Five things you should know about Venezuela

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Five things you should know about Venezuela

  1. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, but most of it is extra-​heavy crude oil.
  2. Under the rule of Hugo Chávez, oil accounted for 95% of the country’s total exports. As Chávez fired 20,000 PDVSA employ­ees and replaced the government-​owned oil company’s staff with chav­is­tas while neglect­ing infra­struc­ture , oil pro­duc­tion has declined. Oil pro­duc­tion has declined 100,000200,000 bar­rels per day this year

  3. Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999. After declar­ing him­self a Marx­ist in 2010, expro­pri­at­ing pri­vate prop­erty, insti­tut­ing cur­rency con­trols, and demand­ing con­trol of PDVSA’s joint ven­tures with for­eign oil com­pa­nies, the econ­omy declined pre­cip­i­tously. The decline has con­tin­ued and accel­er­ated under Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s successor.

Infla­tion is esti­mated at 720% this year,

4. Cuban intel­li­gence and mil­i­tary advi­sors train the Venezue­lan secu­rity ser­vices and mon­i­tor dis­sent and alleged con­spir­a­cies against Maduro’s admin­is­tra­tion. Human rights vio­la­tions include the impris­on­ment of dis­si­dents, such as Leopoldo López, who was sen­tenced to 14 years in jail on charges of pub­lic insti­ga­tion, van­dal­ism, arson and crim­i­nal conspiracy.

Dur­ing López’s trial, which was closed to the media and the public,

The court refused to admit all but one of 65 wit­nesses for the defense, while allow­ing the tes­ti­mony of 108 wit­nesses for the government.

  1. As the coun­try con­tin­ues to fall apart and the régime cracks down on pro­tes­tors, OAS chief Luis Alma­gro has called for a meet­ing to dis­cuss Venezuela’s human rights vio­la­tions of the Demo­c­ra­tic Charter.

How­ever, get­ting at least eigh­teen votes to sanc­tion Venezuela may prove dif­fi­cult. Sev­eral Caribbean coun­tries that received Venezue­lan oil are not will­ing to join in sanc­tion­ing, and Argentina’s cur­rent for­eign min­is­ter and for­mer UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff, Susana Mal­corra, has allegedly pledged to sup­port to Venezuela at the OAS in exchange for Venezuela’s vote at the UN for her nom­i­na­tion as UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news, and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

  1. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, but most of it is extra-heavy crude oil.
  2. Under the rule of Hugo Chávez, oil accounted for 95% of the country’s total exports. As Chávez fired 20,000 PDVSA employees and replaced the government-owned oil company’s staff with chavistas while neglecting infrastructure , oil production has declined. Oil production has declined 100,000-200,000 barrels per day this year

  3. Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999. After declaring himself a Marxist in 2010, expropriating private property,  instituting currency controls, and demanding control of PDVSA’s joint ventures with foreign oil companies, the economy declined precipitously. The decline has continued and accelerated under Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s successor.

Inflation is estimated at 720% this year,

4. Cuban intelligence and military advisors train the Venezuelan security services and monitor dissent and alleged conspiracies against Maduro’s administration. Human rights violations include the imprisonment of dissidents, such as Leopoldo López, who was sentenced to 14 years in jail on charges of public instigation, vandalism, arson and criminal conspiracy.

During López’s trial, which was closed to the media and the public,

The court refused to admit all but one of 65 witnesses for the defense, while allowing the testimony of 108 witnesses for the government.

  1. As the country continues to fall apart and the regime cracks down on protestors, OAS chief Luis Almagro has called for a meeting to discuss Venezuela’s human rights violations of the Democratic Charter.

However, getting at least eighteen votes to sanction Venezuela may prove difficult. Several Caribbean countries that received Venezuelan oil are not willing to join in sanctioning, and Argentina’s current foreign minister and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff, Susana Malcorra, has allegedly pledged to support to Venezuela at the OAS in exchange for Venezuela’s vote at the UN for her nomination as UN Secretary General.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.