The Biggest International Airport In Venezuela Charging Fee For Right To Inhale Clean Air

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Breathing The Air In Venezuela? Prepare To Pay (ZeroHedge; July 15, 2014):

There is something to be said about every socialist paradise in the history of socialist paradises: they always run out of other people’s money. And when they do, stuff like this happens: the biggest international airport in Venezuela is charging a fee for the right to inhale clean air.

As BBC correctly notes, we’re used to a seemingly endless range of taxes and surcharges when we fly – passenger taxes, departure taxes, fuel levies. But Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas has taken this a step further – passengers flying out now have to pay 127 bolivars tax ($20) for the air they breathe.

Wait, a tax to breathe the air? Why yes – it is meant to cover the cost of a newly-installed system which uses ozone to purify the building’s air conditioning system. A press release from the Ministry of Water and Air Transport says it’s the first airport in South America and the Caribbean to use the technology, which it claims will eliminate bacterial growth to “protect the health of travellers,” as well as deodorizing and sanitising the building.

Needless to say, the denizens of the socialist paradise are all but enthused. From BBC:

But with tickets out of the country already expensive and scarce because of Venezuela’s economic crisis, many on social media have responded to the tax with both humour and outrage.

Radio presenter Daniel Martínez tweeted: “Could you explain to me the ozone thing in Maiquetia? The toilets don’t have water, the air-con is broken, there are stray dogs inside the airport, but there’s ozone?”

“Soon we will be charged for the ‘good gas'” was another tweet – a rueful reference to the tear gas that the police often use on opposition protesters. The satirical news blog El Chiguire Bipolar ran the headline: “Maiquetia Airport unveils robot that puts you upside-down and takes your money.

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Some Venezuelans on social media fear the tax could end up being a new source of corruption. Others see it as evidence of how short of cash the airport is. Most international airlines have reduced the number of flights to the country because of a financial dispute with the Venezuelan government.

Depending who you ask, the tax is funny, infuriating, or just one more surreal aspect of a country that has the biggest oil reserves in the world, yet at the same time has shortages of toilet paper and sugar.

And in a “developed world” obsessed with minizing the impact of fossil fuels and maximizing the size of friendly totalitarian governments everywhere, and which is one reserve currency announcement away from being far more insolvent than Venezuela, one can be sure that Venezuela’s experiment with air trax is coming to a socialist paradise near you.

1 thought on “The Biggest International Airport In Venezuela Charging Fee For Right To Inhale Clean Air

  1. I bet it is the fact the airport is short of cash, and this is another way to get some. The thing that destroys all nations is corruption. I remember when this nation was not corrupt, it was not easy for such flim flam deals to be passed……now, I can see it being enacted here. Once a nation loses its credibility to corruption, it is nearly impossible to regain it. That is why I get so upset at the corruption in our own government. Without credibility, we are all screwed.
    VZ has been corrupt for decades. When Hugo Chavez was alive, he had a system that seemed to somewhat work. Now, that he is dead, it is a mess. That is the danger of one man having too much power……..
    It is already true in China, they sell fresh air for people to breathe from bags, that is how bad the pollution is thanks to zero regulations on the corrupt, polluting corporations. They used Chinese labor as slave labor, but now the pollution is so bad, they are bailing out of the Chinese nation as quickly as possible. Before the pollution was so awful, my hiring managers hated going to China…..I can only imagine how awful it must be now.
    Now, many of the corporations that used China like a toilet have left, China is being abandoned like an old shoe. They have to clean up their environment before they can get anyone to work there. That is going to cost billions, so China needs to be mindful of it’s cash……..they are going to need it. Much of the pollution was left by the corporations who didn’t want to pay for clean up or controls in our country. China will find out why we have such regulations……..we have people who break many of those laws, but at least we have them, and they are made to clean them up.

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