Venezuela subsidizes basic food items

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Feb 14 15:09:39 MST 2003


With the introduction of food subsidies, the re-nationalization process in
the oil industry, and the distribution of land to the poor -- all actions
basically without precedent in Latin America since the fall of the
Nicaraguan revolution,  Chavez has openly declared war on imperialist
"neoliberalism" -- at a time when Washington finds it hard to turn its
attention away from its desperate and determined struggle to open full-scale
war against and conquer Iraq.
Fred Feldman

Reuters. 12 February 2003. Chavez Pushes Venezuela Price Controls,
Subsidies.

CARACAS -- Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday introduced
price controls and announced subsidies to soften the impact of an
economic crisis after a two-month opposition strike slashed the nation's
vital oil production.

Chavez, a populist former paratrooper locked in a bitter struggle with
foes of his self-styled "revolution," said the government planned to
subsidize basic food items such as rice, beef and milk that are covered
by the new price controls.

"We're preparing subsidies. Why? To sell the goods whose prices we are
setting even more cheaply, for the poor ... We'll subsidize as much as
money allows," Chavez told cheering supporters at a youth rally.

The government on Wednesday also introduced price curbs on 106 basic
foods and more than 60 other essential items.

Officials have said priority under the new control regime will go to
medicines and imports of basic goods.

The president also said Wednesday that production was at about 2 million
barrels per day compared with pre-strike levels of 3.1 million barrels
per day (bpd).


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