My experience in the last month confirms all of this, Besides my culture shock coming back, my business trip in Europe was dismal. I could start by the difficulties I experienced in getting an airplane ticket out of Venezuela, in bolivares. In dollars there is no problem, the more so if someone buys it from you from outside the country. But if you want it in local currency and you get one, you pay full fare. No discounts whatsoever. Yet I did not care since we all try to unload as many bolivares as we can. The nasty surprise was that CENCOEX did not approve my travel dollars for technical reasons (set to make sure that a fair percentage of people cannot access them, even at SICAD 1 of 13 to a USD instead of the offical 6.3). Thus I had to do a business trip on MY personal euro savings, of which I will only recover a portion. As such I cannot tell you how expensive is Europe when you travel at 102 bolivares for an euro (based on declared reserves).
But that was not the worst thing. Every one I approached did not want to do further business with Venezuela. Sure, they would sell me anything if I paid in advance which is impossible. Though understandable. But in one case there was that Chinese company who sent me packing. That is right, some in commie China do not want to deal with Venezuela EVEN if you pay in advance. It is not worth the bother between permits and assorted headaches from paper work. My investment talk were simply heard of with a lot of sympathy, the kind you use when your poor relatives try to convince you with a business proposal, before declining your participation in it.
After this eye opening experience, discovering that once welcome Venezuela is now a business outcast, I am back home to learn that not only airplane tickets are in dollars, but from now on car sales will also be in dollars. That is right, the regime has reversed a decades all policy to promote at least assembly lines in Venezuela. Rather than allowing for agonizing car assemblies to import what they need to work, the regime has decided that it is preferable to have direct imports of assembled vehicles, if you have the dollars. I am going to pass on who has dollars today in Venezuela to import fancy cars (hint: they dress in red in public meetings). The point here is that "el pueblo" can forget about buying small cars, that dollarization advances and that just like in Cuba, those who will live better are those who are able to get a few greenbacks. A decade and a half of bogus revolution to reach monetary dependency.
This is the fate of Venezuela, move towards a dollarization of the economy because the regime has failed in creating a sustainable economic system. This is not a matter of a willful political decision to impoverish the population to make it more dependent on the regime. If it is true that this is the case in Cuba and becoming so in Venezuela, it is also true that economic failure came first and that the regimes simply decided to use that economic failure the best they could (making economy worse as an afterthought). After all, it is in the political interest of these countries to have a viable economy, or at least one that produces enough cash to promote revolutions elsewhere. Remember that Cuba regained importance only after Chavez started bankrolling that influence, gaining after the fact Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, some Caribbean and to a lesser extent Argentina (with or without Venezuelan help, countries like Uruguay or Brazil were fated to "alternance").
Thus we have reached an undeclared dollarization of the economy, promoted through hyperinflation. The only way the bankrupt regime can retain control is to drop "unnecessary" sectors of the economy (cars, electronics, luxury item, exogenous food products, etc..) to a dollar market, while retaining control on basic staples for which they may get enough cash for cheap distribution to its hard core base. Even advanced medical care has been thrown to dollar holders as the case of Jaua's nanny reveal. The wife of a regime high ranked minister went to Brazil for medical treatment instead of getting it in Venezuela (and the 12 years serving nanny got caught at the Sao Paulo airport with a gun).
The minister of "comunas", the one in charge of organizing "el pueblo" has had a nanny for at least 12 years, sends his kids to the most expensive schools in Caracas, travels free in governmental airplanes (that is why the nanny could leave with a gun in her bags) to have the best health care possible outside of Venezuela, paid in dollars. He is dollarized. Meanwhile that pueblo can eat dollarized shit, but paid in bolivares.