Yes, Virginia Dare, The Great Replacement Triggered Venezuela’s Decline
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Earlier (2003!) by Steve Sailer: The Wind from the South—Anti-White Populism

A loyal reader recently sent me Michael M. Rosen’s piece in the Washington Examiner that tried to explain Venezuela’s economic and political collapse [How Venezuela was destroyed from within, July 14, 2022]. Rosen blamed corruption and the socialist economic policies of successive regimes. And indeed, this Conservatism Inc. take on the matter contains a sliver of truth. But as a Venezuelan myself, I can say with certainty that Rosen is only half right…and maybe not half. As the reader reminded me, the rise of a mixed-race elite, most notably the late president, Hugo Chávez, and the immigration of non-whites from neighboring countries explains a lot more.

Granted, as Rosen wrote, the fiscal policies of Chávez and his successor, strongman Nicolás Maduro, have wrecked a “once-great country”:

At the height of the economic crisis in 2018, inflation surged to an astronomical 130,000%. Between 2013 and 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund, Venezuelan GDP plummeted by a staggering 65%. By 2020, more than 5 million Venezuelans, out of a total population of 30 million, had fled the country. 

As a report on CNN Espanol put it, “runaway inflation has decimated Venezuela. As the value of money and wages has become worth less and less, the despair on the population has deepened” [Venezuela gives a rare look at its economy. It’s an ugly, ugly picture, by Jorge Luis Pérez Valery and Abdel Alvarado, CNN Espanol, May 29, 2019]. Venezuelan emigrants are impacting many host countries: “[E]stimates suggest that public spending related to growing migrant populations could reach around 0.6 percent of GDP in Colombia by 2023, 0.3 percent in Ecuador and Peru, and 0.1 percent in Chile” [For Venezuela’s Neighbors, Mass Migration Brings Economic Costs and Benefits, by Emilio Fernandez Corugedo & Jaime Guajardo, IMFBlog, November 21, 2019].

But punching buttons on the adding machine to reckon the financial disaster that Chávez caused doesn’t get to the bottom of the problem. As the reader’s letter said, since 1999, when Chávez (who was partly black and indigenous—BIPOC, in the terminology of Left Twitter) took over, Venezuela has been ruled by a mixed-race elite that is vastly more corrupt and incompetent than its corrupt and incompetent white elite, which had governed from the late 1950s through the 1990s.

He writes

[T]he mixed race [herders] finally took over the government. For the first time, [Venezuela] was not ruled by a corrupt and incompetent white government, but by a vastly more corrupt and incompetent mulatto government. Now most of the educated whites have left the country, and it will never return to white rule. Someday this will happen in Brazil, the only other substantial country in South America with a large population of people who are partially African. 

Say what you want about the Bolsheviks, they were right to observe that politics is all about “who, whom?”

Here are Venezuela’s demographics: 68 percent of Venezuelans are mestizos (mixed race), while 21 percent are European, predominantly of German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish origin. Venezuelans of African extraction account for 8-10 percent of the country’s population and Amerindians make up 2 percent of the population.

Curiously, Venezuela has a decent-sized Arab diaspora, numbering 1.6 million. These are Syrian and Lebanese Christians. Some of the immigrants and their progeny, such as former Minister of Industries and National Production and current Minister of Petroleum Tareck El Aissami, figure prominently as elites in the current Chavista regime [How Lebanese descendants are shaking Latin America’s politics, by Richard Hall, The National, September 7, 2018].

Of course, Venezuela has been a mixed-race country from day one, and was periodically politically unstable until the 20th century, when it modernized and oil was discovered. But Venezuela’s pragmatic immigration policy that attracted Europeans played the most significant role in the country’s prosperity. People are policy, not oil.

From the late 19th into the 20th centuries, large numbers of immigrants from Italy, Portugal, and Spain emigrated, quickly integrated into Venezuelan society and formed a part of the country’s burgeoning middle class:

In 1870, Antonio Guzmin Blanco became president of Venezuela and exercised power, directly or indirectly, until 1888. The country became relatively pacified and economically prosperous. Guzmin was a fervent believer in the utility of immigration. A new law was promulgated in 1874 and the government took an active role in fomenting and subsidizing immigration. Private individuals made contracts with the government to bring in groups of immigrants who were given free passage and housing until they were able to obtain work. Nearly 15,000 arrived between 1874 and 1877 and another 9,000 between 1881 and 1884. Between 1874 and 1888 a total of 26,090 immigrants arrived, of whom 20,544 were Spaniards. … The second most numerous group were 2,764 Italians.

[Italian Immigration in Venezuela: A Story Still Untold, by Susan Berglund, Central University of Venezuela, May 1, 1994]

Thanks to this European immigration, by the 1960s, Venezuela became Latin America’s most prosperous country, with a standard of living comparable to that of southern Europe. Venezuelans of European origin figured prominently in the nation’s success story.

Of course, Venezuela had problems before Chávez came into power. Under the first term of President Carlos Andres Perez (1974-1979), Venezuela turned to socialism. The government nationalized its oil industry and began to use petroleum revenue to set up a welfare state. (Perez’s father, by the way, came from Spain’s Canary Islands, another group that the country’s immigration policies favored.)

But more damning than Perez’s socialist policies was the decline in European immigration versus that from neighbors in South America. The lavish welfare state was a magnet for non-white Latin Americans, notably Colombians and Peruvians, who did the usual unskilled work that immigrants on that side of the Bell Curve usually do:

Emigration [from Colombia] has been rising in recent years, though it is not an entirely new phenomenon in Colombia. In fact, emigration on a significant scale began in the 1960s and was primarily economically motivated. In the 1970s and 1980s, Venezuela and the United States represented the main destination countries for labor migrants, and these countries still host the majority of Colombian migrants.

[Colombia: In the Crossfire, by Myriam Bérubé, Migration Policy Institute, November 1, 2005]

Peru was another significant source of immigrants to Venezuela, at least until recently [The Peruvian Diaspora: Portrait of a Migratory Process, by Jorge Durand & Mariana Ortega Breña, Latin American Perspectives, September 2010]. Now, though, thanks to the collapse of the Venezuelan economy, Peru is a destination for destitute Venezuelans [Social and Economic Integration of Venezuelan Migrants,].

Many of Venezuela’s mixed-race immigrants joined the non-white underclass to propel the black, Spanish, and Amerindian Chávez to victory in the 1998 presidential elections.

Though Venezuela was headed downhill before Chávez took over, with two failed coup attempts and a nasty bout of inflation in the 1990s [A History of Venezuelan Inflation, by José Niño, Mises Institute, December 7, 2018], under his rule from 1999 through 2013, the decline accelerated. Chávez put socialism and corruption into overdrive. He pursued aggressive confiscatory policies against enemies of the regime, who were usually part of the country’s white European upper crust.

In many respects, Chavismo blended two styles of Leftism—class-based and race-based. He seized the landholdings of his political enemies, wealthy landowners, in a redistribution scheme called Mission Zamora, which even America’s Leftist National Public Radio called a failure:

President Hugo Chavez’s government has made the expropriation of farmland—taking land from big landholders and giving it to the poor—central to his so-called revolution. The idea is to spur production and end dependence on food imports.

But the results have fallen short, making the country more dependent on foreign food than ever before.

[In Venezuela, Land Redistribution Program Backfires, by Juan Forero, July 15, 2009]

Chávez established other “Bolivarian missions” programs, supposedly to help poor Venezuelans. In fact, they consolidated Chávez’s power base among impoverished, non-white Venezuelans.

Foreign Policy magazine explained in 2015

Historically, land reform has been a showcase of authoritarian regimes seeking to consolidate their power. Autocrats in countries such as China, Egypt, Mexico, Peru, and Zimbabwe have burnished their revolutionary credentials and defanged their reactionary foes by redistributing land from powerful landowners to the rural poor. Such class-based authoritarian land reforms are often broad in nature, granting swathes of land from large landowners directly to the laborers that work it.

In Venezuela, however, the government of Hugo Chávez and his successor, Nicolás Maduro, has given land reform an additional, polarizing dimension—it has used it to selectively dispense patronage to its supporters and punish its enemies. Two important tactics undergird this strategy. First, the regime has undermined private property rights, making a vast pool of land available for redistribution. Secondly, it has created an environment of deliberate legal ambiguity, enabling bureaucrats to pick and choose winners and losers for political rather than technical reasons.

This Land Was Your Land—In Venezuela, land redistribution is not just an ideological imperative—it’s how the regime rewards its friends and punishes its enemies.

By Michael Albertus, November 13, 2015

Apart from the economic policies Chávez pursued, the constituencies it served are equally if not more important. Chávez of course was partly black and indigenous, so he put the country’s black and indigenous people on a pedestal while diminishing the accomplishments of white Venezuelans.

In 2002, Chávez grabbed the brass ring of anti-European public policy. He abolished Columbus Day, which was called Día de la Raza, and created the Day of Indigenous Resistance, Día de la Resistencia Indígena, to celebrate indigenous people’s struggle against European settlers. Chávez repeatedly used the occasion to “redistribute” land [Venezuela: Land returned on Indigenous Resistance Day,]. Such was the mania for indigenous pride that protestors tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Caracas and hanged it:

Protestors used thick yellow climbing ropes to bring down the 100 year old statue of Columbus and dragged the remains through downtown Caracas and towards the Teresa Carreño theatre, where hundreds of indigenous people presented their cultural songs and dance to each other and other supporters commemorating October 12. The protestors intended to ask indigenous people to bring Columbus to trial after 512 years.

[Columbus Statue Toppled in Venezuela on Day of Indigenous Resistance, by Robin Nieto,, October 13, 2004]

Scrapping Columbus Day represented Venezuela’s definitive departure from its European heritage.

The funny thing is, anti-white sentiments across Latin America are relatively recent. Historically, Latin America states have been civic nationalist and never really pursued explicitly racial policies. Latin American elites knew and publicly recognized that Europeans represented the pinnacle of human achievement. If Latin America wanted to advance, most prominent leaders in the 19th century understood, then importing Europeans was the way to do it.

For example, Argentine diplomat and classical liberal theorist Juan Bautista Alberdi believed Argentina had to import Europeans en masse to become a civilized nation. His most famous expression was “to govern is to populate.” His work largely influenced the Argentine constitution of 1853. Article 25 promotes European migration:

The Federal Government shall encourage European immigration, and it may not restrict, limit, or burden with any tax whatsoever the entry into Argentine territory of foreigners whose purpose is tilling the soil, improving industries, and introducing and teaching the sciences and the arts.

Alberdi’s sentiments about Europeans were typical. Governments actively encouraged white immigration to accelerate blanqueamiento (whitening).

That is why countries like Argentina shone as beacons of hope, although today Argentina is heading in Venezuela’s direction [Argentina: A Mirror of Your Future, by Gustavo Semeria, American Renaissance, April 14, 2017].

Venezuela is a safe topic for conservatives as long as they burble anodyne political platitudes about “corruption” and “socialism” and avoid the obvious, just as they avoid it about non-white immigration to the United States.

Fact is, non-whites favor corrupt, socialist regimes because it’s the easiest way to extract money from productive whites without robbing them in a dark alley. Non-white governments, as we know from observing Detroit, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., are typically filled with angry anti-white activists who pursue an anti-white agenda.

Latin America’s corruption won’t be fixed by just constitutional reforms. It will ultimately take a demographic overhaul to save the region, which must become whiter, especially among its ruling classes, to thrive.

That goes double for Venezuela, after 14 years of Hugo Chavez, and now, a decade under Maduro.

The lesson for Venezuela, as it is for the United States, is this: Demography is destiny.

Pedro de Alvarado [Email him] is a Hispanic dissident who is well aware of the realities of race from his experience living throughout Latin America and in the States.

As a native of lands conquered by brave Spaniards but later subverted by centuries of multiracial trickery and despotic governance, Pedro offers clear warnings to Americans about the perils of multiracialism.

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