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.