World View: Venezuela’s Refugees Crisis Soars as Economic Disaster Worsens

Ecuador to organize regional Venezuela migrant crisis meeting

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Venezuela’s Refugees Crisis Soars as Economic Disaster Worsens
  • Number of migrants leaving Venezuela reaches three million

Venezuela’s Refugees Crisis Soars as Economic Disaster Worsens

Venezuelan migrants travel aboard a truck in Tumbes, Peru, near the Ecuador border, on November 1. (AFP)
Venezuelan migrants travel aboard a truck in Tumbes, Peru, near the Ecuador border, on November 1. (AFP)

The socialist poster child, Venezuela, is facing mounting crises as the country continues to crumble. Socialism has been a disaster every time it has been tried, whether it has been abandoned – as in North Korea, Sweden, Russia, China, Cuba, or East Germany – or where it has been allowed to lead to total financial disaster, as in Venezuela.

In Venezuela, the refugee crisis and the economic crisis continue to reach fresh levels while the overweight socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, who stuffs himself while his people starve to death, shows no hint of wanting to abandon the disaster.

On Thursday, Venezuela’s year on year inflation rate was 833,997 percent. The International Monetary Fund predicted several months ago that Venezuela’s inflation rate would reach one million percent by the end of the year and Maduro is on track to reach that goal. The IMF predicted that the inflation rate would exceed 10 million percent by the end of 2019, and there is nothing to stop that from happening unless Maduro is stopped.

Maduro, along with his predecessor Hugo Chávez, has implemented a perfectly functioning socialist economy with nationalized industries, price controls, a high minimum wage, and punishment for anyone making money. As in all perfectly functioning socialist economies, there are shortages of food, medicines, toilet paper, and other basic goods.

What is truly amazing and even record-setting is that Venezuela should be the richest country in Latin America with the largest oil reserves in the world, and yet faces a shortage of gasoline of 80 percent.

Venezuela has 18 refineries throughout the world and six in national territory, but many of the refineries are in disrepair and, even when they are working, they have no oil to refine. One of the main refineries, Amuay, is operating at just 5.4 percent of production capacity.

Instead, what oil is available is sent to Cuba or China. According to one worker representative, oil is being sent to China rather than being refined:

There was an order from Nicolás Maduro to the Minister of Petroleum, Manuel Quevedo, to send one million barrels of oil to China. They stopped the refineries and loaded the barrels. It is even more than the amount that they send to Cuba.

Since the beginning of the year, Maduro has sent over 11 million barrels of oil to Cuba. Just between June and August, Maduro sent 4.19 million barrels, worth $248 million. If I understand this correctly, it means that Cuba is now bailing out Venezuela, just as Venezuela used to bail out Cuba.

It is noteworthy that while both Cuba and China call themselves socialist countries for public relations purposes, both countries have somewhat given up socialism and have opened up their markets. For these countries, socialism has simply turned into a religion. That is why these countries are able to make money, which Venezuela is not. Reuters and Today Venezuela and Guardian (London)

Number of migrants leaving Venezuela reaches three million

According to the United Nations, the number of migrants fleeing Venezuela’s socialist poverty and violence has now surpassed three million. Of the three million, 2.3 million have left Venezuela since 2015, and the number keeps increasing, with 3,000 new arrivals into Colombia every day.

More than one million refugees and migrants are in Colombia. Peru has more than half a million, Ecuador over 220,000, Argentina 130,000, Chile over 100,000, and Brazil 85,000, according to the U.N.

One priest in Colombia took a swipe at America: “People go crazy over the caravan of Central Americans entering Mexico, trying to reach the U.S. That’s four, five, maybe 6,000 migrants, that’s how many we get every four days.”

The rate of migration has sped up in the past six months. The new figures show that about one in 12 of the population has now left the country, driven by violence, hyperinflation, and shortages of food and medicines. Al Jazeera and Guardian (London)

Related Articles:

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, International Monetary Fund, IMF, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, China, Cuba
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