AHC: Make Venezuela as rich as Saudi Arabia

Both countries have similar sized populations, both countries have similar amount of oil reserves in their territory, yet Saudi Arabia is immensely more wealthy than Venezuela.

Is it plausible that Venezuela can be as wealthy and prosperous as Saudi Arabia?
 
Both countries have similar sized populations, both countries have similar amount of oil reserves in their territory, yet Saudi Arabia is immensely more wealthy than Venezuela.

Is it plausible that Venezuela can be as wealthy and prosperous as Saudi Arabia?
It was cheaper to produce oil in Saudi Arabia and they expanded their production later when the price of oil was high.
Oil quality in Venezuela is not as good as that of Saudi Arabia.
Also, Saudi Arabia remained on friendly relations with the US.
 
Last edited:
It was cheaper to produce oil in Saudi Arabia and they expanded their production later when the price of oil was high.

Also, Saudi Arabia remained on friendly relations with the US.
Their crude is also not as desirable as the Saudi, it needs less processing
Saudi Extra Light has an API of 40, and 1% Sulfur, while Venezuela is 16 and 2.45%
That's heavy enough, that it's near the same density as water
 
Their crude is also not as desirable as the Saudi, it needs less processing
Saudi Extra Light has an API of 40, and 1% Sulfur, while Venezuela is 16 and 2.45%
That's heavy enough, that it's near the same density as water
Having that much oil reserves is like willing big on the lottery.
A lot of people who win big spend like drunken sailors and with a few years end up bankrupt.
 
Couldn't building up domestic refining capacity since the 1970s help offset the high sulfur content?
They'd still fall on the resource trap, though (and so has Saudi Arabia, after all)
 
They somehow had a lower population making it easier to distribute the revenue to the population the same way they did politically IOTL. I'm not sure how to get that part to happen though. I'd need to be better versed in Latin American history.

Edit: They don't admit in European refugees in 1946. Columbia avoids Civil War and is the richest nation in Latin America from 1900 onward. As a result the immigrants who went eastward IOTL was well as all those refugees from the Columbian Civil War are in Columbia. Once Venezuela reaches oil wealth status it enacts strict immigration requirements to preserve their welfare state. While foreigners are allowed in the nation it is almost impossible for them to become citizens much like Qatar.
 
Last edited:
Simple no socialism and deversfy the econmy
There's no OPEC country with a diversified economy. It's the Dutch curse in action. Maybe Indonesia, due to population size and rather low oil output, but must of their exports are other resources like palm oil and minersals which still supports my point. Arabian monarchies have rather low populations, the oil wealth is distributed among few families at the top with the rest of the population (and the millions of imported quasi slaves) living in poverty. The GDP/capita value is an illusion as it poorly translates to median income per capita.

If you want Venezuela with a somewhat healthy economy then let it start off with no natural resources worth mentioning. No large oil deposits, no rubber, no minerals worth a damn etc. This way any people who live there will have to go into the artisanal crafts to make a living, say you buy foreign materials and through your own work increase the value of it by making old clocks, tools, optical glass etc, things that then get reexported and which may develop into proper industries later on.
 
They somehow had a lower population making it easier to distribute the revenue to the population the same way they did politically IOTL. I'm not sure how to get that part to happen though. I'd need to be better versed in Latin American history.

Edit: They don't admit in European refugees in 1946. Columbia avoids Civil War and is the richest nation in Latin America from 1900 onward. As a result the immigrants who went eastward IOTL was well as all those refugees from the Columbian Civil War are in Columbia. Once Venezuela reaches oil wealth status it enacts strict immigration requirements to preserve their welfare state. While foreigners are allowed in the nation it is almost impossible for them to become citizens much like Qatar.
Then you get lots of illegal immigration and end up trying to build a wall around the country to keep them out. People tend to move to where the money is no matter what the immigration laws is.
 
Last edited:
Then you get lots of illegal immigration and end up trying to build a wall around the country to keep them out. People tend to move to where the money is no matter what the immigration laws is.
No need for illegal immigration. Just that migrants and their descendants aren't granted citizenship. Just like how Qatar and the U.A.E. are filled with foreigners and rich from their wealth but you aren't going to go there and become a citizen tomorrow and neither are your children.
 
Venezuelan economy: *collapses thanks to a drop in oil prices and crippling US sanctions*

Conservatives: 'Why would socialism do this?'

Sanctions didn't destroy the Venezuelan economy. The US doesn't even actually sanction countries anymore, other than those nations which are operating under legacy sanction regimes (Cuba, Iran).

They sanction specific individuals.

If you're saying that having the Minister of Oil Production's Swiss bank account frozen is causing an economic crisis in Venezuela, I would submit to you that you've discovered another flaw of socialism.
 
Venezuelan economy: *collapses thanks to a drop in oil prices and crippling US sanctions*

Conservatives: 'Why would socialism do this?'
You're getting your chronology mixed up. US sanctions on major Venezuelan institutions (as opposed to particular corrupt individuals) didn't start until 2019, well after the Venezuelan economic collapse.
 
Both countries have similar sized populations, both countries have similar amount of oil reserves in their territory, yet Saudi Arabia is immensely more wealthy than Venezuela.

Is it plausible that Venezuela can be as wealthy and prosperous as Saudi Arabia?
From my reading of LatAm history, and within the constraints of a post-1900 POD, it's actually pretty simple - avoid developing the oil economy as much as possible. Without oil, Vzla. would need to find another way to make its economy work.

Possible POD - the 1902-1903 Vzla Crisis. While the resolution of it was favorable to Venezuela, it could have been better. Regardless, the crisis spurs the Government/administration of the then-President, José Cipriano Castro, into action. (Even better: get rid of Cipriano Castro's kidney problem from the beginning - that could be the major POD - or at least make him less sick so his condition could be treatable in Venezuela.) Since this was the time of both the Progressive Era in the United States and positivism elsewhere in Latin America, and Cipriano Castro himself was part of Venezuela's liberal tradition, why not put two and two together - especially if it helps get rid of the debt as quickly as possible? So Venezuela embarks on its own course of industrialization, similar to how the US began to industrialize, within a policy that closely mirrors José Batlle's work in modernizing Uruguay. Adhering to a system that is relatively conservative (while appearing to be progressive) would be enough to get the elites on side, while for Vzla's poor it would means jobs and a better quality of life through an expanding social safety net and greater access to education. All of this could be done through cutting oil out of the equation - or at least delaying it to the point where Caracas could develop a better framework for handling oil. It also would accommodate the nascent middle classes within Venezuela's traditional power structure.

Bonus points if it works - avoids the rise of Juan Vicente Gómez. While Cipriano Castro himself also came from the military, Gómez's régime was more problematic. Having somebody else other than Gómez in power would be beneficial for Venezuela overall, to the point where when Cipriano finally dies, Venezuela would have some base upon which non-oil economic growth and the development/consolidation of democracy could operate. It would also allow for a more responsible operation of Venezuelan oil without it seriously affecting the Venezuelan economy, thus attempting to minimize the resource curse.
 
No need for illegal immigration. Just that migrants and their descendants aren't granted citizenship. Just like how Qatar and the U.A.E. are filled with foreigners and rich from their wealth but you aren't going to go there and become a citizen tomorrow and neither are your children.
Most of the Americas give citizenship by birth in the country.
Bring in people and not allowing them citizenship creates a subclass with no stake in society and who tend to get deported when the money runs out.
 
Last edited:
There's no OPEC country with a diversified economy. It's the Dutch curse in action. Maybe Indonesia, due to population size and rather low oil output, but must of their exports are other resources like palm oil and minersals which still supports my point. Arabian monarchies have rather low populations, the oil wealth is distributed among few families at the top with the rest of the population (and the millions of imported quasi slaves) living in poverty. The GDP/capita value is an illusion as it poorly translates to median income per capita.

If you want Venezuela with a somewhat healthy economy then let it start off with no natural resources worth mentioning. No large oil deposits, no rubber, no minerals worth a damn etc. This way any people who live there will have to go into the artisanal crafts to make a living, say you buy foreign materials and through your own work increase the value of it by making old clocks, tools, optical glass etc, things that then get reexported and which may develop into proper industries later on.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are headed toward being diversified , Venezuela is not.
 
Top