2014 March 22 Saturday
Venezuela's Breakaway City Of San Cristobal

700,000 have effectively seceded from the corrupt, socialistic, and repressive government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The rebels are working on defensive perimeters to keep out the National Guard. Meanwhile, back in Caracas Maduro is getting an upper hand on the opposition.

Maduro is trying to pacify San Cristobal by sending goods to its supermarkets that were rarely there before the rebellion.

Students want their deaths at the hands of thugs to have meaning for a big cause:

“We prefer to die in an army attack than for an iPhone in an armed robbery outside our homes.”

Hey Mexican readers, you know who you are. Still want to defend Maduro's government? Venezuela's economy has become severely messed up by its government.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 March 22 12:48 PM 

Stephen said at March 24, 2014 1:32 AM:

Randall, be careful not to fall for the propaganda. Venezuela has oil and we know what happens to countries that have oil and aren't allied with a certain superpower.

Stephen said at March 24, 2014 1:35 AM:

...not saying you're wrong, merely that the US propaganda really heated up when Chavez started playing with the oil industry.

Check it out said at March 24, 2014 4:55 PM:

There's not much one can say in favor of Maduro. On the other hand Hugo Chavez was very popular with the great majority of Venezuela.

Check it out said at March 24, 2014 4:56 PM:

Of course it would be nice if the U.S. stopped messing things up worse in Venezuela.

Rich said at March 24, 2014 5:28 PM:

This is more of a proxy war between the US and Russia. Chavez was anti-US and pro-Russia, and Maduro continued that orientation. As a result, the US has been promoting regime change in Venezuela, with the hope that Maduro gets replaced with a pro-US, anti-Russian government, like it was able to do in the Ukraine just recently.

Randall Parker said at March 25, 2014 9:20 PM:


The Chinese have stepped up to lend money and provide other assistance in exchange for oil. The Venezuelan government has not used this money to increase oil production. Meanwhile, living standards have fallen.

Check it out,

You have a typo:

Of course it would be nice if the U.S. stopped messing things up worse in Venezuela.

should have been:
Of course it would be nice if the Venezuelan government stopped messing things up worse in Venezuela.

The US has very little influence on what is happening in Venezuela. The dumb lower class and the government are messing up the place and screwing over the more skilled and motivated.

Check it out said at March 26, 2014 5:23 PM:

Still, Maduro is a democratically elected president. If the Venezuelan government is messing things up, it's their business, so it would be nice if the U.S. allowed any country to thrive or not as its people see fit.

Why should it be nice for you if the Venezuelan government stopped messing things up? It would be really nice if the U.S. stopped messing things up in Venezuela even if the Venezuelan government is also messing things up.

"The US has very little influence on what is happening in Venezuela." Yeah, right. Whatever.

The U.S. has lost all moral authority to "fix" things up in the world, remember? In fact the U.S. has lost all moral authority to even advise anybody in the world.

Check it out said at March 26, 2014 5:40 PM:

Now Randall, I know this post is not about immigration, but again you continue to discriminate at any opportunity you get, when you use that word "skilled" next to "motivated" and "dumb" next to "lower classes", as though you pretend them to be obvious collocations. Well, their not, and if you continue to post stupid narcissitic things like those, you'll continue to get uncomfortable responces like the following.

Here are just five reasons why low-skilled immigrants are good for the economy; the U.S. economy.

1. Americans are the Customers of Low-Skilled Immigrants

Most Americans are not competitors of low-skilled immigrants, they are actually their customers. They buy all kinds of services from them: House cleaning services, childcare services, landscaping services, home construction services. If Americans can spend less on these services, then they have more money in their pocket to spend elsewhere, which means more jobs created elsewhere in the economy.

2. Low-Skilled Immigrants are Mobile

Latino and other foreign workers don't have ties to the local community and they haven't invested in property so they can pick up their bags and leave at any point to wherever they are needed. They can go to where houses are built in Arizona or pick fruit in Florida, they can go wherever they want. They "grease the wheels" of the labor market, as Harvard economist George Borjas has put it.

3. Low-Skilled Immigrants are Good for Women

Low skilled immigrants increase the supply of high skilled workers and these high-skilled workers are often called women. Many professional women would be forced to spend much more time at home taking care of their children, cleaning, doing laundry if it were not for the presence of foreign nannies, Korean dry cleaners or Chinese takeout.

4. Low-Skilled Immigrants May Cost the Welfare State Less

A big fear about low-skilled immigrants is that because they are poor they impose a big cost on the welfare state. But the truth is that most of them don't even qualify for most means tests benefits that Americans do so they may actually be saving the welfare state money rather than costing it money. A CATO working paper from February 19, 2013 said, "Low-income non-citizen immigrants are generally less likely to receive public benefits than those who are native born."

5. Low Skilled Immigrants Create Jobs

They create more jobs for Americans because they reduce the cost of a key import in production: labor. When labor costs go down, more businesses can form, when more businesses can form, there are more jobs for everyone--including Americans. The fact that there is someone else to do menial work like pulling weeds means that Americans can do relatively more value added work. For instance, their English speaking skills become more marketable in a diverse economy with lots of immigrants who don't speak English.

You don't really think and ponder things over carefully before sending them to the high-security dogma-belief department inside your brain, Randall.

Stephen said at March 26, 2014 6:01 PM:

Randall said: should have been: Of course it would be nice if the Venezuelan government stopped messing things up worse in Venezuela.

Seems to me that a good general policy is that if the citizens vote to screw up their country then that's their decision and responsibility. Its not for external parties to take active steps to undermine the democratic process in that country.

RS said at March 27, 2014 5:53 AM:

Stephen could be on the money, not sure. Some time ago I heard a claim there were actually Russian forces there.

Stephen said at April 5, 2014 7:47 PM:

Looks like I was right in thinking that all this Venezuela stuff had a similar feel to the allegedly spontaneous arab uprisings:

These ideas–discussions of how to exploit the internet, specifically social media, to surreptitiously disseminate viewpoints friendly to western interests and spread false or damaging information about targets–appear repeatedly throughout the archive of materials provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The problem for us in the west is that we've been convinced that propaganda is something others do. This is a belief we really need to consign to the dustbin of history. Instead we need to think more like the eastern europeans - assume you're being lied to.

Randall Parker said at April 5, 2014 8:42 PM:


What's your point? Are you thinking that if no one outside of Venezuela told them their government sucks that they wouldn't rise up against it? They can't even buy toilet paper. That's way way way messed up. Surely they can figure that much out themselves. Surely some of them will protest over how incredibly bad it has gotten. If you couldn't buy toilet paper in Australia would you sit home or get out on the streets and oppose your government? Seriously.

Stephen said at April 6, 2014 8:45 PM:

But the medium is the message. There's a fundamental difference between the actions of an agent provocateur and the actions of a radio broadcaster who happily and proudly identifies himself as speaking for a foreign power.

How about this for a more realistic scenario: Cheap beer (with oddly high alcohol content) suddenly appears on Friday in an isolated town. Mysterious text messages directed at youths in that town claims that cops have arrested / shot someone. Lots of alcohol for the youths. More text messages - rumour that local police station has only one person on duty. About 2am the agent provocateur cuts the power to the town. Incendiaries planted by agent provocateur ignite setting fire to several cars. Riot. Police station attacked. With a bit of luck the youths kill the cop or the cop kills some youths. Army called in.

Finally the agent provocateur finds a useful idiot (probably a sociology student who watched it all on TV) to stand in front of a camera to explain to the lumpen proletariat what happened.

Rinse and repeat.

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