The level of suffering is increasing and the economy continues collapsing in Venezuela.
A few articles to describe this live demonstration of the glorious success of socialism:
- Food becoming scarcer.
- Soldiers stealing goats so they have something to eat.
- Hard core socialists blame the suffering on everything but socialism.
- A better description of the cause. Also, comments that looting and rioting has started to appear.
(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)
5/2 – Business Insider – “We want out of this agony’: What it’s like to eat in a country that’s on the verge of collapse – Food is getting even more scarce in Venezuela. You have to stand in line for many hours in order to buy a few items that are on the shelf. Oh, there is little on the shelves.
Poor people are skipping meals because they can’t afford what little can be found, and what little they can find and afford comes with the additional price of standing in line all day.
5/4 – CNBC – How bad is it in Venezuela? Soldiers are stealing goats – Six soldiers were arrested over the weekend by local police for stealing goats.
Why rip off goats?
There was no food in the barracks.
Even soldiers have so little food they are going hungry and have to steal goats just to eat.
Oh, and another ripple effect.
Remember there is so little electricity that businesses and homes are going without electricity several days for random lengths of time. That also means there isn’t enough electricity to pump the oil, even to sell at currently low prices.
5/10 – World Socialist Web Site – Venezuela on the knife’s edge as economy collapses – Web site is run by hard-core socialists who proudly wear the label. Reading this article and the comments makes me wonder if these folks are actually communists hiding behind the socialist label. Who else intentionally uses the word ‘bourgeoisie?’ If you want the pure socialist perspective, check out this article.
Opening five paragraphs of article describe the severity of the economic collapse. New tidbits I had not seen before indicate the portion of the population living in “extreme poverty” has grown from 10% in 2012 up to 51% now. Portion of the population living in “poverty”, which is undefined, has expanded from 35% in 2013 up to 80% now.
Government owned industries are open two days a week. Blame for the largest beer producer closing their doors is described as a lack of supplies. Unmentioned in the article is the government has hoarded dollars, not let private businesses have enough, thus leading to the brewery being unable to buy goods on the international market.
No dollars? No hops. No hops? No beer.
Where does the blame go for the economic collapse, at least according to these socialists?
The seventh paragraph provides an answer. The current plan was shortsighted and actually unplanned. The goal of the government was to “enrich” the Bolivarian bourgeoisie simultaneously with a slight increase in social spending for the poor people. When oil prices dropped, the ruling party reduced social spending.
Let me translate that for you.
The socialist government used the oil riches to pay off the disgusting, despicable petty bourgeoisie and merely gave a trifle to the proletariat. When the crunch came from dropping oil prices, the socialist leaders tightened the belt on poor people (the beloved proletariat) and, based on silence in the paragraph, apparently didn’t cut the riches they were pouring out on bourgeoisie.
Think back to your reading of Karl Marx and you will realize how terribly wrong and severely offensive that plan was.
Thus, the blame for the rapidly shrinking economy and the attendant rapidly increasing misery for vastly larger number of poor people is that the hard-core socialist government has not been socialist enough.
Article unintentionally reveals that localized riots have started, at least one of which required military intervention to settle things down.
As expected, the opposition party is identified as being sponsored by the CIA.
The government’s hoarding of hard currency in order to make debt payments is described as prioritizing the debt service over feeding people. I’m sure the implication we should draw is this flawed policy favors those rich, capitalist, exploitative bankers over the far more deserving proletariat.
5/10 – Houston Chronicle – Venezuela’s crisis – The editorial lets slip that localized looting and rioting has started.
Oil production from the government oil company is down 12% in the first quarter. Both Halliburton and Schlumberger are cutting back work in Venezuela because they haven’t been paid.
In an entertaining and accurate description, the editorial says the causes of this disaster are primarily man-made, but made worse by the drought. The weather is in distant second place after intentional policies. That is a more accurate description of the problem than what the socialists provided in the previously mentioned article.
The underlying cause of the suffering is laid at the feet of the departed Pres. Hugo Chavez, who increased social spending dramatically and nationalized a large portion of the economy. Shortages of consumer products and increased inflation were present prior to his death in 2013.
P.S. Could someone who is far smarter than me please explain how these plans and these results can be considered moral? In what parallel universe is the suffering in Venezuela considered to be a moral positive?