After yet another spat over Venezuela’s persistent food shortages, President Maduro and the country’s largest privately held company, Empresas Polar, might finally be making amends.
Chávez’s successor opened the doors of the Miraflores presidential palace Tuesday night to Lorenzo Mendoza, the company’s billionaire boss, to discuss the country’s faltering food supply. Oddly enough, after spending days blaming each other for Venezuela’s barren store shelves, both sides emerged seeming have found a sort of common ground. Continue reading »
Some honeymoon. Barely a month into his presidential term, and the situation facing Nicolas Maduro is decidedly unenviable.
Try as he might to give a show of strength by visiting powerful allies to the south this week, on the domestic front the situation is looking increasingly shaky, with terrible inflation figures released on Thursday. Continue reading »
Violence has erupted in Venezuela after Nicolás Maduro won the narrowest of victories in the weekend’s presidential election, with opposition leader Henrique Capriles questioning the result. John Paul Rathbone, Latin America editor, discusses with deputy emerging markets editor Jonathan Wheatley the implications of the disputed result on the country and investors’ view of it.
Even though he was not on the ballot, Hugo Chávez loomed large in Sunday’s snap Presidential election in Venezuela. But the fact that Henrique Capriles, the opposition leader, managed to capture 49.1 per cent of the vote seems to suggest that economic realities are starting to loom larger for some voters. Continue reading »
So, the chavista revolution continues: interim president Nicolás Maduro has defeated opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski by 7,505,338 votes (50.7 per cent) to 7,270,403 (49.1 per cent) in Venezuela’s presidential election. But as the late Hugo Chávez liked to say in a different context, the revolution continues por ahora (for now). Continue reading »
As Venezuelans make up their minds whether to vote for Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, or the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, recurrent problems like shortages of basic goods, electricity blackouts and relentlessly rising prices continue to complicate day-to-day living. Continue reading »
On the whole, the Hugo Chávez years went well for Polar, Venezuela’s biggest privately owned company, which did solid business despite all the president’s radical socialist rhetoric.
But with presidential elections due on Sunday, campaigning is always an especially sensitive time, with the food and drink giant last week becoming the object of particularly harsh criticism from Chávez’s successor Nicolás Maduro, a former bus driver who wants to ram it home to voters that he’s on the side of the workers, not their beastly capitalist employers. Continue reading »
Although Venezuelans may be having a good laugh about acting president Nicolás Maduro’s comments this week about being visited by Hugo Chávez in the form of “a very little bird”, he does say more sensible things from time to time.
Take his point made earlier this year about it being odd that used cars in Venezuela should cost more than new cars. He’s quite right – there can’t be many other places in the world where that happens. Continue reading »
Whoever Hugo Chávez’s successor is, he will inherit the state oil company, known as PDVSA, in less than optimal conditions.
For all the attempts of Rafael Ramírez, Venezuela’s powerful energy minister, to explain away the negative headlines about PDVSA as slanderous “attacks” on his government, it is not obvious what is especially positive about the fact that its revenues fell last year despite a rise in oil prices. Continue reading »
One of the things Hugo Chavez will be remembered for is his spontaneous, freewheeling style of government. But in his enthusiasm for imitating the late Comandante, down to singing at political rallies despite not quite having the voice for it, his successor Nicolás Maduro might be going a bit too far. Continue reading »
President Hugo Chavez’s death has left many wondering what comes next, but the chief risk is in fact even more unorthodox economic policies and a hardened political stance from the next government rather than a turn back to orthodoxy. Continue reading »
Not by everyone though. On Monday, for example, one outraged newspaper attempted to jolt Venezuelans out of their fixation on the present to remind them how disastrous the whole Amuay affair has been, with the oil-rich country’s gasoline imports from the US apparently having quadrupled since the tragic accident.Continue reading »
The problem may have gone largely unnoticed in Caracas, where everyone is fixated by the ongoing Hugo Chávez drama, but Venezuelans living in the provinces are getting fed up with blackouts that inconvenience their everyday life.
If Hugo Chávez really is as ill as many fear and has to step down from power soon, his designated successor Nicolás Maduro should be worried about this, since electricity failures tend not to play in the ruling party’s favour at elections. Continue reading »
No sooner did Venezuela’s government spring a devaluation last week than critics seized on the move as an IMF-style “neoliberal” reform package, of the kind Hugo Chávez had warned the “fascist” opposition would have implemented had they won presidential elections last year.
Well, the socialist government devalued the currency anyway, as everyone knew they would, but it insists that Venezuela’s absurdly generous (some might say wasteful) petrol subsidies will not be cut – not even for citizens of the US “empire”. Continue reading »
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