If you want to know how screwed the economy of Venezuela is, you just need to read this list an European friend living in Venezuela sent me.
|Butter, a luxury in Venezuela under Chavismo|
There is Manchego cheese from Spain and good olive oil and black olives, also from Spain. There is French mustard. There is no maize flour [our usual maize], there is no wheat flour [our second choice], there is no margarine and no butter. Finally there is some milk and tooth paste are back. There is finally toilet paper now, available at a drugstore but only the rand Rosal, which is produced close by.
You might think life is not that bad if people in another continent can afford to buy Spanish cheese. But those foreign products that are available are very expensive for the average Venezuelan and many of the others most people need all the time.
As you read: things like milk or tooth paste are only available sporadically. And you have to wait in line for hours to get many products, from tooth paste to chicken. Perhaps you can find expensive Buffalo meat somewhere if you have the money.
Almost everything that should be produced in Venezuela is not produced in the country in sufficient quantities, it is subject to price controls and almost everything that is under price control in Venezuela is scarce.
Because production is collapsing the Cuban-military government in Venezuela decides to import as much as it can from its allied countries and even from the "evil-evil" United States. It imports from allied countries often at much higher prices than the international market prices. The Venezuelan (Cuban-military) government prefers to do so than give money to the ailing Venezuelan industry.
And this is something you seldom hear from the people in Caracas: almost every other region in Venezuela is subject to constant blackouts because the electricity network is a mess. In the average city you can have a blackout every second day. Sometimes blackouts last for several minutes only, but every second time you are without electricity for two or more hours.
This seldom happened before 1998.
This is what a highly corrupt government controlled from Cuba and paralized by ideological zealotry does to Venezuela.
Governments such as Brazil won't lift a finger. They are having a wonderful time as the Venezuelan Boligarchs buy overpriced products and keeps a huge trade deficit with them.