Monday, 11 August 2014

Forecasting Venezuela (8.2014, Part I)

Venezuela will be in deep recession for the rest of this year and next one. ECLAC thinks we will have a GDP development of -0.5%, but many think the drop will be much more dramatic. Think -5%. In any case: it will probably be the only nation in Latin America to go into red numbers.

Both the regime and the opposition are in a mess. 

The regime can thank the opposition as several opposition mayors like Cocchiola behave like simple feudal lords and keep low profile while real opposition figures are being persecuted, the MUD is in disarray and Capriles, incapable of making a deep analysis of Venezuela's situation, goes on repeating mere slogans.

Still, the regime is not gaining ground either. The economy is just in too bad a shape and it will keep deteriorating.

Since 2013 Maduro has appointed Edmée Betancourt (industrial engineer), Eudomar Tovar ("economist" who can't read a chart or speak Spanish), Nelson Meréntes Díaz (a communist mathematician) and now Rodolfo Marco Torres (a military coup monger) as presidents of the Central Bank of Venezuela.

The government decided to close the border with Colombia at night "to prevent smuggling". That shows how clueless some people at the top are. Others probably know: that can only be good for smugglers working together with the military. The government has decided not to take any decision. Maduro was always said to be particularly lazy, unlike Chávez. Even Chávez kept procrastinating, Maduro can only do that.

Still, it is hard to see how a major unrest can take place in the coming months: most political leaders not afraid of losing their positions are in jail, the same goes for student representatives, highly qualified Venezuelans keep leaving the country.

In the coming months the war between the governor of Apure and the minister of Justice will intensify. The minister wants his dad to become the next governor of that border region. His brother, who has at least one 500-hectare hacienda, might try to become mayor of Alto Apure, a region that comprises two other municipalites at a strategic border with Colombia where the Colombian guerrilla is strong.

Venezuela has the highest percentage of mothers under 15 years old for Latin American countries with available data at United Nations (virtually all major ones and a lot of tiny ones are in that data set). It is only second to Colombia in the 15-19 years old range. What is worse, things don't seem to be improving, as the chart below shows. Take a look at the bottom: the yellow group for mothers between older than 15 and younger than 19 and the orange group of mothers who are younger than 15.

Age of mothers in Venezuela according to the INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas) 2004-2011
This trend will keep generating a lot of problems - not only for the children-mothers but for society in general. Only a couple of tiny NGOs talk about this. The problem is far off the agenda of any politician in Venezuela.

No comments:

Post a Comment

1) Try to be constructive and creative. The main goal of this blog is not to bash but to propose ideas and, when needed, to denounce
2) Do not use offensive language
3) Bear in mind that your comments can be edited or deleted at the blogger's sole discretion
4) If your comment would link back to a site promoting hatred of ethnic groups, nations, religions or the like, don't bother commenting here.
5) Read point 4 again