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Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:03 PM

Venezuela: RW plan to cut social programs, deregulate banks and privatize...

...privatize, privatize.

This analysis of what the rightwing in Venezuela would do--a platform that was not part of the public record but was leaked--indicates, in reverse, what Venezuelans' "New Deal" is all about--what they have voted FOR over the last decade--for instance, everybody gets food, housing and health care, banks are strictly regulated and required to serve the society and the most vulnerable groups get extra help, for instance, children under 4 and the elderly ride free on buses, and all elderly people get pensions (even if they worked in the informal sector before--say, as street vendors--and were excluded from the pension system). These and other Chavez government policies not only created sizzling economic growth (10%) during the 2003 to 2008 period, and a quick recovery from the Bushwhack-induced worldwide depression (Venezuela economic growth has climbed back to over 5%), they have created "THE most equal country" in Latin America (UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean).

Venezuela's rightwing--like the Reaganites and Bushwhacks and our own Democratic "neoliberals"--want to END Venezuela's "New Deal," create banks like we have here, that speculate unconscionably then hit the poor with their trillion dollar 'shortfall,' and kick the poorest people "off the island" in a sickening binge of greed, also like we have here.

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Venezuelan Opposition Economic Plan to Roll Back Public Services Revealed

8/24/2012

Barinas, August 23 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – An internal document has been leaked to Venezuelan press revealing the economic policy of Venezuela's political opposition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), should they win the presidential elections in October. The plan includes the deregulation of banks, opening up the economy to private investment and the reduction of state funding for public services and communal council projects.

MUD candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski is standing against two-time incumbent President Hugo Chavez, with voting set for 7 October.

Referring to the current global financial crisis, the MUD document states that it would be unable to maintain the current social spending levels of the Chavez administration and predicts a decrease in the demand for oil from countries such as China and the USA – Venezuela’s largest trading partner.

The opposition document states that based on current spending levels, the government’s public sector deficit as a proportion of GDP (gross domestic product) will be 8% in 2013. The document classifies this figure as potentially dangerous in the event of a global economic downturn and states that the MUD would aim to reduce this figure to 3-4%.

In order to respond to the “crisis” caused by a potential decrease in the global demand for oil, the opposition says that it would take “concrete steps to decrease, in the medium and long term, the heavy load of goods and services” provided by the current government in a bid to reduce its social spending budget and in turn the public deficit.

Other steps to decrease the government budget for social spending would include the decentralisation of the provision of social services to municipal governments, who the MUD argues would make services “more efficient”.

The government’s social missions, including the Barrio Adentro health program and the children’s educational centers knows as “Simoncitos,” would also be transferred over to municipal government. Health and education missions, including the maintenance of school and hospital infrastructure and the provision of food, would be opened up to “private initiative”.

Charges for some of these services would also be implemented in a “controlled” manner, an action that the opposition argues would allow the new government to reduce the financial burden on the state.

This process of decentralisation would reverse actions carried out by the Chavez government to put the administration of services under the control of central government. The government argues that it has done this in order to minimise the possibility of corruption and to ensure that access to health and education is universal, regardless of geographical location or local government politics.

Ex-governor of Anzoátegui state, David de Lima, was one of those who received a copy of the document.

In comments to Venezuelan television on Wednesday, the political independent said “there are two discourses , there is the economic discourse that’s used to get votes, and the real one, that aims to place the economic policy of the country back in the hands of the two or three sectors that always controlled it”.

Other areas that would be affected by the opposition's proposed cutbacks are food, housing and transport. The document states that a governing MUD administration would put an end to current government subsidies on housing built as part of the Great Housing Mission, although those already receiving the subsidised housing benefit would not be affected by the measures.

Subsidised food sold through the government´s MERCAL scheme would be provided and delivered by private companies, whilst funding available to communal councils for the construction and renovation of housing would also be “gradually reduced”.

Overall, the opposition states that it would aim to decrease the amount of government food subsidies by 60% over the next 3 years or potentially sooner.

Equally, subsidised transport would be eliminated. The price of travel on the Metro in Caracas, Valencia, the Ferrocaril del Tuy and Maracaibo would be raised by 5% every 4 months, at least until the service is able to meet its running costs. According to the document, the same policy would also be applied to other forms of transport such as buses, where children under 4 and adults over 65 can currently travel for free.

Current government policies, such as universal access to social security, would be rolled back. Social security for old age pensioners, currently pegged to the national minimum wage and tending to increase each year, would be frozen from 2013.

Likewise, the new government would retract the current government policy which allows old age pensioners to access social security regardless of whether they have paid their social security contributions in full.

All expropriated land and property would be returned to their previous owners within a maximum of 2 years.

Energy, Oil and Mining Policy

Whilst there are few details relating to the opposition's proposed oil and mining policy, the document states that the MUD would create a new framework for these areas which would no longer be based on a “nationalist ideology”. The subsidised provision of electricity would also be cut and opened up to the private sector, and electricity rates would be raised.

At the end of the document, the MUD states that it will release a separate document outlining its new oil policy.

Banking and Price Controls

The document, titled First Ideas of Economic Actions to Take by the National Unity Government (2013), strongly criticises the current government for its “excessive regulation” of banks and interest rates, as well as a policy which requires banks to designate a certain amount of their profits to social programs.

The opposition argue that current regulation, which states that 25% of a bank’s profits must go towards agricultural projects, 15% towards housing, 3% to micro-businesses, 10% towards manufacturing activities and 2.5% towards investment in national tourism, adversely affects the profitability of banks and their ability to allocate credit to “profitable activities”.

MUD policy recommends the immediate establishment of a “Committee for Banking Sector Reform” in order to begin the process of eliminating the banks’ obligatory social contributions, with the possible exception of regulations on mortgages, which would be made more flexible.

The government’s price control measures, implemented in 2011 in order to combat the adverse effects of inflation and hoarding are described as “absurd” in the document, which states that the measures produce “fear and anxiety in the productive private sector”. All price control mechanisms would be eliminated within a year.

Finally, the plan says that it would consider using the power of presidential decree* in order to “dismantle the socialised and collectivised state model that has been created by the so-called revolution”.

Private bankers and members of Venezuela’s business association, FEDECAMARAS, will be invited to the next MUD meeting to discuss the party’s potential economic policy further.

The document can be read in full in Spanish here
(LINK--see original).

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7198
(Creative Commons License. My emphasis.)

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*"using the power of presidential decree."

Funny, how the wingnuts get all nutty when Chavez uses powers of decree to build housing for the poor or to rebuild a town destroyed by floods, but intend to use it themselves to undo the equitable society that Venezuelans have voted for, by big margins, over the last decade.

For the record: presidential powers of decree are discussed and voted on by the National Assembly, are time- and issue-limited and are a common practice in Latin America. (Brazil's president, for instance, used powers of decree to protect a wide swath of the Amazon rainforest for an uncontacted Indigenous tribe.) These are beneficial and democratically conveyed powers--that is, if they are used lawfully, as Chavez has done.

The wingnuts in Venezuela are not great respecters of the law, however. In fact, in their coup attempt in 2002, they suspended the Constitution, the courts, the National Assembly and all civil rights--measures that were thought to be quite efficacious by the corporate media in Venezuela and by the Bush Junta. Venezuelans know all this--no thanks to the corporate media--and are not at all likely to put these fascists in power, in the coming elections, to undo everything. (Chavez is way ahead in the polls.) I point out the corporate media's role in the lawless, thieving, mind-boggling greed of those behind frontmen like Reagan, Bush Jr. and Capriles, to help the uninformed understand why Chavez has also sought to regulate the corporate media's use of the public airwaves--akin to our "Fairness Doctrine" regulation here, that the Reaganites dismantled.

Corporate media is how really bad leaders like Reagan get into power, without directly stealing elections, and how potentially good leaders like Clinton get blackmailed into ruinous policy (such as deregulating the banks). They also assist with outright election theft, here--but that is not a problem in Venezuela (which has an election system that is far, FAR more honest and transparent than our own). The corporate media in Venezuela has helped "launder" this rightwing candidate, Capriles, and won't be telling Venezuelans what he is really all about--dismantling their "New Deal." This is so similar to what happened with Reagan, here, that I thought I'd point it out. Venezuelan voters are not as clueless as our own, though, who got fooled, big time, by Reagan, which is how both our "New Deal" and our very democracy itself began to be dismantled.

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Venezuela: RW plan to cut social programs, deregulate banks and privatize... (Original post)
Peace Patriot Aug 2012 OP
naaman fletcher Aug 2012 #1
joshcryer Aug 2012 #4
naaman fletcher Aug 2012 #8
Judi Lynn Aug 2012 #2
joshcryer Aug 2012 #3
Flatulo Aug 2012 #5
joshcryer Aug 2012 #6
Flatulo Aug 2012 #7
Peace Patriot Aug 2012 #9
Bacchus4.0 Aug 2012 #10
joshcryer Aug 2012 #11
naaman fletcher Aug 2012 #12

Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 01:14 PM

1. Politically speaking

 

What would have been the motivation for them to put such a document like this together in the first place? Was it needed to get common union among the disparate opposition groups?

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 10:49 PM

4. It was likely put together by other opposition leaders as a pipe dream.

It is not what Capriles agrees with and it is unworkable. It was likely put together to persuade Justice First and try to get some sort of message through to them but it's clearly not working.

Capriles has repeatedly denied these allegations for months now.

But hey, with a oil refinery crisis going into its third day that is the second worse crisis in history, it's necessary to deflect and spread propaganda and lies, right?

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 03:33 AM

8. Wait,

 

You mean Venanalysis and PP misrepresented something?

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Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 07:11 PM

2. Coming back to finish reading your new (here) information. Thank you. n/t

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Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 10:46 PM

3. That is not Primero Justicia's platform.

Unidad is the coalition that determined which candidates to pick and ultimately will have their logo on the ballot. Capriles does not ascribe to those positions and has repeatedly said the misiones would be safe and has called for legislation to make them LAW.

Why don't the Chavista's make the misiones law? Because they can use the threat of "well take them away" to the population and it keeps the population in line.

So, nice try, but it really isn't what Capriles stands for, but as if one could expect people to represent Capriles' positions in this forum.

The propaganda here is strong.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 10:50 PM

5. Voting yourself bennies from the treasury seems unsustainable

> what they have voted FOR over the last decade--for instance, everybody gets food, housing and > health care

So who bothers to work, and why? And more importantly, who is paying for all this largesse? Is it all funded by oil revenue? What happens when the oil is gone, or demand falls due to increased adoption of renewables?

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 10:59 PM

6. As a developing country with rich resources you should spend like that.

The problem is that Chavista's have mismanaged the windfall profits for a decade now and the results are far less than what other developing countries (such as Brazil and Chile) have done to reduce poverty in the same time frame.

It's some at the cost of deteriorating infrastructure, as well, as we can see with the latest mishap. The thing many people don't know is that Chavista's environmental record makes BP look clean. There have been dozens of oil spills over the years, lost drills, burned refineries. It's just that this time around people are taking notice.

Then again, on this subforum people would turn a blind eye to all of it under the guise of "he's for the people."

Capriles promises to continue the progressive systems and the OP is lying about Capriles' platform. It's implied that this is what Capriles supports but he has categorically denied it and even challenged the Chavista's to make the misiones law. They have not done that because it's the one breadcrumb they can use to coerce votes out of people.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 11:07 PM

7. It seems to me that these tragic mishaps, like the refinery blast,

may be the result of people being paced in charge of things based more on their loyalty to the regime than ability and experience.

Crony socialism is just as bad as crony capitalism.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 05:52 AM

9. Venezuela is "THE most equitable country in Latin America" according to...

the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean and numerous other reports and indicators. The Chavez government has cut poverty by 50% and extreme poverty by more than 70% and has met ALL of its Millennium Goals. It also has one of the lowest discrepancies between rich and poor in the world and very low unemployment, along with good salaries, benefits and pensions, universal free health care and universal free education through college.

This is disinformation that Chile--of all places, where students are still rioting over cuts to education--and Brazil, which is only just getting started on poverty reduction--have "done more" to reduce poverty. It is simply not true.

The point of this leak of the secret MUD platform is that Capriles is LYING--just like Reagan was with his "Good Morning, America" smiley-faced Ayn Randism. No one except Bush Jr. has done more to harm the poor in the U.S. (not to mention the poor in Latin America), and no one--and I mean, no one--was more of a lying bastard than Ronald Reagan, who began the dismantling of the "New Deal," including re-writing the tax code to favor the rich (no more progressive tax) and the deregulation of the Savings & Loan institutions (which were promptly looted--theft of the small savings of millions of people), hugely expanded military spending and the dismantling of U.S. democracy itself with items like ending the "Fairness Doctrine" (deregulation of corporate use of the public airwaves--a horrible policy resulting in corporate propaganda 24/7 on our public airwaves--the literal brainwashing of the people of the U.S. that the "Fairness Doctrine" was designed to prevent).

Reagan furthermore put millions of people in California onto the streets--homeless--by ending government care for the mentally ill. There were virtually no homeless people in California prior to that. I know. I saw it happen! He also began the dismantling of the California FREE university system by the introduction of ever-increasing fees. Reagan and his devotees told so many lies about all this, it is mind-boggling.

That grotesque grinning monster was worshiped by the Corporate Media, just as Capriles is, because he was the "trojan horse" for the rich invading the New Deal bulwark of the poor majority! With the help of the Corporate Media, he sold a golden "land of opportunity" total lie even as they looted and destroyed hope, opportunity and upward mobility on every hand.

You seem to have bought into Capriles' lies. Whoever leaked this is trying to clue you in--he is not what he seems. His real platform is to END Venezuela's "New Deal."

This may be great for the rich few in Venezuela. It is going to be disastrous for the poor majority--and for the society and country as a whole--just as Reagan was here.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #9)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 08:47 AM

10. Chile has the highest standard of living in South America

not sure where you are getting your data, it sounds like just out of thin air.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_America

here are some stats on latin america. it has poverty data, income data. scroll down a bit for tourism data. Venezuela doesn't seem to be much of a destination does it? its a shame because it certainly could be.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #9)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 01:24 PM

11. I'm talking about poverty reduction.

Brazil and Chile have done far better than Venezuela in that regard, with less resources.





Note how populist states actually protect the 4th quintile by not redistributing wealth the way the social democracies do.



And they did it without windfall profits.

Spare me the wall of text. Provide links and facts.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #9)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 04:01 PM

12. How do we know that this is really the secret Mud platform? nt

 

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