Three good interviews in today’s paper

October 24, 2004

Good articles today in the paper by people who know what they are talking about:


-Luis Pedro España in El Universal speaks about his perceptions about the poor. España is a Professor from the Catholic University in Caracas who ahs devoted his whole life to study the problem of poverty. He is a co-author of a recent book called “Detras de la Pobreza” (Behind poverty) about what Venezuelans think and how they act about poverty. He actually brings up something I discussed a few days ago in the comments, how half the budgets of Universities goes to pension payments. He argues that the early and easy pension is a benefit, since Universities pay so little they have to give you benefits like that. I just don’t buy that, it simply makes no sense to me.


 


España thinks that the days of social peace in venezuela are finite, making the analogy with the iron country in which people used to say “They fake that they are paying us, we fake that we are working” España thinks in a populist regime it is not the poor that make money. He thinks that it is those that are not productive who have the most to lose from a modern country.


 


-Heinz Sonntag in El Nacional (by subscription). The former Director of CENDES lucidly speaks about what has happened and may happen in the future. He thinks that a victory by the Chavismo in the regional elections will simply bring out more the contradictions between the different groups of that movement. He says Chavez has woken up the conscience of the poor, but has done nothing for them. He says Chavez is not a leftist unless being messianic and militaristic is being a leftist. He suggests that the European left likes Chavez because he is anti-American, without understanding that he is not leftists.


 


-Domingo Maza Zavala in El Universal is quite tough on the Government. From asking for accountability on the fund spent on the “Misiones”, to saying there is little coordination on economic matters, the Central Bank Director and “father” of modern and leftists economics is quite blunt as usual. From calling the Central bank’s policy “too risky”, to saying that using the bank’s earnings from foreign exchange is dangerous, to pensions and the lack of investments, Maza Zavala is a must read for those interested in Venezuelan economic affairs.

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