Is Venezuela Hell On Earth?

January 14, 2011

So, you thought I was negative about Venezuela? Well, respected economist Walter Molano recently wrote a piece entitled “Venezuela: Hell on Earth” that will make you quiver. You see, Molano is the guy you read if you want to know what is going to happen in two or three years and since he does not work for a big investment bank he tells it like it is. But his last piece is so strong, it even makes the Devil worry more:

“As Colombia transforms itself into an oasis of prosperity, Venezuela descends deeper into the dungeons of hell…Under the reckless tyranny of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s cornucopia of abundant natural resources, sound infrastructure and skilled labor was squandered away.”

Rough, no? But we all know it’s the truth. Chavez is surrounded by the most incompetent of Venzuelans who create little fiefdoms to impose their will, whether it is gaining power or making money.

Meanwhile, the fanatics cheer, always reminding you a an irrelevant past or what Chavez will do in the future, ignoring 12 years of no accomplishments.

In the end, it is sad. Venezuela has really squandered twelve years and the biggest oil windfall in its history and all Chavez and cronies can do is hail non-existing achievements like the 3 million Hectares expropriated and “under production”. Funny, if they were, agricultural production would not be down. But tell that to a fanatic.

But the propaganda machine keeps raving about the fake past and the failed future and the fanatics keep cheering. They always will, ask the Cubans…

But Cuba is looking to get out of it, while Venezuela’s economy shrinks and shrinks, as politics rules the day and Venezuela’s is the only economy in emerging markets to have shrunk in 2010, the one with the worst inflation at 27% and the one with increasingly limited democracy and basically an ignorant and incompetent Dictator running the country.

Well, I don’t know if Venezuela is Hell on Earth, but it is certainly Purgatory and going down…

Note added: A reader notes that Purgatory is not a place according to the Pope, but I have enough with political controversies to introduce theological ones.

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19 Responses to “Is Venezuela Hell On Earth?”

  1. Gordo Says:

    Pragmatism tends to cooperate too much with single-interest groups. This is the problem with pluralism. It’s really a matter of leadership and communication where real progress is made by making tough decisions free of political restraints behind closed doors.

  2. yves Says:

    Gordo,

    You might find this strange, but I do agree with you.
    I simply distrust any ideology-based govt team to run a country.
    Granted, the other type is very hard to come by these past 20 years
    as it has to come from the business-industrial sector, would have a
    minimum of scientific knowledge and have a sense of statesmanship.

    Ben Ali of Tunisia just run his country the muslim way, albeit with a
    4-5% growth rate for the past decade, but blatantly favoring his clan.
    Incidentally, he turned his country into a tax heaven with numbered
    accounts for foreign investors which partly explains the growth rate.
    How could he not have foreseen the effects of the rise in commodities
    knowing that all muslim countries are permanently weak on in house agrofood production is beyond me.

    Now that he is gone, the vacuum will be filled by islamist radicals, it cannot be otherwise. The same thing happened to Cuba and Venezuela, the
    previous Govt teams went for the greed only agenda only to be toppled
    by opportunistic marxists (or the like) who knew even less about economics and personal accomplishment through free enterprise.

    I favor pragmatist governments, time limits on govt officials to minimize
    cronyism, real free markets and a modern version of the gold/silver standards to prevent the recourse to the printing press by politicians.

    Thanks for your post.

  3. Gordo Says:

    Yves,
    Come on! You think multinational corporations are perfect? Let’s be clear… good government should stay clear of ideological blindness altogether. The best governments are those that serve ALL the people and get things done that create progress effectively that don’t leave out large masses of the population.

    Let’s face it. Good government is not easy, there are no simple formulas. Effective leadership, competent decision making, efficient management, and the list goes on and on.

  4. yves Says:

    Venezuela as it stands now is the perfect example of what Tunisia is to
    become fast. In other words, it is being radicalized the Islamic way
    just as booming Iran was in the 70’s.

    Islamists just can’t take the creation of wealth and personal freedom,
    because it is destroying the power and influence of the Imams (priests)
    as during the Christian Inquisition in the Middle Ages.

    Europe is now facing at its doorstep yet another radicalized country.
    To be fair, Europe, the US and SthAm are facing an even bigger theat
    indoors, by way of the lefties-liberals covering and pushing for the
    muslim agenda …for their own agenda.

    Hell in Venezuela is also about having a Sr. Tarek El Aissami as an
    Interior & Justice muslim minister, of Syrian descent and with
    direct links with Hezbollah, the Iraqui part of Al Qaeda and the
    Democratic front of Palestine ( the upfront parasites …) and, last
    but not least, the increasing muslim population percentage in
    Venezuela that will prove unmanageable past the 5% mark.

    ————————————

    Now, what about the fate of my Venezuelan mechanic that appeared
    on this site 2 or 3 months ago with a yellow sweatshirt telling el
    Chavezito off, anyone ?

    By the way, this is a swell site ! Thank you Miguel.

  5. loroferoz Says:

    And sadly, I am past beginning to believe it.

    It’s not just the economy. You can tolerate poverty, or having to dish years of savings to travel abroad. Earning little, if you get to keep what you earn. Even recession can be had.

    It’s the unreality of the situation. It’s crime out of control and human life having no value here. And it’s inflation taking out your savings. It’s prices for everything outside the reach of everyone except the really rich. It’s also the ADHD/bipolar disorder poster boy in the Presidency, with ideas that are styled as Socialist; but with practices and attitudes that go all the way to the hydraulic despotisms of antiquity. It’s taking a stroll through Las Mercedes and seeing showing off such that you don’t see in the Rivieras of Europe. And then going through a “popular” area (or Caracas downtown) and seeing some of the same showing off, in an scenario of complete squalor. And then realizing that the showing off of riches does not mean anyone is really safe.

  6. Bloody Mary Says:

    Venezuela’s current reality is better described as a potential, horrible, accident (that you now is able to cause many casualties) played in slow motion…. you know is going to happen but you don’t know exactly how it’s going to end… This applies in the economic, political, and social arena.
    Those readers who saw today the infamous video in the news of a crowd taking over a highway near Caracas as a demonstration against the liviing conditions when suddenly a bus hits four of the demonstrators, may have a very explicit idea of my perception about the country.

  7. Roberto N Says:

    Speed: I usually ignore your puerile posts, but in this case I’ll make an exception

    Of all the places to terminate a phone call on this green earth, Cuba is among the highest in price.

    Back in the good old days of 1999 or so, COST was 50 cents US. Retail was anywhere from 75-98 cents US. Far as I know, no new capacity has come online since.

    Somebody is going to make a shitload of money on this.

  8. Gringo Says:

    Apparently Alek Boyd has put“Hell on Earth” on his site.

    http://alekboyd.blogspot.com/2011/01/venezuela-hell-on-earth_14.html#more

  9. Antonio Says:

    Well it looks like Tunisia has figured out how to evict a dictator….take note Venezolanos.

  10. A_Antonio Says:

    I would like to congratulate tunician people.

    Some people show more bravery than others.

  11. geronl Says:

    I would argue that North Korea and Iran may be worse but I’m not too sure about the latter.

  12. Andres. Says:

    I will appreciate a copy of article of Mr. Molano. Keep up the good work

  13. Antonio Says:

    I thin it is progress to eat high tech fiberoptic cable. But the end result is the same.

  14. Antony Says:

    Can I please have a copy too? Thanks

  15. Juan Cristobal Says:

    Send me one as well please.

  16. moctavio Says:

    I dont have a link, if you send me your email to:

    devilexcrement@gmail.com

    I will send you a copy

  17. Anti-communist Says:

    Dear Devil,
    Could you please post the link to Molano’s article? I could not find it…
    Best regards,
    AC

  18. speed Gibson Says:

    explain to me the logic in the decision to piss money away running a fiber optic cable from Venz to the biggest loser country in the western hemisphere ? there should be jail time for that alone

    http://english.eluniversal.com/2011/01/13/en_eco_art_installation-of-fibe_13A4976973.shtml

  19. yves Says:

    “Venezuela has really squandered twelve years and the biggest oil windfall in its history”

    Here is the supreme irony of all, courtesy of FoFoa, dated Oct 27, 2010
    showing some intelligence in those days, even though dealing with the Saudis then proved useless much later on.

    Enjoy:

    The great irony is that a Venezuelan lawyer (and oil minister) named Juan Pablo Perez Alfonso studied and used the Texas Railroad Commission as his model for OPEC, which he co-founded with the Saudi Arabian director of the Office of Petroleum Affairs, Abdullah Tariki, in 1960. OPEC from the beginning maintained that oil was a depleting asset, and it had to be replaced by other assets to balance national budgets and fund developments.

    The state government responded by giving the Texas Railroad commission the power to regulate drilling. And while they didn’t have the authority to set prices, they could regulate production levels. By setting an appropriate rate of production, oil would be conserved and this restricted supply would achieve price levels high enough to keep the independents in gravy.

    This Texas price became the American price, and also the world price (in the 1950’s the U.S. was producing half of the world’s oil.) This meant
    pure profit for the major companies with overseas production that cost only ten cents per barrel. To keep the price of oil up, what started as a gentlemen’s agreement among the American oil companies to limit the imports of cheaper oil later became enforced by the U.S. government–known as the “invisible dike” against the outside world of cheap oil. Throughout the 1960’s, the Persian Gulf offered the world oil at $1.80, while inside the “invisible dike” oil was being sold to the nation at the Texas price of $3.45 per barrel by the end of the decade.

    With OPEC in place, and the dollar now rendered meaningless by traditional standards, the stage is adequately set to describe what followed. With OPEC now united and able to conserve, and threaten
    to cut back in the grand tradition of the Texas Railroad Commission, they were able to name their terms of payment, and decide essentially what value the dollar would have in oil terms.
    That is important enough to repeat: They were able to name their terms of payment, and decide essentially what value the dollar would have in oil terms. The increased world demand for oil ensured that the price would
    be met (Texas was pumping around the clock and still coming up short), and the printing presses essentially ensured that there would be no lack of dollars, so to speak.

    It is important here to realize the attitude of OPEC, and notably the Middle East. In the mid 1970’s, the finance ministers of both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia stressed that their needs were only to provide for the welfare of their citizens, and that oil in the ground is better than paper money.
    Who from the West can argue with that? They called our money’s bluff, fair and square.

    So in 1971, while the Texas price of oil was $3.45, OPEC re-priced their Middle Eastern oil up from $1.80 to $2.20 (such audacity, don’t you think?) only to see the market price due to demand in 1973 overtake the official posted price, at which point OPEC saw the writing on the wall, and in October raised the price per barrel to $5.12 while curbing production.
    By December, the Shah of Iran called a press conference to announce the
    official price would now be $11.65. Well, why not? It’s only paper to you if you are not in NEED of this currency through a debt to someone else.

    And so began the First Oil Crisis of the 1970’s.

    ———————-

    Off topic:
    Can anyone tell me what happened to this mechanic with a yellow sweatshirt that said : “Hugo, I’m s*¤@#¤$g on your revolution !
    Was he eventually charged and what kind of fine did he get ? Thanks.


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