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Old 05-17-2016, 09:19 PM
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Moccasin Moccasin is offline
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Venezuela's problems are easy to trace. Like many South American countries it has a small, rich, ruling elite and a majority poor population. The change started when the poor, the rural, the really angry voted Chavez and his party into power. He took from the rich and gave to the poor - literally - while espousing Socialist ideals (Robin Hood must have been a Commie ). The problem was, when oil prices went through the roof and Venezuela was suddenly rich (because Chavez had taken over the oil industry), he poured that money into healthcare, education, and luxuries for the Venezuelan public, and massive support for poor nations and people in other South and Central American countries in the name of equality. Instead of building up the country's infrastructure. Now Chavez is dead, oil prices are low, the public is enraged because things are falling apart, private industry has been pretty much trashed by the years of socialist misrule, the elite are coming back and they're out for blood, there's a drought and the hydro-electric power the country depends on is barely functional, and it looks like collapse is only a matter of time.

Brazil is more complex. The country has the same sort of ruler elite as Venezuela, and a whole lot more problems, including racism, corruption up the yin-yang, lack of education, and ecological devastation. All that was papered over when China was on its buying spree; Brazil was one of their favorite markets and the country made tons of money selling thousands of tons of raw materials to China. Large numbers of the poor moved suddenly into the middle class and began buying luxuries like TV sets, usually on credit, which was widely available. Now China has stopped buying, the high flying economy has crashed, people have become poor again - even poorer than they were, because they owe so much in credit payments - and all that corruption has come to light. Things are bad. Rousseff was impeached not so much because of what she did, but because she promised to make things better and couldn't. Many of those who voted to impeach are probably going to go to prison themselves once the corruption investigations catch up to them. There is massive public anger and there will be months or years of instability, but probably no collapse.

Expect thousands to try to escape all this by heading north. To the U.S...
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