Venezuela: No Longer the Utopia It Once Was

BankruptcyOnce the world’s socialist paradise, Venezuela is no longer a place people wish they lived in. Corruption, dysfunction, bankruptcy, and one of the highest crimes rates in the world is how most people would describe the state of the country today, according to the National Post’s Kelly McParland.

Venezuela is no longer able to control many of the things that made it thrive at one point in time. The country cannot afford to keep its government running, brew its own beer, or keep the lights on, for that matter.

While the country has the world’s largest oil reserves, possessing over 298 million barrels, its officials still agreed to import oil from the United States. The state of the country has gotten so bad that recently six army officers were arrested for the theft of goats from a local farm. When asked the reason for the theft, they stated that they were simply hungry.

Much of this, according to the Washington Post, results from the dramatic drop in value for the country’s currency, the bolivar. Between January 2012 and May 2016, the exchange equals out to more than 1,000 bolivars for just one U.S. dollar.

Things were looking up for the country when Hugo Chavez came to power seventeen years ago. Chavez brought vast oil resources and a populist program that bridged the gap between the rich and the poor. Since his death three years ago, the country has not been able to bounce back.

While the economy in Venezuela is not looking very good for businesses of all kinds, in the U.S., the agricultural market is seeing its own decline. Slowly but surely, employment of farmers and others within the agricultural industry are estimated to decrease 2% by 2024.

However, the workforce in Venezuela is far worse than that of the United States. Employers in the South American country are having trouble getting their employees to simply show up to work more than two times a week.

At this point, it is fair to say that the country is in the midst of an incredible fall. Economic mismanagement and the idea of a utopic government have proven to be the country’s biggest mistakes and its citizens are paying the price.