Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro admitted that his socialist economic model has “failed” amid food and medicine shortages as well as a failing infrastructure highlighted by Tuesday’s power failure to 80% of Caracas.
Compounding matters is the IMF’s Weimar-topping hyperinflation forecast of 1,000,000% by year end, and a GDP set to plummet 18% this year, as the government continues to simply print money to in hopes of filling the void of what was once the country’s economy.
“The production models we’ve tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours,” Maduro told his ruling PSUV party congress. “Enough with the whining… we need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power.”
“No more whining, I want solutions comrades!”
No word on whether he took a bite of an empanada during his speech while his country starves on the “Maduro diet” – a phrase coined after Venezuela’s notorious food shortages gave rise to mass starvation across the country. Not even the donkeys are safe.
— Michael Welling (@WellingMichael) May 31, 2017
Venezuela’s socialist government has nationalized a wide swath of industries across the country over the past several years, such as steel and cement plants, food processing, distribution and more. In order to try and control inflation, the country has fixed prices on various goods while imposing tight regulations surrounding foreign exchange.
“I estimate it will take about two years to reach a high level of stability and see the first symptoms of new and economic prosperity, without for one second affecting social security and protection,” added the president.
Maduro plans to increase oil production to “six million barrels a day by 2025 or before,” amid a crash in output from a high of 3.2 million barrels a day in 2008 to just 1.5 million this year, a 30-year low. Venezuela’s crude oil sales comprise approximately 96% of the country’s revenue.
The economic crisis has hit so hard that the public transport system has almost ground to a halt, with the government and local councils offering free rides in unsafe and uncomfortable pick-up trucks — branded “kennels” by users — after many bus service providers couldn’t afford to keep their vehicles on the road.
Maduro, who blames Venezuela’s woes on an “economic war” waged by the United States, called on PSUV supporters to help kick-start production and resist US “aggression.” –France24
Washington, meanwhile, has imposed financial sanctions against Maduro’s government, along with state-owned oil company PDVSA.
Meanwhile, Venezuela’s industrial sector is operating at just 30% capacity, as illustrated by the farming sector, which now provides just a quarter of national consumption, after providing 75% just a few years ago according to the National Farmers Federation.
This should all make for some interesting debate questions during the next US elections, as Democratic Socialists have become the “new face” of the left. Just don’t ask any questions about economics or logistics…