In a war-torn city across the world, a friend of mine hides in her home in Venezuela.
Her country has been torn apart by greed and corruption, and the citizens have long ago lost the hope of ever having faith in their Government again.
Are we slowly headed for that same faith?
Venezuela was once the richest Latin city whose Government relied upon
on heavily on oil.
Inflation has gone up by 400%, and 88 out of 100 medicines are unavailable to citizens.
Children are starving, parents fighting for what little freedom they have.
My friend is highly educated and speaks more languages than the average person but yet with as must schooling and knowledge she has she is not able to get out of her predicament.
How could this happen in a country that has the largest reserves of oil in the world?
The price of oil, Venezuela’s only significant export, has plummeted, which means revenue could fall by 40 percent this year.
The government’s huge borrowing, partly a legacy of the years when oil prices were far higher, has helped bring the crisis to a head because Venezuela now has far less money to repay its foreign debt, forcing the country to slash imports to avoid default.
Who caused this some people say it was Hugo Chávez who died in 2013, but many economists say that his policies of state ownership, unfettered spending, subsidies and domestic price controls are at least partly responsible for the crisis today.
Subsidized food and fuel sold by state-run stores are priced far lower than they are worth have created large lines of shoppers for goods that quickly sell out. While many Venezuelans spend hours in these lines daily because they cannot afford to buy food at privately run stores, others profit by buying at state prices and reselling at higher prices, which has created a flourishing black market. Datanalisis, a Venezuelan polling company, estimates that more than half of all Venezuelans have purchased from black-market hawkers, known as bacha queros.
This kind of harsh reality has also created a new class of speculator-merchants who profit illicitly from government policy.
With a country rich in corruption that was led by a narcissistic, self-absorbed tyrant who has long ago passed are still falling victim to his deceit.
I do not believe in God so I can not pray for my friend, but I can hope.
I hope that she survives this ordeal and I hope that we as Americans
learn from the mistakes of Venezuela, and it’s people.