Puebla, Mexico, August 10, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s national constituent assembly called Wednesday for an end to the country’s dependence on oil, and a diversification of the economy.
The head of the constituent assembly (ANC) Delcy Rodriguez highlighted Venezuela’s dependence on oil as one of the biggest challenges facing the country, describing it as an economic “straight jacket”.
“We are committed to the diversification of the economy to break with the rentier model,” Rodriguez said.
She continued, “This is a cultural problem facing Venezuela and we must overcome it, that is why the role of the constituent assembly is fundamental.”
The comments were made during the first joint meeting of the ANC with the National Council for a Productive Economy, which has been touted as an effort to reform the country's economy and boost productivity.
Rodriguez didn’t go into details of how the ANC could promote economic diversification, but emphasised that oil cannot continue to be the basis of the economy.
“The drop in oil prices is used as a tool of political attack,” she said, accusing the US of being behind an “economic war” to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
Reiterating long-standing claims from Maduro, she said Venezuela had become the victim of economic sabotage, which creates "speculation that translates into un-productivity," to "annihilate the productive forces [of Venezuela]”.
Venezuela is currently facing its worst economic downturn in at least two decades, with soaring inflation and scarcity of consumer goods ranging from rice and cornflour to mechanical parts and medicines. Last week, the country’s currency, the Bolivar, was trading on the black market at 18,982.93 to the dollar after losing twice its own value in two months. Since then, the bolivar has jolted back upwards, and is now at BsF10,387 to the dollar, according to dolartoday.com.