When Bad News Is Good News

Former Venezuela Presidential Chief of Staff Beatrice Rangel looks at the disaster unfolding in Venezuela and what it could mean for the region.

Venezuela seems to be a basket case.
News stories coming from the country compete for the title of which will be the direst:
“143 new born babies dying in hospitals for lack of disinfectants.”
“Members of street gangs being stoned to death and their corpses burned by enraged communities in broad daylight.”
“Patients throwing themselves to death from hospital’s windows, as they can no longer tolerate the pain.”
“People eating once a day because there is not enough food or money to buy it.”
“Government rulings that slowly but surely kill democracy.”
“Some opposition groups agreeing to dance to the official tunes.”
Meanwhile the world seems to be busy discerning how a potential Donald Trump presidency would hurt the interest of the Bretton Woods System. Nothing is thus expected to occur in terms of an international intervention to bring the country back on track through mediation and aid.
To be sure, by the time the international community absorbs the good or bad news of the American Presidential election, Venezuela might be aflame.
Probabilities for escalation of the 530 low intensity conflicts taking place in Venezuela on a monthly basis are very high and as the social and political conditions continue to debauch, the likelihood of generalized violence increases.
To many observers this would send the country into a degenerative tail spin that could spell chaos and destruction.
Others however seem to believe Armageddon to be the entry door to Utopia.
Those that submit to this position base their views on the inadequacy of Latin America’s institutional framework for the information economy and its value creation demands. According to them the region has preserved intact a set of institutions created by Phillip II of Spain which aim at controlling society and extracting rent from the colonies.
Phillip II reign saw the economic decline of Spain, her bankruptcy and a disastrous decade from 1588 to 1598 which included the pervasive control over society of the Inquisition and the catastrophic defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Such approach to governance precludes the development of democratic freedoms or a solid economic foundation able to sustain development.
Achieving democracy and development — according to these thinkers — demands the destruction of such an institutional platform.
The Venezuelan cataclysm could serve as the firing cannon. As the system explodes, from its ashes a strong vibrant democratic system capable of promoting wealth creation could emerge. Advocates of this vision see the current predicament as the good news about the bad news.
The dark side of this theory is that such an outcome would emerge from a horrific loss of lives in Venezuela and a furthering of the material destruction initiated by the Bolivarian regime.
Such chaos could not only engulf Venezuela but also Colombia, Brazil and the southern border of the Caribbean Basin. This could entail losing several decades in reconstruction. The price tag of Armageddon seems too dreadful. Especially when the UN Charter establishes the possibility of international intervention to prevent a major humanitarian catastrophe from unfolding.
But, again no one seems to be paying attention to this possibility, except for the President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O’Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

Published by Latin American Herald Tribune on October 24th, 2016.

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