Thursday, 13 August 2009

Venezuela: the parasite nation

Venezuela became a predominantly oil exporting country already in the thirties of the XX century. Unlike Norway, it was not an industrialized nation and its people had very low levels of education. Already back then, intellectual Arturo Úslar Pietri warned us about Venezuelans becoming just parasites of a petro-state. Few payed attention to him and those who did payed lip service to his words only. We became more and more dependent on petrol export and produced less and less things on our own.

The current government of Venezuela has brought our parasitism to new levels. Every month or so the Venezuelan government announces it has closed so many deals with another country. The semi-illiterate population does not realize what is behind those deals: it is all about selling oil to import more, it is always about Venezuela buying more.

Hugo Chávez threw a tantrum after the Colombian government denounced they had found Venezuelan-own Swedish weapons in possession of the terrorist organization FARC. The Venezuelan 1992-coupster decided to freeze relationships with Colombia and lo and behold, Argentina rushed in to offer replacing all those goods. This is very stupid and bad for Venezuela as Argentina is far away (remember South America is twice as big as Europe with European Russia included) and labor costs there are much higher than in Colombia.

Anyway, the most striking part of the whole deal for me is the fact that Venezuela and Argentina signed some 22 agreements and ALL THOSE AGREEMENTS are about Argentina exporting to Venezuela, nothing about Venezuela exporting to Argentina (here an article on that in Spanish).

The most worrying thing is that half the Venezuelan population does not have a clue about why this is bad. They think imports have to come, exporters are just some rich people and: who cares about those rich people? In reality the exporting sector in Venezuela - other than oil - is in tatters.

Chavez has no intention of helping Venezuelan exporters for a simple reason: the only way in which he can remain in power is if he maintains and strengthens the parasitic relationship between the Venezuelan people and the oil the state has always managed. If Venezuelan exporters had some clout, Chavez would lose some power.

We should all be aware: Argentina, Brazil and other countries are very happy with Venezuelans being the bunch of parasites they have become.

Ps. Today the national police dispersed a peaceful opposition march that had received permit to go to the National Assembly. So good for democracy in Venezuela

Ps2: If you are Venezuelan and haven't replied to the poll on the right, I would appreciate if you do so.


  1. Very interesting, very insightful. It seems to me that one of the big problems many developing nations face is an over-reliance on natural resources to solve their economic issues. Another problem is when the government tries to manipulate the economy. For example, in Honduras the sudden jump in minimum wage resulted in increased unemployment.

    This kind of government manipulation is something that has happened to the US as well during the great depression. In general, disaster results.

    Thanks again for your insightful post.

  2. Thanks and welcome, Karateka.

    The thing is when should state intervene. Never?


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