China’s Illegitimate Child, and No Shotgun Wedding for Venezuela
EspañolIt is well known that China’s one-child policy has resulted in a generation of illegitimate children, who lack constitutional and human rights in the country. In total, approximately 90 million children live in such a condition, working in factories and making less than a dollar per day.
Less known, however, is that China has a third child: illegitimate, exploited, without constitutional rights, and earning two dollars per hour. Her name is Venezuela.
Venezuela’s infantile dependence on the Asian nation began when the United Socialist Party took power 15 years ago. Through agreements, contracts, financing, and “funding,” Venezuela now owes China US$25.7 billion. Given the population projection for 2014 of 30,206,307, every single Venezuelan owes the Chinese $850.80.
All this raises an important question: how will we pay for this? And even worse, how will we pay this in dollars? The minimum wage in Venezuela is 4,251.50 Bs. per month. At the unofficial exchange rate, that equates to US$54. In other words, a Venezuelan working at the minimum wage earns barely $2 per day.
We are China’s third child. The authoritarian regimes of Hugo Chávez, and now Nicolás Maduro, have established a new class of servitude for all Venezuelans. Not only do we have a short future, the level of our submission is impressive.
During President Xi Jinping’s brief visit to Venezuela, the country decorated itself with photos, banners, and propaganda that suggested that the real leader of Venezuela had arrived: “Xi Jinping, welcome to the land of Chávez and Bolívar,” really meant, “Xi Jinping, this is your third child, this is the country you bought.”
In addition to the magnitude of the debt, our rulers appear to have set in motion our fate as an exploited third child forever. To quote Ayn Rand, “The man that labors while others use his product is a slave.” Venezuela must know: we are slaves!
At this very moment, we are exporting 550,000 barrels of oil per day to China. The majority of our exports now go to Chinese firms that have “invested” — or rather, have lost — more than $50 million in a country dealing economic instability, a lack of public services, grave crime, and a health-sector crisis. In Venezuela, the lack of any major investments, which demagoguery dismissed as “doing business with the man,” really means that we are crumbling, not just economically, but in our mindset.
I once read that the most feared words in the world economy are “Chinese prices,” but today I believe the most feared words for Venezuelans are “Chinese ideology.” The line conveys repression, submission, zero-sum relationships, exploitation, low wages, and weakness. And where is the touted liberty and progress? Perhaps hidden under the debt.
The 21st-century socialist model has not stopped destroying the economy for 15 years straight, even now as it enters ever more dangerous waters, gambling with the future for all Venezuelans. Many of the Chavistas don’t even agree with the failed collectivist ideas of the new ruling class, but they brush the underlings aside. Not only are those in power violating freedom of choice, they are making people carry the tyranny of a phony majority.
Venezuela’s future is uncertain, and I don’t know how much longer we will continue being the third child, or if one day we will wake up and understand how important it is to be sovereign, independent, and free: where every businessman can work freely, without coercion, to construct for himself a strong and prosperous economy, where one can dissent, where one can stand in a plaza and protest, without results like those of the 1989 Tiananmen square massacre.
In the meantime, the “new financing projects” with China are taking us to new levels of servitude.