Girish Gupta

HOME

BY COUNTRY

Brazil
Colombia
Cuba
Ecuador
Egypt
Guyana
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Mexico
United Kingdom
Venezuela

BY MEDIUM

Text
Photo
Radio
TV/Video

BY PUBLISHER

Al Jazeera
BBC
BuzzFeed
CBC
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Daily Mail
Datum
Ecologist
Economist Intelligence Unit
Emerging Markets
Financial Times
Foreign Policy
France 24
Fusion
GlobalPost
Guardian
Independent
La Prensa (Panama)
LatinFinance
Mancunion
Monocle
National (Abu Dhabi)
New Internationalist
New Statesman
New York Times
New Yorker
NPR
PBS
PRI
Radio France Internationale
Reuters
RTE
Sky News
Sun
Sunday Times
Telegraph
TIME
Times of London
USA Today
Vice
WLRN

ABOUT

About
CV
Contact (PGP Key)

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Cool language and fix economy, says Venezuela leader's former aide
Dec. 17, 2015 — Caracas, Venezuela

Published by Reuters

Venezuela's government must calm its rhetoric and make pragmatic fixes to an ailing economy after losing the legislature to the opposition for the first time in 16 years, a former senior aide to President Nicolas Maduro said in an interview.

And the opposition should not be overconfident, given the Socialists still won more than 40 percent of votes despite the economic crisis, warned Temir Porras, who was also an aide to Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez.

"I do not doubt this is a very impressive victory for the opposition but it's also a very fragile one," said Porras, 41, who still calls himself "Chavista" despite being pushed out of government in 2013 over differences with Maduro.

"Venezuela remains very polarized with an advantage to the opposition forces. But let's not make the mistake of thinking two-thirds of people in Venezuela are now supporting the opposition," he told Reuters.

Suffering the world's highest inflation, recession and shortages, Venezuelans punished the ruling Socialist Party in this month's vote that gave the opposition a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.

"There has to be a serene debate on economic strategy," said Porras, who also used to head the country's sovereign fund and state development bank and has been critical of the government's dogmatic adherence to strict state economic controls.

"The main problem is a lack of pragmatism in addressing the crisis itself, instead of trying to explain it with some political theory ... You can oppose capitalism but you cannot ignore that it exists."

Smarting at his defeat, Maduro has blamed an "economic war," said the "bad guys won" and called it an "electoral coup."

Such bellicosity may harm him, Porras said, urging a more moderate approach to avoid an institutional showdown.

When it takes over the National Assembly on Jan. 5, the opposition wants to prioritize an amnesty law to free imprisoned politicians. That, Porras said, could backfire on them by frustrating voters whose priority is the economy, while at the same time uniting the Socialist Party against the law. "If there is an issue that unites Chavismo around its leadership, it's this."

A former deputy foreign minister who was also chief-of-staff to Maduro when he was foreign minister, Porras is now a professor at the Paris School of International Affairs.

He remains broadly loyal to his "gifted" former boss.

"No one is asking him to imitate President Chavez," he said. "The main issue is to preserve the basis and ideals of Chavismo but deliver good governance."

(Editing by Alexandra Ulmer, Andrew Cawthorne and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Filed from
Caracas, Venezuela






More...

Crisis-hit Venezuela halts publication of another major indicator
Mar. 21, 2017


Back in Venezuela, 'world's worst skier' proud of his performance
Feb. 26, 2017


Some poor Venezuelan parents give away children amid deep crisis
Dec. 15, 2016


Desperate to dump soon-worthless cash, Venezuelans flock to banks
Dec. 13, 2016


Inflation-hit Venezuela to pull largest bill from circulation
Dec. 11, 2016


Venezuela confirms bigger bills amid world's highest inflation
Dec. 04, 2016


Venezuela PDVSA awards $3.2 bln oil service contracts, protest brews
Sept. 21, 2016


Maduro revels in support from Zimbabwe, Iran as critics decry failed summit
Sept. 18, 2016


Venezuela summit draws few leaders in blow to Maduro
Sept. 17, 2016


Near Venezuela summit, pots-and-pans protest showed domestic tumult
Sept. 17, 2016


Once 'Pearl of Caribbean' gets new shine for Venezuela summit
Sept. 16, 2016


Maduro boasts start of Venezuela summit despite 'gringo pressure'
Sept. 13, 2016


Venezuela's troubles overshadow Non-Aligned Summit
Sept. 11, 2016


Venezuela renews drilling tender after earlier collapse - sources
Aug. 26, 2016


Hungry in a Venezuelan slum, a Facebook Live video
Aug. 04, 2016








© Girish Gupta