At the core of a somewhat dull discussion on Venezuela’s financial sustainability the failure of the opposition narrative appears. The panel counts, of course, with Francisco Rodriguez, on a secondary role Jaime Reusche (Vice President and Senior Analyst, Sovereign Risk Group, Moody’s Investors Services) and with a surprise appearance we get Alejandro Velasco, (Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies, New York University)
Just to give you some context on what’s happening here. F-Rod goes on saying that the picture is not that dire. That the government has been “rationing” its dollars substantially. Basically the same thing we have been reading. Nothing new. The debate flows into oil prices. Nothing substantive. Rodriguez goes down an slippery slope by arguing that only if oil goes to zero then Venezuela would default. I don’t want to dwell in how weak that argument is but I just want to emphasize that I found it appalling.
Then it all shifts to the Hausmann conundrum on the ethics of the debt service and arguments of why and why not Venezuela would default. Again, nothing new. When I am about to just say “screw these guys” Alejandro Velasco performs a hat trick and asks:
I am actually do curious about what the ‘model’ is? […] Venezuela is a petro-state. (47:00)
And then here it collapses all that poorly constructed narrative on how we need to change the model. Pretty much every oppo spokesperson from Borges, to Torrealba, to Muchacho to Guevara, to Machado have argued that, implying that it is socialism which has failed. I am not here to argue whether there is truth on that. What I am here to say is that Venezuela is not, it has never been a Socialist country. It has been a petro-state. Plain and simple. Look it up in the dictionary and I bet Venezuela is given as an example.
Chavismo has lot more in common with AD’s governments than anything else. Same bad policies. Same fear and that bragging on how they knew “el pueblo” better.
And here is my beef with oppo spokesperson. When you construct a narrative in something so evidently wrong, it is built on a house of cards. A more powerful narrative is to say that Chavismo is nothing more than a really bad sequel of the last 60 years of policy making in this country and we would like to build something new. Something fresh. Something that leads to a salsa style tropical modernity.
A state of justice with more dancing and tastier food. Sort of.