One thing to keep in mind while reading about the crisis in Venezuela is the assortment of opinion/agenda out there among the different writers and media outlets. Venezuela has been a bulwark of leftist ideology and power since the rise of Chavez in the late 1990s. Accordingly, those on the left have argued for some time that the problems in Venezuela are being overblown. This article from The Nation only a year ago presents a view that the meltdown in Venezuela is being overblown by the media by comparing crime and corruption statistics in Venezuela to those in Mexico. This perspective fails to consider that the Venezuela crisis, unlike Mexico, is happening in a country that sits atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves.
On the other side of the political opinion/agenda are those who are excited to show how the collapse of Venezuela is proof of meddling governments and socialist economic ideology are doomed for failure. For example, did you know a box of condoms costs $750 in Venezuela? If not you soon will after reading a few articles about the crisis there. It’s almost as if a lot of these authors are working from the same talking points (wink, wink).
The following articles then are not meant to offer a bias free reading of what is taking place in Venezuela but it does provide some overview. As always, keep an open but critical mind as your read.
- What’s Wrong with Venezuela (International Policy Digest) – Nov 2015
- Overdosing on Heterodoxy Can Kill You (Project Syndicate) – May 2016
- Faulty Political Narratives (Project Syndicate) – May 2016 same author as above, a good macro view that shows this is about more than bad leadership
- Venezuela is Falling Apart (Atlantic) – May 2016 a good look at the effect of the crisis on those living in the middle of it
- Venezuela’s Downward Spiral (NYT) – May 2016
- Venezuela’s Tumultuous History (Al-Jazeera) – Apr 2013 a timeline