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View Diary: Venezuela is in a bad spot and no you can't blame it all on the CIA ok (75 comments)

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  •  Where in the EU? (1+ / 0-)
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    Certainly not in the periphery. Spain still has a huge unemployment rate.

    •  Again, compared to Venezuela any part of the (1+ / 0-)
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      EU is really not that bad. Some are certainly doing worse than others but at least they function. Venezuela doesn't.

      •  Because of political reasons (1+ / 0-)
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        not economic ones. Read my post further down.

        And despite the shortages, poverty is way down, unemployment is low, and people have access to subsidized food and free healthcare.

        •  One doesn't preclude the other. You can run your (1+ / 0-)
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          economy into the ground but still keep poverty fairly low. Soviet Union did that, for example. Given that Venezuela gets all its hard currency from oil and the government controls the oil company, I don't see how oligarchs can influence inflation all that much.

          •  They still control most of the economy (0+ / 0-)

            They get hard currency from the government and then lie about how they use it. Read my post below.

            •  If you have #1 oil reserves in the world (0+ / 0-)

              and produce 2 mln barrels/day you should be able have some food in the stores. Blaming some 'oligarchs' is just lame.

              •  There is food in stores, more now than pre-Chavez (1+ / 0-)
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                Venezuela's caloric intake per capita has increased over the Bolivarian period, and that still applies today. There are periodic shortages in key goods like toilet paper, heating oil, and corn flower, but people have stockpiles. It's a financial burden and a huge source of uncertainty and stress, but there are way fewer people going hungry in Venezuela today then there are just over the border in Columbia.

                Food sovereignty was a big priority for the Bolivarians because the opposition pulled this same shit back in 2003 when they still controlled the state oil company. Back then Vemezuela grew a lot less of its own food, so the effect was bigger back then. That's when Mercal, the state grocery chain that sells subsidized food, got established, and the government got more involved in agricultural policy. They haven't been as aggressive about land reform as they should be, but they've increased the amount of food produced domestically considerably.

                And those statistics I posted up(possibly down)thread reflect that. Caloric intake is up. Child malnutrition has been quartered. Venezuelans are getting taller.

                The current inflation is caused by hoarding (they routinely find huge stockpiles of "scarce" goods in private warehouses), illegally smuggling goods into Columbia (where there are no price controls), and a refusal to produce by private business owners. It's a repeat of 2003, except dispersed throughout the whole economy instead of concentrated in the state oil company, since the government controls that now.

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