Bolivarian Economic Agenda Quietly Diversifying and Growing Venezuela’s Economy

Expo Fair 2024 in Venezuela. Photo: X/ @NicolasMaduro


June 24, 2024 Hour: 9:23 am

To fight the U.S.-led sanctions, the Socialist Party has identified new ‘engines for growth.’

While the mainstream international media concentrate on ignoring or misrepresenting the true economic and social effects of political sanctions by nations stealing its wealth while promoting regime change, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has been – over time — quietly achieving a veritable economic miracle.


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Since 2018, the Nicolas Maduro administration decided that, already being home to 94 percent of South America’s energy reserves and also rich in minerals like diamonds and iron, it was strategically necessary to wean the economy off its near-total dependence on beleaguered energy exports.

To fight the deadly effects of US-led sanctions, the ruling Venezuelan United Socialist Party (PSUV) identified new ‘engines for growth’ that have, over the past three years especially, progressively shown positive returns for each of the past 12 Quarters.

On June 22, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez reported that Venezuela’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had increased by 7 percent during the first quarter of 2024. In a teleSUR podcast shared with the news agency’s President Patricia Villegas, VP Rodriguez explained the decision to find innovative ways to fight “the criminal blockade” led to the decision that “the path forward is diversification”.

This process featured “a Bolivarian economic agenda with 18 productive engines, based on the great wealth and potential of Venezuela.” Areas targeted for special attention included oil, food and medical drug production, “and strengthening the nation’s industrial platform.”

The diversification program is home-grown, but also draws on the mutual experiences of Iran, Russia and China – friendly developing nations still surviving economic sanctions by USA, G-7 and European Union (EU) member-states.

Six years later, the consistent progressive performance of Venezuela’s 18 growth engines has resulted in a 7 percent GDP growth from January to April, 2024 that also exceeded the expectations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, the Q1 2024 performance outstripped that of Q1 2023, suggesting similar or better prospects for the rest of this year.

Side-by-side with the improved economic performance, Rodriguez said similar attention should be paid to “the integral recovery of workers’ incomes, in conjunction with the economic asphyxia of the nation’s foreign income,” resulting in cumulative social and economic pressures on the population.

Such positive economic performances don’t attract the attention of the traditional multinational media agencies that prefer to stress the high numbers of Venezuelans being forced to flee the country by the worsening effects of the multiple Western sanctions.

Apart from China, Russia and Iran, Venezuela also has the neighbourly example of Cuba, which has been facing U.S. sanctions for 63 years – and still survives. Venezuela and Cuba have shared decades of cooperation through the PetroCaribe energy security initiative initiated under Presidents Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, to promote regional economic cooperation and development across Latin America.

Venezuela and Cuba also initiated Operation Milagro (Miracle Operation) that provided free eye care to millions across the wider region. But in the post Castro-Chavez era, the Bolivarian and Cuban revolutions have together faced a series of coordinated efforts by the usual Western suspects to harm their external incomes from traditional sources like sugar and tobacco, oil and gas.

PetroCaribe was targeted by the Trump administration as early as 2018 and the Biden administration tightened the screws on both Cuba and Venezuela since 2020, but Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations are today again interested in reviving it.

But Ukraine-related sanctions have backfired on the USA, G-7, EU and NATO nations, resulting in domestic energy crises that have forced the UK and others to backtrack on earlier pledges to reduce drilling for oil and to close-down nuclear plants.

The Ukraine backlash also saw voters rebel against many governments in the recent EU regional elections. Energy shortfalls and higher prices in the USA have forced Washington to seek a conditional return to Venezuela by U.S. oil giant Chevron — while at the same time dismantling Venezuela’s state-owned CITGO petroleum corporation in the USA.

The UK and EU continue sitting on Venezuelan gold assets in the Bank of England (earlier assigned to Washington’s handpicked ‘alternative President’ Juan Guaido) and seem now ready hand frozen Russian assets in European banks to Ukraine, after Iranian assets frozen in U.S. banks were recently treated in like manner.

Here too, Russia, Iran and Venezuela – and now China — can cooperate better on how-best to respond to freezing of their assets by common economic enemies. As it turned out, Rodriguez had also just signed three such joint cooperation agreements between China and Venezuela, during an international seminar on mutual economic development and cooperation.

The seminar analysed “the complexities accompanying global economic growth and its resilience to illegal sanctions imposed by the US” and was aimed at “mutually-beneficial exchanges of knowledge-based information on respective experiences.”

The agreements will share knowledge and cooperation in economic policies to promote sustainable development between China and Venezuela and development of innovative strategies for the benefit of both countries, taking into account their respective experiences in each area. The two nations will also develop technological innovation and a knowledge-based economy to creativity and collaboration in cutting-edge projects.

Another agreement is “for promotion and mutual protection of investments that contemplate an investment regulatory framework for Chinese and Venezuelan companies…”

Ironically, backfiring of Western sanctions over Ukraine have resulted, less-than two years later, in Russia being recently designated the world’s fourth-largest economy, thanks in large part to its trade with Brazil, China, India, South Africa – its fellow BRICS nations.

Currently, BRICS nations represent the majority of people on Planet Earth and control most of the world’s oil and gas reserves, with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and other large oil producers also expected to join the growing global alliance of developing nations later this year in Russia. But even now, cooperation against sanctions will gain even-wider partnerships, thanks to these latest developments.


Fuente: teleSUR

The opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily represent those of teleSUR

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