Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sliding oil prices leave socialist Venezuela on brink of financial collapse

Washington Times
December 25, 2014
President Nicolas Maduro — the hand-picked successor to the late socialist Hugo Chavez — faces mounting international criticism for jailing opposition figures after months of street protests. (Associated Press) more >

The ongoing plunge in global oil prices is pushing Venezuela toward economic collapse just as President Nicolas Maduro — the hand-picked successor to the late socialist Hugo Chavez — faces mounting international criticism for jailing opposition figures after months of street protests.
Where Chavez once drew praise from the world’s leftist elite for using the high price of crude oil during the 2000s to underwrite a socialist revolution, a growing number of analysts in Washington say Mr. Maduro is clinging to power in a country on the edge of becoming a failed state.
Venezuela still boasts some of the world’s largest known crude reserves, but it has continued for too long spending more on government programs than it has collected in oil revenue, analysts say. The average price of oil has dropped from more than $100 a barrel to less than $60 during recent weeks, only adding to Venezuela’s woes.

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