By on April 20, 2017

General Motors HQ

If your news diet occasionally strays outside of the automotive realm, then you know that Venezuela is going through a “transitional phase.” The country’s economy is experiencing uncontrollable inflation, unemployment is around 25 percent, food is scarce, and public health services have become nonexistent. There is also more political turmoil than any single country could possibly handle. Venezuela’s capital of Caracas is now a hotbed of increasingly violent protests, as critics of President Nicolas Maduro are met with heavily armed security forces.

The opposition blames Maduro and the Supreme Court for turning the country in to a dictatorship after dissolving the National Assembly’s ability to govern. There are also claims that the leftist government is overstepping its bounds when it comes to property rights.

While you wouldn’t expect an automaker to weigh in on the matter, General Motors is accusing Venezuelan authorities of the illegal seizure of a plant in the industrial center of Valencia and has vowed to “take all legal actions” necessary to defend its rights. It’s also ceasing operations within the country. 

“Yesterday, GMV’s (General Motors Venezolana) plant was unexpectedly taken by the public authorities, preventing normal operations. In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities,” the company said in a statement.

According to El Carabobeno, the action was taken as part of a lawsuit against General Motors Venezolana filed 17 years ago, after the country nullified contracts with Chevrolet dealers in the city of Maracaibo due to insufficient performance. The plaintiffs requested compensation equivalent to 4.8 billion dollars, a number which GM said would cripple its Venezuelan operations permanently. However, the factory in question has been indefinitely idled since 2016 after suffering repeated material shortages for over two years.

GM blamed the plant’s troubles on the country’s failing infrastructure and stated that the amount of money requested “exceeds all logic.” It had also previously rejected the adoption of a system that permitted it to sell vehicles with mixed payments in U.S. dollars and local currency after witnessing Toyota and Ford struggling under the plan. Meanwhile, GM has continuously lowered its expectations in South America and scaled back its involvement.

The recent seizure in Venezuela has forced an “immediate cessation of its operations in the country.” In its official statement, GM accused local officials of causing “irreparable damage” to the company, its 2,678 workers, and 79 dealers inside the country. GM said it would pay separation benefits “as far as the authorities permit.”Arndt Ellinghorst, an automotive analyst for Evercore ISI, suggests that the overall impact on GM’s finances may be minimal, as the company didn’t expect to sell many cars there this year.

As for the legality of the issue, article 112 and 115 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela state that “all persons may freely engage in an economic activity of their choice” and that “the right of ownership is guaranteed.” However, there are exceptions. When supported by a court judgement, companies or persons that have committed crimes against public property, enriched themselves illicitly, or engaged in criminal behavior (such as drug trafficking) are still subject to confiscation. And the interpretation of the law broadened following former president Hugo Chávez’s re-election in December 2006 — especially toward North American business interests.

[Image: Michael Kumm/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

75 Comments on “GM Claims Venezuela Illegally Seized Its Factory, Ends Operations in the Country...”


  • avatar
    whitworth

    If you have any “private property” in a country that claims to be Socialist, you should eventually expect it to be seized. That’s sort of the whole point.

    Some people want to put a friendly spin on it, but all companies and industries are supposed to eventually be state-owned under socialism.

    So when a company acts surprised that a country takes ownership, I have to wonder if none of the people in charge took a basic PoliSci 101 class.

    • 0 avatar
      Car Guy

      Completely agree. Those clamoring for socialism in the US need to take a long look at what happened to Venezuela in just 15 years.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Yes, under Chavez it started to get really terrible, they were seizing factories under his leadership (and American-owned glass jar/bottle manufacturer I read about) and $h¡t was getting bad. From the sound of it, things haven’t improved since he died. More of the same thuggery. I remember reading that gasoline was like $0.15 a gallon, but milk (when you could find it, which was rare) was like $8-10/gallon.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I hear Sweden is a horrible place.

        • 0 avatar
          whitworth

          “I hear Sweden is a horrible place.”

          It is actually, but most industries in Sweden are not state owned. And citizens have private property rights. So not really socialist.

          Scandanavia gets a “socialist” reputation, but much of that was reformed generations ago.

          Definition of socialism
          1
          : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
          2
          a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
          b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
          3
          : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Car Guy
        It is the use of the word ” socialism” .It can mean ” Communism” or Medicare?. ” Socialist ” Renault is the holding company for Nissan/ Mitsubishi and is Globally No.2. ” Socialist ” Airbus is on track to eventually overtake Boeing this year.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      Oh, get a grip, guys. This has nothing to do with any ideology that is relevant to US politics.

      Venezuela is an autocracy that functions as a kleptocracy. The thugs in charge have looted the place, and periodic seizures of private businesses are part of a circus intended to deflect popular attention from the unholy mess the regime has created.

      And like dictators everywhere, Maduro tries to create a foreign bogeyman to blame for the the ills he and his cronies have created. For him, the US fills this bill nicely.

      • 0 avatar
        jeoff

        I think it is relevant–not that socialism is doomed to become kleptocracy–but, socialist ideas independent of understanding how the bills are going to be paid is doomed. I think Germany understands this, Venezuela didn’t, and I don’t think that many in the US understand it either. We are making more economic promises to our people with out any long-term plan as to how we are going to pay for them.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          No, it is not. “Socialism”, as a label, has been popular with dictators of all stripes, presumably because it suggests some concern for the common people the dictator is screwing over (see “Hitler, Adolf”).

          Maduro is a thug, pure and simple. “Bolivarian Socialism” is the fig leaf that is meant to disguise the outright looting of the country by those in power.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            +1, ect.

            Folks of a certain political bent like to call anything they disagree with – i.e., any philosophy even slightly to their left – “socialism,” and then try to associate it with countries that were “officially” socialistic, like Nazi Germany, or the USSR.

            Except both of those countries were, as you say, dictatorships with a more socially acceptable name. Actual socialist countries look a lot like about 10 places I can name in Western Europe, like Sweden, or Denmark, or even Germany. Last I checked, no gulags, Gestapo or KGB in any of those places…

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            “Folks of a certain political bent like to call anything they disagree with – i.e., any philosophy even slightly to their left – “socialism,” ”

            _______

            But seizing a factory for the “people” and to put it into state ownership is textbook socialism.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            No, it’s textbook communism, which is basically socialism on steroids.

            But in Venezuela’s case, it’s just plain dictatorship anyway, no matter what they want to term it.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            @FreedMike

            Uh… no!

            Venezuela is a socialist country by self identification. And they are (were?) proud of it.

            Just like the US. Does ObamaCare fall in the Capitalist category? Probably not. But we still regard the US as a Capitalist country because that’s how Americans view this country.

      • 0 avatar
        cls12vg30

        >Venezuela is an autocracy that functions as a kleptocracy.

        That actually sounds VERY relevant to US politics.

    • 0 avatar
      scent tree

      I doubt this is a surprise to GM, it just makes a good opportunity to formally axe the division and scram before Venezuela realizes they nationalized the physical plant’s liabilities too.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      This is the chapter in Animal Farm where the horse gets ‘retired.’

      You’ll never guess how the story ultimately ends.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Huh, yet the US government has taken over complete industries through the 20th century, yet they were always returned to private ownership after war or crisis passed and I can still buy beer.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Venezuela has the greatest known petroleum reserves in the world. Venezuela, not Saudi Arabia.
    Venezuela has an internal gas shortage. It still exports petroleum, lesser amounts than pre-Chavez, and that will dwindle as its deteriorating equipment becomes less capable. Its tankers are so befouled during the loading process that they must be cleaned before sailing, otherwise the importers’ ports will turn them away. The money to restore production and downstream operations has instead funded bread and circuses.
    When your main focus is bread and circuses, sooner, rather than later, you will have neither. If it weren’t an indicator of how grim the circumstances are, you might laugh at the fact they are low on toilet paper and beer. No laughing at the lack of pharmaceuticals.
    What would you do if you were a GM decision maker at the beginning of the Chavez debacle? Stop investing in any maintenance, upgrades and expansion? That was generally government policy in oil. Regard what you have there, slowly deteriorating as it must be, as a irretrievable sunk cost? Continue operations as long you can, eking out some money and maybe even considering the plight of your employees and dealers?
    What a mess.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      You do miss the point that oil prices have crashed to a level where it isn’t very profitable right now to suck it out of the ground. This pressure has had more impact on Russia going into recession than sanctions (as one example). Different nations have different costs – for example, oil would have to be around $140 a barrel for Iran to make money on their oil because they sucked out all their light sweet reserves years ago. What is left is very heavy and very sour, and producers simply don’t want it. It’s hard to extract, it is very hard to transfer, and it is hard to store.

      Venezuela also finds itself on the wrong side of the Panama Canal, which makes doing business with China a bit of a challenge. Brazil is into ethanol, Mexico has their own nationalized oil and plenty of it. The United States is dialing back on imports from countries not called Canada, and has for years.

      Chavez ran Venezuela into the ground, the leaders who took over after his death are digging the hole even faster. I’m not a fan of knee jerk condemnation of socialism (not directed at you) as one can look at the Scandinavian nations of examples where it works.

      Japan is the second largest developed economy in the world, and third largest by GDP, and their debt to GDP ratio is terrifying, think worst in the world. Zimbabwe is close, Greece is far in the rear view mirror, and Italy is healthy in comparison.

      Socialism versus free markets versus… doesn’t equal success or failure.

      Again, not directed at you personally, but we kick socialism around like it is fascism in this country, when a survey revealed only 14% of Americans can accurately describe what socialism is for starters. There are plenty of examples in this country of socialism principles in action that work well, and examples of ideas that don’t. With that said, one thing successful socialist governments have in common is their overall populations are small. I will equally roll my eyes at anyone who says the United States can just look to Iceland on how to solve all our problems. Iceland is a nation of 325K people, 90% of the tiny nation is non-arable or habitable, with almost the entire population living huddled in a few coastal communities (when your whole country has less population than Worcester County, Masschusetts, it’s hard to call any “city” there a city), and they sit on a geothermal gold mine. Socialism by its traditional definition would likely not work in the United States because simply put, we’re too big of a nation.

      With all those keystrokes I will close with bread and circuses didn’t sink Venezuela, corruption did. Chavez was a corrupt wanna-be dictator. The sad part is the end game is pretty inevitable. They are plummeting toward violent revolution, and in that part of the world it tends to lead to Civil War. With all that oil, key players (cough cough Russia, China, cough, cough) will likely get involved. They’re going to want access to all those reserves.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Well said.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        I grant that fracking has put a cap on oil prices. Chavez was neglecting the maintenance needs of the national oil company long before fracking was the resilient thing it is today. Further, Venezuelan oil isn’t Saudi or West Texas light, either. It needs more refining and hence more money to produce and market. The US EIA has a table showing US imports from Venezuela peaked at 50MM bbl per month in the late 90’s. Today, its half that number. Late 90’s was peak Venezuelan production with similar decline as exports to the US. Other producers have managed to keep up with the times and even introduce new technology in that period to stay cost competitive.
        It is no coincidence that Chavez came to power in the late 90’s. Where did all revenue from oil go, if not price subsidies elsewhere? That works until you run out of other people’s money. Here, the other people are the export oil consumers like customers of Citgo in the US.
        I agree that the Euro social democracies have worked, but then they aren’t totalitarian.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “I agree that the Euro social democracies have worked, but then they aren’t totalitarian.”

          THIS.

          Places like Norway or Sweden voted their highly socialistic governments into power. And they can vote them out of power, which I think they’re already in the process of doing.

          That’s what the people who bandy around ‘socialist’ hand in hand with ‘Nazi Germany’ or ‘USSR’ don’t get – those were just dictatorships with cuter names. I mean, hell, if you want to hang forms of government because some dictatorships have them in their name, then I guess the fact that there’s a country named “Peoples ***Republic*** of China” means our republic is just another dictatorship.

          It’s intellectually silly, and they know it. They just do it to troll.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        Love watching people defend socialism with the “it’s not the right kind!!!”

        Amazing how many socialist/communist countries fall apart and they all end up fighting for toilet paper and basics like food.

        But blame it all on oil prices and corruption.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          Are people fighting over food and toilet paper in Sweden or Denmark?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “Amazing how many socialist/communist countries fall apart and they all end up fighting for toilet paper and basics like food.”

          History is littered with republics that also failed, and many of them were in the western world. France and Germany both had republics at one point, and both failed miserably, leading to mass chaos (and, not coincidentally, to Napoleon and Hitler). The U.S.’ first shot at a republic (under the articles of confederation) was also a disaster. And don’t even get me started on the s**t show in Iraq.

          Government failure doesn’t begin and end with the “ism” the government operates under. There’s a lot more to it than that.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Again, not directed at you personally, but we kick socialism around like it is fascism in this country, when a survey revealed only 14% of Americans can accurately describe what socialism is for starters. ”

        mostly because they think Leninism is the only possible form of socialism, and think quoting the dictionary is an argument.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Yup – exactly. The above post that did this read like a Breitbart talking point. It is this kind of intellectual dishonesty and “political purity” that leads to the next jump – Fascism is socialism in its purest form. My God man, the Nazis nationalized their industries. PROOF!

          The Nazis nationalized their industries because they were at war. Gee, the United States nationalized the railroads in World War I. The United States nationalized the railroads, coal mines, oil refining, and dozens of industries in World War II. The United States seized 88 steel plants during the Korean War. The United States has existing agreements that they can nationalize airlines and cruise ships at little more than a stroke of a pen.

          I know I’m treading the line of Goodwin – but I haven’t brought up the ‘H’ dude. The first people rounded up in Germany weren’t Romani, Jews, gays, or the sick/infirmed. The first people rounded up were socialists and communists, followed by trade union leaders.

          It is like insisting we live in a Democracy, or a Republic. Or that China is a socialist nation because well, they aren’t quite Communists. Or that Russia is a Democracy because well, they vote and have private property (bwhahahahaha, ya, OK).

          It also leads to replies like, “Amazing how many socialist/communist countries fall apart and they all end up fighting for toilet paper and basics like food.

          But blame it all on oil prices and corruption.”

          The really ironic part for me is the last statement, “and corruption.”

          Well ya, basically corruption and waste has destroyed every government, and at times entire civilizations through history. They weren’t all socialism/communism.

          The crash of oil to $45bbl and the budget for the country needs oil to be $100bbl, it kind of puts a crunch on the budget. If the government controls things and the budget collapses, no duh – the results. Oh wait, I guess declining oil prices was actually a factor too.

          If the US treasury collected 25% less taxes in 2018 from 2017, you better believe there will be beer and toilet paper shortages in this country.

          Suggest some people read up on the Great Depression and how rampant malnutrition was in this great free market economy of ours. Having a Sears catalog for toilet paper was a luxury – as was for many a can of beans. That malnutrition impacted military recruiting and it is why post World War II the USDA school lunch program was formed. AHHHHH! Socialism!

          • 0 avatar
            chuckrs

            “If the US treasury collected 25% less taxes in 2018 from 2017, you better believe there will be beer and toilet paper shortages in this country.”

            Why, then we could nationalize beer and toilet stocks and production.

            Shoes for industry! Shoes for defense! (Firesign Theater reference)

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            …Why, then we could nationalize beer and toilet stocks and production…

            Learn your history, the US government has nationalized multiple industries at time of crisis through history – either economic crisis or war.

            Do you have your ration card? Is this trip necessary? Truman nationalizing the steel industry during the Korean War?

            Hey, if nationalization is so, ehem, bad, here is an idea. Lets save our military billions of dollars a year. We can de-nationalize our ICBM force and let SpaceX manage it. I’m told private industry can do it so much better.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @APaGttH
        US Government bailing out GM after it had gone into receivership, was not far off the kleptocracy that pervades Venezuela

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          I love when GM is trotted out as an example of this, but no one never mentions the twice bailed out Chrysler, which is now owned by the Italians (thanks US taxpayers). Chrysler is even more egregious because it wasn’t even public owned, it was owned by deep pocketed private equity.

          You also left out that TARP money went to companies like Caterpillar, Toyota, VW, and BMW to keep their finance arms from being able to…finance stuff. Toyota also got emergency money from the Japanese government. (Ya, well if you’re so smart – GM never paid all their money back).

          The Bush Administration had a very clear roadmap of what would happen if they did – nothing. The Hover administration looked at things and went, “meh, it will all be fine.” Instead we had a decade long depression, 25% U3 unemployment (in modern terms) and 40% to 50% U6 unemployment. By the time World War II started a full one-third of recruits showed up so malnourished they were 4F.

          George W. Bush is on the record. His advisers told him that if he didn’t throw GM and Chrysler a lifeline, US unemployment U3 would go to 25% due to the cascading impact. Not just from companies going under, but the loss of confidence that would drive other cutbacks in a domino effect. Bush’s 2012 comment was he didn’t want history to remember him as the President that left 25% unemployment for the next President to solve.

          http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/an-inconvenient-truth-it-was-george-w-bush-who-bailed-out-the-automakers

          What else do we know in hindsight? That a 9.0 earthquake devastated Japanese auto manufacturing in April 2011, in some cases crippling production for more than a year. Toyota became mired in a number of issues (no not just the non-issue of UAEs). Had GM and Chrysler been allowed to go under, not just 25% unemployment, but gutted overall choice. VW then became mired in a global emissions scandal where people are actually going to prison (unheard of for corporate employees these days).

          Chrysler? FCA is a train wreck and I think there is a valid argument in saying that the bones of Chrysler are in worse shape in 2017 then they were in 2007.

          GM? Profitable global company, successful in the largest car economy in the world, China, and offering much better products – some at the top of their respective classes (and yes some are utter crap).

          https://www.gm.com/investors/earnings-releases.html

          There is zero comparison to Venezuela. In September of 2008, President Bush was advised that if he let Lehman Brothers collapse, he was 36 to 48 hours to riots in the streets because people wouldn’t be able to buy toilet paper and beer. Financial markets would be completely frozen, there would be a cascade of failures with the collapse of Lehman, and your ATM card? Ya, that isn’t going to work anymore.

          The bailouts sucked, and quantitative easing will eventually have to be answered too – but at least we could buy toilet paper and beer.

          The real slap in the face from the bailouts is CDS are still allowed, and the characters that drove the finance industries off a cliff got big bonuses, out of TARP funds ironically, and kept their jobs. Some of those same players are now running the financial health of this country with a direct whisper into the ear of our President.

          So please, do tell me why the GM bailout was so much worse than Chrysler and the banks…

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “So please, do tell me why the GM bailout was so much worse than Chrysler and the banks”

            because GM is bad because Obama touched it. GM will forever be “Government Motors” to some addlepated folks.

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        I’ve been to Iceland. The government supports the social welfare system with high sales (VAT) type taxes. As one of the locals told me, the only cheap things in Iceland are geothermal sourced electricity and heat. Even the fish they catch there cost more than in the US because of the taxes on food.
        That being said, they have almost zero crime.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Felix Hoenikker
          When their Banks collapsed , the first sign of the GFC, the Government did not bail them out. Unlike successive ” Socialist ” US administrations.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        APaGttH, once again a bright light in the darkness.

      • 0 avatar
        I_Deal_with_Facts

        I just wanted to clarify:

        Scandinavian countries are labeled socialist countries because of their huge safety net, paid for with super high taxes.

        Economically, they are NOT socialist. The means of production are NOT owned by the state. Very, very important distinction which many folks don’t understand.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      @chuckrs

      If I were the head of GM, I would not enter that country from the very start. You don’t need more than 10 countries to be successful as an automaker (treating EU as one).

      But then, no one would hire me to fill that position.

      But then, GM got bankrupt and will be bankrupt again.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    President Maduro will finish his term at the end of a rope. He’s worse than Chavez.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The finished cars can be handed out to friends of Maduro (or sold by the government on the black market), and the parts from incomplete cars sold on eBay. That’ll bring in some hard cash and keep them afloat for what, a couple of weeks? A month?

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    The best thing that could happen to the people of Venezuela would be for GM to put M3s and Liberator pistols back into production and find a way to get them into the hands of the people.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ya, armed revolution that will last a decade – that’s the answer. Of course it is. Step one: get rid of Maduro. Step two: get rid of factions I don’t like before they get rid of me. Step three: China or Russia starts funding who they think the winners will be for the oil. Step four: plutocrats get rich, and the Venezuelan people are no better off.

  • avatar

    With cut-and-run Bara in charge GM would have left the country anyway.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Maybe they should bring in Bernie Sanders or Sean Penn to make the few minor adjustments necessary to get that socialist paradise running smoothly again. If they go, they probably should bring a suitcase full of toilet paper and K-rations to get them through the brief transition period.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    With this action, Venezuela has effectively screwed themselves for generations.

    What company is going to invest there, regardless of the regime?

  • avatar

    It won’t happen, but if I was running GM, I’d have their lawyers in U.S. courts asking for liens against Citgo, ultimately owned by the government of Venezuela.

    • 0 avatar

      I wondered when somebody was going to bring up Citgo.

      Several years ago they did a short-lived “we’re your local neighbors!” advertising campaign aimed at counteracting the growing awareness of Chavez’ ownership. Not sure anyone believed it.

      http://www.citgo.com/AboutCITGO/CompanyHistory.jsp

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      This is the smart way to respond. In this political atmosphere, I don’t think it would be too hard for GM to get those liens awarded against Citgo. Or for Barra to make one threatening phone call and have it settled behind closed doors. Citgo wouldn’t want the bad press.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Citgo is only a brand – the state company that owns the brand is so in debt to Russia they likely will be owned by our friends by the end of the year.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    This particular form of socialism has been an incredible disaster in what was once a promising country. I’m hesitant to paint a broader brush than that because I have family that grew up in right-wing, nominally-capitalist kleptocracies that weren’t very different for a period of time.

    I’m surprised GM was still there, given that people are running out of toilet paper and medicines. Is anyone but the government still buying cars?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Venezuela had something that called itself socialism, but in reality, it was really a dictatorship with a more intellectual-sounding tagline. Chavez ruled by decree for years there.

      Combine that with the insane amount of corruption there – which is endemic all over Latin and South America – and what you have doesn’t look a whole lot like Norway or Sweden. It just looks like a variation on the banana republic theme.

      • 0 avatar
        chris724

        Regardless of one’s definition of “socialism”, there is no question that Chavez was a leftist. Left = theft.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I guess I’m a thief, then.

          Nice talkin’ to ya, Chris.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Left = theft.

          Chew on this for a while:

          “A Venezuelan state-owned oil company, heavily indebted to the Russian oil giant Rosneft, made a $500,000 donation to Donald Trump’s inauguration festivities”

          So what is it called when the left helps out a leader from the right?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Tis no man, tis a remorseless eating machine.

          • 0 avatar
            chuckrs

            Saw that. I suspect that only a tiny % of people know that Citgo, which made the donation, is now a sad front for the Venezuelan national oil company. Drive by a station every morning on the way to work and always keep right on driving.
            If PDT is half the showman he appears, his campaign itself should buy a half megabuck of badly needed pharmaceuticals and find a way to get them into the hands of the people, not the government. Probably a tall order to keep it out of the Chavistas soiled hands.
            Got no idea what their motivation was, but Rosneft is likely to pick up the pieces in any event. From control by one kleptocracy to control by another.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Got no idea what their motivation was”

            Russia’s meddling in the USA election was done in the hopes that the president of the USA would continue the bromance with Putin and lift sanctions on them.
            They also hoped that he would continue his anti-NATO beliefs and undermine that organization. That would increase Russia’s influence and power in Europe.
            A trade war with China would serve to weaken both Chinese and USA influence in the world which would also be beneficial to Russia.

            As far as Citgo’s donation, perhaps the hope was that it would massage his ego and since he campaigned on the USA no longer being the world’s policeman, it would open the door for Russia to get a toehold in South America. In some respects, there is the probability of it being Kompromat.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Got no idea what their motivation was, ”

            the 60-70 year old infants running various countries now seem to think re-starting the Cold War will be good for the world.

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.
    ____George Orwell

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      He was one himself, and got caught up in the infighting between different schools of socialism on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War. He tended towards the anarchist side (in Europe, that was the anti-authoritarian branch of socialism) but as they had in Russia, the communists won that battle and would continue to represent socialism until other countries developed their own versions – which were always similarly authoritarian.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Well, you know, how much can be expected of any country peopled by the descendants of Iberians, Amerindians and African slaves?

    Hot-climate peoples are never very good at cohesive societies, less so as their populations climb.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      In a geographic band around the globe, this is quite true. Also, any former colony of France is doomed. A stark example is the difference between the Dominican Republic (OK) and Haiti (not OK), which share an island.

      I’ll offer at least one exception to the temperature rule: The Bahamas has done pretty well; of course, it has British heritage.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Bah, they’re just dying for the US to declare an economic embargo on them so that they can blame their economic disaster on the “imperialists”.

    The ol’ Castroite song and dance.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      You do realize that USA foreign policy made Cuba ripe for a “Castro” to come along and take over in the first place?

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        Were they better under Batista or Castro? Castro’s Cuba – the land time forgot. Batista was awful; Castro arguably even worse.
        And while we’re on the subject, I’m glad I no longer live in a college town and don’t have to see Che T-shirts everywhere. I think an appropriate Che shirt would have, in addition to the psychopath himself, images of Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Richard Speck, mass murderers all. The Germans have a great word – backpfeifengesicht – that applies to the dopes showing their solidarity.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @chuckrs – The Spanish didn’t help Cuba and the USA’s involvement as an extension of Manifest Destiny didn’t help either. There are many examples of failed USA foreign policy in the Americas. Cuba is one of many.

          I do not, in any shape or form condone the actions of Fidel Castro or any dictator for that matter whether they sit on the right or left of the political spectrum.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @chuckrs–Yes Venezuela does have lots of crude, but not all crude is the same. There are different grades of crude depending on the sulfur content. Venezuela has high sulfur crude better known as heavy crude. Few countries and few refineries can refine high sulfur crude. The US and China are among the few that can refine the heavy crude which produces less refined product. At best heavy crude is worth about half of what sweet lower sulfur intermediate crude. Not making any excuses for the dictatorship in Venezuela. China has been making alliances and trade deals with South American countries for their resources and China has become the largest trading partner with these countries. GM will write this seized plant off on their taxes.

    @Lou_BC–True US policy didn’t help South America, if anything it lead to the existing dictatorships in South America. US reputation was not helped when the CIA aided in the removal of a freely elected leader.

  • avatar
    I_Deal_with_Facts

    @Lou_BC

    There are still no facts that Trump is buddies with Putin, let alone that there was any Russian involvement in the elections.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • slavuta: Oh… I remember that Connecticut snowstorm I got myself into. Steadily driving through it in Protege I...
  • gtemnykh: Agreed on looks of the Mitsu. Very purposeful and handsome. Funny how the “outdated” designs...
  • Drew8MR: No radio here either. I’m perfectly happy to drive hundreds of miles in silence.
  • Marko: +1
  • 69firebird: Racing soccer-mom’s for titles is out then.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States