By Luis Manuel Aguana
It is still too early to evaluate the scope and depth of the decisions taken by the Nicolás Maduro regime in economic matters. After their conviction, Maduro and his regime flee forward with desperate economic measures that try to square an impossible circle, trying to invent an economy different from the one in place in the civilized world. But the analysis that prevails here is not economic, it is deeply political. No serious economist will have an exchange rate that is anchored in a non-existent cryptocurrency, or that the minimum wage be multiplied by 36 overnight without any basis for sustentation.
Even if Maduro swears on top of the Bible that he will no longer print bills without backing, the machinery of economics will move inexorably on its own with its own mechanisms, as economists know well. Trying to solve the facial problem of being able to handle figures unimaginable until a few years ago in Venezuela, in the midst of hyperinflation never before seen on this planet, they are not focusing on the causes but on the consequences of the disaster caused by these sorcerer apprentices.
No one in the regime is dealing with production, because that has never been the problem of the communists, they hate everything that represents an effort to produce because they live off the effort of others. They have destroyed 50% of the size of the Venezuelan economy in 5 years, as economist José Guerra recently pointed out (see in Spanish, Guerra: En cinco años Venezuela ha perdido el 50% del tamaño de su economía, en http://versionfinal.com.ve/politica-dinero/guerra-en-cinco-anos-venezuela-ha-perdido-50-del-tamano-de-su-economia/), and now they intend to finish what they started, destroying what remains of the private sector, the last bastion of the country’s production.
But what we are dealing with here is a matter of survival: either they survive by trying to impose a failed economic model on the world, or we Venezuelans survive by sabotaging this attempt. For some reason they have seen that it is not viable what has happened so far creating inorganic money and producing a terrible hyperinflation. They are amazed to see that they themselves have impoverished and impoverished the rest of the Venezuelan people, and they believe that just having an unrealized wealth under the earth is enough to establish an economic system.
Somebody please explain to this regime that it is not enough to sit on a barrel of oil. It has to be taken out, sold and collectedwith all the associated costs that this implies, so that it can be considered as an exchange value in the international market, as it has been done until now with the oil wealth in Venezuela for more than 100 years, with the exploitation of the Zumaque I well in 1914. But they don’t want that or they can’t understand it.
And since I believe that the regime cannot and does not want to understand this, it has reached a stage in which nothing they do now can only aggravate the situation of Venezuelans, making the problem, not economic but political, reduced to a simple but incredibly difficult solution: Maduro and his regime must be displaced from power.
The discussions on the economy or whether the regime’s economic agenda is crazy or not must stop here. That was no longer the discussion for several years. Only now the problem is of extreme gravity, of life or death: “He’ll kill me or I’ll kill him to get rid of the pod.” as the refrain of an old song by Carlos Vives said well.
In this sense, a discussion is currently under way in the National Assembly regarding the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice on the conviction of Nicolás Maduro for corruption and money laundering, which I announced in my previous note (see A sovereign’s decision, at http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/p/a-sovereigns-decision.html). After this new “economic program” (because it has to be called in some way) announced by the government a few hours ago, the responsibility of the deputies of the National Assembly to replace the government of Nicolás Maduro as a result of the ruling of the legitimate Supreme Court of Justice multiplies.
The deputies should not in any way go to a parliamentary recess given the serious situation in the country and much less leave their responsibility in the hands of a super-core established in the Delegate Commission to decide what the position of the Legislative Power will be regarding the vacuum of constitutional power of Maduro that comes out as a result of that sentence. We Venezuelans demand that we be adequately represented in order to take the far-reaching decisions that will come about as a result of this economic package that the regime has just announced, which in practice is bankrupting everyone in this country.
But that widespread bankruptcy does not matter to the regime. The important thing here is what we will do in the face of this new reality. If, in the face of this new reality, we put forward a cowardly attitude of accepting what they are imposing on us without commenting on it, that is precisely what we will have. And that is what the President of the National Assembly is doing by saying that Maduro’s sentence is unenforceable without the rule of law’. (see in Spanish Barboza: Sentencia contra Maduro es inejecutable sin estado de derecho, at http://cronica.uno/barboza-sentencia-contra-maduro-es-inejecutable-sin-estado-de-derecho/). I would ask myself if, as a consequence of the absence of the rule of law in Venezuela, we would stop what we have to do for the return to legality. That is as if they were arresting Omar Barboza for any reason and his defenders were not exercising what they have to exercise in his defence because in Venezuela there is no rule of law’. It would rot in the dungeons of the regime.
And of course there is no rule of law! The situation has long since gone from being legal to being political. Given Odebrecht’s corruption scheme, in which millions of dollars were distributed to both the regime and its official opposition to favor contracts between the Republic and the company, I see it as extremely difficult for the official opposition gathered in the MUD parties in the National Assembly to meet the conditions necessary to decide on the political course of action for the well-being of Venezuela.
While it is true that the parties gathered in the National Assembly have the constitutional responsibility to decide on a new government as it has been since 9 January 2017, when Nicolas Maduro’s term of office was declared vacant, it is no less true that the Assembly has been diminished, contaminated and corrupted by fractions that have been partners of the regime in keeping Maduro in power, trying to destroy the work of the legitimate Supreme Court from its Board of Directors, as well as political parties that have been accused with their main leaders of having accepted bribes from Odebrecht, and that will desperately seek to take control of the country to avoid further investigations. Add to that the political persecution of deputies and party leaders who have not bowed down, and what could be the result of a political agreement to form a government made up of corrupt and persecuted people? Then the National Assembly would not be the best political scenario for those who would lead the country at the worst moment in the history of Venezuela to be born.
This explains why the National Assembly’s directive did not want to wash or lend the bathtub in the appointment of a transitional government. They know they have constitutional responsibility, but they also do not want the legitimate TSJ to make the decision where they do not have control. And in the midst of that tragedy are Venezuelans dying fast in the midst of the most appalling economic scenario ever seen by humanity.
Should we then accept this blackmail from Barboza and his directive by saying that Maduro’s sentence is unenforceable’ because there is no rule of law in Venezuela for not doing what they are supposed to do? That is unacceptable. The immediate debate raised by fraction 16J in the National Assembly (see in Spanish Fracción 16J tras madurazo: Exigimos la inmediata convocatoria a sesiones extraordinarias de la AN, en https://www.lapatilla.com/2018/08/18/fraccion-16-j-tras-madurazo-exigimos-la-inmediata-convocatoria-a-sesiones-extraordinarias-de-la-an/) is the legitimate response of the decency that still remains in the National Assembly when it states: “The sentence of the legitimate Supreme Court, which is known to all, has definitely been signed, the National Assembly cannot evade it and fail to fulfil its clearly constitutional responsibilities. The answer to the tragic maturation is to fill the constitutional vacancy. This can only be done by the National Assembly, which cannot be replaced by the Board of Directors or the Delegate Commission”. But that is precisely what Barboza wants to do, to replace the decision of the Plenary of the Deputies with what he wants to fix the core of a directive handed over to the regime.
But the country is not in a position to wait another second for a new government to be decided in Venezuela. Barboza and no one else can stand in the way of changing the suicidal course of the Republic. It could be said that the conditions are not right for a new government to be appointed from the National Assembly, however legal this decision may be. It would even be detrimental to Venezuela’s interests if this new government were to come from a negotiation with opposition factors bogged down by the corruption of the regime. A Politicaldecision is therefore urgently needed (with a capital “P”), not only as close to justice as possible, but also to republican ethics and morals, as the Liberator always demanded in his proclamations. And those who have so far demonstrated in their actions the behavior that is so much needed in Venezuela, are outside the country in an all-out struggle to take to prison those who have destroyed the Nation, in the legitimate Supreme Court in exile. Let us all sum up so that this immediate decision is backed by the people of Venezuela.
Caracas, August 19, 2018