Leopoldo Lopez weighed in on the impact falling oil prices are likely to have on the Venezuelan economy. In a series of Tweets sent out today, Lopez expressed his disappointment with what he considers to be the country’s irresponsible and sustainable oil policy, and points to a 2011 proposal he made for handling the country’s oil income.
The current fall in oil prices affects the [already] collapsed Venezuelan economy, which has very little ability to respond. This is not the case with all other oil producing countries, which despite suffering a negative impact due to the fall in prices, have contingency plans prepared. Such is the case with Saudi Arabia, which has saved reserves to finance 20 years worth of budgets. Russia has 400 billion in reserves, so it can finance four years, and Noway – which saves much more than it spends – allows it to have the ability to finance the costs of several generations to come [even if] prices continue to be low.
Lopez also pointed out that it is the people who suffer, while “corrupt government officials are enjoying all the stolen money”.
Lopez’s entire written statement regarding current oil prices and the Venezuelan economy can be found here, in Spanish.
Capriles Also Weighs In on Oil
Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles also spoke on the oil price situation today, saying:
We are the country that is most affected by the fall of oil prices in the whole world. Even though Nicolas [Maduro] irresponsibly denies this fact and says that our country is safe, our people will continue to suffer and the consequences will be terrible.
Capriles also considered it “shameful” that Venezuela’s only strategy to deal with the falling oil prices appears to be “begging” OPEC countries to reduce oil production:
How shameful! That’s their big plan, after they destroyed, politicized and ruined our oil industry. An industry that set an example for the rest of the world, and that today is barely operational. Such has been the destruction, that thanks to this government we’ve had to import not only oil, but also some of its derivatives like gasoline, diesel and lubricants.
Nearly 90% of the money coming into Venezuela comes from oil sales.
Beach Shootout Kills 5
A shootout at the Valle Seco beach in scenic Higuerote, Miranda state left five people dead overnight. According to El Universal, the shootout occurred between two rival gangs, who apparently unwittingly decided to go to the same beach at the same time.
The confrontation happened at around 2:30 AM this morning.