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Venezuela nearing economic collapse

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  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Leopoldo López, Wall Street Journal, December 25, 2014: Letter From a Venezuelan Jail

    Leopoldo López is the leader of the Popular Will opposition party in Venezuela. His words: "I am writing from a military prison, where I have been held since February as a result of speaking out against the government’s actions. I am one of scores of political prisoners in my country who are locked away because of their words and ideas."

    "My country, Venezuela, is on the verge of social and economic collapse. This slow-motion disaster, nearly 15 years in the making, was not initiated by falling oil prices or by mounting debts. It was set in motion by the authoritarian government’s hostility toward human rights and the rule of law and the institutions that protect them."

    His letter was published by the Wall Street Journal, and paints a morbid picture of persecution and imprisonment for anyone that speaks out against the authoritarian policies of President Nicolás Maduro. You can read his entire letter in the Wall Street Journal above.

    Now President Maduro has hit the road looking for loans from Russia and China to save his ailing economy, which even before the collapse of oil prices was precariously looking bad. Venezuela already sends China 600,000 barrels per day in part for repayment of $50 billion in loans. Will China further bail out Venezuela? It's hard to see Russia making any loans now with their own economic predicament.

    L.A. Times, January 5, 2014: Venezuela's president hits road to save ailing economy

    Having lived in Venezuela (1999 - 2002) I certainly feel for the Venezuelan people. The country has enormous economic potential in agriculture and tourism, not to mention other resources. However, Chavez and now Maduro, has relied entirely on oil to sustain the country's economy, and has followed Cuba in terms of economic and social policies. Maduro remains defiant and jails anyone that questions the direction the country is following.

    Again I have to raise the question. While many in the USA gloat while watching Venezuela's demise, should we be concerned? The potential collapse of Venezuela's economy is not a good thing for the USA.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: Leopoldo López, Wall Street Journal, December 25, 2014: Letter From a Venezuelan Jail

    Leopoldo López is the leader of the Popular Will opposition party in Venezuela. His words: "I am writing from a military prison, where I have been held since February as a result of speaking out against the government’s actions. I am one of scores of political prisoners in my country who are locked away because of their words and ideas."

    "My country, Venezuela, is on the verge of social and economic collapse. This slow-motion disaster, nearly 15 years in the making, was not initiated by falling oil prices or by mounting debts. It was set in motion by the authoritarian government’s hostility toward human rights and the rule of law and the institutions that protect them."

    His letter was published by the Wall Street Journal, and paints a morbid picture of persecution and imprisonment for anyone that speaks out against the authoritarian policies of President Nicolás Maduro. You can read his entire letter in the Wall Street Journal above.

    Now President Maduro has hit the road looking for loans from Russia and China to save his ailing economy, which even before the collapse of oil prices was precariously looking bad. Venezuela already sends China 600,000 barrels per day in part for repayment of $50 billion in loans. Will China further bail out Venezuela? It's hard to see Russia making any loans now with their own economic predicament.

    L.A. Times, January 5, 2014: Venezuela's president hits road to save ailing economy

    Having lived in Venezuela (1999 - 2002) I certainly feel for the Venezuelan people. The country has enormous economic potential in agriculture and tourism, not to mention other resources. However, Chavez and now Maduro, has relied entirely on oil to sustain the country's economy, and has followed Cuba in terms of economic and social policies. Maduro remains defiant and jails anyone that questions the direction the country is following.

    Again I have to raise the question. While many in the USA gloat while watching Venezuela's demise, should we be concerned? The potential collapse of Venezuela's economy is not a good thing for the USA.
    Yes, Schmidt, may be this is a good example of a totalrian government; sorry to say we are moving in the same direction as far as the Republicans are concerned. Slowly but surely some people twist and turn our Constitution so it fits the "few" who want ultimate power. Sorry but the 1% has that already.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    New York Times, March 30, 2017: Venezuela Muzzles Legislature, Moving Closer to One-Man Rule

    "IQUITOS, Peru — Venezuela took its strongest step yet toward one-man rule under the leftist President Nicolás Maduro as his loyalists on the Supreme Court seized power from the National Assembly in a ruling late Wednesday night.

    The ruling effectively dissolved the elected legislature, which is led by Mr. Maduro’s opponents, and allows the court to write laws itself, experts said."

    It is so sad for me to see how Venezuela is sinking into a hellhole of a place to live despite having massive oil and gas reserves. Notice the NYT report came out of Peru. Nothing works in Maduro's Venezuela any more. You can't even buy toilet paper.

    Venezuela’s Inflation to Reach 1,600% in 2017, Spurring Demand for Bitcoin

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I'm sorry to say, what about this country? Guess what? Trump also wants an dictatorship, with likely the same results as Venezuela. We've got already "pipelines" and expect to "sell" the oil from it, so we can then do all kind of crazy things as well with the profit. Anyway "social" things will be a thing of the past; the "military" and the "rich" will run this country; not the "voters. As an matter of fact, I'm afraid that Trump's diversion tactics may work and keeps him in place for an long time to come.

    Slowly but surely he's undoing everything what did help this country; step by step, like Planned Parenthood, healthcare, immigrants, bombing civilians, undoing Global Warming agreements, Muslim ban, etc. you name it. Piece by piece the "building' is torn down. What will be in its place will likely be an "boarded up" rat invested ruin.

  • Independent
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    While I hate to see this I also must disagree with the gentleman who is writing from prison. It most certainly is the result of the so-called resource curse. When a state "blessed" with resources does not attempt to build an economy with a broad base this inevitably seems to end up happening. Venezuela never attempted to build any thing in the way of an economy beyond whatever they could enjoy with high oil prices. Look at Russia. The same thing is happening only Putin is channeling the frustration into expansive nationalism to placate the people. Hell sTRUMPet did the same to get elected here even though our economy is much broader. Now that the Venezuelan people have enjoyed the benefits of services heaped on them by Chavez they are understandably upset when the collapse occurs. Two choices are given to such a government: tax and collect taxes to attempt to build an economy or resort to dictatorship. The government has chosen the latter.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Well no, I don't see the USA heading down the same path. Our economy is much more diverse and our institutions and society more established. However, lonely bird makes a good point about the oil economy. When I lived there I saw enormous potential in tourism and agriculture. Venezuela was an agricultural state before the oil revolution with over 50 percent of their GDP resulting from agriculture, fish, and forestry. Now it is only about 3 percent.

    They still are managing to export oil and petroleum products, but their capacity to do so is declining quickly.

    The Canaima National Park, which includes Angel Falls, is one of the most beautiful in the world. If tourists felt safe it could be an enormous boon to their economy. Their beaches likewise rival any of those in the Caribbean islands except that they have become polluted with sewage and garbage.

    Unfortunately the mindset of Maduaros (and Chavez before him) is incapable of thinking in those terms for his country. The middle class and the rich have become his enemy. All the affluent Venezuelans and their money have fled the country. Many live in south Florida along with their cousins, the Cuban immigrants.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    My interest in Venezuela stems from not only living there, but also because of the politics. Hugo Chávez came to power in 1998 with a promise to abolish the two-party system and open up opportunities to independent and 3rd parties; to end corruption; and to eradicate poverty. His flamboyant style and his promises appealed to poor and working class...a Bolivarian people's revolution of sorts.

    His "enemies" were the rich "oligarchs" and the elitists. While I was there university professors were not being paid. PDVSA was a world class energy company with some highly accomplished scientists and professionals. However, when they protested his policies in the streets, he fired them. He did a purge of the company firing 19,000 employees without compensation, some of the best brains in the country. Many of them found jobs right away outside of the country. It was the start of a massive brain drain that set the country on decline.

    With Chávez's death Maduro took over and continued the people's revolution. As the economy declined, the government resorted to nationalizing banks and key businesses. He took control of the media. Opposition party members would find themselves jailed or murdered.

    Today the country has basically become a one party, one ruler government run by Maduro and his incompetent loyalists. Corruption is running rampant, and the poor and middle class are worse off than they have ever been. It is close to being a failed state.

    Such is the demise of the Bolivarian revolution.

  • Independent
    Washington
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Well no, I don't see the USA heading down the same path. Our economy is much more diverse and our institutions and society more established. However, lonely bird makes a good point about the oil economy. When I lived there I saw enormous potential in tourism and agriculture.

    Yeah, I roll my eyes at imminent doomsday predictions, such as the perception that because Trump was elected, he suddenly has new super powers and blind public support to roll back 200+ years progress at a rate of 50 days per hour, thus the time to save our country runs out in a few months, and in just 60 days all minorities will be declared slaves. All of it leading to Trump disbanding the government and appointing himself the Supreme Commander for life....

    Just like the far right believes wacko conspiracies that Obama is planning a government coup from his secret underground Black Militant Fortress, the far left believes equally wacko conspiracies about Trump's imminent take over the American government with the help of the Russians and full ignorant support of the American people who have been brainwashed by their microwave ovens. :)

  • Independent
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    wwjd Wrote:
    Schmidt Wrote:

    Well no, I don't see the USA heading down the same path. Our economy is much more diverse and our institutions and society more established. However, lonely bird makes a good point about the oil economy. When I lived there I saw enormous potential in tourism and agriculture.

    Yeah, I roll my eyes at imminent doomsday predictions, such as the perception that because Trump was elected, he suddenly has new super powers and blind public support to roll back 200+ years progress at a rate of 50 days per hour, thus the time to save our country runs out in a few months, and in just 60 days all minorities will be declared slaves. All of it leading to Trump disbanding the government and appointing himself the Supreme Commander for life....

    Just like the far right believes wacko conspiracies that Obama is planning a government coup from his secret underground Black Militant Fortress, the far left believes equally wacko conspiracies about Trump's imminent take over the American government with the help of the Russians and full ignorant support of the American people who have been brainwashed by their microwave ovens. :)

    Der ubergroppenfuhrer lacks the ability to do so. However free market libertarian loons do not.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    General Motors plant seized by Venezuelan authorities, GM is considering suing Venezuela.

    nbcnews.com/news/world/general-motors-s...

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Thanks Dockadams -- It is certainly sad to see Venezuela sink further in the abyss. The only solution that Maduro knows (and Chavez before him) is to keep nationalizing private industries with the expectation that the workers will run everything.

    So much for Chavez's Bolivarian revolution...a true "people's revolution"...no compromises.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Pensacola, FL
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    In the history of the world two or three nice guys and then all the rest. Who decided that the source of power should be self imposed and final? Sovereignty needs to be made subordinate but nobody would be willing to give up an absolution like sovereignty. Or there could be "The Ugly American, South America".
  • Independent
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Thanks Dockadams -- It is certainly sad to see Venezuela sink further in the abyss. The only solution that Maduro knows (and Chavez before him) is to keep nationalizing private industries with the expectation that the workers will run everything.

    So much for Chavez's Bolivarian revolution...a true "people's revolution"...no compromises.

    except it wasn't a Bolivarian revolution. it was a cult of personality. Chavez failed because he had to fail. long term such nonsense as he engaged in cannot last. it is not that social programs should not be engaged in. rather it is that social programs in conjunction with a vibrant economy broadly based and a state with the ability to tax and collect those taxes are required for success. Chavez didn't bother because he only cared about himself. that his programs helped people in the short term he viewed as helping him stay in power. free stuff is great until there is no more free stuff. this is why mixed economies with strong institutions are requisite for success. anything else will sink under its own weight.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    Thanks Dockadams -- It is certainly sad to see Venezuela sink further in the abyss. The only solution that Maduro knows (and Chavez before him) is to keep nationalizing private industries with the expectation that the workers will run everything.

    So much for Chavez's Bolivarian revolution...a true "people's revolution"...no compromises.

    It's such a shame to see a country rich in resources slip into an abyss. It makes me wonder how much help the place had to get them where they're at now, their previous leaderships haven't helped either.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The Atlantic, May 18, 2017: Venezuela's Crisis Deepens, Protests Escalate

    Venezuela was mentioned in Trump's press conference with the president of Columbia today. The situation is indeed dire. Words cannot describe the situation adequately, so the above link provides a vivid look at the protests through photos.