GM had hoped the Venezuelan crocodile would eat them last
After years of kowtowing and collaborating with Venezuela's socialist regime, the General Motors plant finally got expropriated by the Chavista government for its trouble. GM claimed it was done 'unexpectedly.' But it's hard to shed a tear, given that ExxonMobil, Chevron, Harvest International Resources, Clorox, Procter & Gamble, Kleenex, Crystallex, Schlumberger, and at least 1,000 Venezuelans farms, apartment buildings, businesses (including some very big ones such as the Polar grain and beer company) and homes had already been similarly expropriated. Unexpectedly? Had GM not noticed? Or did GM think it was too big to fail, or more accurately, be subject to socialist failure?
Now it's making statements like this, according to CNN:
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.
It may well have been that it's no easy matter to move a car plant, and the company tried to do the best it could under such a horrendous regime.
But GM never spoke out against the broken contracts, the blatant disregard for property rights, the need to go to decent places for investment such as Colombia, Peru or Panama. In fact, up until the Chavistas struck, its public statements had been fairly consistent with all the other corporate statements still coming out about the Venezuelan regime - those of confidence in the socialist regime, of continuing operations as usual, of zero changes in any investment status, of perfect willingness to work with the regime.
In sum, they knew what was going on and hoped the Chavista crocodile would eat them last.
The still-unexpropriated remaining companies, ever dwindling in number, are continuing to make these sorts of statements. Fox Business found some choice ones:
"There is no indication that any of our facilities in Venezuela are currently at risk of being altered and we’re working closely with Venezuelan authorities to assure a continuous operation in the country,” the company said.
'Altered,' eh? How about 'ripped off'?
"Our operations in Venezuela have not been affected so far. Our team members, dealers and customers remain our top priorities, and we are monitoring the situation closely."
Monitoring, eh? How about looking for the nearest exit?
From Fiat Chrysler:
“FCA is maintaining its production plans in Venezuela in support of efforts to rebuild the country’s automotive sector.”
Now this one's especially disgusting, but very typical of Europe. 'Support of efforts'? Talk about propping up the regime!
It goes to show that business cannot be conducted with a totalitarian socialist regime, no matter how many times you try it. When the fundamental premise of a regime is a blatant disregard for property rights, it's only a matter of time before every living entity in the country is consumed. Companies, like people, have a duty to confront evil.
GM isn't unique, but we just haven't seen it.