Venezuela is flushing itself down an economic toilet. The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has turned the country into a wasteland even though it sits on the largest oil reserves in the world. But oil is one of the reasons that Venezuela is in this mess in the first place, according to Deputy National Assemblyman José Manuel González. González tried to stop Hugo Chavez when he chose imports over domestic food production during the oil boom years. Chavez had a cash cow at his fingertips, and he spent the cash like a drunken sailor. Chavez did help people raise their standard of living, but he did at the expense of saving money for the future. His handpicked successor, Maduro, was left with empty pockets when the oil business crashed, and he didn’t have the sense to change the economic direction of the country.
González is a well-known entrepreneur in Venezuela, and as Deputy of the National Assembly from the state of Guárico he has the task of trying to bring some semblance of common sense in play when it comes to domestic food production and domestic business support. But Maduro may have tipped the economic scales too far, according to Mr. González. Venezuela’s inflation rate is traveling at warp speed. The current rate of inflation is 773 percent and it’s climbing every day. In one month, food prices rose 30 percent. Even opening the borders so people could find food in Colombia hasn’t helped. Maduro’s 50 percent minimum wage hike, which takes effect in September, is only going to increase inflation, according to González. The wage increase was Maduro’s way of dealing with the opposition that wants to remove him from office.
There is a national rally scheduled in September that will show Maduro that his time is up as president. He said the national petition to remove him is illegal, and some fear he will use the military to squash the rally. If that happens, Venezuela’s only salvation may be a revolution.