By Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt / Gonzalo Gomez, May 3rd 2014
Gonzalo Gomez, a founder of alternative Venezuelan news website Aporrea.org, and a member of Socialist Tide, a critical left current within the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, gives his view on the current political moment and possible future trajectories for the Bolivarian revolution.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced new initiatives yesterday to address current economic problems, stating that guaranteeing the population’s universal welfare is a key aim behind policymaking.
Yesterday, President Nicolas Maduro announced a 30% increase in the minimum wage and pensions. For the first time, the Bolivarian government’s May Day increase is less than annual inflation, which was at 57.3% in February, with March experiencing 4.1% inflation.
Nate Silver, who became famous for his use of polling data to accurately project U.S. elections, launched a new blog – FiveThirtyEight.com last month. It’s been off to a rough start, Paul Krugman wrote soon after its launch, “[S]loppy and casual opining with a bit of data used, as the old saying goes, the way a drunkard uses a lamppost — for support, not illumination.” I leave it to the reader to decide whether the FiveThirtyEight article on March 17 by Dorothy Kronick on Venezuela fits this description.
A third currency exchange system has been introduced in Venezuela in efforts to stabilise the value of the bolivar, called Sicad II, which will facilitate daily currency auctions at prices determined by “supply and demand”, according to Vice President for the Economic Area Rafael Ramirez.
Inflation in Venezuela was high in November, but has also consistently decelerated since October. Nevertheless, President Nicolas Maduro said that next year the government will “revise” key aspects of the economy in order guarantee that it is “at the service of the people”.