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Venezuela Update

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by Feanor, Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    And that would be a mistake, because I don't see Venezuela as a threat to US national security at the moment, even if the Russians, Cubans and Chinese pour money and resources into it. Just let them empty their treasuries. If needs be, bolster support with countries bordering Venezuela, but do it without boots on the ground and permanent bases. Lots of soft power with hearts and minds, along with being in it for the long term, not just for one or two electoral cycles, then pissing off elsewhere.
    Ha ha, more than once I've threatened to hit the computer, phone or tablet with a hammer for not doing what it's supposed too. She who must be obeyed (wife) tells me I am not allowed too and if I do I will not be replacing it. That from the woman who wants a why not button on hers :D
    I just wonder where all that wealth has gone. It was one of the richest countries in the world per capita, and now look at it. It's people starving on the streets whilst the political and military elite have full bellies and want for nothing. A kleptocracy?, Gross economic mismanagement? Or a combination of both?

    I think that Guaido launched to soon and now has shot his bolt. Any chance he had of really infiltrating the military and subverting it from within is long gone. Russia, Cuba and China will have security experts involved advising Madura and the military on security and how to ensure the security and loyalty of their personnel. Madura will use the failed coup to clamp down on any and all opposition - he'd be a fool not too. Having the opposition giving speeches and talking about deposing him is one thing. Launching a coup is another and that has to be dealt too. For the Venezuelan people things have just gone from bad to worse.
     
  2. Ananda

    Ananda Well-Known Member

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    Few years back, some 'populist' and 'left' leaning politicians in Indonesia talk about Chavez-Maduro case as 'shining' example on how national wealth should be distributed. We in financial industries told them back then, wait for few more years, if they (Venezuelan regime) keep doing this path..their economy will crash down hard.

    PDVSA, the Venezuelan state run out company used to have very healthy balance sheet and thriving business model. Then come Chavez with his 'shining' economics model..and push the company on financing populist agenda with out having ability to reserve funds on further investment to keep maintain their edges on 'cut-throut' global oil business.

    Whether corruption involve or not..For me, it's 'total incompetence' economics policy and keep maintaining populist agenda, that drove Venezuelan to this conditions. Using state run oil company to finance political agenda is never can be sustainable on long run. Look on how Najib in Malaysia ruin Petronas, and how Soeharto ruined Pertamina growth for political agenda. In fact event presently Jokowi also still using Pertamina to finance his subsidies program for his 'one price gasoline's policy that many already shown it's costing Pertamina close to 40% of it's potential profit.

    In short, don't subsidies your population on more than your economy can handle. Look at Greece, how an economy that much bellows the capabilities of German and Scandinavian wants to follow their 'social' program ? Off course it's not the sole problem that Greece economy got from..but still, you simply do not subsidies your population, more than your economy can handle.

    Subsidies can be beneficial..if it can improve your productivity..but no subsidies can be maintain sustainable..if it only provide give away money without the population segment that you give subsidies can give back to economy with improve productivity.

    It's simply economy 101.

    Maduro have a lot off lower class population benefiting from his 'populist' agenda..just wandering how much longer can he keep 'hoping' to get their support..if they are increasingly 'starving' ?

    Look at Soeharto as example..couple years before his down fall..no one in the world can even thought he can go down, with he's able to keep Indonesian economy growth in average of 6-7% for more than two decades..
    Suddenly Economic crisis..then the population that beneficial from his subsidies can't tollerate him no more.
    Back to Maduro..don't think he can maintain the population support much longer.unless he can 'magically' turn around the economy. After all, just like a very 'cool' phrase..'it's the economy, stupid'..;)
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    ngatimozart likes this.
  3. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Letting Venezuela implode as opposed to boots on the ground is likely the best option for the US, especially since the US is now self sufficient energy wise (too bad this wasn't the case 20 years ago). The problem is the chaos created which will effect neighbouring countries. A shame there is no South American country powerful enough that could mediate a solution.
     
  4. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think a lot depends on how you define "threat to national security". After Russian defiance on the Ukraine issue and the failure of US policy in the Middle East (losing Syria and Iraq, and souring relations with Turkey) failing to remove a hostile regime in your own back yard would certainly be an alarming sign of weakness.

    I think foreign sanctions also had something to do with it, as well as the refusal of foreign countries to let Venezuela access their own money or gold stored there. I also don't know that people are actually starving. There certainly are consumer goods shortages but I don't see people fainting from hunger in the streets, or children with distended stomachs. So I have to wonder how bad the situation actually is. I mean, it's definitely bad when you have to fight to get toilet paper, but there are degrees. Iirc Russia and China were flying humanitarian aid in.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  5. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Will it implode though? A lot of people in Russia thought Ukraine would implode, what with losing millions of population in lost territories, and immigration, collapse of their foreign trade with Russia, and generally poor economic management. And yet nothing of the sort has happened. The population is poorer then ever before and leaving the country at record pace, taxes and communal services costs have skyrocketed, paychecks have lagged behind inflation, and pensions have been cut, but the country is still there. There are 3rd world dictatorships where conditions are godwaful, yet they manage to remain countries. So I don't know that I would put much money on Venezuela just imploding by itself. Quite the opposite, I think that if left alone, Maduro will stabilize power, and the economy will eventually stabilize and even start to grow, though slowly.
     
  6. 2007yellow430

    2007yellow430 Member

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    Exactly. It looks like the US attempted regime change, but the “sanctions” weren’t enough. No telling what’s next. Failure to change the regime will not look good. Look for a Bay of Pigs type of action, with most probably the same result.

    Art
     
  7. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    It’s a timely reminder for all those wishing for big government and big spending populist governance.
    Remember that wonderful quote from UK Prime Minister from the 1980’s, “Socialism is fantastic until they run out of other people’s money”. (Apologies if this has been quoted previously)
     
  8. 2007yellow430

    2007yellow430 Member

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    The flip side of that is when a government takes a country’s natural resources, gets enormous wealth, and doesn’t bother to educate the lower classes, you get a Chavez. The middle ground seems to work best.

    Art
     
  9. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Chavez is a best case scenario. You could easily get something much much worse.

    I'm not sure I buy this argument. Socialism has existed in many forms, and arguably exists in some forms today. The early Soviet Union didn't have any money. Or much of anything. It inherited an agrarian empire, in ruins, and built an industrial super power, survived a horrific and destructive war, and proceeded to spread it's political influence and ideology to ~1/3rd of the planet. And they didn't run out of other people's money. They ran into structural problems with the Soviet economy and political organization. I think that socialism in some form or another is going to continue existing, and is likely a big part of our future. Venezuela's problem is not socialism per se, but poor governance in general. It was poorly governed before Chavez (bringing him to power as a result), it was poorly governed by Chavez (though arguably less poorly) and it's poorly governed after Chavez leading to the current sad state of affairs.
     
  10. Sandhi Yudha

    Sandhi Yudha Member

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    It seems its just happened, an Eurocopter Cougar crashed with 7 people on board, there are no survivors. Cause is not yet known.

    Zeven doden bij crash legerhelikopter in Venezuela

    Im sorry, but the source is in Dutch language.

    MOD EDIT: English translation.

    An army helicopter crashed near the Venezuelan capital Caracas. All seven passengers were killed.

    The aircraft, of the Eurocopter Cougar type, crashed into a mountainous area near the town of El Hatillo. It is located about 15 kilometers from Caracas. The cause of the accident is still unclear. According to the El Nacional newspaper , the victims were army officers.

    The NTN24-based TV channel in Colombia reports that the helicopter accompanied a journey by President Maduro. The president, who is engaged in a power struggle with opposition leader Guaidó, has not confirmed that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2019
  11. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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  12. Boatteacher

    Boatteacher Member

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    That makes Soviet Socialism sound very benign; even positive.
    It hardly does justice to the 30 odd million killed in the course of collectivization - often by starvation. Let alone the gulags and purges.
    A non-Socialist Russia might very well have industrialized through the 29th Century much better than the one that had the reigns - although who really knows what the alternative history might have been.

    It also understates the extent to which Venezuela was brought down by the Socialist takeover of their oil industry and its subsequent debasement. Poor governance yes, but entirely consistent with Socialist principles.
     
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  13. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Margaret Thatcher’s comment provoked an interesting discussion.
    I therefor feel compelled to quote Churchill, “Socialism is like standing in a bucket, filling it with water and then trying to lift it up by the bucket’s handle”
    It ultimately has the same effect, an economy going nowhere.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 12:26 PM
  14. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    I have seen the first two episodes of the HBO series Chernobyl. If even 10% of the content regarding the atrocious response of the Soviet socialist bureaucracy is correct then it explains everything you need to know about socialism.
     
  15. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's behind a paywall. I've always wondered about US claims regarding Cuban influence in Venezuela, and I have a hard time believing that Cuba played such a huge role in "strangling" the Venzuelan democracy. If it is indeed strangled, all things considered.

    I would be wary of trusting a western TV show to do justice to the ins and outs of the USSR, especially around something as complex as the Chernobyl nuclear accident. It was a very different place, right down to the way people thought and behaved. I haven't seen this series yet, but I would be very surprised if I recognized the bits and pieces of Soviet life in that series. To be honest, I've never seen a western film get things right about the USSR or Russia (though it may be that I haven't watched enough of them) and this is no exception.
     
  16. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't want to derail this into a lengthy discussion about socialism, so I'll just say this. Your numbers are wrong, to put it mildly. If you want to have this conversation, send me a PM, and I'll be happy to discuss it. Stalin's USSR is a fascinating subject, and I spent quite a bit of time studying it in college and after so I'd be happy to have this conversation, just not in this thread.

    Ditto to the post above. Let's keep this about Venezuela. A broad-based discussion of socialism would run afoul of our no-politics rule.
     
  17. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Check it out if possible, I would like your opinion on it. Certainly agree, thought and behaviour would be different now. Almost wonder which will be worse for future nuclear power generation, the actual event or this TV series (in the West and Japan).