Venezuela at the economic abyss

April 5, 2003


Interesting article in Spain’ newspaper La Vanguardia on Venezuela


Venezuela at the economic abyss by Joaquim Ibarz



 Parallel with the war in Iraq which induces massive protest in the whole world expressing solidarity with an invaded nation, Venezuelans suffer their own war, not because of the attack of an enemy country, but for the violence and the destruction generated by  a president turned autocrat that, in increasing fashion, is assuming dictatorial practices.  Historians coincide that this is the most dangerous moment in the last hundred years for Venezuela, each day that the confrontation from the Miraflores palace continues instigated by President Hugo Chavez, it will become more difficult to reconstruct and reconcile a country in the midst of a paralysis which in accelerated fashion  is on its way to its ruin.

1,500 days have already gone by of a regime that was born in the hope lit by dreams and promises. After wasting and embezzling one hundred and ten billion dollars of oil income, the ship of the “Bolivarian revolution” is sinking.

From the beginning, President Hugo Chávez played the polarization hand. The only thing that he has had success with is in his policy of confrontation, carrying it to an extreme that it loses rationality. It may be that during decades the blame and causes of the current ruin will be discussed. But when you reach such a dangerous point, all sensible Governments open the dialogue, the negotiations and an electoral way out. On the contrary, in
Venezuela disqualification is fueled daily, blocking any rational way out. The Presidential finger, with pretensions of divine will, decrees that the opposition is fascist, coupsters, oligarchic and, as such, has no right to exist.


Venezuela is facing the dramatic effects of a war economy without precedent in Latin America, with inflation predictions near 100% and a drop in GDP above 25% this year. The analysts of the great financial institutions of the country pick up this pessimism; Banco Provincial, property of BBVA, predicts in its last report a decline of the economy of 40% in the first quarter of 2003, while Banco de Venezuela, owned by Grupo Santander expects a decline of 42%. Previewing the consequences of the crisis, the Secretary General of the OAS, Cesar Gaviria, said that he has not been able to find “an economic contradiction of this size in any country, note even in a civil war” ………Full article here

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