The current situation in Venezuela

Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by 1%er, May 27, 2015.

  1. 1%er

    1%er Well-Known Member

    Government workers have had their working hours slashed by 50%

    Tens of thousands of factory workers have been laid-off as foreign companies close factory's as they are uncompetitive and others have closed because of a lack of raw materials.

    Inflation is running wild (the highest in the world) and some estimates put it at around 100%, the central bank that used to provide figures every month have failed to supply any figures so far this year, but the last figures from December 2014 put the rate then at 69%. Some financial experts are predicting the inflation rate to reach 200% by the end of this year (other have said as much as 250%).

    The Bolivar (the Venezuelan currency) is in free fall and has dropped by 30% in the last month. The exchange rate is complicated as there are 3 different official rates, the tier-one rate for priority imports is around 6.9 to the Dollar (not available to most Venezuelans) they get the open-market rate and that was around 400 to the Dollar last weekend.

    The government has put up the minimum wage up by around 30% bring the minimum wage to around 7,325 Bolivars a month, but the purchasing power of that wage in the shops has decreased massively pushing millions in to further poverty. (Using the tier-one rate for the minimum wage, it should mean everyone on that wage would be getting the equivalent of $1,162, but only $30 a month if one uses the open-market rate, which is the rate used to set the price of many imported foods and other imported goods as the US Dollar is the currency imported good are paid for).

    Now many Latin American leaders and politicians who have been supporting Venezuela economically and political are losing patience with Maduro and his government as they lock up more and more of their political opponents, over 70 at the last count. Many leaders and politicians from across Latin America have in the past themselves been locked up as political prisoners, so are now voicing their opposition to Maduro actions and are threatening to remove their support if he doesn't address this situation re political prisoners and set a date for elections that should happen this year.

    Who are the people suffering from this failed government, as usual it is the working people and the poor who find themselves in a situation where there are shortages and rationing of basic foods and if and when they can find basics they can't afford to pay for them. Maduro is now talking about nationalizing food distribution, but as about half is already nationalized and the system is completely fucked up, if he does go ahead things will only get worse for the population.
  2. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

  3. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman it was already like that when I got here

    And if the opposition get in, unless they've had some kind of road to damascus conversion into people who aren't a bunch of quasi-fascist cunts, I can't see it getting any better for those who are suffering most either :(
    Plumdaff, Jay Park, likesfish and 4 others like this.
  4. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    it'll end badly, mark my words :(
  5. TomUS

    TomUS non-resident

    And on top of everything else, violent crime continues to increase. Venezuela has the world's 2nd highest murder rate and it has been increasing steadily year after year.

    Looks like a prescription for a military coup but I don't know where the military stands with regard to Maduro.
  6. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    You can be as left as you want about it... and I try to stand up to the mountains of right-wing propaganda posted on facebook.

    But Venezuela is totally fucked. An oil-based economy being underpriced out of existence by the US and Saudis. Who can afford to keep it up for a while.

    I could have gone there when in Colombia, and met some people who did (and who had a great time). I even met pro-Chavez young not horrendously right wing middle class Venezuelans. But it is just a mess at the moment, especially the crime and corruption.

    Who knows what will happen tbh.
  7. Hocus Eye.

    Hocus Eye. Snap, crop, scrap crap R.I.P.

    Once again it is America who control the economy in Venezuela. Just what they wanted all along.
  8. trabuquera

    trabuquera Modesty Bag

    ^ This actually never stopped being the case - even when Chavez was alive and feisty and on a tear with all the 'smell of brimstone' comments, etc, US was Ven's largest trading partner, whatever the rhetoric about ALBA and China and the rest.
    mather and frogwoman like this.
  9. Casually Red

    Casually Red tomorrow belongs to me

    The Russians have just agreed a 14 billion dollar investment plan with them , aimed at doubling production . Along with a load of technical stuff .
  10. David Shirter

    David Shirter Let's not do this Banned

    If Venezuela goes, what next? Whether or not the regime is socialist or nearly socialist etc, its demise would be another victory for the neo-liberal economics that remain triumphant even after nearly capsizing the whole fucking boat only seven short years ago.
    camouflage likes this.
  11. Coolfonz

    Coolfonz Not cool or a member of the Fonz family

    "he exchange rate is complicated as there are 3 different official rates, the tier-one rate for priority imports is around 6.9 to the Dollar (not available to most Venezuelans) they get the open-market rate and that was around 400 to the Dollar last weekend."
    This is the central disaster. It isn't a triumph of neo-liberalism it is a seriously fucked economic mistake - not allowing your currency to float freely - which has sunk them. It made sense when they wanted to avoid capital flight but it should have been measured in months not years...very sad. And its the people who masterminded this idiocy who should have been chucked in jail...
  12. David Shirter

    David Shirter Let's not do this Banned

    Not saying neo-liberalism in itself has sunk them-just that it will be another triumph for its economic totalitarianism when, or if, the regime goes down.
  13. CyberRose

    CyberRose أرفع الشفرات

    424 for $1 right now. It was about 280 only a few weeks ago. Bear in mind the official rate is 6.8 for $1. $100 will get you $6000 worth of Bolivars and with so much black market money changed in Cúcuta in Colombia ($5m per day I think which means this city sets the unofficial exchange rate) no wonder lots of products are sold at the black market exchange pricing out large portions of the population
  14. purves grundy

    purves grundy ambient clown remix

    We used to have about half a dozen or so different exchange rates here in Burma. Main two were the everyday black-market rate, which most folk used if they needed to, and the official investor and external purchase exchange rate (I forget the exact wording). Whereas the black market rate might bring you in 1200 kyat for a dollar, the official rate was for years set around 6 kyat per dollar. This was basically the junta's private klepto-banking system - sell oil and gas (and timber and gems etc) for dollars, report the sale in the books in local currency, and of course at the official rate. The difference (like 97% of the sale) goes into someone's pockets. As it did for 20 years or so, making a few people grotesquely wealthy.

    Of course countries might have different exchange rates for other reasons than out and out corruption, so not sure whether this has any resonance for Venezuela?
  15. Idris2002

    Idris2002 halle bleibt stolz

    More trouble over the weekend, with a riot in a provincial town that left one dead and many injured:

    Pro-revolution website Venezeula analysis has this to say:

    "Santa Elena, August 3, 2015. ( - On Friday morning, residents of San Felix, a city in Venezuela’s southeastern state of Bolivar, overturned a bus and looted various markets, in a mass reaction to rising prices.

    San Felix is a working class city across the river from Puerto Ordaz, a wealthy industrial city filled with shopping malls. The neighborhoods of Puerto Ordaz were designed in the 1960s by the American company US Steel to look like quaint US suburbs, with cookie cutter homes and patterned lawns. On the other side, San Felix stretches, chaotic and congested, punctuated with abandoned warehouses and colonial-era buildings in decay.

    The latter is also a stronghold of chavista grassroots movements."

    And in their analysis section:

    "Because, by the looks of it, things will get harder before they get better. And if we in Venezuela allow ourselves to turn inwards, to grow more individualistic, then the right wing will have won.

    And those people who stand in solidarity with Venezuela from abroad may want to consider complicating their narrative. By avoiding the challenges being faced by working people, we're encouraging corporate media to co-opt these struggles to suit their script."

    Anyone for endgame?
    frogwoman likes this.
  16. trabuquera

    trabuquera Modesty Bag

    I'm all for complicating the narrative, so how about this: despite dire warnings from the word go, and relentless harping on about crime, shortages, bonkers exchange rates and eccentric ideology, Chavez and chavistas have held power and kept on being reelected. I am 50000% more sceptical about Venezuela's gov't than most people who post here, but even I have to notice that this regime has been described as being "on the brink of collapse" for YEARS ON END now. As in Cuba, outsider analysis doesn't consider how resilient the existing order might be or why it can hold on for much longer than anticipated.
    dogDBC, frogwoman and J Ed like this.
  17. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    Most anti-Chavez media seem to be unaware of, or at least they ignore, just how awful and hated the opposition is. The opposition is full of open fascists, racists, classists and Randian wingnuts.
    frogwoman, mather and trabuquera like this.
  18. Buzz sw9

    Buzz sw9 User

    Venezuelan soldiers are telling their families that they expect to be deployed to all major towns and cities around the country prior to the election on December 6. Maduro is expected to declared a state of exception in some regions before the election, this will suspend the constitution in those areas. We are leaving for Brazil this weekend to stay with friends, the boarder with Colombia keeps being closed and we worry they may do the same with the Brazilian boarder.
  19. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    That certainly what much of the 'official opposition' consists of, also the drivers of unrest and protest past.

    However given the scope of the crisis now, I would be looking closely to see if a new form of opposition arrives, involving some of those who were previously the movements biggest supporters. I don't know if it will happen in a big way, but its clear that the days are over where cracks can be papered over simply by pointing out what scum the opposition are. I applaud the likes of venezuela analysis calling for a more complex narrative - when I tried that here a few years ago some people tried to paint me as a tool of the opposition, what a load of binary bollocks. Hopefully we've moved on from that now. People should continue to point out the dodgyness of the scum opposition, but Maduro and the government should not be shielded from criticism by this reality, and people should be on the lookout for other flavours of opposition.

    Too early for me personally to think of the end-game yet, but the government turning the crisis into one involving military action on its borders seems possible.

    Years of dangerous bullshit make it hard to take rumours about troops in all major towns & cities too seriously at this point, but I suppose I wouldn't fall off my chair in shock if this sort of thing eventually came true this time. But for me, if the government lose their genuine democratic mandate, then I question what they really have left to support, no matter the character of the opposition.
    frogwoman likes this.
  20. likesfish

    likesfish an angry pretend soldier shooting at seagulls

    Been playing stupid games on the border with guinea as well:facepalm:
  21. 1%er

    1%er Well-Known Member

    Did you mean guyana?
  22. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star



    Attached Files:

    Idris2002 likes this.
  23. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    perhaps venezuela more expansionist than previously realised.
    Idris2002 and likesfish like this.
  24. 1%er

    1%er Well-Known Member

    Maybe Maduro is going to take a leaf out of Thatchers book and fight a war on the other-side of the world in the hope of getting re-elected
    likesfish, mather, J Ed and 2 others like this.
  25. 1%er

    1%er Well-Known Member

    The Bolivarian spirit isn't dead, it just lacks direction at the moment.
    likesfish likes this.
  26. trabuquera

    trabuquera Modesty Bag

    well if Cuba fought in Angola, Mozambique and Namibia, no reason why Maduro can't have his own little African adventure too.
    (just teasing likesfish )
    likesfish likes this.
  27. likesfish

    likesfish an angry pretend soldier shooting at seagulls


    When the Generals get rid of corbyn you will be punished*

    * although if the coup goes as well as iraq and afghanistan the punishment will be a spa weekend and the daily mail and murdochs mates etc will end up at otterburn:p you could build a prison camp there but no real reason to its horrible enough as it is :D
  28. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    I like Otterburn
  29. likesfish

    likesfish an angry pretend soldier shooting at seagulls

    You strange sad man and I pity you :D
    J Ed likes this.
  30. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    Sounds like someone didn't have a good time at the Woollen Mill!

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