Interviews from Quito – Economic strides and challenges in Venezuela

Today our host Gregory Wilpert interviews Alfred Serrano, a Spanish economist who has served as an advisor to the governments of Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela and is also the author of “The Economic Thought of Hugo Chavez”. The discussion touches on Venezuela’s main economic problems, particularly inflation and food shortages, and their causes. These must be seen in the context of enormous strides made rapidly over the last 15 years, says Serrano –the resolution of a good part of the foreign debt; the recovery of sovereignty; the recovery of strategic sectors; the democratization of consumption; a very low unemployment rate; the reduction of poverty and inequality– and of capitalism’s need to make a profit in this new context. Other points of discussion were smuggling; plunging oil prices; the new measures recently introduced by President Nicolas Maduro, such as the free-floating exchange rate, tax reform, incentives for productivity, and a financial policy without “bubbles;” and the ways in which Venezuela has gotten out of the neoliberal labyrinth and must now reinvent its internal economic order. Alfredo Serrano also highlights the fact that Hugo Chavez was an avid reader and mentions that a key book for him, forgotten by many, was Julius Nyerere’s work on the global South. From this work of the former Tanzanian independence leader and president, Chavez took a key concept of his own thought and practice related to geopolitical transition. teleSUR


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