Published On: Wed, Dec 28th, 2016

State capitalism

Jacob Gelt DekkerNicolas Maduro Moros, the 65th President of Venezuela since 2013, is still firmly entrenched in his power seat as de facto dictator of the Democratic state of Venezuela. Since 19 November 2013, Maduro ruled mostly by decree. Mass demonstrations, organized by the opposition had very little or no effect. Venezuela is only a democracy in name.

Venezuela's socioeconomic status declined dramatically, especially after the 50-60% decline in global oil prices. With crime, super inflation, poverty and hunger increasing annually in double digits, many believed that the Chavez-Maduro regime would soon come to an end, but no matter the amount of wishful thinking, nothing much happened in the power structure. And Maduro is still in his belief that his ideology, based on the Cuba-Castro model, is the one and only way to the Caribbean and South America to go. How was the Maduro-junta able to cling to power?

The Maduro-junta power is based on authoritarian state capitalism. The State, or rather the junta, controls most of the economy and natural resources of oil and gas. Maduro uses these state-junta companies as weapons in domestic and international conflicts of all sorts.

State capitalism---and this time not as a Marxist solution to the class struggle--- was the new kid on the block, about ten years ago. President Rousseff of Brazil, and in a rather democratic environment for Brazilian parameters, and Kirchner of Argentine in semi-governmental structures were very successful monopolizing the economy within a very short time. These economies became the grand example to be studied and followed for countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Myanmar.

An obtuse model of none-democratic state capitalism, and quite different from the massive Marxist models of the USSR and China, materialized and thrived for a while. Bangkok even witnessed mass demonstrations against parliamentary democracy; many preferred the enlightened dictatorship of Prime Minister Thaksin.

An apparent lack of corporate governance, checks and balances and oversight made kickbacks and pay-offs very easy. The closed elite of the rulers became rich, very rich and very fast. State companies were considered to be above the law and so was the elite. Today, Argentine’s, Brazil’s and Venezuela’s economies collapsed as a consequence.

Many micronations in the Caribbean have not had the benefit of intellectual leadership to see through these developments. At, Fidel’s funeral many paid great respect to the bungled Cuban-Venezuelan economic model, although now neatly covered under cover of “State capitalism” and corporate governance.

People, please be aware, many wolves are out there to devour whatever is left of your meager prosperity.

By Jacob Gelt Dekker

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