Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela

Actually this story is about the impacts on one of Venezuela’s neighbors. Pentagon prepares to dispatch hospital ship to Colombia amid refugee crisis.

As a result of a dire economic and health care situation, rising numbers of Venezuelans are joining an exodus that has set off alarms across Latin America. The United Nations said earlier this week that an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans had fled the crisis-torn country as of June, mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

Those refugees have apparently overwhelmed the health care system of Colombia. And other South American countries. Several hundred thousand refugees have escaped from Venezuela, a large number of them are malnourished.

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The Collapse of Venezuela And the Impact On the Caribbean

Nicaragua isn’t quite to the “collapse” phase of Socialism, but it also is contributing. Seems some guys are sailing “on the account” again. As Venezuela disintegrates, a new breed of pirates threatens the Caribbean.

It’s been at least nearly 30 years since I’d heard of pirates in the Caribbean (aside from a group of somewhat questionable movies). But what is old, is new again.

Political and economic crises are exploding from Venezuela to Nicaragua to Haiti, sparking anarchy and criminality. As the rule of law breaks down, certain spots in the Caribbean, experts say, are becoming more dangerous than they’ve been in years.

Often, observers say, the acts of villainy appear to be happening with the complicity or direct involvement of corrupt officials — particularly in the waters off collapsing Venezuela.

It isn’t surprising really, people will take an easy way out.

Comprehensive data on piracy is largely lacking for Latin America and the Caribbean. But a two-year study by the nonprofit Oceans Beyond Piracy recorded 71 major incidents in the region in 2017 — including robberies of merchant vessels and attacks on yachts — up 163 percent from the previous year. The vast majority happened in Caribbean waters.

The situation is getting worse, and it is concentrated around Venezuela, The Former Socialist Paradise, but includes areas around Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti and St. Lucia. I don’t see it getting better anytime soon, really. 150 to 200 years ago, the Royal Navy saw it as part of their job to police the high seas. (Which is where at least part of the inspiration for all those Pirate movies – not just those with Johnny Depp – come from.) Today, I don’t see any naval power interested in that part of the world. And the people who are interested, don’t have the power. Unless (or is that until?) a cruise-line ship full of gamblers is attacked, don’t expect it will get better before it gets worse.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

Everything is starting to fail. Video: Maracaibo, the story of Venezuela’s collapse.

Are we surprised that very little of this is in the mainstream press? (Florida newspapers have an opinion piece, about trying to get the Democrats to wake up. I think it is mostly wasted.)

Maracaibo is the second-largest city in Venezuela. Its residents face soaring inflation, widespread poverty and shortages. Under Hugo Chavez, Venezuela based its economy on oil exports. But the fall in oil prices led to a crippling economic crisis. Most people can no longer afford to buy food and the fishermen of Lake Maracaibo resort to smuggling to sell their meagre catch in neighbouring Colombia

Don’t expect the kids protesting in Washington, or Bernie Sanders or the new Democratic candidate in NYC to mention Venezuela anytime. And if anyone is brash enough to bring it up, they will tell you that isn’t Socialism.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela….

The oil industry – the country’s last support – looks to be pushed over the edge. Workers Flee and Thieves Loot Venezuela’s Reeling Oil Giant.

Workers in the oil industry were high-paid, and it was an important support for the government so it got what it needed. But when hyperinflation hits, it doesn’t matter how high your salary is, it will be worthless next month, or the month thereafter. So finally even the oil workers are heading for the exits.

Desperate oil workers and criminals are also stripping the oil company of vital equipment, vehicles, pumps and copper wiring, carrying off whatever they can to make money. The double drain — of people and hardware — is further crippling a company that has been teetering for years yet remains the country’s most important source of income.

The last time I checked, the volume of oil shipped from Venezuela was down substantially and falling. The government wants to increase shipments by 1 million barrels per day, but people are leaving because a months salary won’t buy 2 cartons of eggs, so it isn’t clear how they will meet that goal. And with the infrastructure being gutted… (Hat tip to Small Dead Animals)

In the Gun-free, Socialist Paradise of Venezuela, Murder is on the Rise

The Left used to love Venezuela, and Bernie Sanders wanted the US to be more like that country. In the wake of a gun ban, Venezuela sees rising homicide rate

In 2012, the communist-dominated Venezuelan National Assembly enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law.” The bill’s stated objective was to “disarm all citizens.” The new law prohibited all gun sales, except to government entities. The penalty for illegally selling or carrying a firearm is a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Despite criticism from the democratic opposition, the bill went into effect in 2013.

Made it easy for the dictatorship to remain in control.

The stats show that they always had more murders than we did per capita, but since the gun ban went into effect the rate has gone up substantially.

More importantly, the national homicide rate rose from 73 per 100,000 in 2012 to 90 per 100,000 in 2015. The real figures are likely higher as the Maduro regime is well known for purposely undercounting crime.

How can that be?

And, predictably, since they have a monopoly on firearms, they use said firearms to attack protestors.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

Tuberculosis is making a big-time comeback. ‘We’re Losing the Fight’: Tuberculosis Batters a Venezuela in Crisis – The New York Times

His family thought he just had a bad cold, nothing serious.

But Victor Martínez kept getting worse. By mid-January, he lay in a hospital ward, wasting away from tuberculosis. A month later, at his wake, stunned relatives tried to reckon with the resurgence of a disease that many Venezuelans thought had been mostly confined to the history books.

A Century of medical advances wiped out, because the government knows best. Or at least they think they do.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela

Hyper-inflation is running wild, because people no longer believe in the currency or the government. Venezuela knocks three zeros off ailing currency amid hyperinflation

So they’ve decided that the way to fix all of their problems, is to officially devalue all of the currency in circulation, by dividing everything by 1000.

The move illustrates the collapse of the bolivar, which has fallen 99.99 percent against the U.S. dollar on the black market since Maduro came to power in April 2013. A $100 purchase of bolivars then would now be worth just a single U.S. cent.

The official exchange rate hasn’t changed, so it is just a convenient accounting move. But it won’t fix the fact that the country – under its august Socialist leadership – is imploding.