Sunday, November 6, 2016

Economic War intensifies

President Nicolás Maduro claims that risk rating agencies are deliberately “attacking the image of the Bolivarian government.” According to the president, United States rating agencies have persecuted Venezuela so as to force it to declare default on its debt and thus “justify a foreign intervention.”

“This is the only country in the world that pays 60 billion dollars, a very high percentage, and that has absolute financial, political, institutional, and moral solvency, and even so the criminal rating agencies raise the country’s risk, because that their way of attacking us and making our natural credit, the credit to which we have the right to access, inaccessible,” said Maduro.

The president specifically accused Ricardo Hausmann, a Venezuelan born Harvard Professor, of being the “financial operator” behind the alleged attack against Venezuela: “What did the Venezuelan bourgeoisie do? They went and lobbied against Venezuela. There is a person called Ricardo Hausmann who I think should be put under code red alert, he should be prosecuted because he is the main financial operator against Venezuela.”

Maduro also accused the Venezuelan intellectual and author Moisés Naim of being part of the financial conspiracy against Venezuela.

Hausmann responded to the accusations in an open letter. “It seems Venezuela’s financial problems have nothing to do with decisions taken by him (Maduro) –a fiscal deficit of 20% of the GDP, price controls, exchange rate difference of more than 2600%, 3 digit inflation, expropriations, –instead they are the consequence of an alleged conspiracy lead by two Venezuelan intellectuals. (…) Moisés Naim and I are not the source of Venezuela’s problems, if Maduro is looking for someone to blame, he should look himself in a mirror,” wrote Hausmann.

According to the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, the presidents will offer a press conference in the next few days to give details about the “financial war” being waged against Venezuela and to ask the public prosecutor’s office to “investigate and act against the conspirators.”

Government media is devoting much space to explain Maduro’s accusations. TeleSUR quotes an analyst, Miguel Jaimes, who says that “the current situation of economic war lived in Venezuela has its roots in the oil industry royalties.” According to Jaimes during the Bolivarian Revolution, multinationals have seen their interests affected and therefore have reduced their investments in the country. “The Venezuelan opposition and business sector have limited their production of goods in order to create a situation of economic and social conflict to force the overthrow of President Nicolás Maduro,” quotes TeleSUR. Jaimes also claims that the current financial distortions in Venezuelan were created by the “economic culture in place before the Bolivarian Revolution.”

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