Saturday, 30 July 2011

Getting Venezuela out of underdevelopment

Francisco wrote a provocative post some days ago. It was about oil policy and how hard it is to make this a topic of discussion in Venezuela for everybody. Details about what we need to do with oil are just hard to explain to most people. 

He started this topic after some previous posts discussing Leopoldo López's ideas on a future government. López basically wants to let Venezuela produce more oil. He also wants more transparency about its use, more investment, blablabla. The details, though, aren't there.

And the discussion ended up again on whether we should produce more or less oil. What we don't discuss is how to get off oil dependency. Apparently, a lot of people haven't got a clue. The thinking goes around "invest in petrochemistry" and at best "invest in R&D", apart from the eternal "invest more on education".

But nothing, absolutely nothing will change until we start discussing about the details. We need to do that not after the elections but right now.

One of the main topics about which we have to discuss details is how to bring transparency and accountability to investment.

Is there a fool-proof way of doing so? Can we device a mechanism so that those getting resources from the State are not like now the relatives of the president, the friends of the military case or the friends of the party?

We need a plan for accountability and transparency that is so tough a lot of politicos are going to fear a government advoting such a plan is elected but the vast majority of Venezuelans get excited about it.

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