Caracas Chronicles‘ Francisco Toro has an excellent article at Vox,
How Venezuela’s socialist dream collapsed into a nightmare. For those of you thinking that it would have worked well if Chávez was still alive, Toro spells it out,
Chavismo’s disastrous policies created this nightmare
He goes on,
A wave of expropriations beginning in 2005 left most medium and large companies in state hands, to be run by bureaucrats who proved often venal and almost always incompetent. Even businesses left in private hands faced an unmanageable thicket of regulation over every imaginable aspect of their operations, hemming them in on all sides.
To take one example out of a million possibilities, it is now illegal for a dairy company to move raw milk from a collection center it owns to a processing facility it also owns 2 kilometers away without an explicit permit signed and stamped by a slew of government officials.
It is also illegal to fire a worker for basically any reason, including making threats of physical violence against a manager. And, needless to say, it is illegal to set your own prices: The state does that, often setting them below the cost of production, especially for basic goods. Under such circumstances, even “private” firms are in essence state run.
Read the whole thing.
Sarah Stanley writes on how Authoritarianism ruined Venezuela
Luis Ferreira Alvarez looks at VENEZUELA’S HEMISPHERIC ISOLATION
Whatever the end result, it is clear that Venezuela has lost ground in the region. Having remained aloof as the country descended into chaos, regional actors are finally reacting as new governments take power and Venezuela’s oil diplomacy collapses due to the drop in oil prices. But while regional attention on the Venezuelan crisis is welcomed, Venezuela’s problems can only be solved by Venezuelans. The international community, however, should prepare forwhen the Maduro government ends as the country seems more likely to implode given Caracas’ reaction to the recall referendum and protests against scarcity.
Last, but not least, Michael Totten compares Venezuela Collapses, Colombia Rises. Colombia has much to lose if it agrees to place FARC masterminds in positions of leadership.