|Exports from Venezuela to Colombia in millions of dollars|
It is not always easy to find reliable data on Venezuela's trade with the rest of the world these days. That is why I (and many others) have to use sources from the trade partners. Venezuelan government sites these days are more about obfuscation than about information.
Colombians keep nice, easily readable data. Here you can see the exports from Venezuela to Colombia since 1994. Remember: the caudillo Chávez came to power in early 1999. From 2009 to 2010 Venezuela went into recession because oil prices got to a local minimum - less than in 2004-2008 but still a lot more than in the 1990-1998 period. If the Venezuelan government hadn't kept the currency heavily over-valued and if it had been less aggressive against private producers, we would have had a good time exporting. Instead, exports haven't recovered.
We are good for the UNASUR countries in as much as we buy and don't sell.
Below you can see Colombia's imports not only from Venezuela but from Colombia's other major partners. I put it in logarithmic scale. Still, you can see how Venezuela goes from being the second country from which Colombia imported to ninth. Venezuelan producers are exporting less and less to the neighbouring country. Colombia can improve its trade balance and Venezuela depends more and more on oil exports to the "Empire" and China.
Do you think the UNASUR group will be an efficient moderator in any hypothetical dialogue between the Venezuelan opposition and the regime? Mind: the trade imbalance with Brazil is much more dramatic. More about that next week.