The Venezuela Crisis & Maduro’s Tightening Power Grip (w/ Jay Newman & Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez)

The Venezuela Crisis & Maduro’s Tightening Power Grip (w/ Jay Newman & Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez)


Brian Price: This is Brian Price. This is The Exchange on Real Vision. And I’m really pleased to be at the table
today with two guests who served a crucial role for us in Venezuela, State Of Disaster. I’m with Jay Newman, former senior portfolio
manager of Elliott Management, attorney. And then also joining us is Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez,
professor at Northwestern, writer, columnist for El Nacional in Venezuela, and then also
somebody that served as a crucial voice within Venezuela, State Of Disaster. Thank you for being with us again today. Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez: And thank you for
doing this, Brian. Such an important topic to be discussing. BP: It’s been a couple of weeks since we aired
on Real Vision, Venezuela, State Of Disaster. And in Venezuela, a few weeks is equivalent
to a few years in most normal countries when it comes to developments, and in this case
tragic developments. And really what I want to do is take a step
back and really hand the ball off to Jay to drive a lot of this conversation because your
experience, your time not just working in Latin America but throughout the world, I
think gives us tremendous perspective. And then I think your work as an academic,
Daniel, will help answer some questions that we still have as we continue to study this
nation in turmoil. Jay Newman: So I just thought I would tick
through the last couple of weeks of news coming out of Venezuela. So we’ve seen Colombian criminal groups attacking
Venezuelan security forces. We continue to see Venezuelan crude production
in freefall. A new fight erupting over a massive oil find
being exploited by Exxon in Guyana, but as to which territory Venezuela has always claimed
over 100 years sovereignty. Chilean Air Force sending in aircraft to remove
Chileans from the country. City right across the border from Venezuela
in Brazil now has 10% of its population made up of Venezuelan immigrants. 650,000 school children showing up for the
first day of class in Colombia, Venezuelan schoolchildren showing up in Colombia for
school. President of Colombia, Ivan Duque, asking
for international action. Venezuela saying it’s going to send military
to the border with Colombia. AMLO, the President-elect of Mexico, inviting
Maduro to his inauguration. A UN estimate that more people have become
refugees from Venezuela than any other country in recent memory, including Syria– 3 million,
an exodus of 3 million. Venezuela running out of motor fuel and gasoline. And last but not least, consumer prices rising
over the last year, over 800000%. How is this in any way sustainable? DL: Well, well that’s a tall order, Jay. You mentioned quite a bit there. But to unpack it a little bit, sustainability
is a bit of a subjective term. It’s not sustainable in terms of social development. It’s not sustainable in terms of having a
country that can move forward. But it is a situation which, in some ways,
the worse things get the more that strengthens Maduro. And those 3 million people you mentioned who
have left, that’s on top of a lot of the middle class emigrating back when there was enough
money to fund– essentially Venezuela subsidized through the Caribe process and the exchange
rate system. Study abroad, essentially for free, just off
arbitrage and currency for an entire generation of educated Venezuelans to have already left. Before that, right when Chavez came in, a
lot of the sort of old school elites had also already left. So what we’re seeing now is just the latest
wave. Obviously the numbers are a lot higher. But the types of people who would probably
be necessary to be able to pose a real internal challenge to Maduro– the technocrats who
would be able to plan for something better than Maduro credibly, the students who would
be required to shut down the universities in protest and potentially provoke some kind
of crisis if the government holds too hard a hand against them, or raises too hard a
hand against them– that’s exactly the type of people who are right now most likely to
be outside of the country. JN: So you’ve spoken to us before about that,
about the opposition and about the fact that there’s no really effective internal opposition. But there is a large diaspora. There are a lot of people thinking and working
toward a Venezuela post Maduro. What is the diaspora in absentia working on? DL: That’s– JN: And who are they? DL: So, I mean, the Venezuelan diaspora, according
to the US Census Bureau, is one of the few ethnic groups or groupings that is on average
better educated and wealthier than native born US citizens. You have a very affluent educated class that
has been out for several years that are very successful, but not particularly coordinated. And an example that I like to give of how
this dynamic works was a few years ago, I believe 2010, when there were midterm elections
or legislative elections in Venezuela. And Chavez, because you can vote constitutionally
from outside– those votes are seldom counted before the final results are announced, but
in theory you have a lot of voters who could cast ballots from abroad. And at this point, 2010, was when you were
first starting to have diaspora numbers at a level in which they may have been able to
influence something like that. JN: If the vote counter let them. DL: Yes. It’s not who votes, it’s who counts the votes. It’s still unsaid. But essentially what Chavez did was shut down
the Miami consulate in Venezuela, which means the place that you would have had to go to
vote if you lived in Miami suddenly became New Orleans. You had tens of thousands of Venezuelan diaspora
organizing amongst themselves to essentially organize buses, bus trips. Many of them flew into New Orleans. It became almost a social event, going to
New Orleans with the rest of the diaspora, with a critical mass of the Miami diaspora,
to go vote several states away. That is really a potent symbolic gesture. But at the end of the day, the expenditures
of flying into New Orleans, getting a hotel, what you’re going to spend on food while there,
on chartering that bus, on Ubering to and from the bus station or airport– JN: So is
that effort, you mentioned symbolic– is that just rich people having a party? Or are they actually accomplishing something
in terms of developing a plan and effectuating a plan, to get rid of Maduro and to bring
in a new regime? DL: Well, that’s the issue. So the interest is there and the resources
are there. What I have not sensed yet is real coordination. Partially this has to do, I think, with the
fact that the Venezuelan opposition in Venezuela is so atomized into essentially warring tribes. And that’s one of the reasons that Maduro,
despite being the most unpopular president, in a polling sense, that Venezuela has had
in its recent history, has still been able to survive, because the opposition uses a
lot of its energy fighting internally to dominate the opposition rather than to actually confront
Maduro. This creates a situation where the diaspora,
many of them have loyalties to various leaders within the opposition or to various parties
within the umbrella of the opposition. But they’re not really coordinating well internally. On top of that you have a phenomenon, I’d
say, which is largely psychological, which is a little bit that once you leave Venezuela,
once you emigrate, there’s a sense from the people who have stayed that you’ve kind of
given up. And I think that that psychological barrier
has been really unfortunate because the diaspora is the one resource that the opposition for
years has, in theory, been able to count on that the government doesn’t have. The government has more money, it has better
arms, it has constitutional control, it has the courts. The one thing that the opposition had, they
haven’t really been able to mobilize beyond grand symbolic gestures like the rejection
of the referendum that we saw last year in which many more millions voted against a referendum
from abroad, in a symbolic non-binding vote, than actually voted for the referendum candidates
for the Asamblea Nacional not a referendum, sorry, the constituent assembly. So that, I think, is– you have a lot of examples
in which more coordination of these resources and of these groups would be vital. That said, you know what is missing, and to
go back to your initial point about how sustainable is this, is a flashpoint. It’s the type of situation in which Maduro
is sitting on a powder keg. The gunpowder is damp, but a big enough flash
and it would go off in spectacular fashion. And the fact that a majority of the country
now opposes Maduro, and it’s a pretty significant majority, and that’s not even counting the
people who have already voted with their feet which, as you mentioned, is unprecedented
for a country of Venezuela’s size in the modern era. That’s something that will come back to haunt
the government. JN: So it’s been reported lately, and just
trying to get your sense whether this is real and meaningful, that the opposition– some
in the opposition– are taking the view that because Maduro was elected, he’s a legitimate
president acting in illegitimate ways. But come the inauguration early next year,
he will become an illegitimate president, someone who stole an election, acting in illegitimate
ways. Is this distinction real? Is it meaningful? DL: One of the tragedies of Venezuela is that
it’s a country that has had 26 constitutions in 200 years and is now working on its 27th. So the idea of a constitutional precedent,
or of– I mean, the Constitution is what the judges say it is at any given time. And as long as Maduro controls the judges–
JN: And there are judges inside the country and outside the country– DL: True. JN: –both ruling on– DL: What the judges
inside the country think is what usually carries the day. So whereas symbolically I think that can make
a real difference, and in terms of how the international community responds to Maduro
could also make a pretty substantial difference, the problem is, I think, that the geopolitical
moment internationally in which these issues are coming to a head is also a particularly
divisive one. I think if Maduro had been doing what Maduro
is doing now in the mid 2000s or the early ’90s, he would have been able to draw significantly
more criticism. But right now you have the left in essentially
open retreats throughout much of a continent that it dominated for the last decade. And that means that even comparatively moderate
leftists, at least compared to Maduro, such as Evo Morales in Bolivia or AMLO who you
mentioned in the original question– JN: Well, let’s talk about AMLO for a second, because
you say that the left is in retreat but not in Mexico. And AMLO is taking a number of steps that
suggest he is the left and the left is resurgent in Mexico. And he just invited Maduro to come to his
inauguration, which puts him at odds with most other presidents in Latin America. DL: A great point. I would say Mexico has a longstanding tendency
to sort of march to the beat of a different drummer. They were the only country back in the ’50s
and ’60s that didn’t turn their back on Cuba, despite JFK going personally to Mexico City
to argue the point, who was a tremendously popular charismatic and Catholic president
visiting Latin America. On top of that, you have them inviting a Hapsburg
to come rule them at a time when the rest of the continent was very vehement about not
wanting European monarchies. So Mexico tends to be a little bit atypical. That said, I would argue that Mexico is not
really a case of the left resurgent. It’s a case of the center imploding. Mexicans elected the same candidates who they
had already rejected twice by a huge margin when he stopped campaigning as a leftist and
started campaigning as an antiestablishment outsider. JN: And yet he has invited Maduro to his inauguration,
which is a– is that just symbolic or is that significant in terms of developing a geopolitical
consensus that might even lead to intervention in Venezuela, military intervention? DL: It’s not a great look, especially with
some of the other things you mentioned that are going on like the scrapping of the NAIM
airport project. And on top of that you have the recent discomfiting
statements about potentially pushing on the banking sector to cancel certain fees, which
would be a very early populist handbook step in putting the banking sector in its place,
which is very worrying for investors. At the same time, Mexico has never been–
I mean, Mexico logically should be the leader of Latin America. It is by far the– the only country bigger
than Mexico in economic and population terms doesn’t speak the same language and had a
different colonial experience. Mexico should be Latin America’s leader. And this is an old Samuel Huntington argument. The reason it’s not is because it has sort
of opted to be more in the US sphere, historically. So Mexico has traditionally not played a very
strong role in Latin American affairs by choice. That began to change in the latter days of
the Pena Nieto administration. And Mexico started, under Enrique, started
taking a much more active role than it ever had in recent memory. JN: But could you imagine a situation in which
there is an international interest in military intervention. I mean, we already have fights at the border
between Venezuela and Colombia, even if the Colombians are in fact drug dealers. But is it possible to have an intervention
without Mexico on board? DL: I think it would be. Mexico, because they’ve tended to be outside
of the system for a very long time, or usually have historically tended to vote with the
US, it’s a bit of a special case. Now, if you didn’t have Brazil on board, that
would be a different story. If you didn’t have Colombia on board, that
would be a different story. JN: And what is– since we have a new president
in Brazil, Bolsonaro. And what– has he expressed a view on what’s
happening and what needs to happen in Venezuela? DL: I mean, he’s made several comments that
have not been, let’s say– BP: Sane? Within the realms of sanity? A sort of hold? DL: They have not been particularly generous
to the regime in Caracas. That said, during the election despite the
fact that Roraima, which was the region you mentioned, which is actually– so, Roraima
is, there’s a Venezuelan side of Roraima and there’s a Brazilian side. It’s sort of a jungle border. And the local government in Roraima, the congressman
and the city officials in Roraima and state officials, have been having a heck of a time
for months because as you said, you have the equivalent of 10% of the population. And it’s not a very populated region, or a
very developed one. And a lot of these people– JN: And they speak
different languages. DL: And they speak different languages, which
used to actually shield Brazil from a lot of the problems that would come hand-in-hand
with having neighbors that were often destabilized. You know, if Colombia breaks down they’re
going to go to Venezuela, not Brazil. And for a long time the reverse assumption
also held. The situation in Venezuela has gotten to a
point now where the only barriers are really ideological. Venezuelans aren’t escaping to Cuba. Venezuelans aren’t escaping to Bolivia because
they’re scared to basically go to a similar country. And Ecuador, I think ironically, is a little
bit shielded by that as well. But the language barrier which used to be
something that protected Brazil has not been doing so. During the election up until now Venezuela
was not a big topic of conversation, I think because of the internal politics within Brazil. The right, with champion Jair Bolsonaro, were
already being accused of being too radically right wing, xenophobia at times, of racism. And so coming down too hard on a large refugee
population in public wouldn’t have necessarily been something that would assuage some of
these concerns among the moderates that he was trying to appeal to, especially given
that the left ran a comparatively moderate candidate. The left, who would usually be the ones who
would latch onto a human rights issue, especially against a candidate like Bolsonaro, also didn’t
want to bring the issue to the forefront because the PT, which is the largest party on the
left and the one that fielded the main candidate this time around, Lula and Chavez were quite
close at least publicly. There was a lot of photo ops. They have been defending Venezuela throughout. So both sides, I think, took an independent
decision that Venezuela should not be a major topic of conversation. That may now change now that the election
is behind them. And I think that the interactions between
Ivan Duque in Colombia and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil will be something that Venezuela
will have to worry about considerably. JN: There’s been a lot of conversation about
sanctions and the use of sanctions by the Trump administration, the increasing use of
them as kind of flippant flip on, flip off elements of foreign policy. In the context of Venezuela, though, it shades
over into amnesty and the fact that there are so many people that have engaged in wholesale
corruption over a very long period of time in Venezuela that are now under sanctions,
that in order to get anything moving sanctions will have to be listed and there will probably
need to be an amnesty. How is the man on the street likely to react
to that? DL: I mean, that’s a weighty question. On the sanctions being used flippantly, I
think that that, as you implied, very much can negate the importance of sanctions. If sanctions are just like a bad hair day
that then you can comb your hair the next day and be fine, that’s obviously going to
take some of the teeth away from them as a tool for US foreign policy. I think in Venezuela, it might actually be
bad for Maduro to have sanctions used in this way for a very particular reason. The Venezuelan regime, or the coalition, to
use the word generously, that right now backs Maduro, have very different interests. And in the old days what kept them together
was essentially sacking the state, because you would have preferential access to things
like to foreign exchange, you would have preferential access to a corruption overinvoicing, the
ability to maybe police a particular border that a lot of smuggling traffic came through
that you could sort of informally tax. I mean, there were ways in which you could
basically buy people off through policy because there was no oversight. BP: So with everything in mind that you guys
have been discussing, I just want to jump in for a minute and broaden it out globally
and take a look at one of the big Gs in gold, and the role that that’s playing both domestically
in Venezuela and in the relationship it dictates with other countries. What are you seeing? DL: So, gold is a very interesting issue in
Venezuela. Venezuela has gold. They’ve never really gotten production truly
online formally. It was a similar case to diamonds, actually,
which Venezuela also has but which it’s never– you know, I think Chavez had a fight with
the Kimberley people in 2008 and Venezuela got decertified and has remained so. That doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been an
industrialisation, a very powerful industrialization. I mean, if you go on Google Maps now and look
at areas of Venezuela where these resources are present, you can actually see mines. But they’re not formal mines. They’re informal mines. The government is known– well, is widely
presumed to take a cut of this. And that’s something that has facilitated,
in a way, the diversification, the de facto diversification, of its income. Because when people tell you that 98%, or
99% now, of Venezuela’s exports are oil, that’s not technically true. 99% of the exports that Venezuela, let’s say
legitimately exports, are oil. But on top of that you have to include drugs,
most of which are not grown in Venezuela but which pass through there. It includes oil. It includes diamonds, many of which are smuggled
out at obviously a lower price because it’s smuggled. But the government gets a big cut of it. And unlike conventional private sector, you
can basically pick who’s getting them. So whoever is being allowed access to these
sorts of illicit resources will, for survival’s sake, be a lot more amenable to the government
regardless of how they attempt to interfere or else risk losing their access. That said, the other place that gold comes
into play strongly is in terms of the natural reserves, which should be booming and which
even a unresponsible country would probably have managed to save a significant amount
during the colossal oil bonanza of the 2000s and early 2010s. Venezuela does not have that. They have a bit more of a kitchen sink apparatus
as the Federal Reserve. So you have less than 10 billion US in there,
most of it in liquid, much of it in gold. And for a while there was a lot of speculation
about whether the gold actually existed until they invited a well-known Venezuelan economist
living abroad to actually go look at the gold and actually certify that it was there for
investors. That said, the gold is something that has
been sort of hawked to multiple groups at various times and the chain of ownership is,
as with all things Venezuela, very complex at this point because they have been using
the gold and the reserves as an asset to facilitate credit for years. And it’s not really clear who has taken them
up on it. One of the ways in which, in the past, they
have attempted to shore up their credit which is not very good, because they do have the
unfortunate tendency to expropriate and to decide not to pay people, and to say they’ve
paid people when they haven’t– because of their international reputation one of the
things they did several years ago was to actually export the gold to a third party, so that
ostensibly they couldn’t just renege on it. And so you have a large portion of the gold,
or a significant portion of the gold, which ended up in the UK, which Maduro has now asked
for back citing his own reasons and the humanitarian crisis that he caused, but he doesn’t mention
the latter part. Which is good marketing, a rare bit of good
marketing for his regime. And asked for it back, and Britain has demurred
which, among regime sympathizers, has drawn parallels to the Elgin Marbles and said, oh,
that’s just Britain being Britain. They always do this. Why did we send them the gold? But for, I think, the international community
it does make a statement that you’re too drunk right now. You can’t have your keys back until you sober
up a little bit. And it doesn’t really– I’m bearish on Maduro
sobering up anytime soon. JN: Are there any key dates coming up? Are there any inflection points? We have Maduro attending Obrador’s inauguration. We have his investiture for his next term. Do these dates matter? Or are they just more days on a continuum? DL: Venezuela is supposed to have a presidential
election in December of this year. It would be coming up right now. That election ended up taking place in April. First it was moved to May, then April, to
exploit a particular moment of opposition weakness. If you can move a presidential election by
over six months to a time when it’s most convenient and the courts and the electoral authorities
will blindly back you, essentially at this point, I mean, the Constitution is not even
written in pencil. It’s written in sand with a finger, or like
on lipstick on a mirror. I mean, it’s very, very– it can be a guideline. But basically it’s liquid. I mean, it’s much more liquid than the national
reserves. BP: Yeah. DL: Like, far more liquid. I mean, it’s essentially a Wikipedia constantly–
like it’s a Wikipedia wiki constitution, that Maduro can just sort of log in and then change
whatever he wants and there’s no reviewers. So, when the dates matter, actually I would
say is less about key dates and more about key moments, or periods of time. So for example, December– Venezuelan governments
for a long time have tended to give bad news in December right before the Christmas holiday
because everybody leaves the urban centers for the beach. The one thing that Maduro hasn’t been able
to really screw up yet is the weather, which is quite wonderful in December. And people leave the urban areas and go somewhere
else, somewhere nicer. On top of that, students are not in school. And this is more– JN: So no one’s paying
attention. DL: No one’s paying attention. On top of that, the people who would usually
protest first are university students because they’re all together every day and they love
missing class. So convincing people to go protest instead
of going to class– and I speak speaking as a university professor– that’s a much easier
sell than, don’t go to the beach so that you can stay in Caracas and protest. So I would expect that in December any bad
news that the government has to give– and we saw this a little bit when they started
talking about restructuring the bonds after having paid the principal. Which seems very illogical in terms of, well,
if you’re going to stop paying, if you’re going to default, why throw several billion
dollars at a principal payment first and then default on interest? That makes no sense until you think about
the fact that the bond came due in November. The actual announcements that they might stop
paying came in December at the key moment where you would usually not have– and this
doesn’t always work. I mean, you did have a coup in late January. But by and large– and you had two in February. That’s another particular time. Venezuelan coups tend to happen right after
Christmas, in part in response to the terrible news that was given before. But there’s several weeks in which it can
be processed by the population. So things like devaluations. Those almost always, historically, have been
undertaken or been announced in December right before the holiday. JN: Does Maduro go out– I was thinking, as
you were talking about the beach I was thinking, does Maduro go to the beach? Does Maduro go out? Does he have any idea what’s going on in the
country? DL: So, one of the interesting things that
has happened in Venezuela recently, especially as traditional media has been either co-opted
or shut down or denied paper, and it’s something that also mirrors a larger phenomenon that’s
occurring throughout the region, has been the rise of social networking, especially
WhatsApp. And you get a lot of pictures, videos, of
a lot of senior Chavistas traveling, going to the beach. I believe Diosdado Cabello, who’s another
of the most important regime leaders– his wife was actually minister of tourism for
a while. So they got to take some great vacations. Maduro less so. He’s not a chap who really seems to be enjoying
his job. I don’t think he particularly loves the presidency
right now. It’s probably more trouble than it’s worth,
save for the fact that there is no exit plan that doesn’t involve being, you know, best
case scenario locked up in the Hague or exiled to Cuba until change comes to Cuba, or being
hung up in Plaza Venezuela with [inaudible]. I mean, there’s no real middle ground. That said, there are few moments of fun. And you showed it in the first Real Vision
documentary, his salsa lesson, which was very popular for a while. He was in Turkey for a while and there were
some great pictures that came out of him and his wife, the first lady, dressed at sort
of a belly dancing costume event. The issue is that there’s always a backlash
whenever he seems to be having fun. Which does not seem fun, but seems more than
fair given the fact that he has been put in charge now for the better part of a decade
of 30 million of his countrymen, many of whom don’t have food, many of whom don’t have money
that can actually be used because of hyperinflation, people who are no longer fleeing the country
on airplanes as in times past but who are fording rivers on foot, going through jungle
to countries whose language they don’t speak. So in the list of Venezuelans who I feel sorry
for, Maduro, despite his limited vacationing options, is relatively low priority at this
stage. BP: So if history is any indication, it seems
we’re going to be getting more bad news towards the end of the year. DL: News is tricky in Venezuela, though. One of the things that I think Chavez did
quite well was that he was a devil dressed up as a clown. The news that filtered out of Venezuela for
years was more focused on the type of, I can’t believe this shit, magical realism. And Maduro played to that a little bit. I mean, when he talked to Chavez’s shade in
the form of a bird, for example. I think that there’s actually a logic to this
because when you are a joke, you are not really to be feared. You’re a joke. And that’s something that I think you can
see a lot of really terrible genocidal dictators, like the Kim family, have actually managed
to exploit this quite well. That if you get a ridiculous haircut and you
say ridiculous things and you do ridiculous things, foreign media is going to attach to
that. So one of the big changes that I think bodes
well for a transition to Venezuela– maybe not now, but in the not too distant future–
is the fact that for the last year and a half, and as someone who’s written quite a bit for
press I remember when, if you were pitching a Venezuelan story to an editor they wanted
to know, where’s the funny, essentially? You know, where is the part where you focus
on how crazy insane these guys are. And when you tried to do a human interest
story about how much people were suffering, that had to be packaged into, oh, well, Maduro
used a body double that didn’t look like him at a Panama summit. Isn’t that funny? Now, that’s no longer the case. I think that Venezuela has gone from unfunny
Shakespeare comedy to Shakespeare tragedy to Dante’s Inferno. And the media is actually tracking this quite
closely internationally. That is an important change. And that does create a scenario that Maduro
does not– that is new for Maduro and that he can’t simply copy off Chavez, because Chavez
was seen as a buffoon. He was seen as a joke internationally. But he was rarely seen as a threat. Maduro now, with the mass exodus of his people
destabilizing his neighbors, defaulting on the rest of the world, with the humanitarian
crisis getting more and more press internationally from both left wing and right wing media–
The Guardian, for example, that backed Chavez like clockwork for the entire time he was
president even when he was jailing opponents because of ideological reasons, is no longer
backing Maduro. The people who I used to see, there was always
four or five pundits who were the regime supporters who spoke English that would be on every single
television show as the people defending the revolution, they’re down essentially to one
person at this point. And he’s booked everywhere. But people who were seen as real stalwarts
have jumped ship. Internationally, people have accepted that
the indefensible can’t be defended. And that is a sea change. BP: Well I think on the note of the important,
the crucial role that the media plays in exposing this clown is a good note to end on. DL: I’m looking at you, Brian. BP: I’m trying to do it. DL: Thank you. BP: I’m trying to do it along with you guys,
because I think it’s stories like these that need to be told. And as long as the suffering continues, Maduro
and those folks need to be held accountable. So it was a pleasure working with both of
you on the last project. And I’m so glad that we’re able to put this
follow up together today. DL: Hear, hear.

15 Replies to “The Venezuela Crisis & Maduro’s Tightening Power Grip (w/ Jay Newman & Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez)”

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  2. Socialism at work in Venezuela, this is the result. Maybe the Venezuelans didn't try the correct version of socialism….LOL

  3. What kind of bonehead cannot see that the causes of Venezuela's suffering may have more to do with the U.S.'s hard lined sanctions that are meant to overthrow Maduro than poor government. These guys are talking a bunch of B.S.. Venezuela has more oil than Saudi Arabia and tons of gold and silver and other commodities. Whenever a country refuses to sell their oil just in U.S. dollars the U.S. takes them down ie..Libya and Iraq . The U.S. is salivating at the opportunity to get all of those riches and most of the people know that. Get REAL…Real Vision.

  4. I dont understand. If Venezuela is having such a hard time, why is America destroying them with economic sanctions? Are we a heartless, predatory country or is it simply the international bankers that resent Venezuelan independence?

  5. So Venezuela, sitting on one of the world's biggest pools of grease, has run out of gas. Well, that's socialism for you. Lie like a rug to take over and impoverish everyone but a select few mass murderers. And now the youngsters, raised by communist teachers, want to enthrone it here. Well, ignore the subversion and sow the wind. You know what comes next, don't you?

  6. Ridiculous propaganda. Why don't you talk about the right-wing coup in Ecuador or the massive protests in Chile against their fascist, neoliberal regime? Your obsession with Venezuela is sad. And you always forget to mention that they are UNDER ATACK by Washington's murderous economic blockade, and can't possibly be considered an generalizable example of local politics for that reason. I'm unsubscribing from this channel, not only are all your recession predictions always wrong, but you also want to push this kind of fascist BS? Which has nothing to do with finance, BTW. No thanks!

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