Venezuela’s new strategy is emerging as a result of the United States’ obsessive plan to topple the Bolivarian revolution at all costs. An obsession steeped in aggression, violence, threats of invasion and paroxysmal behaviour that led to the frustrated attempt on the life of the president.
Luis Manuel Arce
In Venezuela, a game of life or death is being played out between the government of President Nicolás Maduro and US military and civil intelligence.
The US goal is to topple the Bolivarian leadership, including the military command loyal to the late Chávez and Venezuela’s entire administration. The frustrated attempt on the life of the leader (and his entourage) and the thwarted Operation Cain, whose aim it was to assassinate Chavist leaders from the grassroots to the very institutions of state including the country’s National Constituent Assembly form part of this objective.
One of the most frequently employed methods, perfected by US intelligence agencies and stock exchange experts, is the economic one, under the pretext that this is what causes the most damage to Venezuela’s government and is the most productive arena in which to bring about domestic chaos, encourage popular discontent and implement any action that fuels violent internal revolt. This, of course, justifies the plan of military aggression that is endorsed by the OAS.
A deep understanding of that very real scenario along with intelligence evidence have led the Bolivarian government to adopt in addition to policies ensuring military protection, novel measures aimed at counteracting the enemy’s economic offensive, the main challenge for President Nicolás Maduro and his group of advisors
The first thing that stands out in the current scenario is the fact that the Bolivarian counterintelligence services seem to have found more effective methods for protecting their economy and creating difficulties for opponents of the regime responsible for bringing about the shortages, the exchange rate and price mismanagement, the inflation, the low purchasing power of wages and all the other misfortunes that the country has suffered at their hands to date.
Measures taken in the field of finance and currency – which are key in destroying the counterrevolutionary plan (regards the economy) to drain the government of its resources, thwart production and block the trade especially in oil and other basic raw materials that fuels the nation – form part of this economic counteroffensive plan.
In a move that his opponents have had to acknowledge as effective, Maduro’s government is implementing, step by step, calmly but tirelessly, a set of very promising economic measures which most Venezuelans should heed and support because of their significance for everyone.
Summarizing and simplifying its complexities, it can be confirmed that repeal of the foreign currency exchange regime act, at the time a measure urgently needed to stop capital flight, is the spearhead opening the way for everything else, including the battle against corruption – that ugly and destructive scourge (which must be wiped out) and which control of the exchange rate greatly exacerbated.
The trading of currency under the table is over with and now any individual or legal entity can buy and sell their currencies freely through a network of foreign exchange bureaus in the country; aside from which deregulation with respect to the exchange of US dollars is allowing Venezuelan family members residing abroad to send money home – a fact which is almost always accompanied by a healthy money market and little state involvement.
The accounting problem that led to the large number of zeros on the right of each note of the so called strong bolivar (bolívar fuerte) will facilitate accounting, improve the availability of cash and be an important psychological factor for holders of sovereign bolívars because their real purchasing power will be more stable and reduce the frequency of mandatory almost constant wage increases whose aim it has been to alleviate the negative effects of devaluation caused by black market currency.
In that sense, the decision to use the petro, a virtual currency, as a backup – to protect the sovereign bolivar from fluctuations and the monetary reconversion from the war being waged against it – has been masterful.
The strategy that is stifling opponents is the ploy to ‘fuse’, for want of a better term, the value of the petro to another tangible value such as the international price of a barrel of oil, which guarantees, among other things, stability in the base value of the sovereign bolivar regardless of the considerable variations that occur in the listed price of the fuel.
It constitutes a major check on inflation which should no longer be rampant but controlled.
This strategy has allowed government experts to set the value of a petro at 360 million strong bolivars, equivalent to 3,600 sovereign bolivars and place wages at a half petro (or 50 sovereign bolivars, equivalent to 1,800 strong bolivars) with one added stipulation – that its dollar exchange rate remain constant and that it not fall victim to devaluation, as has been the case until now under the exchange rate control regime.
This involves considerable financial engineering regarding a number of secondary processes which feed into the system and will be implemented and perfected along the way, like the process that is already underway regarding the system for the distribution and pricing of petrol and other fuels and the vehicle census, which is placing the Colombian mafias in a predicament and the paramilitaries that protect them.
It also implies a significant diversification in revenue sources with the aim that oil should cease to be the main one and that the country open itself up to mining coltan and gold, among other minerals, and further exploit industrial diversification and farming.
Coltan, composed of columbite (col) and tantalite (tal), is a crucial mineral used in the microelectronics, telecommunications and space industries, which on the international market commands a price ranging from 40 to 130 dollars per kilogram, and Venezuela is on the way to producing some 50 tons per month with the added stipulation that, being a crucial and scarce mineral, the State is the only one authorized to market it.
Of course, this economic and financial revolution is not a panacea, nor will it be the solution for an economy hit hard by the ruthless war waged on Chavism, but it is an extremely important step in seizing, destroying and depriving the counterrevolutionaries of instruments – some even created by Venezuela’s government itself – that have made it easier for Bolivarian opponents to wage this war. There will be many hurdles to clear along the way. (PL)
(Translated by Nigel Conibear – DipTrans IoLET MCIL – firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay