Scientific basis for Venezuela’s increasing risk of a military coup

The mass desperation of the Venezuelan people coup is making military coup attempts in 2018 inevitable. Brian Wang at Nextbigfuture bases this prediction on Venezuela’s terrible economy, higher estimates of infant mortality, estimates of children starving to death and recent coup activity and recent civil unrest.

Scientific basis of coup prediction
Of about ten key predictors of military coups the ones that are very high for Venezuela are:

1. Economic growth
Venezuela’s had -16.5% in 2016, -13.2 percent in 2017 and GDP growth will be negative again in 2018 with 13000 hyperinflation
The bad food shortages compounds the bad economic statistic. The starvation has numerical reports of widespread weight loss from rationing and people subsisting on 400 calories per day in the country-side.

2. Infant mortality rate last reported at a 30% increase (18.5 out of 1000 reported in 2016 and later data censored).
The numbers of children are starving to death is compounding the infant mortality indicator.

3. Recent coup activity – Yes

4. Election in 2018 -Yes

5. Regime duration. Number of years since the last change in political regime type, logged. Chavez came to power in 1998 but Democracy was only overturned in the last couple of years.

Jay Ulfelder applied the Penn State and other military coup analysis from 2011-2015

Data from Geddes, Wright, and Frantz at Penn State on autocratic regime types indicate qualitative differences in political authority structures and leadership might shape coup risk—both directly, and indirectly by mitigating or amplifying the effects of other things.

Here’s the full list of covariate:

Infant mortality rate. Deaths of children under age 1 per 1,000 live births, relative to the annual global median, logged. This measure that primarily reflects national wealth but is also sensitive to variations in quality of life produced by things like corruption and inequality.

Recent coup activity. A yes/no indicator of whether or not there have been any coup attempts in that country in the past five years. I’ve tried logged event counts and longer windows, but this simple version contains as much predictive signal as any other. (Sources: Center for Systemic Peace and Powell and Thyne)

Election year. A yes/no indicator for whether or not any national elections (executive, legislative, or general) are scheduled to take place during the forecast year. (Source: NELDA, with hard-coded updates for 2011–2015) YES, This is an election year in Venezuela but it will be sham elections.

Regime type * election year. Interactions to condition the effect of election years on regime type.

Regime type. Using the binary indicators included in the aforementioned data from Geddes, Wright, and Frantz with hard-coded updates for the period 2011–2014, a series of variables differentiating between the following:
Democracies
Military autocracies
One-party autocracies Venezuela is a one part autocracy and Maduro is trying to establish a personalist autocracy.
Personalist autocracies
Monarchies

Regime duration. Number of years since the last change in political regime type, logged. Chavez came to power in 1998 but Democracy was only overturned in the last couple of years.

Regime type * regime duration. Interactions to condition the effect of regime duration on regime type.

Leader’s tenure. Number of years the current chief executive has held that office, logged.
Maduro has been in power since 2013.

Regime type * leader’s tenure. Interactions to condition the effect of leader’s tenure on regime type.

Economic growth. The previous year’s annual GDP growth rate. To dampen the effects of extreme values on the model estimates, I take the square root of the absolute value and then multiply that by -1 for cases where the raw value less than 0. (Source: IMF)

Regime type * economic growth. Interactions to condition the effect of economic growth on regime type.

Post–Cold War period. A binary variable marking years after the disintegration of the USSR in 1991.

The scientific basis for the coup analysis.
Penn State has analysis of military coup predictors.

Predictive heuristics applied the coup prediction methodology in 2017.

General background

People will not remain loyal when newborn babies die, medical system has become broken and people are starving.

The starvation has numerical reports of widespread weight loss from rationing and people subsisting on 400 calories per day in the country-side.

The most basic needs of food, medicine and public safety are become terrible and continue to deterioriate.

USA Today reported 9 months ago that 20% of the doctors have left and most reports indicate that there no medicine. Malaria and other diseases are on the rise as the medical and public health systems have broken down.

Oil and gas supplies 95% of Venezuela foreign currency and oil production has dropped to less than half from a peak of 3.34 million bpd in 2001. Early reports for February indicate 1.6 million bpd and a 30,000 bpd drop since January. Oil worker productivity is dropping because of insufficient food.

Oil workers and soldiers are abandoning their jobs by the thousands.

6000 people are leaving the country every day over. 10% have already left.

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