Maduro took to Twitter this afternoon to advertise his Programa de Recuperacion Economica [Economic Recovery Program], a set of broad measures that he claims will finally solve the country’s economic crisis.
The president posted the following message:
With the Economic Recovery Program we are moving forward to create the equilibriums [sic] necessary to have a stable and healthy economy. We will continue to fight all of the vices that affect the people’s peace.
While it is not entirely clear what Maduro meant by fighting “vice”, it is likely that he was referring to economic activities that his regime maintains help to exacerbate the crisis, like the sale of goods or currency in the black market.
Among the pillars of the Economic Recovery Program is the Bolivar Soberano, the currency now in circulation that replaced the Bolivar Fuerte. When the Bolivar Soberano launched in late August, it did so sans five zeroes in an attempt to hide the country’s hyperinflationary crisis.
One month into the Economic Recovery Program, El Nacional interviewed store owners in the Chacao municipal market in Caracas about how their businesses are doing. One of them told the newspaper:
We’re going to have to close our businesses. We can’t keep going with this crisis.
A woman who was shopping in the market told the newspaper that the removal of the five zeroes from the Bolivar Soberano was meaningless, because hyperinflation meant that the prices would skyrocket into the millions in just a few months’ time. She said:
Nothing has changed here. People are living a lie. They’ll see that in December we’re going to have three zeroes again, and nothing will change.
Almagro Calls Zapatero “Imbecile” For Doing Regime’s Bidding
Organization of American States (OAS) secretary general Luis Almagro called Spanish diplomat Jose Luis Zapatero an “imbecile” for wading once again into Venezuela politics on the Maduro regime’s side.
Almagro was speaking in a televised interview on Colombia’s NTN24 channel when he was asked to comment on Zapatero’s recent advocacy for the regime. Almagro said:
Mr. Zapatero has a huge problem when it comes to understanding thing (…) My advice, and this is just advice: don’t be an imbecile. This is important, good advice. I think it can really helpful.
Zapatero is a controversial figure in Venezuela because of what many observe to be his pro-regime slant. He has made several attempts at facilitating negotiations between the Maduro regime and the opposition, but all of his efforts have failed partially due to the fact that he is regarded so poorly by many Venezuelans.
Zapatero arrived in Venezuela this week on a mission to “start a new round of dialogue” between the two sides, according to Spanish media.
On September 15 of this year, Zapatero said during a press conference that “economic sanctions” had “a lot to do with” the Venezuelan migrant crisis. Zapatero’s statement is counterfactual, since the migrant crisis began long before the most severe sanctions–which only target regime officials and specific Venezuelan bonds, and not large swaths of the Venezuelan economy–came into effect.
Regime Touts Plan Vuelta a la Patria a Success
The Maduro regime announced today that a total of 3,721 Venezuelans have been repatriated through an initiative called Plan Vuelta a la Patria [Return to the Homeland Plan], which arranges and pays for the air fare of any Venezuelan living abroad who decides that they want to move back to the country.
Despite the regime’s assertion that the Vuelta a la Patria is a success, the figure represents a minuscule 0.002% of the 2.3 million Venezuelans who have left the country since 2014. That figure becomes even smaller when taking into account all Venezuelans who have left since Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999.
Earlier this week, Maduro said during a televised address that he was going to ask the United Nations to give him $500 million so that he could buy a fleet of airliners to bring back every Venezuelan who has left the country and now wants to return.
Precipitated by the unprecedented socio-economic collapse that Maduro has presided over since coming to power in 2013, the Venezuelan migrant crisis ranks among the most severe in Latin American history.
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