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  HOME | Venezuela (Click here for more Venezuela news)

VenEconomy: What can Venezuela Expect this Labor Day?

From the Editors of VenEconomy

This Labor Day will be laden with uncertainties and unexpected situations for Venezuela.

While nearly the entire population has to put up with massive blackouts, long queues to buy some food and medicines, or touring hospitals and morgues nationwide; another important part of the population awaits the presidential announcements of President Nicolás Maduro in fear and anguish.

On May 1, many Venezuelans, especially workers and entrepreneurs, will be curious to find out what the new plan to revive the economy from Maduro is about as announced on a national TV and radio broadcast on April 22.

Being 2015 an election year, this "plan" can mean anything that his feverish revolutionary mind can conceive; what is for certain is that none of the measures to be announced will be favorable for the development of the country or will improve the quality of life of the population.

At least this can be deducted from what he has been insinuating from that very same day. He is likely to continue tightening controls, to insist on carrying out inspections to the private sector and on the renewed threats of prison time to those he says are the authors of an "economic war" he made up to justify the failure of the so-called "Plan for the Homeland."

Without anyone having to take a wild guess, he is expected to continue with the manipulation and distortion of facts such as, for example, saying that he would not give more dollars to Fedécamaras, a business association that neither requires, nor has requested, nor has been given foreign currency. The purpose of this statement is to demonize this business association, selling the idea that the business sector is to blame for the drought of foreign currency, the shortages issue and the economic crisis.

The own words of Maduro can serve as a sample: "I have an enabling law in my hand and I’m going to use it forcefully to protect the people, to provoke the necessary economic turnaround," and then he defended his administration and pointed out that he is not "sitting back and doing nothing," because if this was so the population would not have "any food in their homes."

Also, as is now customary, Maduro will announce a new increase in the minimum wage (possibly between 40% and 50% to compensate for accumulated inflation); and he may even announce a general increase in wages. Or as some analysts fear, he may nationalize the private banking sector, order new expropriations of private companies and boost the criminalization of alleged economic "crimes" through an enabling law.

This way Maduro will keep mastering two of the most successful tasks carried out by the "revolution of the 21st century":

One of them is to devalue the private sector of the economy by applying anti-business policies that undermine their capacity of production, of creating decent and sustainable jobs and of paying salaries that would ensure their workers a decent quality of life. Which means bad news for employers, employees and the society in general.

The other is to continue breaking the economy and destroying democracy; to persist in an inefficient and corrupt management of public companies; to fail to comply with the constitutional mandate of ensuring life, health, education, food and housing to citizens; to misinform the population by denying them to know the monthly figures of the most basic indicators of the economy and to fail to fulfill the pledges as it has done over the past 16 years.

In a nutshell, we can expect more or worse of the same failure of government during this Labor Day. Yet anything goes in this Orwellian world where Venezuela is slipping right into the hands of Big Brother.

VenEconomy has been a leading provider of consultancy on financial, political and economic data in Venezuela since 1982.

Click here to read this in Spanish


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