The Corner

Politics & Policy

Venezuela Nationalizes GM Plant While Its People Are Starving

Amid ongoing protests and a collapsing economy, Venezuela has nationalized the country’s General Motors plant. The move has drawn condemnation from GM, which has halted operations, and from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has accused Nicolas Maduro’s government of “violating its own constitution.” One suspects that an appeal to legal principle will have little chance of moving Maduro.

The socialist dictator’s grip on power appears increasingly tenuous, and asset grabs such as this one will do little to reverse the fundamental dysfunction in the Venezuelan economy. Perhaps more important to his overall strategy will be the distribution of seized civilian arms to the government-loyal “militias” on which Maduro is relying on as the protests escalate. Even in one of the areas in which he is most popular, Maduro has faced protesters armed with rocks.

It does not look good on the ground. Those participating in the so-called “mother of all protests” have suffered waves of arrests and injuries — and at least two have been killed by government-aligned militias. At the everyday level, the people are languishing nationwide from shortages of everything from food to toilet paper. Seizing a car plant might put a dent in GM’s stock, but it will do little else besides.

Most Popular

Culture

Jussie Smollett Changes His Story Again

The actor Jussie Smollett continues to talk about the alleged January 29 attack on him during a frigid night in Chicago, giving Good Morning America his fullest description yet of his claims. It differs substantially from what he told police initially after the alleged assault. Smollett told GMA that the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

We’ll Regret This

Mitch McConnell says the president will sign the budget deal and he will also declare a national emergency to build the wall, as I expected. We’ll see the legal justifications he uses, but as a political and constitutional matter this is a long-term disaster. Oh, it might be good for Trump according to the ... Read More
U.S.

Trump Declares National Emergency to Fund Border Wall

President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in order to unilaterally appropriate $3.6 billion for the construction of his long-promised border wall. The announcement, made during a televised White House Rose Garden ceremony, came after Congress passed a bipartisan homeland-security-funding bill ... Read More