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posted by cmn32480 on Friday April 21 2017, @07:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the this-is-why-they-can't-have-anything-nice dept.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/20/news/gm-venezuela-plant-seized/index.html

General Motors says it will immediately halt operations in Venezuela after its plant in the country was unexpectedly seized by authorities.

GM described the takeover as an "illegal judicial seizure of its assets."

The automaker said the seizure showed a "total disregard" of its legal rights. It said that authorities had removed assets including cars from company facilities.

"[GM] strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions, within and outside of Venezuela, to defend its rights," it said in a statement.

Authorities in Venezuela, which is mired in a severe economic crisis, did not respond to requests for comment.

It was not immediately clear why authorities seized the GM plant. Huge swaths of Venezuela's economy have been nationalized in the years since former President Hugo Chavez rose to power. Under Chavez, who took office in 1999, the state took control of private oil, telecommunications, energy and cement businesses.

President Nicolas Maduro has continued the tradition, while blaming the United States and its companies for Venezuela's economic and political problems.


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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by bradley13 on Friday April 21 2017, @08:04AM (5 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21 2017, @08:04AM (#497302) Homepage Journal

    When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. Apparently, the Venezuelan government has not yet figured this out.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Friday April 21 2017, @08:53AM (2 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 21 2017, @08:53AM (#497307) Journal

      Muahaha. Well I suspect it's not the rocket scientist team that run that government ;-)
      Reality is a hard bitch. It doesn't have grudges from yesterday. But it's uncompromising when it comes to consequences.

      This will do wonders in the aspect of attracting foreign business and talent. When reality had their way with them which it can do literally forever until the behavior modification is completed. Did I say it was a bitch? ;) Anyway they will be on the negotiation table with little on their hand to play with. Foremost, trust will be gone! Money, talent and social structures will be gone or ruined. It can be good in the way that the only way out is to let people that are constructive for the society do their thing without pestering them.

      Just imagine you have a corporation or talent to rebuild up their oil industry, fix pipes, electrical grid, harbors, health care for said talent etc. What would you demand flat out to be involved in any manner? The answer to that will likely give some pointers to the future.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @01:15PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @01:15PM (#497373)

        This will do wonders in the aspect of attracting foreign business and talent. When reality had their way with them which it can do literally forever until the behavior modification is completed. Did I say it was a bitch? ;) Anyway they will be on the negotiation table with little on their hand to play with. Foremost, trust will be gone!

        Is this Venezuela you're describing, or the United States?

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday April 22 2017, @12:02AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Saturday April 22 2017, @12:02AM (#497679) Journal

          Hasn't the United States experienced this since 2001-09-11 ? I think I have seen some numbers on academic drop by 50%.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @10:27AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @10:27AM (#497331)

      If I stop digging, how am I supposed to get to the hidden treasure?

      What do you say? There's no treasure hidden there? Well, I don't believe you. I'll continue digging.

      How I intend to get out afterwards? Well, I'll think about it once I've found the treasure. First things first.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday April 21 2017, @02:59PM

      by DannyB (5839) on Friday April 21 2017, @02:59PM (#497428)

      Traditional version:

      When you're in a hole, stop digging.

      Alternate version:

      When you're an a-hole, stop digging.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Jerry Smith on Friday April 21 2017, @08:17AM (4 children)

    by Jerry Smith (379) on Friday April 21 2017, @08:17AM (#497305) Journal

    Multinationals stopping activity in Venezuela. Cheap fuel is nice, but at what cost?

    --
    All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:11PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:11PM (#497516)

      Are you saying me not wanting to pay $4 a gallon is the reason Venezuela elected Communists 10 years ago who proceeded to butt-fuck their country bareback with no lube? Because I am having a hard time understanding how the two are related. One need only to know the history of ANY previous "Communists Utopia" to foresee the shit-storm they are in now. But facts don't matter because they hurt people's feelings, let's give everyone their FAIR SHARE, Bernie 2020 "Give me my free shit you FASCIST RACIST!"

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:35PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:35PM (#497525)

        Look it up.
        Hint: It's "Communism" in the USA.
        ("Commonwealth" would be a better description.)
        It actually works quite nicely there.

        The big problem in Venezuela wasn't their Liberal Democracy/Social Democracy.
        It was central planning (State Capitalism)--specifically, tying their economy to a single commodity: petroleum.
        (When the Saudis started their dumping, it fractured the oil market.)

        If Venezuela had a multitude of Worker-Owned Cooperatives (Socialism), producing food and manufactured goods, they would have weathered this much better.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:52PM (#497529)

          Woah woah woah, don't stop the socialism hate train! People don't like to deal with reality, they would rather interpret it to suit their misfiring neurons.

          C'mon, think of the people! Oh wait, that is bad... umm, think of the hard working corporate drones!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @09:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @09:17PM (#497594)

        I think you missed it, gas is very near $0 per gallon in Venezuela. http://www.globalpetrolprices.com/diesel_prices/ [globalpetrolprices.com]

        It is essentially free over there. Cheap enough to cause climate change so bad they accidently invaded columbia the other day: https://panampost.com/julian-villabona/2017/03/24/venezuela-blames-climate-change-after-its-troops-invade-colombia/ [panampost.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @10:01AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @10:01AM (#497323)

    Isn't just civil forfeiture what they call it in the US when is instead applied to us poor peasants?
    And that not even being a dictatorship like Venezuela, what do you expect?

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 21 2017, @10:47AM (5 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 21 2017, @10:47AM (#497339) Journal

      How do you know that US is not a dictatorship?

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @12:08PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @12:08PM (#497359)

        How do you know that US is not a dictatorship?

        You can see it from the fact that the courts still can and do stop presidential decrees.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @01:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @01:13PM (#497372)

          All part of the circuses.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @01:32PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @01:32PM (#497381)

          You mean where corrupt courts counteract constitutional orders for political reasons rather than actual concerned about legality?

          • (Score: 4, Touché) by DannyB on Friday April 21 2017, @03:02PM (1 child)

            by DannyB (5839) on Friday April 21 2017, @03:02PM (#497429)

            You mean where federal courts counteract political orders for constitutional reasons rather than actual concerned about ideology?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @09:21PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @09:21PM (#497599)

              What are you talking about? Obama issued identical stop with the same fucking countries in 2011. Of course head spinners will spin some contrived bullshit why this order is totally not the same, and water is not wet but in fact identifies as dry. It is the discretion of the President to block travel to the US from any place he thinks endangers the US, since 1798. But Trump is literally Hitler (because his daughter and grand children are Jews) so my arguments are invalid.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 21 2017, @01:49PM (10 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21 2017, @01:49PM (#497392) Journal

    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Economy/GDP-per-capita-in-1950 [nationmaster.com]

    In 1950, Venezuela had the 4th highest GDP in the entire world. Then, the socialists took over, and it's all been downhill since.

    --
    #Hillarygropedme
    • (Score: 2) by fishybell on Friday April 21 2017, @03:05PM

      by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21 2017, @03:05PM (#497431)

      Where's the mod option for sad-but-true?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by its_gonna_be_yuge! on Friday April 21 2017, @04:10PM (7 children)

      by its_gonna_be_yuge! (6454) on Friday April 21 2017, @04:10PM (#497465)

      "In 1950, Venezuela had the 4th highest GDP in the entire world. Then, the socialists took over, and it's all been downhill since."

      Nice story, but unfortunately it's as true as anything else on Fox News. Venezuela has never been in the top 10 of GDP. Ever.
      And the socialists are a relatively recent phenomenon.

      1948-1958 Right-wing military dictatorship
      1958-1998 Mostly corrupt populist democratic governments
      1999-now Socialists

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Friday April 21 2017, @05:21PM (5 children)

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21 2017, @05:21PM (#497498) Homepage

        1958-1998 Mostly corrupt populist democratic governments
        1999-now Socialists

        Some other important aspects of Venezuela post-1999 that I think are worth mentioning here:
        1. The socialists were elected into power. Chavez was extremely popular, and Maduro (who took over after Chavez died based on the constitutional succession) had close votes but won his re-election. That makes them approximately as legitimate representatives of their people as the governments you described as "populist democratic".

        2. It's about as well documented as these things ever are that the US backed a coup against the socialists back in 2002, trying to replace him with a group of completely unelected businessmen upset about Chavez's tax rates. That group of businessmen included Venezuela's media moguls, which makes Venezuelan-based reporting on Venezuela suspect. And the way the US media reported it, more-or-less exactly in line with how the Venezuelan and US coup organizers reported it, makes that reporting suspect as well.

        3. Since 2002, and especially since Chavez' death in 2013, there has been evidence of ongoing efforts by the US to remove the socialists from power. That effort includes working hard to convince Americans that Chavez and now Maduro were dictators rather than an elected heads of state (the simplest way to demonstrate that wasn't and isn't the case: If they were dictators, then Julio Borges, the opposition party leader, would be dead).

        Are either Chavez or Maduro saints? Almost definitely not. I do think Chavez was fairly sincere about what he was trying to do (in a nutshell: put oil revenue into improving the lives of Venezuela's poorest citizens, and damn what the multinational corps have to say about that), but I consider it entirely possible that corruption and the rough-and-tumble of politics made that less of a success than he hoped. As for Maduro, he seems to me to be a fairly typical politician doing what typical politicians do in order to stay in power. And yes, in countries without a strongly independent judiciary and electoral authorities, that includes dirty tricks.

        --
        If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday April 21 2017, @06:05PM (2 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday April 21 2017, @06:05PM (#497513)

          Thanks for saving me the typing.

          I would have added that Chavez spent the oil money without anticipating that the Bush depression would crash the record-high prices (driven by the Bush bubble propping China, and the Bush wars) dramatically. It takes a lot of education to distribute oil profits to people, while having them understand that you need to take that away during bad times.

          Most of that money came from the US, which was always very happy to deal with the Big Bad Evil Socialists for cheap oil, while trying to undermine them to reduce the oil cost, fail the idea that money can be shared with the poor, and prevent Chavez's oil diplomacy (with Cuba and others).

          So now, as is usual (Iran...), the US media is happy to portray Venezuela as having failed and Maduro as a dictator, and conveniently forgetting to mention that this was not a black-and-white situation.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:15PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:15PM (#497519)

            Right the man who stole public property through use of force, banned opposition from politics, dissolved constitutional law-making body, took away people's rights to own guns and now is proclaiming he will distribute guns to supporters is not a dictator in a romantic sense, only a text-book definition of one.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:47PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @06:47PM (#497528)

              More reading comprehension failure

              conveniently forgetting to mention that this was not a black-and-white situation.

              Cause that part kind of matters.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @09:47PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @09:47PM (#497616)

          Chavez would properly be branded a Bolivarian (Anti-Imperialist).
          He was NOT especially active in empowering The Workers, so "Socialist" wouldn't be accurate.

          His redistribution of the commonwealth (for about the billionth time this week) would come under the heading of Liberal Democracy.
          (The Alaska Permanent Fund[1] has already been mentioned in this (meta)thread.)

          [1] ...at one time happily overseen by that Pinko, Commie, Anti-Capitalist Sarah Palin.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday April 22 2017, @03:54AM

            by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 22 2017, @03:54AM (#497777) Homepage

            He was NOT especially active in empowering The Workers, so "Socialist" wouldn't be accurate.

            Maduro was a union leader prior to becoming a politician, so by that standard he's more of a socialist than Chavez was.

            --
            If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 21 2017, @05:44PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 21 2017, @05:44PM (#497506) Journal

        "anything else on Fox News"

        You're claiming that Fox News owns that NationMaster page? Evidence? I don't know who owns it, haven't bothered to look. I'm wondering if you maybe clicked the link, saw some data, and assumed that it must belong to Fox?

        http://www.nationmaster.com/about [nationmaster.com]

        We are a global team of passionate stat geeks, dedicated to the mission of bringing facts to the world of geopolitics, economics, geography, defence and culture.

        We believe that statistical literacy should be a core part of education. In the information age, everyone needs to be able to interpret data. If you leave it to someone else, you’re risking your future.

        NationMaster was founded by Luke Metcalfe back in 2003. He was a fan of the CIA World Factbook but wanted to give it context, comparing countries side by side and calculating everything per capita. From there, NationMaster turned into the internet’s one stop shop for international statistics - a place where you can compare anything at all.

        Now in 2014, NationMaster is growing into a community of statistics creators and users.

        --
        #Hillarygropedme
    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday April 21 2017, @07:15PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday April 21 2017, @07:15PM (#497536) Journal

      In 1950, Venezuela had the 4th highest GDP in the entire world. Then, the socialists took over, and it's all been downhill since.

      Notice the citation link on that nationmaster chart is a 404. Where did that data come from?

      This peer-reviewed paper shows the GDP going up between 1950 and 1977 (and cites it's sources). [core.ac.uk]

  • (Score: 1, Troll) by jmorris on Friday April 21 2017, @03:22PM (5 children)

    by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Friday April 21 2017, @03:22PM (#497447)

    GM has known that the country is a Socialist Hellhole for how long? That they still had assets in a place with zero rule of law says they knew the risk and didn't care. Stupid should hurt.

    Corporations are just like people, they never think it will get worse. With socialists it always does though. The time to make an orderly exit was the second Chavez took power. If -every- Western corporation did that most socialist revolutions would quickly fizzle and they could return, instead they enable them. Then they always get screwed. Well fuck GM.

    • (Score: 2) by OrugTor on Friday April 21 2017, @04:11PM

      by OrugTor (5147) on Friday April 21 2017, @04:11PM (#497468)

      A modest factory in Venezuela is like an old car. It has value to the owner while it runs but has little to no value in the marketplace. GM knew this day would come. Their only option was to milk the plant for as long as possible then write it off.
      Still, I agree with the sentiment for other reasons, so fuck GM.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday April 21 2017, @06:15PM (2 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Friday April 21 2017, @06:15PM (#497518)

      > The time to make an orderly exit was the second Chavez took power

      Incorrect reality, as usual:
      When W quadrupled the oil prices, GM was happy to sell cars to all the poor people who were getting oil dividends from the Chavez government.

      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday April 21 2017, @07:34PM (1 child)

        by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Friday April 21 2017, @07:34PM (#497547)

        If they fully monetized the plant, why are they bitchin'? My point is if they weren't planning on their assets in the country eventually being seized they are idiots. Either way, no sympathy warranted. It wasn't a case of a risk of it, it was a question of when. Seizing the means of production is what socialism is, it is right there on the tin as a bullet point. If you stay it is because you are cool with that.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 22 2017, @01:13AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 22 2017, @01:13AM (#497713)

          "Seizing the means of production is what socialism is"

          A plant that hasn't made cars since 2015 without a supply chain isn't a means of production.

          To make it a useful plant will require outside help, which this move won't exactly encourage.

          GM certainly knew what they were doing, but I'm not so sure if the Socialists did.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @07:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 21 2017, @07:40PM (#497550)

      the country is a Socialist Hellhole

      Once again, an ignorant Libertarian uses words that he doesn't understand.
      What Venezuela actually has is State Capitalism, based almost entirely on petroleum.

      If Venezuela was actually "Socialist", they would have been making great strides in establishing Worker-Owned Cooperatives (collective ownership of the means of production by the Workers) with those operations producing the goods and services that the country needs.

      N.B. Italy enabled this paradigm, starting in 1985 with their Marcora law. [google.com]
      It has been monumentally effective.
      If you haven't heard about it, it's because you have crap sources of information (USA's Lamestream Media).

      In the case of Venezuela, the gov't could have taken possession of the plant(s) via eminent domain, paying fair market value according to an honest appraisal of that.
      The gov't could then sell the plant(s) back to a co-op formed by The Workers over whatever time period they deemed ideal (at a 0.1 percent interest rate?).
      N.B. We're now into the realm of Liberal Democracy.
      At this point, Libertarians will squawk that the gov't isn't showing a profit--never mind all the formerly unemployed people now paying taxes and buying stuff AKA spending into the economy.

      The workers could start building products of their own designs/branding and have a domestic market, possibly expanding to a wider market.

      There no real magic to running a factory such that that requires a USAian megacorporation.

      There are examples of USAian workers taking over their factories and continuing to produce products without the former greedy overlords.
      Chicago factory occupiers form worker cooperative [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [libcom.org]

      Another example, this time in Mexico.
      Part 1 Mexican Workers Win Ownership of Tire Plant [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [labornotes.org]
      Part 2 Can Worker-Owners Make a Big Factory Run? [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [labornotes.org]

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

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