Global Security Headlines

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Venezuelan Quagmire

Venezuela continues to suffer the gross mismanagement and complete incompetence of el máximo líder, Hugo Chavez, as its quagmire deepened on the energy and economic fronts last week.

Despite having the world´s sixth proven oil reserves and even a larger(170 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, Venezuela faces an acute energy crisis. English -language news accounts single out one dam as the linchpin of energy supply while others paint a picture of imminent collapse of the energy infrastruture. Not only do businesses face a 9pm shut off of power, bureaucrats are now scheduled for a five hour workday.

Adding to the country´s economic woes, the truly signifcant news was Mr. Chavez´s summary devaluation the currency on Friday night, el viernes rojo (Red Friday) by 50%.  The bolivar has already dropped from 4 to nearly 7.5 to the US dollar. The New York Federal Reserve has an excellent article on the motives and effects of devaulation or revaluation of a currency.

However, in the special case of Chavez´s Venezuela, the Spanish-language press is very useful to track down the transparent motivations - self-preservation.

According to an economist close to the opposition, the revaluation darle más plata al Gobierno sacándosela del bolsillo de la gente. El economista Orlando Ochoa añadió que con esta medida el Gobierno duplicará sus ingresos en un año de elecciones parlamentarias. more money to the government by taking more from the people. Economist Orlando Ochoa added that this measure will double its revenues  in a year of parliamentary elections.  

As the mayor of Caracas stated following the move, "Quien necesite comprar algo el día de mañana, le costará el doble." Anyone who needs to buy something this morning, it will cost double.  More poverty for the people, a fine socialist model for others in Latin America to emulate.

In order to deflect attention away from the country´s dire economic straits and his cruel misrule, Mr. Chavez accused the United States last week of violating its airspace with a P-3 Orion spy plane and purportedly brandished a photo as evidence. Even The Netherlands was weaved into the zany Chavez narrative since tourist haven Aruba is supposedly a base for these spy planes.

While Mr. Chavez fancies himself as the successor of the Gray Wolf in La Habana to continue the struggle for  la revolución in one manner, thankfully he is half as clever and smart. Unfortunately for the Venezuelan productive class, the country must pay the ultimate price for Chavez's shenanigans.
If you need research from open sources in Spanish, French, or Portuguese and presented in a stylish English language report or a translation of documents in said languages to English, please contact Professor Winn at by sending an email to for a prompt evaluation.

No comments: