Archive for February 15th, 2003

Constitutional Warning

February 15, 2003

Yesterday I explained the conditions for a recall referendum based on article 75 of the Constitution. The Problem is that I used the version in a Government site, which is apparently not the correct version, but one of the four issued at the end of the Constitutent Assembly and definitely an incorrect one. Sound confusing? It certainly is, because how do I know which is the correct one? Until I find out and I am sure of the answer I will not correct what I wrote. Stay tuned….

The folly of price controls

February 15, 2003

Not only has the Chavez Government established price controls on hundrerds of items, but the prices at which the control ahs been set are in some cases those going back to the second quarter of last year, when the exchange rate was Bs. 1,000 per US$. The controls are being imposed at the same time the rate has been regulated at Bs. 1,600 to the US$. By regulated I mean there is an office that will hand out dollars, but there is no guarantee you will get them anyway. If you don’t you have to go to the black market, but if you are going to lose money you just give up and dont produce anything. Chavez seems to be trying all of the failed formulas of the 60’s and 70’s in Latin America. Problem is, we all lose.

Supreme Court rules signatures for recall referendum valid

February 15, 2003

In a decision that may be very important medium term, the Supreme Court said yesterday that the signatures for a recall referendum do not have to be collected after the date that the referendum is possible, but may be collected in advanced. This means that the signatures gathered on Feb. 2nd. can be used for the recall referendum of Presdent Cahvez. The Government had argued that they could not. In fact, the Vice President said Feb. 3d. that they were useless, because of the date they were obtained and the fact that they could not be audited, whatever that meant.