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8 Questions Nicolás Maduro Won’t Answer

By: Joel Fensch - Aug 5, 2015, 12:00 pm
Scarcity, inflation, and insecurity prevail in Venezuela today.
Scarcity, inflation, and insecurity prevail in Venezuela today. (Notitarde)

EspañolVenezuela is faced with an economic crisis of epic proportions, and the government of President Nicolás Maduro is to blame. It has done nothing to fight soaring inflation, to restore cash flow to the productive sector, or to facilitate the transfer of goods throughout the country.

Yet, as the pressure mounts on Maduro, his administration attempts to shift the blame to the private sector. The government claims Venezuela’s Chamber of Commerce (Fedecámaras) has “hijacked” the economy. Considering the government is in complete control of the nation’s economy, this is patently absurd.

The rising cost of US dollars in Venezuela breaks records on a daily basis. Despite the administration’s “fair pricing” policies, the cost of goods continues to shoot up. As fears over the potential for hyperinflation grow, one can’t help but wonder: where is the government in all of this?

Venezuelans have no access to foreign currencies, health, or education. Food products, auto replacement parts, and even beer are becoming scarce. As Venezuela deals with the consequences of former Planning Minister Jorge Giordani’s policies, many are left shaking their heads in disbelief that their warnings over 1o years ago were in vain.

And yet, instead of correcting course, Maduro’s government continues to wage an economic war against the public, and deepen its control over the country.

Make no mistake: government officials are wrong. All they want is to stay in power. Their only concern is to remain relevant by avoiding their downfall in the upcoming elections. And as their imminent defeat begins to appear more likely, they do all they can to try and prevent it.

If the government were able to muster up evidence of at least a single success, it would make the task of justifying their desire to remain in power appear valid. But there’s nothing to show, and the country is now headed down a very steep cliff.

As for the Maduro administration’s promises and future plans, I have a few questions:

  1. Will they raise the price of gas?
  2. Will they normalize the sale of foreign currency?
  3. Will they put an end to the era of the bolívar at US$6.30?
  4. Will they downsize the government?
  5. Will they allocate social spending to cover essential goods?
  6. Will they stop giving away oil for free?
  7. Will they replace loyalty with competence inside the administration?
  8. In other words, will they do anything?

A look back at recent history in Venezuela should make these questions relatively easy to answer. Radical political change is the real solution. Because with this group in power, we can only expect more of the same.

Translated by Vanessa Arita.

Joel Fensch Joel Fensch

Editor of InsightSur, Fensch covers geopolitical and historical events in Latin America with the PanAm Post.