Steve Ellner discusses the economic and political situation in Venezuela, and the U.S. role in pushing the country to where it is today. Ellner dispels a common misconception, which is that foreign influence has had little to do with Venezuela’s recent problems compared to mismanagement by the socialist governments of Chavez and Maduro. This has certainly played some role, Ellner concedes, as have falling oil prices, but he insists that by far the greater factor has been U.S. meddling during the Obama and Trump administrations. Under the Trump administration in particular, says Ellner, multiple coup attempts and the constant threat of military force have scared international companies out of Venezuela, on top of official sanctions on things like Venezuelan gold and the cryptocurrency they tried to develop when the bolivar collapsed. Ellner argues that the Trump administration was uniquely bad on Venezuela policy, and hopes that Biden’s presidency will bring a change for the better—but with Biden appearing to still endorse the radically unpopular opposition government of Juan Guaidó, he’s off to a less than promising start.
Steve Ellner is Associate Managing Editor of Latin American Perspectives and the editor of Latin America’s Pink Tide: Breakthroughs and Shortcomings.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: The War State, by Mike Swanson; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Photo IQ; Green Mill Supercritical; Zippix Toothpicks; and Listen and Think Audio.