A Collapse Update from Venezuela: Things Just Keep Getting Worse

Wednesday, August 22, 2018
By Paul Martin

by J. G. Martinez D.
August 22, 2018

Editor’s Note: There is a lot to learn, watching the long, excruciating collapse of Venezuela. Jose shares his insight and the stories of those left behind, as well as some suggestions in the event we ever found ourselves in a similar situation. This week, he provides an update on the new currency, the disastrous takeover of private businesses, and a story about one woman who is managing to survive the collapse in a barrio. I’m very thankful for the wisdom he shares with us from this horrible event. ~ Daisy

The most recent reports from Venezuela have been…somewhat disturbing, to say the least. Things just keep getting worse in an already terrible situation.

The new currency
The new bank notes seem to be already depreciating themselves, even before going into circulation. The money spent on the generation of these new bills is wasted, if that happens.

I wonder why the bartering and the usage of precious metals has not been as extended as it should…perhaps it is because of the people could not accumulate enough wealth in the last 20 years.

The power grid
The power grid is arriving to the final stage. The hydroelectric turbines like those used in Guri (the Venezuelan version of the Hoover dam) are delicate equipment that need a lot of money and skilled people to be maintained.

Formerly this was done with some companies belonging to the industrial services sector. These were contracts that after a public tender, were given to the winner of the bid. This, just like in any other civilized country, was the standard (there was some elbow rubbing and money under the table, of course, but it was kept to the highest levels unlike now), until Uncle Hugo and friends arrived. This is logical as they needed to allow corruption, so they could have the entire control. Those of the gang who rebelled against Uncle Hugo were in prison, proof and all, in a blink. And the proof was real, of course.

OK going back on topic. My people there have described, in their own words, the situation as apocalyptic. This is one of my former co-workers who used to laugh and joke about me buying toilet paper, flour, and sugar once a year while he used to drink twice as much as I do. I don´t drink a lot, because my stomach gets sick with just 5 or 6 beers, but anyway I preferred to save my liver for special occasions. He was a chubby guy, and he has lost plenty of weight, close to 35 kgs or maybe more. He just had his third baby, a lovely surprise, even in this scary times. If things were different perhaps I myself would have dared to have another kid, but…it seems that my two boys will have to have their own babies in the future.

Unemployment and “employee-owned” businesses
A very concerning fact is the impact of this crisis on employment. There are some companies that are struggling to keep operating. If they fail to float, their companies will be confiscated, and their facilities will be “assigned” (Jeez, how I have come to hate that word) to the workers, who never risked even a dime of their own in the commercial operation of a business.

But without the needed operation capital, nor consumables and with the providers running away (who is going to supply to a company without capital?) this is the road to oblivion. This has been seen in several instances, indeed. The “employees-owners” finish by selling whatever they can get out of the building, because there is no possible way they can afford the needed expenses to run the company.

This is what they called “laborer control”. Control obrero, or “gestion obrera” and I remember uncle Hugo proudly letting the laborers know that THEY knew how to produce whatever they were working on. HUGE mistake. Our oil and power production numbers inform to those morons, dumb enough to believe everything uncle Hugo said, are proof that in a modern world the knowledge is power.

Gasoline rationing

The Rest…HERE

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