TOPSHOT - A woman with a sign reading "There is no food" protests against new emergency powers decreed this week by President Nicolas Maduro in front of a line of policemen in Caracas on May 18, 2016. Public outrage was expected to spill onto the streets of Venezuela Wednesday, with planned nationwide protests marking a new low point in Maduro's unpopular rule. / AFP / FEDERICO PARRA        (Photo credit should read FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuela’s doomed love affair with socialism continues

It’s hard to imagine now but just decades ago Venezuela was the richest country in South America. The late President Hugo Chávez’s social programs thrived on record oil revenues; Venezuelan industry was left underdeveloped but poverty was glitteringly – yet only temporarily – relieved. Now that the price of oil has plummeted, the country’s hollow economy is dependent on imports it does not have the cash to buy. Normally reliable Chinese lenders are having second thoughts. Inflation has hit triple digits. Venezuela’s economy is in utter recession and is projected to contract eight per cent this year, making it officially the slowest-growing economy in the world.

  • BillyHW

    Isn’t it amazing how Japan and Hong Kong have no natural resources like oil, yet still manage to be 1st world places for decade after decade?

    • It’s because Japanese women aren’t allowed to vote.

  • Hard Little Machine

    BTW there’s been a very quiet exodus of Venezuelans to the US in the past few months. ICE doesn’t talk about it but it’s there. About 50,000 people so far.