As a result inflation will reach around 45% this year overall according to reliable data from the Central Bank of Venezuela. This is very high compared to the inflation rate of the last decade and is signaled as a disaster for the country by the crowing capitalist corporate media and their steel-clawed analysts. However, short term minded analysts seem to conveniently forget that the inflation rate in Venezuela in the 1990’s was over 100% in some years and looking at the average inflation rate comparing the 1990’s with the 2000’s, the inflation rate under existing government economic policies has more than halved (see the chart later in this article). To make matters worse in the 1990’s wages were frozen so it was no surprise that there was widespread malnutrition especially in children of the poorer classes.
The current circumstances may not be ideal but compared to 20 years ago Venezuela is a relative paradise for the mass of the population.
The Positives mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>"These funds come from the US State Dept. which is financing the political opposition desperate to oust President Maduro’s legally and constitutionally elected government."
These funds come from the US State Dept. which is financing the political opposition, desperate to oust President Maduro’s legally and constitutionally elected government. It does not matter what damage is done to the country – the opposition will just pick up the pieces as an ouster will give them access to Venezuela’s huge oil revenues……….and more ominously the US access to the largest oil reserves in the world just a five day tanker ride away from the refineries on the Gulf Coast.
The Big PictureECLAC);
Venezuelan GDP increased from US$90 billion in 1999 to US$385 billion in 2012 – +330%.
Inflation has declined from an annual average of 61% in the 1990’s to an average of 24% under the current economic policies. This FACT belies the superficial corporate analyses of the current inflation rate of around 45% as being somehow a complete disaster for the government and the population.
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Consumer spending rose from US$65 billion in 1999 to US$272 billion in 2012 – +320%
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Venezuela’s current external debt is around US$106 billion according to the Central Bank. According toWikipedia the external debt-GDP ratio for Venezuela is just 19%. Compare this to the countries that are the spiritual homes of the Venezuelan opposition such as the US, Spain and Italy whose debt-GDP ratio are 106%, 167% and 108% respectively.
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Poverty has declined from 62% in 1999 to around 23% in 2012. Absolute poverty fell in the same period from 23% to 6%.
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Social spending of US$550 billion over the last decade effectively defeated poverty in Venezuela and this meant US$550 billion less for the parasitic bourgeoisie to send offshore to their favorite US banks.
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Infant mortality declined from 27 per 100,000 live births to 13 per 100,000.
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>22 new universities have been opened since 1999. Venezuela’s student population is now 2.5 million compared to half a million in the 1990's and all higher education is free of charge at public universities. There are no tuition fees.
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>The Venezuelan Stock Market (Caracas Stock) rose from around 8900 on December 31st 2002 to 1,750,000 this month (+19,563%). The stocks quoted are local companies such as banks, food industry stocks, and telecommunications and so on. This has been the best performing stock index in the world – even allowing for inflation, devaluation of the currency and ongoing political tension both inside Venezuela and with its main antagonist the US Empire. Obviously the smart money knows where to go so why, according to such “esteemed” capitalist media such as the Economist and The WSJ is Venezuela allegedly in such an economic mess? Even using the capitalists’ own criteria the country is on a long term boom cycle with little debt, falling poverty and a growing consumer sector.
Saying the same thing a thousand times whether it be true or not will have an impact on people’s perception. This was a strategy used successfully by Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels, and now employed with equal success by the corporate media against Venezuela as they seek to further US interests.
The major statistics quoted above speak for themselves and should make people take corporate media reports in Venezuela’s economy with a large pinch of salt. Sure inflation is a problem and has been since 1984 in Venezuela but nowadays this is offset by the remaining financial indices which must be the envy of most European nations and North America..
During the 2008 – 2009 global financial crisis that also hit Venezuela as the oil price collapsed, President Chavez stated that he was not concerned about the GDP numbers and was far more interested that poverty continue to decline and guaranteed that social spending would not be curtailed.
This is a far cry from the austerity programs being applied in Europe and is diametrically opposed to capitalist economic policies that favor the rich and the corporations.
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As in 2002 and 2003 the Bolivarian government is facing a real challenge in its objective of excising capitalism from the country. This is the lash of the counter-revolution and is being combated legally in the National Assembly, by a combination of the Armed Forces and Bolivarian Militias, by state institutions designed to protect the public and by the leadership of President Maduro and his guiding light, Comandante Chavez, who is still very much present in the hearts and minds of the Venezuelan people.
The opposition saboteurs are not getting away unpunished. There are 120 awaiting trial for sabotaging pylons and the electricity grid. Many people have been arrested for hoarding foodstuffs and toilet paper. The Bolivarian National Guard has been cracking down on illegal extraction of price-controlled products to Colombia and gasoline contraband.
We fully expect President Maduro to be granted an Enabling Law for one year in November so that he can legislate by decree to combat sabotage and corruption more quickly and effectively. There is a good chance that one of the major supermarket chains that continue to “play games with the public” could also be expropriated as a message to the others.
Focusing on disaster and ignoring the facts may cause some waves in society but most honest Venezuelans, who have not been brainwashed by a 14 year media campaign against the government, will continue to support the Revolution. In the nationwide mayoral elections on 8 December, the voters will not allow the country to be handed on an electoral platter to the fascist lackeys of the US waiting in the wings to loot the country once again as they did from 1958 to 1998.
See: The War on the Venezuelan Economy(photos/evidence)- Arturo Rosales
Axis of Logic