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51 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

No, not really.

When 95% of your exports are oil and the other 5% is cocaine, it becomes a matter of time - commodities go through huge swings and they became way, way too dependent on it.

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7 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

I'm down with the bolded.  However, I do not believe that the last election was legitimate, nor free and fair.  However, I can see the US resuming diplomatic relations with VZLA without saying that Maduro was legitimately elected.  Lots of countries don't have free and fair elections and the US recognizes the government in power.

The VZLA economny is wrecked and its people are starving.  The root cause is not the US, but rather the kleptocractic, inept, and corrupt regime in power.  Until that regime is no longer skimming narco money to fund their anti-democratic behaviors and opulent lifestyles, the people will be impoverished while those around them flourish.

Well- at least we agree somewhat.  

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13 hours ago, Sand said:

When 95% of your exports are oil and the other 5% is cocaine, it becomes a matter of time - commodities go through huge swings and they became way, way too dependent on it.

It wasn't always this way in VZLA.  At one point they had a viable service sector and were less dependent on oil revenues.  In 1996, petroleum exports were 74% of the value of their exports.  In 2018, that was now 84%.  They mismanaged their oil reserves, both economically and technically.  Their oil production has plummeted in recent years as inflation has skyrocketed.

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12 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

It wasn't always this way in VZLA.  At one point they had a viable service sector and were less dependent on oil revenues.  In 1996, petroleum exports were 74% of the value of their exports.  In 2018, that was now 84%.  They mismanaged their oil reserves, both economically and technically.  Their oil production has plummeted in recent years as inflation has skyrocketed.

Absolutely - it used to be the wealthiest nation in South America.  I would disagree they mismanaged their reserves - they nationalized the equipment from big oil and put in a huge number of sycophants in the oil company.  The mismanaged oil production; when you have an oil company that has no clue how to pump oil or maintain equipment it will predictably go to ####.

Very sad.  Zimbabwe used to be the gem of Africa, too.  I have a 100 Billion dollar bill from there - same deal.  Argentina is going down the same road (not as steeply).

Both are stark cautionary tales on that style of government.

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