Is “Little Venice” a failed state…yet?

Source: Foreign Policy

Source: Foreign Policy

A country located in the northern part of South America, one that was baptized “Little Venice,” has been raising eyebrows for quite some time. While neither little nor as pleasant as Venice, the government of this fair republic seems unable to impose its own authority within its borders.

Here in “Little Venice,” a burgeoning class of smugglers, racketeering bandits, druglords, kidnappers, and guerrilla groups are gaining dear economic benefits from a panoply of misguided policy decisions, carried out by the ones who have been in office for almost two decades. And even though some of these criminal activities were present before “El Gigante” became Head of State, the country has witnessed a rapidly decaying capability for coping with this gruesome situation.

Given the poor shape of … everything, it’s fair to ask: is Venezuela a failed state?

Failed states are a common aphorism for countries that are in an unusually high degree of clusterfucked-ness. Its main traits range from shipping cocaine on commercial flights to Europe, smuggling of cheap groceries, commodities or gasoline to neighboring countries, or squatters claiming a piece of land, or a construction site, or even an abandoned office building.

The most depressing aspect for the inhabitants of “Little Venice” is that its government has been silent at best, by allowing its own authority to be undermined as time passess by. A complete disregard for upholding and promoting basic conditions and responsibilities from a Government are key features for knowing which nations fail and which ones flourish. And that’s not me, that’s Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson taling, in their much-praised book “Why nations fail”.

In order to check how “Little Venice” is actually grading on this matter, our friends at Foreign Policy, along with their peers from the “Fund for Peace,” have tried to gauge how some countries are more stable or meritory of being labelled a Failed-State since 2010.

In a cross-country comparison, and much to our astonishment, the results of their annual report for 2013 show that “Little Venice” is not the most failed or unstable country in Latin America, but rather Haiti, surprisingly followed by our Colombian brothers. Globally, the top 5 most unstable or failed states in the world are Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, and Chad. But even as “Little Venice ranks” in a benevolent 89th spot, its grade falls under the category of “in danger,” along with countries like Russia, India, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico or Saudi Arabia.

The Failed-States index compares each country using a wide array of indicators, such as mounting demographic pressures, economic conditions (poverty rates), violations of Human Rights/rule of law (where “Little Venice” excels at its transgressions), and the security apparatus, to name just a few. But regardless of its ranking in the index, “Little Venice”s future looks gloomier each day, as the State is unable to exercise the monopoly of justice in its prisons, cities and/or borders.

So even if “Little Venice” is not actually deemed that of a failure yet, its fate looks gloomier each day. Poor “Little Venice” … it direly needs a better and stronger state ASAP.