Sunday, 8 May 2011

With your petrodollars I'll buy you Chinese refrigerators and you vote for me

The Background

This is how the deal came to be: last year Chávez's military government signed an agreement with the Chinese to give oil to China for just a fraction of the market price during one decade in exchange for a $10 billion dollar loan (or payment, the details are not clear) plus Chinese products worth 10 billion dollars more.

Chinese appliances for Venezuelan oil: XXI Century Socialism?

The Deal

And this is the deal for Venezuelans: Chávez announces a "social programme" called My Well Equipped Home. According to this programme, the Venezuelan government will sell 3 million Chinese home appliances at "half the capitalist price". Chávez announced this in one of his many cadenas (all radio and TV stations in Venezuela had to broadcast his speeches)*. 

I wrote about that back in 2010. This is one of the tools Chávez and his pseudo-revolutionaries want to use to secure their victory for the 2012 elections. It is probable some of these appliances will end being distributed for free at the end, depending on what polls say.

The Past and the Future

Some Venezuelans will fall for this. They won't see that money comes from their oil, which could have been sold at several times the price in order to invest in Venezuela's future,  in quality education for all,  in sustainable development.  The question is how many will be so naive as not to see the Chinese appliances of today are the underdevelopment of tomorrow.

Chávez and his bolibourgeoisie are pawning Venezuelans' future in order to remain in power. In the nineties I remember how small Venezuelan startups began to produce basic electronic appliances. Back then oil prices had been at their lowest for  a long time and life was hard. Venezuelans were trying to find new ways of generating income. Unfortunately, it was going to take time and before those companies could generate enough revenues, Chávez was elected president and oil prices started to go up, up, up, up. Now those companies are gone. We import more than ever.

Humberto Ortega, president of the Bank of Venezuela, minister of the Ministry for Public Banking and one of Chávez's puppets, stated: "this (the Chinese appliance programme) is not thanks to the [private] banking sector, this is thanks to our president Hugo Chávez, to our government, who, in their concern for all Venezuelans, implemented this kind of programme to provide our nation with the largest amount of happiness". He did not say this is as long as the Chinese can get extremely cheap oil.
Venezuela is becoming more parasitic than it was before. This is good for the Chinese in their wild capitalist development. This is particularly good for the Haier Corporation. This is excellent for CEO Zhang Ruimin. This is bad for Venezuela,  which is only becoming more of a banana republic than it was before.

The r in the picture above does not stand for "revolution", but for "registered"

* Remember: less than 30% of the population can watch TV that is critical of Chávez, few read anything but sports newspapers and most of the "big private media" Chávez apologists talk about - Venevisión etc- broadcast since 2004 mostly soap operas and baseball games.
** I hope useful idiots have seen by now the farce of such organisations as Veniran.


  1. And what is the use of household appliances without electricity?

  2. It depends on the appliance.
    A microwave oven can be used to make a flower pot higher (if light is not reaching the plant, for instance).

    A refrigerator is excellent for hanging calendars or using refrigerator magnets from your Miami or Havana trips.

    A washing machine can become a table and you can keep all kind of things secure in the basket (provided they are not too small).

    The sky's the limit and Venezuelans are highly creative.

  3. Lemmy Caution9 May 2011 at 04:48

    People gamble, because they tend to overestimate their chances to win. Now Chávez adds a gambling element to his social policy to minimize the costs, while gaining enough support among voters.
    He deliberately capitalizes on the weakness of the population to properly estimate their chances to win in the chinese kitchen lotery.

  4. "He deliberately capitalizes on the weakness of the population "

    You bet he does.
    And I don't see any change as long as Venezuelans are the fiercest cargo cult believers in the entire Western Hemisphere.

    Manitu gives us washing machines and TV sets and Chávez is his prophet.


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