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Friday, March 23, 2018

The crisis in Venezuela is reminiscent of the collapse of the USSR

More recently, Venezuela was grateful and solvent buyer of Russian arms. Now the inheritance left by Hugo Chavez, eaten: the Treasury has no money, and on the shelves – products. Under threat and political Union with Moscow: the government rushes the opposition focused on the United States. Whether President Maduro a chance to rectify the situation?

In Venezuela is in full swing preparing for the referendum, in which citizens must decide whether President Nicolas Maduro at his post or he must resign. The right opposition for the first time in 17 years a chance to get to power. But the scale of the problems Venezuela is huge. Can they solve the opposition is the big question.

The day when the “McDonald’s” ran out of bread

“The CIA has implanted in the brain Maduro tiny worm, which causes him to ruin the country’s economy and to pronounce a five-hour speech about nothing”

In Venezuela goes anecdote: “When it’s time to go to the store? When you see him in front of a huge queue. At all other times the shelves are empty. Once brought bread, rice and coffee sold, according to the decree of the President Maduro, at “fair prices” for them to build a crowd. Crush for cheap food has become deficient, or the crazy high prices on the black market, is all that a socialist state offers its citizens in the present time. And everyone will note that it is extremely similar to the last years of the Soviet Union.

However, Venezuelans are close to Colombia: they chase in a neighboring country to overstock, there’s rice and medicines. Sometimes the state border of the actually storm.

President Maduro’s fiery speeches to convince the citizens in the artificial nature of the food and drug crisis. And he’s right at least in the fact that major owners of the socialist regime, is completely unnecessary.

For example, in may brewing company Polar announced to the entire country that ceased to brew beer, which is almost 80 per cent of the local beer production. Polar owners say they need to buy abroad yachmenny malt. This can be done only in dollars. The official rate of the “strong Bolivar” – 10 per dollar. Dollars at this price it’s impossible. The real exchange rate – 400 bolivars per dollar. It is possible to buy currency on the black market. But when companies try to do this, Maduro accuses them that they are stocking dollars for the future and thereby undermine the exchange rate of the Bolivar. For its part large owners require to let the local currency float freely. And trying to put pressure on the President, can create an artificial shortage of certain goods and products.

In July, McDonald’s stopped selling big Mac in Venezuela due to the lack of basic ingredients – grain products. Sale of French fries was discontinued even earlier – it had replaced the root of the Yucca, which was served in a fried or salted.

About the same time announced its closing of a us company Kimberley-Clark, a leader in the production of diapers. Maduro said that Texas the company participates in the economic war of the USA against Venezuela and promised to pay an allowance 971 Venezuelan workers have seized the shop Kimberley-Clark. However levers of influence on the situation in General had not. As for the impact on American Citibank, who promised to block all the accounts of the Central Bank of Venezuela during the month. This despite the fact that even in the current scenario the IMF forecast for next year promises Bolivarian Republic of 1640-percent inflation.

Marketeers around the world suggest the Venezuelan authorities to abandon the “strong Bolivar” and the state regulation of the economy. But if Maduro goes on about them, people will literally starve to death. And the fight against poverty, the main real achievement of the socialists – you can put a cross.

The machinations of the CIA and the common people

The sad paradox is that Venezuela could be one of the richest countries in the world. Its proven oil reserves are the largest in the world, amounting, according to various estimates, from 70 to 170 billion tons, or 17.5% of the global share (the share of Russia, for comparison, slightly more than 6%). Selling the “black gold” provided 95% of the Venezuelan GDP, and a decade of high prices has created the material base for Venezuelan socialism.

The fall in world oil prices has crippled Venezuela as well as at the time weakened the Soviet Union. And if earlier the majority of the poor supported the socialist government because it provided them a decent standard of living, now it scolds Maduro is exactly the same as it was originally abused by the bourgeoisie. Political heirs of Hugo Chavez is rapidly losing its social base, rich, poor, all mixed up in criticism of the President. Venezuelans post photos of their empty refrigerators in social networks with captions like “that’s what brought us socialism”, and justify the leadership of the country in the style of “it’s all the machinations of the CIA” everyone has long been tired. As a joke, local bloggers, “the CIA has implanted in the brain Maduro tiny worm, which causes him to ruin the country’s economy and to pronounce a five-hour speech about nothing.

Against the background of inflation, empty shelves and regular outages right opposition was not hard to collect the signatures of 400 thousand voters to initiate a referendum on the resignation of Maduro. On Monday, the national electoral Council recognized their authenticity. Now it is time to gather 20% of votes in the same favor, and then in three months it will be possible to carry out a full referendum. It is assumed that collecting the 20% will be in e-voting that only takes three days. However, the electoral Council has not yet appointed its date, and the government claims that many of the signatures were forged. Currently the courts are more than 9,000 claims on this account, and their consideration of them may be delayed until 2017.

The time factor is important now for the government and for the opposition. If Maduro will manage to postpone the referendum until 2017, in the case of his resignation will come to power Vice-President, and the socialists will remain in power. If the referendum is to be held in 2016, will be appointed early elections. All the chances to win them is Henrique Capriles, who lost only a little Maduro in the presidential elections in 2013.

Of course, Capriles is insisting on a speedy determination of the date of the referendum. It this openly supporting U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry has warned it will not allow Caracas to play games with the postponement of the referendum”. Thus all the Anglo-Saxon media on a daily basis article given the horrific state of Affairs in Venezuela, and human rights activists accuse Maduro of provoking a humanitarian disaster. The leaders of the Organization of American States even offer to suspend the membership of Venezuela because of regular violation of there human rights. That is, in addition to economic pressure, Venezuela is still under strong information pressure.

The light at the end of the tunnel has been disconnected for non-payment

In this situation, Venezuela is trying to somehow help its largest partners – China and Russia. Beijing only recently restructured the debt of Caracas to 65 billion dollars. And Igor Sechin visited the Bolivarian Republic for the purpose of “enhanced cooperation “Rosneft” and the Venezuelan PDVSA”. However, the contents of the refrigerators of ordinary Venezuelans, none of this is recorded, and the dissatisfaction with the President is growing.

If the Venezuelan opposition have their way, voters will vote for the resignation of Maduro, the socialist experiment in Venezuela is over. The main rival of the incumbent President Henrique Capriles is the representative of the Venezuelan big bourgeoisie, heir to a rich family and the leader of the liberal party “For justice”. The improved relations with USA and the democratization of public property.” Translated into plain language, under his rule in Venezuela will come to us corporations, the state property will be privatized, and the country will return to a traditional “wild capitalism”. How will it help ordinary Venezuelans is hard to say. Practical experience of governing the country, the Venezuelan liberals do not.

The opposition likes to criticize the socialist government for seventeen years taken up oil revenues and instead diversify the economy. But the opposition all these years, she lived happily ever after. They were required only to scold the socialists and to draw caricatures of Chavez. It is not clear how they are going to solve the problems of the economic base, the main of which – a 95 percent share of oil revenues in GDP.

If oil prices fall by themselves, then the change of government in Venezuela will not strengthen. If the crisis was engineered, once again, for the sake of Venezuela prices, no one will not raise. The Minister of oil, Eulochio del Pino had already predicted that the winter of 2017, prices could fall to $ 20 per barrel. If that happens, what difference Venezuelans who will lead their country – left or right, Maduro or Capriles. To starve under any President.

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