Venezuela devalued its currency today – or at least that is what we gather from Economy Minister, President of PDVSA, VP of the ruling PSUV party, and Energy Minister (yes, he has four jobs … that we know of) Rafael Ramírez.
Here is what he actually said.
Here is what he actually meant:
“I know, I know – the economy is in the dumps, and the whole SICAD / CADIVI thing is a scam. But we need to keep the scam going, at least for a little while. It is simply too easy, too irresistible to “sell” dollars for food and medicine at BsF 6.3, “sell” them for other stuff at BsF 11 or something, and “sell” them in the black market 78, which is what they’re going for today. In fact, you can buy at 6.3, sell at 11, buy them back at 11, and sell them at the black market. And me and my pals get to keep a fee every time you buy or sell. You think we’re going to give that up so easily? So yes, today was a devaluation, but you will never catch me saying it. The 6.3 dollar lives on, because it’s hush money for the revolution’s insiders. It will live on in the Panamanian bank accounts of the fake companies pretending to import medicine and food. It will live on in the supermarket shelves of Maicao and Cúcuta, where subsidized Venezuelan products go to die. And it will live on in the Miami real estate holdings of the military – after all, the busier they are trying to get their hands on cheap dollars, the less time they have to plot. We all know this won’t solve our problems. This will only fuel inflation, and a future devaluation will obviously be necessary. And it certainly won’t do away with the raspaítos that so many of you find so enticing – better to keep you searching for a place to raspar in Lima or Madrid than to have you in the streets protesting. But just like today, we won’t call it a devaluation. Because socialists like us never devalue. We ‘adjust imbalances in the currency market to do away with evil capitalist speculators’ … jeje.”
PS.- Here’s Daniel’s take.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.