Maduro continued his whirlwind campaign tour today and spoke to a crowd of supporters in Lara state on a variety of topics, including the ongoing “economic war” and Sunday’s election.
Maduro repeated a claim that has become central to his version of events in the country: that the opposition is directly responsible for the severe scarcity crisis affecting the country. Maduro said:
This [lines at supermarkets] are a psychological technique these bourgeoisie bandits apply.
While Maduro has yet to clearly explain exactly how the opposition is to blame for the scarcity crisis, he did say that he personally ordered the arrest of a store owner in Guarenas yesterday:
The manager had received the order to make the people suffer. I called the Minister of the Interior and said: “Send a detachment from the SEBIN immediately and throw him in jail”.
Maduro gave no details on the event aside from saying that it involved “one of these famous supermarkets” . He did not explain how exactly he came to find out that “an order to make the people suffer” had been given, or by whom.
Maduro Attacks Lorenzo Mendoza
Speaking at an event yesterday, Maduro launched into a vicious attack of the head of the Polar company, Lorenzo Mendoza. As a high-profile and well-liked representative of the business community, Mendoza has often been the target of Maduro’s attacks.
In his attack, Maduro suggested that Mendoza paid stadium spectators “millions” (of Bolivares, presumably) to applaud him when he appeared at a baseball event earlier in the week. Below, a video of Maduro’s comments on Mendoza, along with my translation:
Maduro: If pensions depended on Lorenzo Mendoza, there would be no pensions in the country. You’re a bandit and a devil! Even if you pay millions so that they’ll applaud you in Pepsi Home Run [the name of the event Mendoza attended], you’re a good-for-nothing, Lorenzo Mendoza! You’re a devil, and every devil gets their holy water. You’re a devil, man, a bourgeoisie who mistreats the people, and you’ve commanded this whole campaign to hide products from people. But there’s plenty of beer! There’s plenty of beer, Lorenzo Mendoza. Devil! I’m calling you a devil and that’s what you are. Keep paying [the media?] and for all the stupid things that you do.
Face me, Lorenzo Mendoza! Come over here and face me! Face the people, your bourgeoisie parasite! Face the people. Don’t hide! Face the people! You already know that you’re going to get your holy water.
Below, a video of the Estadio Universitario‘s reaction to Mendoza walking onto the field on Monday during a baseball event in Caracas, along with my translation:
Announcer: We want to call forward Gustavo Hernandez, director of affairs for Pepsicola Venezuela, Carlos [unintelligible], director of marketing at Pepsicola Venezuela, and Veronica Armas, [manager] at Pepsicola Venezuela.
Pepsicola Venezuela would like to present this special recognition to Polar Enterprises, which is celebrating the 75th year of its promise, passion and effort to Venezuela. [unintelligible] to Venezuelan consumers, and offering a good quality of life to its workers through their honest work. Please stand as we welcome someone who has played this sport, and has remained committed to it and the minor leagues for many years (…) let’s welcome Lorenzo Mendoza, President of Polar Enterprises!
[crowd chants, “Si se puede! Si se puede!” [Yes we can! Yes we can!’]]
Cabello: Opposition “Knows They Will Lose”
The opposition is [nervous] because they know they’re lost (…) us chavistas aren’t bitter. They’re bitter.
Cabello also questioned why any opposition politician might want to be a National Assembly deputy in the first place, since according to him “they don’t work”.
FEDECAMARAS: Industrial Production Down 80% in 2015
The head of the Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela [Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce] (FEDECAMARAS), Francisco Martinez, said today that production in the country had fallen 80% in 2015 due to the national government’s economic policies.
Martinez called on whichever side wins a majority in Sunday’s election to immediately repeal some of the PSUV’s cornerstone economic policies, including strict currency exchange and price controls. The latter, Martinez claims, is driving producers out of business by forcing them to sell products below cost, making it impossible for them to operate in the long-term.
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