If there is one analyst/politician that I tend to agree with is Teodoro Petkoff of Tal Cual. He seems to have a degree of common sense and fairly good understanding of economic issues, that most Venezuelan politicians lack. I guess being an economist helps (Even though he strongly disagrees with my belief that a dollarization of the Venezuelan economy would be positive). But I did not like parts of his Editorial today on what is going on in Cojedes which I wrote about last night. Essentially Petkoff does not give much importance to Governor Yanez’ decree on “intervention” of these farms:
“The exact reach of the intervention decree issued by the Government of the State of Cojedes is not clear, but it is neither an expropriation (which supposes indemnification) nor, much less, confiscation of land (which does not contemplate it)
As far as can be understood, the idea would be that a commission, within a term of sixty days would verify, with the owners of those 25 great farms, that by their extension, in principle, could fall under the definition of large states (latifundios), all involving who owns the land, as well as what it relates to its limits and the degree of utilization of the territory”
Well, I simply disagree, too many times I have seen Chavez try something, step back from it, only to come back later in full force and win, catching the opposition off guard in their naïve belief that Chavez or Chavismo would play fair. I am in the camp that thinks this is simply a trial balloon, one of many that Chavez has flown since he became President. At the end of the sixty days, the commission will expropriate or confiscate and much like the signatures for the recall vote or the cheating in the recall vote, it will be too late to do anything about it. The opposition will scream bloddy murder and nothing will happen. Maybe something will, a lwayer will go to the Supreme Court to reverse the decree, the Court will either not accept the case or rule in a contorted way and that will be that.
What I do agree with is with other parts of the Editorial when Petkoff talks about the real implications that land reform has in modern Venezuela:
“The problem does not have the dimensions that the Chavista mythology ascribes to it, especially for foreign consumption, where they make believe that we have an agrarian situation similar to 1958, Mexico in 1910 or today’s in Brazil. The truth is that the agrarian reform (even if it was incomplete, it gave away during its fifteen years three million hectares, access to credit and even housing to 200,000 agricultural families) and the capitalist development of farmlands, adding to it the violent urban development of the country (86% of the population is urban) the agrarian problem is no longer that of when Betancourt argued for reform to prevent what he used to call the “zamorazo”. But this does not impede that there still are some 500 properties (according to the 2001 census) that can be qualified as large farm estates. And if the peasant pressure does not have the characteristics of that in the middle of the last century, the elimination of large farm estates and giving land to the peasants or small agricultural producers that do not have land, will serve to complete the modernization of the agrarian structure…
But, in general, the anti-large states position still has a connotation of social justice which can not be minimized
The truth is that up to now, in this six years of Chavista Government, there has been in agrarian matters, much less work accomplished than that done by Betancourt, Leoni and Caldera in their respective presidencies.”
And that my friends is simply a fact of this fake revolution.