Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Boliburguesa: Drunk on Oil in Venezuela

Thanks to Adam for sending me this enlightening story.

Last month Mark of Zenpundit commented on a post of mine regarding the "counter-core" theory.
"...the long-term leverage of nations that rely on being raw material commodity exporters as their economic base is exceptionally poor."

That observation seems strikingly cogent in terms of this observant article regarding Venezuela, Chavismo, it's economically hedonistic Boliburguesa and those that cling to the hydrocarbon based initiatives that deflate humanity (my take) in the form of misleadingly absolute yet unknowingly (for the serfs that live by it) destructive socio-economic nanny frameworks that the fickle nature of oil prices provide. Read the entire article here:

Some snippets:

The booming economy may make elective surgery and luxury vehicles affordable for the upper-middle class, but the Venezuelans who are amassing the immense fortunes are the Boliburguesa, or the members of President Chávez’s inner circle. (The name refers to the president’s leftist Bolivarian revolution and the bourgeoisie.) Boliburgueses had constructed mega-mansions in the most storied Caracas neighborhoods and bought spanking new jets. A journalist friend who shadowed one of Chávez’s closest allies was chauffeured around in a bulletproof BMW, flanked by Korean bodyguards who can allegedly brain a would-be assailant with a butter knife at a distance of 20 meters. “It was like something out of Goldfinger,” my colleague said, still somewhat incredulous. Just as bizarre was his description of a Caracas sushi restaurant that had been enthusiastically recommended: rare tuna could be served—for an exorbitant fee—on the belly of a woman in the buff.

Oddly enough Sr. Chavez rails against the blind, decadent and exploitive capitalism of America and yet his own bastion of economic equality contains some unusual parallels. Which leads us to:

To be sure, this hedonism is out of reach for the great majority of Venezuelans. Even with the billions of dollars that have arrived in the country, four out of 10 residents subsist on two dollars a day or less.

I'll let that bit speak for itself.

Still, the destitute haven’t been completely cut out of the oil bonanza. Chávez has funneled a portion of the windfall to provide an array of social services—ranging from free eye surgery to literacy classes—in the poorest neighborhoods. The misiones, as Chávez calls these programs, touch every aspect of people’s lives. Government supermarkets sell cut-rate pasta, rice, sugar, and meat. (Perhaps in a nod to Venezuelans’ capitalist predilections, the shops I visited were also well stocked with Fruit Loops and Cap’n Crunch.) Clinics staffed with Cuban doctors treat the sick free of charge.

Socialism at it's finest... Right? Yeah, well, let's take a trip in the Soob time machine. We'll sail back a few years...

With the support of Venezuela’s poor, he won the 1998 election in a landslide.

Impoverished voters had been convinced that Chávez would transform their lives. But with oil prices in the cellar, it was basically impossible for him to fulfill even a sliver of their expectations. By 2002 his popularity had plummeted. Protesters staged a massive march; when they reached the presidential palace, gunfights broke out with Chávista forces, and dozens died.

Which takes us back to the initially recognized observation pointed out by Mark:

"...the long-term leverage of nations that rely on being raw material commodity exporters as their economic base is exceptionally poor."

Best of luck to Sr. Chavez.