This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 18, 2019:
Almost unnoticed by the mainstream media are recent decisions by Venezuela’s Marxist dictator, Nicolás Maduro, to relax some of the more debilitating of his economic policies. That relaxation is already leading to economic revival in the country’s cities.
As reported by Kejal Vyas from Caracas and published by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Maduro “has quietly and cautiously begun implementing free-market policies … [his regime has] largely stopped enforcing the price controls that had led to dire food shortages … [which is] giving some life, even if limited, to the economy.”
The economy under Maduro is worse than America’s was at the bottom of the Great Depression, and the IMF is forecasting it will shrink by another 35 percent this year. More than four million of Venezuela’s 30 million residents have left the country, leaving the rest behind to cope with lack of food, medical services and supplies, disease, and starvation.
But, thanks to Maduro’s silent lifting of some of his more onerous restrictions, the economy is beginning to recover, at least in Caracas. Wrote Vyas: “Here in the capital … new stores have popped up, selling everything from boxes of Cheerios to bottles of water.” Reappearing on stores’ shelves are multiple brands of sugar, pasta and flour.
Maduro is also cutting back on the prime driver that has led his socialist regime to install price controls: