Venezuela is immersed in the middle ages, the economy is in ruins, food is scarce. Millions are fleeing from the devastation abroad, the BBC writes.
Such a crisis Latin America has not seen in its entire modern history. And it is not due to war and natural disaster.
It was created over two decades of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.
They ravaged the rich people and the resources of the country under the banner of world socialist revolution and victory over the American imperialists. Chavez is dead, but Maduro continues his work — and this week assumed the position of President for a second six-year term.
Both presidents enthusiastically printed money, took away the property, regulate prices and held abroad hundreds of billions of dollars. They ‘ve taken up all the oil revenues , and lived beyond their means, blaming the failure on the machinations of the United States. They ruined the oil industry, brought the country to empty shelves, inflation is a million percent and the full impairment of the local currency.
They suppressed dissent, freedom of press and violently dispersed the protests.
Maduro actually abolished the opposition, electing a separate pocket Parliament in 2017. And in may last year won the presidential elections, which the opposition boycotted, and the West and the leading countries of Latin America have called a farce.
Most foreign governments have ignored the inauguration of the 56-year-old Maduro. Their representatives sent less than two dozen countries — including China, Turkey, Iran and Russia, which has long supported the socialist government of Venezuela. In the past year, the Kremlin sent back for exchange of experience of economic advisors first, and then strategic bombers-rocket carriers Tu-160.
Poor, authoritarian and well-armed Venezuela is a headache for neighbors. And a second term, Maduro promises him much more problems in foreign policy, as the crisis spilled beyond the country’s millions of refugees and migrants.
The situation in the region begins to heat up: Latin America still held the door open for traveling Venezuelans, however, the mellowness costs them all more expensive, both economically and politically, because not everyone is happy about the influx of foreigners and their maintenance costs.
Run faster than from war
From Venezuela had already fled more than three million people, according to official data from neighbouring countries, but the UN is confident that the real figure is higher because not all are registered. And the flow increases daily at least 5 thousand people are sent abroad, mostly on foot in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Most settle in Spanish-speaking countries of the region, and some move across the ocean to Spain. There, according to various estimates, it left about a quarter of a million Venezuelans. Many of them are children of the Spaniards, for example Candido Congas. He fled from the poverty and repression of Franco’s Spain to Venezuela in the 1950s. Now he is ninety, and he returned to Madrid for the same reason.
“Caracas has become like Galicia Franco era”
“I was happy in Venezuela. And never thought of return, he said. But Caracas was similar to Galicia Franco era. I was a kid, the food sold on the cards. Standing at a shop in a huge queue, and in front of his nose slamming doors all sold, nothing left.”
Now Venezuelans are asking the Spaniards to shelter them, but in the last year from 12 875 of their petitions for asylum were granted only 15.
“These people run from disasters or war, says Claudia Vargas Ribas from the University Simon Bolivar in Caracas. And don’t forget that all countries in the region — developing. The influx of so many people complicate the political situation.”
The immigration crisis on the other side of the Atlantic long been overshadowed by the European crisis in 2015. While Europe received more than 1 million people. Over the last two or three years, Venezuela has increased the global army of refugees and migrants more than war-torn Afghanistan or Sudan.
The country has lost at least every tenth inhabitant and the overall number of emigrants are already comparable with the population of Georgia or Moldova, and soon may reach the population of the three Baltic States.
Venezuelan authorities do not agree with these assessments. Maduro last year argued that the real emigration to four times lower than the UN estimates. Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez said the figures are exaggerated “enemy States” who are looking for an excuse for armed invasion.
Venezuela surrounded by enemies. Rodriguez and Maduro does not agree with the UN estimates
Chronicle free fall
The Venezuelan economy is experiencing a sixth consecutive year of recession, and hopes for an exit from its peak long ago melted.
The country needs to return more than $ 100 billion of external debt, and the only source of foreign currency and the funds to maintain basic living conditions — the export of oil is reduced after the extraction.
With inflation more than 1 million percent in Venezuela last year took place in the Weimar Republic of the 1920-ies and Zimbabwe 2000s.
In July, the IMF warned that “a collapse in economic activity, hyperinflation, rapid deterioration of the situation with the availability of basic services (health care, energy, water, transport, public order) and the shortage of food at subsidized prices have led to large-scale migration that causes problems for neighboring countries.”
Forecast confirmed: migration since then has accelerated sharply and began to affect the economy of the entire region, announced this week by the world Bank.
It is estimated that in the coming years the crisis will cost neighboring Colombia 0,2-0,4% of GDP per year.
“At the same time, in the medium to long term, the influx of migrants to Colombia can revive the economy by increasing the labor force, consumption and investment”, — stated in the report of the Bank.
Venezuelan migrants in Ecuador on the way to Peru
The Venezuelan economy did not Shine, says the US-based world Bank.
Maduro is passionate about non-traditional practices — by pegging the Bolivar to the non-tradable cryptocurrency for the filling of the reserves of the Central Bank of oil, and has not yet been found. Last summer, he printed new money and replaced the old. At the same time, Maduro held a denomination — compartment Bolivar has five zeros.
Didn’t work, economists say, and characterize the state of the Venezuelan economy, even not as a crisis or decline, and as the collapse.
“The collapse of Venezuela’s economy worsened, and there is no indication that the recent denomination of the currency has had any significant impact on the ongoing hyperinflation”, — concluded world Bank.
Venezuela is the most oil-rich country in the world. Its proven reserves exceed 300 billion barrels more than Saudi Arabia (266 billion), and twice higher than in Iraq or Iran.
Oil was a source of money for the crusade Chavez against imperialism for socialist revolution throughout the world. Maduro continued his work. However, the way they took foreign oil companies and their state-owned companies ruined by incompetence and corruption.
When Chavez came to power at the turn of the century, the country was producing almost 3.5 million barrels of oil per day. By 2017, the production fell to 2 million barrels by the fall of last year to 1.5 million, and for the new year, according to Reuters, and at up to 1.2 million barrels.
The state oil company is run by the military.
Recover the loot can only foreign oil companies, but few believe that Maduro wants to draw them, given the complete lack of money and reputation are susceptible to expropriate the Marxist.