On March 24, 2007 The United Socialist Party of Venezuela was formed in order to bolster the late President Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution by merging his Fifth Republic Movement with several other parties. Today it’s the 9th largest political party in the world with over 7 million active members and an iron clad history of abusing its centralized prowess.
Chavez is not above imposing price controls, private property seizure, and industry centralization. Sitting President, Nicolás Maduro (another prize), who started his political junket after working as a city bus driver, went on to become a union trade official before squeezing his way into the National Assembly in 2000. The Wall St. Journal encapsulates Maduro as “the most capable administrator and politician of Chavez’s circle.”
Rhetorical question incoming: Why does the media refuse to put the screws to the Venezuelan government for its blatant adoption of socialism? Here’s a hint; it’s not the U.S. sanctions. At one point, this was the most wealthy country in South America, but the mainstream propaganda shrouding dictators Hugo Chavez & Nicholas Maduro doesn’t quite add up. The superficial understanding is that rampant corruption, resource mismanagement, and oil prices drilling itself back into the ground are all equally to blame for the economic crisis.
I’ll give the gen pub this— we’re half right. Corruption and mismanagement is the result of the government exerting its overarching control over its people. Maybe take a look at the class warfare and flagrant government intervention before we settle on the sanctions or oil prices.
The U.S. enforcing penalties and falling oil prices had sod all to do with the Venezuelan dictatorship wrapping its arms around the its economy to the point of suffocation. Our media refuses to report the mass famine and migration out of the country, it’s simply a manifestation of a myopic stratagem enforced in 1999. Chavez carried out ubiquitous nationalization of private industry, currency and price controls, and the expansion of welfare programs at a fiscally dire time.
Chavez first decided to nationalize the agriculture sector, allegedly to reduce poverty and inequality by robinhooding the rich land owners only to siphon their wealth to poor workers, while skimming a healthy vig off the top for him and his cronies, I’m sure. From the time Hugo put these policies into action in 1999 lasting until 2016, his syndicate fleeced more than 6 million ‘hectares’ of land. For scale, a single hectare is approximately 1.8 football fields.
Nationalism destroyed production in already affected industries because no government on Earth has the scope to run thousands of businesses, or the motivation to run them effectively. Instead, government officials face the impetus to put smiles on the voter’s faces by slanging consumer products at rock bottom prices while hiring more employees than necessary, even when they’re already leveraged to the gills.
As economic theory would prognosticate; the Man’s control over the agricultural sector escalated, food production took a 75% hit in 20 years while the population surged by 33%. This was a blueprint for economic collapse. Once agriculture was compromised, the dictatorship wasn’t done yet; they nationalized electricity, oil, banks, water, construction projects, and grocery stores.
There was a sharp rise in payrolls of all of these industries, and consumer products were given away at bargain prices which would lead to water service interruptions, oil production declines, bankrupt government ventures, and countrywide blackouts last days. The shit show would continue.
Price ceilings on consumer necessities quickly made their way into the eye of the storm. Products like milk, beef, and toilet paper were at depressed prices, but the factories that were not yet fully nationalized couldn’t profit at the government-pegged prices. They retaliated by slowing, even sometimes stopping production completely. Inevitably, these shortages resulted in people waiting in line for hours while grocery store employees would go and track down the requested products.
In 2003, the power-drunk Chavez leaned into his dictator ways even further when he assembled a foreign currency control program where the government artificially pins an overvalued exchange rate between the Venezuelan currency and the U.S. dollar. The goal of this was to erase their crippling inflation by overvaluing the bolívar and subsidizing imported goods.
However, currency control meant the criminal syndicate at the helm had to allocate available U.S. dollars to importers since there was higher demand for dollars than supply, due in large part that the exchange rate was so overvalued. This gigantic failure actually brought on more inflation, because overvaluation reduced the government oil profits. This forced their hand into printing money to cover their asses.
The budget deficit has fully entered the chat.
One of the biggest misnomers of Venezuelan socialism is the welfare programs, which were set in place to help the sick, illiterate, and poor, but actually did the complete opposite; cost of living would increase among impoverished areas. All this is happening while government officials are sitting back, counting their oil profits thanks to the propped up market. Just when the societal lashing couldn’t possibly get worse, the criminals in charge needed to finance an expansive deficit by printing more money in 2008, thus making a deposit into the inflation jar and leaving the working men and women out to dry for the umpteenth time.
I’m not here to be a political hardo, but it’s no secret the revolving door of Marxism seems to rear its ugly head in more ways than it should throughout our history. Fingers crossed that the upcoming generations will properly educate themselves and not be duped into this type widespread moral brainwash.
“Can’t get no more free, Randy.”