From the Editors of VenEconomy
On Friday, President Hugo Chavez’s last funeral services are being held; however, as announced by the government, his remains will be displayed at the Capilla Ardiente chapel, located in a military facility in Caracas, for seven more days. Vice-President Nicolás Maduro will be sworn-in on Friday as interim president by the National Assembly (AN), after which it is expected the announcement of an election within 30 consecutive days after Chavez’s death. Nonetheless, there are some people who claim that the Constitution won’t be respected as the voting process will be set within 45-60 days.
Regardless of the date to go to the ballots, the reality is that people will have to choose the person who will rule their destinies for the hard times to come in a very short period of time. Also regardless of who gets elected, Nicolás Maduro, Miranda stare Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski, or any other candidate, will have to face problems of all kinds.
In economic matters, they will find a battered PDVSA, the state-run oil company. No matter how high oil prices are, PDVSA will not be able to keep the proper expenditure level to serve the purposes established by Hugo Chávez. The access to external financing, often requested by the leader, will not be as expeditious not even with the nation’s Chinese business partners.
Inflation seems uncontainable, even though relatively low figures were released in February as a result of a good weather and other seasonal factors that pushed farm products lower, among them, tomatoes and onions.
The problem of food shortage will not be solved in the short-term either due to, among other reasons, collapsed seaports, lack of dollars, lack of raw materials and other indispensable assets for the production at national industries.
Social problems as housing, a collapsed healthcare system, joblessness and high crime rates will become source of pressure and protests.
And let’s not forget that all this comes along with a politically divided country in two large chunks.
Whoever gets elected for the next 6-year term has a big challenge ahead of him and, measures to be taken will be hard for most Venezuelans that were talked out by propaganda from the government that stated everything was buoyant and growing.
VenEconomy does not believe that Maduro has the vision to apply urgent remedial actions needed to turn around the social economic direction of Venezuela. And in spite of the fact that we get the feeling both opposition party Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD) and Capriles Radonski know well which road to take, it will be very hard for them to expose the chain of lies that fed the nation over the past 14 years and to sort out the restoration of the democratic institutionality through a voting process.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