HAVANA TIMES — Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles declared today that Nicolas Maduro’s government is in a “terminal phase,” pinned against a corner by the severe drop in oil prices, DPA reported.
Capriles rejected official arguments claiming Venezuela is experiencing an “economic war” sparked off by sectors that oppose the government and declared that, on the contrary, what the country is seeing is a “war economy.”
“The government’s political and economic model has collapsed. The people don’t have to accept this crisis,” he stated during a press conference, where he addressed the country’s consumer product shortages.
Capriles does not believe that the problems that face the country are owed to an “economic war,” as the government insists, and attributes these to the socialist model impelled by Maduro.
“There is no economic war in Venezuela. Venezuela has a war economy, which is a different thing altogether. This is over. It’s not the country that’s in terminal phase, the government, the project, the dream you had, this thing you call “revolution” is in terminal phase, it’s over, finished,” he said, addressing government sympathizers.
He added that most of the population wants change and that 80 percent of the people do not support the government.
Capriles issued these warnings while Maduro is on tour in several countries looking for financing and support for a strategy that will counter the collapse of oil prices.
“I imagine that, when he returns, Maduro will say the tour was excellent. But ever since he left the country to bring up oil prices, they’ve dropped even more. He’s giving the OPEC bad luck,” he commented.
Capriles spoke of the long lines of buyers that are forming outside stores and supermarkets since the beginning of the year and people’s desperate search for consumer items, a phenomena which, according to him, reveal the country’s rampant shortages and inflation.
“Many are asking themselves why there are shortages. It’s simple: if the country isn’t producing and the population is growing we have to import more products, if we produce less oil there’s less money around, if there is less money we can’t pay for imports, less imports means shortages. We won’t get out of this crisis as long we have this model,” he declared.
He added that, at any rate, the shortages didn’t begin with the drop in oil prices; they merely exacerbated the crisis that began two years ago.
The situation in Venezuela is of great interest to Cuba owing to the economic dependence on the country and the thousands of Cubans currently working there.