Monday 27 August 2018

Views on Venezuela

I saw (via Guest Who) a couple of critical comments about this morning's Today:

They were tweeting about Justin Webb's introduction to the 8.10 feature on the refugee crisis in and around Venezuela:
Venezuela has more oil than Saudi Arabia. It should be very rich. It was very rich, the richest economy in South America. Under its long-time leader Hugo Chavez it used its wealth to reduce inequality and improve the lives of the poorest citizens, but when Chavez died and the oil price tanked Venezuela changed. The new leader President Maduro has steered his nation into what can only be described as a catastrophe - a humanitarian disaster in which children are starving, hyperinflation is among the worst the world has ever seen and people are trying desperately to leave. 
Here's an alternative view: Due to vast overspending on welfare programs and the fixing of prices under Hugo Chavez, and the nationalisation and then abandonment of farmland, and the fact that the late president made the country dependent on selling its oil abroad, when it all came crashing down under his incompetent successor it surely only fell so disastrously because Mr. Chavez had already turned the Venezuelan economy into one huge house of cards.

That's a point of view. So is what Justin Webb said (or read out). And both are controversial, given their relevance to a major political party here in the UK. 


  1. I prefer your version Craig.

    You could add that the country was already in full "tank" mode under Chavez.

    Also, they should compare and contrast with equally lefty Evo Morales of Bolivia. He's a left wing populist leading a country with an economy strongly dependent on hydrocarbon energy reserves but Bolivia is currently enjoying a growth rate of over 8%.

    Not suggesting Bolivia doesn't have the scope to go down Venezuala's path but so far it hasn't.

  2. I listened to that this morning with mounting disbelief. All of Venezuela’s problems can be traced back to Chavez. Even when the “success” of Venezuela was being eulogised by the far left it was obvious to the whole world what was happening. This isn’t bias, it is outright lies.

    I am now convinced that the BBC is preparing us for a Corbyn government

  3. Or, you all have been buying lock, stock and barrel the anti-Chavez propaganda that the mainstream media, such as the NY Times, Washington Post and The Economist, has been spreading about Chavez for the last 15 years or more. I am not a Chavista, but we should have all become quite familiar with US interference and economic warfare over the years, from sanctions and capital strikes to electoral boycotts and "peaceful" demonstrations begun and ended as if on a dime. Today's "democracy promotion" by the National Endowment for Democracy is yesterday's CIA "dirty tricks."


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