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Analysis: Economy

It is Necessary to Contextualize the Pragmatic and Populist Policies of the Chavista Government: An Interview with Steve Ellner, Part II

Steve Ellner is a well-known analyst of Venezuelan and Latin American politics and is a retired professor at the Universidad de

In the second part of the interview, Ellner argues that populist policies also have to be contextualized in order to be objectively analyzed. At the same time, he calls for a critical examination of the assertion that the government’s social programs and labor policies have generated low levels of productivity.

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Another Beer is Possible: Venezuela's Grassroots Take On the Polar Brewing Monopoly

The polar bear is the symbol for Polar enterprises, one of the largest monopolies in Latin America dominating over half the coun

The beer business in Venezuela was strategically designed so that that only three brewing companies could become part it, which with the passing of time became two: that of the Mendoza family– Polar– and that of the Cisneros–Regional/Zulia. But if the course of the revolutionary process has taught us something it is that nothing has been so well designed– by the dominant classes– that the organized people can’t transform it.

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Venezuela Takes Control of Its Border as Bogotá and Caracas Bring Their Cases to UNASUR

President Maduro speaking at the march against paramilitarism in Caracas.

The author argues that chronic shortages in Venezuela are a direct result of cross-border smuggling networks, which are the target of President Maduro's recent anti-contraband offensive in the Colombian-Venezuelan border zone. 

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The Communal Levels of the War

Graffiti on Venezuelan street likens bachacos or resellers, to thieves. (Mision Verdad)

As the Maduro government cracks down on contraband and speculation, communes and communal councils are taking the lead as a key front in the economic war. 

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Chavista Theory of Transition Towards the Communal State

Newly elected President Maduro in 2013. 
(Demotix/ Filippo Florini).

The challenge of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela today is to advance towards a communal state in the context of the ongoing reproduction of speculative capitalism.

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How Deep Does the Crisis Cut?

People ride on a public bus past a street mural of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chávez in Caracas.  (Photo: Ariana Cubillo

VA's Z.C. Dutka analyzes the roots of the current economic crisis in Venezuela and calls on the Maduro government to assume responsibility for the acute difficulties faced by the country's popular classes, which she identifies as a crucial step for further deepening the Bolivarian Revolution.

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Maduro Talks to teleSUR: Guyana Border Dispute, Greece, and Economic War

President Nicolas Maduro with historic map of Gran Colombia. (teleSUR)

From the Peruvian Sun Hall at the Miraflores Palace, teleSUR’s Tatiana Perez and Rey Gomez spoke to President Nicolas Maduro about the Guyana border dispute, Greece, economic war, the BRICS, and more.

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A Marxist Analysis of the Currency Exchange Controls in Venezuela


The author argues that the current foreign exchange control regime has failed to prevent transnational and domestic capital from taking its profits out of the country and that no government policy, no matter how conciliatory towards business, will attract investment in Venezuela as long as the Revolution continues. Only the expropriation of the bourgeois-controlled means of production– the "completion of the revolution"– will solve the present crisis. 

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Chavismo On The Horns Of A Dilemma: Populism And Pragmatism In Venezuela

Mision Mercal, the state mission aimed at distributing subsidised food to Venezuela's poorer sectors emerged as a response

Academic Steve Ellner explores the current political and economic juncture in Venezuela, linking its current difficulties to the tendency to pursue both pragmatic and populist strategies and the failure of the government in certain cases to take advantage of its triumphs over the opposition in order to launch a revolutionary offensive. 


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Venezuela: Maduro and the Market

Nicolas Maduro at a Chavista rally (Credit: Ministry of Communication)

Historian and veteran analyst Steve Ellner argues that President Nicolas Maduro's economic strategy represents an effort to take the middle road between those demanding radical expropriations irrespective of market reality and those calling for currency devaluation,  all as part of a bid to win further breathing room for renewed revolutionary advances  

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Victor Alvarez: “Venezuela’s Currency Controls Are No Longer Justified, and Are Only Used as a Means of Political Domination”

Victor Alvarez (

Leftist economist and former high-ranking government official Victor Alvarez offers a critical perspective on state economic policy under the Bolivarian Revolution, arguing that it has perpetuated a neo-rentier logic via exchange controls and other measures that must be abandoned for socialism to advance.

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Must the Venezuelan Right Back Coups?

Lopez, gas mask in hand, participating in the coup against Chavez while wearing a shirt of the municipality he was mayor of. (Ph

If the US government would stop unconditionally backing golpistas then the international press (and some well-funded NGOs) would follow suit.

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What Is Happening in Venezuela?

Opposition supporters protest against the Venezuelan government and in support of jailed opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and A

Coups and countercoups. Crackdowns. Economic crackups. Seven cents for a tube of toothpaste and $755 for a box of condoms. Falling oil prices. The arrest of an opposition leader. Washington plots. Human Rights Watch tweets. South America rallies.... Greg Grandin talks to a panel of experts to find out what really is going on in Venezuela.

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FAO Representative Debunks Myth of Increased Hunger in Venezuela, Highlights Urban Farming Initiatives

FAO representative for Venezuela, Marcelo Resende (Photo: Miguel Romero)

FAO Representative Marcelo Resende says Venezuela's urban agriculture is playing a key role in improving food sovereignty.

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Raising the Price of Gasoline: An Inflationary Measure for No One’s Benefit

It is estimated that 100,000 barrels of oil and gasoline are smuggled out of Venezuela daily (Credit teleSur)

Deivi Peña argues that increasing the price of gasoline will give the Venezuelan oligarchy an excuse to intenify the economic war by setting off a further spiral of inflation that will harm working class people. 

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