Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Economic paralysis

The Venezuelan government is desperate: a barrel of Venezuelan oil costs right now only - only? - about 48 dollars. When the military coup monger Chávez came to power, the price was $12. If we take into account inflation, that is like $17 of today's money. Thus: the government is only earning more than two and a half times what it got in 1998...and yet Venezuelan standards of living have collapsed probably to what they were at that time. I say probably when I should say surely. The problem is that the government has been massaging statistics in the most blatant way and it is hard to prove it until we actually start to do the maths about how much food a Venezuelan worker could buy in 1998 as opposed to now or what chances he had then to afford a house, even to pay the rent for a small flat.

The government is so scared that Maduro decided to travel on an emergency trip to China just a couple of days ago. He is right now in Asia trying to get some money to survive. He had been announcing new monetary policies back in December and he kept announcing them time after time. Today, we hear the minister of finance saying "the new monetary system will be announced when Maduro comes back from China".

As a little but meaningful detail: the finance minister is no economist but Rodolfo Clemente Marco Torre, a military who took part in the bloody coup attempt carried out by Chávez.


  1. hello,

    can you tell me, by any chance roundabout how many items of trade are price-controlled in Vzla at the moment? It's hard to find a number. Die-hard chavista-sandalistas claim it's only a few dozen, but that can't be true, can it?

    I don't mean to ask you to do my research for me, of course, but if you happen to know something off the spot it would be most appreciated.

    Btw, I find that those friends of the tropical revolution tend to talk a lot more about, say, Bolivia in recent weeks and less and less about el socialismo bolivariano ... I wonder how that is.

    all the best

    1. Hi, Simon. The list changes all the time. There are many articles that are not even on that list and suddenly the regime says people cannot sell them with a higher profit than 30%. Now: the problem is that what the government think is profits sometimes has to do with the fact we have the highest inflation on Earth, with the fact there are no dollars to buy many of the products at the legal rate, etc.

      Just an example (but it is already old)

  2. Thank you for that information (better late than never).

    It's strange, it's not easy conseguir esta lista. Y hasta ahora no he tenido ningun exito con el pagina web del "Instituto para la Defensa de las Personas en el Acceso a los Bienes y Servicios" - but to go by the name of that institución one should not expect a fast loading web page, I guess ... signaling efficiency and clear thinking even in the smallest detail.


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