Devaluation in Venezuela, A New Theater

Wilson Moreno 

HAVANA TIMES — It was Friday, February 8, and four days prior, people in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, had celebrated the anniversary of the failed 1992 coup. Planning and Finance minister Jorge Giordani came on the television and began announcing what would be no so surprise to the Venezuelan people.

A devaluation was seen coming, though this had been denied on many occassions. This time though it reemerged and took effect with the signing on by the president, who up until recently had been out of the country for over a couple of months.

It was a hard blow to many, a justifiable action for others. For the population in general, this was something that didn‘t capture much of their attention because the next day everything was set for them to go out and enjoy the long awaited carnival celebrations.

Everything changed and the festivities end. By then many people will have been acting as if they were economists, expressing our thoughts about the 32 percent devaluation, which will undoubtedly affect lifestyles here in Venezuela – where we spend more than we have.

Now all of us are thinking about how we’re going to adjust to this non-surprise given to us by our government, which lives in constant denial and refuses to accept many of its errors in certain matters.

The rich think about how expensive it will be to buy dollars on the black market for their trips abroad, since Venezuela is a country with exchange controls and to get what the government calls “ fair dollars for each Venezuelan” is a bit expensive.

They are also thinking about how easy it will be to speculate (something we now have plenty of experience in), while the government — through the voice of Ricardo Menendez, Minister of Industries — says the all out war on speculation is beginning.

He must be slightly deranged saying what has been repeated so many times, when the government is constantly losing wars against insecurity and its lack of legal power to resolve the country’s prison problem.

Apparently, my people and the government are still battling their inner demons that allow them to understand us and propose solutions to the starting the real construction of the country.

Our memory is short sometimes, and I know that in about a month the story of the devaluation will be forgotten completely. We will have given another sign of how quickly we can adapt to different situations that present themselves, while we’ll remodel our comfort zone to feel once again like fish in water.

After hearing the news of the devaluation, what came to my mind were the rhythms and lyrics of that great song “Teatro,” by La Lupe. We’re a constant theater in search of better cheap dramas to justify our fears and acceptances. We study our simulations to address the economic, political, social, educational and other measures.

All the mechanisms designed to keep running will be set. Yesterday was a devaluation, no one knows what the non-surprise will be tomorrow that’s denied by a government that claims itself to be against capitalism but knows how to live like a true monarch in a palace built by a fake discourse.

Over my 19 years and having read some books, I have no doubt that my people will face these new economic measures, and I’m sure they won’t do this crying and saying “why are they doing this to us?