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Analysis: Economy

The Roots of the Current Situation in Venezuela


Venezuelanalysis's Gregory Wilpert breaks down the causes of the current difficulties in Venezuela, arguing that they can be traced to the currency control measures implemented in 2003 - designed to defend the government against a capitalist attack on its currency.

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Venezuela at an Impasse: Crisis and Community Solutions

"Make socialism fly".

With parliamentary elections fast approaching, VA's Z.C. Dutka looks at Venezuela's current economic crisis and the emerging responses from below, examining grassroots initiatives to build a new productive economy in the oil-exporting nation, one based on solidarity and participatory democracy. 

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Iturriza vs. the "Young Communists": Political Responsibility and Leftist Critique in Venezuela

Graffiti in Mérida, Venezuela (Max Berman)

In yet another heated controversy on the chavista left, Venezuelan Culture Minister Reinaldo Iturriza mounts a critique of certain "young communists" for their leftwing attacks against the Bolivarian government. In response, one of the young communists accuses Iturriza of red-baiting in a bid to silence debate around the government's "reactionary economic adjustments". 

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Ernesto Villegas: Bachaqueo is the Free Market in its Worst Dimension

Ernesto Villegas (Photo: AVN)

The renowned Venezuelan journalist and politician Eneresto Villegas discusses bachaqueo, or the widespread practice of reselling food items, from a Marxist perspective.

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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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