VIO News Blog

August 4, 2008

Fear of Banking Collapse Drummed Up in Press

The Financial Times takes a look at upcoming November elections in Venezuela that have caused in-fighting within pro-government an opposition sectors.  At the root of the criticism is the decision to bar political participation by certain officials who are under investigation for corruption.  Although the Times asserts otherwise, this legal procedure does not only impact the opposition but many pro-government politicians as well.     

Venezuela's Foreign Minister and Minister of the Interior at Drug Summit in Colombia-August 1, 2008.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister and Minister of the Interior at Drug Summit in Colombia-August 1, 2008.

The wall Street Journal drums up fear of a banking collapse in Venezuela, simply by alluding to one, rather than providing any basis for the claim.  In “Chavez Takes a Big Chance” it is not till the reader is half way through the article that the Journal admits “there is little evidence that history is about to repeat itself.”  Nevertheless, they opine, massive bank withdrawals due to a lack of confidence in the Bank of Venezuela’s new government ownership is something to be wary of.  The Financial Times on the other hand suggests that the sale of the Bank from a Spanish company to the Venezuelan government “is not as alarming as it appears at first glance.”    

The Los Angeles Times reports on concerns felt by US officials toward an alleged increase in drug flights originating from Venezuela.  The article suggests that if Venezuela would cooperate with US drug officials then the problem could be solved, forgetting that Venezuela worked with the US in narco-trafficking for many years and saw little improvement.  In recent years, Venezuela has witnessed an increase in drug seizures and collection of strategic intelligence, producing narco-trafficking busts internationally. The Chavez Administration has also reached out to the US drug enforcement community to resume collaboration in certain areas.  Finally, Venezuela’s cooperation with Russia is a topic of contempt in an Orlando Sentinel editorial today.  Stating that the US lacks influence over Venezuela due to its weak position in the hemisphere and Venezuela’s relationship with Russia, it implores the Bush Administration to find an alternative energy strategy to counter Venezuela.

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