Ricardo Hausmann’s “Morning After” for Venezuela: The neoliberal brain behind Juan Guaido’s economic agenda
While online audiences know YouTube comedian Joanna Hausmann from her videos making the case for regime change, her economist father has flown below the radar. His record holds the key to understanding what the U.S. wants in Venezuela.
by Anya Parampil
Part 5 - The Hausmann clan versus Chavismo
During the Chávez era, the Hausmann family was not content to sit on the sidelines and watch him build a “21st-century socialism.”
Joanna’s mother, Ana Julia Jatar, assumed a position as executive director of Súmate, a U.S.-backed “civil society group” formed by right-wing darling María Corina Machado in order to “build democracy” in Venezuela.
In 2003, Súmate received $53,400 from the National Endowment for Democracy “to work on referendum and general electoral activities,” according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
The initiative represented Jatar and Machado’s attempt to remove Chávez from power through popular recall. Yet the public rejected the referendum by a whopping 59 percent margin, in results certified by the Carter Center and Organization of American States.
Seeking to defend his wife’s failed project, Ricardo Hausmann co-authored a paper that he insisted “open[ed] the door to… hypotheses of fraud” marring the vote. His argument was thoroughly rebuked in an extensive study issued by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which determined Hausmann and his co-author, M.I.T’s Roberto Rigobon, “provide no evidence of fraud.”
Súmate’s subsequent efforts to label the vote as fraudulent were also rebuffed in a comprehensive report released by the Carter Center, which concluded: “the Aug. 15 vote clearly expressed the will of the Venezuelan electorate.” The Carter Center concluded that it “did not observe, and has not received, credible evidence of fraud that would have changed the outcome of the vote.”
Despite Súmate’s failures, President George W. Bush welcomed Machado to the White House in 2005. In the Oval Office, Bush heralded her efforts “to defend the electoral and constitutional rights of all Venezuelan citizens” and monitor the country’s elections.
Sociologist William I. Robinson told Venezuelanalysis that Súmate was part of “a full-blown operation, a massive foreign-policy operation to undermine the Venezuelan revolution, to overthrow the government of Hugo Chávez, and to reinstall the elite back in power in Venezuela.”
Such elites include multiple members of Joanna Hausmann’s clan.
“My extended family, they go out on these protests,” the YouTube comedian declared in her video. “My uncle is in jail for simply being a journalist.”
That uncle is Ana Julia’s brother, Braulio Jatar, and he was not “simply” a journalist, but also a lawyer and businessman jailed not for “journalism,” but rather for extortion, fraud, and other financial crimes.
Ana Julia and Braulio were the children of Braulio Jatar Dotti, who served as Secretary for Parliamentary and Municipal Affairs in the ruling Democratic Action party while it was engaged in a violent battle against the armed Revolutionary Left Movement.
The independent Chilean news site El Desconcierto described Braulio Sr. as having been “in charge of eliminating the leftist groups” in Venezuela at the time. In 1963, he literally wrote the book on how to disable the “extreme left” and guerillas. It was called, “Disabling the Extreme Left and the Corian Guerillas.”