Tag Archives: Sean Penn

Socialist Venezuela in 5th day of nationwide blackout

Venezuelans are in their fifth day of a blackout that began last Thursday, plunging most of the country — 23 of Venezuela’s 24 states — into darkness.

The blackout in the capital, Caracas, was total, beginning at 4:50 pm on March 7, just before nightfall. People set out for home early, well before the sun went down, because Caracas is one of the world’s most crime-ridden cities. Traffic lights went out and the subway system ground to a halt, triggering gridlock in the streets and huge streams of angry people trekking long distances to get home from work.

Forced to walk 12 km (7 miles) from her office in eastern Caracas to her home across town, Estefania Pacheco, a mother of two and a sales executive, said: “We are tired. Exhausted.”

Caracas’ international airport was hit, according to social media posts from would-be travelers. Telephone services and access to the internet were knocked out.  Commerce, including the buying of food, was shut down because most transactions are done with debit or credit cards, although hyperinflation has rendered the local currency, the bolivar, almost worthless. Inflation will hit 10,000,000% this year, the IMF estimates.

A shocking viral image shows a severely malnourished 19-year-old girl dying in her mother’s arms. Doctors at the Integral Diagnostic Centre in the northern city of Valencia were forced to turn her away due to the power outage. The mother, Elizabeth Diaz, was told to take her daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy and chronic malnourishment and weighed just 10kg (22 lbs.), to another medical facility where she was assured they would treat the daughter. But the girl died in her mother’s arms shortly after they arrived.

The socialist government of Nicolas Maduro first blamed the blackout on sabotage of the state-owned Guri hydroelectic dam in Bolivar state — one of the biggest in Latin America — by “right-wing fascists”, but gave no details. A year ago, Maduro had asked the armed forces to provide security to protect the country’s hydroelectric facilities.

Then Maduro blamed the blackout on U.S. imperialism. With typical bombast, he said U.S. machinations will fail and that “Nothing and no one can defeat the people of Bolivar and Chavez,” referring to the liberation hero Simon Bolivar and Hugo Chavez, the late socialist icon and buddy of Hollyweirdo Sean Penn.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro is wrong to blame the U.S .or any other country for Venezuela’s woes. He tweeted: “Power shortages and starvation are the result of the Maduro regime’s incompetence.”

Venezuelan critics blame the government for failing to invest in upkeep of the electrical grid. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, 35, tweeted that Venezuela has plenty of hydroelectric plants and more: “We have water, oil and gas. But unfortunately we have an usurper in Miraflores.”

Guaidó, a National Assembly leader, said the blackout had claimed “dozens” of lives since it began 5 days ago. He describes the situation in Venezuela as a “catastrophe” and is calling on the opposition-dominated assembly to decree a “state of alarm” in the country. Backed by some 50 countries led by the United States, Guaidó has declared himself interim president, calling Maduro’s rule illegitimate because his re-election win last year was fraudulent. The opposition leader wants Maduro to resign from the Miraflores Palace and make way for new elections.

Even before the nationwide blackout, Maduro’s regime has been systematically blacking out the country’s internet and social media. Platforms including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook were blocked during the exact time Guaidó made important speeches, the NGO NetBlocks said. Blacking out the internet is especially bad for Guaidó’s popularity as Maduro’s government controls most of the country’s TV and radio outlets.

Sources: Breitbart; Business Insider; Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, back in swanky Malibu, California, Hugo Chavez’s best bud Sean Penn — with a net worth of $150 million — was seen (with Julia Roberts) arriving for Coldplay frontman Chris Martin’s 42nd birthday party on March 2, a day before most of Venezuela was plunged into darkness. (Just Jared)

Sean Penn at Chris Martin’s birthday, Malibu, CA, March 2, 2019.

See Kelleigh Nelson’s “Venezuela’s Road to Disaster is Littered with Chinese Debt“.

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~Eowyn

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Venezuela socialist nightmare: Dead buried in plastic wrap because family can’t afford a casket

Hollie McKay reports for FoxNews, Dec. 13, 2018, that as the crisis in Venezuela’s socialist dictatorship deepens with mass hunger, starvation and a lack of medical supplies, there is no comfort even for the dead.

Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges, who has been living in exile in the Colombian capital of Bogota for the past nine months, told Fox News: “What is happening is medieval. People are ‘renting’ caskets for a service, but giving them back. The same casket is being used over and over again because people cannot afford to buy one. And then they have to wrap the body in plastic bags for the burial. Others don’t have money for a land plot, so they are burying loved ones in their back garden.

Other Venezuelans concur. They say the use of “common graves,” along with backyard burials, is becoming standard.

According to Julett Pineda, a Caracas health journalist, funerals in Venezuela cost more than 132 times the average minimum wage earned per month of around six dollars per person – making a final farewell far out of reach for most who would need years of savings to cover costs. Pineda told FoxNews: “Funeral services are too expensive. Coffins are expensive, as well as paying for a place in the cemetery and everything that comes with it: the chapel for the service, the plate. People cannot have a decent funeral.”

Many resort to cremating the dead because cremation costs roughly a third of burial costs. Guillermo Aveledo, a political science professor at the University of Caracas, explained: “In poorer areas, plywood coffins are sometimes being used. Former middle classes can rent a proper coffin for the wake, but prefer cremation, which is cheaper.”

But even the process of cremation has become problematic because of the acute lack of natural gas to properly incinerate the bodies, despite the fact Venezuela has some of the largest energy reserves in the world. “In some very isolated places, people get used lots for burial, which creates sanitary problems,” Aveledo said.

The shortage of hearses is also an issue. There are fewer and fewer of them available, and the acute fuel shortage – wait times at some gas stations can be as long as 24 hours – makes it harder to keep them running. In some extreme cases, impoverished Venezuelans drag their dead for days in the sweltering sun to reach the Colombian border, where locals assist them with some kind of burial.

Alexander Lopez is a disabled Venezuelan who injured his right leg three years ago in a motorcycle accident. His wounded leg became infected a year later and had to be amputated because of the lack of affordable medicines and medical professionals. Lopez fled Venezuela six months ago to find work to support his son, 19, and daughter, 11, because he could no longer sit by as his family was forced to scour through trash for food. Lopez now sells keychains, incense, and trash bags for a few cents each in Cuenca, Ecaudor.

Two months ago, Lopez’s son was killed in a motorcycle accident. For weeks, the body languished at the morgue as family members were unable to afford the bus fare and boat to collect the remains. Lopez’s former wife and mother of their son, used her law enforcement connections to cobble together some money. But when she got to the morgue, the owners would not release the body – demanding the standard morgue fee plus a bribe, totaling $150, an amount that far surpasses an average month’s earning. “Everyone in Venezuela is so desperate for money, even the morgue will manipulate the people,” Lopez wept, holding up his son’s photograph.

After days, Lopez’ family finally put together enough money to pay the morgue, and a further $88 to pay a local gravedigger, but there were no funds for a service, no memorial plaque or tombstone. Lopez said softly: “Even with all that, “the dead in Venezuela are still worth more than the living. I am worth nothing to that government.”

Lack of medical attention and resources has fueled a spiking death rate in Venezuela. People are dying from the most common and treatable infections and diseases, like the common flu.

Violent crime is also on the rise. Last week, two ex-major league baseball players – free agent Luis Valbuena and former player Jose Castillo – were killed in a crash after their car collided with a rock. Authorities believe the rock may have been deliberately placed in the road, as part of a robbery scheme. A Venezuelan humanitarian worker explained: “People throw rocks in the hope of stopping the car so they can steal it. In this case, it ended horribly… Even if these men had survived, there are not adequate means in the hospital to save them.”

Then there is the looting of cemeteries. Most cemeteries are public municipal lots, but the dearth of public safety exposes the tombs to looting, and mourners and visitors being mugged.

Venezuela has descended into such chaos that no one knows how many people have died because the government doesn’t have the resources to keep track of the dead. So the people are trying to do that. In Caracas, a group of journalists visit the morgues at the end of each week to count the dead, trying to determine how many died from organized crime and from “other” causes like disease or malnutrition.

There’s no indication the situation will improve any time soon. Despite once-brimming oil wealth that had Venezuela as the richest country in Latin America, the Nicolás Maduro-led government – which  continues the socialist policies of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez – has pushed the nation’s economy into dire freefall, upended by massive hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages. More than three million Venezuelans have fled the country since their country began spiraling out of control three years ago.

But the government continues to deny Venezuela is in crisis, and instead blames its economic woes on domestic political opponents and the United States.

Here’s the FoxNews video:

Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez’s best bud and faux humanitarian Sean Penn is still no where to be seen in Venezuela.

Instead, he was spotted dining with disgraced PBS-CBS host Charlie Rose, whom Penn continues to defend, in the swanky Frenchette restaurant in Tribeca, NYC, where the menu is in French and a rib-eye steak (“Cote de Boeuf”) costs $134 per serving.

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~Eowyn

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Venezuela: Hungry child-gangs use machetes to fight for 'quality' garbage

Things are so bad in the socialist paradise of Venezuela that children have formed machete-wielding gangs to fight for “quality” garbage for food.
Eduard Freisler reports for the Miami Herald, March 27, 2018, that in  crumbling, shortage-plagued Venezuela, children and young adults have formed gangs using knives, sticks and machetes to fight for “quality” garbage good enough to eat.
One such gang in the capital of Caracas is the Chacao, a gang of 15 ranging in age from 10 to 23 named after the neighborhood they’ve claimed as their territory.

16-year-old Liliana is Chacao’s mother figure and goes by the nickname Caramelo. She takes charge of each day for the group, deciding how much food her “family” will consume and how much they will stash away for another day. She settles conflicts that flare up and gives a hug, a kiss or a pat on the back as needed.
Another gang member is a 10-year-old girl named Danianyeliz, who left home because there was not enough food to go around. She joined the gang about a month ago and calls Caramelo her mummy.
A year ago, the gang was “stationed” around a supermarket at a mall called Centro Comercial Ciudad Tamanaco that generates tons of garbage. But a feared rival gang also wanted the garbage. Caramelo’s gang was attacked and chased out of the zone. So they took their weapons — knives, slingshots, broken glass and machetes — and seized the nearby neighborhood, Chacao where the many restaurants offer a better chance to find food in the garbage.
Sometimes the Chacao gang ventures into the more affluent neighborhoods of Caracas, such as Las Mercedes with high-end restaurants that attract rich Venezuelans, to look through what they call “quality” garbage bags that often contain leftovers and even untouched food.
There are at least 10 gangs in the capital, social workers and police estimate. Experts estimate that in Caracas alone, there are hundreds, if not thousands of street children and young adults.
Beatriz Tirado, who leads the non-governmental charity “Angeles de Calle” (Street Angels), says, “There were always children on the street in Venezuela, but now we are seeing a new phenomenon — kids who get more food on the street than at their homes.” Tirado said she sees the results of the gang clashes: “Every week we have first aid ready to treat cuts and bruises they might have suffered over the week in their fights.”
Social worker Roberto Patino explains, “Our kids are finding ways to survive because neither in their homes nor in their communities is there enough food.” Patino has established 29 public diners all over Venezuela to feed hungry children. From Monday to Friday, the diners provide food for 1,000 kids every week. But Patino said he isn’t coming close to feeding all the children who need the help, given the overwhelming number he sees on the streets. Many have turned to trash bags as a source of nutrition.
It’s not hunger alone that’s sending children onto the streets. Domestic violence is also often cited. “I left because I got beaten badly,” Caramelo says about her mother, a drug addict.

The gangs claim that in addition to skirmishes with other gangs, they are constantly harassed by police, often at the request of business owners. “My clients are afraid of these gangs and don’t come when they see them hanging around,” said the owner of a pizza restaurant on Francisco Miranda street in Chacao. He said he calls the local police patrol to chase the gang away from his business, a measure that only works for the short term.
Patricio, the oldest member of Chacao, claims the police sometimes abuse them: “They burn our shoes and sometimes break our fingers with a baton.” But a high-ranking police officer, who works in the Baruta district that includes affluent neighborhoods like Las Mercedes, said most officers just feel bad for the hungry children they see on the streets: “There are some bad cops, but many others are just stunned by the tragedy of these children.” However, he added, some children are criminals who steal, assault people and use drugs like crack, sometimes smoked in makeshift pipes made from the parts of discarded plastic dolls.
“When you smoke you don’t feel hungry,” explains Patricio.

Meanwhile, actor Sean Penn who was best buds with the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, is still no where to be seen in Venezuela.
Instead, Penn was sighted on Friday night, March 2, 2018, having dinner with fellow actors Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper at Giorgio Baldi Restaurant in Pacific Palisades, California, where a lobster dish, Aragosta Saltata, costs $90.00 per serving.
See “Brad Pitt in 2011: ‘I made a pact with the Devil’”.
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~Eowyn

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Sean Penn's debut novel calls for the assassination of president identical to Trump

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 11:30:44 +0000

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sean penn

From Daily Mail: Actor Sean Penn’s debut novel’s main character calls for the assassination of the president and dares the commander in chief to ‘Tweet me, b****’, DailyMail.com can reveal.

The two-time Oscar winner’s 176-page fiction, titled Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, is about a ‘modern American man, entrepreneur, and part-time assassin’.

The main character, septic tank cleaner Bob Honey, tells tales of working with military contractors in Iraq, being employed by the government to kill the nation’s resource-draining elderly, and meeting an El Chapo-esque drug lord who had just escaped prison.

Penn first released the gonzo journalism-style novel as an audiobook in 2016 under the pseudonym ‘Pappy Pariah’.

During appearance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at the time, Penn said he had close bond with Pariah, but also called him a sociopath. Penn didn’t publicly acknowledge that he wrote the book until months later when he said he wanted to expand on the story and publish it in paper form.

He said in a news release: ‘It was soon after I finished narrating the short audio of ‘Bob Honey’ that I began to feel I had only scratched the surface of this story I wanted to tell. Expanding that original idea into a fully-realized novel has been an exciting challenge.’

The book’s main character, Bob Honey, is painted as a 55-year-old Southern Californian who gets angry at the news, despite not fully understanding it.

Baby Boomer Honey tells readers of his neighbor’s death by an out-of-control helicopter, his imaginary young girlfriend and a ‘yellow lives matter’ march – referring to Aryan blonds – at the Republican National Convention.

Throughout the novel, Honey is followed around by an investigative reporter, who he seems skeptical of. The reporter tells Honey he wanted to do a story after neighbors raised concerns about his odd behavior and strange work hours.

Toward the end of the novel, Honey admits himself into a hospital and writes a letter to the president of the United States, who is eerily similar to Donald Trump but goes by the name, Mr. Landlord.

He writes: ‘Many wonderful American people in pain and rage elected you. Many Russians did too. Your position is an asterisk accepted as literally as your alternative facts.

Though the office will remain real, you never were nor will be. A million women so dwarfed your penis-edency on the streets of Washington and around the world on the day of your piddly inauguration – unprecedented (spelling ok?).’

The character says that those against Mr. Landlord ‘own the most powerful weapons on earth’ which include ‘dreams, the science of physics, seismology, geology, topography, and typhoons’.

Honey continues: ‘Your gasconade and cache of catchphrases, so limiting and reflexive, escalate the emasculation of you by a world whose patience is in nuclear peril. These sciences and sensibilities are our guns your narcissism neglects.

‘Weapons your NRA masters are incapable of proffering for profit, and outside your dutiful military’s might, mandate or mission. So to your attempt to posthumously assassinate our Founding Fathers, and bait and switch your core, I say I will eat where the fish are glowing.

‘You are not simply a president of impeachment, you are a man in need of an intervention. We are not simply a people in need of an intervention, we are a nation in need of an assassin. I am God’s squared-away man. I am Bob Honey. That’s who I am. Sir, I challenge you to a duel. Tweet me, b****. I dare you.’

Read the rest of the story here.

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DCG

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Now that Trump is PEOTUS, Madonna is “ashamed” to be an American

Ashamed? This comes from a womyn who offered a blowjob to anyone who would vote for Hillary Clinton. Back in October, Madonna introduced fellow libtard Amy Schumer at an event and said, “If you vote for Hillary Clinton, I will give you a blowjob. OK? I’m really good. I’m not a douche, and I’m not a tool. I take my time, I have a lot of eye contact, and I do swallow.”
The womyn knows no shame.

Madonna is ashamed...

Madonna is ashamed…


From Hollywood Reporter:  Madonna repeatedly criticized President-elect Donald Trump, said she was “ashamed to be an American,” flirted with ex-husband Sean Penn and kissed Ariana Grande at a star-studded benefit in Miami Friday night that raised more than $7.5 million for her Raising Malawi charity that she founded to help children in the African nation. The sold-out $5,000-a-head event was the hottest ticket of Art Basel in Miami Beach.
The focus of the evening’s festivities, which promised “An Evening of Art, Mischief and Music,” was a marathon auction where Madonna sold off several of her possessions to benefit Raising Malawi. The African country is close to the pop icon’s heart because that’s where her adopted son, David Banda, is from.
During the auction and concert, Madonna made a number of provocative comments. The staunch Hillary Clinton supporter, who had promised to perform sexual favors for those who voted for the Democratic presidential nominee, revealed she’d “slept in Donald Trump’s bed.”
Madonna and Ariana at the event/Instagram photo

Madonna and Ariana at the event/Instagram photo


“Now don’t go jumping to conclusions because he wasn’t in that bed. He wasn’t anywhere near that bed. He wasn’t even in the room. I was just doing a photo shoot in Palm Beach for the Versace campaign in his house,” she said, before criticizing the president-elect’s sheets. “I just want to mention that his sheets were not 100 percent Egyptian cotton. Yes. Cheap slumlord. Here’s what I’m wondering: Do you think he’s going to have nice sheets in the White House? Here’s one thing I’m sure of. They won’t be Egyptian cotton because we all know how he feels about Muslims, don’t we?
Some audience members gasped at the last remark, but the Queen of Pop wasn’t done. She performed a slowed-down version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and sang, “You know that you’re toxic,” as images of Trump appeared on a large screen behind her.
She also spoke passionately about the plight of Native Americans and asked why their land was being destroyed. “It just really makes me feel ashamed, ashamed to be an American, ashamed to be a human being, really,” she said before launching into “American Life.”
Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes
Several of Madonna’s celebrity friends joined her onstage, including supermodel Karolina Kurkova, who modeled the auction’s first lot — a Bulgari Serpenti Diamond white-gold necklace covered in 15.15 carats of pavé diamonds — which was provided by one of the fundraiser’s sponsors, Bulgari. Alex von Furstenberg won the lot for $180,000. Ariana Grande modeled the next lot, a Swarovski crystal-covered dress by Jeremy Scott for Moschino from Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour. Grande did a dance with Madonna, whose ex-husband Sean Penn outbid Grande to win the dress for $160,000. “You can come over and wear it in my place anytime,” Penn told Grande.
Penn later joined Madonna onstage and restrained her with a pair of handcuffs — a nod to their kinky days as a couple — to auction off their wedding photos by the late Herb Ritts, which ultimately went for $230,000. “For once, he’s not the one being arrested,” the singer joked of Penn, who also crawled through her legs at one point as the two tried to coerce the audience to bid higher.
Read the rest of the story here.
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DCG

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Venezuela has come to this: Cannibalism in prisons

Venezuela is a failed state from years of socialism.
There are reports of interminable long lines in supermarkets, although many shelves are empty; of food riots; and of people killing pets and zoo animals for food.
There are shortages of drinking water and of hospital supplies as basic as bandages, as well as massive power outages.
On Sept. 1, 2016, half a million people swarmed the streets of Venezuela’s capital to demand the recall of President Maduro — to no avail.
The South American country is literally falling apart.
Now comes even more horrifying news: Prisoners are being cannibalized by fellow inmates.
juan-carlos-herrera-and-tachira-detention-center

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Hollyweird Jaime Foxx visits with President Maduro in crumbling Venezuela

Another useful idiot to put on my list of do-no-see-actors and their movies. FYI: Foxx is worth a purported $100 MILLION.
jamie-fox-visits-venezuela
From Fox News: Amid widespread unrest, massive shortages of food and basic supplies and a crumbling economy, on Tuesday Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro took the time to rub shoulders with two visiting Hollywood luminaries.
Jamie Foxx and actor/musician Lukas Haas paid a visit to the embattled head of state at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas. Maduro reportedly invited the pair so they could visit the government-funded film and TV studio, Fundación Villa del Cine, and other tourist attractions in the socialist nation.
Neither Foxx nor Haas spoke to the media during their visit, but Venezuelan media reported that the movie stars were in the country to “show support for the policies of the Bolivarian Government, in particular its social missions,” and “to learn about Venezuela’s Great Housing Mission,” a project which has purportedly built more than a million government-funded homes.
The actors were also invited by Maduro to attend the signing of an agreement between Venezuela and Jordan, Dubai and Italy for the construction of 13,912 homes in the central state of Aragua.
“We have given a warm welcome to two actors who are very admired by our people … Thank you for supporting this project, and its vision to add housing as a benefit for the people of the world,” Maduro said on state-owned VTV.
The high-profile visit didn’t sit well with members of the opposition, who could only speculate as to how the pricey bill was paid — as the country’s continues along in financial dire straits.
Venezuelan congressman Carlos Berrizbeitia told Fox News Latino that it would be very hard to know whether the government spent public money to make this visit possible.
“If they financed it using intermediaries it would be really hard to find out,” said Berrizbeitia, a member of the National Assembly’s finance committee. “They typically say that the actors pay for their trips, but we don’t really know if that’s true.”
Berrizbeitia also speculated that the real intention for Foxx and Haas’ visit to the socialist nation was to prepare a new TV production about the life of late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez to compete with the Telemundo’s “El Comandante,” also based on Chavez’s life.
Photos circulating on social media show Maduro posing for photos with Foxx and Haas, escorting them on a tour of the Miraflores palace and holding a meeting with them alongside first lady, Cilia Flores; the country’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez; the governor of Aragua, Tarek El Aissami; and the Minister of the Interior, Carmen Meléndez.
“We have been chatting and in these two actors I see two extraordinary people – really, very human, very sensitive – taking part in these projects that seek the well-being of the peoples of the world,” Maduro said.
jamie-fox-opposes-venezuela
The visit to Venezuela appears to be an abrupt change of face for Foxx, who two years ago was photographed alongside a group of opposition activists while holding a sign that read, “#IMYOURVOICEVENEZUELA #SOSVENEZUELA VENEZUELA.”
The photo appeared on March of 2014 around the time when Venezuela was rocked by a wave of anti-government protests following the arrest and imprisonment of opposition leader Leopoldo López.
Foxx isn’t the first Hollywood A-lister to visit the socialist nation – Sean Penn, Danny Glover and director Oliver Stone have all made trips to the country – but his visit comes at a time when Maduro’s rule is being heavily challenged.

Sean Penn and BFF Hugo Chavez

Sean Penn and BFF Hugo Chavez


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Let them eat cake: Venezuela gov't celebrates dead Hugo Chavez's birthday with $100,000 cake while the people starve

While Venezuelans are desperate to find food (see links at the end of this post), their president, Nicolás Maduro, saw fit to spend $100,000 on a cake to celebrate the birthday of a dead man — his predecessor in criminal government and actor Sean Penn’s best bud, Hugo Chavez.
Maduro eats cake
ZeroHedge reports, July 30, 2016:

Nothing describes socialism more aptly than baking a 4 feet tall cake weighing 90 kilos for Hugo Chavez’s birthday (a dead man) while the rest of the country starves, cannot find basic necessities
The cake is a recreation of the “Cuartel de la Montana”, the palace that Chavez famously stormed in 1992 as an army commander to protest Carlos Andres Perez’s government.

Cuartel de la MontanaAccording to a local newspaper, the following ingredients were used to make the cake — all in short supply in Venezuela’s supermarkets:

  1. 720 eggs
  2. 23 kilos of butter
  3. 90 kilos of flour
  4. 90 kilos of sugar
  5. 44 gallons of milk

Meanwhile, hungry Venezuelans cry at the sight of food, as the country’s economic crisis deepens.
While it is true that it was the Venezuelan people who had bought into the socialist pipe-dream and elected Hugo Chavez and his successor Maduro, even fools don’t deserve to starve while their president, who can lose a few pounds, and the political élite eat cake.

And still not a peep from Sean Penn.

Sean Penn and BFF Hugo Chavez

Sean Penn and BFF Hugo Chavez


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~Eowyn

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Venezuela is shutting down

We are witnessing someting unprecedented in our life time: An entire country, Venezuela, is shutting down before our eyes.
Here’s the latest on the increasingly desperate situation in Venezuela, from The New York Times, May 28, 2016:
(1) Electric blackouts: Electricity is being rationed. To save electricity:

  • Courts and other government offices operate for only two half-days a week, the equivalence of one full day.
  • Public schools are closed on Fridays.

(2) Water shortage: Water is also being rationed. As an example, water arrives just once a week, on Thursdays, to the neighborhood of San Antonio de los Altos. But the water is a brownish color and is making people sick. Many Venezuelans say they have gotten skin irritations from showering or from the inability to bathe and wash their sheets and towels.
(3) Food shortages:

  • Last week, protests turned violent in parts of the country where demonstrators demanded empty supermarkets be resupplied.
  • Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexican company that bottles Coke in Venezuela, said it’s halting production of sugary soft drinks because it ran out of sugar.

(4) Many people cannot make international calls from their phones because of a dispute between the government and phone companies over currency regulations and rates.
(5) There is little traffic in the capital, Caracas, because so few people, either for lack of money or work, are going out. Buildings downtown, including government buildings, are empty.

Scene in a Venezuelan hospital

Scene in a Venezuelan hospital


(6) Public health crisis: People are dying in hospitals, from electric blackouts, broken medical machines (X-ray, dialysis, scanning, incubators), and chronic shortages of medicine (antibiotics, intravenous solutions), bandages, soap, gloves, beds, water (doctors preparing for surgery at the University of the Andes Hospital in Mérida clean their hands with bottles of seltzer water), and even food. Whatever supplies there are are stolen by hospital staff to sell on the black market. The government can no longer afford to buy imported medicine. Patients are asked to bring their own blankets, sheets, pillows and toilet paper. The result: the rate of death among babies under a month old increased more than a hundredfold in public hospitals run by the Health Ministry, from 0.02% in 2012 to to over 2% in 2015; the rate of death among new mothers in those hospitals increased by almost five times in the same period.(Source)
Venezuela’s socialist government blames the problems on an “economic war” being waged by elites who are hoarding supplies, as well as the U.S. government’s efforts to destabilize the country.
President Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chávez, rejected the political opposition’s call for accepting international aid and described the move as a bid to undermine him and privatize the hospital system. Instead, Maduro insisted that “I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one.”
But most economists agree that Venezuela is suffering from years of economic mismanagement, including over-dependence on oil and price controls that led many businesses to stop making products. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, yet when oil prices were high, the government saved little money for hard times. Now, oil prices have collapsed — they are around a third what they were in 2014.
sean_penn_hugo_chavez_not_a_dictato
Meanwhile, Sean Penn, buddy of the late Hugo Chavez, is still no where to be seen in Venezuela. He’s in France, screening his new movie, The Last Face, at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie, directed by Penn, has been booed by audiences and savaged by critics.
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~Eowyn

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Venezuela is imploding from years of socialism

Venezuela, an oil-rich country of more than 33.22 million in South America, is on the brink of economic collapse.
The culprit? Years of socialism, especially the 15-year presidency (1998-2013) of Hugo Chávez — the dictator who was Sean Penn’s best bud.
sean_penn_hugo_chavez_not_a_dictato
How bad is it in Venezuela?
Here are some bullets I’ve compiled from the Washington Post:

  • Instead of growing, Venezula’s economy shrank 10% in 2015 and is expected to shrink an additional 6% in 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund.
  • Inflation is now 720%.
  • Venezuela is expected to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

What brought Venezuela’s economy to near-collapse, despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, is a combination of bad luck and worse policies:

  1. Under Hugo Chávez, the government was generous with welfare, from two-cent gasoline to free housing.
  2. But the spending was not matched by government revenue. Chávez turned the state-owned oil company from being professionally run to being barely run. People who knew what they were doing were replaced with people who were loyal to the regime. The state extracted profits from the oil company but skimped on investments to maintain the infrastructure and to blend or refine Venezuela’s extra-heavy crude — neither of which is cheap — before it can be sold. As a result, Venezuela could not churn out as much oil as it used to — its oil production fell 25% between 1999 and 2013.
  3. When the government ran out of money, it resorted to printing more money.
  4. Then in mid-2014, oil prices started collapsing, which meant even less revenue.
  5. So the government printed more money, which simply cheapened or devalued Venezuela’s currency by 93% in the past two years.

Source: dolartoday.com

Source: dolartoday.com

The results are hyper-inflation (720%!), scarcity and rationing of food and goods, and long lines for even basic commodities. Lines are so bad the government has even started rationing those, kicking people out of line based on the last digit of their national ID card.
Venezuelans line up in state-run supermarket
Beginning in February 2014, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have protested over high levels of criminal violence, inflation, and chronic scarcity of basic goods due to federal government policies. Those demonstrations and riots have resulted in 40 fatalities.
And it will only get worse, because Chávez’s successor, socialist president Nicolás Maduro, has changed the law so the opposition-controlled National Assembly can’t remove the central bank governor or appoint a new one. Maduro also picked someone who doesn’t even believe there’s such a thing as inflation to be the country’s economic czar. New economic minister, the far-left Luis Salas, said: “When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up, they are not in the presence of ‘inflation’.” Instead, Salas insists, it’s those “parasitic” capitalist businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible.
Matt O’Brien of the Washington Post dolefully concludes, “The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first. The key word there is ‘completely.’ Both are well into their death throes.”
Given the country’s proximity to the United States, I predict that in addition to Cubans and Puerto Ricans, America’s next swarm of illegal migrants and ‘refugees’ will come from Venezuela.
map of Venezuela in South America
A quote attributed to Albert Einstein says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.
By that definition, liberals/Progressive/socialists are insane because they keep advocating and doing the same thing, while expecting socialist policies to work. Venezuela is simply the latest example of that lunacy.
~Eowyn

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