Venezuela’s Productive Class Is Leaving The Country

As Hugo Chavez continues in his quest to drag the nation of Venezuela into the hell hole known as the “worker’s paradise”, those Venezuelans who can afford it are packing up and leaving in ever increasing numbers:

As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez further tightens control of the South American country’s economy, wealthy Venezuelans who once thought they could live with his socialist edicts are turning to their backup plan – flight to the United States, particularly Florida.

Venezuelans have long gobbled up condos and pre-construction deals in Florida as investments, but the latest buyers want homes where they can live and business properties that will help them earn a green card.

“First the people who come are the businessmen in the highest circles, then the losing politicians, then the military and then the professionals,” said Miami-based immigration attorney Oscar Levin. “You’re beginning to see the (Venezuelan) professionals.”

This latest and largest potential group of emigrants say they fear the effect Chavez’s socialist policies will have on the economy and on proposed educational reforms that could mirror the ideologically imbued education of Chavez ally and mentor, Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

And, as Chavez comes to even more closely resemble his hopefully soon-to-be-dead mentor, the number of people getting out of the country is increasing:

Between 2000 – a year after Chavez took office – and 2005, the number of Venezuelans living in the U.S. doubled to about 160,000, according to the latest U.S. Census numbers. Nearly half live in Florida.

But those numbers are deceptive.

In 2005, 10,645 Venezuelans received their green cards allowing them to live in the United States, almost doubling the 6,222 who received them in 2004, according to the latest Department of Homeland Security statistics. And another 400,000 Venezuelans came to the United States in 2005 on business and tourism visas. It is unclear how many stayed.

Colombia, with nearly twice Venezuela’s roughly 27 million residents, sent the same number that year.

And it’s not just rich Venezuelans who are trying to leave. As I noted back in January, Venezuelans from all economic groups have been lining up at American and foreign embassies in Caracas for the visa that will allow them to leave the country.

We can, I think, expect more of this as Venezuelas slide into socialism continues. There is one thing that could save the country, and it’s something that has happened in Central and South American before when leftist regimes started going too far. A military coup that deposes Chavez and puts the country back on the road to sanity would not necessarily be a bad thing right now.

H/T: QandO

  • Luis Granados Ceja

    It’s one thing to disagree with Chavez but to call for a coup? That’s simply disgusting.

    This is a website dedicated to liberty is it not? Who are you to actively call for the end of the most fundemental of all liberties? The Venezuelans have voted for Chavez time and time again, are you so arrogant as to claim that a bunch of coupists know better?

    And please spare me the usual line that Chavez isn’t democratic, there’s simply no proof of it.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org Doug Mataconis

    Calling for the overthrow of a man who is violating the fundamental liberties of his people isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  • Mike

    Though I do find Chavez kinda shady, the people of Venezuela have voted for him numerous times.
    The take home message for me is when you have people starving to death and the majority of Venezuelans struggling to get by, taking away civil liberties that at the end of the day only really affect those with money and a degree of power is something that is very appealing to the everyday person if it mean their wellbeing will be bettered.
    That was one run-on sentence.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    Luis,

    And please spare me the usual line that Chavez isn’t democratic, there’s simply no proof of it.

    Except for the whole ruling by decree, not respecting private property rights, and not respecting civil liberties part…

    Doug,

    There is one thing that could save the country, and it’s something that has happened in Central and South American before when leftist regimes started going too far. A military coup that deposes Chavez and puts the country back on the road to sanity would not necessarily be a bad thing right now.

    Unfortunately, there is no Pinochet on the horizon for Venezuela. Chavez has spent the past 8 years at least installing his cronies into high positions in the Venezuelan military and revamping it from a Western-style quasi professional military to more of a Soviet-Maoist-Cuban model military that is more concerned with ideology and regime loyalty and protection than professionalism and loyalty to country..

  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    What does it say when the hallmark of socialism is that anyone with a brain and dedication doesn’t want to live under it?

  • r graham

    Chavez is a dictator who is riding the wave of popularity among those who are too poor to understand his political games, but who have the right to vote. This is why true democracy tends to result in disaster. A democratic-republic with an independent judicary is not what is happening in Velenzuala. It is very, very sad to see such a good country go to the dogs of communism — a bankrupt political model with no advocates and is only used by dictators to advance their own egos.

    Support the rebellion against Chavez and don’t buy CITGO gas. The Chinese can have all they want.

  • KickCapitalism

    Listen you ignoramus, your US of imperialist A and you goddamn republicans and rightwing nuts:

    you people (aka – whites) stole indian lands. what about indian property rights.

    your kind supported coup against democratically elected governments in chile, guatemala, nicaragua, and all other latin american nations.
    and you HYPCRITES speak of democracy.

    Go fuck yourself! We need to bring socialism and communism to USA and send right wing nuts such as you into the Siberian gulags.

    Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro are the real heroes and we need more heroes like him to teach you capitalist PIGS that the only ways is the RED and SOCIALIST WAY!

  • Lawl

    Why don’t we try overthrowing Chavez again, like in 2002? Oh right, it failed miserably!

    Maybe we will have to install a fascist dictator, like we’ve done so many times in so many places. Allow them to run mad, slaughtering the leftists, like in Nicaragua. As long as they chant that they are working for peace, freedom, democracy, and capitalism, who cares how many people they torture or kill?

    Meanwhile, we have Bush destroying the freedom of the United States. Yet, you’re worried about Chavez? Hahaha, Venezuela won’t be marching you into the concentration camps, they’ll be flying the flag of the United States. Have a nice life!

  • uhm

    “We need to bring socialism and communism to USA and send right wing nuts such as you into the Siberian gulags.” – It’s being called the North American Union or NAFTA+ by critics. Left wing nuts and right wing nuts like McCain support it by the way. He hates Americans more than you do, according to him we are all lazy. Socialist and Corporatist will bring a New Dark Age with regional governments in my opinion.

    KickSocialismCorporatism you are the reason why we need our border laws enforced. Also I don’t believe in interfering with countries who have not attacked us. The US is a Constitutional Republic not a Democracy.

    It looks like in many countries people are giving their liberty away for perceived security and as always they will receive and deserve neither. C

  • Palomudo

    The USA is run by Jews, see for yourself http://www.rense.com/Datapages/howiz.htm

    Nevermind Chavez and Fidel they are real patriots in control of their country and destiny, you envy them because your genocidal president ignores you and serves Israel first, wonder why you are in the middle east raping muslim children and stealing oil? your congress is infected with jews your media and all major businesses are run by jews.

    Miami is infected with Cuban rejects Fidel shipped to empty his jails, many Venezuelans in Miami are thieves who used to run the country and now have no chance, now they have to work for a living, this is major for people who are used to stealing from the government. Welcome to Miami USA where you are an allien, a second class immigrant, un tierruo, embrace your local cuban gusano and have an orgie!

  • http://www.qando.net McQ

    Wow … they’re comin’ out of the woodwork tonight, aren’t they?

    To the “Fatherland, Socialism or Death” crowd, we’re on to the “but they elected him” game:

    http://ww.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=3153

    And to the Neanderthal who’s still worried about whites ‘stealing’ Indian land, for heaven sake, grow up … or at least catch up. It’s the 21st century. We’re talking about a dictator taking a country down the primrose path to ruin and you’re whining about Indian lands? Sheesh … they’ve got more casinos than Vegas and are richer than Croesus.

    Meanwhile, the freshest meat in Venezuela is chicken feet.

    http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=5399

    So enjoy your latest tin pot dictator while the oil revenue holds out, but be advised that some day you’ll get your wish and Venezuela will look just like Cuba.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    Hey McQ, they do tend to show up here when we post about Venezuela!

    To those on the “democratically elected” kick, may I point out to you that technically Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin and a whole slew of other socialist (whether of the nationalist or marxist variety) were “democratically elected”. An election is not the be all, end all hallmark of liberty.

    Do I think that Chavez needs to go? Yes. Do I think that the USA, or any other country should interfere? Not right now, the loss of liberty and human life of such an action is greater, right now, than the damage Chavez is doing. Do I wish that some Venezuelans could find a way to get him out of power? Yes, absolutely.

    Other than that, McQ told you guys all that needs saying.

  • hoju

    This is just drivel… written by the sort of right wing fictionalizers that can talk of the invasion of another country as defense, and the use of nuclear weapons as justifiable.

    Far closer to the truth is that the exploitive class is leaving Venzuela… likely to end up in the USA at republican conventions, bitching about the fact that they had to leave their good slaves behind, and how hard it is to find decent servants in Delaware these days.

  • Gary Miller

    Some of you seem to be in love with the idea of socialism and communism. If you had a brain in your head you would realize you live in the greatest country in world. That’s why they all want to come here.You should Thank God for the freedom you have.Can you believe it I said that without one “F”word

  • mizrahi

    Why Northamerican thing that they are the saver of the world?? You know what fucking red neck go and kill your Ku Klus Klan first , then give Mexico their land and Guantanamo to Cuba and then stop planting drugs in Afganistan and feed your fucking veteran and then talk about Venezuela or other country. You fucking idiot think the the world spin around you. Would you still ask yourself why the world hate the USA? Gues why

  • mizrahi

    I am not communist or socialist, but I have travelled all aroud the world and never have seen more selfish and anti democracy as North American, so sarcastic and mean. They thing that are the best in the world while their sociaty is in decadency the incest is their freedom and discrimination their religion.

  • Gary Miller

    Don’t care who hates us. They need us more than we need them. Shut off the U.S. Dollar and see their minds change. It’s all about the money. That’s capitalism.

  • Percy

    To the Chavez apologists – have you ever been to Cuba? Any idea what it is like? Oh, right… avg. monthly salary of $20/month while fresh milk costs $2/quart. Billboards everywhere… “SOCIALISMO O MUERTE”… Steadily declining economic situation ever since the revolution.

    You really want Venezuela to turn into Cuba?

  • Ugly American

    The truth is Chavez came to power in a military coup, not an honest election.

    He promised to give workers a say in the companies they work for. Instead, he gave the companies to guys from his former military unit and jails and shoots workers who ask him to live up to his promises.

    When people called for a new election, Chavez called out the army who fired live rounds into the crowds. Only months after taking over the companies that make the voting machines did he allow a new election where he won more votes than people cast.

    Their new money is being issued to deal with the 100x inflation that Chavez policies have caused.

    People there are now starving to death while the Chavez government has broken into the top 5 arms importers in the world.

    Inside every Communist is a Fashist trying to get out.

  • Charel

    Unfortunately Americans don’t learn from their mistakes. Whether it is Chile, Brazil, Nicaragua or Cuba – the world is littered with the evil effects of their interference. I leave out Afghanistan and Iraq as they are uncompleted disasters. Those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it. Please leave Venezuela and Cuba to sort out their own problems and begin to solve some of your own at home.

  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    hoju: “Far closer to the truth is that the exploitive class is leaving Venzuela… likely to end up in the USA at republican conventions, bitching about the fact that they had to leave their good slaves behind, and how hard it is to find decent servants in Delaware these days.”

    So, hoju, I’m guessing now that these “exploitative” folks are leaving the country, you expect that Venezuela’s standard of living will rise?

    Because history would say otherwise, as it has in Cuba.

  • Luis Granados Ceja

    “The truth is Chavez came to power in a military coup, not an honest election.

    He promised to give workers a say in the companies they work for. Instead, he gave the companies to guys from his former military unit and jails and shoots workers who ask him to live up to his promises.

    When people called for a new election, Chavez called out the army who fired live rounds into the crowds. Only months after taking over the companies that make the voting machines did he allow a new election where he won more votes than people cast.”

    Straight up lies have no place in a debate. Come back when you have your information sorted out.

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  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    Hey Luis, I can call anything a lie, that doesn’t make it so. It’s a time honored practice among the various -isms (e.g. national socialism, communism, marxism, etc.) to call anything said about them that they don’t like a lie. Given who Chavez is, what he stands for, who his friends are, what he’s done in power, I’m prepared to believe he is just another authoritarian socialist bum that will use any propaganda he can find, buy, bribe or blackmail. Show me I’m wrong.

  • Hilario

    Most Americans believe in freedom and liberty for all human beings. On the other hand, right-wing extremists in America beleive in freedom and liberty for some Americans, the few WASPS that think and act as they do. They label as non-democratic any government that does not readily abide by the orders of the Federal Government of the United States. They claim to be Christians, but have no respect for human lives, particularly if they are aliens to their particular taste and twisted morality. They yearn for the military dictators that at one time ruled all of Latin America for them and for their profit. They have no criticism for the Governments of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or China, but wish the death of all legally elected leaders that do not sell out their countries to transnational corporations. Too bad. I have lived for years in the United States and I know that most American people believe in the ideals of Patrick Henry and all the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. The sad state of the World is due to the wild extremist minorities of all different philosophies, religions or economic interests throughout the Planet. They are like Cancer cells to humanity.

  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    Hilario,

    I can say from what I know of Patrick Henry that he would not call what Chavez is bringing to Venezuela “freedom and liberty”. Of course, like me, he wouldn’t call what we have here in America “freedom and liberty” either.

  • Hilario

    Brad,
    You are so right. But while Venezuelans are trying to win freedom and liberty for all, including the poorest of the poor, the U.S. is going in the wrong direction, what with the Patriot Act and executive priviliges for George W. Bush.

  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    Hilario,

    The Venezuelans are not trying to win freedom and liberty for all. They’re trying to win the power to plunder their neighbors with a clean conscience. It’s not freedom or liberty for that neighbor with Hugo’s hand deep in his wallet, is it?

  • FuckCapitalism

    Heroes like Chavez, Evo Morales, Fidel, Daniel Ortega, Rafael Correa, Ollanta Humala, and Lopez Obrador are what is needed in Latin America.

    No longer will Latin Americas be AmeriKKKa’s biatch!

    As comrade Chavez himself said: “Gringos, get the fuck out!”

    Latin Americans are now all too aware of US of KKKA’s intention, which is too exploit their people as slave and cheap maquiladores labor, steal their resources for a pittance, have lap dog and puppet leaders installed in their government, steal for the rich and give to the poor, and exploit their nations.

    No more gringos! down with the gringos! viva la izguierda revolucion!

  • FuckCapitalism

    Correction:
    Heroes like Chavez, Evo Morales, Fidel, Daniel Ortega, Rafael Correa, Ollanta Humala, and Lopez Obrador are what is needed in Latin America.

    No longer will Latin Americas be AmeriKKKa’s biatch!

    As comrade Chavez himself said: “Gringos, get the fuck out!”

    Latin Americans are now all too aware of US of KKKA’s intention, which is too exploit their people as slave and cheap maquiladores labor, steal their resources for a pittance, have lap dog and puppet leaders installed in their government, steal from the poor and give to the rich, and exploit their nations and make the Latin nations US of KKKA’s bitch.

    Latin America will not only rise up but we will conquer USA and make this nation a brown and hispanic nation and we will achieve the reconquest of North America.

    So gringos start learning spanish and know we will rule over you! remember what goes around comes around to bite back in your ass!

    No more gringos! down with the gringos! viva la izguierda revolucion!

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/01/18/stephen-littau-in-537-words/ Stephen Littau

    This is but one reason why we need a secure border–to keep people like “fuck capitalism” out. I at first thought this was probably a hoax but there are people from Latin America (Including Mexico) who idolize such despicable figures as Chavez, Castro, and Che Guevera. There are those who want to bring these Communist ideals with them who would be quite comfortable in the Democrat Party (and increasingly the Republican Party). If we want small government, we must make it difficult for these types of people from becomming citizens and participating in our pollitical process (though there are efforts afoot that would allow non-citizens to vote, which is completely unacceptable.

  • ALEX FROM DEAD USSR

    I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT SOCIALIZM IN VINECUELA. BUT I LIVED IN THE COMMUNIST PARADIZE OF FORMER SOVIET UNION FOR THE 28 YEARS OF MY 1ST PART OF MY LIFE. I SEE HOW YOU DUMB LAZY FREE FOR ALL, GIVE ME OTHER’S PEOPLE $$$ JUST BECOUSE I NEEDED MORE – THINK COMMUNIZM IS BETTER FOR YOU ALL – BIG, HUGE MISTAKE!!! YOU LAZY CIESTA LOVING BUM WILL NOT GET OF YOU BUTT WITHOUT CRACKLING WIPP TO PRODUCE YOUR COMMUNISTIC TRSURES YOU SO DESIRE. THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF ALL – THERE IS NO SACH A THING AS COMMUNISTIC PARADISE – GO CHECK OUT FOR YOUR SELF. SOME OF THOSE PLACES TO SEE – TAKE A FLIGHT (IF YOU CAN AFFORD A TICKET)TO ANY EX-COMI COUNTRIES EX-USSR. AND THEN BACK TO THE USA (IF WE LET YOU IN). GO CHECK OUT SIBERIA FIRST AND THEN TRY TO MAKE ANY REASON WITH YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT RICH AND POOR. REMEMBER ONE THING – YOU CANOT BE RICH WITHOUT RICH – BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE POOR WITH POOR. SO GO KISS CHAVEZ’S ASS AND LINE UP TO BE HIS PAWN.