The Brenthurst Foundation
Strengthening Africa's
economic performance

Populist Armageddon - Venezuela’s parallels and lessons for Africa

Greg Mills

Director, The Brenthurst Foundation

Lyal White

Founding Senior Director, Johannesburg Business School

Book / Publication · Published 1 May 2018

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

Comandante Hugo Chaévez and his red beret Bolivarian Revolution were once feted as a new dawn for social- ism. In a eulogy after Chaévez’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: ‘Chaévez 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 Chaévez 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 Chaévez, 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.

Topics:

Venezuela

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