Archive for August 6th, 2003

Shortages at Mercal

August 6, 2003

 


According to today’s Tal Cual newspaper (by subscription only, page 8) the Government’s Mercal project is already suffering from shortages only months after being initiated. Mercal, meant to compete with the private sector by importing foodstuffs at the controlled exchange rates, without paying custom duties and at cheaper prices, is becoming like many other Chavez projects, neglected after being announced with much fanfare. According to Tal Cual, the Government supermarkets suffer from even more severe shortages than those of the private sector. While most critics have focused on the lower quality products of Mercal, I still have nobody explain to me how the Government’s company has prices only 10% below free market prices since it receives foreign currency for imports at the official exchange rate of Bs. 1600 per US$ (versus US$ 2600 in the black market), pays no custom duties and is supposed to be a not-for profit project. To me this clearly demonstrates that this is simply an immense source of corruption and somebody is getting very rich at the expense of the poor of Venezuela

Shortages at Mercal

August 6, 2003

 


According to today’s Tal Cual newspaper (by subscription only, page 8) the Government’s Mercal project is already suffering from shortages only months after being initiated. Mercal, meant to compete with the private sector by importing foodstuffs at the controlled exchange rates, without paying custom duties and at cheaper prices, is becoming like many other Chavez projects, neglected after being announced with much fanfare. According to Tal Cual, the Government supermarkets suffer from even more severe shortages than those of the private sector. While most critics have focused on the lower quality products of Mercal, I still have nobody explain to me how the Government’s company has prices only 10% below free market prices since it receives foreign currency for imports at the official exchange rate of Bs. 1600 per US$ (versus US$ 2600 in the black market), pays no custom duties and is supposed to be a not-for profit project. To me this clearly demonstrates that this is simply an immense source of corruption and somebody is getting very rich at the expense of the poor of Venezuela

New poll

August 6, 2003

 


A new poll by US firm Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research (pollster to mostly US Democrats), reveals that President Chavez’ popularity has reached an all time low in July, while showing strong interest on the part of the electorate to participate in the recall referendum. Among the highlights:


 


- In July, 65% of the electorate expressed its desire to participate in a recall referendum versus 32% who say they will note. The number of those that say they will vote Yes in a referendum to recall Hugo Chavez is up to 65% compared to 32% who say they will vote no. This represents an increase of eight percentage points for the Yes vote versus s decrease of seven percentage points for the No vote. Very few of the voters were undecided (2%)


-More than 70% of the voters believe that the recall referendum is the way to resolve the country’s problems, while only 22% believe that it is only a way for people to take power away from Chavez.


-80% of Venezuelans believe that the referendum is an important issue, while only 12% think it is unimportant.


-Only 34% of the voters approve of Chavez’ handling of democratic and human rights while 64% dissaprove of his handling of such matters.


-No group has much confidence in the Supreme Court with those with some or a lot of confidence reaching 45% of the voters and those with little or no confidence reaching 50% of the voters.


- Even if only the percentage of voters who showed up for Chavez’ 2000 election were to go to the polls, his mandate would be revoked by the recall referendum.


-Chavez’ approval rating is down significantly since April with 61% of the voters expressing their disproval and 34% their approval. On specific issues like crime, his rating is actually even lower.


-Issues like currency control, violence, not naming the CNE and the Media content Law extract strong reactions from the voters in term of disapproval of the Government’s actions. State media actually ahs a much lower approval rating than private media. More than 52% of the voters blame the Government for political violence while 26% blame the opposition.


-In terms of candidates, any opposition candidate whether it is Salas Romer, Mendoza or Borges would beat the President handily.


-A large majority (59%) of Venezuelans believe that the recall referendum takes precedence over those to recall Governors or Majors.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 11,831 other followers