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Venezuela's Chavez must be doing something right ... right?
Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2004

by Oscar Heck,

I am not an accountant or an economist ... but ... something came to mind recently when I heard about how much Canada's external debt is. I don't know what an external debt is, but I suspect it is money which is owed to people or institutions outside Canada by the Canadian government. Well, surprisingly, Canada's external debt is $510 billion!

Why am I surprised?

Because Venezuela's external debt is in the vicinity of only $20+ billion ... and the population difference between Canada and Venezuela is not that great (Venezuela = approx. 25 million, Canada = 32 million).

If we divide $510 billion amongst 32 million Canadians we get the result that every Canadian owes $15,940. If we divide, say $25 billion, amongst every Venezuela, then every Venezuelan owes $1,000. Quite the difference ... no?

Furthermore, Venezuela's savings are almost as high as the debt ... which essentially means that Venezuela is near the break-even point, i.e. ... Venezuela will soon be completely out of debt.

This is amazing to me ... even though I am not an economist.

It seems to me that Venezuela should be of great interest to investors and business people. Operating a business in a country that is almost debt-free is probably a good thing, don't you think?

I wonder how many countries are debt-free? I doubt that there are many.

Viva Venezuela!

The surprising thing is that even if Venezuela is in such a good shape economically, the anti-Chavez movements continue to speak disparagingly about Chavez, about Venezuela and about the Chavez government ... as if Chavez is driving the country into the ground.

One letter-writer says (when referring to oil profits), " all goes in passing hand outs to his followers without a payback, so the economy is going downhill and inflation is galloping ahead ..." He also says "I have warned and alerted you before, USA take heed, Chavez is a lunatic and anti-american, he will throw the poison later..." and "...Chavez commits the most arbitrary abuses against private property and other government institutions, disrespecting their autonomy of action and procedures..."

Other anti-Chavez writers state: "But so far, he has been a bully, a fascist dictator wannabe ... being friendly with the Colombian guerrilla, the killers and kidnappers of Venezuelan people ..." and "The more the time elapses, the blunter the constitutional violations of the regime, the more I become convinced that the sole way of effectively opposing Chavez is through violence."

It is striking that some anti-Chavez movements still believe that Chavez wants to turn Venezuela into another Cuba, that Chavez is a dictator and that Chavez is crazy or dumb.
Luckily however, many of the anti-Chavez groups have disbanded and most have failed dramatically ... ending up in messy webs of incoherence, lies, confusion and in-fighting.

It is also becoming more and more obvious to people, businesses and investors who are outside Venezuela that the anti-Chavez movement can no longer be trusted. That is, it is not reasonable to believe the information that comes from anti-Chavez groups or people.

According to what I have been reading, the Venezuelan economy is the strongest and most active in Latin America. The Chavez government is continuously negotiating with outside investors in the field of oil and gas and mining ... and the Venezuelan government is reviewing and revising existing financial agreements with present contractors to create more equitable deals.

Chavez must be doing something right ... right?

What do I have to say to anti-Chavez people?

Stop screaming and yelling and inventing things ... and get back to work! Join the rest of Venezuelans who are hard at work ... building a new and more equitable Venezuela.

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