What evidence is there of economic warfare against Venezuela?
May 26, 2016 8:19 AM   Subscribe

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela has claimed on a number of occasions that powers outside Venezuela are engaging in economic warfare against his country. Maduro usually blames the United States, though he has also claimed that certain Colombians are behind Venezuela's economic crisis. America's dismal record of interfering in Latin America makes it the usual suspect when things start going wrong. However, what evidence is there that the US or any other country are attacking Venezuela's economy?

I'm not looking for an assessment of the merits and shortcomings of chavismo. Also, it's pretty well understood that American money has gone to fund the political opposition in Venezuela. That falls under the category of political interference. And from time to time Maduro has announced the discovery of plots to overthrow him. Again, that's a political matter.

What I am looking for is information that would help me put Maduro's claims of economic warfare in perspective. What are the US and other countries supposedly doing right now to harm the country's economy?

My interest in this is that I held dual Venezuelan and American citizenship until I was 21. While I opted for US citizenship by default, I still very much interested in what is happening there.
posted by A. Davey to Law & Government (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Anything that reduces the price of oil is devastating to Venezuela. The US has done a fair bit to increase supply and so lower the price.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:04 AM on May 26, 2016

Yeah, I think it's been pretty well established that it's Venezuela's complete reliance on oil exports and the concurrent dropping price of oil that's killing the country. Given that, I find it hard to believe at best that the US is doing this as economic warfare against Venezuela, or that Venezuela factors much into the US government's thinking on this, given that OPEC and Russia are probably far more top-of-mind.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 9:40 AM on May 26, 2016

This might be helpful. It's a page about the Treasury Department's sanctions against Venezuela.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:41 AM on May 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

John Oliver's bit on a recent Last Week tonight is pretty instructive.

Oil production is down because there's no investment in maintaining facilities or drilling, even in the fields where there are known reserves. There's massive graft and corruption in the oil company, which used to be private. Less revenue for less oil.

Price controls are a huge disincentive for producing goods. There is a black market price for most things that are way higher than the official price. Producers can't get that price because they can only sell for the price set by the government. So they go out of business.

The result is that the government takes everything they can get their hands on, and uses propaganda to blame anyone else they can. There are few governments in the world more involved in the domestic economy than Venezuela's. If something is going poorly in Venezuela's economy, the first place to look is the government of Venezuela.
posted by thenormshow at 1:49 PM on May 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

« Older Ennio Rotten   |   Looking for a new subscription-based media service Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.