La era post-Chávez en Venezuela y América Latina

Diosdado Cabello(…..) Durante los 14 años de gobierno centralizado de Chávez y de su ferviente concentración de poder, instituciones democráticas se han deteriorado drásticamente en Venezuela. Pero no es probable que reconstruir la democracia y el imperio de la ley sea prioridad inmediata para ningún candidato del chavismo. Va a ser objetivo central, sin embargo, si Henrique Capriles llega a la presidencia. La mayor incertidumbre es si la política del país seguirá amargamente polarizada, como lo ha estado durante la mayor parte del período de Hugo Chávez, o si sus opositores y partidarios pueden empezar a encontrar áreas de compromiso y reconciliación. La polarización podría, por supuesto, empeorar y quizás llegar a período de fragmentación política y de inestabilidad, incluso a enfrentamientos violentos. Aunque Venezuela podría enfrentar una creciente inquietud y perturbación, la muerte de Hugo Chávez no tendrá mucho efecto sobre la dinámica de los grandes asuntos regionales. Sin su inquietante comportamiento, el ya predominante papel de Brasil en América del Sur puede ser modestamente reforzado. A pesar de que tiene un pequeño papel en las negociaciones, es poco probable que la muerte de Chávez afecte las perspectivas de un acuerdo de paz entre el gobierno colombiano y la guerrilla de las FARC. El cambio es más probable que ocurra en el frente económico. El apoyo de Venezuela a Cuba ha sido esencial para mantener la economía de la isla a flote. Si este apoyo llegara a ser detenido, Cuba podría enfrentarse a una crisis humanitaria. La ayuda directa venezolana también ha sido importante para varios países, entre ellos Nicaragua y Bolivia. Y ha sido uno de los pocos clientes de los bonos argentinos en los últimos años. Petrocaribe, el programa de Venezuela para ayudar a países pobres en energía del Caribe y América Central, ha brindado una asistencia crítica durante un difícil período de altos precios del combustible. Su pérdida será sentida. Sin embargo, no es del todo seguro que las iniciativas de ayuda de Venezuela serían drásticamente reducidas, al menos no a corto plazo, por un gobierno de oposición que, después de todo, querría mantener buenas relaciones en la región. Por cierto, Chávez ha sido un importante factor de irritación para los Estados Unidos, pero sus acciones, aunque preocupantes, han jugado papel secundario en decreciente influencia de Washington en la región. Mucho más responsables han sido los dramáticos cambios que han tenido lugar en América Latina en general, que se ha convertido en una región más fuerte económicamente, independiente políticamente y más firme a nivel internacional. El surgimiento de Brasil ha sido particularmente importante en este sentido. Estados Unidos también ha perdido influencia a causa de propios problemas económicos y presupuestarios, una debilitante polarización política y las distracciones de dos guerras en el extranjero. La muerte de Hugo Chávez ciertamente no va a restaurar la influencia de EEUU en América Latina.

Link: http://america.infobae.com/notas/64213-La-era-post-Chavez-en-Venezuela-y-America-Latina

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

6 Responses to La era post-Chávez en Venezuela y América Latina

  1. (…..) Chávez has also sought alliances with a range of other governments that share his hostility toward what he characterizes as the American Empire, capitalism and the developed north. All of these clients, creditors and new allies would be relieved if Chávez’s handpicked successor, vice president and foreign minister Nicolas Maduro, were elected to succeed him. Maduro would be unlikely to change the direction of Chávez’s foreign policy.


    Although Maduro has often echoed Chavez’s own antipathy toward the U.S., he has recently indicated a theoretical willingness to consider repairing relations with the U.S and, according some news reports, has discussed the possibility with Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

    Any rapprochement, however, is likely to be narrow and fraught with tension. If any of the prominent opposition politicians likely to challenge Maduro in a snap presidential election were to win, some of those countries which have benefited most from Chávez’s ambitious foreign policy would likely be deeply concerned. This would be especially true of Cuba but could also be true for others. Venezuela’s next president is likely to face some serious economic problems and ending or reducing the country’s politically inspired oil assistance programs represents one sure source of additional income. Relations with the United States would likely improve with the election of an opposition candidate but there would be difficulties if a new president were to try to move too quickly.


    Chavismo is now deeply entrenched at all levels and in all branches of the national government and controls most of the state governments.

    Some hard-line Chavista officials would likely see any effort championed by the opposition to dramatically improve the relationship with Chavez’s “bete noire” as an attempt to roll back Chávez’s Bolivarian revolution. On the other hand, the Venezuelan system is strongly presidential and management of foreign affairs resides squarely within the presidential domain (…..)

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/01/03/venezuela-post-chavez/progress-in-chavismo-entrenched-venezuela-will-be-slow

  2. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: Ambassador Patrick Duddy’s analysis is right on target. Chavez foreign policy — particularly strong economic-trade links with neighboring countries — cannot be rolled back easily. Like Fidel Castro in Cuba of the 20th century, Chavez has changed the Venezuelan society in the 21st century. Even an elected US friendly Venezuelan president cannot reverse the country’s integration in the trading bloc MERCOSUR-UNASUR. The days when Venezuela was known in the State Department as an “oil producing democracy’ are definitely over.


    The main concern in South America is how the post Hugo Chavez era will be handle in Caracas.

    For the first time ever, South America is living a period of economic prosperity and social progress. A political and social destabilized Venezuela could end this auspicious cycle in the region.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/01/03/venezuela-post-chavez/progress-in-chavismo-entrenched-venezuela-will-be-slow

  3. By now, it is easy to recite the litany of problems facing Venezuela. At the top of the list are a huge fiscal deficit (around 20 percent) and high inflation (just under 18 percent), decaying infrastructure, mismanaged petroleum sector, shortages of basic goods, periodic blackouts and widespread crime and insecurity. All of these derive in some measure from severe institutional weaknesses, a product of Hugo Chávez’s one-man, 14-year rule. Whether his successor comes from his camp or from the opposition, reform and improved governance will be essential. Difficult choices will have to be made. It will be impossible to tackle such acute problems simultaneously on all fronts. If Chavistas retain power, they should quickly take steps to rein in spending, rebuild relations with Venezuela’s business and professional communities and encourage foreign investment. Revamping PDVSA, the state oil company, should also get high priority. If the opposition takes over, its members should move gradually. An unwavering commitment to social programs — the popular “misiones” — will be vital, as will pursuing badly needed economic and security reforms. Similarly, a new government should not entirely jettison Chávez’s foreign policy from one day to the next, but should move in a piecemeal fashion. Moderation should steadily fill in for Chávez’s charisma and grandiosity.


    The path forward will require modest, incremental changes and compromise on both sides of a sharply polarized society. Otherwise, there could be a societal backlash, and the prospects for political comity and mending the social fabric will be at risk. Fortunately, Venezuelans can draw on a democratic experience dating back to the 1960s and 70s, though they must avoid the pitfalls of corruption and mismanagement present in the immediate, pre-Chávez era. In the meantime, key political actors need to keep hardline militants on both sides in check and take steps to insure a peaceful, orderly transition.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/01/03/venezuela-post-chavez/post-chavez-change-in-venezuela-should-come-slowly

  4. Last month, Jorge Botti, the head of Fedecámaras, Venezuela’s business federation, explained that unless the government supplies more dollars to pay for imports, shortages — from food to medicine — would be inevitable. “What we will give Fedecámaras is not more dollars but more headaches,” replied acting president Nicolas Maduro, the heir apparent to the Chavista regime (and Hugo Chávez’s vice president). Maduro is correct. Crushing headaches will soon be inevitable across the country, including within the private sector but especially among the poor. President Chávez has bequeathed the nation an economic crisis of historic proportions. The crisis includes a fiscal deficit approaching 20 percent of the economy (in the cliff-panicking United States it is 7 percent), a black market where a U.S. dollar costs four times more than the government-determined exchange rate, one of the world’s highest inflation rates, a swollen number of public sector jobs, debt 10 times larger than it was in 2003, a fragile banking system and the free fall of the state-controlled oil industry, the country’s main source of revenue. Oil-exporting countries rarely face hard currency shortages, but the Chávez regime may be the exception. Mismanagement and lack of investment have decreased oil production. Meanwhile oil revenue is compromised partly because of Chávez’s decision to supply Venezuelans with the country’s most valuable resource at heavily subsidized prices. Thus a large and growing share of locally produced oil is sold domestically at the lowest prices in the world (in Venezuela it costs 25 cents to fill the tank of a mid-sized car). Another share of the oil output is shipped abroad to Cuba and other Chávez allies, and to China, which bought oil in advance at deeply discounted prices (apparently the revenue from China has already been spent). Most of the crude left to be exported at market prices is sold to Venezuela’s best client, and, ironically, Chávez’s main foe: the United States. Yet, as a result of America’s own oil boom, U.S. imports of Venezuelan oil have recently hit a 30-year low. Moreover, due to an explosion in its main refinery, Venezuela is now forced to import gasoline. The Financial Times reckons that for each 10 barrels of crude it sells to the US, it has to import back (at a higher price) two barrels of oil refined abroad. Meanwhile, the nation’s total imports have jumped from $13 billion in 2003 to over $50 billion currently. Paying for those imports and servicing its huge debt requires more hard currency than Venezuela’s weakened economy can generate. Yes, huge headaches are looming.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/01/03/venezuela-post-chavez/chavez-will-leave-behind-an-economic-crisis

  5. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: From an economic standpoint, the arguments presented by Moises Naim are questionable. In fact, mainstream economists have been predicting doomsday forecasts for the Venezuelan economy since Chavez came to power. The obvious question is why these forecasts never materialized. The answer is not difficult. As long as oil prices stay at the current levels, the Venezuela economy will stay afloat. True, economic management under Chavez has been a disaster, with millions of dollars being wasted without any practical results. The only difference between Chavez and his predecessors is HOW Venezuela’s petrodollars have been spent. Chavez used billions of dollars helping the poor, enriching his cronies and sustaining the Cuban economy. Chavez predecessors, –including the tenure of Moises Naim as Minister of Trade of Carlos Andres Perez — have done nothing for the poor and stole the remaining money, deposited in Miami. Coincidentally, Miami is the favorite place for the rich Venezuelan and Cuban exiled community.


    The problem of Venezuela is not Chavez or even economic mismanagement. The problem of Venezuela is corruption of its elite that achieved something impossible. To impoverish 60% of the population in a country with the largest oil revenue per capita in the world.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/01/03/venezuela-post-chavez/chavez-will-leave-behind-an-economic-crisis

  6. Anna: Venezuela never had the largest oil revenue per capita in the world. Not even in its heydays of oil boom – 1973-74. Also, it is important when talking about Chavez to make a clear distinction between what Chavez says he does and what he actually does. He talks a lot about the poor and has diverted the oil revenues to give money to poor people but always his supporters, always conditioned to those that accept the indoctrination and do not question any of his decisions or those of his family and direct collaborators who now are some of the wealthiest people in the world thanks to Chavez’ destruction of whatever little checks and balances were in the system before. Corruption was always there but it is now out of control.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/01/03/venezuela-post-chavez/chavez-will-leave-behind-an-economic-crisis

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