Venezuela continues to circle the drain. Remember it has the largest oil reserves in the world. In the last three months the price of oil (yes there are lots of prices but they move in tandem) has gone from $54.53 to $65.41. Unfortunately, it is trying to apply socialism. Scott B. MacDonald reports on the impact:
Venezuela is a mess. It clings on the edge of total debt default only thanks to the timely recent assistance of Russian money. At the same time, the economy has imploded—oil production and exports are struggling, inflation has zipped well above 2,000 percent (into the realm of hyperinflation), unemployment is in excess of 20 percent, and there are growing numbers of outbreaks of looting in the face of widespread shortages of food and basic goods. By one estimate, Venezuela’s economy has contracted by 40 percent in per capita terms from 2013 to 2017, while the country has one of the world’s highest homicide rates.
There is limited ability for the The Donald to have an impact here. We can safely say that he will avoid his immediate predecessor’s “Mi amigo” moment.
Sidebar: Reporting of Obama’s mi amigo doesn’t come up on Google’s first page. There are two negative comments on it, one being the link, but there is no reporting of it. Interesting. End Sidebar.
Scott says it is up to Venezuela’s military because, like the Congo, Zimbabwe, and eastern Europe, the solution, or lack of a solution, is up to the folks in the country. Scott says:
For change to occur it will have to come from within the ranks of the armed forces. While the top leadership has benefited from its close relationship with the Maduro gang, much of the rank and file is not immune to the ravages of socialist policymaking and mismanagement.
We hope for the best but much will have to go right to get from the current situation to a functioning country, Good luck to the reformers and good luck to outsiders in identifying reformers.