Venezuela’s man-made disaster rolls along

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | February 16th, 2018

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Venezuela's man-made disaster rolls along

Anthony Faiola reports that Venezuela’s econ­omy is so bad, par­ents are leav­ing their chil­dren at orphan­ages in the hope that the chil­dren won’t starve.

The lat­est WSJ head­line: Venezuela’s Mis­ery Fuels Migra­tion on Epic Scale

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Venezue­lans are flee­ing their country’s mis­ery and pour­ing across bor­ders into nearby coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly Colom­bia, cre­at­ing a sharp­en­ing chal­lenge for the region.

Juan Forero reports, “Res­i­dents flee crum­bling econ­omy in num­bers that echo Syr­i­ans to Europe, Rohingya to Bangladesh,” since

By the end of this year, Venezuela’s econ­omy will be half the size it was in 2013, accord­ing to the Inter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund. Infla­tion is expected to hit 13,000% this year.

Add to the list of woes a trend of extra­ju­di­cial killings.

All of this is exactly what one would expect from what dead dic­ta­tor Hugo Chávez named 21st Cen­tury Socialism.

Chávez died five years ago, but his legacy car­ries on. He armed government-​sponsored maraud­ing motor­cy­cle gangs with Cuban and FARC sup­port. He closed down and per­se­cuted inde­pen­dent media. He sent his oppo­nents to jail. He fired key employ­ees of PDVSA, the government-​owned oil monop­oly, and replaced them with his polit­i­cal cronies, while neglect­ing inno­va­tion and main­te­nance. He brought aeroter­ror flights car­ry­ing drugs and money.

Lib­er­als may want you to believe that Chávez saved Venezuela, and that his heirs are the ones who caused this dis­as­ter, but all of it is due to the fail­ures of 21st Cen­tury Social­ism, just as the fail­ures of 20th Cen­tury Social­ism ruined lives in the coun­tries it was tried.

But don’t expect change any­time soon. Almost a year ago I wrote,

Maduro will con­tinue to blun­der in office for the time being.

Venezuela’s mil­i­tary are allegedly involved in the drug tradewhile pos­si­bly being out­num­bered by the government-​armed colec­tivos. As I posted yesterday,

the pop­u­lar mili­tia has added another 50,000 mem­bers (link in Span­ish) – to an esti­mated total of 500,000. The reg­u­lar armed forces total 160,000 with army reserves of 25,000, accord­ing to Clarín.

Yet, it is impos­si­ble to know the actual num­ber of colec­tivos. The mil­i­tary may not see it in its best inter­est to fight them. [added:] Addi­tion­ally, the mil­i­tary con­trol the food sup­ply, and will do so with any human­i­tar­ian aid.

The oppo­si­tion is dis­armed, and quite frag­mented, aside from being mostly socialist.

For­eign actors such as Iran, Rus­sia and the FARC are in cahoots with the gov­ern­ment, espe­cially Cuba, which con­trols the intel­li­gence agen­cies. Maduro lived in Cuba in his younger days. Venezuela’s own vice-​president, El Ais­sami, is in the U.S. Trea­sury Department’s king­pins list, which has frozen nearly US $3 bil­lion of his assets, and he is report­edly linked to the sale of Venezue­lan pass­ports to Hezbol­lah.

The State has spent twelve-​plus years con­sol­i­dat­ing power around itself. The amount it spends on its oil-​sponsored inter­na­tional pro­pa­ganda machine is immense. Every­thing is the fault of the U.S. “empire”.

That pretty much describes Venezuela today.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

Anthony Faiola reports that Venezuela’s economy is so bad, parents are leaving their children at orphanages in the hope that the children won’t starve.

The latest WSJ headline: Venezuela’s Misery Fuels Migration on Epic Scale

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing their country’s misery and pouring across borders into nearby countries, particularly Colombia, creating a sharpening challenge for the region.

Juan Forero reports, “Residents flee crumbling economy in numbers that echo Syrians to Europe, Rohingya to Bangladesh,” since

By the end of this year, Venezuela’s economy will be half the size it was in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund. Inflation is expected to hit 13,000% this year.

Add to the list of woes a trend of extrajudicial killings.

All of this is exactly what one would expect from what dead dictator Hugo Chávez named 21st Century Socialism.

Chávez died five years ago, but his legacy carries on. He armed government-sponsored marauding motorcycle gangs with Cuban and FARC support. He closed down and persecuted independent media. He sent his opponents to jail. He fired key employees of PDVSA, the government-owned oil monopoly, and replaced them with his political cronies, while neglecting innovation and maintenance. He brought aeroterror flights carrying drugs and money.

Liberals may want you to believe that Chávez saved Venezuela, and that his heirs are the ones who caused this disaster, but all of it is due to the failures of 21st Century Socialism, just as the failures of 20th Century Socialism ruined lives in the countries it was tried.

But don’t expect change anytime soon. Almost a year ago I wrote,

Maduro will continue to blunder in office for the time being.

Venezuela’s military are allegedly involved in the drug tradewhile possibly being outnumbered by the government-armed colectivos. As I posted yesterday,

the popular militia has added another 50,000 members (link in Spanish) – to an estimated total of 500,000. The regular armed forces total 160,000 with army reserves of 25,000, according to Clarín.

Yet, it is impossible to know the actual number of colectivos. The military may not see it in its best interest to fight them. [added:] Additionally, the military control the food supply, and will do so with any humanitarian aid.

The opposition is disarmed, and quite fragmented, aside from being mostly socialist.

Foreign actors such as Iran, Russia and the FARC are in cahoots with the government, especially Cuba, which controls the intelligence agencies. Maduro lived in Cuba in his younger days. Venezuela’s own vice-president, El Aissami, is in the U.S. Treasury Department’s kingpins list,  which  has frozen nearly US $3 billion of his assets, and he is reportedly linked to the sale of Venezuelan passports to Hezbollah.

The State has spent twelve-plus years consolidating power around itself. The amount it spends on its oil-sponsored international propaganda machine is immenseEverything is the fault of the U.S. “empire”.

That pretty much describes Venezuela today.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

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