In recent months Venezuelan government has accused a wide range of actors of conspiring against the country by waging an “economic war”: the US government, Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, opposition parties, local private media, Venezuelans exiled in Miami, “the right,” the bourgeoisie, and Colombian oligarchs, among others have been blamed for high inflation and scarcity.
Yesterday President Maduro added to the list of conspirators three of the main trade and business owners associations of the country: FEDECAMARAS (Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela), CONSECOMERCIO (Consejo Nacional de Comercio y Servicios), and VENAMCHAM (Cámara Venezolano Americana de Comercio e Industria).
“They are behind the economic war, these three institutions; they are the enemies of the People. But they not the rulers here, and will never be our rulers. Nor does the International Monetary Fund. I don’t take calls from Washington to tell me things like ‘you cannot invest in this school because you have to reduce social spending,’” declared Maduro after a meeting with Brazil’s Industry and Commerce Minister Fernando Pimentel.
The “economic war” rhetoric is a Grand Conspiracy Theory, therefore the accusation of very different actors of being part of the plot is not a contradiction. A plan to sabotage the whole economy of a country must forcibly include many and very powerful conspirators acting in coordination. This does not mean that there is lack of hierarchy among them: In the government’s rhetoric the “Empire” always comes on top as the main culprit of Venezuela’s economic troubles. Local opposition, media, or business groups are only puppets acting under direct orders form Washington.