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Features: Economy

Cuban Ex-Guerilla is Consultant for Venezuelan Economic Reform

Orlando Borrego (right) with Che Guevara (archive)

Cuban economist and ex-guerilla combatant Orland Borrego, who fought alongside Che Guevara during the Cuban revolution, will be advising Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro on how to establish a “total re-structuring” of the Venezuelan economy. 

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Is Poverty Still Falling in Venezuela?

A barrio (informally constructed urban community) in Caracas, with the buildings painted under the urban regeneration social pro

This article examines the claim that poverty is rising in Venezuela by examining the country’s latest poverty statistics, as well as exploring current efforts at further poverty reduction.

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The Pros and Cons of Venezuela's Currency Controls

Venezuelan currency policy has seen both successes and failures over the last decade (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/Venezuelanalysis)

Venezuela's currency controls including its fixed exchange rate are among the most controversial of Chavez-era policies. Here is a brief, straight-forward run down of some of the pros and cons of the country's currency regime.

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Where is Venezuela’s Economy Headed?

95% of Venezuela’s foreign export earnings in Venezuela come from oil sales (archive)

What did President Nicolas Maduro’s announcements during Wednesday’s state of the nation address tell us about the Venezuelan government’s economic agenda for 2014?

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The Scarcity Diaries

A roving Mercal, September 2013 (Sibci)

Treasure hunting for milk, confronting local hoarders, overpriced Pringles, toilet paper dilemas, and black market rates that are both economically and politically profitable  for big business... here are some experiences of food and product scarcity on the ground in Venezuela.

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Scarcity and Starvation? Venezuelan Food FAQs

Food products seized from alleged hoarders by the National Guard in June (VTV)

With all the media hype about Venezuela's food shortages this year, I decided to collate a few frequently asked questions about the food situation here, and set out to answer them.

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What the Statistics Tell Us about Venezuela in the Chavez Era

In the lead up to Venezuela’s presidential election earlier this year, the picture painted in most private media was that of a country falling apart. But a brief look at the statistics offers a very different story, one that helps explain why the majority of the Venezuelan people keep re-electing a government that, according to the private media, is driving the country into the ground.

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Revolutionary Democracy in the Economy? Venezuela’s Worker Control Movement and the Plan Socialist Guayana

An outdoor worker assembly in Alcasa, August 2011 (Prensa Alcasa)

In this in-depth investigative analysis, Ewan Robertson evaluates the advances and setbacks of the worker control movement in Venezuela, and what Venezuela's experience in worker control means for the Bolivarian revolution and movements for radical social change worldwide.

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Demystifying Venezuela’s Inflation: The Opposition’s Red Herring

An open air, or roving Mercal, with state produced products in the foreground (Mercal).

In local opposition and international mass media inflation is the buzzword, and because of it, Venezuela is clearly a mess, life is hopeless, and the government has got to go. Yet is inflation really the big evil it’s made out to be? How much does it impact on the lives of Venezuelans? How much worse is it, really, under Chavez, and what is the government trying to do about it and the food situation?

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If Venezuela were Measured by the Majority

What real democracy looks like: A communal council in Merida votes for its electoral commission in July 2010 (Tamara Pearson).

When Newsweek ranked Venezuela last out of 100 countries for “economic dynamism” it had a certain kind of economy and benchmarks in mind. Venezuela is constantly attacked and demonised by U.S based “studies”, “experts”, and “reports”, but what if its economy and political life were to be measured according to the benchmarks of the Venezuelan majority?

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From Agribusiness to Agroecology? An Analysis of Venezuela’s Nationalization of AgroIsleña

A bicyclist passes by an AgroIsleña distribution center (Globovision)

With the nationalization of AgroIsleña, the Venezuelan state has taken an important step in the struggle to bring social and economic factors under greater control of the Venezuelan people and out of the hands of private, profit-driven firms. What is yet to be understood is what ecological factors will be considered as the AgroPatria project moves forward.

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Venezuela's Co-op Boom

To end poverty, put poor people in charge of their livelihood. Venezuela's co-op boom turns the jobless into worker/owners.

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Venezuela’s Cooperative Revolution

Cooperatives are at the center of Venezuela’s new economic model. They have the potential to fulfill a number of the aims of the Bolivarian revolution, including combating unemployment, promoting durable economic development, competing peacefully with conventional capitalist firms, and advancing Chávez’s still-being-defined socialism.

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Poverty Rates In Venezuela: Getting The Numbers Right

Over the past year, the statement that poverty in Venezuela has increased under the government of President Hugo Chávez has appeared in scores of major newspapers, on major television and radio programs. These statements have only rarely been contested or corrected. A careful analysis of Venezuela's poverty rate, though, shows a decline during the Chavez presidency.

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In Venezuela, Oil Sows Emancipation

Seven economic mechanisms of the Chavez government account for the fact that, since 2004 and in spite of the strong growth in oil prices, the non-oil GDP grew significantly faster than the oil GDP, demonstrating the positive impact of oil exports on activities not directly related to crude extraction.

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