The Separate Countries Within Venezuela
An executive living in Caracas, Venezuela recently decided he needed to prove to friends and family that he isn’t starving. After the El Venezolano reported news of the chaos, lack of medical supplies, shortages of food, and riots hit the airwaves, it became clear that Venezuela was a pot set to boil over. The country, who is dependent on their massive oil reserves to finance their country, has taken a hit with the low oil prices for the past two years. The country doesn’t have enough money to continue to feed it’s people, not enough electricity to keep the country running which forced mandatory blackouts, and inflation has soared to ridiculously high numbers and is expected to hit nearly 2,000% next year.
Agustin Otxotorena, the executive who is living in Caracas, has seen the news, and knows the country is in trouble, but has grown tired of friends and family calling him constantly to check on him, because he is living in a different world than that we see on television.
His series of pictures were posted on TelesurTV and can be viewed here. He is wealthy and has plenty of food, his store shelves are stocked, and he dines at fancy restaurants. The chaos hasn’t reached him, and probably won’t because there are two countries within Venezuela, and he is living in a beautiful and blessed country while the other half starves and riots.
His country within Venezuela is one he compares to as being more upper class living standard than that in Europe.
He together with Osio also goes on to explain that his theory is that the corruption comes from the import process, which is subsidized by the government, as well as the buying, re-selling, and smuggling of subsidized essential goods. The largest major retailers have their own import mechanisms, allowing them to get better prices and set their own prices to the value of the dollar, it isn’t being forced to be regulated by the government. Those that are forced to buy subsidized goods through the government are forced to set a price that aligns with the governments charges, and often times are bought by bachaqueros, owned and directed by the Colombian mafia, who then resell goods to the working class at higher prices. It is believed that bachaqueros are getting roughly 40 percent of the goods. This business is so good, it is believed they earn more money this way than from the production and marketing of cocaine, one of their leading businesses.