Friday, November 8, 2013

More and more economic war

As the “economic war” rhetoric has become the official discourse of the Venezuelan government, high level officials are now competing to outdo each other in contributing details of the grand conspiracy.

Here is the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias report, published in English on its webpage, on the particular contributions to the “economic war” argument by two government officials: Finance Minister Nelson Merentes (I think naively seen as a pragmatists by hopeful analysts), and the President of the Women’s Development Bank, Nora Castañeda.

National Foreign Trade Center to improve exports, Minister says
Caracas, 08 Nov. AVN.- The National Foreign Trade Center is going to improve the process of exporting essential items, said Thursday Venezuelan finance minister Nelson Merentes.
Interviewed in local television, Merentes said the Center "is going to be in charge of inspecting prices, the quality of products, checking that appropriate amounts have been requested, licenses and that transactions are done in real time."
Creating an agency for foreign trade is one of the economic actions released last Wednesday by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to protect people from speculation and scarcity caused by an economic war fostered by conservative sectors.
"The Center must achieve that dollars generated by Petroleos de Venezuela (state-run oil company, PDVSA) are used for social and productive issues," said Merentes, adding that all economic actions aim at boosting the domestic production.
There are two opposed economic models in conflict in Venezuela, Merentes commented. "A humanist model focused on people and another focused on capital."
Concerning the capitalist model, Merentes said that "it is made up by businesspeople with inappropriate behavior, which damage the whole population, defraud them and deceive them, and who are being supported by politicians with individual interests."
President of the Women's Development Bank, Nora Castañeda, who shared the interview with minister Merentes, said that "this is not a simple economic war, it's a global war that joins media and psychological issues, and its main goal is to stop the revolution that we have been building."
As a matter of fact, minister Nelson Merentes said that setbacks in Venezuela's economy during the last 14 years have been caused by actions alien to financial measures taken by the Executive.
In the year 2002, for instance, economy was affected by "the anti-constitutional confrontation on behalf of the Venezuelan opposition. Then, the oil industry was stopped by over a month, causing serious problems to the country's financial basis."
Another unfavorable factor was the global crisis of capitalism, Merentes said, which "contracted prices."
Nowadays, inflation rates have been unusual, said the Finance minister. "Price increases have not been caused by the normal offer-demand dynamics. It's an escalation without economic sense and it's connected to the dynamic of political confrontation."
Nevertheless, the National Government has held meetings with businesspeople, purchased foodstuffs, improved distribution networks and set up open-air markets across the country during the last four months.
 AVN 08/11/2013 08:32

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