Our guests are Luis Cirocco and Dr. Rafael Acevedo, two Venezuelans who attended Mises University, last week. Their report from that troubled country is chilling and depressing: food shortages, a lack of medical care and prescription drugs, soldiers and police running black markets, and an entrenched elite made rich after decades of crony socialism under Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. Oil prices remain very low, and the country's economy is so bad that civil war looms.
But our guests remind us that the opposition, pushed by the US CIA, is hardly better—"socialist lite," as they term it. Intellectuals in Venezuelan universities, many of them (badly) trained at Ivy League social science departments, offer nothing more than support for price controls and currency pegs. Horrific hyperinflation is the result.
What Venezuela needs is a wholesale intellectual revolution, toward markets and away from deeply ingrained socialism. Listen to this interview and better understand just how quickly Venezuela is unraveling—and how it could happen here.
See also "Hugo Chávez Against the Backdrop of Venezuelan Economic and Political History" (PDF) by Hugo J. Faria (The Independent Review, Spring 2008).