Bad economic news for Venezuela: Inflation has now risen to 30%.
The Central Bank and National Statistics Institute on Friday reported a 5.2 percent increase in consumer prices during April, driving up the annual rate to 30.4 percent.
President Hugo Chavez's government has been struggling against the highest inflation rate in Latin America and a weakening economy in general.
But don't worry. President Chavez, the communist central-planner-in-chief, has a "solution":
The country imports most of its food, and Chavez on Friday announced the government will create an import-export corporation aiming to break with the private sector's "hegemony." It wasn't immediately clear how the new state entity would operate.
Chavez said wealthy Venezuelans involved in the import business "buy abroad, come here and ask for more than it really costs."
As usual, Chavez blames Venezuela's troubles on something other than the inherent impracticality of communism. He complains that Venezuelans in the import business "buy abroad" and come to Venezuela and "ask for more than it really costs."
What? A business expects to sell things for more than it paid for them?
What is the alternative? Should businessmen import things into Venezuela for free? For a tiny profit?
In free countries, competition works out to the mutual benefit of sellers and consumers. Businessses that charge their customers too much find that their customers turn to their competitors.
It's only when the heavy hand of government gets involved that things begin to turn sour.
Venezuelns will continue to suffer as long as they give away their freedom to Chavez and his ilk.