Populist Armageddon - Venezuela’s parallels and lessons for Africa

In our latest paper the Brenthurst Foundation explores Venezuela’s parallels and lessons for Africa.

Comandante Hugo Chávez and his red beret Bolivarian Revolution were once feted as a new dawn for social- ism. In a eulogy after Chávez’s death five years ago, Julius Malema (who had visited the Caribbean nation in 2010 to examine its nationalisation programme) praised his fellow commander-in-chief: ‘Chávez was able to lead Venezuela into an era where the wealth of Venezuela, particularly oil, was returned to the ownership of the people as a whole.’ He is not alone.

The British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, described Colonel Chávez as ‘an inspiration to all of us fighting back against austerity and neoliberal economics in Europe’. Yet Venezuela is today living an entirely man-made humanitarian emergency. If you want to make your people entirely dependent on the state, and poor, then Chávez, his successor Nicolas Maduro and their Bolivarianistas are a model to emulate.

If you are interested in wealth creation, then do your utmost to avoid their calamitous example.

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© The Brenthurst Foundation 2018.