Caracas, June 30th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Wednesday the Venezuelan government authorized the release of nearly US $100 million dollars to private companies involved in strategic sectors of the national economy. Speaking yesterday from the state-owned ALBA Caracas Hotel (formerly Caracas Hilton), Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua thanked those members of the private food, pharmaceutical, education, and health industries, among others, who had accepted the “rules of the game imposed by the Venezuelan people.”
According to Jaua, “the strength of the Venezuelan people, the political stability we’ve secured, and the economy that we’ve consolidated are the elements that allow us the confidence and security needed to establish relationships of harmony and trust with private firms.”
A total of 33 companies with ties to international capital participated in Wednesday’s event, organized by the government’s Exchange Control Commission (CADIVI). Many of these firms, such as Alimentos Heinz, C.A. and Kimberly Clark Venezuela, C.A, are subsidiaries of international firms [See: www.heinz.com and www.kimberly-clark.com].
These firms argue, and are currently supported by government policy, that they require CADIVI issued dollars in order to maintain productivity. These dollars allow them to secure the inputs they need to produce goods and services, as well as to balance between investments and returns that keeps them involved in the Venezuelan economy.
“In Venezuela there is space for private investment, be it national or international,” said Jaua. “The Bolivarian revolution needs private investment, but only when this investment respects the will of the people and the defense of our national sovereignty,” he affirmed.
CADIVI President Manuel Barroso, who also spoke at Wednesday’s event, told those in attendance that the Venezuelan government is, and “will always be willing to work with those in the private sector…who work on a daily basis to produce the good and services needed to satisfy the Venezuelan people’s needs.”
“As capitalism suffers a worldwide crisis, our revolutionary and Bolivarian government has not allowed, and will never allow, international capital’s crisis to affect our people’s access to education, health, culture, food, and medicine” said Barroso, highlighting currency control mechanisms as part of the government’s strategy to maintain a slow but steady economic growth.
Venezuela currently maintains a two-tiered official exchange rate of Bs 4.3 per US dollar for most imports and Bs 2.6 per US dollar for items and industries deemed “priorities” by the national government, including food, medicine, and educational materials.
According to Barroso, the Venezuelan government has authorized the use of some US$ 12.5 billion dollars to finance imports in the first six months of 2011.