Fifteen years after Hope and Change came to Venezuela — the country with largest proven oil reserves in the world — now has to import oil.
For the first time in its 100-year history of oil production, Venezuela is importing crude — a new embarrassment for the country with the world’s largest oil reserves.
The nation’s late president Hugo Chávez often boasted the South American country regained control of its oil industry after he seized joint ventures controlled by such companies as ExxonMobil and Conoco. But 19 months after Chávez’s death, the country can’t pump enough commercially viable oil out of the ground to meet domestic needs — a result of the former leader’s policies.
Socialism came to power in Venezuela by promising that they would take money away from some people and use it to buy stuff for their supporters; a value proposition that should seem quite familiar to American voters in the Obama Era.
The Socialists who ran the Government of Venezuela were certain that they knew better how to run the oil industry and the economy better than the free enterprise system; and the result would be a more fair and equal economy for everybody; a promise that should also be familiar to Americans living in the Obama Era.
And whenever the Socialist Government of Venezuela’s policies failed, they blamed big business and obstruction by the political opposition; which should also be very familiar to Americans in the Obama Era.
Government officials have tried to downplay the significance of Venezuela’s decision to import crude from Algeria and Russia. The company in a statement warned Venezuelans not to believe criticism by the opposition, repeating a constant government theme that setbacks are the result of an “economic war” being waged against the country, a campaign it says is aimed at toppling the regime.
It’s completely fair to say that Hugo Chavez fundamentally transformed Venezuela. And even though everyone except the party elite are now living in abject poverty; they are living in equivalent abject poverty.