Venezuela’s descent into chaos is making headlines, not least because no one knows what will come next. The only other country to go through such an economic meltdown in recent history is Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe too suffered from chronic shortages as the government blamed outsiders and controlled prices in an attempt to “fix” the market for the poor. And Venezuela, with inflation at 720%, though the highest rate in the world currently, could still have a ways to go: in Zimbabwe inflation may have reached as high as 80 billion percent in 2008 before the currency was abandoned.
But President Maduro can take heart; not all is lost. Mugabe used every brutal tactic at his disposal to squash opposition (including pretending to compromise), and has held on to power to this day, despite an economy that is beyond being in shambles. And it looks like 92 year old Mugabe is not done yet: reports are that he plans to install his chosen successor, his 49 year old wife, using fraudulent elections and intimidation if need be.
Cartoon credit: Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE. Available at Cagle