The economic war represents the struggle for control over income from petroleum between a government that maintains growing social investment (presently the major part of the budget) and an opposition led by economic groups that have lived off imports with dollars earned from the sale of petroleum.
The dispute is over the dollars directed towards social investment which, during the Fourth Republic, was a perk for economic groups dedicated to imports, which they aspire that it return and for which they have, as an instrument, the parallel (black) market of foreign currencies and shortages.
The parallel market marks a type of exchange in which the state does not intervene despite having 97% of the foreign currencies under its control. This exchange rate is not representative of the real value of the dollar which, combined with the invariability in this type of exchange in spite of the economic announcements by the government, makes it respond exclusively to the value that the destabilising groups want to impose. This ends up imposing an increase in prices through the chains of commercialisation.
It can be clearly seen how the parallel market is an instrument of the economic war that does not even respond to the tradition of equally traditional markets that are nervous about economic policy announcements.
Our (parallel market) – and we must be clear about it – is a destabilising instrument.
The other instrument is scarcity through a war of nerves. This allows any product – on which the media impose a matrix of scarcity – with a considerable volume of supply to disappear from the shelves, given that the people stock up double or triple the products.
The steps announced by the economic authorities through the enabling law will decrease the parallel market’s value.
Translated by Rohan Chatterjee for Venezuelanalysis.