In what has become a tradition journalist Ignacio Ramonet sat down with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro to touch on themes of importance to the nation
On Venezuela's Covid situation
"Venezuela has had an exemplary control over the pandemic with the 7 plus 7 method, and when we started to make progress in vaccination and reached more than 40% of the vaccinated population, we restarted classes, we also allowed flexibility, this is how the country has been working... Venezuela has reached six cases per 100 thousand inhabitants... our vaccination goal is to reach 90%... the United States government has threatened all vaccine producers not to trade with us... by the end of the year, we have reached 89% vaccination rate.
On the last elections:
"They gave a sobering result, this election campaign was not easy. I said it several times to the campaign command. These elections are not easy because, well, the blockade has created problems of public services, problems in the daily life of the people, and part of the population does not understand that it is because of the sanctions. This has created dissatisfaction, discomfort in part of the population, and this is what US imperialism is looking for when it squeezes a country to crush it as it has done with Venezuela, it is looking for confusion, the protest of the people? the problem we have with public services such as water, the sabotage to the electrical system, there are problems that have remained... and they are real problems for the population... many of them are caused by the impossible access to spare parts, pieces, equipment, that any country in the world is renewing to maintain its public services... We have reached a moment in which we are persecuted worldwide... is this explained to the population? It is explained to them and a part of the people very heroic and stoic support the revolutionary process... but we won in spite of this, out of the 23 governorships the opposition won 3. In spite of these circumstances we won 80% of the governorships... This is victory number 27, we are for real...
And what is coming for the economy:
"Venezuela has its own engines to face its economic needs...capable of replacing the old capitalist economy dependent on oil, the old rentier economy...the economic sanctions undoubtedly hit the economic life of the country terribly...the 440 coercive measures and sanctions were like an atomic bomb...we have been progressively implementing measures to free the productive forces in a scheme of war economy...from suffering we went to resistance and now to growth. ...tax reforms...we made progress in reducing the fiscal deficit...a banking market was created...oil production and the production of the country's refineries gradually recovered...the Venezuelan economy at this moment is in a clear period of recovery, I can tell you that we have recovered economic growth, in the second semester of the year 2021 the economic growth is 7.5%...Venezuela has already had 4 consecutive months with single-digit inflation...
On foreign policy:
Donald trump left but the empire remained, the empire is intact, Joe Biden arrived as a great promise of change, in relation to Venezuela everything has remained the same, the financial, monetary, oil, economic and commercial persecution, there has not been a single sign of rectification... Let us expect nothing except from ourselves... Who knows when and with whom the possibility of a direct dialogue will be opened, hopefully with the government of Joe Biden, and if it does not happen we will continue with our battle, this is our way...