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 a specific part of the interview, Menéndez explains briefly the economic war launched by the US empire against Venezuela:
We are the victims of an attack to the Bolivar, the national currency. This charge against our currency has become evident on certain websites based outside Venezuela, where fictitiously, without any rationale or economic proof to back it up, they determine a political value of our currency. With this political value they pretend to generate the cost structure of what happens in our nation. You can have a product made in Venezuela that contains no imported parts, but the price is fixed by this rate, which is set in Miami, where they decide precisely the rate for the Bolivar.
At the same time, it gains an economic presence and they decide to accelerate the process. They detonate the price between Miami and Cucuta. These are two geopolitical components that you can have a clear read of their participation in the economic assault on Venezuela.
70% of the inflation in Venezuela is related to the American dollar rating being effectively made both in Miami and Cucuta. Afterwards, the extraction of paper currency. This means actually taking Bolivars out of the borders in order to generate a drought, affecting the ability of Venezuelans to pay in cash. These are concrete elements. So, the currency was affected by extraction smuggling. This extraction smuggling, envelops in certain cases, up to 40% of the products of the country that are taken away via extraction smuggling. This is a clear call of aggression towards a nation.
We have imported 300,000 tons of rice, and 300,000 tons of rice goes through the border towards Colombia. In the face of this strategy that intended to bring our country to bankruptcy, that was the basic intention, breaking the Republic, the nation. The government declared emergency measures in the face of this intention.