The origins of Venezuela’s economic plight lie not in Chávez’s subversion of representative democracy and free markets, but in numerous socialistic and mercantilistic policies adopted gradually over several decades. Understanding the effects of those policies—including the country’s first nationalization of an industry in 1950—is the key to understanding the predicament of Venezuela under Chávez.

Hugo J. Faria is an Adjunct Fellow at the Independent Institute and Professor of Economics and Finance at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administracion in Caracas, Venezuela.
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