PSUV Leader Navarro Faces Possible Suspension for Backing ex-Venezuelan Minister Giordani

Prominent Venezuelan socialist Hector Navarro could face suspension from the PSUV for publicly supporting former planning minister Jorge Giordani.

By Z.C. DUTKA

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Hector Navarro, longtime PSUV figure and ex minister of electricity. (agencies)
Hector Navarro, longtime PSUV figure and ex minister of electricity. (agencies)
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San Francisco, June 25th 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - A leading figure of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Hector Navarro could face suspension from the party for publicly supporting former planning minister Jorge Giordani.

A controversial letter published by Giordani made headlines last week after the economic “architect” was dismissed from his post along with four others in a cabinet shakeup directed by president Nicolas Maduro. Giordani’s letter gave detailed examples of the ways in which he believes the Maduro administration failed to heed his council, thereby expediting the current economic crisis. 

The ex-minister had held his post almost without interruption since the election of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez in 1999.

“It's painful and alarming to see a president failing to convey leadership, but trying to affirm himself by repeating, without due coherence, proposals like those of Chavez,” Giordani wrote. His dismissal, he warned, signified a “clearing of the path to re-install capitalist financial mechanisms that satisfy the attempts to recapture petroleum income via the financial route” in the Venezuelan government.

Maduro alluded to Giordani’s comments in a televised cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “There’s no excuse for anyone’s betrayal of the revolutionary project…of the trust Comandante [Hugo] Chavez left us,” he said.

As the right wing repeats the ex-minister’s criticisms of Maduro, many pro-government supporters were alarmed at his indiscreet accusations and agreed they represented a kind of betrayal. Still others from the left are calling for the ex-minister’s claims to be taken more seriously.

“Is Giordani a traitor because, for example, he denounced the allocation of dollars to ghost businesses and proposed a course of action to impede its continued occurrence?” wrote Hector Navarro yesterday, ex-minister of electricity and member of the PSUV's national council.

“I believe we are becoming distracted from the truly important issue; will there be answers to the denouncements made by Giordani? Will we conform to calling him a traitor and consequently disregard…. those business deals happening against the interest of the republic?” 

Navarro published his response on aporrea.org, a pro-revolution news site that has been the center for debate since the release of Giordani’s letter last Wednesday. Hours after its publication, he received word from the PSUV's national council that he will face an inquiry by the party’s disciplinary council to determine his possible suspension as a formal member. 

Meanwhile the communist party of Venezuela (PCV), which represents a smaller but still influential sector of government supporte, released the following statement yesterday morning; 

“The PCV does not join the unilateral and preemptive chorus disqualifying the opinions of professor Giordani. We also reject the refrain of those who believe each of them to be an absolute truth. We consider it an opportunity for debate in regards to the political, social, and economic situation… an opportunity that should be seized, not discarded.”

Eleazar Diaz Rangel, director of the independent newspaper Ultimas Noticias, wrote Sunday that his suspicions were aroused by a lack of self-criticism expressed in Giordani’s letter. “Why, when charging the government with all of these grave errors, does he not assume responsibility for any of the mistakes in the political economy?” he asked readers. “Is it that his ‘revolutionary loyalty’ prevents him from accepting his role in any of those wrong turns?” 

Rangel went on to ask why the ex-minister chose this moment to make his opinions known, since, “He was fully aware of the situation in the country; the economic war, the effects of the guarimbas [violent protests] over the past three months… the threats from Washington and other centers of power abroad.” 

A message from Wall Street did even more to fan the flames. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch showed their approval in a recent report for the decreasing influence of Giordani, whom they referred to as the leader of the “radical Marxist wing” of Venezuela’s economy. The US financial institution also lauded a purported swing toward more “pragmatic” economics within Maduro’s cabinet.

Giordani was considered the engineer for the multi-tiered currency control system which fixed exchange rates in efforts to protect national reserves from inflation and capital flight. Critics believe the system facilitated misappropriation of preferential currency exchange allocations among business owners. Inflation rates have increased significantly since Maduro took office. 

Earlier this month the vice president of economy, Rafael Ramirez, appointed by Maduro in October, announced to international investors in London that the multi-tiered currency system would be scrapped as part of an upcoming economic reform. Further details have yet to be revealed. 

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