admin wrote:I seen an interview on TVN with a Venezuelan living in Chile the other day. The lady was completely convinced by the story being pushed by the Venezuelan government that the opposition was composed of greedy businessmen and foreign countries (read USA) meddling inside Venezuela. Now, I don't doubt there is more than a little bit of that going on, but it does not account for all the protesters or everyone that is ticked off at the government.
The initial student protests were fairly spontaneous and focused on safety, but the frustration about empty supermarkets (basic goods like flour, oil, milk are often not available, and when they are, they're effectively rationed), corruption, and the impunity of the paramilitary national guard (GNB) and armed collectives seems to have exploded. The GNB are reported to be using live ammunition for riot control now.
The students have also made the point that there is no point in studying for example medicine, if after they graduate the hospitals have neither equipment nor drugs, no point in studying journalism if the newspapers have no paper, no point in studying law if there's no justice... you get the picture.
admin wrote:On the other hand, I have some Venezuelan friends living in Chile that have told me over dinner that the main reason the left was because of the security. Several of their friends had been kidnapped and killed. I have another friend in the Kidnap and Ransom biz in Colombia, that recently opened an office in Venezuela because it is a growth market. For the most part the security problems of Venzuela is simply not covered by the media, from inside or outside Venezuela. It makes me wonder just how in control the Venezuelan government really is, and could it collapse under its own corruption.
Yes, the reasons for the white-collar Venezuelan exodus are safety and plunging wage values. It's a big exodus, there's even a humourous article describing Dublin as the safest Venezuelan city now (http://www.elchiguirebipolar.net/27-01- ... venezuela/
About safety, I can tell the following anecdote: when I was working there, a much younger colleague of mine came into work one morning and said he was going to leave at the end of the week. As this came out of the blue we asked him what was going on. It turns out his father owned a glass-engraving business, and two armed thugs had turned up to kidnap him from the office. They failed, but the father said, well, they know who I am, they're going to try again, if they don't get me they'll get one of my family, so we're going. Within a week the whole family had moved to Colombia.
The kidnap and ransom business I think could be really nasty, have you seen the film "Piedra, Papel, o Tijera"?
About the plunging wages (in real terms), a colleague of mine, engineering team leader with an MBA, says the girl who manicures his wife's nails earns more than him.
The Venezuelan government is spectacularly inefficient and corrupt, but even if it does collapse it's hard to see how anything better might replace it. The actors on the sidelines, like the speaker of parliament and some of the ministers and governors are even nastier and more corrupt characters.