Quico says: This story, culled from Newsweek, shows more than just about anything else why chavismo is destined to be remembered as a historical dead end. It calculates that there are now 1.5 Venezuelan scientists working in the US for every one working in Venezuela: in the wake of a massive, decade-long brain drain, the nation’s science and research establishment has whittled away into nothingness. More than the tinpot dictator shtick, more than the crackpot economic theories, it’s the revolution’s almost complete indifference towards research that shows up its underlying lack of seriousness. After all, the Soviets understood that if you were going to get rid of the profit motive as a spur to research and innovation, the State had to step into the breach, supplying the resources it would take for socialism to remain competitive in the knowledge race that underpins great power competition. It turned out that Soviet Science – for all its notable achievements – couldn’t sustain competition with the west. But the Soviets knew socialism couldn’t be a credible alternative to capitalism if it just ceded his terrain to the other side. So sure, they lost…but they put up a fight.
Chavismo doesn’t even know there’s a fight on, won’t even put up a show of joining the fray. It wears its petrodependence on its sleeve, and prefers scientists stateside, where they can’t cause any trouble. It’s only sad, really.
Post 69 of 100. Oostalgic.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.