Continue to Watch Venezuela

It is hard to know whether the current US Administration would really like to see the Maduro government in Venezuela fail. With the acknowledgment of an inflation rate of 64 percent and with supermarkets frequently looted for scarce food, and the beer workers on strike (beer is the drink of choice in Venezuela and much of Latin America), the government is letting off steam by calling a parliamentary election for December 6. One would like to think the the Obama Administration would be rooting for change. Maybe it does, but the evidence is not obvious.

Does an election in a few months offer hope for the masses who are suffering? Or does the Cuba-dominated regime have plans to rig the election? By now, it is probable that even the Chavista base of poor people are turning against the regime. After all, without high oil prices, Venezuela has little to sell and socialism doesn’t work domestically. For the elites, there is little left to steal.

It is easy to overlook Venezuela now, as Greece fills the papers (with problems elsewhere in the EU south (Italy, Spain, Portugal). With ISIS also on our minds, plus Russia in Ukraine, and the Chinese chewing on the islands of the South China Sea, Maduro’s depridations get little attention.

But I have been waiting for the Venezuela time bomb to go off. I thought it would have happened by now. But keep watching. You cannot push people too far.