The Venezuelan model shows signs of economic exhaustion and lack of functionality. The repression intesifies.
(From San Antonio de Tachira) WHEN ONE CROSSES THE BORDER between Colombia and Venezuela, the chaos is overwhelming. The movement of people, merchandise and transport immediately brings you to realize you have entered a world which is not your own: the empire of Hugo Chávez. The second you step on Venezuelan soil, the essence of a militarized country shows; the lack of basic products, the empty shop windows and absolute disorder.
“Whilst the life of Venezuelans deteriorates day by day, mainly due to the fact that the most basic necessities can only be found in the black market, Chavez’s regime tightens its grip.”
Your money becomes worthless with the fictitious exchange rates offered on the streets, Venezuelans come back from Colombia full of commodities, you cannot find hotels, restaurants or simply resources which one elsewhere would call “common”, such as phone booths or mail boxes. People squeeze themselves into cars, buses, motorcycles and even bicycles in order to cross the border and shop in Colombia. The long queues which resemble a communist country give the city an air of “third world countryness”. Chavez’s Venezuela is the Caribbean disaster.
And then we find the useless missions chavistas carried out by Cuban collaborators and medics who, if they’re lucky, find a chance to run across the border to Colombia and never return to the so-called “socialist paradise”.
UNDER CHAVEZ’S CONTROL
Whilst the life of Venezuelans deteriorates day by day, mainly due to the fact that the most basic necessities can only be found in the black market, Chavez’s regime tightens its grip. After the expulsion of the democratically elected mayor of Caracas now we will also see the probable shut down of Globovisión, the only channel which expresses its opposing views towards the government. Chávez has already announced he will be shutting the channel down and this will bring the beginning of the end of freedom of speech in the media. This is also what he did with the Jewish community of Caracas: first he enhanced the feeling of antisemitism and then completely destroyed Venezuela’s relationship with Israel.
The government wants to quickly gain control of the media because it is aware that with the increase in oil prices the situation could deteriorate further the next few months and and could possibly reach a level of irreparable damage. Figures show that in 2006 there were 2 million more poor people than in 1998, and as the Venezuelan journalist, Ibsen Martínez explains, “the Venezuelan state which keeps afloat only due to its oil based economy suffers from a leader that throws away the revenues and governs a corrupt system, the true enemy of the future is Hugo Chávez.”
MOVING TOWARDS A DICTADORSHIP WITHOUT DEMOCRATIC COMPROMISE
Chávez has introduced increased censorship, has placed Cuban advisors in all areas, has managed to threaten all types of opposition and has taken a rhetorically leftist turn in his revolution. This has allowed him and other powerful members around him to enjoy the many luxuries which the Venezuelan society cannot.
They have access to all sorts of beneficial, exhuberant products of the consumer society (the rate of imported cars has increased by 30 percent for example), whilst they maintain their hypocritical “socialist” argument. With this a new type of “millionaire” has emerged called the “boliburguesia”. The corruption, nepotism, and abusing of power places Chavez and his family in charge of most businesses within the country.
“The future looks grim, with very few to none indications of an improvement in Venezuela but also in the region: Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua are all on the same boat.”
THE FUTURE LOOKS GRIM
The influence of Cuba expands, the presence of Cuban advisors in all establishments in Venezuela, including the Armed Forces, strongly compromises the security of the state and furthermore violates the Constitution.
The future looks grim, with very few to none indications of an improvement in Venezuela but also in the region: Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua are all on the same boat. The remaining opposition is still fighting. The point, however, where this will make a change seems far and almost surreal for now.