Archive for July 18th, 2009

The Bolivarian Diaspora

July 18, 2009

(Este post está en español aquí)

Somehow I missed this article “The Bolivarian Brain Drain” in Newsweek at the beginning of the month. It details how the revolution is forcing the best and the brightest of the country to emigrate and more do not leave simply because they can’t.

Sadly this is all true, Venezuelans did not use to emigrate, they would always come back, but now:

And now after a decade of the so-called Bolivarian revolution, tens of thousands of disillusioned Venezuelan professionals have had enough. Artists, lawyers, physicians, managers and engineers are leaving the country by droves, while those already abroad are scrapping plans to return. The wealthiest among them are buying condos in Miami and Panama City. Cashiered oil engineers are working rigs in the North Sea and sifting the tar sands of western Canada. Those of European descent have applied for passports from their native lands. Academic scholarships are lifeboats. An estimated million Venezuelans have moved abroad in the decade since Chávez took power.”

And how about these draconian statements:

The number of papers published by Venezuelans in international scientific journals fell from 958 to 831, a 15 percent drop in just the last three years…An estimated 9,000 Venezuelan scientists are currently living in the U.S. – compared to 6,000 employed in Venezuela…Up until 2003, researchers at the company’s Center for Technological research and Development generated 20 to 30 patents a year. Last year it produced none, even though its staff has doubled.

and then the obvious conclusion:

“For the nations of the Bolivarian Revolution, this means some dark days are likely to be ahead. Even the wealthiest nations could ill afford to lose their best and brightest