March 6, 2009

Chavez breaking up Big Rice stranglehold

"Venezuelans experienced widespread shortages of rice last year when the world food crisis set in and prices soared. Pledging to take stronger measures to guarantee food access to all citizens, Chávez passed the Law on Food Security and Sovereignty with decree authority granted to him for 18 months by the National Assembly. The law defines food security as a matter of “public utility,” permitting Chávez to order expropriation of property necessary to move toward that goal.

Chavez is honouring that law by beginning the steps for expropriation of rice processing plants violating controls. The big food corporation Polar, is suspected of operating below capacity at its rice mills to evade price caps and adding flavouring to bypass regulations which are geared to cover only basic pure foods. A Cargill plant that circumventing price controls by "modifying" (parboiling) its rice was ordered expropriated today.

"These private companies can continue functioning as long as they remain within the scope of the law and the constitution", Chavez said Wednesday.


Isabelle said...

Chavez is someone we've been fed a lot of propaganda about during the Bush years so it's difficult to have an informed opinion about him except to say that he obviously leans towards socialism. I don't understand why there can't be a sensible mix of socialism and capitalism unless it's because both sides know their own greedy tendencies so they project their fears on each other to keep things destabilized.

anne said...

I guess I'm leaning over so far I've got dirt on my face.
A question to ask is how do you measure the health of a culture?
Capitalism is certainly evolving in a degenerate way...I'd like to see the evolution of socialism.