The Venezuela Thread


Id doubt if Maduro is going hungry. Him and his goons are pillaging the entire nation. Their reign can’t go on much longer


Venezuelan rich eating well, Basque executive shows - ->
May 31st 2016

“Patience running out” amid Venezuelan recall delays - -> … 01117.html

Venezuela’s Oil Production Plunges To 13-Year Low - -> … r-Low.html


Well, the BBC package did show him looking pretty well fed in his fancy military threads, presiding over an Independence Day parade while a military aircraft did noisy maneuvers overhead. Not so well fed were the taxi drivers who had travelled all the way across the country, apparently in response to some promise from Maduro that he would buy them all new taxis. Some of them weren’t very complimentary when interviewed after Maduro’s speech in which he castigated interfering foreign powers. “We travelled a long way and he never even mentioned us”. Gives an idea of the extent to which presidential popularity has been purchased for the last decade and a half.


Latin American economies are reasonably interesting laboratories for economic policies. They are (loosely) culturally similar and do not have much trade integration with each other. If Germany goes into a deep recession so will France, not so with Uruguay and Paraguay.

It is instructive to compare Venezuela and Chile. Fifty years ago Venezuela was twice as rich as Chile.

Chile pursued classic Washington consensus stuff: target inflation, budget balances, support private property rights, trade openness, etc.

Venezuela (particularly since Chavez) has done what a lot of European intellectuals have been in favour of: increasing state control of the economy, autarky, heavy redistribution, etc.

Results have been catastrophic as we all know. Now Chile is 50% richer per capita than Venezuela.


The economy only outperformed the rest of South America after the despot Pinochet was booted out. Centre left and centre right have made real inroads into cutting poverty since then. It has the lowest gini index of any south American economy.


Not really true.

For the record Pinochet’s approach to human rights was vile. But economic policies under his reign were successful, particularly in the 1980s, although the real growth took place after he left power in 1990.

Venezuela and Chile compared:

GDP per capita:


Venezuela also has a homicide rate SEVENTEEN times greater than Chile.

I know where I would rather live.


Government now insisting on forced labour in the fields: … ector.html


“Maduro dismissal threat grows as enough Venezuelans sign petitions – opposition collects enough voter signatures to take recall campaign into next phase, authorities announce, as economic crisis dogs socialist president.” … -petitions


I find watching the disintegration of Venezuela a fascinating spectacle.
No doubt Chavez et al meant well, but their deliberate ignoring of basic economics was only ever going to have one ending.

The question now is, will Maduro leave peacefully or follow the well-worn South American dictator route ?


I really don’t think they meant well.

The deliberate favouring of one ethnic/social group over others (no matter how much historically oppressed) never ends well.


And I think the behavior they chose to ignore was way, way, more fundamental than economics. Humans are acquisitive & selfish in nature, & to varying degrees. Acting like your society is comprised of identical compliant androids is just asking for trouble.


People, no doubt, get the government they deserve.


Elsewhere is South America


Thank fuck there’s no oil here…


Apples are the new oil.


Now green is the new black? Where will it all end…


Venezuela’s currency now worth so little shopkeepers weigh vast piles of notes instead of counting them - -> … 43596.html

Venezuelan government confiscates donated medicine for the people - -> … he-people/

Castro, Chavez, and ‘bad luck’ - ->


Hugo assumed that the price of oil would remain high forever and and day, that was his main problem, along with a very basic misunderstanding of peoples motivation and simple economics

But I do think his heart was in the right place, its just his ideas were all wrong


Misunderstanding is putting it mildly. An obstinate stupidity that believes every problem can be solved by decree.


Venezuela: 75% of population lost 19 pounds amid crisis - -> … 487523377/