Venezuela: Chavez Regulates All the Way

The Government announced a series of measures to stop money outflow and control prices

After the end of the strike that harassed his administration for two months, Chavez pushes forward what his followers have called "Revolution's offensive". The first initiative adopted by the bolivarians is on the financial front and attacks the interests of the national and international largest corporations.

The Venezuelan Government established an integral control over currency exchange and fixed the value of the Dollar to 1,600 bolivares - local currency -, while the market was trading it at 2,000 bolivares each. On the other hand, has decided to regulate the prices of goods and staples to avoid a possible inflationary process.

In statements on national radio and television, Chavez explained that the measures adopted were preceded by a victory over a fascist and terrorist conspiracy that caused serious damage to the country when the oil industry came to a standstill. Despite the rhetoric, the oil strike seriously affected country's finances, and fears in the financial market made many speculators to take the money outside the country.

To prevent a crack, the Government instrumented new mechanisms to force all individuals and entities to sell to the Central Bank all the hard currency received for their activities at the price fixed by the State. In addition, the government suspended the acquisition in bolivares of State bonds issued in hard currency, and announced that a bill had been sent to Parliament to be implemented in cases where the recently adopted measures are violated.

The president sworn in the recently created Foreign Currency Administration Commission, which will be in charge of allocating funds in foreign currency to importers and exporters under the motto, according to Chavez, of "not a single dollar to coup supporters".

Through a second the decree, the government listed a number of products as basic items, which are now subject to maximum prices set by the authorities. Besides, to prevent speculation and stockpiling, the Consumers Defense Institute and people's brigades will monitor compliance with regulations that reach food products, medicines, raw materials and other basic goods and services

"We have come to the ideal decision on how to defend the Venezuelan economy," Chavez said in a national broadcast. The question about whether he is right or not will only be answered in the future. However, it is clear that this new plan widely satisfies the most radical sectors of the government. It is a new step towards the reinforcing of the State role in the economy.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina Photo: Chavez, in a red shirt, announces the new measures to the population.

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