Washington Gets Tired Of Venezuela’s Love Affair With Conspiracy

Washington has finally had enough of Venezuela’s obsession with U.S. conspiracy theories. On Monday, the White House gave Venezuela a realistic dose of the bad romance it has consistently written about its relationship with the U.S.

“We’ve seen many times that the Venezuelan government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan government to deal with the grave situation it faces,” the Office of the Press Secretary said today. “It is unfortunate that during a time when we have opened up engagement with every nation in the Americas, Venezuela has opted to go in the opposite direction.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 9.39.19 PMPresident Nicolas Maduro accused the U.S. of plotting a coup against him and expelled most U.S. diplomats from Venezuela. His predecessor Hugo Chavez survived a coup in 2002, which ultimately led to Chavez’s legendary status. The Chavez shine lost much of its glow in his waning years as the economy tumbled. Maduro inherited a houseful of junk. The trash is now up to his eyeballs.

The U.S.government says they didn’t lend the Chavez coup plotters a hand. But that story line is distrusted wholly. If there is a remnant of the Cold War in the Americas, it is in Caracas and not Havana. The story line is the U.S. and its oil firms out to to get their hands on Venezuelan oil. They’re behind the recent civil unrest, now going on for a year.
“Out with the Yankee pigs!” Venezuelan President Maduro kicked U.S. diplomats out of Caracas. He says the U.S. is plotting a coup against him like his government believes they did to Maduro’s beloved predecessor Hugo Chavez back in 2002.
So today Washington made real life imitate Venezuela’s art of story telling. The White House press office made President Obama’s note to the speakers of the House and Senate public, calling Venezuela’s foreign policy an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Obama also sanctioned seven Venezuelan government officials and seized their U.S. assets. There are no sanctions against the Venezuelan economy.

If the Yankees really are coming, then Maduro is doing a bad job protecting Venezuela. If it is all in his imagination, then he is doing a God awful job protecting Venezuela.

Last month, Bloomberg ranked Venezuela as the world’s most depressing economy in its annual “misery index,” which is based on a country’s unemployment and inflation rates.

Inflation is over 60%. The International Monetary Fund forecasts unemployment of more than 10% this year.

Venezuela is oil dependent. Falling oil prices have hurt the government coffers recently but that is a poor excuse. Even when oil was in the $80s Venezuela was trending downward. In fact, judging by the bond markets investors are wondering how long before the country defaults.

Bond prices are rated Caa3 by Moody’s, which is basically a notch or two above bankruptcy. Venezuela’s dollar denominated 2018 bond price dropped 1.4% today to yield at 30.41%. Further out on the debt curve, Venezuela’s $4 billion bond due in 2027 has a current yield of 25.5%.

In the Media:
Venezuela Has No Idea How To Solve Its Problems – Business Insider

Venezuela’s Absurd Prices Of Sneakers & Happy Meals – Time

What Lies Behind Venezuela’s Protests? – BBC