Rescue Venezuela

“Venezuela, by the numbers, resembles a country hit by civil war” — The New York Times, May 2017

According to a NY Times article in May of this year, the currency is spiraling down at an inflation rate of 1,600%¹. Food has grown so scarce that the incidence of children suffering from severe malnutrition has risen dramatically (cf. the Guardian’s August 26 article), girls as young as 12 years of age are forced to prostitute themselves to stave off starvation, and hospital patients are dying due to the collapse of the medical services infrastructure in the country (cf. CNN’s October 25 article)

Police fire tear gas toward opposition supporters during clashes while rallying against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, April 20, 2017. © Reuters 2017

The nature of the beast

At its core, the unfolding tragedy owes to the corruption of the Venezuelan government, and to the monetary policies of the country’s central bank, which is currently managing a theft of massive proportions, of the nation’s wealth, via its currency devaluation programme. Since Nicolás Maduro’s 2013 election, the currency’s value has fallen by 99%

By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens — John Maynard Keynes

The hyper-inflation caused by the Venezuelan government is tantamount to the destruction of its physical economy and spells a death warrant for its peoples. As the currency devalues, markets shrink owing to the inelasticity of wages, factories close, retail outlets die, brokers are squeezed to extinction and the whole apparatus of commerce crumbles

Ben Bernanke, Former Federal Reserve Chairman

“Let us suppose now that one day a helicopter flies over this community and drops an additional $1,000 in bills from the sky…” Milton Friedman — The Optimum Quantity of Money, 1969

Economic collapse was the predicament contemplated by Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, as he assumed the leadership of American monetary policy in 2006. As a scholar studied in the Great Depression, it was his thesis that had sufficient liquidity been produced in the years after the stock market collapse of 1932, the depth of the depression would not have been as great, nor its reach as severe. “Chopper Ben”, as he became affectionately known after referencing Friedman’s famous conjecture, thus proceeded to create a veritable tidal wave of money, 25% of US GDP to be precise

“Since the financial crisis, American banks have increased their excess reserves…” — Excess Reserves: Oceans of Cash, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

If you give a rich man money, he’ll put it in his pocket and smile — he will hold the money because he already has everything he needs. On the other hand, if you give a poor man money, he’ll spend it — on rent, food or other things he needs — producing consumption, which ultimately creates economic activity. Banks, upon receipt of Bernanke’s largesse, recapitalised their balance sheets (held the money), soaking up as much liquidity as the Fed could produce. This helped the banks continue to be irresponsible with other people’s money in the form of abhorrently risky loans, but didn’t help the economy

A solution emerges

If the Venezuelan nightmare owes to a hyper-inflating currency, the solution is quite simple: replace the Bolívar with a deflationary currency

to help the Venezuelan people we need to pull a Bernanke: get on a chopper and drop crypto onto the streets

The problem, of course, is that whereas the Fed can print money out of thin air, we can’t — which is the whole point of crypto currency. This means we need to raise the funds, a task that, fortunately, has become significantly easier in our new era of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Capitalism & humanitarian relief

The fit is perfect, but leaves open the question of funding and distribution: how exactly do we put the coin in the pockets of those in need?

Given the urgency of the situation, having Venezuelans earn the currency is out of the question. Selling it to them is also unfeasible, as they can, presently, barely afford food. So, the only open avenue to get the currency into circulation is by donating it to them

Rescue Venezuela. Buy Givit tokens

Human beings have charitable tendencies — for the Christian world, the notion of the good Samaritan remains a beacon of goodness and a path to heaven — and whilst we can raise funds by appealing to the kindness of others, we can decidedly increase the raise by captivating the interest of those with less philanthropic views i.e. the purchase of a coin whose value is rising is in anyone’s self-interest

Geo-political consequences

As much as the effort represents a humanitarian relief operation, its geo-political consequences are vast and must be considered carefully. If we pull this off, at the end of the process we’ll have cryptonized the first nation in the world, and as I’ve previously stated, its effects will be of planetary magnitude

“Repressive regimes do not endure change willingly, and Venezuela is no exception” — Leopoldo Lopez

Of course, the Maduro regime will not take kindly to any venture that may deprive it of its primary tool in robbing the nation, and with its 30,000 men army, will undoubtedly resort to violence, as it already has

Distribution channels

To deliver the currency to the man on the street, we plan an alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, which, according to the CIA WorldFact database, ministers to 96% of the population

His Holiness Pope Francis I, Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ

“Nor does the light of faith make us forget the sufferings of this world” — Lumen Fidei (“Light of Faith”), Pope Francis I

Additionally, from a moral perspective the Church serves as the world’s largest charitable organisation, making it a natural fit for our endeavour

Arbitrage & trading operations

As no nation is self-sufficient, the ability to conduct trade — for which a viable currency is required — is of paramount importance to the rebuilding of the Venezuelan economy

“As we learned after President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff at the outset of the Great Depression, vibrant international trade is a key component to economic recovery; hindering trade is a recipe for disaster” — Asa Hutchinson

The distribution of crypto to the Venezuelan population will accomplish a number of goals:

  • provide the hungry with food and the ill with medicine
  • allow bakers to buy sugar and flour from their trading partners abroad, therefore both halting the deterioration of and kickstarting a new cycle of economic activity
  • set a price for the crypto-currency internal to Venezuela that differs from that on the international markets, creating an arbitrage opportunity
A bakery worker behind empty bread shelves in Boca de Uchire, Venezuela.

The public relations campaign

Having distributed a substantial amount of crypto within the country, our next step is to mount a publicity campaign, calling for support. Our campaign will, in effect, counteract the ongoing PR campaign being conducted by the Maduro regime, which propounds the notion that any anecdotal evidence of the nation’s suffering is greatly exaggerated and that, in fact, everything is just fine

“I want everyone to see what’s happening with us here. It’s not just what you’re seeing on TV: the protests, the clashes. We are in the hospital suffering”

It is our aim to make Sandra’s wish come true

The role of the Bolivarian diaspora

Venezuelans living abroad are numerous (estimated at over 1.2M), retain strong ties to their country and represent a valuable community to activate in the effort to reverse the nation’s trajectory

Maria Conchita Alonso, Singer/Songwriter and Actress

“Being born in Cuba, a country where freedom of speech is non-existent, it’s startling to observe how Venezuela, where I was happily raised, is fast becoming Cuba’s mirror image: Dismantling of fundamental democratic rights deserved by its people and citizens of the world “ — Maria Conchita Alonso

The project has established ties to the well known actress, Maria Conchita Alonso, the popular Venezuelan soap-star Fernando Carrillo, and will seek to widen ties with the community in preparation for launch and as a means of disseminating the message world-wide

Funding the project

Though raising of capital will be an open-ended effort, the initial endeavour will consist of an initial currency offering by the Givit Foundation, aimed to provide our initial distribution base. The Givit Foundation, as previously mentioned, will also make a contribution to this effort

Looking ahead

If we can pull this off, and bring Venezuela back from the brink of disaster to a place of financial stability and greater democracy, we can do the same for other nations: Myanmar, El Salvador, Zimbabwe et cetera

A call to arms

I’m publishing this manifesto with the intent of garnering support for the project. If you understand and share my vision, and…

if you feel you can help or want to be involved in any way, please tweet me at @ekkis

Over the next few days I’ll be open-sourcing the roadmap for this endeavour, a document that anyone can contribute to in order to clarify what needs to be done and to assemble the resources to do it

Organisations of interest

Footnotes

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/statistics-about-venezuelas-economic-collapse-2017-8

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