Published February 25, 2014
Daily protests against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro could impact energy prices for Americans at home, according to a leading foreign policy expert.
Fox News National Security Analyst KT McFarland spoke to Eric Farnsworth, the vice president at the Council of the Americas and Americas Society. Farnsworth sees the current protests as going beyond frustration with Maduro.
“These demonstrations are deep-seated. They are born of a real frustration of an economy unable to produce and supply basic goods,” Farnsworth said. “Everything from common staples to more sophisticated services, like healthcare – and that’s been going on longer for a lot longer than just the past year.”
Experts have warned former President Hugo Chavez’s socialist reforms, known as Bolivarian Revolution, could have a negative impact on Venezuela’s economy. Farnsworth says we could be seeing those effects now.
“Expropriation of private enterprises, spending that is way out of control not supported by revenues … gifts of petroleum to Cuba … in the course of doing that, Venezuela has become bankrupt,” Farnsworth said.
Currently the U.S. and Venezuela have a weak diplomatic relationship -- but when it comes to energy, both nations continue to depend on one another for the sale and export of oil.
“We [U.S.] still get a lot of our petroleum from Venezuela, it’s bought at market rates that probably won’t stop,” Farnsworth said.
Farnsworth says Washington still has a vested interest in keeping contact with Venezuela’s leadership.