Simply demand and supply. Even before the current fall the Saudis were selling cut price to the Chinese for several years, now the Saudis have to keep selling and liquidating their sovereign wealth funds and are likely to go backrupt by the end of the decade.
On this thread, and others like it on other forums, people seem to focus on the economy, which is of course very important. It’s a given that those parts of the economy controlled by the Venezuelan 1% are not functioning as well as they used to, and profits may be down in those sectors.
However, when you focus solely on the economy, other things get left behind.
So what I’d like to know is if figures are available regarding education, health and social welfare - how have these fared over the course of the last twenty years - i.e. under Chavez and Maduro.
The freer your markets are, and the more respect and protection for private property you have, the greater is your prosperity. When you have socialism and statism and coercive laws you have less prosperity.
No matter where you are starting from on that spectrum in any given country, the lives of the vast majority improve when the needle moves towards freedom of choice and away from cronyism, protectionism and government management of the economy. Venezuela is just an example of the end-game towards which many countries are sleepwalking.
But please, by all means, continue your search for something that is better in a socialist workers paradise than in a free market country.
As long as the majority blame outsiders for their perennial penury I can’t see much changing. Eventually power will fall to the military who will undoubtably be denounced by both left and right as some foreigners stooge. The only hope for a peaceful future there seems to be decoupling its economy from the boom bust cycle of oil.
I was never actually recommending it to pinsters, I’m sure there are other cheap but also far safer holiday destinations, I just thought the article had some interesting points on the economic madness of the place
One of the best trips I ever went on was out to Angel Falls in 2009.
Didn’t feel safe in Caracas but didn’t spend long there.
Having to buy dollars on the black market was sketchy enough but worked out fine.
Sounds silly but getting to the falls simply felt like an adventure because it took a few days to get there.
It required a flight on a six seater Cesna to Cainama camp and then a narrow river boat up into the jungle.
Then camping in the jungle and hiking up to the falls.
A stunningly beautiful and unspoilt part of the world.
I went on that trip too, amazing one of the many highlights of SA. I’d actually gone to Venezuela as I’d always wanted to see a Tepuy since reading Conan Doyles the Lost World unfortunately I got Giardia in Brazil and was too weak to do the 5 day hike to Mount Roraima by the time I got to Santa Elena. Beautiful Country pity to see it fall on hard times.
I’m not going to get into a pedants debate about what is or is not socialism but I have always thought Norway was being socialist in putting aside income from its oil sales as a cushion to protect society from whenever oil sales revenue dipped.
Venezuela’s “socialists” seem to be more like power capitalizers who put their societies needs second to their own, even though that runs the risk of revolt.
BBC News has been showing a package on Venezuela last couple of days. There are round the clock queues for scarce food from government shops. Some people have given up their jobs to become full time food queuers – they are able to sell the food for a hundred times the government price on the black market, such is the scarcity. A stark new reality is hidden away in rural communities: rampant poverty and near starvation. Lots of people surviving on one meal a day, which might be only rice. Health officials are seeing diseases of malnutrition previously unknown in Venezuela. Maduro blames other countries, of course.