Book Birthdays celebrate one year of a book’s life in tweets, reviews, and more. This month we’re saying Happy First Book Birthday to Crude Nation: How Oil Riches Ruined Venezuela (Potomac Books, 2016) by Raúl Gallegos! Gallegos, a senior analyst for the consulting firm Control Risks, has been a featured columnist for Bloomberg View, covering Latin American politics, business, and finance. He has been an oil correspondent with Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal.
About the book:
Beneath Venezuelan soil lies an ocean of crude—the world’s largest reserves—an oil patch that shaped the nature of the global energy business. Unfortunately, a dysfunctional anti-American, leftist government controls this vast resource and has used its wealth to foster voter support, ultimately wreaking economic havoc.
Crude Nation reveals the ways in which this mismanagement has led to Venezuela’s economic ruin and turned the country into a cautionary tale for the world. Raúl Gallegos, a former Caracas-based oil correspondent, paints a picture both vivid and analytical of the country’s economic decline, the government’s foolhardy economic policies, and the wrecked lives of Venezuelans.
Without transparency, the Venezuelan government uses oil money to subsidize life for its citizens in myriad unsustainable ways, while regulating nearly every aspect of day-to-day existence in Venezuela. This has created a paradox in which citizens can fill up the tanks of their SUVs for less than one American dollar while simultaneously enduring nationwide shortages of staples such as milk, sugar, and toilet paper. Gallegos’s insightful analysis shows how mismanagement has ruined Venezuela again and again over the past century and lays out how Venezuelans can begin to fix their country, a nation that can play an important role in the global energy industry.
- Venezuela’s Addiction: The Crisis of Chavismo Is a New Version of an Old Problem via Foreign Affairs
- Talking Policy: Raúl Gallegos on Venezuelans’ Relationship with Oil via World Policy