By Elias Jaua Milano
Beyond the political confrontation and the permanent actions of aggression and military threats from abroad, the impact of these on daily life is what anguishes and preoccupies our people today. Hyperinflation paired with hyper-speculation, as well as the imposition of the dollar as a currency in family microeconomics have pulverized the salary, generating the loss of workers’ purchasing power.
In these circumstances, we are obliged to respond to this situation that the Venezuelan family is going through. We must create, invent, innovate policies that allow the economy to be at the service of the human being, as we achieved in the first decade of this century.
For this, it is necessary to review the fundamentals and past achievements of our economic model. In the introduction of the Bolivarian Alternative Agenda (AAB) of 1996, presented by Comandante Chávez to answer the government’s agenda at that time and its monetary restriction policy, we said:
“The AAB places macrosocial imbalances in the first rank and priority, to put macroeconomic imbalances in the background. How can one think, for example, that solving the fiscal deficit may be more urgent and important than ending the hunger of millions of human beings? In the face of the neoliberal offensive, then, a weapon for the total counteroffensive arises here and now. ”
That bold approach of Comandante Chávez, through which he broke with the then unjustifiable thesis of monetary restriction of reigning neoliberalism, put the government and its so-called Venezuela Agenda against the wall and was the flag for the accumulation of necessary forces that allowed the people’s victory of 1998.
Once victory was achieved, President Chávez insisted, against all odds, in fulfilling his commitment, embodied in the government program called “The proposal of Hugo Chávez”, to build a humanistic, self-managed and competitive economic model. An economic system that will place the human being at the center of his occupation, enabling the satisfaction of his needs from an adequate level of real income for the Venezuelan family.
Throughout the first decade of this 21st century, Hugo Chávez showed that apart from the monetarist theses, economic growth could be achieved, with the historical peak of 18.3% in 2004, with annual salary increases that led us to have the highest salary in the region, the expansion of consumption to historical levels, especially in the food sector; with a massive expansion of credit policies, under preferential conditions, that impacted the supply of goods and services.
All this, with an average, but controlled, inflation rate and a moderately efficient exchange rate regime, without these variables affecting the people’s purchasing power negatively.
The objective of the Bolivarian Alternative Agenda was met, it is true we had no zero deficit, no one-digit inflation, but our people fed, educated, had access to health and all social rights, we increased national production to historical levels and we become the country with the lowest social inequality in our America, with 0.38 in the gini index. It is necessary to point out, that everything was done with an average of less than 60 dollars a barrel of oil throughout the decade.
Chavez was right and proved it for the good of the Venezuelan family.
Today, in the middle of the criminal economic, commercial, financial aggression and the embargo of our assets, we are obliged to start over, discarding the monetarist fallacies and concentrating our efforts and scarce resources to recover national production , in the re-launching of large public projects with resources in Bolivars, with our own materials and supplies, with trained and patriotic professional staff who are ready for the task.
In a creative and bold way we have to concentrate our effort on the recovery of the purchasing power of the working people and with it their ability to access the basic goods that we can and must produce, generating the dynamism of our economy from within.
They say that Winston Churchill said that N numbers of economists had N number of solutions, but that Mr. Keynes always had N + 1. We are forced to find that +1, beyond the “reforming” neoliberal recipes that always end, always, being an ordeal for the people .
In the history of the twentieth century it is clear that nations came out of the great crises, of the wars and addressed the reconstruction in the post-war periods with the active role of promoter, regulator, investor and executor of the State, in cooperation with the rest of the Economy sectors
When we achieve political stability and the cessation of foreign aggression, it will be the time of the necessary transformations of the economic structure. Amid this confrontation, as never before comes into force, the phrase of Simon Rodriguez “we invent or we err”, so that our people live and win.
Featured image: The production of the Venezuelan countryside is the main route of success for these times of struggle.
Translated by JRE/EF
Elias Jaua Milano
Elías José Jaua Milano is a Venezuelan politician and former university professor who served as Vice President of Venezuela from January 2010 to October 2012.He was Minister of Foreign Affairs since January 2013. Jaua obtained a Sociology degree from the Central University of Venezuela. In 2000 he was part of the Comisión Legislativa Nacional and Minister of the Secretaría de la Presidencia from 2000 to 2001.
He was nominated as Venezuelan Ambassador to Argentina in 2002. Jaua served as Minister of Agriculture in President Hugo Chávez's government before being appointed as Vice-President in January 2010, while remaining Minister of Agriculture. On 15 December 2011, following a major reshuffle of the Venezuelan political leadership, President Chávez proposed Jaua to be the PSUV candidate for governor of the state of Miranda (reported in El Universal).
He resigned the vice presidency on 13 October 2012 to compete in the election and was replaced by Nicolás Maduro. He lost the election on 16 December 2012 to the former governor Henrique Capriles who had stepped down in June 2012 to unsuccessfully challenge Hugo Chávez for President. Jaua succeeded Nicolás Maduro as Minister of Foreign Affairs on 15 January 2013.
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