Accountability, pero al revés

mind-blownThe Venezuelan government insists on transparency in the use of scarce foreign currency…by private firms.

Yesterday, the foreign exchange control administrative agency, Cencoex (which is why they’re calling CADIVI these days), announced draconian measures to “sanction” 17 private companies that have not sufficiently documented what they’re spending their dollars on.

By shutting those companies out of preferential foreign exchange altogether, the 17 are doomed to either fail or move into the illegal currency market.

They’re being sanctioned, lest we forget, by the same government that has spent tens of billions of dollars worth of public money in total secrecy.

Are we clear on the principle here?

Listen, it’s just common sense: so long as you’re spending public money, you retain a basic expectation of privacy. But the moment you start talking about spending your own money, well, certain obligations to report obviously come into play, don’t they?