Today in the corporate media, Venezuela’s economic problems are used to paint the country as a failed state, in need of foreign-backed regime change. To get the Bolivarian government’s side of the crisis, Abby Martin interviews Venezuela’s Minister of Economic Planning, Ricardo Menéndez. They discuss shortages, oil dependency, the role of the US-backed opposition movement and more. The Empire Files joined him in Cojedes, Venezuela, where he was speaking to mass community meetings, organizing the population to fight against what he calls an economic war.
In this part of the interview, Menéndez says Venezuela will continue on the same route towards Socialism, without dogmatic approach, despite the war launched by the neoliberal circus in which the US empire has dominantt role:
We are one of the few nations in the world that pays all its financial duties on time, all of its international commitments. Nevertheless, our "country risk index" has increased continuously. These conditions show one of the attacks we've been under in recent years. This attack is expressed by raising the price of our debt.
Our economy has shrunk 87% of its total income from oil revenue. The actual income of the Republic is less. However, we have increased social investment in our nation. These are some traits that, probably in the international arena, and specifically in neoliberal circles, they don't understand how we can increase the social investment when the national revenue has decreased. We have fulfilled all our international commitments. This demonstrates the actual strength of the revolutionary model, the strength of the revolution.
From 1998 to 2012, Venezuela has doubled the family consumption values of its population. Additionally, we have maintained constantly that every time a raise in wages was needed, if the purchasing capacity of our population was below the basic food basket, these adjustments are made.
Our Bolivarian constitution establishes in article 299 the existence of the state along with the private sector. We are certain of the route to the construction of Socialism. We are not dogmatic, we don't work over dogmas for the construction of Socialism. Our vision is to untie all productive factors and during this process everyone plays a role.
What our constitution rejects is the existence of monopolies. Our constitution doesn't allow that a single actor dominates the rest, that wants to subdue our country.