Venezuela update — it’s still a mess

Little new information escapes from Venezuela, beyond that protests and repression by the Chavista/Cuban regime continue.

circular-firing-squad

As Daniel reported today (Saturday), the Organization of American States (OAS) produced a resolution about the situation in Venezuela.

The regime scores because not only the OAS will not send any mission or observation, not only the OAS will not go beyond an exhortation but the OAS also writes “Its appreciation, full support, and encouragement for the initiatives and the efforts of the democratically-elected Government of Venezuela …”. there is an “and” after that to include other sectors but the first part is the one that counts, the one where Maduro is considered democratically-elected when we all know the gigantic fraud that was committed last April 2013. [Emphasis added.]

The OAS has continued its march for sycophantic deference toward Venezuela, no matter how obscenely repressive may be its actions.

The OAS position is consistent with the reactions of such leftist states as Argentina. In an article titled Why do the left support the Chavistas in Venezuela, I quoted from an article in the Buenos Aires Herald that begins with this lede: “The situation that Maduro has to handle emerges as a risk for every president in the region.” It concludes with this:

Argentina’s absolute support for the Venezuelan government is thus consistent. Because what happens in Venezuela can happen anywhere. [Emphasis added.]

That seems likely to be true of many other Latin American governments: even to appear to favor freedom and to discourage repression by the Venezuelan regime could endanger their own situations.

Venezuelans able to leave are doing so.

According to an article posted at ABC News on Friday, the nature of the migration of Venezuelans to Miami has changed in recent years. Earlier, those leaving tended to be of the upper or upper middle class and to bring with them resources permitting them to live well. Many returned to Venezuela. Now, less affluent members of the middle class are leaving Venezuela, with insufficient resources for better than a tenuous survival. They are unlikely to return while Venezuela remains a Chavista colony of Cuba.

“Before people would come, study and go back,” said Manuel Gomez, a law professor at Florida International University. “And people weren’t willing to sacrifice their social and professional status for a lesser life. People wouldn’t be willing to live in a small condo and share a car, whereas now it seems that people are willing to do that.”

The contrast has come to the fore in recent weeks as protests erupted throughout Venezuela over a long-brooding list of woes: Food shortages, soaring inflation, and a heavy-handed government that has shut off spaces for dissent. At least 21 people have been killed. [Emphasis added.]

Immigration attorneys who work in Miami’s Venezuelan community said they have been flooded with inquiries from families seeking political asylum or wanting to find a way to try and get their relatives out. Most are middle-class families with limited finances.

“In the last two weeks I’m seeing an enormous uptick,” said Stephanie Green, a Coral Gables attorney who specializes in asylum.

. . . .

The violence and demonstrations in Venezuela over the past three weeks haven’t yet provoked a new surge in migration to Miami, but there has been a slight increase in the number arriving in Florida. Some 19,800 Venezuelans arrived at Miami International Airport between Feb. 15 and 28, up from the 18,500 who arrived during the same period in 2013. [Emphasis added.]

Those who are coming reflect the shifting demographic of Venezuelans choosing to start over in a foreign country and the deteriorating conditions they are fleeing.

Fourteen hundred Venezuelan arrivals per day, should the pace continue, amounts to more than half a million per year. That’s a lot and it will likely continue or perhaps accelerate until hope revives for Venezuela or most of those who are able to leave have done so.

New arrivals from Venezuela most likely bring knowledge of how unjustly and incompetently the Venezuelan “socialist democracy” works and a corresponding revulsion for it. Some may well have skills that might be useful in the United States if they are permitted to use them. As Venezuela continues to make it difficult if not impossible to use those skills there, she loses those having them. That augurs ill for revival of the moribund Venezuelan economy, because those left in Venezuela are increasingly fit only for menial employment or for non-productive employment by a massively corrupt, inefficient and otherwise incompetent government. Nor, to the extent that they leave behind an increasingly high proportion of unproductive Venezuelans willing to rely on necessarily diminishing governmental largess, does their departure augur well for restoration of the freedoms Venezuela also needs if she is to have an economic revival. As deprivation even of necessities worsens, freedom becomes increasingly less important than necessities, spiced a bit with occasionally free goodies that can be looted, with governmental acquiescence if not encouragement, from the remaining stores that still have them.

An article posted on Saturday at Devil’s Excrement notes

The Government seems to control the centers of power (the Military, Congress, the Supreme Court, the National Elections Board and most of the governors and city mayors). However, a critical piece such as the economy is completely out of control. Inflation is at an all times high (55%), the parallel market rate of exchange of the national currency is ten times that of the official rate fueled by an obvious shortage of US dollars, and the supply chain of consumer goods is completely disrupted with the consequent shortages of vital consumer goods in the supermarket shelves. There seems to be a mix of improvisation and ignorance with the end result of very poor management of the economy. In addition, oil production seems to be declining, which is the most important source of revenue of foreign currency. Furthermore, the Government has not be able to honor the debts to most suppliers from neighboring countries and the international airlines. These are just some of the serious imbalances of the economy that may lead Venezuela to be a failed state. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

The whole argument of this article is that the Government is not in control of the economy (the main source of the problem as admitted by Chavista Governor of Tachira State, Jose Vielma Mora), the militias are out of control, and the guarimbas are out of control. So who is in control in Venezuela? Is Venezuela at the verge of becoming a failed state? Is chaos going to reign in Venezuela? That is why the help of OAS is badly need in Venezuela. The human rights and freedom of speech pieces are pale next to the real challenges that Venezuela faces. [Emphasis added.]

I disagree only to the extent that without the human rights now absent in Venezuela — including not only economic freedom but also reasons at least to hope that other lost freedoms are returning — economic and other indicia of regime failure will continue to worsen.

Venezuela may well be unable to recover without those who left and are continuing to leave because they can not tolerate what Venezuela has become.

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About danmillerinpanama

I was graduated from Yale University in 1963 with a B.A. in economics and from the University of Virginia School of law, where I was the notes editor of the Virginia Law Review in 1966. Following four years of active duty with the Army JAG Corps, with two tours in Korea, I entered private practice in Washington, D.C. specializing in communications law. I retired in 1996 to sail with my wife, Jeanie, on our sailboat Namaste to and in the Caribbean. In 2002, we settled in the Republic of Panama and live in a very rural area up in the mountains. I have contributed to Pajamas Media and Pajamas Tatler. In addition to my own blog, Dan Miller in Panama, I an an editor of Warsclerotic and contribute to China Daily Mail when I have something to write about North Korea.
This entry was posted in Caracas, Chavez, Civil War, Corruption, Cuban, Economic decline, free speech, Freedom, Government reliance, Ideology, Inflation, Law and Order, Libruls, Maduro, Obama's America, Protests, Regime change, Venezuela and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Venezuela update — it’s still a mess

  1. Pingback: Venezuelan opposition leader interviewed in English by Al Jazeera | danmillerinpanama

  2. Tom Carter says:

    What a mess. And all we need is another flood of dispossessed refugees/immmigrants into South Florida!

  3. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.com and commented:
    If UK/EU/US goes into Crimea or Ukraine, Russia will go into Venezuela. It’s diverting attention, or, setting up a situation as Kabuki theater to lead up to an incursion by Russia, into the South American continent.

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