It Can Happen Here

 Before we continue with our Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole segment I need to pass along a warning.It relates to everything I’ll be telling you about Venezuela.

 I hear people say “it can’t happen here” all the time.Most of the crazy things I see and hear these days I saw and heard from Hugo Chavez and the Chavistas.When I tell people this they break out the “it can’t happen here” line and when I ask them why not I usually get something like this. “We have constitutional protections against those abuses of power.”

 Here’s something to remember and it doesn’t matter if you’re on the right or the left. The constitution will not protect you! In Venezuela they had a constitution that Simon Bolivar patterned after the US constitution. Look where they are now……. IT CAN HAPPEN HERE!!!

 Now, on with our continuation of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole.

…..Shortly after the death of Hugo Chavez from cancer (it’s worth noting that he chose to have his cancer treated in Cuba, not Venezuela) the price of oil fell off a cliff from over $100 a barrel to under $30.When you receive over 96% of your revenue from oil THAT’S A PROBLEM!

 By this time even the extraordinarily constructed national oil company (once the envy of the world) was falling victim to Chavista policies and production had fallen by roughly a million barrels a day. Again, when you receive over 96% of your revenue from oil, THAT’S A PROBLEM!

 In the first year and a half of Maduro’s tenure the Chinese complied with his requests to borrow more money and loaned him another 10 billion dollars. After 2015 they told him there would be no new money and all funds from Russia were arms and oil related.Since none of their other allies really had any money there would be no more borrowing. THAT’S A PROBLEM!

 So now it’s raining cats and dogs,you’re under funded and under staffed,what do you do? Simple,deny that there’s a problem and fire the health minister! They even had one health minister that only lasted a week because she was under the mistaken impression she was actually supposed to do something. When she responded to the WHO’s (World Health Organization) request for a report on epidemiology she was immediately fired.The Chavistas had been denying the existence of all these previously eradicated diseases and she violated the ultimate edict of Chavismo, “Tell them nothing.”

 You may be wondering how you can tell them nothing,pretty much about anything, especially a question like “Where did all the money go?” It’s simple. Early on Chavez set up a government department called FONDEN to distribute 60% of government spending. The first 40% of spending was accountable to the National Assembly (the Venezuelan legislative body).FONDEN was,and is,accountable to no one, except Chavez and now Maduro. Also nobody is brave enough to ask a question like that but I’ll save that discussion for another time.

 With no money and no credit they tried a series of bilateral agreements but country by country,deal by deal,they screwed everyone and burned all those bridges.

 To take us even further down the rabbit hole Maduro has been ruling by decree for years now due to the declaration of a “state of emergency”. At the same time he’s been denying there’s a humanitarian crisis. Call me crazy but isn’t it one or the other?

 That led us to the government’s conscious decision to just let people die.They had to choose between paying off their bond holders,strangely enough many were wealthy,connected Chavistas,  or putting that money toward caring for the people. Even that only lasted until 2017 and they have been in default for some time now.

 So here we are. The government keeps a well staffed hospital or two as well as a couple of Barrio Adentro locations they can show visitors that are gullible enough to buy the government line. They don’t hear from doctors like the one in a non-showcase facility that said it was like practicing battlefield medicine 200 years ago.

 The good news is that the hospital we went to has since reopened. The bad news is that with no supplies,few doctors,and for the most part no food,water,or dependable electricity it truly is as Duglimar said “In Venezuela you go to the hospital to die.”

It was my intent to focus on how the healthcare system collapsed. In doing so I didn’t get into how horrific the situation is ie: babies in cardboard boxes instead of incubators etc. It is catastrophic and as you can see it is not the effect of outside influences,natural disasters,or civil war.It is a self-inflicted wound,a man made disaster, a Chavista made disaster.

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