At the behest of the White House, the Inter-American Development Bank canceled its annual meeting this week in China after the Beijing government refused to grant a visa to Ricardo Hausmann. The Harvard University professor was going to represent Venezuela at the event, at the command of Donald Trump.
Hausmann was recorded having a private telephone conversation with Lorenzo Mendoza, the billionaire businessman, in 2015. The recording was released by Diosdado Cabello.* In the recording, Hausmann and Mendoza spoke of a plan to oust the constitutional government of President Nicolás Maduro. This, they hoped, would be achieved via a $50 billion intervention from the International Monetary Fund. Hausmann also directed the international campaign to limit sales of Venezuelan sovereign bonds. With help from his friends in Washington, Hausmann has blocked opportunities to refinance the external debt in the way that other countries do, and at the same time, sabotaged sources of funding and potential business.
If this is meant to be economic war, Hausmann, who served as minister of planning for the government of President Carlos Andrés Pérez during the 90s, sees himself as somewhat of a general-in-chief in charge of besieging our country.
The Chinese government, which supports the legitimate president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, denied Hausmann entry into the country. In response, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence ordered the meeting to be suspended and relocated to a more subordinate country. Washington is the largest shareholder in the IDB, owning 30%. Hausmann has been employed by both the IDB and the IMF, and therefore it is difficult to believe that he represents the interests of the Venezuelan people.
The plan to economically stifle Venezuelans has not worked. Nor has the plan to push us over an inflationary cliff when gas prices were in free fall so that the people would turn against the Chavista government. The emotional blackmail, the outright deceit, the downright lie, the economic situation that would be resolved with the departure of Maduro, hasn’t achieved anything. Ultimately, the dirty trick of using the economy to achieve a political ambition which stalled at the ballot box, has failed. Even so, the corporate class, both inside and outside Venezuela, persists in its deadly plan against the Venezuelan people. This depravity is only matched by those who, during the sabotage of the electrical system, preferred that the food rot rather than it be rescued.
It was previously said that inflation was a consequence of the foreign exchange control and that things would only start to get better if the government made the dollar equal to the bolivar. Well, now there is no foreign exchange control, the official dollar was leveled, but the cost of food, medicine and other essential products did not stop rising, because inflation is the fickle way in which the corporate class responds to speculation.
Before, it was often said that production in the country was zero, but now the chambers of commerce speak of losses in the millions during the electrical sabotage.
To top it off, they cried wolf and declared a catastrophe in Maracaibo. Yet, the wolf was unleashed with an unexpected ferocity and didn’t run to overthrow the government as the corporations had wagered, but instead destroyed their very own trading houses, just like a horrifying scene from a Hollywood zombie movie.
When I observe the obtuse conduct of the corporate classes in Venezuela, which, at tragic cost, have been trying and failing to topple the Chavista government since 2002, I always remember how Jesus Christ spoke in parables to the people so that they would understand.
The only time he resorted to force and the use of a whip was when he drove the merchants from the temple.
*Editor’s note: Diosdado Cabello is a former aide to Hugo Chávez, and the current president of the Constituent Assembly.