Bloomberg View's: Venezuela's military
needs to get out of business
More likely to reap than sow
Venezuela has more than 4,000 generals, compared with fewer than 50 in 1993. This kind of runaway inflation is every bit as pernicious as the economic variety, which also afflicts Venezuela -- in fact, they have to be addressed together.
Instead, opponents of President Nicolas Maduro are hellbent on removing him from power, and they have collected some 2 million signatures on a recall petition. Maduro still has significant political support , and he will use his control of the executive and judicial branches to frustrate and delay that effort, which is unlikely to succeed this year. (If a recall succeeds in 2017, Maduro's vice president will step in to complete his term.) The opposition's credibility has already been hurt by its rash boast that it would throw out Maduro within six months after taking over the legislature in January.
It would be far better for the opposition to focus on winning votes for the election in 2019, when the current presidential term ends. That means uniting around a coherent plan to fix Venezuela's imploding economy -- an economy in which the military is increasingly involved and invested.
In February, Maduro put the military in charge of a new state oil and mining services company -- one of nearly a dozen military enterprises started under his administration. Active or former officers head about one-third of Venezuela's ministries and govern nearly half its 23 states. Service members have gotten big raises; preferential access to housing, cars and food; and promotions. Officers have won lucrative contracts, exploiting currency controls and subsidies -- selling cheap gasoline to Venezuela's neighbors at enormous profit, for instance.
One way to put the military back in the box is to make clear that misdeeds will face consequences. The U.S. is building cases against officers implicated in Venezuela's burgeoning drug trade. It has also targeted a handful of officials with asset freezes and visa bans for engaging in political violence and acts of public corruption . Leading the charge would only validate Maduro's anti-Yanqui narrative, so the U.S. should quietly make clear that there's plenty of room left on the targeted sanctions list and that it will publicize credible information of corruption, criminality and abuse.
The good news is that support for Chavismo is crumbling both from without and within. The U.S. opening to Cuba has erased a once-popular leftist talking point. Argentina's changed leadership has stepped up criticism of Venezuela, which may lose another friend if Brazil's Workers' Party loses power.
Venezuelans are right to hold Maduro responsible for his economic mismanagement, which has resulted in blackouts, two-day government workweeks and life-threatening shortages of medicines. But kicking the president out of office will not by itself end Venezuela's economic hardship and political dysfunction. That will also require getting the military out of business and back into its barracks.
Bloomberg View's are editorials by Bloomberg Editorial Board. Bloomberg is one of the leading financial news media companies in the world. Senior editor responsible for Bloomberg View's editorials: David Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.
Editor's Note: This commentary was originally published by Bloomberg View's on May. 06, 2016. Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers.
All comments posted and published on Petroleumworld, do not reflect either for or against the opinion expressed in the comment as an endorsement of Petroleumworld. All comments expressed are private comments and do not necessary reflect the view of this website. All comments are posted and published without liability to Petroleumworld.
Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
All works published by Petroleumworld are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.Petroleumworld has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Petroleumworld endorsed or sponsored by theoriginator.
Petroleumworld encourages persons to reproduce, reprint, or broadcast Petroleumworld articles provided that any such reproduction identify the original source, http://www.petroleumworld.com or else and it is done within the fair use as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated
Copyright© 1999-2009 Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.
We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ stories by anyone provided it mentions Petroleumworld.com as the source. Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors.Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated
Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback and comments,
share your thoughts on this article, your feed. back is important to us!
Petroleumworld News 05/09/2016
We invite all our readers to share with us
their views and comments about this article.
Follow us in : twitter / Facebook
Send this story to a friend
Write to email@example.com
By using this link, you agree to allow PW
to publish your comments on our letters page.
Any question or suggestions,
please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Viewed with IE 5.01+ Windows NT 4.0, '95,
'98,ME,XP, Vista, Windows 7,8 +/ 800x600 pixels