Venezuela Opposition Leader Says Maduro Gov. in “Terminal Phase”

Henrique Capriles. Photo/archive prensa.com

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.


4 thoughts on “Venezuela Opposition Leader Says Maduro Gov. in “Terminal Phase”

  • good luck capriles. Hope you get an election very soon

  • Good article. The oil subsidy Cuba has been receiving is on magnitude of $3.6 billion a year. For a country like Venezuela that struggles to put toilet paper on store shelves that is a large transfer of oil wealth. It is going to be close race between opening up new source of cash and end of Maduro’s regime.

    Well played by Raul.

  • A very informative economic analysis of the Cuba-Venezuela relationship, and the reason why Cuba is ready to make a deal with the US now:

    “Cuba Is Hoping To Replace Venezuelan Oil With American Tourists”

    “Venezuela’s in-kind aid to Cuba has already fallen by almost half in the last six months: if prices stay around $50 per barrel, Cuba will earn $365 million less from Venezuelan oil re-exports in 2015 than it did last year. That shortfall is worth about twice the value of Cuba’s entire sugar industry.

    …How can Cuba make up these shortfalls, and quickly? There are two obvious targets: tourism and remittances.”

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/cuba-is-hoping-to-replace-venezuelan-oil-with-american-tourists/

  • Capriles’ analysis, albeit simplified, is spot-on. The problem with wackos like Maduro is that as the situation continues to worsen, the changes he should be making to improve conditions are changes which will give him less control over the government. Relaxing currency controls, making foreign investment easier and limiting public subsidies to name a few. Given the Castros not-so-invisible hand directing matters in Venezuela, it is even more unlikely that the Maduro government will loosen the reins on the free market. As a result, things will not only get worse, but they will get worse faster. The end result is more likely than not the declaration of martial law and a populous insurrection. Venezuelans are well-armed and none-too-afraid to take to streets to air their grievances. My advice to Maduro: keep the jet fueled-up and ready to go on a moments notice.

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