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  • On this episode of China Uncensored,

  • Guess which country is propping up the Venezuelan regime:

  • Is it A: Albania,

  • B: Bulgaria,

  • or C: China?

  • The Chinese Communist Party wants to

  • build a better world.

  • And they're doing it through the One Belt,

  • One Road initiative

  • as we know from Chinese state-run media.

  • It's also sometimes called the Silk Road Initiative.

  • Over the next 10 to 15 years,

  • China plans to invest $5 trillion dollars

  • on infrastructure projects around the world.

  • Now sure, these investments often take

  • the form of loans to countries with,

  • shall we say questionable human rights.

  • But it's that kind of no-questions-asked money lending

  • that's going to make a difference.

  • Why, just look at China's long time beneficiary

  • Venezuela!

  • Or...maybe don't.

  • Well that doesn't exactly look like

  • China built a better world in Venezuela.

  • Which is strange because they've been

  • long-time partners.

  • In 2001,

  • Venezuela became the first Latin American country

  • to enter a “strategic development partnership,”

  • with China.

  • In 2014 that got upgraded to

  • a “comprehensive strategic partnership.”

  • And Venezuela has been a big supporter

  • of China's Silk Road Initiative.

  • Just last month,

  • an official called it fantastic,

  • saying no country should hinder it.

  • Well let's see how fantastic it's been for Venezuela.

  • Since 2007,

  • China has lent Venezuela about 63 billion dollars.

  • That's about half of all China's lending

  • in Latin America.

  • And why not?

  • Venezuela is a socialist country.

  • And China loves socialism!

  • Especially with Chinese characteristics.

  • But a mutual love of socialism

  • is not the only reason Chinese officials

  • were so eager to befriend Venezuela.

  • One reason is influence.

  • Back in 2001,

  • China didn't have much of a presence

  • in Latin America.

  • In fact, many Latin American countries

  • supported Taiwan.

  • But with Venezuela's help,

  • China soon became a major player in the region.

  • In fact, China's trade with Latin America

  • is now 22 times what it was back in 2000.

  • Another reason is oil.

  • Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves-

  • almost 300 billion barrels.

  • And that is music to the ears

  • of a resource-hungry country like China.

  • Yes, it was a match made in petroleum.

  • But in the end,

  • it wasn't quite a win-win.

  • Remember those 63 billion dollars in loans?

  • Well, it turns out the Chinese Communist Party's

  • no-strings-attached loans

  • actually do come with a string,

  • and it's often in the shape of a noose.

  • According to the Foreign Policy,

  • There was an important catch [to the loans];

  • to guarantee repayment,

  • Beijing insisted on being repaid in oil.”

  • And it seemed like a good deal at the time.

  • China gets the oil it wants,

  • and petroleum is what Venezuela does best!

  • It makes up half of the country's GDP

  • and 95% of total exports.

  • When China and Venezuela signed

  • their repayment-in-oil deal,

  • the price of oil was about $70 a barrel,

  • and then shot past $100.

  • But then in 2014,

  • the price of oil plummeted

  • and now it's only about 40-something dollars a barrel.

  • That means, the amount of oil Venezuela

  • now has to give China to pay back its loans

  • has exploded.

  • And you really don't want exploding oil.

  • More critically,

  • the drop in oil prices

  • has devastated the Venezuelan economy.

  • It's gotten so bad that even basic necessities

  • are hard to come by.

  • McDonald's literally had to stop selling Big Macs last summer

  • because they were unable to get the middle bun.

  • No, not the Big Mac!

  • What's next?

  • The quarter pounder?

  • Or even worse,

  • the McRib?

  • But seriously, food in Venezuela

  • has become so scarce,

  • that I kid you not,

  • last year,

  • 75% of the country lost an average of 19 pounds.

  • Although it doesn't look like President Nicolás Maduro

  • has lost any weight.

  • The effect of low oil prices

  • on Venezuela's economy

  • is magnified because decades of extreme socialism

  • wrecked the country's economy.

  • The government nationalized

  • most of the big industries.

  • Not just oil,

  • but eventually also food,

  • tourism, banking, telecom,

  • manufacturing, and more.

  • Meanwhile, Venezuela cut ties to the West

  • and cozied up to China and Russia.

  • That was all well and good

  • when high oil prices sustained

  • Venezuela's socialist paradise.

  • But now...

  • well it doesn't look like paradise anymore, does it?

  • Over one hundred people have been killed

  • during the last four months of protests.

  • Police patrol the slums,

  • and extrajudicial killings are rife.

  • I mean this policeman is literally on fire.

  • And so is this guy.

  • This should not be a thing, people!

  • Some are even making

  • their own homemade rocket launchers.

  • Even the mascots are getting in on this!

  • Although that's not an official

  • Mickey Mouse Gas Mask.

  • I know because during World War 2,

  • Disney really did make official

  • Mickey Mouse Gas Masks.

  • Venezuela is becoming a real life The Purge

  • except that it won't end in the morning.

  • So with all this chaos,

  • how is President Maduro still in power?

  • Because he has the guns, obviously.

  • Plus, on July 30,

  • a national election gave him sweeping powers

  • to rewrite Venezuela's constitution.

  • I mean, sure the vote was a probably a sham

  • but once you're dictator,

  • who cares, right?

  • And you know who loves authoritarian regimes?

  • Other authoritarian regimes!

  • For example,

  • the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Guess where those Venezuelan police are getting

  • theirnon-lethalweapons and gear?

  • China has supplied President Maduro with

  • armored vehicles, water cannons and tear gas.”

  • And if you were worried about where

  • Venezuela is getting theirlethalweapons from,

  • well that's also China

  • almost $350 million dollars worth.

  • Plus Russia has supplied them

  • with even more.

  • Frankly, China's massive loans to Venezuela

  • are one of the few things

  • keeping the economy going.

  • China is Venezuela's biggest foreign lender.

  • And even now China continues to give

  • the Venezuelan government infusions of cash.

  • You might find it surprising

  • since Venezuela is falling behind on oil deliveries.

  • In 2016, Venezuela's state-owned oil enterprise

  • couldn't even deliver 1.8 million barrels of oil

  • to China's state owned oil enterprise,

  • because they couldn't afford

  • their storage space anymore.

  • But the the Chinese Communist Party

  • will still continue to support Venezuela.

  • The CCP gambles on regimes

  • like the one in Venezuela because

  • few other countries will do business with them.

  • And that gives China an economic advantage,

  • with things like lucrative infrastructure deals,

  • manufacturing deals,

  • and market access for Chinese companies.

  • As well as political advantages,

  • like influencing other countries in Latin America.

  • This is not to say that the CCP

  • is responsible for Venezuela's economic disaster.

  • No, Venezuela's current and former presidents

  • are mostly to blame for that.

  • But the CCP has given massive loans to Venezuela,

  • which has ultimately made its debt problem worse,

  • while also keeping Maduro's regime afloat.

  • Anyway, even as Venezuela's economy

  • continues to decline,

  • and President Maduro becomes

  • Supreme Dictator Maduro,

  • he'll always have a friend in the CCP.

  • That's because the CCP

  • doesn't want the Maduro regime to fall.

  • You see, opposition leaders in Venezuela

  • are unhappy with the Chinese regime

  • because they see China as propping up Maduro,

  • and profiting off of Venezuela's economic disaster.

  • So if there is a regime change in Venezuela,

  • the next leader might just choose

  • to never repay China's loans.

  • Although that doesn't look like it's going to happen soon.

  • It seems like the Chinese Communist Party

  • just can't quit the bad boys.

  • And that's it for our show.

  • What do you think of China's investments in Venezuela?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • Once again, I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Thanks for watching China Uncensored.

  • You know, you could've watched this episode five days earlier

  • if you visited ChinaUncensored.tv.

  • We upload the full episodes there every Friday.

  • Click here to check it out.

On this episode of China Uncensored,

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China’s Hand in Venezuela’s Nightmare | China Uncensored

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    zijun su posted on 2021/05/27
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