Hudson on the Guaire

Bloomberg tracked down Michael Hudson, Maduro's new favourite economist. Turns out he's not quite as enamoured of Maduro as Maduro is of him.

[Correction: due to the editor being in a hurry, we originally posted this with a photo of the wrong Michael Hudson. Apologies.]

Last week president Maduro praised Michael Hudson, calling him “one of the greatest US economists” to a group of potential investors at the Expo Venezuela en Potencia 2017. The universal question: who the hell is he? Bloomberg did the homework and found out the University of Missouri professor doesn’t reciprocate the enthusiasm of his South American fans:

When contacted a few days later, he had harsh words about the state of the economy since Maduro replaced the late Hugo Chavez in 2013, saying it seems to have “entered a period of anarchy” so profound that he doesn’t know if he could help the country much even if he were asked. Which, by the way, he hasn’t been.

In the past Hudson has advised Iceland, Latvia, and China on finance and tax law. He has also penned several books criticizing US economic dominance, and the shift from industrial capitalism to more unstable, speculative systems. Basically, in the space between Keynes and Serrano he’s somewhere in the Bernie Sanders region.

Hudson has developed something of a cult following in certain anti-establishment outlets across the political spectrum like Counterpunch —who not long ago was posting apologetic pieces on chavismo like this or this− and Zero Hedge, which, despite being on-target many times—and veering into Alex Jones territory at other times— was called by a former contributor a cheerleader for “Hezbollah, Tehran, Beijing, and Trump“. Speaking of things that may be linked to Russia, he has also been on RT a couple of times.

And what does Hudson has to say about Venezuela?:

He’s seen enough and heard enough from Venezuelans, though, to know that the economy is a “real mess.” The task of fixing it looks so daunting, in fact, that he said he’d be disinclined to add an advisory role to his busy schedule if asked to.

“I prefer to work with countries with problems that can be solved,” he said.

Ouch. It seems so long ago when famous Marxist intellectuals like Ignacio Ramonet and Heinz Dietrich supported the revolution, without asking too many questions. Though greasing some palms may have helped…

Now that most thinkers from the Gauche caviar can’t deny what’s going on in Venezuela, they’ve found Maduro the perfect fall guy to throw under the bus for almost two decades of violence, incompetence and decay. But c’mon, these guys’ credibility is in the sub-basement. Though with Trump in the White House, it’s all up for the grabs now.

Well, at least they’ve still got Weisbrot and Ciccariello-Mahler and those Podemos guys. They would never turn against the Bolivarian revolution, right?… Right?


José González Vargas

Freelance journalist, speculative fiction writer, college professor, political junkie, lover of books and movies and, semi-professional dilettante. José has written for NPR's Latino USA, Americas Quarterly, Into and ViceVersa Magazine.