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January 21, 2008
Coca Chewing Chavez Cracks down on Farmers
If you've watched Hugo Chavez and ever wondered if he's on drugs, the Miami Herald reports that your suspicions are accurate:
Venezuela’s controversial President Hugo Chávez has revealed that he regularly consumes coca — the source of cocaine — raising questions about the legality of his actions. Chávez’s comments on coca initially went almost unnoticed, coming amid a four-hour speech to the National Assembly during which he made international headlines by calling on other countries to stop branding two leftist Colombian guerrilla groups as terrorists and instead recognize them as “armies.” ”I chew coca every day in the morning . . . and look how I am,” he is seen saying on a video of the speech, as he shows his biceps to the audience.HT: Michelle Malkin
Actually, coca leaves are a mild stimulant with about as much kick as a cup of coffee. However, later in his interminable speech, Chavez refers to doing "coca paste" - a partially refined product of the coca leaf that is highly addctiive and is usually smoked. His being high might explian this rant against farmers who dare sell their products outside of the country:
With the country recently facing milk shortages, Chavez said "it's treason" if farmers deny milk to Venezuelans while selling it across the border in Colombia or for gourmet cheeses. "In that case the farm must be expropriated," Chavez said, adding that the government could also take over milk plants and properties of beef producers. "I'm putting you on alert," Chavez said. "If there's a producer that refuses to sell the product ... and sells it at a higher price abroad ... ministers, find me the proof so it can be expropriated." Addressing his Cabinet, he said: "If the army must be brought in, you bring in the army."As you can see, Chavez has now given himself permission to appropriate anyone's property at will. All he has to do is accuse them of selling their products beyond the border. At the very least, this kind of intimidation will tamp down unrest when he regulates the price of farm products.
Slowly, Chavez is exercising powers that were denied him during the vote to alter the constitution last month. Unless he is stopped, he will get everything he wanted then and probably take some more.