We do not know who writes Maduros's scripts but the last one was a dozy. In his constant search for a scapegoat for his constant piling up of mistakes Nicolas Maduro has decided last week that FEDECAMARAS was guilty of the "economic war" and his retaliation was to cut out their supply of dollars. There are two concurrent ways to look at this.
First, Maduro is an idiot.
Fedecamaras is a grouping of associations of production and commerce whose sole function is to provide a voice for the private sector in discussions with the government when economic and social policies are drawn, in conjunction with other sectors of society, in particular trade unions. This happens in every civilized and democratic country, except in Venezuela. Here, any, ANY organization that shows signs of not toying the line set by the regime is considered an enemy and treated as such.
Certainly in the past Fedecamaras has done its share of political mistakes but the people in charge now have nothing to do with those in charge ten years ago because, you see, in the private sector it is normal to renew people whereas in the regime renewal comes strictly from attrition through death or purge. Nevertheless the regime's mental clocks have stopped in 2002, because it is the only thing that looks remotely like a revolutionary epic. No Bay of Pigs here, no blockade, no missiles.
Fedecamaras does not produce anything but ideas, advice, consulting and has absolutely no reason to ever ask for controlled dollars to the regime. Thus it president, Jorge Roig, promptly underlined: Fedecamaras never asked for dollars. Hence, Maduro is a dumbass (1)
Unless you go to second, the secret agenda conspiracy.
If we assume Maduro is not a total dumbass, a belief every day harder to hold, that Maduro is actually the mere mouth piece of the more radical wing of chavismo then his announcement of depriving Fedecamaras of dollars must contain a message.
The real target in Maduro's message is the private sector that is in dire need of dollars to keep importing raw material and producing. Regular readers of this blog know all about it. I have written on an on about the useless meeting with the regime, how this one refuses to release the necessary dollars required to import raw materials that are needed by producing actors, etc, etc. The problem of Venezuela is that the private sector is all tied up and CANNOT produce and the public sector has reached levels of ineptness and corruption that even if dollars were channeled there it cannot produce either.
I am not writing this because I read papers. I am writing this because it is MY everyday experience, at my workplace, with my customers and my providers. If anything I water down a lot what I write about because if I were to write everything down readers would think I am a fool, I am crazy or I would endanger myself.
What Maduro has probably announced is that since dollars are scarce, since those cashing on corruption are not going to reduce their intake, the only business that are going to receive dollars are those that publicly will denounce Fedecamaras, the US, etc, and discretely deal with the regime to share the profits with the corrupt officials/military that expect to keep cashing in as much as before the oil prices fell, without working for it. There are already schemes set up where the government will import directly certain items, become the sole legal importer and the private sector will have to buy from them. Channeling corruption into a few hands we can call that. And I can assure you that it will only make inflation worse through yet more regime ineptness.
That is probably all.
Nothing else will change.
1) for those who can read Spanish I ma posting here the Roig official reply.
Sector Empresarial se pronuncia:
• No es amenazando a empresarios como se construye un país.
• No hay un kilo de alimentos que se movilice en el país sin autorización del Gobierno a través de SADA. Es el Estado el responsable de lo que sucede.
• La única guerra económica que existe en el país la lleva adelante quien maneja el monopolio de los dólares.
• El 50% de las actividades de las industrias están paralizadas.
• Es el modelo económico al cual se aferra obstinadamente el Gobierno quien destruye el aparato productivo.
• A pesar de los obstáculos, a pesar de las amenazas, de la persecución, el empresariado sigue apostando por Venezuela.
• Denunciamos: Empresarios del sector agroalimentario son amenazados con cárcel por parte del Gobierno nacional por alertar sobre la realidad del campo.
• Al menos 57 empresarios han sido detenidos en todo el territorio nacional.
• La OIT urge al Gobierno para que adopte medidas tangibles en materia de diálogo social y consultas tripartitas.
• Dictamen de la OIT declara de "suma gravedad" caso de Venezuela, el cual será nuevamente discutido en la OIT en junio de este año.
• Nos sentimos amenazados y perseguidos. Declaraciones del Presidente nos aleja más del diálogo.
• Pedimos respeto a nuestros Derechos constitucionales y sindicales.
• Venezuela está sometida a sanciones de ley en caso de incumplir peticiones de la OIT.
No es atacando a la empresa privada, no es encarcelando a empresarios o líderes gremiales que lograrán enrumbarnos por la senda del progreso!
Jorge Roig, Presidente de Fedecámaras