Write a report on the theories and development of change, effect of globalization and authoritarianism.
The Historical Reason behind the Fall of Venezuela
Venezuela, which was renowned as one of the richest countries in South America, currently has the highest inflation rate and is plagued by valance and hunger. The country is running out of food, hospitals are overcrowded while healthcare professionals do not possess enough medical equipment and medicines. The residents are also suffering from lack of electricity. Currently, the country possesses more oil than Saudi Arabia and more poverty than Colombia. Thus it can be clearly understood that the economy has spiraled toward collapse, and a humanitarian crisis has plunged hordes into needless sickness and starvation. The economic deterioration started when the ex-president of the country Late Hugo Chavez set out to use an oil boom in order to follow a socialist path that would lead to prosperity, not only to Venezuela but also for the whole of Latin America. However, in 2014, the price of oil fell sharply leading to a disaster and this has given birth to the current inflation. The current president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro is unable to handle the current situation and as a result economic mismanagement, political oppression and corruption is vague in Venezuela. In this report, the history behind the fall of Venezuela, theories and development of change, effect of globalization, Authoritarianism and impact of the failure on American National Security has been discussed in the report.
In the year 1970, Venezuela had the lowest inequality rate as well as the highest growth rate in Latin America. Due to the oil bonanza, from the year 1974 to 1979 the country had the highest per capita GDP (Laqueur 2017). However, as discussed earlier, the present economic condition of Venezuela is terrible. Resource curse and excessive oil dependency can be defined as two most crucial reasons behind the present condition of the country. During the time span ranging from 1958 to 1998, the country stated suffering from resource curse, where instead of aiding development, the ample mineral wealth of the country was undermined constructive social as well as political development. At that time the country s being ruled by the fourth republic, whose restrictive as well as unrepresentative attitude dissatisfied the voters of Venezuela and as a result in1998 the opted for the promises made by Hugo Chavez and who became the president of Venezuela that year. Chavez started to radically change the politics as well as the economics of Venezuela without resolving the underlying political and economic issues. He started ambient attitude towards liberal democracy, free spending even during the economic crisis and astonishing economic mismanagement by the government results in today's crisis.
In this section, various theories associated with the development and change of Venezuela has been discussed. The rent seeking theory is a well-known theory which is applied by eminent politicians in order to improve the capacity as well as governance of Venezuela. According to this theory, an overly centralized, Soviet-style public authority along with excessive discretion and state intervention resulting due to oil abundance is causing growth restricting as well as production restricting corruption and rent seeking (Omeje 2017). The theory also stated that excessive corruption and state-created rent in the country is the major reason that hinders development and change in Venezuela. The chief aim of economic liberation, as stated by the mentioned theory is to reduce the discretionary centralized authority of state leaders to create rents. Another theory, namely, the Capability theory states that weak state can manage their economy better by intervening less. However, according to researchers, the mentioned theory lacks the analysis of the role of political strategies of conflict resolution as well as a competitive play which is required to construct legitimate alternatives to failed state-led projects for development and change (Omeje 2017). Thus, in order to regain its economic stability, the government of Venezuela should aim to promote accountability and transparency. Along with that political reforms like fiscal federalism and decentralization should be encouraged in order to enhance civil society oversight and promote democracy.
Theories of Development and Change
Being a nationalist country, the government of Venezuela does not support the concept of globalization. The former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has been fighting an upward battle against the forces of globalization. According to him, being a western concept, globalization needs to be avoided. In the country, international trade is allowed but it comes with high cost. For instance, the tariff of an average good that is imported from the market is approximately 12 percent. According to researchers, the aim of the policies made by the government is to share the wealth of the country widely between the residents of Venezuela by not allowing western domination over the market (Baylis 2017). The concept of anti-globalization states that globalization has the potential to make a poor country poorer by draining away the resources. Being a country which is highly dependent on the oil industry, the chief focus of the government is to stimulate the GDP with the help of the mentioned industry. According to researchers, Venezuela has experienced a growth of 3.6 percent (Baylis 2017). The aggressive US supported domestic opposition from the time of Hugo Chavez is hindering the progress of the whole of Latin America along with Venezuela. In this world of global capitalism, it is no longer possible for Venezuela as well as the Caribbean countries to resist the “free-market” neoliberal order. According to Margaret Thatcher, there prevail no alternatives to free-market policies and hence Venezuela needs to adopt the policy in order to regain its previous condition (Baylis 2017).
The term authoritarianism can be defined as a form of government which is characterized by strong central power and limited freedom in politics. In 2017, the Venezuela president claimed his victory in a historic election which has ensured the expansion of his power as well as potentiality. Considering the fact that opposition voters had boycotted the election, according to a good number of politicians, this victory can be viewed as a major example of authoritarianism. However, according to the supporters of Maduro, this victory can be considered authentic since it depicts the popularity of the Maduro-led government. The aim of the Maduro government is to create a massively powerful and new political body, namely, "constituent assembly" where the constitution of Venezuela will be re-written by Carte Blanche. According to some researchers, the new constitution will involve diminishing the power of the oppositions (Shoamanesh 2018). In spite of the fact that the socialist party of Venezuela has won all the 545 seats, according to the opponents, the majority of the residents of Venezuela are opposing this victory. In order to retain his political power, the president has taken unethical steps that include imprisoned political prisoners, attacking the judiciary branch of government and restriction of free space. These activities have further strengthened the blame of authoritarianism on Maduro government.
As been described earlier, the residents of Venezuela are undergoing a severe crisis due to sudden depletion in the price of oil and the political turmoil in the country. While only 25 percent of the total population of the company is able to maintain a regular diet, more than 82 percent of the population is poverty stricken. This factor has enhanced the rime rate of the country. Even in such terrible condition, the socialist government of Venezuela have maintained their grip on power. Considering the fact that ousting the government official with crucial posts will impose a negative impact on the autocracy of the government, the government has maintained their loyalty. Hence the democratic institution is undermined in Venezuela and thus arise the immediate and crucial need of institution building in order to eradicate the issues (Trump 2017). The US should support and efforts and exercise leadership in order to raise the Mudro administration costs of pursuing anti-democratic policies and lower the costs of a return to democracy. For instance, US can coordinate with international institutions like International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to offer financial incentives for establishing a fair election in 2018 so that all the opposition can unify and complete the election. Such coordination will also involve developing as well as publishing a credible plan for restarting the economy of Venezuela.
The political issue of Venezuela has got worse ever since President Nicola Maduro has stripped Venezuela’s democratic institution of their authority in order to retain his power. This has lead to a situation where the government and business elites are enjoying the petrodollars and the majority of residents are going hungry. Along with that, the economic mismanagement of the government has enhanced the already widespread starvation, illness as well as insecurity. As a result of this, a huge number of Venezuelan residents are leaving Colombia for countries with more stability like Colombia, Brazil and Guyana. The diminished number of residents is further diminishing the GDP of the country (Trump 2017).
In 2017 alone, thousands of Venezuelans have fled and have sought asylum in the United States. Moreover, considering the fact that the food insecurity along with the oppression of government has increased in Venezuela, according to researchers there will be a spillover effect regarding migration to the United States from Venezuela (Shoamanesh 2018). Holders of Venezuelan passports are afforded visa free entry to over 130 countries including Union members of 26 states. A huge migration of Venezuelans to the US has resulted in catastrophic implications for American National Security. The fact that a huge number of refugees entering the US from Venezuela, the security of the residents of America is majorly hampered. Hence, in order to ensure the safety of the citizens, the National security of America has implemented the rule that visa will be required in order to enter the United States. Given the geographic proximity of the United States to Venezuela, democratic governance there along with adherence to the rule-of-law is paramount for American security in the long-term.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that sudden depletion in the price of oil along with the domination of the autocratic government has resulted in high inflation in Venezuela. While the country was one of the richest countries in the 70s, Venezuela is now one of the poorest countries across the world. Due to constant hindrance from the governance, the country is not entitled to globalization. Moreover, the national security of America is also getting adversely affected due to massive arrival of refugees from Venezuela. Hence in order to deal with the issue of institution building that will enable the opponents to conduct an authentic election is highly required.
Baylis, John, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens, eds. The globalization of world politics: an introduction to international relations. Oxford University Press, 2017.
Laqueur, Walter. A history of terrorism. Routledge, 2017.
Omeje, Kenneth. "Extractive economies and conflicts in the global south: re-engaging rentier theory and politics." In Extractive Economies And Conflicts In The Global South, pp. 19-44. Routledge, 2017.
Shoamanesh, Sam Sasan. "Institution Building: Perspective from within the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court." International Criminal Law Review 18, no. 3 (2018): 489-516.
Trump, Donald J. National security strategy of the United States of America. the the executive office of the president Washington dc washington United States, 2017.
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