March 07, 2013

FT, are you making fun of us Venezuelans?

Sir, as you well know, and as Francisco Toro writes opposite you in “Chávez leaves a legacy of economic disarray”, “96 percent of Venezuela´s hard currency earnings pass through state coffers”, March 7.

And yet you title an editorial “After Chávez, a chance for progress” and subtitle it “President´s death marks the end of a retrograde era”. Sir, are you making fun of us? Do you think that the Financial Times could even remotely live up to its motto “Without fear and without favor”, if 96 percent of UK´s hard currency earning passed through your governments coffers?

Indeed, we citizens can have more or less luck with the quality of the oiligarchs and petrocrats we have to live with, but such a concentration of economic resources makes it absolutely impossible to break out of a retrograde era. Any evidences of it, are just temporary Potemkin illusions, and we certainly do not need FT lending support to the notion that just a change of government would suffice.

In a land like Venezuela, our only hope for getting out of our abyss is by diluting the power of our oil revenues, by sharing it out directly to all the citizens, and who of course can then be partially taxed on that income.