Thursday, May 19, 2016
Venezuela has become a failed state
According to the International Monetary Fund's latest projections, it has the world's worst economic growth, worst inflation and ninth-worst unemployment rate right now. It also has the second-worst murder rate, and an infant mortality rate that's gotten 100 times worse itself the past four years. And in case all that wasn't bad enough, its currency, going by black market rates, has lost 99% of its value since the start of 2012. It's a complete social and economic collapse. And it has happened despite the fact that Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves. Venezuela's government is to blame. It's a gangster state that doesn't know how to do anything other than sell drugs and steal money for itself. Indeed, two of President Nicolás Maduro's nephews were arrested on charges of conspiring to bring 800 kilos of cocaine into the United States, the president's right-hand man is suspected of running a drug ring himself, and public money has a habit of disappearing into what could only be private pockets. Two ex-officials estimate that as much as $300 billion has been misappropriated the past decade. It's enough that Transparency International ranks Venezuela as the ninth-most corrupt country in the world. The only ones worse — Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Angola, Libya and Iraq — are a collection of rogue and war-torn nations. Venezuela is the answer to what would happen if an economically illiterate drug cartel took over a country. This corruption hasn't just enriched the few. It has also impoverished the many. That's because the government has tried to control the economy to the point of killing it — all, of course, in the name of "socialism."