income. What the authors find is shocking, albeit not surprising. Before the recall election, petition signatories and non-signatories look alike. After the election, the employment and wages of signatories drop considerably, about a 10% drop in wages relative to non-signatories. Survey evidence conducted by the authors is consistent with retaliation by Chavez supporters especially in the form of job losses in the public sector. The authors estimate that the retaliation was so widespread, many workers were pushed into informal employment, that the Venezuelan economy was significantly damaged.



L'étude : "The Price of Political Opposition: Evidence from Venezuela's Maisanta"


In 2004, the Chávez regime in Venezuela distributed the list of several million voters whom had attempted to remove him from office throughout the government bureaucracy, allegedly to identify and punish these voters. We match the list of petition signers distributed by the government to household survey respondents to measure the economic effects of being identified as a Chavez political opponent. We find that voters who were identified as Chavez opponents experienced a 5 percent drop in earnings and a 1.5 percentage point drop in employment rates after the voter list was released. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the loss aggregate TFP from the misallocation of workers across jobs was substantial, on the order of 3 percent of GDP.

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Chávez seizures fuel Venezuela oil fears

By Benedict Mander in Caracas

Published: May 10 2009 12:41 | Last updated: May 10 2009 18:27

A fresh round of expropriations in Venezuela has raised fears that the Opec producer’s already declining oil output could sink to its lowest level in the past 20 years.

Troops were mobilised over the weekend to assist Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA, in seizing the assets of some 60 oil service companies, after a law was approved last week that paves the way for the state to take increasing control over its all-important oil industry.

“To God what is God’s, and to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” said Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez, as he presided over the expropriation of at least a dozen rigs, more than 30 oil terminals and some 300 boats.

“Today we also say: to the people what is the people’s,” the socialist leader said to roars of approval from red-clad supporters on the shores of Lake Maracaibo, the heartland of the nation’s oil production.

This move forms part of a broader assault against the private sector, which Mr Chávez has increasingly blamed as Venezuela slides into recession. Simultaneously he is engaging in what opposition leaders say is a campaign of persecution of his political foes.

Manuel Rosales, a former presidential candidate, has been granted asylum in Peru to escape arrest over corruption charges, while congress has removed almost all the spending powers of Antonio Ledezma, the anti-Chávez mayor of Caracas. Other opponents have been jailed or gone into hiding.

PDVSA, which is suffering from a sharp fall in export income, made the surprise move against the oil service companies in response to their threat that they would suspend operations until it paid a backlog of invoices. Some, including Helmerich & Payne and Ensco International, abandoned rigs this year.

PDVSA, which is under pressure to cut expenses by 60 per cent because of tumbling revenues, is estimated to owe as much as $12bn (€8.9bn, £7.9bn) to contractors since suspending payments to them last August, shortly after oil prices began their precipitous decline.

It has demanded that companies accept a 40 per cent cut in their bills, arguing that the decline in oil prices means they are charging too much.

The new law will also enable PDVSA to pay debts with bonds rather than cash, and compensate assets at book value.

The move is the latest sign of the deepening cashflow crisis that has bedeviled the state oil company for at least two years as it has become overburdened with responsibilities far removed from its core business – in particular funding and running the massive social programmes that have become the bedrock of Mr Chávez’s support.

But analysts say that by shifting its problems onto its suppliers, PDVSA is storing up even bigger problems for the future. Not only does it lack the ability to operate as efficiently as the service providers, but it sends a grim signal to companies considering investing in Venezuela. Consequently, future oil production is under threat.

Perhaps most worrying is the impact this could have on foreign companies’ interest in a major auction currently underway to develop the Carabobo block in the oil-rich Orinoco Belt, which is the first oil investment opportunity in Venezuela in the last decade, and represents the oil dependent country’s biggest hope for reviving sagging production. According to the IEA, production fell to 2.36m bpd in 2008, compared to 3.18m bpd in 1997, although PDVSA claims it actually increased to 3.27m bpd in 2008.

Some 19 companies – including BP, Chevron, Shell, StatoilHydro, and Total – have expressed interest in bidding for the Carabobo projects that could collectively produce over 800,000 bpd, and require investments of $25-30bn.

But adding to worries about the lack of legal security in Venezuela, intensified by recent developments, international oil companies are also concerned by prohibitively high start-up and financing costs as well as tight profit margins due to fiscal terms that were drawn up before oil prices began their precipitous decline last year.

David Voght, a director at IPD Latin America, which advises several international oil companies operating in Venezuela, said: “Venezuela’s aggressive fiscal terms and the country’s persistent trend toward nationalisation of oil industry activities will make it more and more difficult to attract foreign investment and competitive bids from qualified operators.”

Taxes and royalties have been hiked four times since 2004, with an 85 per cent windfall tax introduced last year, while companies were ordered to give up operational control over four multibillion-dollar projects in the Orinoco two years ago, prompting Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips to exit the country and opt for international arbitration.

Although most companies are keen to have a stake in Venezuela, which now claims to have 172bn barrels of proven oil reserves making them the second largest in the world after Saudi Arabia, the government’s unpredictability and inflexibility are a serious deterrent.

“It’s a great paradox. There are companies that want to invest in Venezuela and to remain on a long-term basis, bringing capital, technology and know-how, but they may not do so because the government is refusing to recognize that the outlook for oil prices has changed,” said an industry source in Caracas, who requested anonymity. “They have to face up to reality.”

Chavez est un imbecile, ou alors il a un plan (quinquennal)

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Je vais faire l'avocat du diable, mais je ne vois pas ce qu'il y a d'antidémocratique dans le fait que quelqu'un soit rééligible à vie, bien au contraire. Si les gens sont assez cons pour voter pour lui, c'est leur problème, et de toute façon la dictature n'est pas une question d'hommes : on peut très bien diriger les choses derrière la scène en faisant élire un homme de paille (qui a dit Medvedev?).

Enfin bref, il y a beaucoup de choses qu'on peut reprocher à Chavez mais il est malhonnête de transformer "rééligible à vie" en "président à vie".

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Enfin bref, il y a beaucoup de choses qu'on peut reprocher à Chavez mais il est malhonnête de transformer "rééligible à vie" en "président à vie".

Tu dis malhonnête, je dis clairvoyant.

Cite moi un seul exemple contraire ?

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Si si, c'est lui qui a discrètement fait sauter ça quand il a passé du septennat au quinquennat. Ca lui a permis de faire plus de 14 ans.

??? 7+5= ?

En quoi est-ce comparable, même de loin, à un type qui fait sauter la limitation des mandats pour son propre compte ?

Chavez fait sauter la limite et compte se représenter dans la foulée. En quoi n'est-ce pas le signe d'un souhait de dictature ?

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Si si, c'est lui qui a discrètement fait sauter ça quand il a passé du septennat au quinquennat. Ca lui a permis de faire plus de 14 ans.


Chirac est resté 12 ans à la présidence.

La limitation du nombre de mandats à deux consécutifs date du : 23 juillet 2008

Et avant il n'y avait aucune limitation du nombre de mandats.


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Je ne savais pas que les elections voulaient dire quelque choses au Venezula. On a quand meme un gars qui apres avoir essaye une fois et avoir foire, s'y est repris de la "bonne facon", et a reussit. Donc Ash a raison, c'est de la clairvoyance.

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