Less Legal Banking Reserves, More Credit

Among other news, Maduro approved reducing the legal banking reserve and activating productive credits.

  • On Wednesday, Maduro approved reducing the legal banking reserve and activating productive credits. He praised his regime for “making good economic decisions at the right time,” as if he wasn’t responsible for the disastrous Venezuelan economy and said he expected money to “circulate virtuously, so it impacts productivity across all sectors and direct access to credits.” 
    • His vice president, Delcy Rodríguez, announced they’re taking these measures after several meetings to evaluate the banking sector’s proposals. 
    • The Executive Branch reduced the legal banking reserves from 85% to 73% and approved that 10% of clients’ currency be used for productive credits in bolivars. 
    • Almost all deposits had to remain as cash reserves, which blocked extending loans and asphyxiated banks and people for years. These measures are insufficient and won’t solve the problem. 
  • In order to comply with chavismo’s obsession with creating new institutions, they announced a National Entrepreneurship Fund with 46 million dollars, presided by Marijury Marchera. Rodríguez said that in order to consolidate digital bolivars they flexibilized the requirements to open accounts up to 1,000 bolivars. Maduro repeated his mantra of the last ten years: he announced that 2022 will be “the year of economic recovery.” Without financial dollarization, the measures won’t have an impact. 
  • The president of FEDECÁMARAS, Carlos Fernández, asked to resume commercial trade with Colombia. 
  • FEDENAGA warned that milk and meat production covers the needs of 40 to 50% of the population and that there are “complex expectations” for the next few months, because economic uncertainty doesn’t allow them to make projections. 

Maracaibo Lake, once a symbol of the oil bonanza, has become more attractive to shrimp fishermen and processors, a business that produces around 300 million dollars a year. 

  • Venezuela went from reporting 110 daily cases in 2022, to 1,800 on February 1st. 
  • Venezuelans tweeted demanding freedom for Javier Tarazona, FundaRedes director and human rights activist. He’s been in prison for seven months and his health is deteriorating. 
  • NGO Foro Penal counted 242 political prisoners in the country, and “9,420 people with arbitrary processes against them for political reasons.” 
  • Nurses of the Agustín Zubillaga Pediatric Hospital in Barquisimeto assure that the staff shortage isn’t due to an omicron surge, as governor Adolfo Pereira said, but because of low wages. 
  • OAS commissioner for the Venezuelan migration crisis David Smolansky asked the international community to speed up the regularization of migrants and refugees. Out of 6 million Venezuelans abroad, only 2.6 million have their documents. 
  • Panama’s Immigration Department warned that the irregular transit of Venezuelans crossing the Tapón de Darién has increased in 2022. At least 2,819 Venezuelans crossed this dangerous territory in 2021. 
  • Navegantes del Magallanes were eliminated from the Caribbean Series. They lost 8-1 to the Caimanes de Barranquilla in the semifinals.
  • Jose Ignacio Hernández, the former attorney general of the caretaker government, warned that a New York court ordered publishing who the final beneficiaries of the PDVSA bonds are. “It’s a fair ruling that could make the negotiations in compliance with OFAC guidelines easier,” he said. 
  • Three leftist leaders distanced themselves from Maduro this week. Peruvian president Pedro Castillo said that the Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan regimes aren’t a model he’d want to repeat. Chile’s President-Elect Gabriel Boric said that Venezuela is living under brutal setbacks of democratic and economic conditions. Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro said that Nicolás “isn’t a leader of the Left” but represents “policies for death.” In 2016, Petro trivialized the shortages when he visited Caracas, so it’s likely he’s coming up with this speech just to clean up his public image. 

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.