Over the years it has been established that the Russian Government is riddled with corruption, especially at the local level. However, in recent years the Russian Government has taken that to a broader scale, with their recent expansion into Africa and South America. In both locations they have bribed their way into contracts and vast sums of unexploited natural resources from underfunded, failing and corrupt governments as well as local tribes. Many have called this the second colonization of the underdeveloped and third-worlds. However, what many fail to notice is that the first colonization of the tribal worlds resulted in this stunted growth and low development that Russia is now taking advantage of now. Just this week, Moscow leveraged its billions of dollars of loans to Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Venezuela to take hold of oil assets. Some of those assets included control of Venezuela’s most promising projects for the drilling of natural resources. Much like some nations in Africa, Venezuela has suffered the effects of imperialism and now is under the control of a power hungry leader. They have a vast wealth of natural resources but they are unable to exploit those resources because of their failing government. Enter Russia, they bail out the government and in return seize oil reserves and assets worth much more than the bailout, however they now have the ability to drill the oil, making a killing. In the future, I expect to see much more of these dealings where Russia may offer short term solutions to third-world countries but then pull the rug out from under them in the long term while also pillaging their natural resources.
* Gehrke, Joel. “Russia Joins Cuba to Back Maduro’s Power Grab in Venezuela.” Washington Examiner, 11 Aug. 2017, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/russia-joins-cuba-to-back-maduros-power-grab-in-venezuela/article/2631275.
** “Vladimir’s Venezuela – Leveraging Loans to Caracas, Moscow Snaps up Oil Assets.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 11 Aug. 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-russia-oil-specialreport-idUSKBN1AR14U.