August 10, 2015

Surprisingly many of those who could observe it from a distance, still fell for Chavez’ Banana 21st Century Socialism.

Sir, I refer to Andres Schipani’s “FT Big Read: New oil order: We are terrorized by the drop in oil prices”, August 10 2015. It is a good report but I must make two points.

First it sort of supposes that a country, during an incredible oil boom with prices over ten times those which the previous government faced, and where these oil revenues represents over 96 percent of all exports, and these all go into government coffers, is a system that has a chance to function in a sustainable way. It cannot!

Second, it mentions “the world’s cheapest petrol” and it talks about “hundreds of million dollars invested on social programmes. Less than 1 US$ cent per liter is not “cheap”, it is a giveaway… and the cost of that giveaway, when calculated at the international market price of petrol, is higher than all Chavez’ and Maduro’s social programs put together.

When Schipani mentions “The ruling Socialist party”, I hear most European Socialist parties trying to make the case of that brand of socialism having nothing to do with theirs. It would have been more helpful for the Venezuelans, if they had argued so fifteen years ago.