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Thread: Unrest in Venezuela

  1. #31
    Senior Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Caveat View Post
    Do you agree with Madrigal that Venezuela's problem is that it's not socialist enough?
    Venezuela's form of socialism is a very easy one to implement and should be fairly robust - control the oil, sell the oil, collect the revenue and spend the money improving the lives of the people. It is or was done successfully in plenty of other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iraq.

    Venezuela's economy is highly dependent on revenues from oil exports. If it is having major economic problems, that suggests that the oil revenues have drastically fallen.

    Venezuelan oil is very heavy so they have to import light oil products to blend with it in order to allow it to be transported. Could it be that they are unable to export their oil because they lack the foreign currency reserves needed to import the light oil products for blending? Could this be because their foreign currency bank accounts have been frozen because of US sanctions?

    In my view, the Venezuelan government is subject to economic warfare. Firing people in the oil industry with links to Washington and replacing them with people loyal to the government and restricting foreign currency transfers by foreign companies are rational steps to take for a government subject to economic warfare. They are portrayed as the crazed actions of a dictator destroying his country while desperately trying to hold on to power, but I don't see them in this light.
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  2. #32
    I like big buts Sir Caveat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    Venezuela's form of socialism is a very easy one to implement and should be fairly robust - control the oil, sell the oil, collect the revenue and spend the money improving the lives of the people. It is or was done successfully in plenty of other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iraq.

    Venezuela's economy is highly dependent on revenues from oil exports. If it is having major economic problems, that suggests that the oil revenues have drastically fallen.

    Venezuelan oil is very heavy so they have to import light oil products to blend with it in order to allow it to be transported. Could it be that they are unable to export their oil because they lack the foreign currency reserves needed to import the light oil products for blending? Could this be because their foreign currency bank accounts have been frozen because of US sanctions?

    In my view, the Venezuelan government is subject to economic warfare. Firing people in the oil industry with links to Washington and replacing them with people loyal to the government and restricting foreign currency transfers by foreign companies are rational steps to take for a government subject to economic warfare. They are portrayed as the crazed actions of a dictator destroying his country while desperately trying to hold on to power, but I don't see them in this light.
    The sanctions last week are the explanation for why Venezuelans in a resource rich country have been impoverished for years? Obviously, you can't mean that.

    You must be talking about about prior year sanctions. Can you please be a little more explicit about what was sanctioned and the magnitude of their impact?

    How significant of an economic war did the US wage if the US businesses continued to buy Venezuela's main source of revenue for US dollars?

    Do you think any of the following Chavista econonomic actions had any negative impact on the economy, the level of corruption, and the availability of goods to people:
    • Spending exceeding revenues, even during peak oil production and prices, and borrowing $billions
    • expropriating private businesses
    • price controls for goods
    • price controls for currency
    • requiring importers apply to the government to exchange $B for foreign currency, set at a different exchange rate depending on the type of good, and then often stiffing the exporter holding the letter of credit
    • Also requiring foreign companies operating in Venezuela to apply to the government to exchange $B for foreign currency to repatriate their profits and not approving those applications
    Last edited by Sir Caveat; 02-10-2019 at 02:07 PM.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    Firing people in the oil industry with links to Washington and replacing them with people loyal to the government ...
    Not if they don't know how to run an oil company it doesn't. And it wasn't so much 'links to Washington' as not being socialist yes men to Maduro's regime that got people fired. Especially if they criticized Maduro's tendency to spend the oil profits on his social agenda rather than re-invest in the company.

    Here's a look at Venezuela's oil production output over the last 10 years. 2017 was when Maduro put his generals in charge. So it's not just that oil prices have fallen, it's that they are only producing half as much.


  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Caveat View Post
    The sanctions last week are the explanation for why Venezuelans in a resource rich country have been impoverished for years? Obviously, you can't mean that.

    You must be talking about about prior year sanctions. Can you please be a little more explicit about what was sanctioned and the magnitude of their impact?

    How significant of an economic war did the US wage if the US businesses continued to buy Venezuela's main source of revenue for US dollars?

    Do you think any of the following Chavista econonomic actions had any negative impact on the economy, the level of corruption, and the availability of goods to people:
    • Spending exceeding revenues, even during peak oil production and prices, and borrowing $billions
    • expropriating private businesses
    • price controls for goods
    • price controls for currency
    • requiring importers apply to the government to exchange $B for foreign currency, set at a different exchange rate depending on the type of good, and then often stiffing the exporter holding the letter of credit
    • Also requiring foreign companies operating in Venezuela to apply to the government to exchange $B for foreign currency to repatriate their profits and not approving those applications
    I am not denying that there are issues with corruption or mismanagement. I also accept that the fact that the economy is so heavily dependent on oil revenues and government spending has the potential to create economic instability.

    I know that the US government does do economic war and regime change. I was living in South Korea during the Asian Currency Crisis so got to observe it first hand. I consider it to be a clear example of premeditated economic warfare but I expect that plenty of people will disagree.

    There are plenty of examples of US economic sanctions being applied before regime change or attempted regime change (Libya, Iraq, Syria). Is that just a coincidence or were the sanctions designed to bring about regime change?

    I am not suggesting that Venezuela's economy was very strong but brought to its knees by US sanctions. I am suggesting that US sanctions were carefully designed and targeted to exacerbate and amplify weaknesses in the economy to create economic hardship in order to justify and bring about regime change.

    I don't know whether those actions where causes of Venezuela's problems or an attempt to deal with economic sanctions but I suspect it was the later. However, I just haven't been following it closely enough to know for sure.

    The US wanted regime change in Syria. Why? Was the reason given a genuine reason or just a pretext? Have you heard of the US's plan to attack and destroy the governments of 7 countries in five years?
    Last edited by Guess Who; 02-11-2019 at 08:24 AM.
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  5. #35
    Senior Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    Not if they don't know how to run an oil company it doesn't. And it wasn't so much 'links to Washington' as not being socialist yes men to Maduro's regime that got people fired. Especially if they criticized Maduro's tendency to spend the oil profits on his social agenda rather than re-invest in the company.

    Here's a look at Venezuela's oil production output over the last 10 years. 2017 was when Maduro put his generals in charge. So it's not just that oil prices have fallen, it's that they are only producing half as much.

    Mismanagement, corruption and political interference in the running of the oil business may well have contributed to the decline in oil production. It might be the whole story or there might be more to it.

    What is undeniable is that the US government is now openly calling for regime change and applying some very strong economic sanctions to help get Guido over the line. The only question is whether the US is simply responding to a humanitarian crisis that has the potential to destabilise the whole region or has had a long-term goal of bringing about regime change.

    The US's extreme extraterritorial jurisdiction is weird to me because my country doesn't do it. The US would not accept such treatment from other countries and would not allow other countries to exercise it to the extent that it does. This tells me that the US is a global empire pretending to be a just a regular country. The reality is that the US empire does whatever it wants while disguising and misrepresenting its actions to try to convince people that it is just a regular country. There are numerous examples of the US working long-term to achieve regime change. The US even came up with the euphemism "regime change" to describe overthrowing the government of a country.
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  6. #36
    I like big buts Sir Caveat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    I don't know whether those actions where causes of Venezuela's problems or an attempt to deal with economic sanctions but I suspect it was the later. However, I just haven't been following it closely enough to know for sure.
    Bottom line is you're ignorant about the specifics of what was sanctioned in prior years and have not-well-informed suspicions about what has caused corruption; reduced the production of oil and other goods in the country; while at the same cutting imports; resulting in shortages of food, medical supplies, paper goods, and machinery parts etc.

    You're not ignorant because the information isn't available, you just "haven't been following it closely enough to know for sure."
    You hide behind caveats and modifiers. - Lurker

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    Simply more of the Monroe Doctrine at work. Read the history of Central and South America. It is littered with examples of the US not wanting anybody in our back yard. This is especially hypocritical considering what we have done to the Russians during and after the Cold War. While we push straight to Russia's borders in the name of freedom, democracy, and self determination, we on the other hand destroy any government in our "sphere of influence" that dares move in any direction not directly sanctioned by our government. Then we go in chanting "freedom and democracy" and thereafter install an autocrat at best or dictator at worst. I forget who said it but its just as true today as it was then, "he may be a son-of-a-bitch, but at least hes OUR son-of-a-bitch".

    I was, and still am, proud to have served at the time on the "front lines" of the Cold War in Europe. At least there we stood for something more than $$$$. At the same time, our "victory" there has shown us to not be able to handle the title and power of being the worlds "sole super-power". We throw our military might around all over the world but yet cannot even use our own military to defend our own borders (the very reason of the existence of an Army). We are willing to go to war in places like Venezuela because the Russians may base some bombers there. At the same time, China has decimated our manufacturing base and there was hardly a whimper, as long as the cheap goods kept flowing. Its all not that much different from Fall 1941. We are watching for the "danger" to come from Europe while the real danger is massing in Asia.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    What is undeniable is that the US government is now openly calling for regime change and applying some very strong economic sanctions to help get Guido over the line. The only question is whether the US is simply responding to a humanitarian crisis that has the potential to destabilise the whole region or has had a long-term goal of bringing about regime change.
    Well I agree the US shouldn't really meddle. But I think sanctions are probably within a country's rights and possibly the best way to deal with someone you consider a bad actor. Beats military intervention in any event.

    Keep in mind there is a large outcry about the humanitarian crisis, and the "the world needs to do something". Now you have to admit, it is possible the Maduro regime is completely corrupt. If so, simply sending foreign aid to be confiscated and misused by a corrupt regime is counter productive. It simply serves to prop up said regime.

    I will certainly reject any notion that US actions led to Venezuela's demise. Venezuelans are personally responsible for their own demise by electing a series of incompetent politicians (legitimately and of their own free will) who mismanaged the country. At this point I think they now have a corrupt autocrat in Maduro who will NOT allow them to have any more legitimate elections. That is still their problem to solve.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Caveat View Post

    You're not ignorant because the information isn't available, you just "haven't been following it closely enough to know for sure."
    Madrigal has lived it.
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


  10. #40
    I like big buts Sir Caveat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinny View Post
    Madrigal has lived it.
    Class consciousness?
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