2008 Corruption Perception Index

Transparency International, the German based NGO, recently released its annual corruption report and Venezuela ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in Latin America and of the world, for that matter (only being surpassed by the likes of Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan,Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, Congo, Democratic Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Guinea, Sudan, Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Myanmar and Somalia). This hardly comes as a surprise.

What else could you expect from a petro-narco state in the 21st century? This is not say that more affluent countries are exempt from the lure of power and greed, as recent events in Wall Street remind us. But the problem of poverty and corruption is especially nefarious, as the Transparency International report points out:

In the poorest countries, corruption levels can mean the difference between life and death, when money for hospitals or clean water is in play, said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. The continuing high levels of corruption and poverty plaguing many of the world’s societies amount to an ongoing humanitarian disaster and cannot be tolerated. But even in more privileged countries, with enforcement disturbingly uneven, a tougher approach to tackling corruption is needed.

Let's hope that the forces of democracy will prevail in Venezuela's regional elections on November 23rd. Or else we will continue on our downward spiral of self destruction.

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