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Ricardo Hausmann Is Taking Milton Friedman’s Lessons to Venezuela


Ricardo Hausmann Is Taking Milton Friedman’s Lessons to Venezuela

Tanya Rawal-Jindia

For a few years now, there has been a tendency to compare Donald Trump to Richard Nixon, but the more urgent comparison in the face of the Venezuelan crisis is one between two well-pedigreed economists: Milton Friedman and Ricardo Hausmann.

Under Nixon’s reign, Milton Friedman was the “intellectual” who started to gain excessive power. Friedman was a trained economist, earning a doctorate at Columbia University, with teaching and research stints at the Universities of Chicago and Stanford.


This article refers back to the Coup in Iran and how the same methods of fake news used to topple that democracy by the CIA. Hausmann is no mere economist. I suspect he CIA.

Note how that was about who would control the Oil as well.

Just as with Syria, the Government of Venezuela is intercepting arms shipments coming from the United States. The US uses the cover of “humanitarian aid” to get these guns in, then train and fund peoples to start shooting one another. If the Government of the country this goes on in responds we get the mealy mouths claiming “He killing his own people”. The same method was used from Iran to Iraq, from Libya to Chile and we still have people that buy into this again and again.


Sadly, I’m forced to cheer for China, Russia, and India coming to Maduro’s rescue. Meanwhile:


These “economists”, starting with Friedman, have brought more suffering and inequality to the world than a thousand strong-arm dictators ever could. Watching a C-Span 2 segment midway between the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the “lecturer” (read shill) came to the point that we needed to bring Iraq into the “world economic order” - the real reason we invaded. NO ONE can be allowed to escape the clutches of U.S. hegemony and only the oligarchs come out on top - certainly not the American people.

The IMF, WTO, and similar organizations need to be abolished - they are simply arms of the MIC. We’re teaming up right now with the Saudis (a dictatorial feudalistic monarchy) to crash the price of oil which, along with our sanctions, have brought on the crisis in Venezuela. Once we’ve overthrown Maduro and seize the now privatized oil, Saudi Arabia will cut production and gas prices will soar - the "reward’ that the American people will receive for our government’s actions. And the Venezuelans? Cuts to education, return to extreme poverty, a racist oligarchy pulling the strings - but, but, but FREEDOM! /s


MF in 1962:
“The kind of economic organization that provides economic freedom directly, namely, competitive capitalism, also promotes political freedom because it separates economic power from political power and in this way enables the one to offset the other.” MF (notable initials)

Gee it must be amazing to have the kind of power that cedes the privilege to lie about all ways and means, from cradle to grave.

Conditions 2019:
“The kind of economic organization that provides economic freedom [for predation and extraction by transnational interests and their minions] directly, namely, competitive (read: preatory giant vampire squid) capitalism, also promotes political freedom because it separates economic power from political power (whahahaha!!! the crock overfloweth) and in this way enables the one to offset ( can we say Citizens United?) the other.”


Before we begin, let’s agree to put two ghosts to rest: Chavez had his heart in the right place, but he erred in consolidating what had been a vibrant, squabbling group of left wing parties under one wing - his own. (2) Venezuela is now a failed klepto-state with narco generals killing protesters in their homes, and criminals with special passports issued in the presidential ‘Yellow House’ being arrested in Europe with billions of dollars in cash on them. Nothing about Maduro commends him to civil society, and nothing about Venezuela remotely resembles socialism.

That said, there is amply reason to believe that the international neo-liberals elites will try to run the post Maduro country. Item, the cabal orchestrating the take-over includes your usual suspects - neo-cons, neo-libs, Chicago school, oil interests. Item, neo-Nazis in neighboring Brazil are champing at the bit. Item: Creating more hunger while dangling food in front of the hungry is something only the likes of Trump will do.

Maduro has to go - the lives of millions of good people in Venezuela hang in the balance, and depend on it. Maduro is beyond reasoning with, and too incompetent to even care. The slim ray of sunshine is that, after Maduro is gone, we will be dealing with the Devils We Know - and they are right here in the U.S. mostly. Here in the U.S., we have the House to exorcise this Devil, and we can all chip in to help.
So, before you rush to embrace the enemy of your enemy Maduro (which many old failed socialists in the West are doing) hold your fire until he is deposed, then hold the U.S. neo-cons’ feet to the fire, and deliver Venezuelans from both evils.


On the other hand, the problems he faces are hard wired into the model of the nation state. One need but look around…

  1. Venezuela’s economy was in the process of a decades long implosion at the time Chavez was even elected. I can go over the data, but this is beyond argument. And its struggles not only pre-date Chavez, it shares many of the struggles with other developing countries, and other oil producing developing countries. Trump said that Venezuela used to be a rich country and tries to argue that Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution led it here. It’s total bullshit and has no basis in reality. To call Venezuela, as of say 1992, a wealthy country is absurd. It ignores the massive problems it was dealing with by the time Chavez was even elected. The fact is that during the Civil War in this country, the South preferred the far superior British imports to what the US was then producing. The northern industrialists preferred protectionism, they wanted infant industry protection, and they got it. Highest average industrial tariffs in the world from about the war of 1812 to WWII, and tons of other state support. Those very policies are what the IMF, the WTO and deals like NAFTA do not allow. China has developed by radically violating those policies, but China is an extreme exception policy wise. Some people continue to argue and ask, is it more Maduro or the economic war, as if those are the only two factors. No, there are the issues it was struggling with when Chavez was elected, the reasons why there would massive riots and coups in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, and these reasons led to more than half of households in the country living in extreme poverty in the mid 1990’s, years before Chavez even took office. And, again, we have to factor in the problems all oil producing developing countries deal with and all developing countries deal with. The IMF said that over two third of developing countries rely on a small handful of raw material exports for at least 60% of their export revenue, and oil producing countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia rely on oil for the overwhelming majority of their export revenue. Long story short, economic diversification is near a universal problem for developing countries and major oil producers among developing countries.
  2. Maduro has made a number of mistakes to be sure, there are real issues as far as corruption (the right is also in government, is horribly corrupt, that is how they got rich, and are funded by international capital), but if there was no economic war, if there was not internal and external destabilization, those issues could be dealt with relatively easy. There are certainly some authoritarian tendencies with Maduro, but that is the case in most countries in the region, across the ideological spectrum, as well as our president. And the evidence shows that Venezuela’s elections are generally far better run than our own. Whatever you or I think, we aren’t Venezuelans, so it isn’t our place to say Maduro has to go or stay. Over 80% of Venezuelans don’t want the US to invade the country, over 80% oppose our economic war, less than 20% even knew who the hell the coup president was when he was just named the president by our government, and there is no popular support at all for the radical right’s economic program.
  3. We know what the radical right wing will do with their economic policies, we know the impact it will have and we know how the population in Venezuela will respond. There will be unrest, just like there was in the late 1980’s, and the oil wealth will go right back into the hands of foreign capital and the domestic oligarchy. Their conception of freedom is absurd too. There is no policy that provides universal freedom. If I own a factory and I am free to pollute, you are not then free of my pollution. If I am free to pay lower wages, you are not free from economic exploitation. If it is impossible to form unions, you might be free of unions in your company, I am not free to be in a union and to collectively bargain. So, no freedom is universal, because there are clear conflicts in regards to class and interests. I would like to be free of capitalism.
  4. The economic situation will drastically improve if the right takes over, initially at least, simply because the economic war and destabilization that the NED, USAID, the CIA, the International Republican Institute, as well as private organizations like the Atlas Network have supported will go away or massively lessen. We also know that the opposition owns businesses in Venezuela that produce needed basic commodities that working people depend on, those companies have monopoly power in many markets, and the opposition openly announced that they would cut back production of the items so as to cause harm and unrest. We know that the opposition has also set up hundreds of companies that essentially steal state subsidized food and other commodities, which is then sold at a market up in places like Colombia. Even if the government did the exact same policies, its economy would drastically improve because of that, and it would have nothing to do with the right’s policies.
  5. Max Blumenthal co-authored a great article on Guaido. The right wing extremist is, literally, a creation of the NED. If China were to do to us what we are doing to Venezuela, if the power differential were similar, and if China appointed someone like Guaido, we would see him as being treasonous, which he is.


I would also like to add, one last time, the lack of critical analysis of Venezuela’s neighbor, Colombia. A total human rights horror show, millions of internally displaced people, thousands of activists and politicians on the left killed in recent decades, deadliest places in the world for union organizers, among the deadliest places for journalists, and the death squads control large parts of the country and commit most of the human rights abuses. We not only were central to the creation of the death squad network, we have also given Colombia more aid than any country in the world in the post WWII era, outside of Israel and Egypt. So, even if it were somehow justified to intervene in Venezuela (which we are not), argue that and justify our massive support of Colombia. It’s just absurd on its face.


First cash flows in as the assets and resources flow out then the razor knife of neoliberal austerity castrates the public sector and makes people second class to profits.


Hi Ian_kosher: Which nation was it that killed Chavez, because he certainly got sick really quickly. And too, I’ve seen Maduro making speeches where he does not hem and haw like GW Bush, or say ,“ummm ,” every 5 words like Obama—and certainly showed thought, unlike Trump. In videos I’ve seen, Maduro really seems to speak logically and knew what he was saying.
Upon reading that the Guaido person was trained by the CIA—why would anyone trust him, and besides, how could he lose a political race that he never entered?


Guaido (how do I pronounce a six letter word with four vowels? so I asked a Venezuelan friend and he said it sounds like Brigid Bardot, except with a ‘G’) will bear watching after Maduro is gone, but he will do the bidding of his U.S. handlers. And these guys will try to rob Venezuela again, as they did before Chavez.

My point is, in those years of my youth, the U.S. progressive community failed to protect our Southern neighbors against the agents of U.S. neo-liberals (people named Reagan, or Clinton or such). We deferred to old failed socialists to do the complaining, guys whose only qualification is that they speak Spanish. The U.S. is now suffering the consequences of our collective laziness and negligence.

‘Negligence’? ‘suffer’? Yes, because, as Bernie said, if we fail the victims of global billionaires and neo-liberals anywhere, we will suffer here at home for our indifference. The fight is trans-national, don’t you know.


Joan Robinson is spot on. I would like to add that

  • While a reported 1.5-3 million Venezuelans have left their country, something like 5 million Colombians were recently living in Venezuela, having fled the poverty and U.S.-backed paramilitaries that devastated their country.

  • A recent report by a Colombian feminist group, circulated by Canada’s main ecumenical Christian development agency (Kairos), said more than a dozen Colombian human rights defenders have been killed in 2019 alone.

  • At a recent press conference to denounce the supposed lack of democracy in Honduras, Canada’s foreign minister (and leader of the Lima Group ‘coalition of the willing’ U.S. allies plotting against Maduro) literally stood beside hard-right Colombian president Ivan Duque and Brazilian neo-fascist president Jair Bolsonaro, her new friends. And Mike Pompeo’s friends too.


There’s really not much theory in Friedman. It’s advocacy, little more. But yes, of course the invaders will sing the same old songs that they did while destroying other countries.