As the crises in Venezuela continue to spin out of control, a former U.S. ambassador to the country has a less-than-rosy picture to paint about its future.
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“It’s unraveling before our eyes, as we speak,” Patrick Duddy, former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, told the FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman. “There have been a couple of indications within the last week which would suggest, at least economically, things are going to get worse before they get better.”
Duddy said major companies like Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), which are vital to the country’s oil industry, are reducing their activities within Venezuela due to the crumbling economy. He puts part of the blame on the country’s former President Hugo Chavez.
“The economic model that President Chavez sought to impose, in which to a very large degree President Maduro has supported since his election in 2013, essentially is a flawed one,” Duddy said. “It has devastated the private sector. For a long time, record-high oil prices essentially masked the weaknesses in the system. But, the precipitous decline in oil prices over the last year has revealed its flaws. But some of these flaws were evident a long time ago.”
He added: “The current crisis is more severe than anything we’ve ever seen in Venezuela, at least in the last 30 years.”