Saturday, 15 December 2007

Some ideas for Venezuela

How can we attain the standard of living of Danes and Canadians, Koreans and Japanese? I know that question sounds almost obscene for many Venezuelans, a joke, a dream. I think it is possible. I refuse to think my country is doomed to be just an underdeveloped country. The only way we have to finally get moving towards a sustainable development is to start thinking of the very concrete steps we need to take and then make the sacrifices we need to do.

Let's start to propose some ideas. As the list has been growing, I have decided to create a different post for each of the domains. I will be moving the ideas there.

(This will be a post permanently updated about Venezuela. I will be adding stuff with some frequency)

1) Education

2) Economy

3) Industry, science and technology

4) Security

5) Culture

6) Environment

7) Population

8) Health

9) Tourism

10) Agri

11) General management

12) Politi


  1. This is an interesting article here. I think the main thing one has to look at in terms of growth is how china grew in the last 2 decades.. its very similar to how japan grew back in the 60s and 70s. and how Korea grew from 80s-today.

    they all started off with cheap labor.. but a lot of the culture consists of hard work, which unfortunately my country of venezuela are not as consistent as the asians. education should be stressed the most. but the economy really needs to diversify outside of oil.

  2. There is a very large "something" missing from your list. The biggest something of them all, and the very fact that it isn't on your list shows the biggest problem Venezuela has.

    It is so sad the blindness, but it goes so deep and is so pervasive that it practically defines the country and the people. The fact that it is not mentioned at all shows how hopeless the situation is, even with brilliant and educated and caring people looking for and working for answers. How is it possible that you cannot see, and no one in this country can see?

    What do you need to live? That is where it starts; one assures their survival first, then they address the other issues. Then they have the leisure and the security to address the secondary comforts of prosperity.

    Can you honestly not see what is missing from your list?

  3. M_astera, there are lots of things missing in this list. It is not a closed set. I wanted to go on adding things but I haven't had time. I actually started the list with something on waste disposal (causing lots of disease in Venezuela) and another on education (PISA programme), topics that are important but not the most dramatically important, just the ones on the top of my head.

    Among other points:

    - more on basic justice,
    - transparency on how resources are distributed to the needed,
    - a complete change of values regarding wealth and production of wealth,
    - our view that corruption is only what others do and so on.
    and so on.

    You mentioned to assure their survival. Sure, we agree on that.
    I know in what brutal conditions a big proportion of Venezuela's society lives, how they have no decent job, no decent housing, no nothing, their chances of getting killed any day are huge.

    The thing is: HOW TO FIX IT?
    The hard part is the nitty-gritty, the what-to-do-next. If you want to mention what is so urgently missing in your view, I may address it here. Or you think you cannot tell me "because you have to find out yourself, else, the effect is spoilt"? :-)

    I have the impression (it is not only my idea, some Europeans who have been to Venezuela have told me the same) Venezuelans hide the ideas they have as if they were dealing with possible patents they want to secure first. So: spit it out if you want. Perhaps I have thought about it, perhaps I haven't got a clue.

    I just write what occurs to me in the time I have. By the way, start December I have a very concrete proposal on education. If you are interested, stayed tuned. None of this will change anything overnight, but I have a good hunch on that idea.

  4. Hi Kepler-

    Apologies for taking so long to get back here. Lost the link and just found myself here again when you posted it at moctavio's site devilsexcrement.

    What's missing is agriculture. First people need food. If a country can feed itself, it can have the leisure to do other things. It does not have to come up with foreign exchange credits constantly in order to import food.

    Venezuela has the potential to be a great agricultural country, but at present much of the otherwise suitable farmland is missing important elements, mostly phosphate. The llanos are a good example of this, very deficient in phosphate and hence not good grazing lands or croplands.

    I've done enough research in Venezuela to know that the missing elements are there. There are vast phosphate deposits in Tachira and Falcon, among other places. It's simply a matter of moving things from one place to another, and the llanos would be as productive as the pampas of Argentina, or more so.

    How to get the Venezuelan people to recognize agriculture as a proud profession, well, that's another problem.

  5. Thanks very much, Austera.

    I will be writing a special category about agriculture. I know next to nothing about it, but I will be putting in there the information I can gather from people like you.
    One question I have:
    how to avoid pollution by use of nitrates? Think Llanos, think phosphates going into the Orinoco basin.

  6. Hi Kepler-

    Your points are well taken. My focus is very much ecological, working with natural systems and processes.

    Briefly, if any significant amount of nitrates, phosphates, or other fertility amendments are being lost from the land, then something is being done wrong. They need to be used in amounts and applied in ways such that they are not lost. Loss is waste. More is not better.

    At present, Nitrogen fertilizers are extremely overused, especially in Venezuela. A properly functioning agricultural ecosystem needs little or no input of Nitrogen; natural bacteria fix Nitrogen from the air.

    Phosphate (Phosphorus)must be brought in if it's not present in the soil. That is expensive and labor intensive and it would be foolish to waste any of that effort.

    If you can spare the time, please take a look at chapter one of my book The Ideal Soil to get an idea of the concepts I'm working with. Here's the url:

  7. Astera, I am putting your comment as comment in the agriculture post I created today.


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