HAVANA TIMES – Crisis-hit Venezuela has handed the International Monetary Fund economic data for the first time in more than a decade. The country is the chief economic and political ally of both Cuba and Nicaragua.
“I can confirm that we have received data from the Venezuelan authorities and IMF staff is currently in the process of reviewing that data,” the fund’s spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday.
He did not say what the data consisted of, but added that a report on it would be submitted to the IMF board to see whether it met the fund’s requirements for information.
Earlier this year, the IMF accused President Nicolas Maduro’s government of withholding economic data that could help observers to understand and solve the country’s economic crisis.
Venezuela’s oil production has plummeted, while a lack of basic goods has contributed to millions of people leaving the country. The IMF forecasts an inflation of 1.4 million per cent and expects the economy to shrink by 18 per cent this year.
Venezuela was a founding member of the IMF in 1946, but the late president Hugo Chavez (1999-2013) and his successor Maduro criticized what they regarded as the fund’s capitalist and imperialist policies.