Venezuela is (was) known primarily because of their vast reserves of crude oil. This is, until in 1998 a crackpot ex-military ex-putsch man (i.e. "golpista" or a person prone to do coup d'etats) managed to get himself elected. From that point on everything in Venezuela began to go downhill. Oil was nationalized and a veritable pseudo-communist-light revolution began. Key industries were taken over by the government. Communal Councils (i.e. committees) were created to implement "social programs" and to give to the poor basic necessities such as food, shelter, healthcare and education. This lasted up to about 2007, point at which Venezuela run out of money. Then, Chavez began to declare that all maladies are to be blamed to US, neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism, and implemented the "traditional" remedies that all tin-pot dictators (from left and right) reach to when everything else fails: borrow, print and impose price controls.
The result was inevitable. Runaway inflation, total lack of goods and services and the complete destruction of the industrial base. Basically, Chavez sent Venezuela backwards in time. Of course, this situation was accompanied by a significant increase in poverty, desperation, murder, crime, corruption (police and governments) and all around violence. But by then Chavez proclaimed to the world that he was Marxist-Leninist… as if there would have been any doubt left.
Most people are stupid, we know this. When approached with this type of argument, they typically point at Venezuelan GDP (which you can see below) claiming: see, see, Venezuelan people are getting rich! Marxism-Communism works!
Sure. Now let's take a look at reality. Let's take a look at "official" poverty figure as a percentage of population. Take a look:
Hummmm… this plot presents a slightly different picture. Between 2000 and 2007 (i.e. during the spending spree) poverty did indeed decrease but then, between 2008 and 2011 it stagnated. This… coincidence…coincidence… happened when the government run out of money. Interestingly enough, between 2011 and 2012 poverty miraculously decreased by 6% within a single year, the same drop that previously took between 2000 and 2004 to accomplish… even though by then the Venezuelan state was broke and its industrial base decimated… Humm…. If you would be a judge and had to issue a verdict, which direction do you think the preponderance of evidence would point towards? An economic miracle within a destroyed country or busy bureaucrats "massaging" the statistics and covering their respective asses? Yes, it is a rhetorical question.
The reality is that the poverty statistics that you see above ceased to be counted after 2012… surprise, surprise! Yet, we do have other statistics which are equally interesting. For example:
- The annual inflation is in the order of 60% (2014)
- The "unavailability index" (i.e. an index which measures lack of availability of common goods and services) is up by 25% (2014)
- Extreme poverty index grew from 7.1% in 2012 to 9.8% in 2013.
- About 6% of the entire Venezuelan population became poor between 2013 and 2014 alone.
- About 1 in 3 Venezuelans are now poor
And remember, these are the official numbers from the Venezuelan INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadistica - National Statistics Institute).
Sooo.... where is all that money going, money that is supposedly raising the GDP if it is not going into the hands of the people? And remember, this is as close as you can get to a real communist country nowadays. There is not supposed to be any "exploitation" of workers, just redistribution of wealth. Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that communists are either "re-distributing" wealth among themselves and conning the Venezuelan people or... the numbers are a scam. What do you think? Because, you know, they can't have it both ways. They can't have a galloping increase in poverty all the while the country is supposedly growing rich!
We have said this time and time again. For as long as there is money to burn, anything -regardless of how farfetched it may seem- can be made to work. Once the money runs out, debacle!
Of course, as it could not have been otherwise, people had enough and started a bloody revolution where all political idiots were burned at the stake! Well… not exactly. Sheeple in Venezuela fulfilled their social duty and voted. The result was that the Democratic Union (a political party less communist than the "Chavinismo") won the elections.
Democracy in action.
The triumph of the popular will.
Not a chance in hell! Keep reading.
One opposition leader stated that "It's a great opportunity for us, this protest vote".
These are their main decisions:
- To modify the Central Bank law in an effort to reduce indiscriminate printing.
- To stimulate the private sector
- To roll back nationalizations
- Amnesty for jailed political opponents
Which prompted another opposition leader to state that "We can't bring down the price of food, we can't fill the shelves with food" and that there will be no "witch hunt" against foes.
Let's us get this straight. After many years of suffering poverty and desperation, people voted in an act of punishment against the guilty ones and enacted into power those who best represent their wishes. Those very same people that are now stating, basically, that there is very little to nothing that they can do to improve voters' lives and they won't do anything to guilty ones! They can't even turn back the economic clock to the conditions prevalent before Chavez ever took power!
And remember, the "winning party" hasn't even got into congress yet!!!
So yeah… democracy in action… if you enjoy shooting yourself in the foot and/or blowback!
The point of this article is to simply point out, pointly, that democracy does not work. It runs in cycles where on one extreme one political party pillages a country and when the pendulum swings the other way, the other party rises their hands in exasperation stating that it is not their fault… proceeding promptly and pointly to do the same!
If you don't believe us, just think how incredibly stupid must Venezuelan voters be feeling by now. Sure. Keep voting. Vote. Vote and then vote some more. After all, you only have one life to live and if you choose to spend it pointlessly voting, who are we to disagree? Just one thing, don't expect to achieve anything in the process!
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.