The Story of Venezuela

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It’s time to take a break from my search for the meaning of the nation and turn my focus to specific countries. I will start with Venezuela, which has been experiencing a political and economic crisis for several years. I spent a good deal of time in Venezuela in the 1990s. The reason for my being there was not clear, then or now, but it gave me some perspective on what’s happening in the country today. My first flight into Maiquetia airport was at night. On the approach, I could see a mountain, all lit up with what appeared to be lights lining the streets of the capital, Caracas. As we landed and deplaned, I realized that it was not Caracas at all that I was looking at. It turned out that I was quite a distance from the capital, and the marvelous city I thought I had been watching was actually a shantytown, or a barrio. The mountain was actually a hill and the lights were lining the jagged paths between the settlements. They were powered by stolen electricity, as hundreds of illegally attached cables hung from electrical wires, running into the barrio randomly scattered. The possibility of catastrophic […]

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George Friedman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.

Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.



His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.