July 27, 2017

Sadly Bolivar did not free Venezuela from its natural resource curse

Sir, Gideon Long writes about the immense significance Simon Bolívar has for all Venezuelans. “Bitter enemies invoke spirit of Bolívar as vote looms” July 27.

As a Venezuelan I can only agree with most of it but, unfortunately, in October of 1829, Bolivar ordered the continuance of what had been decreed in 1783 by Carlos III of Spain, namely that all precious metals and “juices of the earth” reserves belonged to the Republic.

With that Bolivar guaranteed the Venezuelan governments would not depend exclusively on the citizens and that, sooner or later, some would capture the government to steal it blind.

If we Venezuelans are to gain real independence all our net oil revenues have to be shared out entirely to the citizens.

Had that been achieved earlier, the current disaster would not have had a chance to happen.

It is a great tragedy that freeing Venezuela from the curse of centralized oil revenues is still not on the agenda of anyone the most important opposition leaders.