So what’s going on in Venezuela?

In the past 2 weeks Venezuela has been hitting the news with worrying updates about how the current Maduro regime has allowed its population to descend slowly and painfully into a situation of chaos, starvation and violence. The self-declared Bolivarian government is a continuation of Chavez’s policies and has long term plans to transform the country in a socialist member of the Foro de Sao Paulo.

If you are unfamiliar with the term “Foro de Sao Paulo”, a quick Google search will show up pretty quickly what has been going on in South America in the last two decades. Long story short, this pact was signed in 1990 in Sao Paulo – Brazil , by the leftist parties and organizations in Latin America and The Caribbean, 48 in total, led by the Worker’s Party from Brazil, as an answer to the fall of the Berlim Wall and alternative to neoliberalist measures to come, forming a socialist block in Latin America. According to Wikipedia their political positions vary across a wide spectrum, which includes: social-democratic parties, left-wing grass-roots labor and social movements inspired by the Catholic Church, ethnic and environmentalist groups, anti-imperialist and nationalist organizations, communist parties, and armed guerrilla forces.

With this background, it is easy to understand why and how South America had so many left wing governments in the last 20 years and why they supported each other so fiercely. Unfortunately Venezuela’s reality did not cope with the very real consequences of a socialist approach to the economy, and even with it’s eye-opening largest oil reserves, the country spiraled down into poverty and shortages of just about anything, including electricity, having daily powercuts and reduced workweeks. The average Venezuelan spends over 8 hours a day on queues for basic supplies and the currency’s inflation is so high that the government has run out of printing paper. Coca-Cola has recently ceased production, as sugar is not available, becoming the latest in a string of companies and factories to shut down activities as a result of the narrowing rope in Venezuela’s economy.

The daily violence has been reported by international media, as the population scavenges loots and even hunts street animals to feed from, wars are fought between drug lords and lives are taken as if humanity no longer has a hold in society’s collective interest, the only purpose now is survival. Hospitals deal with daily tragedies, where patients have no access to medication, or sanitary conditions, corpses lie in the corridors and newborns perish by the dozens without a fair chance to fight for life.

The government has issued a state of emergency decree, putting the 520-thousand-strong army in a difficult position against the civil population. The government may now also confiscate factories and businesses affected by the appalling crisis. Humanitarian aid and foreign help have been blocked, while plump president Maduro watches the Venezuelan population be stripped of rights, maintenance, health and worst, humanity.


  1. Wild government spending, lack of respect for private property, and endless regulations – especially price controls.

    That is Venezuela – indeed that is most of Latin America.

    Very good post.



  2. Thanks for the article Tamiris.

    What is the reason for blocking humanitarian aid or any foreign help in this crisis?



  3. fantastic update Tamiris.

    Chavez was a propoganda maestro with genuine charisma and charm. Legislatively and constitutionally he changed the country into a virtual dictatorship supported by oil wealth and populism.

    His war on free press and against wealth creators of the country sealed the fate of Venezuela a decade ago and the USA was smart enough to stay relatively clear and let him and a less competent, less charismatic Murado bury the people. I say relatively due to the legacy of the Munroe Doctrine, and anti communist involvement in Chile, Columbia, central america and the list goes on… extensively. Regardless, after the 2000 coup attempt Venezuela has been in charge of its own destiny. No wealth creators, no free press to hold anyone to account, command economy based on a single resource: another disasterous socialist experiment, with human lives forfeited… again.



  4. Yet as Helen MacInnes pointed out in one of her popular espionage novels (written in the ’60s, IIRC, and commenting on the Aid of the Day, to the Communist dictatorships), help or humanitarian aid or donations of food and medicine “only helps their Communist masters to sit more firmly on their backs.”

    (It gives the dictators another enforcement tool to use against the populace, and it also enables them to pretend their economy is just fine and they’re not “enslaving” their people. In other words, it helps their reputation as Good Masters with those inclined to indulge such fantasies in the first place. –All this despite the fact that the Masters tend to hold on to most of the goodies, at least nowadays.)

    This same result is also reported by African Africans from countries which are the recipients of various forms of “aid,” most of which somehow seems to land in the coffers of the rulers rather than being distributed among the general population.

    The same thing has happened all along with the ongoing shipments of food and medicine to Cuba — the dreadful iniquitous U.S. “embargo” notwithstanding.

    Then there was something about an oil-for-food deal between Iraq and the U.N., which enabled Saddam to fatten his wallet and build, what, 11 palaces? with the payments for oil instead of using the money to feed the Iraqis per the agreement. Of course, she added somewhat bitterly, Everybody Knows that the “U.S. embargo on Iraq” killed thousands or maybe quintillions of Iraqi children.

    (This observation is not intended to argue in any way with Tamiris’s explanation above, which seems perfectly reasonable. Venezuela may have to go a few steps further down the path before the other effect kicks in.)

    And thank you, Tamiris, for your informative posting.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s