Free Markets, Free People

Venezuela: How bad is it?

It’s bad:

Despite breathless coverage of Venezuela’s vanishing supply of condomstoilet paper, and beer, perhaps the country’s most debilitating shortage has been that of food, which appears to be a motivating factor for growing antigovernment sentiment.

“I want the recall because I don’t have food,” one woman told the Venezuelan commentary site Contrapunto, referring to a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro that has so far reportedly drawn more than a million signatures in support.

“We want out of this agony — there is too much need in the streets,” another woman told Contrapunto. “We have much pressure because there is no food and every day we have to ask ourselves what we are going to eat.”

Many families have been reduced to one meal a day.  In a verdant and rich country, this is what socialism has brought them too.

And the idiocracy in charge?  Well, they’re reduced to abjectly stupid moves like this in an attempt to forestall the inevitable:

To try to shore up wages, Maduro on Sunday announced a 30% minimum-wage increase, which comes after a 25% hike on March 1 and is the 33rd wage boost since 1999. Beginning this month, workers and pensioners will earn 15,051 bolivars a month — only about $13, based on the black-market conversion rate, according to El País.

That amount may become even more paltry. Venezuela’s inflation rate in 2015 was 180.9%, according to the central bank, and the International Monetary Fund expects inflation in the country to reach 720% this year.

The acquisition of food has become the primary function of Venezuelans:

“I have to leave the house at 5 a.m., facing the risk of being killed, to stand in line all day and only buy two or three products,” Jhonny Mendez said.

Do yourself a favor and look through the pictures of the amount of food several families have in their house in a day that accompany the above article..  

What has happened in Venezuela is criminal … there’s no other word for it.  Chavez was a criminal and his henchman now in charge is also a criminal.  What they’ve done to that country is unforgivable.  And it was all predictable … in fact, it was predicted.  I also have a feeling it isn’t going to end well:

Meanwhile, the return El Niño, a cyclical weather phenomenon, leads to widespread power outages across the country as the authorities’ incompetence and corruption are laid bare. 76 percent of Venezuelans have fallen into poverty and 13 percent eat only twice a day. Maduro’s government is rejected by 85 percent of the population.

Looting last week was contained but the Governor of Lara, Henri Falcón, a former Chavista, noted that “this is a thousand times worse than the reasons that led to the ‘Caracazo.’” He added that, at any moment, the political, social and economic crisis may lead to a conflict of incalculable consequences.


14 Responses to Venezuela: How bad is it?

  • Raising wages, changing the clocks, instituting 3 day work weeks for government workers to save money, rolling blackouts for power.

    None of those things increase the food supply.

    And a recall election, yeah, that’ll fix it. If they think it will, that’s part of the problem.

    They’re way past the tipping point.
    You can expect UN humanitarian intervention within a month, not that THAT will fix it either since they’ll take 6 months to figure out who’s going to get the kickbacks.

    • There must be a boatload of money offshore.

      • You know there has to be. The wealth went somewhere – short of was effectively burned, it has to go somewhere.

        With any system you do have to sink some of it back into the system to keep things running and Chavez was in charge for long enough for the infrastructure to break down and burn up productive resources through mismanagement, fraud, waste and simple aging.
        You prevent the guy with the truck from hauling produce because he can’t make a buck at it, etc, eventually he sells the truck or takes it out of maintenance and it rusts, etc.
        I think they screwed enough with the fundamental simple infrastructures in their socialist zeal that they’re not going to be able to use what they can salvage to put things right nation wide because they effectively ‘burned’ the products of labor by constantly short circuiting once operable systems.
        Now the systems are hosed and they’ll need rescuing with outside wealth.

        But yeah, you just know that there are bank accounts somewhere off shore with enough loot in them to keep you, me and anyone else who reads QandO in a very fancy lifestyle for the rest of our lives.

  • I guess its a CIA conspiracy. So if I was an American I would get out before the street mobs start finding whoever, especially Americans, and burning them.

    • My wife would scold me for saying this, but is there any chance Sean Penn could visit now?

  • They must be feeling the Bern! Per Mrs. Thatcher, it appears they’ve run out of other people’s money.

    Alan: Only if he shows up as Jeff Spicoli. Sounds like Venezuelans could use a good buzz about now. The new national slogan: “Fatties for everyone!”

    • Ah, but they haven’t yet run out of other people’s lives; and that is the end-state of socialism.

  • And people never learn. The cry is always, “This time it will work when we try to live off looting our fellows.

    • It only failed because the wrong people were in charge. They’ll do it right – just ask them!

  • What’s the problem? The people voted for this.

    I see zero reflection from the people in that article about the mistakes they’ve made to get to this place. I have zero doubt they’ll fall for it again.


  • Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
    Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free

  • In case you happen to be wondering why this stuff gets virtually no air time in the US …

    As Rhodes admits, it’s not that hard to shape the narrative. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” Rhodes said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.