When an obscure college professor nearing retirement age suggests that the only way to “solve” the Venezuelan “crisis” is through military intervention, few people would pay any attention. But when that person, Ricardo Hausmann (shown), is a professor at Harvard and a director of the John F. Kennedy School of Government there, his proposal represents much more than just wishful thinking.
Hausmann, with a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University, is a bona fide Keynesian interventionist. Considering that Hausmann was a former minister of planning in Venezuela and a member of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Venezuela in the early 1990s, one can rest assured that free market principles aren’t being considered as any part of his solution to Venezuela’s problems.
Under socialism, things have gotten so bad in Venezuela that Hausmann now thinks military intervention is the only cure. His plan, “D Day Venezuela,” is built on the conclusion that all other forms of intervention — from sanctions to freezing assets belonging to Maduro and 50 of his top people to freezing Maduro out of the U.S. bond market — simply aren’t working. Wrote Hausmann, “The Venezuelan crisis is moving relentlessly from catastrophic to unimaginable.” He carefully built the case that the end justifies the means:
The level of misery, human suffering and destruction has reached a point where the international community must rethink how it can help…. The minimum wage measured in the cheapest available calorie, had declined from 52,854 calories per day in May 2012 to just 7,005 by May 2017 — not enough to feed a family of five. Since then, conditions have deteriorated dramatically. By last month, the minimum wage had fallen to just 2,740 calories per day [per family].
Inflation, running at an estimated 50 percent per month, has effectively destroyed the currency, forcing people to pick through garbage dumps for food, and others to engage in barter for essentials.
Maduro, instead of addressing the issue head on — by admitting that his socialist Chavismo program isn’t working and thus removing government pressures, sanctions, and mandates from the economy — he instead arrested some 60 senior managers of his state-owned energy company PdVSA, blaming them for his failures.
He replaced skilled technicians at PdVSA with government cronies, resulting in the decline of output from more than three million barrels a day to half that amount. Since this is Maduro’s primary source of revenues, he has had to resort to borrowing money from Russia in exchange for ownership of vast swaths of the country’s oil reserves.
Maduro has arranged for the Constituent Assembly to usurp legitimate authority from the National Assembly, has stolen three elections in 2017 alone, and has decimated any legitimate resistance to his authoritarian regime by arresting resistance leaders, including local mayors and deputies not in line with the regime……more here