How in the hell did things get so bad in Venezuela?

Appley's picture
Rank: Gorilla | banana points 551

So for anyone who hasn't heard of the situation in Venezuela, basically everyone is dying of starvation because of the lack of... well, everything. Literally, everyone -- infants are facing the possibility of dying so early because of starvation or illness (or a combination) and no one is able to do anything about it. Farms have been completely run down by robbers who are starving and trying to find something to survive off of. Children who are not dead are beginning to develop discolored hair and possible stunted growth, which many suspect will have a lasting effect on the current generation in Venezuela. Hopefully, this will not be the case. But if it happens I wouldn't be surprised.

Now, my bigger questions are,

  1. How in the hell did things even manage to escalate? I remember reading about ridiculous hyperinflation in Venezuela a few years back but I always thought things would calm down once politicians over there got their shit together. Then, I remember reading that Venezuela got hit with a tariff by the US (which seemed really bizarre to me at the time). You'd think after shit goes down that hard that the higher-ups would try to... improve the situation? Amazing how dictatorships play out.
  2. Why are people still defending Maduro? I guess that question is more rhetorical than anything since the police officers in the article basically spell it out... A little upsetting to know what fear can do to you, especially when you're dying (along with your fellow citizens) because of a dictator.

I hope things get better in Venezuela. I'm surprised these events aren't making the front pages of some news sites as often as I think they should, at least.

If you all don't know what's currently going on, I suggest giving the two articles a read! Not a totally full synopsis of the situation of course, but I feel like it is sufficient to make the point clear that the situation is at a critical point.

Of course, I am also not a historian nor have I been following current events in Venezuela with an intense focus so varying opinions on the situation are always welcome! I'd love to learn more about the situation from different perspectives.

Investment Banking Interview Course

  • 7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. Crowdsourced from over 500,000 members.
  • Technical, behavioral, networking, case videos, templates. All included.
  • Most comprehensive IB interview course in the world.

Comments (98)

May 18, 2017

Socialism.
It looks great on paper, but in practice it fails miserably. " Absolute power corrupts absolutely"

    • 12
    • 2
May 22, 2017

More like immoral on paper and ineffective in practice. The number one mistake when arguing against socialism is saying that "it's a great idea, it just hasn't worked yet." No. It is immoral to steal from people even if you vote to steal from people.

    • 10
May 18, 2017

I meant on the SJW-Leftist fantasy of a magical government that can provide you with everything.

    • 1
    • 1
May 22, 2017

Sure, but remember that the left always speaks on a moral and emotional level. They think "my ideas may be bad, BUT at least they're fair." Except socialism is not fair, it's actually extremely unfair and immoral. So if you give them the moral high ground by conceding that socialism looks great on paper, that's all they need to think they won the argument. Whereas if you say that they believe in an evil ideology that uses government coercion to expropriate wealth, people are more likely to realize that capitalism and voluntary transactions are superior. I'm in college and that's the right way to stump all the Bernie bros.

    • 4
    • 1
May 18, 2017

Great point here.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

May 24, 2017

Ben Shapiro fan up here^

May 18, 2017

Love me some Shapiro... even without the air-horns, marijuana paraphernalia, and SnoopDogg

    • 1
May 24, 2017

This is a terrible argument. Shit, Capitalism has caused numerous wars and let's not forget the great depression. Which was severely bad. Most Nordic countries fall have a socialist society and they are doing pretty damn well.

    • 6
May 24, 2017

With that comment.. Why on God's green earth are you on this forum?

May 24, 2017
TheKid1:

Shit, Capitalism has caused numerous wars

I think you mean "mercantilism has caused numerous wars". I'm a pretty well-read guy and a student of history and I can't think of a single instance where free trade and market capitalism has sparked a war.

May 30, 2017

Beat me to it. I would have just put the first word.

Lol @ Liberal cucks throwing monkey shit for being anti-socialist.

It's like "yeah, this one thing has accounted for more deaths and more poverty than literally anything else ever in the history of humanity... That's bad."

"No CNN told me it was gewd!!!." QQ

EDIT: Just want to add for posterity that this was meant to be satirical... Guy unironically acts like mega-liberal. Other guy (me) ironically acts like mega-alt-right.

    • 1
May 18, 2017

No it doesn't look great on paper. It looks shit on paper. Nothing is as unfair as total equality.

    • 13
May 18, 2017

I meant on the SJW-Leftist fantasy of a magical government that can provide you with everything.

May 18, 2017

Believing the gov' has your best interests in mind

    • 3
May 27, 2017

IIRC Maduro has like an 80% disapproval rating right now (hopefully I remembered it correctly) so it's a little amazing to me that even that small smidgen of people are still sticking around with this government.

... I mean you'd think his call to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution around the time his term was going to end was any signal for the police to abandon ship but I guess not.

May 18, 2017

Oil prices tanked and government policies fucked them. The influential people who support him haven't turned yet, but there are a few cracks. I've been reading some good stuff on it and actual talked with a guy whose wife's family lives in Venezuala. It's bad there.

May 27, 2017

It's really disturbing to see how fast an idiot like Maduro can obliterate an otherwise sound society in such a short period of time. Hopefully Venezuela manages to recover! I just hope the dictatorship doesn't somehow manage to advance into anything crazier... Although perhaps not since the Venezuelans seem like they'll just tear him apart the moment he tries to pull anything aha. So surreal. Hopefully all will go well for them.

    • 1
May 24, 2017
<span itemprop=name>Appley</span>:

It's really disturbing to see how fast an idiot like Maduro can obliterate an otherwise sound society in such a short period of time.

I'm not upset at you at all, but this sentiment--that Maduro is responsible for the collapse in Venezuela--drives me absolutely crazy because it is a common theme among the newly enhanced opposition movement in Venezuela. It was just in 2013 that Maduro won election--he was ELECTED to the presidency in what most would consider relatively free elections.

The sentiment that Maduro is responsible basically exonerates Hugo Chavez from his role. The reality is, Hugo Chavez is the chief villain responsible for the destruction of the Venezuelan nation, but something like half of the opposition in Venezuela is former Chavez supporters who basically blame Maduro for his incompetence rather than Chavez for his policies. But as I laid out, most of the reason for economic collapse in Venezuela is related to Hugo Chavez' policies of nationalizations, which destroyed private industry in Venezuela and turned Venezuela into a rogue, petro state incapable of taking care of itself. Maduro is just too arrogant to reverse course, instead doubling down on Chavez policies.

May 27, 2017

Uh sorry I didn't mean to come off that way aha. That comment was a lot less about Maduro than it was my stunned reaction at how fast a country can fall once something goes awry. I don't really know much about the situation, only quick glances I've done about Chavez, Maduro, and Venezuela.
All I knew was that Chavez inspired the communist/nationalization sentiments in Venezuela (though there were mixed opinions) -- I didn't know what he actually did specifically until you filled in the gaps with your post.

May 24, 2017

Just to clarify, I'm not bashing you at all; I'm bashing the people in Venezuela who SHOULD understand what happened but instead embrace the same terrible policies, believing that communism could work so long as a "competent" communist runs the show. It is just so frustrating to watch because you know no matter what happens with Maduro, Venezuela will be back in the same position within 20 years because the Venezuelan people have taken all of the wrong lessons from this catastrophe and have learned nothing.

To your other question, I do a lot of international business, my closest friends are South American, and I'm a close observer of the situation.

May 23, 2017
<span itemprop=name>Appley</span>:

Uh sorry I didn't mean to come off that way aha. That comment was a lot less about Maduro than it was my stunned reaction at how fast a country can fall once something goes awry. I don't really know much about the situation, only quick glances I've done about Chavez, Maduro, and Venezuela.All I knew was that Chavez inspired the communist/nationalization sentiments in Venezuela (though there were mixed opinions) -- I didn't know what he actually did specifically until you filled in the gaps with your post.

The misconception you have is that this happened quickly. It started even before Chavez took power. My father's best friend is Venezuelan. In their childhood Venezuela was the wealthiest nation in South America. Our friend moved all of his kids (ranging 18 - 35) out of the country over 10 years ago, and he moved most of his assets to Panama and Miami while Chavez was still in power. He stayed a few more years, but since Maduro came to power he's now living in Miami.

May 27, 2017

@Dances with Dachshunds
Just wondering, do you do business with Venezuela (if that's still even going on) or have relatives there? You seem to know a lot about the events unfolding

Best Response
May 24, 2017

What happened in Venezuela is the truest form of socialism. In defense of North America and Europe's "socialists", what they are is really "social democrats" who believe in a large welfare state financed through market capitalism. Venezuela's Chavistas, on the other hand, are true socialists (bordering on communists). Over the last 2 decades the state nationalized nearly all major industries in Venezuela, including most farms. The Venezuelan state, however, is run by utterly incompetent human beings, so those state industries' production collapsed under gross incompetence and corruption, leaving Venezuela a petro-state that imported virtually everything and financed those imports off of vast oil wealth.

When the price of oil collapsed several years ago (thanks, in part, to American fracking technology), the Venezuelan economy collapsed. The cash shortage in Venezuela has gotten so bad that the state oil company's oil production is starting to grind to a halt, meaning that one of the most oil rich countries on earth is now starting to import oil!!! But since there is no source of revenue to the country, Venezuela has had to tap its cash reserves. As of a few months ago, they had $10 billion left and were on a pace to run out of money completely within a year.

Since Venezuela has nationalized most private industry and confiscated foreign assets, no foreign government (other than Cuba) is willing to offer any kind of investment or assistance in Venezuela. Like every banana republic does to survive when low on cash, it starts to print money. With the printing press on and an economy in collapse, the value of the Bolivar has collapsed, creating hyper inflation in a period of economic depression. In order to limit inflation, the government has put in price controls, which necessarily create supply shortages.

In other words, the Chavistas in Venezuela violated every law of economics (price controls, violations of the rule of law, state control of industries, turning on the printing press) and were able to get away with it while oil prices were very high. Then the laws of economics caught up with them like they do with everyone. The lesson here is that you can't legislate away the law of supply and demand--the law is as immutable as is gravity.

May 27, 2017

This was a really informative synopsis! I've been wondering for a while how things managed to reach such a critical point in Venezuela. I've read that there are mixed opinions on Chavez because he supposedly "brought" great times to Venezuela, but it seems like it was all a hoax hiding behind oil prices. I remember when the hyperinflation started happening in Venezuela and I read that there was a 500% inflation going on or something to that effect -- which seemed so utterly surreal to me at the time that it was almost difficult to believe. I thought the numbers were being grossly overestimated but it was only recently when I started following what's been going on in Venezuela again that the 500% is a lot more believable and digestible now.

Very sad to hear about what's happened to Venezuela.

    • 1
May 18, 2017

Beautifully stated. Well done.

May 20, 2017

It's really bad - people in Miami will have relatives fly in (when they can afford it) to go grocery shopping here and take it all back home.

May 23, 2017

im calling bull shit on this, any person that has a Visa or money to bring in their family will be overstaying their Visa and leaving venezuela.

    • 2
May 24, 2017
gridironceo:

im calling bull shit on this, any person that has a Visa or money to bring in their family will be overstaying their Visa and leaving venezuela.

This happens alot with Visa holders of any country. I know people that used fake papers to get to the U. S. thru Mexico.

May 24, 2017

Situation
- Export dependent country
- Socialism
- Nationalization
- Bad corporate governance
- Anti-FDI

Complication
- Commodity price down
- Cash shortage->Money supply->Inflation
- Price control
- Supply shortage

    • 1
Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

May 24, 2017

Let me create a little word diagram because I think this is an important economic lesson:

Nationalize private industry ----> state-run industry unable to efficiently produce goods and services ---> country imports goods and services that can no longer be sufficiently produced domestically, including food -----> sole source of revenue suffers global price collapse ----> with no private industry remaining, national revenue collapses, causing a cash shortage -----> turn on the printing press to pay bills, including for foreign imports and state wages ------> create hyper inflation ----> to stem inflation, enact price controls, causing even more severe supply shortages and starvation.

Maduro, being a raging, uneducated ignoramus, committed every mistake that every banana republic dictator makes when facing economic hardship. And like most dictators, Maduro is too proud--too arrogant--to admit he made a mistake, so he'd rather his people starve to death than to accept foreign aid or modify policies. He'd literally rather die at the hands of an angry mob than admit he made mistakes.

May 18, 2017

Socialism isn't so fun when you run out of other people's money to spend. High oil prices allowed their government to survive despite being utterly corrupt and incompetent, but that's changed.

    • 1
May 18, 2017

Harambe never would have let this happen....

    • 3
    • 1
May 18, 2017

The average Venezuelan lost 20 lbs due to food shortages. Factoring in per capita income, a pound of raw beef would be like us Americans paying $350/lb.

I always joke with girls who aren't in tip top shape that I'll exile them to Caracas for a month- all expenses paid. So far, no takers. I'll keep you posted.

    • 5
May 19, 2017

Despite the shortages of essential goods, widespread malnourishment, deteriorating public systems - all caused by abysmal economic mismanagement - people are too scared to do anything about it.

Maduro has the military in his pocket. And the military has discovered that it can profit from the chaos. Maduro understands this, and probably allows it to happen in order to keep the soldiers on his side.
Read this to get a better understanding: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/14/venez...

May 27, 2017

Wow some of the descriptions of what's going on is disturbing. It's almost like it's something you'd only see in a history textbook... though no doubt that the history behind these events are definitely making their way into one! Horrific. The articles I posted didn't talk about the crime scene as much as this one, thanks for sharing.

May 22, 2017

so sad, have some Venezuelan friends (many moved to Buenos Aires) and have heard some of the crazy stories (one of my best friends was kidnapped TWICE), sounds like such a beautiful country AND people that i've met are so nice.

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

May 23, 2017
<span itemprop=name>AndyLouis</span>:

so sad, have some Venezuelan friends (many moved to Buenos Aires) and have heard some of the crazy stories (one of my best friends was kidnapped TWICE), sounds like such a beautiful country AND people that i've met are so nice.

About right, my family friend that I mentioned above had 2 of his daughters kidnapped (fortunately both survived), and that's when he got his kids out. Kidnapping of members of the wealthy class was quite common. Their first daughter to be kidnapped convinced the kidnappers that she had money at her house, and when they arrived at their walled house, the family security guards killed the kidnappers. The second daughter they had to pay a ransom on, and it dragged out in a way that the dad said "All kids of my kids are out of the country now!". They were lucky enough to have American connections and the money to escape...that isn't the case for most.

May 22, 2017

Well, by living in South American, I can tell for sure that the collapse of the entirely continent is due to socialists politics.

Brazil, now, has more than 14 million people unemployed, thanks to Lula and Dilma.
Argentina, now, is founding its path with the good politics of Macri, but they were a mess before.
Venezuela was the state responsible for funding the socialist's movements across south america.

The worst part of all is that here, in Brazil, the media (Bernie Sanders left wing kind), the media doesn't report all the situation as it is. The government is failling to condemn the situation (a bunch of left wings parties, as PT, PSOL, etc., actually, support the Bolivarian government of Venezuela).

    • 1
May 27, 2017
<span itemprop=name>Hannnibal</span>:

The worst part of all is that here, in Brazil, the media (Bernie Sanders left wing kind), the media doesn't report all the situation as it is. The government is failling to condemn the situation (a bunch of left wings parties, as PT, PSOL, etc., actually, support the Bolivarian government of Venezuela).

Omg seriously? I feel like it'd be one thing if American or European media pulled that crap since they're largely isolated from the ugliness of socialism but Brazil's practically neighboring almost all of the countries making up South America. That's pretty dangerously dishonest of the media to do that... especially when some of socialism's ugly side has shown itself on the continent already.

May 23, 2017

To be fair, most of this media coverage here in Brazil was bought and paid for by the same of rogue leftists in Venezuela, now the music has stopped. As Hannnibal mentioned, a lot of the parties here still support Venezuela's regime, repeting all kinds of nonsense such as that's a CIA plot or whatever.

Fortunately the countries in the region seem to be leaning away from these policies (for now;this will never go away in LatAm).

Venezuela is a textbook case of what not do to when running a country. One of the wealthiest countries in the region, with vast oil resources, and people are hijacking garbage trucks to try and find food. The oil production is stagnant because the engineers and capable employees of the national oil company were sacked and replaced with regime loyalists.
Chavez nationalized all the moving parts of the economy - Any idiot could see how this would end, but with oil prices sky high he could maintain his show.Needless to mention, corruption is rampant as in all socialist regimes - Brazilian political consultants currently in jail for corruption crimes confessed that Maduro and Chavez paid them millions of dollars in cash, all through overpriced public works contracts.Wealthy Venezuelans fly to Miami or Panama (A lot of middle-class professionals are now scrubbing toilets there), and the poor ones cross the border into Brazil.

Chavez claimed he was targeted by a "CIA Cancer Weapon". Maduro claims that he talks with Chavez'ghost incarnated into a bird. You can imagine the rest.

    • 5
May 23, 2017
<span itemprop=name>Hannnibal</span>:

Argentina, now, is founding its path with the good politics of Macri, but they were a mess before.

If it weren't for Macri we would be very close to becoming the new Venezuela I might add.

The worst part is that people keep voting these left-wing governments with the hope of ending the so called "American Imperialism". They haven't realized that the continent has been failing with the same policies over and over. I guess some people never learn.

    • 2
May 22, 2017

Beeing very honest, I don't see any solution to Brazil. I believe that the country will fall apart anytime. Things are crazy right here, just take a look at the muderers/100,000 from Brazil...

Well, yesterday we had a bunch of leftist Lula's puppets breaking everything in Brasilia...

As an old professor of Monetary Economics used to say to us in class: "best retirement politics for brazilians is a good passport".

    • 2
May 23, 2017

After seeing the situation in South America unfold very closely, I was afraid that a populist like Bernie Sanders could be elected to the most powerful office of the world. Now I can't tell if President Trump is that far apart from him.

May 22, 2017

What really pisses me off, is seeing Americans and Europeans defending socialists politics... For someone who leaves in a very socialist country, it sounds craziness...

    • 2
May 22, 2017

This is what socialism looks like, kids. Don't try it at home.

This is always how it ends.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

    • 1
May 24, 2017

The U.S. doesn't care about what happens in Venezuela or Latin America for that matter. They rather send the troops to Syria.

    • 1
May 23, 2017

What if America delivered freedom to Venezuela in exchange for oil? More economical, tbh

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

May 24, 2017
Frank Quattrone:

What if America delivered freedom to Venezuela in exchange for oil? More economical, tbh

Can you put a price on freedom?

May 23, 2017

You misunderstood. I meant this.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."

    • 1
May 23, 2017

I wish that all of the socialist leaning kids on college campuses today were forced to do a study on Venezuela, populism, socialism and corruption.

May 23, 2017

speaking of Venezuela, hottest women in Latin America

  1. Venezuela
  2. Colombia
  3. Argentina
  4. Brasil
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Mexico

What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions?

    • 1
May 23, 2017

Communism doesn't work.

It kills any motive for the individual to improve his life. Equal opportunities never meant forced equality.

    • 1
May 23, 2017

I hear condoms sell for $1000 a pop down there...

May 23, 2017

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/14/world/americas/...
^this is the shit that pisses me off - 2,000 word expose by the NYT titled 'How Venezuela Stumbled to the Brink of Collapse' and the article doesn't use the word socialism / communism (or any other variant thereof) even once.

GTFO with your fighting fake news bullshit.

    • 2
    • 1
May 23, 2017

The New York Times, global communism's useful idiots since 1917.

"We listen, if it feels good we shake."
"This town is nuts, my kind of place."
-WSMFP

    • 1
    • 1
May 23, 2017

I once saw a BBC piece with 'common myths about Venezuela' or something like that and one of their points was like 'hey it's not true that people are starving. There's food. You can pick up a fruit in a tree, this is not forbidden'

    • 3
May 23, 2017

I didnt read all the comments, but i can assure you the problems started before maduro got into power. low oil exacerbated the speed of things, things were corrupt with Chavez, only difference was oil was higher so they could afford all of the social welfare programs (which kept the votes coming in for him). Its by no means a "this oil rich company is falling to pieces over a matter of years, its much more complicated than that, Gasoline was heavily subsides (i believe less than 15 cents a gallon) and now electricity is rationed, there was a time the government didnt work on fridays (to save electricity) and many other strange things.

ive had friends' businesses be seized by the government, houses taken by the government (if you cant produce the actual deed to your home it can be confiscated), its a terrible reality that 30 million people have to call "life".

my 2 cents

    • 1
May 24, 2017

To your point about property confiscation, I wonder what happens if/when a new non-socialist government comes back into power. How do they compensate people for their stolen land/business/factory? And by the time there is a new government, the state itself won't have any cash to pay restitution. But without making restitution to property owners nobody will ever lend to (or invest in) Venezuela. It's like the Chavistas have permanently destroyed the Venezuelan state no matter who is in power. I have no idea how the country could possibly recover.

Ya know, the great irony about the Chavistas' hatred of the United States is that it will probably lead to the dollarization of the Venezuelan economy!

May 23, 2017

To another worry, our failed state has a lot of weapons in the hands of a poorly trained, corrupt military. A couple of years ago the US was worried about some Sukhoys they bought (those are probably rusting somewhere), but I really, really worry about the AKs and portable missiles they have.

May 24, 2017

doesn't help that their vice president has terrorist ties

May 25, 2017

What is wrong with an AK-47? They are fairly reliable and if you take the time to zero they can be pretty accurate.

Really, what you need to look for in a 7.62 play is the FN SCAR. Ambidextrous with the familiarity of an AR platform make operating this hogs tooth spitter a breeze. Really is the best 'bang' for your buck. Faster magazine changes than the M14 and AK-47, always a plus in the modern battlefield. Also, with a collapsable and folding buttstock it helps when jumping into the fight. The piston driven system makes cleaning easier by preventing excessive carbon build up in the upper receiver.

    • 1
May 23, 2017

Well, I was referring to that gear finding their way into the hands of criminals who in turn sell them to criminals in my country. And I don't even want to think about the missiles.

Also, it's off topic but I'm more a 5.56 guy myself. Never used the SCAR though but heard good things about it too.

May 25, 2017

It is solid. Just keep your personal protection items lubed up and ready to go in case they wind up there.

    • 1
May 24, 2017

I agree with pretty much everything @Dances with Dachshunds" said. Capitalism needs a bit of socialism to work (to keep the poor masses from revolt), these countries seem to have it the other way around where they think socialism with a bit of capitalism works. Regarding learning from their lessons, don't we see the same exact thing with France? They keep believing their woes are due to immigration and the EU not their overly socialist policies. It's hard to get the plebs to understand free stuff ain't really free. Additionally, their vice president is an international drug trafficker with terrorist ties, how the fuck did that happen lmao.

p.s. South America is a case study on how to squander vast resources through socialism and corruption. At least the prominent African countries have war/ growing pains from imperialism & tribalism to blame for their fuck ups ( for example Nigeria has to deal with a 50/50 Muslim and Christian population fractured by 100s of tribal languages and just became independent in like 1960)

    • 2
May 23, 2017

Well, sort of. Just to use your example, France might not be the smartest kid in the block (their absurdly high taxes and archaic labor laws are an example), but believe me they're far from being "socialist" in the sense we experimented here in the region.
I get it that many people here climb walls and grab their guns waiting for a soviet invasion when they hear "state funded healthcare" but this is not even close to disaster. Also, in these societies I believe they know (maybe accept?) that these things are not "free", most people understand they're trading maybe a safety net for high taxes.

In Venezuela, that's not even the case, they chose insanity as a government strategy.

BTW their vice president was chosen based on 50% loyalty to the regime, 30% skills in embezzling public cash and 20% just to spite the US, because he is a criminal and a terrorist.

    • 1
May 26, 2017

I feel horrible for the people in Venezuela. I lived there in the early 2000s (2001-2003), as a Mormon Missionary. Being a missionary, we got to meet with all types of individuals and families of differing socioeconomic classes, and really see how people were living. Being a 19-20-something kid from the US, it was eye opening. They were not a third world country at the time, they were just poorly managed (and coming from someone raised in Louisiana, that is saying a lot).

How did Venezuela get to this point? I have a few ideas:

1) Let's start with the brain drain. If you are smart, and had opportunities to leave the country, you take them. It is no different from young people in Louisiana moving to Texas, kids in the NE moving to NYC, or folks in states close to California eventually moving to CA. You go where the opportunities are, and in Venezuela, they were not creating opportunities, if anything they were killing them by not being friendlier to International Business. Therefore, you have the smart and talented people leaving.

2) Political unrest leads to economic uncertainty. Are you going to buy a home to live in if that home is located next to a meth lab, and concert venue? No, that would give you a negative ROI, and you would be up all night with breaking bad and breaking Benjamin. That is Venezuela. Chavez was the head of the movement, and Maduro was his bedside bitch, but those men got to power first by the sword, and then the pen and all of did with it by making promises to the poor and uneducated. Their markets could not take what the government was doing, and that threw the Bollivare (Venezuelan currency) out of whack. During my time in Venezuela, the day that Chavez was exiled from the country, the Bollivare went from 900:1 dollar, to 2500:1 dollar. When he came back two days later, it changed again to 3500:1. The political unrest and uncertainty of its future has killed that country.

3) Oil prices dropping kills the economy. There are three things that Venezuela produces: Miss. Universe winners, Baseball players, and oil (...I would say heat too, but they have the Andes). Two of those things the government can legally package and sell. The problem is, nobody is buying oil. Sure people are buying oil, but two years ago, a bucket of chicken from KFC cost more than a barrel of oil. Oil prices being, as low as they are and the government not reinvest and diversifying oil money into other resources when oil was at its peak has killed the country. If oil prices do not bounce back, Venezuela will have to look into human trafficking beautiful women, and people with amazing slugging percentages to make ends meet.

4) Kind of goes back to #2, but how are you going to protest when you don't have any food? When I was in Venezuela, the government went into Pepsi's regional bottling plant and took control of the whole thing. They did this with several US based companies, because fuck the US, we are Venezuela, and this is how we send messages. It was a complete shit show. I recall them taking over some oil rigs in Lake Maracaibo, and they spilled so much oil, that it would have made BP blush. But the government didn't just want to send a message to US based companies, they wanted to send a message to anyone with means, so they started clamping down on store owners, bakeries, and the damn farmers sending our necessary resources to make food...I think the only company that hasn't been hit is Polar (the country's favorite beer company). However, with fewer people producing food, that means longer lines, and more black markets. When I was in Venezuela I remember people from Columbia coming over to buy food because resources were scare in their country, now it is the complete opposite, Venezuelans are crossing over to Colombia to get food and drugs.

Until they can fix those four things, Venezuela will continue to be a mess. However, the thing is, to fix those four things they only need to get elected officials who are not as queer as a $3 bill.

    • 1
May 26, 2017

I have lived in Venezuela many years and still go there to see relative and friends once every two year for couple of weeks and the press tend to always exaggerate the situation. It's like in Venezuela you can't go outside your home or gangsters will cut you in small pieces or in Venezuela everyone is dying as if it were Somalia.
It is true to say that the country chaotic, dysfunctional, suffers from shortage and big security problems but portraying the country as a new Somalia is not accurate.

Recently the situation has gotten worse and worse but none of the people I know there do suffer from starvation - and I don't know only well-off people, but also "normal" people. I'm not saying the story of the WSJ is a lie, I'm just saying, that you can't extrapolate and say that everyone is basically dying like it's the Horn of Africa.
Recently I have read similar stories about Greece explaining the poorest people couldn't feed their kids properly or afford basic medical treatment but it does not make Greece a new Darfour.

Just an example of how the press can get sensational and dramatic. The last time I went (last year) everyone was saying in the press that you basically couldn't find any toilet paper or shampoo and that people were queuing everywhere to desperately get some. Needless to say I was wondering how I would manage this before going so I packed a massive amount of tissues.
There was some truth to it in that when you went to the shop you had just one or two brands of shampoo/toilet paper but to my relief I never struggled to find some (and the price was far from extortionate). Unfortunately saying "in Venezuela right now you don't get a huge choice of toilet paper brands" does not sell as much as saying "People are desperately queueing to find anything to wipe their asses".

Also saying that people are defending Maduro because of fear is just not knowing the country. Maduro is not popular and people are not afraid to say it. Venezuela is NOT North Korea. If you switch on the local TV most of the channels are highly critical of the government and probably more so than even the NYT is tough on Trump.
I communicate with my relatives through Facebook and no one is afraid to post publicly posts that are openly against the government or even calling for revolt.
Now there is a segment of the population that still supports Maduro because you have to understand that for decades the poor felt completely left out and during 20 years of Chavist government someone was at last talking to them and spending money on their ghettos, schools etc. Even though now they are caught in chaos like everyone else they might not forget that so easily.

Now back to the "why" the country fell into chaos.

The country has almost no industry other than oil. While the oil prices were high Chavez used the dollars accumulated to increase social spending. It did yield some results because the poorer part of the population got access to some healthcare and education. The main issue is that no one developed other areas of the economy. So you were in a situation where Venezuelans were importing basically EVERYTHING they were using. Once the oil boom ended the imbalances just got unleashed and Venezuelans woke up with no other sector to support their economy and government spending.

Apart from that there is a lot of corruption that I have seen myself so it's likely that some of the money actually harvested by the government is not spent as it should be and is therefore wasted, making the crisis much worse.

Lastly the elites and middle class/upper middle class are partly to blame because, while they criticize the major imbalances of the economy, they used them to make tons of money from any loopholes they could find (and due to some bizarre things such as the dual exchange rates put in place by the government it was very easy to find loopholes).

One quick example: The fact that you had two exchanges rates would mean you could get up to something like $3000 (I don't remember the exact amount) at a discounted government rate in bolivars. Everyone who had the means to do it would basically pay for the dollars at the (insanely) discounted rate and go to neighbouring Panama to buy stuff and resell the goods at the black market dollar rates. Basically you could get 3000$ for almost nothing and sell the goods at the "market driven" rate at a much higher prices.
This was not only individual behaviours- at a higher level local businesses would resort to the same tricks. For example, some airlines (not the government owned one Conviasa obviously) would ask the government dollars for imports at the discount rate, and sell the tickets at the blackmarket rate.
The consequence is that it drains dollars out of the country's vault and worsen the local prices distortion.
I've also seen that when travelling to Argentina a couple of years ago when they still had the fixed rate policy that I think they ditched in the meantime, the only difference being that Argentina has a more diverse economy and a labor force which is more educated so it can more easily cope with a messy exchange rate while Venezuela can't.

Also there is such a high inflation rate that it's really tempting to store your goods and wait for prices to go up... which in turn makes the inflation worse.

    • 1
May 27, 2017

To what extent would you say the original WSJ article was accurate in capturing what you've seen in Venezuela? You mentioned that there may be a little bit of sensationalism to sell the story, but at the same time I would imagine that poverty and mass starvation could easily run rampant due to the effects of hyperinflation in the Venezuelans' lives. I'm just curious to get a gauge of the actual scene happening in Venezuela (again I'm a total outsider to the entire affair so everything I know has been from this thread and news articles).

Were some upper-class Venezuelans totally exploiting the imbalances on a large scale or was it just a passing activity some of them would do (like in your examples)? How often did individuals and local businesses do this? Or was it pretty scandalous if anyone actually did it in the first place (making it largely discouraged by the masses)?

You mention that the poor felt like they were having their voices heard by Chavez. What was the wealth disparity like in Venezuela leading up to Chavez's rise (if you know anything on it)?

May 26, 2017
Appley:

To what extent would you say the original WSJ article was accurate in capturing what you've seen in Venezuela? You mentioned that there may be a little bit of sensationalism to sell the story, but at the same time I would imagine that poverty and mass starvation could easily run rampant due to the effects of hyperinflation in the Venezuelans' lives. I'm just curious to get a gauge of the actual scene happening in Venezuela (again I'm a total outsider to the entire affair so everything I know has been from this thread and news articles).

Were some upper-class Venezuelans totally exploiting the imbalances on a large scale or was it just a passing activity some of them would do (like in your examples)? How often did individuals and local businesses do this? Or was it pretty scandalous if anyone actually did it in the first place (making it largely discouraged by the masses)?

You mention that the poor felt like they were having their voices heard by Chavez. What was the wealth disparity like in Venezuela leading up to Chavez's rise (if you know anything on it)?

Hello,

If you want to get a gauge of what life is there at the moment from the testimonies I get, life is clearly not "normal" right now. There are shortages and it's harder to find some basic necessities which is why I wouldn't be surprised that some parts of the population actually suffer from hunger. But we are not (yet ?) at a stage that looks like some African or Asian countries.

Honestly my feeling is that imbalances were massively exploited. When I was there you would not find a single phone sold at the discounted imports exchange rate while the government gave licenses for businesses to import foreign goods at an extremely advantageous exchange rate. So it meant people were imported at reduced rates and pocketing the difference on a lot of goods. This extremely advantageous exchange rate is by the way probably one of the root cause because it equates to an imports subvention while if they had managed their dollars in a better way, they might be in a better shape today. There has long been talks of changing the exchange rate and making the discounted official rate less advantageous and closer to the black market rate but the government had delayed action on this because they feared to antagonize the population. I remember that they changed it recently but it was too late.

It was not only the companies that were doing this. To be honest one day I was invited at a bar by army guys who were lavishly spending on luxury stuff that they certainly could not afford with their salaries (they were colonels etc but the bill was so high that I was shocked even as a foreigner).

It was not really scandalous although each side was criticizing the other. The government blaming the private sector and the private sector blaming the "boliburguesia" (people like those army guys who benefited from state monies, apparently).

As for your last point yes the wealth disparity was being reduced. For example the FAO noted a reduction in... undernourishment (but their last data is from 2015 so now the trend might have reversed).

Chavez actually came to power largely because the Venezuelan population was angry with its elites and was suffering a lot from poverty and economic chaos as many other Latin American countries did in the 90s.
The problem is that they did not make that improvement sustainable because they did not diversify the economy. I don't remember the exact proportion of imports that were oil related but it's something truly massive.
Some policies could have helped. For example, ditching the dual exchange rate or at least making it less attractive would have helped retain some dollars in the central bank and would have improved the coutry's competitiveness. And that's one of the many things that they should have fixed before the situation got out of hand.

    • 2
May 26, 2017

I hope you have to live in Venezuela or any other Latin American socialist shit-hole,

May 24, 2017
dostoievski:

The country has almost no industry other than oil. While the oil prices were high Chavez used the dollars accumulated to increase social spending. It did yield some results because the poorer part of the population got access to some healthcare and education. The main issue is that no one developed other areas of the economy. So you were in a situation where Venezuelans were importing basically EVERYTHING they were using. Once the oil boom ended the imbalances just got unleashed and Venezuelans woke up with no other sector to support their economy and government spending.

This is a very misleading bit of information here. You make is sound like Venezuela just so happens to be a petro state. The reality is, the Chavistas destroyed Venezuelan industry through nationalizations and through running quality people out of the country with violations of the rule of law. Let's not pretend like Venezuela just, unfortunately, happened to be a not particularly diverse economy.

dostoievski:

Lastly the elites and middle class/upper middle class are partly to blame because, while they criticize the major imbalances of the economy, they used them to make tons of money from any loopholes they could find (and due to some bizarre things such as the dual exchange rates put in place by the government it was very easy to find loopholes).

I mean, you can't really just believe what you just said. This is about the most misleading piece of information you put forth. The "elites" who have access to the below-market exchange rates are highly ranked Chavistas--people well connected to the Chavez (now Maduro) government.

dostoievski:

One quick example: The fact that you had two exchanges rates would mean you could get up to something like $3000 (I don't remember the exact amount) at a discounted government rate in bolivars. Everyone who had the means to do it would basically pay for the dollars at the (insanely) discounted rate and go to neighbouring Panama to buy stuff and resell the goods at the black market dollar rates. Basically you could get 3000$ for almost nothing and sell the goods at the "market driven" rate at a much higher prices.

This was not only individual behaviours- at a higher level local businesses would resort to the same tricks. For example, some airlines (not the government owned one Conviasa obviously) would ask the government dollars for imports at the discount rate, and sell the tickets at the blackmarket rate.

This example completely contradicts your position that there aren't chronic shortages. There is no black market without supply shortages.

dostoievski:

Also there is such a high inflation rate that it's really tempting to store your goods and wait for prices to go up... which in turn makes the inflation worse.

All tied to the Chavistas' policies of destroying private industry, oil prices tanking, and then being forced to print money to pay for government services. The worst inflation rate in the world doesn't just happen.

And oh by the way, when Venezuela runs out of money in about a year you can expect many, many people to die.

May 26, 2017

This guy has one post on WSO. Maybe some Venezuelan propagandist.

    • 1
May 24, 2017
snakeoil:

This guy has one post on WSO. Maybe some Venezuelan propagandist.

That was my initial reaction.

May 26, 2017

It's all them anacondas y'all. Shit be scary.

    • 1
May 28, 2017

It's a typical politician story. A politician comes in, starts feeding into a divide, and chooses a side to further deepen the divide. Spreads hatred in the country by making each side emotionally angry at the other. Leverages this emotional hatred for his own power by being aggressive on the other side. Reaches the top, and then pretends to kill off the side he "was against". Really doesn't and keeps them around so that when problems arise, he can blame the other side, so his people keep staying mad at the other side, and not at him. Once he's at the top he runs a socialist government to keep his power up and blames his people's problems (which he created) on his enemy ("capitalist pigs" is the term he uses I believe. At least we can eat bacon tho).

Political Divide is the way to get into power. Do you really think Democrats are scared about Donald Trump? No, they fucking rejoiced when he was elected because this was the way for new Congress members to launch into the political spotlight. They just have to start hurling out insults at Trump, and they become powerful. Hell, even comedians On the flip side, do you think Republicans actually care that Hilary Clinton used a private e-mail server? No, they don't they just want to get their supporters so enraged, so that they can promise "change", and keep their power. Fuck Politics. Just a group of people who are good at nothing but winning popularity contests.

The good thing is that the United States doesn't allow these dumbasses to actually do anything catastrophic. The Fed is separate and the Judicial System is actually quite spectacular. It's like letting a baby steer the steering wheel, with the engine turned off and the car in the drive way. With politicians being the baby and the country the car. But with Venezuela, it's like they dropped a baby 5 times, and then let him fly a fucking Boeing 747.

May 28, 2017

I hope I can bring some perspective to this discussion as I am from Venezuela and my whole family still lives there. Although much has been said about how Venezuela got to where it is now, the most crucial part of the country's demise has been omitted, separation of powers. You could sit here and discuss socialism vs capitalism all day long and you will never reach a conclusion because each side can articulate valid points. However, a point in which we can all agree is that an effective democracy needs separation of powers. When the executive branch gets complete autonomy over who manages the other branches of government they loose any type of accountability. No system regardless of its political inclinations can function without accountability, that why even corporations have a board of directors. Back to the point, after the executive branch was able to seize the other branches of government they where able to establish mechanisms to first protect their power at any expense (killing people, imprisoning political enemies, etc, etc), second debilitate the private sector, and enrich themselves at the expense of the country . Add to this the most incompetent mismanagement of the public sector in the history of humanity and you have an unsustainable economic model. It lasted so much because it coincided with one of the largest oil booms in history but now that the tide has fallen it has become apparent to their support base that they were swimming naked.

May 24, 2017

You're right that lack of separation of powers is a huge problem in Venezuela, but it's insufficient in itself. The vast majority of countries globally lack sufficient separation of powers and yet do not suffer from Earth's worst inflation and an absolutely destructive depression. At its core, true socialism--something most countries lack the fortitude to enact, even among socialist parties--is what destroyed Venezuela.

EDIT: Let me just add that actually living in Venezuela does not make someone anymore aware of their country's failure than anyone else. The reality is, people like me saw this coming 10+ years out and the Venezuelan people voted for Maduro as recently as 2013. I hate to say it, but the Venezuelan people are collective morons and know nothing about everything...

May 28, 2017

You cannot compare the lack of separation of powers in other countries to what happens in Venezuela. I mean this is a place where you pick your cousin to your cabinet and nobody blinks. Also, I do agree that extreme left policies like the ones applied in Venezuela are not efficient/ destructive; however, what really killed the economy was the lack of accountability, that is beyond debate. I get what you are saying and when it comes to economic/ political inclinations I lean right, but you cannot blame what happened to Venezuela to socialism because it wasn't the ideology what caused the problem.

May 24, 2017
J-dawg:

You cannot compare the lack of separation of powers in other countries to what happens in Venezuela. I mean this is a place where you pick your cousin to your cabinet and nobody blinks. Also, I do agree that extreme left policies like the ones applied in Venezuela are not efficient/ destructive; however, what really killed the economy was the lack of accountability, that is beyond debate. I get what you are saying and when it comes to economic/ political inclinations I lean right, but you cannot blame what happened to Venezuela to socialism because it wasn't the ideology what caused the problem.

Case in point. Venezuelans cannot accept that for 20 years they voted for an evil, wicked, intellectually and morally bankrupt socialist/communist system. The Venezuelan people are stuck in this bitter state of cognitive dissonance where they cannot accept that everything they believed in for 20 years was wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong. It's always, ya know, kind of something else. It's not socialism, it's the people who were in charge. Or it's corruption. Or it's lack of separation of powers. Or it's bad fortune. Or, it's Imperial America.

Yes, I can compare Venezuelan lack of separation of powers to other countries, such as Bolivia, Russia, Libya, and Egypt, to name a tiny few. And surprise, surprise--none of those countries suffer from the world's worst inflation rate.

Venezuela's inflation rate is 741%. 2nd place is South Sudan at a meager 272.6%. SOUTH SUDAN!

https://tradingeconomics.com/country-list/inflatio...

May 23, 2017

Naah, man, this is Latin America. I am sure that if you go around and ask, no Venezuelan voted for despair and shit. I am sure they didn't. However, you gotta understand that in this region, for some reason that I still can't understand, there's a soft spot for what most would call "socialism" (this doesn't sell to most rational persons so it comes in variance of packages). And if you tell them, you will get the "Yeah but this is not socialism. Socialism is perfect". " Yeah but the CIA conspiracy", "Yeah but the elite". It's always the same.
Yes, Chavez and Maduro were/are totally deranged chieftains and any rational person can see this. What they say never made any sense. And yes, people still elected them, in clean elections, for what is worth. Why? Well because they like to hear that all problems are to be blamed on the rich, or middle class, or the evil Americans or whichever imaginary enemy you want to create. Because for some reason they believe in the stereotype of the "strongman", who will lead the country out of poverty and into an imaginary glory.
To be fair, this is not exclusive to the left. In Brazil we had 20 years of a right wing, military dictatorship: We also used the same ridiculous gibberish of closing our markets from evil foreigners, helping the friends of whoever king was in charge in the name of "developing the Motherland" or whatever. The results: It sucked. Thankfully we're not in Venezuela stage but even then.

I might be a pessimist but I think this will never go away. Yes, we will eventually remove the lunatic in charge. Maduro is a basket case and will eventually fall. Then a new leader will emerge and Venezuela will see some 5, maybe 10 years of growth. The Economist will have a cover " the new promise of South America", or something like that. Banks will even restart their rep offices or hire a couple of headcount dedicated to the country. Then, after some years, we will happily vote another demented populist again.

This really makes me sad, as it's a region with a huge potential and yet....I wish I could see a silver lining here.

    • 3
May 24, 2017
J-dawg:

you cannot blame what happened to Venezuela to socialism because it wasn't the ideology what caused the problem.

Your insanity needs to be quoted and preserved on WSO for all time.

May 28, 2017

I would spend more time trying to explain to you what really happened but the last comment only proved what I already thought. You want to make it about ideology and not about facts and failed policies. So well sir go on to the world and continue to spread your misinformed opinion as if it was factual.

May 24, 2017
J-dawg:

I would spend more time trying to explain to you what really happened but the last comment only proved what I already thought. You want to make it about ideology and not about facts and failed policies. So well sir go on to the world and continue to spread your misinformed opinion as if it was factual.

As I did in my first post above (all the way at the beginning), I can actually link socialist policies to specific problems in Venezuela right now, such as hyperinflation, supply shortages, and economic depression. You can't specifically link poor separation of powers--a real problem, agreed--to hyperinflation or supply shortages. Go ahead and try. I challenge right now. If you think you know what you're talking about, I'm challenging you to show it.

May 28, 2017

I agreed with you that socialist policies caused the problem but what really exacerbated the whole thing and made it specifically the worse economy in the world (in comparison with other socialist countries) was the combination of such policies with the lack of separation of powers.

To illustrate my point Brazil/ China/Saudi Arabia have state owned companies. Are they as efficient as Exxon or BP? absolutely not. Are they as bad as PDVSA? absolutely not. Care to know why? Well socialism at its core means government ownership of the means of production (something I completely disagree on). However why is one so much worse that the others? Because PDVSA's has no accountability and there is no government institution to prevent mismanagement of the institution.

Do you think the people who run Petrobras, Saudi Aramco or China National Petroleum are simply more honest than those who run PDVSA? the answer is no. They simply have less room to be corrupt because the other branches of government would intervene if they saw PDVSA like conduct.

What I explained above happened with every other industry in which the government put its god forsaken hand. I hope this clarifies. I am not in favor of socialism nor am I defending it. It is a failed system and it cannot work, but what happened in Venezuela is when you combine it with this lack of separation of power.

May 24, 2017
J-dawg:

I agreed with you that socialist policies caused the problem but what really exacerbated the whole thing and made it specifically the worse economy in the world (in comparison with other socialist countries) was the combination of such policies with the lack of separation of powers.

To illustrate my point Brazil/ China/Saudi Arabia have state owned companies. Are they as efficient as Exxon or BP? absolutely not. Are they as bad as PDVSA? absolutely not. Care to know why? Well socialism at its core means government ownership of the means of production (something I completely disagree on). However why is one so much worse that the others? Because PDVSA's has no accountability and there is no government institution to prevent mismanagement of the institution.

Do you think the people who run Petrobras, Saudi Aramco or China National Petroleum are simply more honest than those who run PDVSA? the answer is no. They simply have less room to be corrupt because the other branches of government would intervene if they saw PDVSA like conduct.

What I explained above happened with every other industry in which the government put its god forsaken hand. I hope this clarifies. I am not in favor of socialism nor am I defending it. It is a failed system and it cannot work, but what happened in Venezuela is when you combine it with this lack of separation of power.

You're doing what every socialist apologist does--you're conflating soft socialism (which every country has--every country has government-run or heavily managed industries) with actual socialism.

Let's be clear, Venezuela didn't just nationalize the oil industry. Venezuela nationalized ALL major industries. When ALL major industries have been nationalized then a nation is entirely reliant upon the competence of its managers. In every instance in world history--the Soviet Union, Cuba, Maoist China, Chavez Venezuela--actual socialism (the nationalization of all major industry) has led to complete economic failure. I was doing this chick last year who was telling me that the U.S. is a socialist country because, for example, the government runs the fire and police departments and Social Security. That's soft socialism, not the nationalization of all major industries.

Stop trying to justify the system by saying it would work if it were run by better people. That's not reality--history proves this. And the problem is, Venezuelans--as you demonstrate--have not learned this lesson. They'll pursue the same policies but hope better men run those policies in the future.

May 28, 2017

Dude read the tittle of the thread it says "How the hell did things get so bad in Venezuela?" I said how it got soooo bad. I wasn't defending socialism, I stated in the comment that it is a failed system and it cannot work. But now how did it get so bad? that is what my first post said. Nobody is defending socialism. I am a victim of it and how shitty it is.

May 24, 2017
J-dawg:

Dude read the tittle of the thread it says "How the hell did things get so bad in Venezuela?" I said how it got soooo bad. I wasn't defending socialism, I stated in the comment that it is a failed system and it cannot work. But now how did it get so bad? that is what my first post said. Nobody is defending socialism. I am a victim of it and how shitty it is.

No, Venezuela didn't get "sooo bad" because of Venezuelan government incompetence. Human incompetence is a global phenomenon. Capitalism is the elixir that mitigates human incompetence because it creates incentive to achieve competence. The Venezuelan government nationalized all major industries and it reaped the consequences that ALL countries in history have faced by nationalizing ALL major industries.

Give me an example of a country that nationalized all major industries and where that didn't lead to catastrophe. No level of so-called competence has ever compensated for true socialism.

May 28, 2017

I have a question for you. if you ask me to take care of your house for a weekend and I steal every single thing in it, was I incompetent or were you?

May 24, 2017
J-dawg:

I have a question for you. if you ask me to take care of your house and I steal every single thing in it was I incompetent or were you?

Well, if I background checked you (looked to history) and saw that you had stolen everything in the past then I would be morally culpable for allowing you to destroy my household.

May 28, 2017

That is exactly what happened in Venezuela only that you were allowing your thief cousin to take care of someone else's house.

Why was this possible? No accountability

May 24, 2017
J-dawg:

That is exactly what happened in Venezuela only that you were allowing your thief cousin to take care of someone else's house.

Why was this possible? No accountability

No accountability? How many times were Chavez and Maduro elected/re-elected? They did exactly what the Venezuelan people asked them to do as late as 2013.

May 28, 2017

The body that organizes the election is called CNE. it has nine directors. Each appointed by Chavez himself. Although the Chavez did win in 2012. The election held after he died was stolen. The CNE refused to recount the votes and all of the international visitors that were present for the election advised that the country should indeed recount because of mismanagement inside of the agency.

Also if you really look until 2012 Venezuela was only a poorly managed economy like Brazil, Argentina etc. People were actually able to notice the shit show that the government was making after oil prices declined.

May 24, 2017

I have to get out of here, but I have a homework assignment for you for when I get back. Find me a country that nationalized all of its major industries and then went on to thrive economically (heck, that went on to not collapse or see millions of people starve). Because if there are countries that have thrived economically with total government nationalizations then maybe I'll open my mind to your "human error" theory behind socialism's failure in Venezuela.

May 29, 2017
    • 2
Jun 23, 2017

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

Jun 23, 2017
Jun 23, 2017